A Place for Worship and Guidance


HomeAnnouncementsBasic Fact Sheet - The Islamic Centre of England

Basic Fact Sheet – The Islamic Centre of England

The Islamic Centre of England Ltd

(the Centre)

We are aware that there has been a significant amount of press coverage mentioning the Centre in recent days. With that in mind, and in the interests of transparency, we have prepared this brief document to set out some basic facts about the Centre.

What is the Centre?

The Islamic Centre of England is a Shia religious and cultural centre which is registered as a charity with the Charity Commission for England and Wales. It’s charitable purposes are:

‘The advancement of the religion of Islam in accordance with the principles and tenets of the Shi’ah Ithna Ashari Muslim faith; the advancement of education amongst the Muslim community; the provision of facilities in the interests of social welfare for the recreation and leisure-time occupation of Muslims who are in need by reason of their youth, age, infirmity, disablement, poverty or social or economic circumstances, in order to improve their conditions of life.’

Further details can be found in the Centre’s record at the Charity Commission.

See: Charity overview, ISLAMIC CENTRE OF ENGLAND LIMITED – 1058998, Register of Charities – The Charity Commission

What does the Centre do?

The Centre pursues its charitable aims by delivering religious, educational and social welfare services under 7 main headings:

  • Cultural Affairs
  • Religious Services
  • Educational Services
  • Family and Social Affairs
  • Publications and Distribution
  • Library and Bookshop
  • Outreach to Non-Muslims and New-Muslims

You can find details of the Centre’s current activities on our website here: About Us | Islamic Centre of England (New) (

Who leads the Centre?

The Centre is governed by its board of trustees, which currently comprises three individuals:

  • Mir Abbas Hussain Chair
  • Jafar Ali Najm
  • Dr Tahir Wasti

Since the Centre is a charity established as a company limited by guarantee, the trustees are also company directors.

We are in the process of recruiting new trustees. See:

Is the Centre linked to Iran?

As the Centre’s charitable purposes make clear, it was established to promote Shia Islam. It is from a branch of Shia Islam known as Twelver Shia Islam. Iran as a country holds an important role within global Twelver Shia Islam. It has been a Twelver Shia majority country since the 16th century, and Twelver Shia Islam has played a dominant historical, cultural, social and political role in the country since then.

Iran hosts two very important shrines: one of the 8th Imam of Twelver Shia Islam, Imam Ali ibn Musa al-Rida (d. 818), in Mashhad and another one of his sister Fatima bint Musa al-Ma’suma (d. 816/7) in Qom. Both shrines are central pilgrimage sites within Twelver Shia Islam attracting millions of pilgrims from across the world every year. Qom is equally one of the most important centres of clerical leadership and scholarly training in transnational Twelver Shia Islam. The city is home to the offices of round 30 senior Islamic Jurists who have followers across the world. Qom also hosts the largest number of religious seminaries in Twelver Shia Islam which teach at least 80,000 students from across the world for religious, clerical, pastoral and jurisprudential roles.

The Centre continues this religious heritage and the resulting religious links with Iran.

The Charity’s governing document, its articles of association, provide that At all times at least one of the trustees shall be a well reputed Religious Scholar recognized by any popular spiritual authority (Marja) of the time.’

At present, the board of trustees includes more than one such scholar.

As scholars in this tradition, they follow a senior cleric qualified as a “source of emulation” (marja‘ al-taqlid). One such source of emulation is Grand Ayatullah Sayyid Ali Khamenei. While Khamenei also has a political role in Iran, the Centre’s connection to him is a religious one.

The religious activities of the Centre are open to all Twelver Shiis (followers of Twelver Shia Islam), regardless of whether they are followers of Grand Ayatullah Sayyid Ali Khamenei’s clerical authority or not. And of course other Muslims and non-Muslims also visit the Centre and take part in interfaith events and other activities.

Does the Centre receive Khums donations?

In Twelver Shia Islam, it is usual for those who follow a senior cleric to collect the religious donations that Twelver Shiis are expected to pay (zakat / khums) under the authority of the senior cleric. Normally, local clerical representatives retain a specified percentage of the donations collected in this way, to fund local activities in a mosque, community centre or Islamic school, for example, and forward the rest to the clerical authority they represent. As a charity operating under English law, the Centre has been authorised to keep 100% of the donations it collects in this way to be spent locally on the various religious, educational and social welfare activities it delivers in pursuit of its charitable purposes.

Why is the Charity Commission involved?

The Charity Commission has opened a statutory inquiry into the Charity.  In the course of that inquiry, the Commission has appointed an Interim Manager to complete specified tasks alongside the charity trustees, who continue to govern the Charity.

The Charity has appealed to the Charity Tribunal (the First Tier Tribunal (General Regulatory Chamber)) against the appointment of the Interim Manager.

Meanwhile, we have cooperated fully with the Charity Commission and other public bodies, and have remained steadfast in our commitment to transparency, accountability, and service to the community. We will continue to do so.

Did the Centre receive Furlough payments?

Like many charities, the Centre received furlough payments on behalf of its employees during the Covid 19 lockdown period. All such payments were applied for with the benefit of advice from the charity’s HR advisors and administered in accordance with relevant legal requirements.

Further information

For further information, please contact: [].

Published on behalf of the charity trustees of the Centre.  [19/04/2024]


You can pay to support our programmes, Khums, Zakat, Sadaqa or Kaffara here.