Islamic Centre of England

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The Islamic Centre of England

The Islamic Centre of England Ltd (ICEL) is a Shi'a Islamic religious and cultural building at 140 Maida Vale, London, England,[1] whose mission is "to provide services to members of the Muslim community, in particular, and the wider community at large", focusing on religious guidance and cultural issues.[2] It was founded in December 1995 and opened officially in November 1998. The premises are a former cinema that is a listed building.


The centre was founded in 1995 by the representative of the supreme leader of the Islamic Republic of Iran Ayatollah Sheikh Mohsen Araki, who was its first Director,[3] and opened officially in November 1998.[2] It describes itself as an educational centre for those who wish to increase their knowledge of Islamic principles and cultural values and therefore, helping to strengthen the social structure of the community. In addition to religious services, the centre provides counselling and support in all areas of family life.[4]

The Centre is run as a UK Private company limited by guarantee as Islamic centre of England Limited, notably it's Governing Document requires that at all times one Trustee be a representative of an overseas government, the Supreme Leader of Iran. The financial accounts filed at Companies House show that as 31 December 2016 the Company has reserves (ie money in the bank or quickly accessible) of £4.4M; and that during the year grants were passed to Islamic centres in Glasgow, Cardiff, Birmingham, Manchester, Newcastle and Leeds. Propagation of Islam is the main activity. [5][6]

The Islamic Centre of England has a daily congregation of 50-100 people.[citation needed] It is open 365 days a year[citation needed] and holds programmes in English, Arabic, Farsi and Urdu,[7] while welcoming people who speak 57 languages[citation needed]. During major religious events the number of worshippers throughout the day exceeds 5,000[citation needed].

The Centre is led by 3 directors, one of whom is a woman. Abdul Hussein Mo'ezzi is a former director and imam.[8][9]

A representative of the church was involved with Benedictine-Shia inter-religious dialogue in 2017,[10] and another presided over a Christian Muslim Forum that year.[11] On 18 February 2018, the centre participated in the Visit My Mosque open day.[12][13]


The centre is housed in the former Maida Vale Picture House, a 1,001-seat cinema designed by Edward A. Stone (one of his earliest works)[14] which opened as the Picture Palace on 27 January 1913.[15] The building has two copper-topped towers and a central dome; the auditorium, with oak walls decorated with gilded plaster,[14] originally had a small circle with curtained boxes, and an entrance vestibule with a marble floor and an open fire, with a tearoom above it. Provincial Cinematograph Theatres acquired it in 1920 and renamed it the Picture House in 1923. It was in turn acquired in 1927 by Associated Provincial Picture Houses, who reopened it that September with a new organ, and in 1929 by Gaumont British Theatres, who closed it in November 1940 because of the Second World War. In 1949, after alterations, it was reopened by Mecca Dancing as the Carlton Rooms, a ballroom which was the location of BBC dancing broadcasts. It was converted again into a bingo club[16] in 1961 and became a Grade II listed building in 1991.[17] Jasmine Bingo, the then operator, closed it in 1996.[15]

Islamic College and Seminary[edit]

The Centre is also linked to two educational establishments at 133 High Road, Willesden, London:

  • The Islamic College, (a company registered as the Islamic College for Advanced Studies [18])
  • Hawza Ilmiyya of England, an Islamic seminary[19]

Mohammed Ali Shomali, Imam of the Centre since 2014,[20][8] in November 2016 at Hawza Ilmiyya appointed as Internal Manager Mirza Mohammed Abbas Raza,[21][22] who then became sole Director of the Islamic College in November 2017.[23]


The Islamic Centre of England publishes Islam Today, a monthly magazine[24] and jointly publishes Message of Thaqalayn, a scholarly journal, with a publisher in Qom, Iran.[25]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Mosques: maps". Muslims in Britain. 
  2. ^ a b "Who we are" (site not accessible via Firefox). Islamic Centre of England. 
  3. ^ "The Islamic Centre of England (ICE), London". Imam Reza (A.S.) network. 1998. Retrieved 27 February 2018. 
  4. ^ "Useful Muslim Links: Mosques". Fatherhood Institute. 2 April 2005. Retrieved 27 February 2018. 
  5. ^ "ISLAMIC CENTRE OF ENGLAND LTD Company number 03142456- Filing History". Companies House. 
  6. ^ "ISLAMIC CENTRE OF ENGLAND LTD - Full accounts made up to 31 December 2016". Companies House. 2016-12-31. 
  7. ^ "Islamic Centre England. London". Services and Organisations in Camden. London Borough of Camden. 4 December 2011. Retrieved 27 February 2018. 
  8. ^ a b "Islamic Centre of England Ltd". Companies House. Retrieved 27 February 2018. 
  9. ^ Innes Bowen (2015). Medina in Birmingham, Najaf in Brent: Inside British Islam. London: Hurst. ISBN 9781849043014. 
  10. ^ "Catholic-Shia dialogue in London". Independent Catholic News. 5 December 2015. Retrieved 27 February 2018. 
  11. ^ "Faith & Learning: Interfaith Forum at Saint Augustine Church and the Islamic Centre of England". Islam Today. Islamic Centre of England. October 2017. 
  12. ^ "Visit My Mosque Open Day 2018". Islamic Centre of England. Retrieved 27 February 2018. 
  13. ^ Find My Mosque, Visit My Mosque.
  14. ^ a b "Maida Vale Picture House". Theatres Trust. Retrieved 27 February 2018. 
  15. ^ a b "Maida Vale Picture House". Cinema Treasures. Retrieved 27 February 2018. 
  16. ^ Alaya Forte. "Journey into London-Re-Engaging Space". Muslims, Trust and Cultural Dialogue. Retrieved 27 February 2018. 
  17. ^ "Mecca Social Club Carlton Rooms". National Heritage List for England. Historic England. Retrieved 27 February 2018. 
  18. ^ Islamic College for Advanced Studies, Companies House, 13 November 2017, retrieved 3 March 2017 
  19. ^ Hawza Ilmiyya of England: About us, Hawza Ilmiyya of England, retrieved 3 March 2018 
  20. ^ "Biography", Islamic Centre of England, retrieved 4 March 2018 
  21. ^ "The Hawza Ilmiyya of England has a new Internal Manager", Hawza Ilmiyya of England, 10 November 2016, retrieved 3 March 2018 
  22. ^ "Internal Manager of Hawza Ilmiyya of England Changed". Ijtihad Network for Islamic Jurisprudence. 10 November 2016. Retrieved 3 March 2018. 
  23. ^ Islamic Collehe for Advanced Studies - People, Companies House, 13 November 2017, retrieved 3 March 2017 
  24. ^ Islam Today.
  25. ^ Message of Thaqalayn.

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 51°32′7″N 0°11′21″W / 51.53528°N 0.18917°W / 51.53528; -0.18917