The Centre for Islamic Enlightening (Markaz El-Thathgeef El-Eslami) was established in 1986 under the guidance of Grand Ayatollah Sayed Mohammed Al-Hussaini Al-Shirazi, one of the most influential Shi’a Islamic scholars of the 20th century. The Islamic Center has been serving the needs of Muslims in London as well as throughout the United Kingdom. The IEC has a long rich past that embodies the British Muslim Community’s search, struggle and triumph to find a place to belong.
Grand Ayatollah Sayed Mohammed Al-Hussaini Al-Shirazi
Grand Ayatollah Sayed Mohammad Shirazi was born in the holy city of Najaf, Iraq, in 1928 (1347 AH). He grew up in family that descended from the noble and honourable lineage of the Prophet Mohammed (pbuh) through his daughter Fatima (as) and cousin Ali (as). The family was deeply rooted in knowledge and Islamic sciences and jurisprudence. He grew in an environment of righteousness and piety, and embarked on his studies and research with all his means and abilities, seeking the knowledge of Islamic sciences until he attained a distinguished station in these fields. He subsequently became a grand religious authority at the early age of 33 in 1961.
Grand Ayatollah Sayed Mohammad Shirazi is one the most eminent authorities on Islam in modern times. An outstanding Islamic scholar, being the religious authority (Marja’) to millions of Muslims around the globe. A charismatic leader who was known for his high moral values, modesty, and spirituality, Ayatollah Shirazi was a mentor and a source of aspiration to Muslims; and the means of access to authentic knowledge and teachings of Islam. He tirelessly devoted himself, and his life, to the cause of Muslims in particular, and those of mankind in general. In presenting the Teachings of Islam on the various aspect of life in this world and in the hereafter, he has made extensive contributions in various fields of learning ranging from Jurisprudence and Theology to Politics, Economics, Non-violence, and Human Rights.
He passed away in December 2001 (Shawwal 1422 AH) and we lost a grand scholar who upheld the truth, and was renowned for his noble and gracious manners and righteous deeds, excelling in writing and composition, and spreading the knowledge and the teachings of our divine leaders, the Ahlulbayt (pbut). The late Ayatollah has left behind for the Islamic library a magnificent heritage of more than one thousand books. He also trained hundreds of scholars, researchers, writers, and speakers, not to mention the thousands of believers. He also established hundreds of religious, educational and charity institutions and organisations around the world, including the IEC.
Ayatollah Shirazi was succeeded by his brother, the Grand Ayatollah Sayed Sadiq Al-Hussaini Al-Shirazi, who is the current spiritual guide of the IEC.