Our Teacher


Dr. Mohammad Ali Shomali is a graduate of the Islamic Seminaries of Qum and has a BA and an MA in Western Philosophy from the University of Tehran. He has earned his PhD in Philosophy from the University of Manchester. He is the Founding Director of International Institute for Islamic Studies (IIIS). He is the president of the Risalat International Institute. He is currently the resident Imam and Director of the Islamic Centre of England and the Principal for the Hawza Ilmiyya of England.

His publications include:
  • Self-Knowledge (1996 and 2006, translated into Malay, Spanish and Kiswahili)
  • Ethical Relativism: An Analysis of the Foundations of Morality (2001, translated into Malay)
  • Discovering Shi’a Islam (7th ed. 2010, translated into twelve languages).
    This book has been translated from English into German, Russian, Spanish, Italian, Arabic, Persian, Swedish, Farsi, Turkish, Urdu, Albanian and French.
  • Shi‘a Islam: Origins, Faith & Practices (2003 and 2010; translated into Spanish and Swedish)
  • Principles of Jurisprudence: An Introduction to Methodology of Fiqh (2006)
  • He is a co-editor of Catholics and Shi’as in Dialogue: Studies in Theology and Spirituality (2004 and 2011) - 6 Books.
  • Catholic-Shi’a Engagement: Reason and Faith in Theory and Practice (2006 and 2011)
  • A Catholic-Shi‘a Dialogue: Ethics in Today’s Society (2008 and 2011)
  • A Selection of Ethical Texts (Payam-e Nur University, 2006)
  • Co-editor of Reason & Faith in Theory & Practice (Milesland, 2006).
  • “Revelation as Understood by Muslims’’ in Biblioteka EKUMENII (2005)
  • Co-author of An Introduction to Religious Faith (Ma‘aref, 1998)
  • “Perspective on Islamic Schools of Thought” 1. To 10. in Tehran Times (1995)

He is very dedicated to the dissemination of knowledge and inter-religious dialogue and has attended conferences in the UK, US, Canada, Poland, Sweden, Ghana, Philippines, Georgia, Italy, Austria, Kazakhstan, Tanzania and more. For updates on Dr. Shomali’s projects, lectures and inter-faith dialogues, please visit his Facebook page.

Sh. Mohammad Ali Shomali is also married to Dr. Mahnaz Heydarpour, who is herself a scholar and teaches at Jami'ah al-Zahra Institute. Together, they have three children, two sons and a daughter. They also have a fifteen month old grandson.

Sh. Shomali was born in Tehran. He was enrolled in a program for gifted students which usually prepared their graduates for high sciences and engineering. However, his avid quest for truth led him to a different course. At the age of 17, he decided to join the Islamic Seminary in Qum, where he believed he would be able to find the depth of knowledge he was yearning for.

Last modified: Monday, 3 September 2018, 11:45 AM