Shaykh Dr Asim Yusuf - Nur al-Habib Foundation
Shaykh Dr Asim Yusuf was first initiated into the pursuit of Islamic knowledge and spirituality thirty years ago under the guidance and irshad of Hazrat Ghulam Muhyi al-Din Kazi, a Sufi Master of the Chishtiyya Order in South Africa. He has studied all branches of the Islamic sciences with teachers from across the world, gaining authorisation to instruct and guide students in their own spiritual and intellectual journeys ( ijaza al-tadris wa al-irshad ). Shaykh Asim heads the Nur al-Habib Foundation, which has a number branches including education, publishing, community projects and social outreach. He began the Winterspring Mawlid which has been running for 12 years in the UK, based on the twelve night programme for Rabi al-Awwal that his murshid held in South Africa for decades prior to his passing. He teaches advanced classes in analytical theology, metaphysics, the philosophy of Islamic law and the theoretical study of mystical experience. Since 2014, he has been engaged in a complete reading, commentary and analysis of the Ihya Ulum al-Din of Imam Ghazali, and has to date completed the first quarter of the forty volumes with his students. Professionally, Dr Yusuf is a Consultant Psychiatrist and Clinical Director for Mental Health Services in the Black Country. He is the author of several books, most notably Shedding Light on the Dawn, as well as being a poet and lyricist better known by his pseudonym Talib al-Habib, with three well-received nasheed albums to his name.
Shaykh Nasir Rashid - Honoring Tradition
Shaykh Nasir began his studies in 2002 studying Shafi’i Fiqh and al-Mukhtasar in Aqida. In 2003 during i’tikaf he was told of Shaykh Rasul Baksh Saee’di and the F. R Institute from one of the students and was invited to join a new class. Since then, Shaykh Nasir has progressed considerably in his studies and has covered a number of texts in the higher sciences. He wishes to specialise in the science of hadith and Fiqh. Currently Shaykh Nasir works as a full time Audiologist and teaches Dars Nizami both at the F. R Institute and online. He is also on the board of teachers for the Path to Salvation and is translating a work in Logic and undertaking research on the historical development of Sufi Tariqas.
Shaykh Shammas Tubraiz - Honoring Tradition
Shaykh Shammas embarked on his studies in early 2002. He covered a number of fiqh and Aqida texts in the English language with a local teacher before moving over to the F. R Institute in 2004. Here, under the esteemed Shaykh Rasul Baksh Sa’eedi he has studied many sciences including Arabic, Fiqh, Aqida, Hadith and Tafsir. He hopes to pursue advanced studies in Fiqh. Currently Shaykh Shammas is teaching Dars Nizami and Fard ‘Ayn classes in and around Birmingham. Outside of study, Shaykh Shammas works full time in a Birmingham Hospital, is the founder and Co-Director of “Honouring Tradition”, is on the board of teachers for the Path to Salvation initiative and is the Head Teacher of the Zawiya Children’s Madrasah.
Shaykh Sjaad Hussain - Sacred House
Shaykh Sjaad was born and raised in England and began his pursuit in studying the sacred sciences in Damascus Syria. After studying language in Damascus he studied the sacred sciences under the tutelage of al-Allama Rasool Bakhsh Saeedi. Over 7 years he studied many texts in all the major sciences under him and gained teaching licenses (Ijazat) in them. He also studied fiqh, hadith, aqida and tafsir under Shaykh Muhammad al-Yaqoubi, Shaykh Muhammad Jum’ua, Shaykh Gibril Haddad and Ustadh Ahmad Najaar amongst others. He resides in Birmingham and teaches various sciences at the F.R Institute as well as continuing advanced studies with al-Allama Rasool Bakhsh Saeedi.
