Contemporary Muslim Scholars

Hamza Yusuf

Shaykh Hamza Yusuf was born in Washington State and raised in Northern California. In 1977, he became Muslim and subsequently traveled to the Muslim world and studied for ten years in the U. A. E., Saudi Arabia, as well as North and West Africa. He received teaching licenses in various Islamic subjects from several well-known scholars in various countries.

After a ten years of studies abroad, he returned to the USA and took degrees in Religious Studies and Health Care. He has traveled all over the world giving talks on Islam. He also founded Zaytuna Institute which has established an international reputation for presenting a classical picture of Islam in the West and which is dedicated to the revival of traditional study methods and the sciences of Islam. 

Shaykh Hamza is the first American lecturer to teach in Morocco's prestigious and oldest University, the Kairoiuin in Fes.

In addition, he has translated into modern English several classical Arabic traditional texts and poems.

Zaid Shakir

Zaid Shakir was born in Berkeley, California in 1956, He entered the US Air Force in 1976, where he resumed his university education, and accepted Islam in 1977.Upon completing his military service he enrolled at American University, Washington, DC, where he obtained a BA in International Relations with honors in 1983. 

In 1986 he obtained an MA in Political Science from Rutgers University. After spending a year in Cairo, he became a lecturer in Political Science at Southern Connecticut State University in New Haven, Connecticut, a position he held until 1994 when he bade farewell to academia and left for Syria to study Arabic and Islamic Science.

Imam Zaid also studied the traditional sciences of Islam in Morocco. He served as the Imam of Masjid al-Islam in New Haven, Connecticut. He has lectured extensively on Islam, Middle East Politics, and issues related to African Americas. 

He has written for numerous Islamic publications, and has appeared on US national television for Lou Gosset, Jr.'s The Story of a People.

Asad Tarsin

Asad Tarsin has been designing Islamic educational programs and teaching the basics of Islam for more than a decade. After completing his bachelor's degree in Islamic studies at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor, he continued his study of Islamic theology, sacred law, philosophy and spirituality with some of the country’s most prominent Muslim scholars including Shaykh Hamza Yusuf and Dr. Sherman Jackson, among others.

He has served as the curriculum director for the Deen Intensive Foundation for the last ten years and has a particular interest in creating sustainable models of education for new and returning Muslims. He lectures and teaches courses on Islam across the country. Being Muslim: A Practical Guide is his first published work. He is an emergency physician by training and lives in California with his wife and three children.

Shaykh Afifi al-Akiti

Shaykh Afifi al-Akiti is a Research Fellow in Islamic Philosophy and Theology at the Oxford Centre for Islamic Studies. He is presently completing his doctoral thesis at Oxford University, on a newly discovered Arabic manuscript of a previously unknown theological work by Imam al-Ghazali. He was born in Malaysia and educated in various madrasas with a long tradition in Shafii fiqh in East Java.

Among his most well known teachers are:

  • Shaykh Muhammad Yasin al-Fadani,
  • Shaykh Ibn Mahfuz al-Hajini,
  • Shaykh Ibn Ashmuni al-Jaruni
  • and Habib 'Aydarus al-Habshi.

He has translated various works in Malay as well as English; mostly textbooks that make up the curriculum of a Classical Islamic education, including Imam al-Bajuri's commentary on the Jawhara, Imam Nawawi al-Bantani on the Jami'a and his commentary on the Bidaya of Imam al-Ghazali. He has travelled widely, and notwithstanding the specific ijazas from his training, has also received general ijazas (for tabarrukan) from teachers beyond his homeland.

Gibril Fouad Haddad

Gibril Fouad Haddad holds a doctorate in French literature from Columbia University, New York. He is a prolific author and translator of classical Islamic works into English. He has recently published Sunna Notes Vol. 1: Hadith History and Principles, and Vol. 2: The Excellent Innovation in the Quran and Sunna at Birmingham's AQSA Publications and Hellenthal, Germany's Warda Press. 

A follower of Mawlana Shaykh Nazim al-Haqqani since he became Muslim in 1991, he currently resides in Damascus, Syria, where he has been studying aqida, hadith and
fiqh since 1997.

Dr Mostafa Badawi

Dr. Badawi is a scholar of great benefit, whose books address topics often neglected by others.

He always has new things to say and his works, if studied well, repay the student abundantly. Arabia is terra incognita for too many people around the world and particularly in the West.

