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Taha bin Hasan Abdul-Basser is a researcher and teacher of Islamic ethics and law who has acted as a shari`a compliance reviewer, examiner and consultant to investment funds, investment banks, retail banks, financial advisories, legal advisors and other for-profit and not-for-profit entities since 1998. He was lead contributor to the Harvard Islamic Finance Information Program's database software on Islamic financial ethics and jurisprudence, independent study course instructor ("Principles of Islamic Finance") at Harvard Business School, Senior Tutorial Advisor at Harvard University's Department of Near Eastern Language and Civilizations and the Harvard Islamic Society Chaplain (1999-2013).
He received his Bachelors (A.B.) in the Comparative Study of Religion from Harvard College, a Master's (A.M.) in Arabic and Islamic Studies from the Department of Near Eastern Languages and Civilizations at Harvard University and is an ABD from the same department. In addition to his father (with whom he began the study of standard Arabic as a child), he has studied the traditional Islamic disciplines with teachers from the Sudan, the Yemen, Tanzania and Bahrain. He has received traditional licenses (ijazat) in Islamic ethics and law, Prophetic traditions (hadith) and other disciplines from several notable scholars, including Sh Nizam Ya`quby.
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Faraz Rabbani is a researcher and teacher of the Islamic sciences, specializing in Islamic Law. He is the Educational Director of SeekersGuidance (www.SeekersGuidance.com); a teacher with The Razi Institute (www.TheRaziInstitute.org); a board member and teacher with Bukhari Institute (www.bukhari-institute.org); and a columnist for Islamica Magazine. He has two published books: Sufism & Good Character and Absolute Essentials of Islam: Faith, Prayer, and the Path of Salvation According to the Hanafi School. (White Thread Press, 2004.)
He obtained a Bachelor's in Economics & Commerce from the University of Toronto in 1997. Subsequently, he studied and taught the Islamic sciences in Damascus, Amman, and Karachi for ten years, under leading Islamic scholars, including Shaykh Adib Kallas, Shaykh Hassan al-Hindi, Shaykh Muhammad Jumuah, Shaykh Akram Abd al-Wahhab, Shaykh Nuh Keller, and Mufti Mahmud Ashraf Usmani. Today he lives and teaches in Toronto, Canada, with his wife and three children.
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Ashraf Gomma Ali is Senior Shari`a Officer at NCB, the largest commercial bank in Saudi Arabia. He began his study of the Islamic religious disciplines at the Islamic Saudi Academy in the greater Washington, DC area, where he studied foundational texts in the Arabic and the Islamic religious disciplines and memorized the Holy Qur'an. With a desire to promote Islamic banking and finance in the US, he pursued a Bachelors in Finance at the University of Maryland while completing coursework in Arabic/English translation studies at Georgetown University. His love of the Islamic religious disciplines inspired him to continue his studies with leading ulema in the DC area, the most prominent of whom was Sh. Dr. Salah Al-Sawi (Fmr Professor of Comparative Law, Al-Azhar University). As the personal translator to Sh. Dr. Al-Sawi for over 5 years, he translating numerous books, scholarly articles and lectures. He also served as a translator and researcher (Islamic financial ethics and law) with the Assembly of Muslim Jurists of America (AMJA).
A teacher at heart, He has been actively teaching Islamic disciplines ( primarily Qur'anic studies) and delivering Friday sermons in Islamic centers and institutions throughout the US for more than 15 years. He is the first US-born graduate of the Accounting and Auditing Organization of Islamic Financial Institution (AAOIFI) Certified Sharia Auditor and Advisor Program. He is currently pursuing his Masters in Islamic Banking at INCEIF (Malaysia). He resides in Jeddah, KSA.
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Humza Maqbool was born in Whittier, California. He holds a B.S. in Biochemistry (2004) and a B.A. in Near Eastern Languages and Civilizations (2004) from the University of Washington. An active particpant in campus life, he served as the president of the Muslim Students Association during this period. After graduation, he pursued a program of traditional Islamic studies. His educational tour took him to several countries, including Syria and Egypt, where he studied the Arabic language; Morocco, Mauritania, and UAE, where he studied the ethical and legal school (madhhab) of Imam Malik, grammar, transmissional criticism (usul al-hadith), and the Qur'anic recitation (qira'ah) of Imam Nafi`, according to its two renditions (i.e. those of Imam Warsh and Imam Qalun); and finally, Pakistan, where he had the opportunity to study Qur'anic exegesis (tafsir), tranmissional criticism (usul al-hadith), Prophetic traditions (hadith), narrator criticism ('ilm al-rijal) and ethics and law (fiqh) according to the Hanafi madhhab. This entire program of study culminated in his receiving a license to instruct (ijazat al-tadris), which is equivalent in Pakistani Islamic seminaries to a MA in Arabic and Islamic studies. He also received an unbroken chain of transmission through which he narrates the Prophetic traditions (hadith) of books such as the Muwatta' of Imam Malik, the Sihah al-Sittah (Bukhari, Muslim, Abu Dawud, Tirmidhi, Nasa'i and Ibn Majah) and the Sharh Ma'ani al-Athar of Imam al-Tahawi.