Shaykh Muhammad Yaseen - Sacred Knowledge Trust
Shaykh Yaseen is an accomplished English speaking teacher who developed a strong interest in acquiring the traditional Islamic sciences from an early age. While actively participating in local gatherings of dhikr and knowledge, Shaykh Yaseen secured his basic Islamic foundations through studies with qualified ulema from the community amongst them most notably Shaykh Rasul Baksh Saeedi of the FR Institute. To further develop his Arabic proficiency, he also travelled to the ‘land of Knowledge’ (Syria) and during this stay was fortunate enough to consistently meet and learn from several renowned scholars of the current era, including Shaykh Muhammad al-Yaqoubi. Following the completion of his primary Islamic studies, efforts were then renewed to continue an academic career that would also provide an opportunity to engage with the local Muslim community. To date, he credibly holds a Bsc in Computer Science and Software Engineering and more recently received an Msc in Real Estate Management. Alongside other interests, Shaykh Yaseen currently pursues advanced studies in Tafsir and Hadith at the established Sultan Bahu Educational Trust, and personally leads other circles of sacred knowledge on a daily basis. He also serves as Imam at Woodlands Road Masjid in Birmingham.
Shaykh Dr Daniel Jackson – The Olton Project
Shaykh Dr Daniel Jackson, a practicing psychiatrist, has studied the Islamic sciences with some of the foremost scholars of our time, including Shaykh Muhammad al-Yaqoubi. His studies have taken him to Syria and Egypt and he currently teaches at the Olton Project in Solihull, UK.
Shaykh Tahir Mahmood Kiani – City Hasanat College
Shaykh Tahir Mahmood Kiani is well-versed in various fields of Islamic sciences, which includes Arabic Grammar, rhetorics, prose, poetry, syntax, etymology, Íadith, Qur’an, Fiqh, Usul al-Fiqh (Principles of Islamic Jurisprudence), and Mantiq (logic). He teaches Arabic and Islamic Sciences in various centres and masjids, on a long term and short term basis. Being fluent in Arabic, English and Urdu, Imam Kiani has translated numerous Islamic texts. Tahir Mahmood Kiani is a graduate of Jamia al-Karam and the International Islamic University, Islamabad. He has written articles and lectured on various topics in Islam, a well as translating from Urdu and classical Arabic into English. He has spent many years as a Senior DN Lecturer at Jamia Al-Karam, he is currently a DN Lecturer at City Hasanat College, situated in Birmingham.
Shaykh Ahmed Saad Al-Azhar - Ihsan Institute
Shaykh Ahmed Mohamed Saad, born into a family of scholars and Huffaz from northern Egypt. His late father and grandfather graduated from Al-Azhar and were scholars in north Egypt. He finished the memorization of the whole Qur’an at the age of ten and studied traditional Islamic sciences at the hands of his father and then started the studies at Al-Azhar until he graduated from Al-Azhar University with BA in Islamic studies. Shaykh Saad finished his graduate studies at Al-Azhar as well. Alongside with this, Sheikh Saad studied at the hands of many scholars and got Ijazahs in the Qur’an in various Qira’at including `Asim, Nafi`, and Hamzah. He also got Ijazahs in Islamic texts including Al-Jazariyyah, At-Tuhfah, As-Salsabeel and Shamail of Imam At-Tirmidhi. Shaykh Sa’ad also has Ijazahs in the Six books of Hadith and many other books of Tafsir in addition to an Ijazah in Muwatta Malik. He has started giving Khutbahs at the age of 15 and been working as a Imam for 15 years.
Shaykh Amer Jamil - iSyllabus
Shaykh Amer has been described by the Sunday herald as one of the Scotland’s most prominent and respected Muslim thinkers. He holds a (LLB) law degree from Strathclyde university and BA (Hons) in Islamic studies from the University of Wales. He spent 10 years studying the Islamic sciences including 6 years with distinguished scholars in the Middle East (Syria and Yemen), gaining him teaching licenses (ijaza) in various Islamic sciences. In 2009 he co-founded the Solas Foundation and with Shaykh Ruzwan Muhammad, established the iSyllabus Islamic studies program. He is currently the co-director of the programme. He is also the Muslim Chaplin at Glasgow Caledonian University, where he delivers the Friday sermon and regular classes for students.
