Mujesira Neimarlija (Muyesira Neimarliya) is a 22 year old, fourth-year student of the Faculty of Islamic Studies in Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina. She is a member of the Youth Club called Tignum at the Nahla Center for Education and Research.
Mujesira works with children aged from 6 to 8 years old, young girls and women in the field of Islamic education. She is the Student Coordinator for International Cooperation at the Faculty of Islamic Studies in Sarajevo, and is one of the coordinators of the Youth Network of the Islamic Community in Bosnia and Herzegovina.
Facebook: Neimarlija Mujesira
Dr. Muhammad Tahir is the Head of Department of Islamic Studies at Riphah International University, Islamabad, Pakistan. He has been serving as an Assistant Professor and mentor at the graduate and undergraduate level since August 2019. Being Head, he has been administering the MPhil Islamic Studies and Life & Living programs since April 2020. Dr. Tahir is also Founding Director of the Centre for Islamic Psychology and Education (CIPE), Islamabad, Pakistan. He has done his PhD Islamic Studies in December 2017 from the International Islamic University Islamabad, Pakistan. His PhD dissertation is entitled “Development of Child’s Personality in the light of Sunnah and Contemporary Psychology: An Analytical and Comparative Study.” During his PhD tenure, he was hosted as a Visiting Research Fellow from March 2015 to March 2017 at the School of Humanities, Languages, and Social Science, Griffith University, Queensland, Australia. He has been awarded an indigenous scholarship (2008-2014) for MPhil and PhD by the HEC and IRSP scholarship for visiting fellow by the HEC and the Griffith Islamic Research Unit. Dr. Tahir also holds Masters in Education (MEd) and the thesis is entitled “Teaching Strategies used by the Holy Prophet Muhammad (Peace Be Upon Him): An Analytical Study.” He has presented research papers in national and international conferences and published papers in peer-reviewed journals. His research contributions emphasize the contemporary issues and ultimately has positive impacts on the community’s individual, family, and social life. Previously, he has served as a Lecturer and Assistant Professor (part-time) at three universities in Pakistan i.e., International Islamic University Islamabad, National University of Modern Languages Islamabad, and Fatima Jinnah Women University Rawalpindi.
Dr. Abdallah Rothman is the Principal of Cambridge Muslim College and holds an MA in Psychology from Antioch University and a PhD in Psychology from Kingston University London. His clinical practice as well as his academic research focus on approaching counseling and psychotherapy from within an Islamic paradigm and establishing an indigenous Islamic theoretical orientation to human psychology that is grounded in the knowledge of the soul from the Islamic tradition. In addition to his academic training he has studied privately with a number of traditional Islamic scholars throughout the Muslim world. Dr. Abdallah is visiting professor of psychology at Zaim University Istanbul, International Islamic University Islamabad, and Al-Neelain University Khartoum and co-founder, along with Professor Malik Badri, of the International Association of Islamic Psychology.
Dr. Hakan Gök is a Research Fellow at the Center for Governance, Leadership and Global Responsibility at Leeds Beckett University. Hakan obtained his Masters and PhD in the UK. He studied atheism and theism focusing on the philosophy of Said Nursi, earning his PhD degree from Durham University. Hakan’s research interests are: the problem of evil and suffering, arguments for and against the existence of God, atheist philosophy, life and discourse of Ghazzālī, Rūmī and Sirhindī. He is on the advisory board of Mevlana International Journal of Moral and Values Education (MIJMVE). His previous papers are: ‘Multiculturalism in Turkey: Possible solutions to the Kurdish issue from The Risāle-i Nur’, ‘Is peaceful co-existence possible? Case of Mawlānā Jalāluddīn Rūmī’, A Comparison between Ahmad Sirhindī and Saïd Nursi’ and ‘Albert Camus and Saïd Nursi on the problem of evil.’
He is the author of Atheism or Theism: The Perspective of Said Nursi, editor of Selected Readings from The Risale-i Nur, and co editor of India-Turkey: History, Culture and Politics books. Hakan is currently living in Leeds. He is married with three daughters.