Since his return to the US, he has served as an advisor to the Muslim Students Association at the University of Washington, teaching Islamic belief and practice and delivering sermons at the Islamic House, an endowment and mosque belonging to the Muslim Students Association. He is particularly active throughout the west coast of the US, regularly giving lectures, leading classes, teaching web-based courses, delivering guest sermons and participating in conferences in the area. He has been recruited to serve as a prayer leader (imam) by mosques and communities in Redmond, Washington; Chico, California; and most recently, in Mountlake Terrace, Washington.
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Musa Furber was born in Massachusetts and raised in Portland, Oregon. He majored in linguistics at Portland State University, with an emphasis on computational linguistics and cognitive science, a major that required him to study a non-Indo-European language. As good fortune would have it, Arabic was the only class that fit in his schedule at the time, thus starting him off on what eventually would become a serious and personal study of the Qur'an and Islam. Musa embraced Islam and shortly thereafter embarked on a path of study. While still a student in Portland, he studied Shafi'i Islamic ethics and law (fiqh) with a Muslim religious scholar who was in Portland at the time. After graduating from college, Musa went to Damascus to further his Arabic studies. After a one-year return to the U.S., he returned to Damascus where he completed an intensive four-year study of the traditional Islamic disciplines--including Qur'anic studies, Prophetic traditions (hadith), ethics and law (fiqh), advanced Arabic grammar and the Prophetic biography (sira). After graduation, he continued his studies with scholars in and around Damascus, who reviewed with him several important texts and qualified him to translate and teach them. He then left the small village outside of Damascus where he lived with his wife and three children during this period, relocating to Cairo, Egypt, where he entered and completed a prestigious training program in the issuance of legal responsa (fatawa) at Dar al-Ifta' al-Misriyya, under the direct supervision of Shaykh Dr. Ali Jumu`a, the Mufti of Egypt. After successfully completing the program and acting as an official researcher and English translator for Dar al-Ifta', he was recruited by Shaykh Habib Ali al-Jifri to serve as a lead researcher at the Taba Insitute in UAE, where he currently resides.
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Fatima Iliasu is an attorney and expert in comparative jurisprudence who specializes in international petroleum contracts and Islamic finance.
Born in Nigeria, she received her primary and secondary education there and in England. She holds an LL.B. (Hons) (UK) and LLM and SJD from the Harvard Law School. She studied Qur'an, Prophetic traditions (hadith) and Islamic ethics and law (fiqh), both in private study circles and in formal settings, in Nigeria with knowledgeable instructors, including Ustadha Hajiya Umma, Mallam Mukhtar and Ustadh Nur S. Hanga. She has represented Nigerian
clients in Shari'ah courts on the application of Islamic law.
Fatima Iliasu was for several years a researcher and content editor of "Shari`a Database," a component of the Harvard Islamic Finance Project's Databank. Previously, she has taught common law at the Faculty of Law and Shari'ah, Bayero University (Kano, Nigeria), has served as a teacher assistant at the Harvard Law School and has held positions in several prestigious law firms.
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Moustafa Kassem is a professor of Islamic studies in the Executive Islamic Finance Masters Degree Program at Effat University (Jeddah, Saudi Arabia), where he teaches courses in Islamic financial ethics (fiqh al-mu`amalat), business ethics and research methods. Previously, he was an instructor in Arabic language at Fordham University (New York City). He holds a Bachelors degree from Umm al-Qura University (Mecca) and a MBA from the City University of New York. He has conducted research and published on the practice of ifta' (issuing ethico-legal position statement) in the era of globalization and is an editorial consultant for AlBaseerah.org.
He has earned a certificate in Qur`anic recitation and memorization, has studied Islamic inheritance law with Shaykh Mohammad Al-Mani`, jurisprudence (usul al-fiqh) with Shaykh Mohammad Bakr Habib, Qur`anic recitation (qira`ah) with Dr. Khalid al-Ghamidi (Imam of the Meccan Sanctuary), Qur`anic exegisis (tafsir) with Shaykh Sulayman Al-Birah, and Qur`anic and Hadithic disciplines with Dr. Talal Abu Noor. He currently resides both in New York City and Mecca, KSA.
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Suheil Laher is currently a PhD candidate in Islamic Studies at Harvard University. He has previously earned an SB (Electrical Engineering) from MIT, an MS from the University of West Virginia, and an MA (Religious Studies) from Boston University. He has benefitted from a number of teachers of traditional Islamic disciplines, in the US and abroad, and has several ijazahs. He has served as Lecturer in Arabic at Boston University (2005-6), Muslim Chaplain at MIT (part-time, 1998-), and has worked as a software engineer (1994-2007). His publications include two articles on the Law of Jihad, published in The State We Are In, ed. Aftab Malik (Bristol: Amal Press, 2006), a collaborative volume published as a concerned Muslim response to terrorism. He has been in the US for the last 18 years, and currently lives in the southern suburbs of Boston with a wife and two children.
