April 04 - 11
HOW IT WORKS
DAYS OF CHALLENGES
AMAZING GUEST SPEAKERS
TO HELP YOU
SHEIKH YASER BIRJAS
Sheikh Yaser Birjas is currently the Head of the Islamic Law and Theory Department at the Al-Maghrib Institute and the Imam at Valley Ranch Islamic Center in Irving, Texas.
Sheikh Yaser started his career in Electronic Engineering in the UAE, then in Madinah, where he graduated as class Valedictorian with the highest honors from The Islamic University of Madinah’s College of Shariah (Fiqh and Usool) in 1996. In 1997, he went to work as a relief program aide to rebuild a war-torn Bosnia. In 2000, he immigrated to the U.S. where he served as an Imam at Islamic Center in El Paso, Texas and a director of English programs in Da’wah and outreach for the Orland Park Prayer Center in Illinois.
He went on to earn his masters in Adult Education and Training from the University of Phoenix in 2013. His specialty in the subject of marriage and relations made him a highly sought marriage counselor for the Muslim community.
DR. HAIFAA YOUNIS
Dr. Haifaa Younis is an American Board Certified Obstetrician and Gynecologist with roots from Iraq. Her pursuit of Islamic knowledge initiated when she began to study with various Islamic scholars from across the United States while she simultaneously attended individual courses and lectures on subjects including Aqeeda, Fiqh, usual Fiqh, Hadeeth, and Tazkiyah (purification of the soul). From the United States, she moved to Saudi Arabia where she graduated from the Mecca Institute of Islamic Studies (Jeddah, Saudi Arabia) and Al-Huda Qur’an Memorization School (Jeddah, Saudi Arabia) where she completed the memorization of the Qur’an. She is the founder and Chairman of Jannah Institute and currently teaches seminars on the thematic commentary of various chapters of the Holy Qur’an and their practical relevance in our day-to-day living. Additionally, she offers retreats on key topics that inspire hearts, combining the inner essence of Islam with an outward expression of practice. Dr. Haifaa is passionate about spreading the word of Allah (SBW) and igniting the love of Islam and the Qur’an through her teachings.
SHEIKH MIKAEEL SMITH
Sheikh Mikaeel Ahmed Smith (Michael V Smith) is an instructor at Qalam. He is a faculty member at the Qalam Seminary. He gives lectures and conducts various classes for the community. You can listen to him regularly on the Qalam Podcast.
Shaykh Mikaeel previously served as a resident scholar at the Islamic Society of Annapolis and the Islamic Society of Baltimore. He grew up in a deeply spiritual Christian home in Buffalo, NY. At the age of 18, he embraced Islam after reading the Qur’an and the Autobiography of Malcolm X. He then enrolled at the Dar ul-Uloom al-Madania in Buffalo, NY, where he completed his memorization of the Qur’an. He continued his studies in Jami’a Abu Noor in Damascus, Syria.
In 2012, he earned his Bachelor's Degree in Islamic Studies at the Dar ul-Uloom Canada in Chatham, Ontario. He is the author of With the Heart in Mind, a book exploring the moral and emotional intelligence of the Prophet Muhammad ﷺ. He currently resides in Dallas, TX with his wife and three children.
BR. ABDUL KAREEM SELWADY
Abdul Kareem Al Selwady is the first MMA fighter from the United States representing Palestine to compete for the championship title at Brave Combat Federation. Abdul Kareem Mubarak added the name of the village - Selwady, where his origins are from, to his name. Thus, making it Abdul Kareem Al-Selwady. He became iconic for high-intensity bouts and theatric post-victory celebrations with his father who is also his cornerman, Husam Mubarak Al-Selwady.
Abdul's most recent fight in his professional career was at LFA 103 on March 26th, where he won by 1st round KO.
Dr. Omar Suleiman
Imam Omar Suleiman is the Founder and President of the Yaqeen Institute for Islamic Research, and an Adjunct Professor of Islamic Studies in the Graduate Liberal Studies Program at SMU (Southern Methodist University). He is also the Resident Scholar at Valley Ranch Islamic Center and Co-Chair Emeritus of Faith Forward Dallas at Thanks-Giving Square.