The Executive Director and co-founder of Center DC, a growing third-space community in Washington, DC, that focuses on building authentic relationships between those practicing and exploring Islam and The Divine. Her community serves over 4,000 Muslims through hundreds of events annually; the majority are between the ages of 25 and 35. She lives for strategic planning, facilitation, and culture creation and is passionate about creating welcoming, healthy spaces where authenticity and differences of opinions simultaneously thrive. Lauren has had the privilege of studying Islamic sciences under both Shaykh Suhaib Webb and Ustedah Ieasha Prime. She is currently pursuing a degree in Islamic Chaplaincy at Hartford Seminary, and plans to open a community-based chaplaincy program through Center DC upon the completion of her coursework. She recently celebrated her 10th year of being Muslim. Her most important jobs are being a wife and mama to a 3 year old girl. In her spare time, you can find her making pupusas, writing music, and convening monthly gatherings of Muslim Practitioners of Restorative and Transformative Justice, a peer learning group she co-founded in 2020.
Dr. Mahmoud Abdallah was born in 1976. Having studied at the renowned al-Azhar University in Cairo, he first worked as a fellow researcher at al-Alsun faculty of Mina University before receiving his doctorate from Heinrich Heine University in Dusseldorf, Germany.
Since 2012, Dr. Abdallah contributes to the Centre for Islamic Theology at Tubingen University, where he occupies the role of research assistant. Additionally, he has headed the project “Scientific Education by means of Social Responsibility” for a three-year period ranging from 2016 to 2019. From 2019 to 2020, he also worked as a senior scientist at Innsbruck University.
Throughout his remarkable career, Dr. Abdallah has taught both at Austrian universities in Vienna and Innsbruck and was a guest lecturer at the University of Marmara in Istanbul, Turkey.
The main focus of his research lies on Islamic pastoral care, interreligious dialogue, a theology of coexistence, and the relationship between religion and state from an Islamic perspective. Furthermore, Dr. Abdallah is both the initiator and co-editor of the multi-volume series “A Theology of Living Together”, published at Grünwald Publishing House, Germany. “A Theology of Living Together”: https://www.gruenewaldverlag.de/theologie-des-zusammenlebens-p-1327.html?cPath=68_69
Sanaa Khan is a PhD student in Education Studies at the University of California, San Diego. She received her Masters in Education from Brooklyn College in 2018. She formerly organized to increase access to public higher education, and taught middle school computer science. Her work is focused on examining the role of race and gender in computing education, and aims to push past reductionist requests for increased diversity in STEM education for a more nuanced view of inclusion and equity in the field. Her research combines approaches from critical race theory, archival studies, critical disability studies, and feminist science, technology and society studies. You can find more about her work on her website.
Insha Khan is an undergraduate student at California State University, Long Beach studying communication with minors in public relations and fashion merchandising. In her time at CSULB, she has been placed on the President’s Honor List, has been recognized with the Exceptional Student Achievement Award by the College of Liberal Arts, and has received the Luster E. Hauth Fellowship. Currently, Insha is creating and managing content as a social media intern for the Communication Studies Department. She has previously worked as a public speaking consultant for the Hauth Center for Communication Skills. In 2018, Insha completed her memorization of the Qur’an and she is now pursuing Islamic seminary studies at the Institute of Knowledge.
Hajja Ashaki Taha-Cisse is a Muslim educator and activist. She is a student of Shaykh Hassan Ali Cisse (d. 2008), and an elder and authorized teacher within the Tariqa Tijaniyya Sufi order. For almost 30 years she served as the pro bono Executive Director of the African American Islamic Institute (AAII), an international humanitarian NGO based on the teachings of Islam, founded by Shaykh Hassan Cisse in Senegal and the Main Representative of AAII to the Economic and Social Council of the United Nations. During her career as a women’s health advocate and international maternal and child health consultant, she developed and directed programs for women with HIV/AIDS, alcohol and other drug addictions, and worked to establish primary and reproductive health clinics in rural, medically underserved communities in Africa and the Caribbean. Hajja Ashaki was born in New York City in 1942 and took shahada in the Mosque of Islamic Brotherhood in Harlem in 1969. Her political and human rights activism spans five decades within the Civil Rights, Black Liberation, Anti-War, Anti-Apartheid, Anti-Racism and Women’s Movements. An advocate for greater interreligious respect and understanding, she most recently worked on the development of an Islamic culture of peace and peacebuilding among Muslims and served as a community educator and interfaith facilitator in Greater Boston. She holds a BA from Sarah Lawrence College, an MA in Islamic Studies and Christian-Muslim Relations from Hartford Seminary, and continues her pursuit of sacred knowledge with Ahzari scholar Shaykh Yasir Fahmy. She was a Muslim Peace Fellow sponsored by the 150 year old peace organization, the Fellowship of Reconciliation.
