Syed Badiuddin Soharwardy was born to a highly respected religious family in Karachi, Pakistan. He immigrated to Canada with his family from Saudi Arabia in 1995. His father, Allama Syed Muhammad Riazuddin Soharwardy (May Allah shower His blessings upon him), was a famous Islamic scholar, a school teacher, a poet and the Imam of Jamia Bughdadi Masjid, Martin Road, Karachi, where he established the Dar-ul-Aloom Soharwardia. Imam Soharwardy’s grandfather, Allama Syed Muhammad Jalaluddin Chishty (May Allah shower His blessings upon him), was the Grand Mufti of Kashmir (Baramula). Allama Jalaluddin Chishty later migrated to Amritsar (India) where he served as the head of the Dar-ul-Aloom Nizamiah Sirajiah and the Imam of the Mosque. The internationally renowned Naat Khawn Qari Syed Fasihuddin Soharwardy and the famous Imam in Karachi, Pakistan, Allama Syed Ejazuddin Soharwardy are his younger brothers.
Imam Syed Soharwardy and his ancestors are among the direct descendants of Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him). Through Imam Ja’far us-Sadiq (May Allah’s peace upon him), Imam Soharwardy’s lineage reaches to Sayyidatunnisa (leader of all women) Hazrat Fatimah Binte Muhammad ibn Abdullah (peace be upon him), the wife of Ameer ul Mo’mineen Sayyidna Imam Ali (May Allah’s peace upon him). His ancestors migrated from Syria to Iran where they settled in the Zarrin, or Zarrindasht area in Isfahan province. During the 1200s A.H. a famous Sufi scholar, Hazrat Syed Bahauddin Ziryani (May Allah be pleased with him) was born to this family. Later, Hazrat Syed Bahauddin Ziryani migrated to, and settled in Kashmir (India) where after five generations, Allama Mufti Syed Muhammad Jalaluddin Chishty (May Allah be pleased with him) was born.
Imam Soharwardy received his early Islamic education from his father, teacher and Murshad (spiritual guide) in the traditional Islamic Madrasah at the Jamia Bughdadi Masjid, Martin Road, Karachi, Pakistan. Later, he graduated from Dar-ul-Aloom Soharwardia, Karachi. Mr. Soharwardy also earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in Islamic Studies from the University of Karachi.
In addition to his Islamic education, Mr. Soharwardy has four Engineering degrees: an Associate Electrical Engineering diploma from the Jinnah Polytechnic Institute, Karachi, a Bachelor of Engineering (Electrical) from N.E.D. University of Engineering & Technology, Karachi, a Master of Science in Industrial Management Engineering from the New Jersey Institute of Technology, Newark, NJ, USA and a Master of Engineering in Project Management from the University of Calgary, Alberta, Canada. His Ph.D. in Project Management at the University of Bournemouth, UK remains incomplete, as his extremely busy schedule defending Islam and the Muslim community has not allowed him the time for this. Syed Badiuddin Soharwardy’s work as an IT consultant is what pays his bills. His community and religious work is 100% volunteer work. He charges no fee for his Imam-related and religious work and lectures.
Imam Syed Soharwardy was appointed as a teacher at Dar-ul-Aloom Soharwardia where he taught various subjects in the field of Islamic studies. Later, he also served as the assistant Imam and Khateeb at Jamia Bughdadi Masjid, Martin Road (1972- 1984). Imam Soharwardy has lectured in Pakistan, the USA and Saudi Arabia at various universities and institutes for over 12 years.
Prof. Soharwardy is the founder of Muslims Against Terrorism (MAT). He founded MAT in Calgary in January, 1998 quite some time before the tragedy of 9/11. After the 9/11 tragedy, MAT spread to several countries around the world. Imam Soharwardy is also the founder of the Islamic Supreme Council of Canada (ISCC). The ISCC was founded in the year 2000 in Calgary and has now evolved into a national Canadian Islamic organization with chapters in Surrey, Maple Ridge, Calgary, Edmonton, Saskatoon, Winnipeg, Toronto, Mississauga, Milton, Brampton, Montreal and Saint John, New Brunswick. He has written several articles and Op-Ed columns in the Calgary Herald and other newspapers on various Islamic and social topics. He has authored three books Eid-Milad-un-Nabi (PBUH), Islamic Worship (Ebadaat) and Defeating Hate – A Comprehensive Rebuttal to Taleban, AlQaedah, ISIS and Islamophobes. Mr. Soharwardy has lectured hundreds of gatherings in Pakistan, the USA, UK and Canada on various topics of Islamic faith.
In 2008, Imam Soharwardy led the Multi-Faith Walk Against Violence. He walked more than 6500 km. from Halifax to Victoria to raise awareness about violence in society, including domestic violence, animal abuse, elder abuse and terrorism. To date, he is the only Canadian Muslim who has walked across the Canada. Imam Soharwardy mortgaged his own house to fund his milestone Walk.
Imam Soharwardy has established / leads the following mosques/Islamic centres across the country.
