Sunday, February 05, 2006

Imam Zaid Shakir

Well, I ran into so more player haters on the imam but he's today's Notable Muslim of African Descent.

Bio taken from Zaytuna Website.

Imam Zaid Shakir is amongst the most respected and influential Muslim scholars in the West. Born in Berkeley, California, the second of seven children he accepted Islam in 1977 while serving in the United States Air Force. He then obtained a BA with honors in International Relations at American University in Washington D.C. and later earned his MA in Political Science at Rutgers University, where he emerged as an active leader in campus activities, helping to revive the Muslim Student Association, co-leading a successful South Africa divestment campaign, and co-founding a local Islamic center, Masjid al-Huda.

After a year in Cairo, Egypt, studying Arabic, he settled in New Haven, Connecticut and continued his tireless community activism, co-founding Masjid al-Islam, the Tri-State Muslim Education Initiative, and the Connecticut Muslim Coordinating Committee. As Imam of Masjid al-Islam from 1988 to 1994 he speared-headed a community renewal and grassroots anti-drug effort in the local neighborhood, and taught as an Adjunct Professor of Political Science and Arabic at Southern Connecticut State University until his departure for Syria to further his studies in the traditional Islamic Sciences.

For seven years in Syria and briefly in Morocco he immersed himself in an intense study of Arabic, Islamic law, Quranic studies, and Islamic spirituality with some of the top Muslim scholars of our age. In 2001, he graduated from Syria's prestigious Abu Noor University and returned to Connecticut to continue his work with the Muslim community in America. Teaching regularly as the Imam of Masjid al-Islam, writing numerous articles for various magazines, journals, and newspapers, and lecturing frequently at many of America’s largest Muslim conferences and conventions, he soon emerged as one of the most popular and sought after American Muslim leaders.

Amongst several works that he has translated from Arabic into English, his translation of “The Heirs of the Prophets” was published by Starlatch Press in 2001. In 2003, he moved to Hayward, California with his family to serve as a scholar-in-residence and lecturer at Zaytuna Institute where he now teaches regular courses on Arabic, Islamic Law, History, and Islamic Spirituality. He has since lectured at many of the Bay Area’s top universities, including Stanford and U.C. Berkeley, and is a frequent speaker at local Muslim events. He is widely regarded as an articulate voice on Islam and African-American issues and as a visionary leader in the emergence of an Islamic community and tradition and that is indigenous to America. He just recently published a selection of essays and autobiography entitled Scattered Pictures: Reflections of an American Muslim

We are all collateral damage by Imam Zaid Shakir

New Islamic Directions

Zaid Shakir on Being Muslim in America

The Changing Face of Secularism and the Islamic Response

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