Anse Dr. Tamara Gray is the founder of Rabata, an organization dedicated to promoting positive cultural change through creative educational experiences. She holds a doctorate in leadership from the University of St. Thomas, a master’s degree in Curriculum Theory and Instruction from Temple University, and spent twenty years studying traditional and classical Islamic sciences, Quran, and Arabic in Damascus, Syria.
Dr. Gray worked in the field of education for twenty-five years before moving into the non-profit world. She is now both the Executive Director of Rabata and its Chief Spirituality Officer. Her work includes the daily nitty gritty of project design as well as the support and mentorship of hundreds of women around the world.
Anse Dr. Tamara is also an author, translator, and public speaker. Her publications range from several culturally appropriate English language curriculum programs to translations of sacred texts. Shaykha Dr. Tamara’s most recent work is the translation of Mukhtasir al-Jami’ fi al-Sīra al-Nabawiyya by Samīra Zayid [Compendium of the Collection of Sources on al-Sīra al-Nabawiyya] (Co-translator). Her book, Joy Jots: Exercises for a Happy Heart, is in its second print. Dr. Gray is often engaged to speak about issues of gender, leadership, Islam, and spirituality; locally, nationally and globally. Some of her platforms have included, the International Leadership Association, the World Parliament of Religions, the Islamic Society of North America and several universities, including Princeton, Virginia Tech and Oxford University.
She sits on the board of the Collegeville Institute’s Inter-religious Fellows Program, working to develop educational programming for faith leaders around social justice issues and on the academic council of The Islamic Seminary of America where she is also a faculty member.
Samira I. Ibrahim is a researcher at the Faculty of Religion and Theology, Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam. She has an academic background in both Water Resources Engineering and Religious Studies. Recently she pursued a master degree in Theology & Religion at the Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam, where she performed research on the religious coping strategies among Muslim political ex-detainees in Egypt. During her earlier residence of twelve years in Cairo she also managed to obtain several ijazāt in the different disciplines of Islamic & Arabic studies.
Her research interests include Islamic spiritual care, Islamic ethics, the psychology of religion and religious inspired leadership.
Currently she teaches Psychology of Religion from an Islamic Perspective at the Islamic University of Applied Sciences in Amsterdam as well, and assists with Emoena Netherlands: Program for Leadership in a Multireligious Context.
Nazila Isgandarova is an Assistant Professor in Islamic Spiritual Care and Program Coordinator for the Master of Pastoral Studies Program at Emmanuel College of Victoria University in the University of Toronto. Dr. Isgandarova is a Registered Psychotherapist at the College for Registered Psychotherapists of Ontario and Registered Social Worker at the Ontario Social Workers and Social Service Workers. She is also certified American Board of Forensic Professionals for the CMCC AMA Guides to Impairment Rating. She is the recipient of the prestigious Forum for Theological Exploration research award for her study on domestic violence against Muslim women, Canadian Association for Spiritual Care Senior Research Award and Society for Pastoral Counselling Research Award. Her primary area of research is psychotherapy, spiritual care and mental health.
Imam Abdul-Malik Merchant graduated from Umm al-Qura University in Makkah, Saudi Arabia the college of Da’wah (Proselytization) and Foundations of the Religion, after nearly 10 year studying and living abroad. It was while specializing in Islamic culture where he realized his passion for service. Imam Merchant returned to Boston, MA in 2016 with his wife and children to take a position at the Islamic Society of Boston Cultural Center (ISBCC). He served as the Associate Imam, concentrating on spiritual care and counseling, for nearly 4 years. Now serves as the Muslim Chaplain for Tufts University and the Essex County Sheriff’s Department.