Shaykh Omar most recently founded the Yaqeen Institute for Islamic Research which is a think tank that focuses on instilling conviction based on Islamic texts, and producing contribution. He also founded M.U.H.S.E.N (Muslims Understanding and Helping Special Education Needs), a nonprofit umbrella organization serving the community to establish a more inclusive “Special Friendly” environment for our Brothers & Sisters of all Disabilities.
DR. YASIR QADHI
Dr. Yasir Qadhi joined East Plano Islamic Center as a resident scholar in July 2019. He is the dean of academic affairs at the Islamic Seminary of America. He completed his primary and secondary education in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia. He graduated with a B.Sc. in Chemical Engineering from the University of Houston, after which he was accepted as a student at the Islamic University of Madinah. There, he completed a second Bachelors degree, specializing in Hadith studies, and then went on to complete M.A. in in Islamic Theology from the College of Dawah. He then returned to the United States, and completed a PhD in Religious Studies from Yale University.
Dr. Yasir Qadhi has authored several books, published academic articles, and appeared on numerous satellite and TV stations around the globe. His online videos are some of the most popular and highly-watched Islamic videos in English.
Zainab Ismail was born and raised in New York City. She worked as a celebrity trainer for years before converting to Islam and beginning her work, Fit for Allah, which takes on prophetic traditions regarding health, medicine, and food, and melds them with fitness practices. Ismail has traveled the globe teaching others how to be personal trainers, as well as post-rehabilitative techniques in universities and Olympic centers through which she became a world-renowned teacher of trainers.
Ismail currently works as a personal trainer at a gym in Manhattan. She also spends time doing charity work with small pockets of Muslim communities in Chiapas, Mexico, and rural provinces outside of Havana, Cuba. In her work with diverse communities, she explains, “I don't need to tell people about Islam. Our manners and behaviors show people, wow, you do all that: that’s what your faith teaches you.”
SHEIKH FURHAN ZUBAIRI
Shaykh Furhan Zubairi was born in 1983 in Indianapolis, IN. Shortly thereafter, he moved and spent most of his youth in Southern California, graduating from high school in Irvine in 2001. He began his pursuit of Islamic knowledge and spirituality at the Institute of Knowledge (IOK) in 1998 where he started the memorization of the Quran and studied the primary books in the Islamic sciences and Arabic language. After starting college, he took a break and went to Karachi, Pakistan for 9 months to complete the memorization of the Quran at Jami’ah Binoria. He returned home and completed his B.S. in Biological Sciences from the University of California, Irvine in 2005. He then traveled to Egypt to further his studies of the Arabic language.
Thereafter, his pursuit of Islamic knowledge led him back to Pakistan where he completed a formal ‘Alamiyyah degree (Masters in Arabic and Islamic Studies) at the famous Jami‘ah Darul-Uloom in Karachi, where he studied with prominent scholars. He has obtained numerous ijaazaat (traditional licenses) in the six authentic books of hadith Siha Sittah as well as the Muwattas of Imam Malik and Imam Muhammad and has also received certification in the field of Islamic Finance. Shaykh Furhan Zubairi serves as the Dean of Academics at the IOK Seminary, an initiative of IOK CHESS, at the Institute of Knowledge in Diamond Bar, CA. He regularly delivers khutbahs and lectures at various Islamic Centers and events in southern California.
Dr. Aneesah Nadir
Dr. Aneesah Nadir, M.S.W., Ph.D. is an incredibly accomplished academic and social justice advocate who emphasizes in culturally competent social work, family and relationship work for Muslims in America. After teaching Social Work at Arizona State University for 17 years, Dr. Nadir began serving as the President of the Islamic Social Services Association - USA. In this role, she brings her experience of tailoring social work and therapeutic practices to the specific needs of Muslim communities to a national stage.
Dr. Nadir is a leader in the burgeoning field of Muslim mental health care with publications on cross-cultural understandings of spirituality and family. Such publications include "Promoting Positive Marital Outcomes among Muslims in America" in Islam in America: Images and Challenges by Phylis Lan Lin,1998 ; "Islam" in Spirituality and Religious Traditions in Social Work Practice edited by Van Hook, Hugen and Aguilar, 2001; "Moving toward culturally competent practice with Muslims: Modifying cognitive therapy with Islamic tenets" in the Journal Social Work, 2008; and "Home-based Social Services" in Counseling Muslims: Handbook of Mental Health Issues and Interventions by Ahmed and Amer, 2012