ILF Instructors come with a wide variety of backgrounds and qualifications. Instructors are selected on their deep understanding of Islam, related topics and mission of the Quran and are certified by well-known institutes. They are also experienced teachers and prominent scholars, Imams and community activists.
Ovamir Anjum is Imam Khattab Chair of Islamic Studies at the Department of Philosophy, University of Toledo. His work focuses on the nexus of theology, ethics, politics and law in classical and medieval Islam, with comparative interest in Western Thought. His interests are united by a common philosophical focus on epistemology or views of intellect/reason in various domains of Islamic thought, ranging from politics (siyasa), falsafa (Aristotelian Islamic philosophy) and spirituality (Sufism, mysticism, and asceticism). He brings this historical knowledge to bear on issues in contemporary Islamic thought and movements.
He obtained his Ph.D. in Islamic Intellectual history in the Department of History, University of Wisconsin-Madison. His Ph.D. dissertation is titled “Reason and Politics in Medieval Islamic Thought: The Taymiyyan Moment.” He holds a Masters in Social Sciences from the University of Chicago and a Masters in Computer Science from the University of Wisconsin-Madison.
During 2007-2009, he served as the Senior Fellow of the Lubar Institute for the Study of the Abrahamic Religions (LISAR; lisar.lss.wisc.edu/), UW-Madison, and taught in Religious Studies Program at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.
Among other projects, he is currently working on a book on Islamic political thought which revises conventional wisdom on the subject by arguing for its continued vitality and relevance and offers an alternative way to read the influential Muslim jurist and theologian, Ibn Taymiyya. In another work, he analyses and translates Ibn al-Qayyim’s spiritual classic, Madarij al-Salikin.
He has long been involved in speaking to and organizing local Muslim communities in the US and encouraging dialogue among the various communities of faith. Besides academic conferences, he has taught at American Islamic institutions of learning, such as AlMaghrib Institute and ALIM (American Learning Institute for Muslims).
Links to Selected Writings:
Islam as a Discursive Tradition: Talal Asad and His Interlocutors
Why Do 80% of Muslims Still Want the Shari’a? Beyond Theocracy and Secularism
Shaykh Omar Suleiman is the Imam of Masjid Abu Bakr Al-Siddique in New Orleans, LA and a member of the ICNA Shariah Council. He is also the outreach director of ICNA Relief in Louisiana.
Born and raised in the United States, he embarked on his journey to study traditional Islamic sciences in the year 2000 in the United Arab Emirates primarily under the instruction of Sheikh Tariq Ibn Rajah (hA) and other noble scholars from Umm Al Qura. He also spent much time in the company of his wife’s father, Sheikh Husam Mubarak, and benefited greatly from him.
He then went on to earn a Bachelors degree in Islamic Studies along with a Bachelors degree in Accounting accompanied by a wide array of Diplomas and Certifications in various Islamic Disciplines with emphasis on Jurisprudence (Fiqh) and Dawah. He is currently pursuing a Masters degree with emphasis on the “Fiqh of Minorities.”
Imam Omar recently joined the Sharia Academy of America as an instructor through which he conducts online University courses and intensive weekend seminars in the areas of Fiqh, Usool Al Fiqh, Dawah, and Hadeeth.
He is also a founding member and steering committee member of the East Jefferson Interfaith Clergy Association.
In 2007, Fahad Tasleem founded Dawah Corps – an organization with a mission to ignite, for Muslims living in the West, a passion for Islamic outreach. Fahad’s expertise in the realm of dawah stems from a number of years of experience with the various outreach efforts of MSA’s, Islamic centers, and Islamic organizations across North America.
Fahad has also served as a khateeb and lecturer for the Islamic Society of Greater Houston. His speaking style has been described as engaging, profound and exciting. His ability to express core Islamic ideas in simple, palatable terms that are relevant to contemporary times, has inspired many to reach higher spiritual, moral and social goals.
Currently, Fahad plays a tripartite role as an instructor, researcher and student. He is the founder and lead instructor at the DC Seminary along with being an adjunct professor at various other universities and colleges. His role as a researcher and student is in his current pursuit of a PhD in Economics from the University of Texas at Dallas. Fahad studied Arabic at Georgetown University and he holds a bachelors in Economics from Michigan State University and a Masters in Taxation from the University of Southern California.
Fahad Tasleem recently joined ILF Texas, a teaching project of ICNA. He is an instructor for ILF Houston on site classes at Islamic Outreach Center ( IOC-Cypress).