In Spring of 2020, Imam Merchant completed a Masters of Theological Studies at Boston University’s School of Theology concentrating on practical theology. He is now pursuing doctoral studies with a focus on the intersection of Islamic spiritual care and emotional wellness. Imam Merchant was awarded the Boston Bridges Fellowship and the Tisch Faculty Fellowship, serves on the executive committee of the National Black Muslim Covid Coalition, and as a research assistant for the Black Covid Survey. He asks that you keep him and his family in your prayers.
Dr. Yusra Ahmad, MD, FRCPC, is a community & academic psychiatrist in Toronto. She graduated with a BA from the University of Chicago and an MD from the University of Toronto where she completed her residency in psychiatry in 2013. She is affiliated with Women’s College Hospital and the University Health Network. She is a Clinical Lecturer in the Division of Psychotherapy, Humanities & Psychosocial Interventions at the Department of Psychiatry at the University of Toronto.
Dr. Ahmad created Mindfully Muslim after she witnessed the impact of repetitive trauma on her community, beginning with 9/11 and culminating in the Quebec City mosque shooting. Mindfully Muslim is an anti-oppressive, trauma-informed, faith-based group therapy program that blends her interests in mindfulness, neurobiology, poetry, self-help, psychotherapy and religion. It has been adopted by Women’s Health in Women’s Hands and Health Access Thorncliffe Park, two community health centres in Toronto. Because of this work, Dr. Ahmad was honoured with the 2019 Ontario Psychiatric Association’s Breakout Community Advocacy Award, Alhamdullilah.
Dr. Ahmad loves to live in between the lines because she believes a lot of power & beauty springs from these liminal spaces. She cares deeply about people and their stories.
Associate Professor in Islamic Studies,
Centre for Islamic Studies and Civilisation
Charles Sturt University/ Australian Catholic University
Salih Yucel got Bachelor of Islamic Divinity from the University of Ankara and Master of Theology from the University of Sydney. He worked as a Muslim Chaplain in Australia and then at Brigham and Women Hospital which is affiliated health institutions of Harvard Medical School for 13 years. He completed his doctorate at Boston University in 2007. His doctoral research was about “The Effect of Prayer on Muslim Patients Well-being.” Dr Yucel worked as a lecturer and senior lecturer at Centre for Religious Studies at Monash University between 2008-2014. Currently, he teaches at Centre for Islamic Studies and Civilisation at Charles Sturt University. He is also a part-time lecturer at ACU. He is the author of four books, co-author of one book and number of articles and book chapters.
I am a graduate student in the Theology department and I have an undergraduate degree in psychology and theology, both at Huron University College. I was born in Jordan and lived my early adulthood between Jordan, Iraq, and Saudi Arabia, and I moved to London, Ont. in 2012. I have an undergraduate degree in Chemical engineering from the Technology University in Baghdad. I have worked with children with disabilities who are just landed in Canada as refugees. I also worked in Cross-Cultural Learning Center with refugee families in their settlement process and special needs. Currently, I am working with the Muslim Resource Center in London in the Strengthening Families Program. My interest in Islamic theology is from a psych-developmental focus, and this interest continues to grow through my academic activities at Huron and work with refugees. My undergraduate research experiences focused on the impact of the resettlement process on newly immigrated preschoolers’ development. My current graduate research is focused on the impact of Covid-19 on the development of children’s spirituality due to traumatic lockdown in March/2020.
Dr. Zuleyha Colak is a Senior Lecturer and coordinator of Turkish and Ottoman Language program at Middle Eastern Studies department at Columbia University. Previously she taught at the University of Minnesota, in Minneapolis in Global Studies department between 2005-2010. She received her B. A. in Arabic Language and Literature from Istanbul University, Turkey (1998). She holds two masters’ degrees, one in comparative literature in Arabic Literature in Marmara University, Istanbul, Turkey (2000), and one in Central Eurasian Studies/Ottoman and Modern Turkish studies at Indiana University (2003). Her Ph. D dissertation is on the portrayal of Women of Biblical and Quranic Joseph Story from Indiana University in 2010. She has been a board member at Respect Graduate school in Bethlehem, PA and teaching courses on Islam. Some courses are Islam 101, Who is Muhammad? and a master’s degree course on Essentials of Islamic Spirituality.