Imam Mohammad Ali Elahi is the spiritual leader of the Islamic House of Wisdom (IHW) in Dearborn Heights, one of the largest religious institutions in the state of Michigan. He is a sought-after speaker and a pioneer interfaith leader in North America, working diligently to build spiritual and social bridges. Imam Elahi, a prolific writer and a media personality, delivers powerful Friday sermons and presentations and is a source for spiritual education and inspiration, focusing on understanding, openness, peace and tolerance. In addition to his seminary studies, he has a bachelor degree in Sociology from the University of Michigan Dearborn and a master degree in Art from Wayne State University in Detroit. Over the years, Imam Elahi has received the endorsement from some of the highest religious authorities in the Muslim world and numerous awards and recognitions for his outreach and progressive religious and social services both locally and nationally.
Born in Iran, Imam Elahi began his Islamic Seminary studies at the age of 12. He quickly became a distinguished student and began his preaching at the age of 15. Within a few years, Imam Elahi became a national prominent speaker, advocating for social justice and civil rights.
His work attracted the attention of the Shah’s regime, where he was arrested by the regime intelligent services and sent to prison in 1978. In 1980, one year after the Islamic Revolution removed the Shah, Imam Elahi was appointed as an Islamic ethics teacher at the Iranian Naval Academy, a position he held for five years.
His introduction to the West came in 1986, when he traveled to London to study English for one year. In 1988, he established the Cultural Research Center in Tehran, which focused on the Iranian sacrificial motivation to defend Iran for eight years against Saddam Hussein's aggression, producing research projects such as the Ambassadors of Light.
In 1991, Imam Elahi was invited to speak at the World Religious Conference in San Francisco, California, and following the conference, he visited Michigan, where the leaders of the growing Muslim community in Dearborn asked him to join the community. In 1992 he moved to Dearborn, serving as an Imam and director of the Islamic Center of America for three years.
Within a few years in Michigan, Imam Elahi focused on outreach, openness and youth development, attracting a large number of followers. As the community grew, he and his supporters founded the Islamic House of Wisdom (IHW) in Dearborn at the end of 1995. Two years later, IHW moved to its current location on Ann Arbor Trail in Dearborn Heights, and under Imam Elahi’s leadership, it has become a focal point in the community and a leader in interfaith outreach and religious and spiritual education in North America.
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