With Allah’s Name, The Merciful Benefactor, The Merciful Redeemer
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Aneesah R. W. Dawan
Aneesah R. W. Dawan was born to Muslim parents but accepted Al-Islam for herself at the age of 13. She is a native of Little Rock, Arkansas and graduate of the Historic Little Rock Central High School. Aneesah’s post-secondary education has been focused in the areas of Philosophy & Religious Studies at the University of Arkansas at Little Rock and Criminal Justice at the University of Houston-Downtown. In addition to her undergraduate work Aneesah studied Arabic and Islamic Studies at Abu Nour University in Damascus, Syria, obtaining a 2-year Arabic language certification.
Aneesah’s earlier Islamic and Arabic education came from various Imams and teachers in the United States under the leadership of Imam W. D. Mohammed. Her most influential studies in Arabic and the science of tajweed came under the tutelage of Imam Qasim Ahmed while residing in Houston, Texas. Aneesah refined her Quranic recitation while studying in Syria and has become known for her precise, yet eloquent reading of Quran using the Hafs style of recitation. As a tool to teach tajweed and encourage the recitation of Quran among women, Aneesah began professionally recording the Quran for public distribution. Aneesah has lectured at various Islamic and Interfaith conferences representing women in Al-Islam and focusing on areas such as tajweed and tafsir.
Her purpose is to provide a clear and sound understanding of Quran and the life of Prophet Muhammad (saw) while stressing the importance of the feminine voice to the benefit of mankind. Aneesah’s next educational goal is to complete a doctor of law (JD) degree with a focus on the intersections of Law and Religion.
Imam Jihad Saafir
Imam Jihad is the former Chaplin of The California Institute for Women and the former Imam of Masjid At-Taqwa in Altadena, CA. He is currently the director of the Islah Campus located in South Los Angeles, directing several projects including Islah LA, Islah Academy (a fulltime Islamic k-8th grade school) and is the resident Imam of Masjid Ibaadillah. Imam Jihad earned a BA in Arabic Studies, a Masters in Islamic Leadership and is presently working on his PhD in Practical Theology at Claremont School of Theology. He is the founder of Islah LA, a non-profit organization that provides social services to the surrounding community of Los Angeles. Islah LA’s inner-city community center is the first of its kind and through Imam Jihad’s leadership Islah LA has spawned a new wave of civic engagement within the Muslim American- community. In 2018, Imam Jihad was awarded the with the prestigious KCET Local Hero’s Award. Imam Jihad finds support for his efforts from his community, Wife, Garland, Daughter, Sadiyah and Father, Imam Saadiq Saafir.
Imam Mansoor Sabree
Imam Mansoor Sabree is the former Director and Imam of the Atlanta Masijd of Al-Islam, Atlanta’s oldest and largest indigenous muslim community in the U.S.A. He is a grassroots community leader focused civic engagement in the American muslim community. Imam Mansoor Sabree is currently the director of the Inner-City Muslim Action Network -Atlanta (IMAN)
Muhammad Fraser-Rahim is an expert on Africa and violent extremism issues at the U.S. Institue of Peace and a Senior Fellow at the Truman National Security Project and the Center for Global Policy in Washington, DC. Mr. Fraser-Rahim's areas of expertise are on transnational terrorist movements,Islamic intellectual history, Islam in America and contemporary theology in the Muslim world. In addition, Mr. Fraser-Rahim worked for the United States Government for more than a decade providing strategic advice and executive branch analytical support on countering violent extremism issues to the White House and the National Security Council. Mr. Fraser-Rahim has conducted original research in more than 40 countries on the African continent, and has worked and studied throughout the Middle East. He completed advanced level Arabic language certificates at various higher education institutions in the US and the Middle East, and studied Quranic exegesis and Islamic spiritual teachings under the tutelage of the late Imam WD Mohammed. He is a Ph.D. candidate at Howard University in African Studies with a focus on Islamic Thought, Spirituality and Modernity. His dissertation is titled Imam W.D. Mohammed (1933-2008): The Making of American Islam and the Emergence of Western Islamic Thought to Counter Violent Extremism where he looks at the intersection of religious pluralism in minority communities in the West and Islamic rev Muslim communities and holds a master’s degree from Howard University in History, and a bachelor’s degree in History from the College of Charleston, Charleston, SC.
Imam Tariq I. El-Amin
Imam Tariq I. El-Amin is a representative of the community of Imam Warith Deen Mohammed, and a leader in Chicago’s Muslim community serving as Masjid Al-Taqwa’s Resident Imam. He is also the co-founder and Executive Director of Bridging The Gap, a non-profit social service organization focused on bringing together diverse groups through community service.
