The Council of Shia Muslim Scholars of North America is the name for a Shia Muslim Twelver religious group that comprises scholars, preachers, speakers, and imams of mosques and religious centers in North America. It is a group that abides by the directions and teachings of the Supreme Religious Authority and the chief jurists of the seminaries who meet the conditions of rendering verdicts for emulation. The Council is an independent intellectual, religious group and has no political goals of any kind.


To serve and represent the Shia Muslims of North America in everything that concerns the affairs of their religion and the preservation of their legitimate interests.


To cultivate an atmosphere of cooperation and collaboration for a better future, reflected by better citizenship and an improved position for Muslims in North America.


To promote the standing of Shia Muslims in North America and improve their effectiveness [in all manners] in accordance with the teachings and guidance of the Supreme religious authority, which is based on the Holy Quran and the directions and teachings of the holy Prophet Muhammad son of Abdullah (p), and the infallible Imams of his holy Household (p).


  1. To carry out the mission of religious preaching, support all that can spread awareness about Islam from the viewpoint Ahl al-Bayt (p), and fortify religious identity, and intellectual and cultural development of society through various methods.
  2. To promote, educate and establish the principle of the “religious authority” according to Ahl al-Bayt (p).
  3. To represent the Shia community and speak on its behalf, and defend it and Shiism in all that relates to its religious matters and the interests of the community of believers in North America. Furthermore, to defend it against attempts by unqualified (i.e. illegitimate) scholars to hijack Shiism and the Shia.
  4. To improve and foster communication between the Shia and others by bolstering attendance and participation in local, regional, and international forums of relevance.
  5. To fulfill the paternal role of guiding the believers with a unified voice during different events and urgent matters.
  6. To intervene, mediate, and resolve conflicts and disputes that sometimes occur between the believers, which threaten their unity and wealth.
  7. To protect and support the members of the Council whenever they suffer from any injustice or unfair treatment or violation of their preaching and humanitarian roles.


From the Preamble – The Council is an independent body in its legislation, activities, and membership. It maintains complete autonomy in its function notwithstanding its sponsorship, support, and administration by the Imam Mahdi Association of Marjaeya (IMAM). Further details are provided in the complete charter.


The Consultative Body of the Council is the highest and most important body, and it constitutes the main backbone of the council of scholars. Furthermore, it possesses an unrestricted right to make decisions and take actions that accomplish the higher purposes of the Council. This applies to decisions relating to internal council affairs as well as for external affairs related to the Shia Muslim community in North America. This is based on the guidance, directions, and verdicts of the scholars of the seminaries and especially the supreme religious authority.

The current members of the Consultative Body: (Alphabetic)


The current general members of the council: (Alphabetic)


The Council of Shia Muslim Scholars of North America shall, through the Consultative Body and the general secretary, form permanent and temporary committees as needed, as well as dissolve them in the absence of need. Committee members are often determined by agreement, not necessarily in the form of appointment or election. The nature of the work of the Council requires the distribution of tasks and responsibilities for the purpose of accomplishment, clarity, and to benefit from the energies and expertise that exists in the members, all of which require the cooperation and services of the committees.

What follows are the names of the committees, the tasks entrusted to them, and the names of their members for the current Council year.

Urgent Affairs Committee

Due to the number of members of the Consultative Body, geographic remoteness, time zone difference, and other issues that make it difficult to hold emergency meetings, the task of addressing emergencies is entrusted to a small committee originating from the Consultative Body; among them shall be the Secretary-General or his deputy.

Members of the Urgent Affairs Committee:

  1. Secretary General or his Deputy
  2. Sayyid M. B. Kashmiri
  3. Sayyid Mehboob Mehdi Abidi
  4. Sayyid Nabil Abbas
  5. Shaykh Rasoul Naghavi Nia
Crescent Committee

The Crescent Committee investigates crescent sighting reports and announces the beginning of the lunar months throughout the year.

Members of the Crescent Committee:

  1. Sayyid M. Rizvi
  2. Sayyid Mehboob Mehdi Abidi
  3. Shaykh Ahmad Bahrani
  4. Shaykh M. Jafar Bangloori
  5. Shaykh M. Taqi Zakeri

The coordinator for follow-up shall be determined by the Committee itself.

Click here to learn about Our Principles in Determining the Beginnings of Lunar Months.

Click here to learn about The Crescent Committee System Operation Procedure (SOP).