Shaykh Burhaan Khandia - Path To Salvation
Shaykh Burhaan Khandia has studied for a year with the ulama of India (Ajmer Sharif) where he began his memorization of the Qur’an. He is the son of Qari Ismaeel Khandia whom is one of the leading teachers of Qur’an in the city of Derby. He was charged with Shaykh Burhaan Khandia’s education in religious affairs including fiqh, aqidah, tafsir and hadith from an early age by virtue of his being his father. Shaykh Burhaan returned to England in 2002 and to visit his family. He soon travelled to Yemen where he studied for three years under the theological scholars and spiritual masters of Hadramaut including Habib Omar Bin Hafiz. He now teaches in Ikhlas education Centre in Derby and travels across the country to deliver speeches and talks to the masses.
Shaykh Idriss Watts - Abu Zahra Foundation
Born and raised in Kent, Muhammad Idris Watts accepted Islam in 1998 in the first year of his Arabic Language Degree at the University of Leeds. In the second year of the degree programme, he set off to the ancient city of Fez, Morocco to further his Arabic Language studies. During this period he attended circles of knowledge and zawiyahs around Fez. He also sat with many prestigious singers of Fez such as Sidi Muhammad Bennis.Shaykh Idris graduated in 2002 from the University with First Class Honours and also received an award of excellence for his language skills. He moved back to Fez to embark on an intensive period of study. He attended classes at the Qarawiyeen University in the Old City for 4 years. He studied classical texts including the Ajrumiyah, Lāmiyat al-Af’āl, Matn az-Zanjānī, Alfiyah in Grammar and Morphology, Ibn ‘Ashir, al-Akhdarī, Risālah of Ibn Abī Zayd and sections of the ‘Asimiyyah in Mālikī Fiqh, as well as Jawharat at-Tawhīd in Creed. He also had the opportunity of sitting with the students of the late Shaykh Makkī bin Kīrān, (may God bless his soul), who was a master of the ten variant recitations of the Qurān and studied Tajwīd and four of the variant recitations with them. He returned to England in 2007, and is currently the full-time Resident Scholar at the Abu Zahra Foundation.
Shaykha Safia Shahid - Scared Knowledge
Shaykha Safia Shahid is a leading scholar embodying a rich tradition and history of female scholarship. Born and raised in Glasgow, Shaykha Safia Shahid travelled to Syria in 2003 to study sacred knowledge. She stayed there for five years, studying Arabic at the University of Damascus and the Abu Nour Institute. Shaykha Safia attended the classes of several illustrious scholars of our time, such as Shaykh Adnan Darwish and received ijaza (license) to teach tajwid from Shaykh Abul Hassan Al-Kurdi. She also benefited from the company of great gnostics such as Shaykh Ahmad al-Habbal and Shaykh Shukri al-Luhafi. She studied numerous texts under the tutelage of the great erudite scholar, Al-Sayyid Shaykh Muhammad al-Yaqoubi, and was granted ijaza in major books of hadith. Shaykha Safia has delivered talks and courses at many Universities and conferences on radio, Islam Channel, British Muslim TV and Imams Online. Universities she has spoken at include: Cambridge, Imperial College (in conjunction with UCL and SOAS), Warwick, Aston, York, Middlesex, Birmingham and many others. To help promote understanding between employees and their Muslim colleagues in the corporate world, Shaykha has delivered presentations on Islam to investment banks in the UK. She has also delivered an Islamic talk on ‘Ethical Principles in Business Dealings’ at the Petronas Twin Towers in Malaysia. With her unique style and approach thousands have benefited and many have embraced Islam at her hands masha Allah. In 2015, she was awarded a BISCA Award for Outstanding Contribution to Women’s Empowerment.
Shaykh Salman Younas – Seekers Guidance
Shaykh Salman Younas credits two things with inspiring his journey as a student of knowledge: Shaykh Faraz Rabbani instilled in him a love of the sacred sciences with rare-seen balance and knowledge; and reading about the lofty states of the spiritually-realized made clear to him the reality of sacred knowledge and its purpose. Born and raised in New York, Shaykh Salman Younas graduated from Stony Brook University with a degree in Political Science and Religious Studies. After studying the Islamic sciences online and with local scholars in New York, Shaykh Salman moved to Amman. There he studies Islamic law, legal methodology, belief, hadith methodology, logic, Arabic, and tafsir. His teachers include: Shaykh Faraz Rabbani, Shaykh Salah Abu’l Hajj, Shaykh Ashraf Muneeb, Shaykh Ahmad Hasanat, Shaykh Hamza Karamali, Shaykh Ahmad Snobar, Shaykh Ali Hani, Shaykh Hamza Bakri, Shaykh Rajab Harun and others. Shaykh Salman’s personal interests include research into the fields of law/legal methodology, hadith, theology, as well as political theory, government, media, and ethics. He is also an avid traveler and book collector. He currently resides in Amman with his wife.