His faith bedrocks his social justice activism, interfaith coalition building, and championing of human rights. He serves as host and producer of the nations only daily Muslim English language Talk-Radio program, Radio Islam-- broadcasting on WCEV 1450AM; Imam El-Amin also hosts/produces The Black Glue Podcast which centers on the experiences of African Americans exploring Art, Politics, Religion, and Culture.
As part of his dedicated work as a native Chicagoan, Imam El-Amin serves on several Chicago-area boards, including the boards of The Council Of Islamic Organizations of Greater Chicagoland (CIOGC), and The Abolition Institute.
Kalimah Azeez Rashada
Kalimah Azeez Rashada is a native of Chicago, Illinois. She was born and raised Muslim into a strong and beautiful family in the community of Imam W. Deen Mohammed. At the age of thirteen, Kalimah was chosen by Imam W. Deen Mohammed to be one of twelve students to participate in his weekend Youth Dawah Class. During this class, Kalimah diligently studied Qur’anic Arabic, Islamic studies, and comparative religion for the last 8 years of Imam Mohammed’s life.
In addition to Kalimah’s love and passion for the religion of Al-Islam, she has a great interest in human psychology. She studied social psychology and strategic communications at Northern Illinois University. Kalimah takes her love and understanding of the religion of Al-Islam and shares it through many mediums such as: teaching, art, poetry, lectures, and writing.
In 2009, Kalimah taught 2nd grade at the Clara Mohammed School located in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. The following year she moved to Senegal, West Africa and was instrumental in the opening of a school with members of the United Nations.
Kalimah’s community involvement consists of serving as Chair of the Midwest Leadership Team, and she was recently appointed to the position of Program Manager for American Muslim Advisory Council [AMAC] in Memphis, TN. On April 29, 2016, Kalimah graduated from Shelby County’s Citizens University under Mayor Mark H. Luttrell Jr. Kalimah wants nothing more than to see her people uphold the covenant that G-D has given them and liberate the world from the schemes of Satan. She tirelessly works and spends of her wealth and human capital to be a catalyst to bring about G-d’s will here in the United States of America.
Her special talents are writing, painting and calligraphy. She is currently working on starting her own business servicing the community. Kalimah was recently married in January 2016 to Na’eem Rashada of Memphis, TN.
Imam Dr. Talib M. Shareef, USAF-Retired
Talib M. Shareef is President and Imam of the historic, Nation's Mosque, Masjid Muhammad, in Washington, D.C., dating back to the mid-1930s. Imam Shareef, is a retired U.S. Air Force member with 30+ years of service; he has a Doctorate Degree from Global Oved Dei Seminary and University, an MBA from American Intercontinental University, a Diploma from the Imam Muhammad ibn Saud Islamic University, and the Defense Language Institute Foreign Language Center in Arabic and Middle East studies. He is a student of the late Imam W.D. Mohammed, Muslim-American Spokesman for Human Salvation.
He served as Imam in five U.S. cities and seven military locations around the world. Under the high patronage of His Majesty Mohammed VI, the King of Morocco, Imam Shareef received the Kingdom’s highest Royal Medal and honor for his outstanding interfaith leadership. He participated in the signing of the Abuja Peace Declaration organized by the International Global Peace Foundation and the Institute for Peace and Conflict Resolution in Nigeria. He was the first Imam with military service to open a session of the U.S. Congress with prayer. He led an interfaith delegation to Italy meeting with the Pontifical Council for Interreligious Dialogue. Co-organized, spoke and led the historic first Islamic congregational prayer at the Washington National Cathedral. Sponsored by the U.S. Department of State and the Saudi Ministry of Foreign Affairs, spoke in several cities and met with various local, national and international leaders in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. He offered the opening prayer on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial for the 50th Anniversary of Dr. King’s March on Washington; key speaker at former President George H.W. Bush’s Points of Light Conference’s Faith Summit; Spoke at the South African Embassy celebration of Nelson Mandela’s life; led historic delegation to and addressed over 500,000 in South Africa; Hosted Press Conference/Panel for Presidential Candidate, Senator Bernie Sanders at the Nation’s Mosque to address religious bigotry. Spoke at Sojourner Douglass College memorial honoring human rights activist, Coretta Scott King. He addressed the ills of Human Trafficking on Capitol Hill. One of the leading voices speaking out for against terrorism and violent extremism. Facilitated Peace Forum at the Global Peace Convention in Manila, Philippines. He established the first Islamic Dietary Nutrition site for elderly members of all faiths in D.C. Councilmember for the National Summit on Non-Violence; member of the D.C. Mayor’s Interfaith Council and Chairman of the Interfaith Conference in the nation’s capital.