Internal Relations Committee

The Internal Relations Committee deals with a number of tasks related to religious affairs and internal relations. Its most important tasks are:

  1. To explore, look for, and study religious scholars and clergy in various regions of the United States and Canada to get to know them and invite them to the Council.
  2. To receive membership forms, submit them to the Consultative Body for approval, and then announce new members.
  3. To assist and prepare for annual conferences and other activities throughout the year as needed.

Members of the Internal Relations Committee:

  1. Sayyid Muntadher al-Jabery
  2. Sayyid Nabil Abbas
  3. Sayyid Rashid Saberi
  4. Sayyid Rizwan Rizvi (Coordinator)
  5. Sayyid Roohullah Jaiydi
  6. Sayyid Tilmiz al-Hasanain Rizvi (Head)
  7. Shaykh Abbas Herini
  8. Shaykh Fawzi al-Battahi
  9. Shaykh Saed Kulainy
  10. Shaykh Salman al-Abedy
Communications and Outreach Committee

The Communications and Outreach Committee deals with the Council’s relations with other parties to achieve Council objectives and enhance its status and role in North American arenas such as media, councils of scholars of other religions and sects, institutes and academic institutions, and charitable and humanitarian organizations.

This committee is also concerned with discussions and religious dialogues such as participating in interfaith activities, attending invitations to different religious places of worship to introduce Islam, attending various scientific and cultural conferences and seminars, and providing research and studies.

Members of the Communications and Outreach Committee:

  1. Sayyid Dr. Masoud Noori
  2. Sayyid Muhammad Rizvi
  3. Shaykh Dr. Mehdi Hazari
  4. Shaykh Dr. Odeh Muhawesh
  5. Shaykh Dr. Rasoul Naghavi Nia
Hawzah Liaison Committee

The Hawzah Liaison Committee’s task is to strengthen the relationship and ties between the Council and the blessed Islamic seminaries represented in all religious and guidance affairs by its great religious authorities, scholars, teachers, and senior professors, through continuous communication, visits, meetings, and so on.

Members of the Hawzah Liaison Committee:

  1. Sayyid M. Kazem Mousavi
  2. Sayyid Mehboob Mehdi Abidi
  3. Sayyid Muhammad Rizvi
  4. Sayyid Sulayman Ali Hassan
  5. Shaykh Aliy Sharif
  6. Shaykh Fawzi al-Battahi
  7. Shaykh M. Jafar Bangloori
  8. Shaykh M. Reza Bagheri
  9. Shaykh Saleh Seeboweh
Academic Research Committee

The Academic Research Committee deals with the collection, analysis, and preparation of academic and scholarly reports related to modern issues that believers encounter with respect to identifying general and applied Islamic rulings. This would include many issues such as those in medicine, banking, food, and drink.

Members of the Academic Research Committee:

  1. Sayyid Dr. M. Kazem Mousavi
  2. Sayyid Dr. Masoud Noori
  3. Sayyid Dr. Sulayman Ali Hassan
  4. Sayyid Muhammad Rizvi
  5. Shaykh Ammar Haydar
  6. Shaykh Dr. Mehdi Hazari
  7. Shaykh Hazem al-Zirjawi
  8. Shaykh M. al-Ali al-Halabi
  9. Shaykh M. Reza Bagheri
  10. Shaykh Mohammad Islami
Mediation and Arbitration Committee

The Mediation and Arbitration Committee is entrusted with resolving the complaints and disputes that may arise among the believers about centers, schools, and Islamic institutions, or among leaders such as clergy.

This committee shall be formed when necessary. Selection of its members shall be made according to circumstances, need, and importance and will come from members of the Consultative Body. This committee ends when the task entrusted to it ends. This committee shall settle disputes through mediation in order to overcome obstacles and bring about reconciliation and harmony and shall, as far as possible, be exempted from arbitration unless it is necessary to preserve communal unity and preserve property from damage.


All qualified scholars, clerics, clergyman, Imams of mosques and centers, are invited to join the membership of the council. To learn more about the membership conditions, responsibilities, and benefits of being a member, please, see the Charter of the council and read the details mentioned on the pages 6-9. If you would like to be a member of the council, please, fill out this application and send it to us at info@imams.us.


Sayyid Zaki al-Suwaij, Houston, Texas
Sayyid Fadhil Jamaluddeen, Dearborn Heights, Michigan
Sayyid Dr. Ridha al-Hajjar, Los Angeles, California
Sayyid Mohammad Housein al-Jalali, Chicago, Illinois
Sayyid Ali Murtada, Windsor, Ontario, Canada
Sayyid Tilmiz Hasnain Rizvi, Princeton, New Jersey
Shaykh Abbas Mesbahzadeh, Chantilly, Virginia