ABOUT US

The Sri Lanka Islamic centre is a Non Governmental Islamic Organization, established on the 17th of December 1985 by Hon. Al-Haj M.H.Mohomad M.P.,

Chairman, Senior vice president of "Motama-Al-Alam-Al-Islami" (The World Muslim Congress), founder member & Constituent Council Member of the Rabitha-Al-Alam-Al-Islami and member Islamic Development Bank, Jeddah.

with the main objectives of Promoting religious, cultural, social and economical well-being and welfare of the Muslims and promoting the study and acquisition of knowledge of Islam, its institutions, observations and practices.

It was on December 17 1986 that the Sri Lanka Islamic Centre (SLIC) headquarters was ceremonially declared open by the then –President Junius Richard Jayewardene with the then Prime Minister. Ranasinghe Premadasa, Dr. Inamullah Khan,Secretary General of the Motamar Al-Alam Al-Islami(World Muslim Congress), Karachi, and a host of foreign and local dignitaries in attendance.

On the 18th of September 1999,the new wing of the SLIC was ceremonially declared open by the Chairman Hon. M.H.Mohomad M.P, in the presence of the foreign dignities Dr. Mohamed Hassen Salem and Mohamed Hameduddin of the IDB, Abdullah Hersi, Director, Islamic Solidarity Fund, Jeddah, Abdul Rahman Bin Abdullah Al-Zaid, Assistant Secretary General, Muslim World League, Saudi Arabia and Raja Muhammad Zafarul Haq, Minister of Muslim Religious affairs of Pakistan and Secretary, World Muslim Congress.

New wing of the Sri Lanka Islamic Centre was constructed with the assistance of the Islamic Development Bank, and the Islamic Solidarity Fund, Jeddah. These great donations were used to purchase the land for the building, for constructing the five storey building and for purchasing the necessary furniture and equipments

 
 

HISTORY

More than two decades in Service of the Muslim Community!!

It was on December 17 1986 that the Sri Lanka Islamic Centre (SLIC) headquarters was ceremonially declared open by the then –President Junius Richard Jayewardene with the then Prime Minister Ranasinghe Premadasa, Dr.Inamullah Khan, Secretary General of the Motamar Al-Alam Al-Islami(World Muslim Congress), Karachi, and a host of foreign and local dignitaries in attendance.

That was a moment of a dream coming true for the Centre's founder and Chairman M.H. Mohamed, who was then holding a Cabinet portfolio in the Jayewardene Government as the Minister in charge of Transport and the Minister in charge of the Department of Muslim Religious and Cultural Affairs, which was created for the first time on May 16, 1981 at the personal initiative of Mohamed.
For nearly three decades, Mohamed was harboring a wish to establish an Islamic Centre, which could be the focal point for research and religious cultural development of the Muslims in Sri Lanka, on the lines of such Centres functioning in the Arab countries. Particularly, he was inspired by the well equipped Islamic Centres in places like Singapore and Kuala Lumpur. He would have hit this idea for the first time when he came across Dr. Said Ramadham, an Egyptian exile in Switzerland who was running an Islamic Centre in Geneva with himself as its Director.

In fact, in the early 60's when he established relationship with the Karachi-based Motamar Al-Alam Al-Islami (World Muslim Congress) and the Rabitha Al-Alam Al-Islami in the Holy City of Makkah, Mohamed took initiative to set up an Islamic Centre in Colombo. It was run from Mohamed's business office at Colombo Fort. Mohamed was the Director-General with M.B.M. Mahir as the Secretary-General .The Islamic Centre of the 60's and 70's was active but it faced numerous constraints such as funding, a suitable place for permanent operations, library facility, etc.

Yet, despite such limitations, Mohamed was able to painstakingly mobilize resources to conduct several important religious functions and ceremonies, research seminars and publish Islamic literature for the benefit of the Muslim Community in the country. According to the biographer of Mohammed, this Centre “was singularly responsible for a new surge in Islamic religious activities across the country and disseminating Islamic knowledge among the younger generations” and “introduced a new trend in the celebration of the birthday of Holy Prophet Mohammed (Sal)” by organizing a full-day seminar in Colombo, in contrast to Kanthooris feasts) that are traditionally associated with the celebrations in Sri Lanka for decades.

After he became Minister of Labour in the Dudley Senanayake Cabinet in 1965, Mohammed pursued the goal of establishing a full- fledged Islamic Centre in the heart of Colombo but, owing to circumstances beyond his control, he was unsuccessful in his bid. But Almighty Allah granted his prayers when he became the Minister of Transport in the Jayewardene Government in 1977.The once-marshy and inaccessible Maligawatte was being redeveloped for a large-scale, self-contained urban housing scheme by the then Prime Minister Premadasa who was also Minister of Housing and Construction. Sometime in 1978, Mohammed proposed to Premadasa to allot a piece of land in the re-developed Maligawatte area for the construction of a complex to house the Islamic Centre. Receptive to the proposal, Premadasa immediately granted a substantially large plot of land in an easily-accessible place in the Maligawatte National Housing Scheme.

On November 22nd, 1979, Prime Minister Premadasa officially handed over a 20.30-perch land to Mohammed in his capacity then as the Chairman of the National, Hijra Council, which was set up to organize island-wide celebrations to mark the 1500 years of Hijra and a memorial plaque was unveiled to record the historic occasion in the annals of the Sri Lanka Islamic Centre. The original plan envisaged was to construct a five-storeyed sprawling research and cultural complex. But flow of funds was rather slow and had to face many a hurdle. Undaunted by the challenges, Mohammed and his energetic team of colleagues associated with the building project toiled hard to complete the building. Unfortunately, the original plan had to be revised and a two-storey imposing building was put up instead and, that too, thanks to the tireless efforts made by Mohammed and his colleague working on the project. The dream of Mohammed and his colleagues saw the light of the day when President Jayawardene declared opened the new building.