Imam Shareef was honored to sit with and be recognized for his service by President Barack Obama at the White House Iftar; served as keynote speaker for the Pentagon and Homeland Security Iftars, co-initiated effort that led to the U.S. Military commissioning its first Islamic Chaplain; Imam and Vice Commander of the National Muslim American Veterans Association (MAVA), Served as U.S. Imam Speaker at the World Alliance of Religions for Peace in Seoul Korea, the Global Peace Conventions/Forums in South America, N. Ireland; Indonesia, United Arab Emirates, and traveled to the Middle East for orientation on the Israeli-Palestinian Situation. He was selected Denver’s Spectrum Newspaper’s “Who’s Who” among African American Leaders, selected the Muslim Journal’s Imam of the Year Award, and recipient of the Imam W.D. Mohammed Interfaith Ambassador Award. Recipient of the NAACP Roy Wilkins Leadership Award.
Imam Sulaimaan Hamed and Sister Shahidah Sharif
Imam Sulaimaan Hamed and Sister Shahidah Sharif were born and raised in America to parents in the San Francisco Bay Area and Brooklyn, NY, respectively. Imam Hamed serves as the Imam of the Atlanta Masjid of Al Islam, one of the largest Islamic centers in the South East affiliated with the community of his late teacher, Imam W.D. Muhammad. As a student of Religious Studies, he has taught Arabic and Islamic sciences at the Mohammed Schools and Islamic Theology and Islamic Law for the Faith Institute of the Atlanta Masjid.
Educated primarily in private Islamic Schools in the US , Hamed also received specialized training under the tutelage of the Grand Mufti Sheik Ahmed Kuftaro of Damascus, Syria at the Abu Nour University and completed courses in Jurisprudence , Arabic, Prophetic traditions, and Theology. His studies and teaching has afforded him travel opportunities to Turkey, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Lebanon, Jordan, and Senegal.
He also served as the Imam of Masjid Fresno in California and assistant to Masjidul Waritheen of Oakland. Fluent in Arabic, he is currently the co-owner and operator of Professional Hajj and Umrah Guides, LLC, "Hajj Pros", a religious-based travel agency specializing in the Hajj pilgrimage to Mecca, Saudi Arabia and study abroad opportunities.
He is passionate about the improvement of Islamic institutions of education. He is noted as a respected leader in the Muslim American community often called upon to assist with programs establishing a commitment to religion for future generations. His publications include “Ramadan: The month of purification and self restraint”. He is currently pursuing a Masters in Divinity at the Claremont School of Theology and resides in Atlanta, GA with Shahidah, his wife of 18 years and children.
Shahidah Sharif attended the University of Miami and the Mosque Cares' study program at the Abu Nour University in Damascus, Syria for a 3 year intensive for Arabic language, Islamic Sciences, and dawah. She has worked in the past with the Interfaith Youth Leadership Forum in the San Francisco Bay Area, World Pilgrims and FAMA in Atlanta serving as a program coordinator and administrator facilitating dialogue among youth and adults of different faiths and ethnic backgrounds. She currently works as the Communications Director for the Atlanta Masjid and is the co-founder and COO of Professional Hajj and Umrah Guides, LLC (Hajj Pros), organizing delegations annually for the Hajj (pilgrimage) to Makkah, Saudi Arabia as well as study abroad opportunities with Imam Sulaimaan. She serves on the Board of Sisters United in Human Service, Inc. and recently lead an interfaith journey with World Pilgrims of Atlanta to Arizona. She is a certified doula and currently training in midwifery.
Imam Dr. Wazir
Imam Dr. Wazir Ali is the Imam of the historic Masjid Warithud-Deen Mohammed and Masjid Al-Qur'an in Houston, Texas. Both communities have experienced unprecedented growth under Imam Dr. Ali's leadership. Masjid Warithud-Deen Mohammed built a new state of the art facility in 2010 and is in the planning stages of the construction of a community center and a senior housing complex. Imam Dr. Ali is a founding member of Masjid Al-Qur'an. Under Imam Dr. Ali's leadership the average weekly Jum'ah attendance grew from 10 to over 500.
Imam Dr. Ali completed an eight year mentorship program in Islamic Studies, comparative religion and Masjid administration under the guidance of Imam Qasim Ahmed. Imam Ali is also a student of the preeminent American Muslim scholar, the late Imam Warithud-Deen Mohammed (may Allah have mercy on him).
Imam Dr. Ali, an entrepreneur, kinesiologist, registered dietitian and board certified specialist in geriatric nutrition, owns a private nutrition consulting firm in Houston. Imam Dr. Ali is also the interim director of the dietetics program and a clinical instructor at Texas Southern University. His current academic research interests are energy needs for maintenance hemodialysis, sleep apnea related obesity and obesity treatment/prevention.
Imam Ali holds a Doctorate degree in clinical nutrition from Rutgers University, a Master of Science degree in kinesiology from the University of Texas Pan American, and Bachelor of Science degrees in nutrition and psychology from the University of Houston.