Shaykh Zein Hud - Jamia Al-Karam
Shaykh Zein Hud Al-Azhari (Lecturer at Jamia Al-Karam and Administrative Officer of WAAG UK Branch) further elaborated upon the role of Al-Azhar and Jamia Al-Karam and commented upon the visit of the former Chancellor of Al-Azhar University, Dr Ahmad Umar Hashim, to Jamia Al-Karam in 2001 and awarding Al-Azhar’s ‘Shield of Excellence Award’ to the Founder and Principal of Jamia Al-Karam, Shaykh Muhammad Imdad Hussain Pirzada.
Shaykh Faisal Abdur-Razak - Sacred Knowledge
Shaykh Faisal Hamid Abdur-Razak lives in Brampton, Canada. From 1977 to 1986 he studied in Saudi Arabia, first at Umm al-Qurra University in Makkah, then at King Abdulaziz University in Jeddah. He also studied at York University, Toronto, Canada. While in Saudi Arabia, in addition to University studies, he studied under many Scholars and Shaykhs, including Shaykh Hasan Ayub, Shaykh Muhammad al-Ghazali, Shaykh Muhammad Qutb, Shaykh Abdur-Rahman Barood, Shaykh Muhammad al-Wasfi, Shaykh Farooq al-Batal, Shaykh Muhammad Ali al-Sabuni, Shaykh Abdullah Nasih `Alwan, Shaykh Maw’il Ezziddin al-Samura’ee. After completing his studies in Saudi Arabia in 1986, he returned to Canada where he became actively involved in Islamic Da`wah and education. He served as Imam / Khatib of several Masajid and Islamic Centres including the Islamic Society of Peel, the Islamic Centre of Brampton, and the Toronto And Region Islamic Centre (TARIC). Shaykh Faisal served on the Government of Canada Interfaith Committee, the Province of Ontario Multifaith Council, and the City of Brampton Multifaith Committee. He is also the President of the Islamic Forum of Canada, Vice-President of the Islamic Council of Imams of Canada, and a member of the al-Shura Muslim Consultative Council. He has lectured on a wide range of Islamic topics to gatherings in many countries including Canada, U.S.A., England, Germany, Norway, Pakistan, India, Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Palestine, Turkey, Syria, Guyana, Barbados, and Trinidad.
Shaykh Ruzwan Mohammed - iSyllabus
Shaykh Ruzwan Mohammed is a Sunni theologian and scholar. A graduate in Geopolitics and Arabic from the University of Glasgow, in 1993 he left to travel and study with a wide array of leading scholars and theologians in various countries in the Muslim world. In the process, he read Turkish language at the University of Ankara in Turkey and as part of his formal Islamic training, he graduated from the Fat’h Islamic Law College in Damascus, graduating from the prestigious 6-year program with a distinction of merit, achieving overall first position in his year of graduation from the college.In the summer of 2009, he co-founded the Solas Foundation, which focuses on offering quality and transparent religious consultancy in the areas of Islamic ethics and education. He is the author and educational director the iSyllabus Islamic studies program.He is a regular panellist on shows such as BBC One’s “The Big Question”, BBC radio 4’s religious analysis programmes, and is a contributor to national Scottish newspapers and magazines. He is currently engaged in research into the effect of textual hermeneutics and environment on Islamic legal ethics, and is working on a study and translation of an early juristic text by the Spanish philosopher Averroes. He also serves as an advisor to various Muslim educational organisations in the United Kingdom and is actively involved in interfaith work, as well as wider social issues, lobbying on climate change and combating poverty. Both he and Shaykh Amer Jamil were awarded the 'Religious Advocate of the year Award' at the British Muslims awards in 2014.