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Ikram ul Haq memorized the Holy Qur'an in 13 months and then pursued Islamic studies and a secular course of education simultaneously at the Institute of Islamic Sciences (Islamabad, Pakistan) for 6 years. After transferring to the Institute of Higher Islamic Education (NY, USA) he completed his `Alim course in an additonal 2 years. Thereafter, he traveled to Karachi Pakistan for specialization in Islamic jurisprudence (fiqh). Having received admission to Jami`a Dar ul-Uloom (Karachi), one of the top post-graduate schools for Islamic studies and specialization (takhassus) in Islamic jurisprudence, he spent three (3) years studying Islamic jurisprudence (fiqh) in depth and graduated as a jurisconsult (Mufti). During this course of study he submitted a thesis on the subject of "al-Ahkam al-Shar`iyya al-Islamiyya li-Qadaya l-Muslimin fid Duwali Ghairil Islamiyah (Islamic Ethical-Legal Values Pertaining to Issues Facing Muslims in Non-Islamic Nations)" and authored more than one thousand (1000) ethico-legal responses (fatawa) under the supervision of some of the most prominent jurisconsults (mufti) in the Indian Subcontinent--such as Mufti Muhammad Taqi Usmani, Mufti Muhammad Rafi Usmani (Grand Mufti of Pakistan), Mufti Mahmood Ashraf Usmani and Mufti Abdul Rauf Sakharwi.
Mufti Ikram ul Haq also completed an intensive course on Islamic Banking and Finance from the Center for Islamic Economics (Karachi, Pakistan). Mufti Ikram-ul Haq has licenses (ijazah) in Prophetic traditions (hadith) from multiple world-reknowned Hadith scholars, including Shaikh ul-Hadith Molana Sarfraz Khan Safdar, Shaikh ul-Hadith Mawlana Saleemullah Khan, Shaikh ul-Islam Mawlana Mufti Muhammad Taqi Usmani, Mufti Muhammad Rafi Usmani(Grand Mufti of Pakistan), Shaikh ul-Hadith Mawlana Zahid ur-Rashidi (Shaykh ul-Hadith, Jamia Nusratul Uloom).
Currently, Mufti Ikram ul Haq serves as the resident Imam of Masjid Al-Islam (Rhobe Island, USA) and as Mufti at Darul-Ifta of Rhode Island, where he delivers weekly lectures, holds classes, provides Shari`ah counseling, responds to request for fatwas, etc.
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Abdullah Ebrahim Nana was born in Novato, California in 1978, and attended elementary, middle and high school in his hometown.
After graduation from high school, Abdullah enrolled at the University of California at Berkeley. He continued to excel academically while participating in extra-curricular activities, including serving as Treasurer for the
Muslim Student Association at UC Berkeley during his sophomore year. Through hard work and the grace of Allah (God), he was able to finish
the four-year degree in two and a half years. He graduated with honors in 1998 with a degree in Business Administration.
In order to quench his thirst for Islamic knowledge, Shaikh Abdullah traveled to a Islamic University in South Africa, where he studied for seven years. He completed the rigorous and intensive syllabus which covers many of the Islamic Sciences, including but not limited to Fiqh (Islamic Jurisprudence), Arabic Grammar, Arabic Morphology, Hadith (Sayings of the Holy Prophet), Tafsir (Commentary of the Quran), Aqidah (Islamic Beliefs and philosophy), Tajwid (Canonical Intonation of the Quran), Arabic Literature, and Islamic History. He also completed his post-graduate studies while specializing in Islamic Jurisprudence and obtaining an authorization from his teachers to issue legal opinions, or fatwa, thus earning the title of a "Mufti."
Mufti Abdullah does his best to serve the American Public - Muslim and non-Muslim - in a variety of ways. He currently serves as an Imam at the Islamic Center of Mill Valley. He delivers the Friday sermon in over 10 different locations in the Bay Area, including some of the local universities and colleges. He teaches Arabic and Islamic sciences full-time at school in San Francisco. Along with this, he has delivered talks in many cities throughout the U.S on various contemporary issues. He has also participated in a number of interfaith programs.
In his capacity as a specialist in Islamic Law, he assists Muslims all over America with their personal, legal, and economic problems. He has answered more than 100 written questions on a variety of contemporary issues, such as Islamic Finance, Medicine, Inheritance, Food Science, Drug Problems, etc. Mufti Abdullah also counsels Muslims with their personal problems and does his best to provide practical solutions. In the past, he has advised Muslim Medical Clinics, Halal Food companies, Investors, IT Professionals, Muslim Websites, Stores, and other organizations. He was also involved with starting a National Halal Organization dedicated to removing the confusion regarding halal meat.
Mufti Abdullah has authored four books on a variety of topics, including The Virtues of Islamic Knowledge, Stoning to Death in Islam, Legal Rulings on Slaughtered Animals, and The Maidens of Paradise. He currently lives in Mill Valley and is happily married with four children
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