- Jamia Masjid Aulia Allah, Surrey, British Columbia
- Jamia Riyadhul Jannah Masjid, Maple Ridge, B.C.
- Jamia Riyadhul Jannah, Edmonton, Alberta
- Jamia Masjid Gumbad-e-Khizra (Green Dome) Mosque, Calgary NE, Alberta
- Al Makkah Calgary Islamic Centre, Calgary, NW, Alberta
- Jamia Masjid Riyadhul Jannah, Airdrie, Alberta
- Al Madinah Chestermere Islamic Centre, Chestermere, Alberta
- Sayyidah Khadijah Islamic Centre, Calgary, S.E., Alberta
- Jamia Masjid Aqsa, Chestermere, Alberta (to be built)
- Jamia Riyadhul Jannah, Saskatoon, Saskatchewan
- Jamia Masjid Sayyidna Siddique-e-Akber (RA), Winnipeg, Manitoba
- Jamia Riyadhul Jannah, Mississauga, Ontario
- Spiritual Society Masjid, Toronto, Ontario
- Sayyidah Aminah (RA) Islamic Centre, Ancaster, Hamilton, Ontario
- Jamia Masjid Sayyidah Fatemah Al Zahrah (SA), Milton, Ontario
- Al Tawakkal Musallah, Toronto, Ontario
- Jamia Masjid Sayyidah Zainab (AS), Ajax, Ontario
- Jamia Masjid Ali-ul-Murtadha (AS), Peterborough, Ontario
- Jamia Masjid Noor-e-Madinah, Montreal, Quebec
- Jamia Riyadhul Jannah, Saint John, New Brunswick
- Sayyidah Fatemah (SA) Foodbank, Calgary, Alberta
- Sayyidah Zahrah (SA) Foodbank, Mississauga, Ontario
- Muslim Cemetery, Edmonton South, Alberta (future project, land has been purchased)
- Muslim Cemetery, Calgary, North East, Alberta (future project, land has been purchased)
Imam Soharwardy is the advisor and guide for the following mosques;
- Aisha Mosque, Niagara Falls, Ontario
- Aisha Mosque, Thorold, Ontario
- Jamia Masjid Aqsa, Cornwall, Ontario
Imam Soharwardy is the chairman of the board of directors for the following registered charities,
- Al Madinah Calgary Islamic Assembly, Calgary, Alberta
- Canadian Society of Peace and Relief, Mississauga, Ontario
- Canadian Ministries for Islamic Learning Edmonton
- Islamic Association of Western Canada, Surrey, B.C.
- Muslim Council of Saskatchewan, Saskatoon, Saskatchewan
- Al Makkah Calgary Islamic Society, Calgary, Alberta
- Jamia Riyadhul Jannah Foundation, Maple Ridge, British Columbia
- Islamic Society of New Brunswick
Imam Soharwardy led the efforts in uniting Canadian Imams and religious leaders to issue formal “Fatwas” (religious edicts) against the following:
- The brutality and extremism of Taliban and Al-Qaeda in 2009. This was the first formally issued Fatwa in the world against the Taliban and Al-Qaeda’s incorrect interpretation of Islam;
- Terrorism against Canada and the United States in 2010. This was the first formal Fatwa in the world against the attacks on Canada and the United States;
- Misogyny, honour killings and domestic violence in 2012;
- Forced and underage marriages in 2014;
- Radicalization and joining the Daesh (ISIS) in 2015.
Imam Soharwardy appeared in front of the Canadian Senate’s standing committee on National Defence and Security, and provided his views on the rise of extremism and terrorism among Muslim youth.
Imam Soharwardy actively participates in interfaith dialogues. Since the tragedy of 9/11 he has participated in hundreds of interfaith dialogues in various churches, synagogues, temples, community centres and institutions. This does not include interfaith dialogues he participates on monthly basis under various interfaith groups. Imam Soharwardy initiated the Calgary Jewish-Muslim Council and co-founded it with Rabbi Shaul Osadchey. He is the founding member of the Interfaith Council of Calgary. He brings Muslim, Jewish and Christian families together to share meals at Mosques, Synagogues and Churches. This grass roots work has been beneficial, not only in reducing the Islamophobia but in helping to build bridges and promote harmony in the Canadian society.
He is a very outspoken Canadian Muslim leader whose tireless efforts to stand up against radicalization, extremism and terrorism are known to the Canadian media and to his fellow Canadians.
Imam Soharwardy is a strong advocate of Islamic Tasawuf (Sufism) and believes that the world will be a better place for everyone, if we follow what the Prophet of Islam, Muhammad (peace be upon him) has said:
“You will not have faith unless you like for others what you like for yourself.”
He believes that spiritual weakness in humans causes all manner of problems. Imam Soharwardy has the “Ijazah” in Soharwardy, Qadri and Chishti Sufi orders from his Murshad (spiritual guide), Allama Syed Muhammad Riazuddin Soharwardy, Qadri, Chishti (May Allah’s blessings upon him). He is the Khalifah of his Murshad. His students and Murideen (disciples) have spread out all over the world.
Further information can also be found at the following websites: