Anjuman-i-Islam, London


Fleet Street
London, EC4
Other names: 

Pan-Islamic Society of London

Central Islamic Society

Date began: 
01 Jan 1886
Organization location: 
158 Fleet Street, London EC4

The Anjuman-i-Islam, London, was one branch of a pan-Islamic society with further branches in India and several Muslim countries. By the turn of the century, the branch was in decline, but in 1903 barrister and Edinburgh University graduate Abdullah Al-Mamoon Suhrawardy revived it under the name of the Pan-Islamic Society. This took place in the context of a decline in British support for the Ottomans and a concomitant determination on the part of Muslims in Britain to mobilise against British foreign policy and advance the ummah.

The Pan-Islamic Society, renamed the Central Islamic Society in 1910 when Syed Ameer Ali succeeded Suhrawardy as president, served to focus Muslims on issues affecting the Islamic world. While accused by some of fanaticism, it claimed, through the organ Pan-Islam, that it was concerned with defending Islam from misconception and influencing official policy on Muslim countries. It secured some white British allies, including William Scawen Blunt, to speak on behalf of its cause.

It also served to advance the needs of the Muslim community in Britain. As the Central Islamic Society, its stated aims included 'to promote the religious, moral, social, and intellectual advancement of the Muslim world ... to afford a centre of social union to Muslims from all parts of the world ... to provide facilities for conducting religious ceremonies in non-Muslim countries ... to collect subscriptions from all parts of the world, in order to build a mosque in London, and to endow it; and to exend the burial ground for the Muslims in London' (Muslim Protest, cited in Qureshi 1999, p. 50n233).

Key individuals: 
Key Individuals' Details: 

Abdulla al-Mamoon Suhrawardy (Indian barrister who revived the society in 1903 under the name of the Pan-Islamic Society of London), Syed Ameer Ali (succeeded Suhrawardy as president when society was renamed the Islamic Society), Mushir Husain Kidwai (barrister, joint secretary), Hafiz Mahmud Shirani (joint secretary).


Shaikh Abdul Qadir (member)

William Scawen Blunt (ally)

Secondary works: 

Ansari, Humayun, 'The Infidel Within': Muslims in Britain since 1800 (London: Hurst, 2004), pp. 84-6.

Qureshi, M. Naeem, Pan-Islam in British Indian Politics: A Study of the Khilafat Movement, 1918-1924 (Leiden: Brill, 2999), pp. 37, 50, 55, 65.