Taslim Ali

Other names: 

Haji Taslim Ali

City of birth: 
East Bengal
Country of birth: 
Current name city of birth: 
East Bengal
Current name country of birth: 

East London Mosque


Taslim Ali was a pioneer in the establishment and advancement of the needs of Muslims in Britain, as well as a leading figure in the East London Mosque. With his English wife who converted to Islam, as well as friend Nawab Ali and his wife, he opened a boarding-house-cum-cafe and a halal butcher's shop in the 1940s. Perhaps more significantly still, he is said to have been Britain's first Muslim undertaker. According to Shah Abdul Majid Qureshi, he began this role by renting a room near the East London Mosque to use as a Muslim mortuary. Having collected dead bodies from hospitals, he would prepare them according to Muslim rites and perform funeral services. His wife performed the same duties for women (Adams, p. 161). He continued to remain active in the East London Mosque for several decades following the Second World War and Independence, and was a leading figure in the Pakistan Caterers' Assocation from its formation in 1960.


Shah Abdul Majid Qureshi, Ayub Ali, Mushraf Ali, Abdul Hamid, Nawab Ali.

Secondary works: 

Adams, Caroline, Across Seven Seas and Thirteen Rivers (London: THAP, 1987), pp. 53, 160-1.

Ansari, Humayun, The Making of the East London Mosque: 1910-1951. Minutes of the East London Mosque Fund and East London Mosque Trust Ltd (Cambridge: Cambridge University Prses, 2011), pp. 36, 37n, 40n, 59n.