Far from being a wasteland, it is a vast ocean of spirituality and its lost history of Prophetic activity is well-explored her. 

Dr Badawi is like a great explorer unearthing Roseeta Stones of lost knowledge for us. He has done the hard work, and left for us the sheer enjoyment of persuing the treasures he has unearthed.

Javed Mohammed

Javed Mohammed is a Director of Marketing in a Silicon Valley startup and the author of "Gems of Wisdom and Heart of Gold." He is a former host and producer of a cable-TV news program as well as an accomplished speaker at various conferences and schools.

Nuh Ha Mim Keller

Nuh Ha Mim Keller was born in the northwestern United States in 1954. He read philosophy and classical Arabic at the University of Chicago and UCLA, and became a Muslim in Cairo in 1977. He was a disciple in the Shadhili order of the Sufi master and poet Sheikh ‘Abd al-Rahman al-Shaghouri of Damascus from 1982 until the latter’s death in 2004, and was authorized as a sheikh in the order by Sheikh ‘Abd al-Rahman in 1996. 

He has studied Shafi‘i and Hanafi jurisprudence, hadith, and other subjects with traditional scholars in the Middle East, and in the 1980s, under the tutelage of Islamic scholars in Syria and Jordan, produced Reliance of the Traveller, the first translation of a standard Islamic legal reference in a European language to be certified by al-Azhar, the Muslim world’s oldest institution of higher learning. 

Among his other works and translations are Becoming Muslim, Sufism in Islam, al-Maqasid: Imam Nawawi’s Manual of Islam, Invocations of the Shadhili Order, Port in a Storm: A Fiqh Solution to the Qibla of North America, and an illuminated calligraphic edition of Dala‘il al-Khayrat. He has travelled and lectured on Islam extensively, and he writes and teaches in Amman, where he has lived since 1980.”

Muhammad Alawi

Shaykh Muhammad ibn 'Alawi ibn 'Abbas ibn 'Abd al-'Aziz al-Maliki al-Hasani al-Makki, Shaykh al-Islam fil-Balad al-Haram, the educator of Ahl al-Sunna and light of the House of the Prophet in our time, a major contemporary Scholar of Hadith, commentary of Qur'an, Law, doctrine, tasawwuf, and Prophetic biography (sira), the most highly respected authority of Ahl al-Sunna in the Mother of Cities, passed away in 1425/2004. Both his father (d. 1971CE) and grandfather were the Imams and head preachers of the Sacred Mosque in Makka, as was al-Sayyid Muhammad himself beginning in 1971 and until 1983. Allah have mercy on them and continue to benefit us with them.

Mohammed al-Dari

Imam Mohammad ibn Nasir or Mohammad ibn Mohammad ibn Ahmed ibn Mohammad ibn al-Hussayn ibn Nasir ibn Amr abu Bakr al-Drawi al-Aghlabi (d.1085 /1674) was a Moroccan Sufi and founder of the Nasiriyya zawiyya of Tamegroute.

Imam Muhammad bin Nasir was a theologian, scholar and physician, especially interested in mental disorders. He wrote several works of fiqh, some poetry, and hundreds of letters and treatises on Islamic law.

He followed and extended the teachings of Shadhili and under his leadership the Nasiriyya became the 'mother zawiya' of sufi islam in the Maghreb.

Dr Umar Abd-Allah

Dr Umar Abd-Allah is the current Chairman of the NAWAWI Foundation in Chicago, USA. He has studied numerous Classical Islamic Disciplines under several Traditional Islamic teachers, He is Fluent in both English and Arabic.

Mohammad Hashim Kamali

Mohammad Hashim Kamali is Professor of Law at the International Islamic University of Malaysia, where he has been teaching Islamic law and jurisprudence since 1985. He is the author of numerous works, including: Principles of Islamic Jurisprudence; Freedom of Expression in Islam; Dignity of Man in Islam; Freedom, Equality and Justice in Islam and Islamic Commercial law (all of which have been published by The Islamic Texts Society: Cambridge), as well as a number of articles in reputable international journals.

M. Shahid Alam

M. Shahid Alam is Professor of Economics at Northeastern University. He has worked in the areas of trade theory, trade policy, global economy, economic growth and corruption. His recent book, Poverty from the Wealth of Nations was published by Palgrave in 2000. More recently, his interests have grown to include civilizational issues, Islam, Eurocentrism, and translating Ghalib.

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