The Muhammadi Trust has been in existence for more than four decades. During the early seventies, the number of Islamic institutions in the West were very few, as was Islamic literature in the English language. With migration from the subcontinent and other parts of the world, creating a growing Muslim population within the UK, there was an evident need for establishments that would serve the community at all levels.
Through inspiration from the late Raja of Mahmudabad, the then Director of the Islamic Centre in Regents Park (which was later built into the present day Regents Park Mosque) and participation of the Gokal family, represented by Abbas Gokal, and with active involvement from other energetic members of the community, which included Syed Mohammed Raza Shabbar, Sadiq Shah Kazemi, Dr S. S. Raza and Baqir Khorasanee the Muhammadi Trust of Great Britain and Northern Ireland was established. The primary intention behind forming the Trust was to enhance awareness of Islam in the West by making available in English some of the most essential classical texts of the Islamic tradition, with a particular emphasis upon the dimension of Islamic thought and spirituality arising from the school of Ahl al Bayt, the purified Progeny of the Holy Prophet Muhammad (saws).
It was not long before the late Commander Qasim Hussain assumed leadership of the Trust and through his dynamism and untiring efforts, which spanned for over twenty years, the Trust reached new heights.
On the publication front, the Trust produced a wide variety of high calibre works, which received excellent reviews and continue to command respect in the academic community. This work includes the book of supplications, Al-Sahifat Al- Sajjadiyya , ‘The Psalms of Islam’, by Imam Zayn Al Abidin (as), the great grandson of the Holy Prophet Muhammad (saws). This prolific work was translated by the eminent scholar Dr. William Chittick and has been dispersed worldwide, gaining appreciation from all walks of society. Another important and one of many publications commissioned by the Trust was Kitab ul Irshad , The Book of Guidance, by Sheikh al Mufid, translated by the great Islamic scholar, Prof. Ian Howard. Following this the Trust published ‘Our Philosophy’ by the late Sayyid Muhammad Baqir As-Sadr, translated by Shams C. Inati.
These monumental works have left a distinguished contribution to the field of Islamic theology and have set a firm standard for defining quality translations into the English Language.
In the early eighties the Muhammadi Trust organised and presented a memorable weeklong international conference, in which religious and academic scholars from all over the globe participated to celebrate the 1400th birth anniversary of Imam Husayn (as). Subsequent to this unforgettable conference, a special issue of the ‘Al Serat’ Joural was published, entitled ‘Imam Husayn Conference’. Many of the papers presented at the conference may be found in this particular issue of the journal, which continues to be an important reference point for students of Islamic theology.
The Trust has flourished with the support of many well-wishers in the community and with the noteworthy efforts of the late Commander Qasim Hussain during its first twenty years. His untimely demise left a big void in the Trust.
After a brief period of leadership by the late Syed Vilayet Hussain Taqvi, whose sad demise unexpectedly shortened his tenure at the Trust, Syed Muhammad Raza Shabbar assumed the noteworthy responsibility. During this period the Trust produced some high quality publications , which includes the translation of ‘Prophetic Traditions in Islam – On the Authority of the Family of the Prophet ‘ compiled by the distinguished Shaykh Fadhlalla Haeri and the commissioning of ‘Tales of Rumi – Kingdom of Joy ‘, a fully illustrated children’s book printed in full colour, authored by Abdul Rahman Azzam. Through contribution from notable individuals Prof. Ian Howard, Dr. Reza Shah Kazemi, Dr. Sajjad Rizvi and others, the Trust has been able to facilitate for a range of activities including the hosting and co-hosting of prominent events (such as the annual and highly acclaimed Imam Ali Seminars, Imam Husain and Imam Zayn Al Abidin conferences) along with weekly gatherings focusing on exegesis of the Holy Quran, led by Syed Shabbar.
An important aspect of the Trust’s legacy, which commenced in the 1970’s and continues to this day, has been its devotion to commemorating the revolutionary message of Imam Husayn (as), the grandson of the Holy Prophet Muhammad (saws). For over thirty-five years the Trust has dedicated the first eleven days of Muharram (the first Islamic month) in facilitating gatherings of tribute and remembrance.
This combined with the publication of various books and articles has enabled the Trust to offer its contribution in keeping alive the message of Imam Husayn (as) and the impact of this message on the consciousness of Muslim society.
To meet the ever growing needs, particularly those of young people, in Autumn 2005 the Muhammadi Trust acquired a new centre at 131 Walm Lane, London NW2 3AU.
The activities of the Trust at our new centre comprise of:
- The continued translation of Islamic texts and relevant publications.
Academic conferences to encourage research based development of Islamic thoughts and spirituality arising from the school of the Ahl al-Bayt (People of the Prophetic Household).
- Interfaith Dialogues and Seminars to promote a more cohesive society, through knowledge and mutual understanding.
- Majalis (traditional religious gatherings) in English and Urdu.
- Weekly gatherings on Thursday evenings, which include the recitation of the supplication of Kumayl.
- Monthly discussion groups.
It is the desire of the Trustees and supporters of the Trust to continue with the Trust’s endeavours, and it is hoped that its activities shall make lasting contributions to the Islamic, and indeed non-Islamic societies, across the globe.
The Founder Trustees of the Muhammadi Trust were:
- Raja Muhammad Amir Ahmad Mahmudabad
- Mirza Baqar Khurasani
- Dr. Syed S. Raza
- The Late Commander Qasim Hussain
- Abbas Kasim Ali Gokal
- Syed Muhammad Raza Shabbar
- Hassan Pirbhai
- Syed Sadiq Hussain Shah Kazemi
In addition to the above, subsequent trustees who have contributed a great deal to the well-being of the Trust have included:
- The Late Syed Vilayet Hussain Taqvi
- Mr. Mustafa Kasim Ali Gokal
- Mr. Abdul Khalq Chagla
- Mr. Asaf Ali
- Dr. Yahya (John) Cooper
- Dr. Reza Shah Kazemi
- Syed Safdar Jaffrey
- Syed Faisal Ali Khan
- Syed Ali Hasan Kazimi
The Trust looks forward to serving the community and to continued support from the community at large.