WHAT IS THE KNOWLEDGE RETREAT?
Imam Omar Suleiman is the President of the Yaqeen Institute for Islamic Research and a professor of Islamic Studies at Southern Methodist University. He’s also the resident scholar of the Valley Ranch Islamic Center, and Co-Chair of Faith Forward Dallas at Thanks-Giving Square, a multi-faith alliance for peace and justice.
Originally from New Orleans, LA, he began his journey of traditional Islamic learning in the year 2000 and has spent years studying in the United Arab Emirates, Jordan, Malaysia, etc. Upon becoming certified in various traditional sciences, he completed a Bachelor’s degree in Islamic law, a Bachelor’s degree in Accounting, a Master’s degree in Islamic Finance, a Master’s Degree in Political History, and is in the process of completing his PhD from the International Islamic University of Malaysia in Islamic Thought and Civilization.
His career started in his hometown of New Orleans where he served as the Imam of the Jefferson Muslim Association in New Orleans for 6 years and directed the ICNA Relief “Muslims for Humanity” Hurricane Katrina Relief effort. It was in this time that he was noted on a national level as being a strong advocate of community service, interfaith dialogue, and social justice. He co-founded the East Jefferson Interfaith Clergy Association and was awarded for his outstanding civic achievement by the Mayor and City Council of New Orleans in 2010.
He then moved to Dallas and became the Resident Scholar of the Valley Ranch Islamic Center in 2013 and more recently, Co-Chair of Faith Forward Dallas at Thanks-Giving Square. In Dallas, he has been a noted leader and voice for peace, and has partaken as a representative of the Muslim Community in many city functions. He has since been a guest at various national functions to share his experiences in community building.
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.
Shaykh Omar has taught Islamic Studies at the university level since 2008. As a valued AlMaghrib instructor, Shaykh Omar developed one of the most successful seminars "Behind the Scenes: An In-Depth Study of the Spiritual Practices of the Best Generations". He also is one of the main features at our annual conferences and retreats: IlmFest and IlmSummit.
In media, he’s one of the creators of the internationally acclaimed “Inspiration Series” which has reached millions of Muslims and Non Muslims through YouTube and Islamic Television stations worldwide. He’s also known for his series on Quran weekly as well as his contributions to Hadith of the Day.
Zaynab Ansari has served the Muslim Community of Knoxville since 2014 as a scholar-in- residence, public speaker, facilitator of interfaith dialogue, youth mentor, and a full-time instructor at Tayseer Seminary. She has over ten years of experience as a student and teacher of traditional Islam in various settings, having spent her formative years studying in Damascus, Syria with both male and female scholars of Qur'an, Islamic law, theology, and spirituality. Prior to settling in Knoxville, Ustadha Zaynab was based in Atlanta, where she earned degrees in World History and Middle Eastern Studies from Georgia State University, and dedicated her free time to volunteering with the Islamic Speakers Bureau of Atlanta, which honored her with the Georgia 40 Under 40 Muslims award in 2016.Ustadha Zaynab travels throughout the United States, speaking on issues of concern to the North American Muslim community at various forums, including ALIM, ICNA, and ISNA. She has also contributed to online Islamic portals and print publications including SunniPath, SeekersGuidance, Azizah Magazine, MuslimMatters, and the Muslim 500.
Shaykh Yasir began the study of Arabic and Islamic Sciences in his high school years under the guidance of local teachers. At the age of seventeen, he traveled to Amman, where he spent a year studying at the Islamic University of Jordan. He returned to the US and completed a Bachelor’s of Science from Rutgers University. After working in corporate America for three years in finance, he returned to the Middle East and enrolled in the prestigious Al-Azhar University in Cairo. After seven years of intensive study, Shaykh Yasir received a degree in Islamic Studies from Al-Azhar and attained numerous ‘ijazas (independent certifications) in the subjects of fiqh, hadith, aqida, usul al-fiqh, sirah, tazkiyyah, mantiq, Arabic grammar (nahu), morphology (sarf) and rhetoric (balagha). In 2013, Shaykh Yasir Fahmy became the first American Azhari to teach in the renowned Al-Azhar Mosque. Through his teaching, lecturing, mentorship, and religious leadership, Shaykh Yasir aims to foster love for the deen and appreciation of the vast richness of Islamic tradition in new generations of American Muslims. Alongside his religious studies, Mufti Kamani was blessed with having the opportunity to study the secular and academic sciences. He completed his graduate degree in Business Management from the University of Coventry in England as well.Mufti Kamani currently resides in Dallas, TX with his wife and four children. He serves as an Imam and is on the Board of Directors for the Islamic Association of Carrollton (Masjid Al-Rahman). He is also an instructor for the Qalam Institute.
Imam Suleiman Hani is the Director of Academic Affairs at AlMaghrib Institute, a research scholar for Yaqeen Institute, a resident scholar at the Islamic Cultural Association, and an adjunct lecturer at the Islamic Center of Detroit. At the age of 14, Suleiman completed a 10-month Qur’an memorization program and began his intensive studies under numerous scholars, earning dozens of traditional religious certifications in the process. He later earned a master’s degree from the University of Jordan’s College of Shari’ah, ranking first in his class, and a master’s degree from Harvard University, where he studied religions, philosophy, political science, and psychology. Over the past decade, he has served as an Imam and community leader in Michigan, lectured in dozens of countries, published a number of books and articles, and was featured on the largest Islamic TV stations worldwide.
Tesneem obtained her undergraduate degree in Early Christianity and Islamic Studies from the University of Michigan. She went on to complete her Ph.D. in Islamic Studies at Georgetown University with a focus on Islamic law. Tesneem currently serves as the Director of Expanded Learning where she works with her team to create curricula and other resources for communities to engage with Yaqeen’s research. She is also a Lecturer in the Department of Philosophy and Religion at Rutgers University-Camden.
We will enter the KR with the following important presumption which help how to address the issue:
KR COURSE MAIN COMPONENTS:
Lunch + Dhuhr
Lunch + Dhuhr