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Shaykha Halima Krausen

Shaykha Halima Krausen is one of the most prominent European female scholars of Islam and the head of the German speaking Muslim community. She was born in Aachen, Germany into a Catholic/Protestant family and accepted Islam in her early teens. She traveled extensively in the Muslim world to learn the Arabic language and pursue Islamic studies under various scholars. Shaykha Halima completed her formal education in Islamic Studies, Theology and Comparative Religion at the University of Hamburg in 1992. She then continued her studies with various visiting scholars and undertook extensive studies with Imam Razvi who is one of the leading scholars in Germany. Between 1984 to 1988 Shaykha Halima was part of the project to translate the Qur'an into German with commentaries. She was also involved in translating volumes of Hadith and Islamic law.

Shaykha Halima is a founding member of the Inter-Religious Dialogue Circle at the Department of Theology at Hamburg University. She is also part of Reinhard von Kirchbach's inter-religious dialogue initiative that works with Buddhist, Hindu, Christian and Muslim scholars and intellectuals to promote cross-cultural dialogue. She is the Founder and lecturer at the Initiative for Islamic Studies in Hamburg Germany. She lectures frequently across Europe and London in particular. She has dedicated her life to building a strong German speaking Muslim community as well as building bridges with other faith groups through interfaith/cross-cultural dialogue.

Source: Shaykha Halima Krausen

Dr. Heba Musharraf

Dr. Heba Musharraf is a Lecturer in Near Eastern Studies at the Princeton University. She has pioneered a unique comparative and analytical methodology in teaching the Arabic language which aims to uncover the linguistic and cultural connections of Arabic with the English language and other languages. Dr. Elkhateeb-Musharraf utilizes her new paradigm to validate her original linguistic methodology. As a Professor of Arabic with multilingual experience, she teaches her students to uncover the shared Arabic roots that exist in English vocabulary as well as other native and learned languages of her students, building on their linguistic competence and facilitating their learning with insightful multilingual/multicultural perspectives. Dr. Heba is regarded as an expert in Arabic Language and Linguistics.

Dr. Heba has been teaching the Arabic language at the collegiate level for seventeen years. Before her appointment at Princeton, she founded the Arabic program at Vanderbilt University in Nashville, Tennessee. She pioneered the introduction of Arabic language courses at Tennessee State University. She has been involved in the Central Jersey community for many years and teaches courses on Arabic and Islamic studies here at Islamic Society of Central Jersey elsewhere around the country.

Source: Modified from Princeton University Portal

Ustadha Sabira Lakha

Shaykha Sabira Lakha is one UK’s prominent female Faqihah(jurist). She received formal training in Islamic Jurisprudence and obtained her Masters Degree in Law from the University of Warwick. As part of her academic work she undertook comprehensive comparative study of the English legal system and the Sharia with special emphasis on constitutional law, human rights and the evolutionary application of the Sharia in contemporary context through Ijtihaad. She has been working as an advisor to the UK government ministers as well as the Scotland Yard. In 2006 she was invited by the British Prime Minister to join the Islamic Advisory Group in UK.

Shaykha Sabira has been involved in various community building projects in UK such as “Preventing Extremism Together”. She works as an adjudicator at the Financial Ombudsman Service. She also works with various UK based community organizations promoting civil and political participation of various faiths and ethnic communities in the UK.

Gul Rukh Rahman

Gul Rukh Rahman earned her masters from the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy, Tufts University, MA in International Relations with a focus on Security Studies and Conflict Resolution. She is a software engineer and has several years of work experience in Silicon Valley with leading technology companies.

In 2005, Ms. Rahman moved to New York and was hired as co-executive director of Children of Abraham, a non-profit organization dedicated to building bridges between Muslim and Jewish youth, globally. She has spoken about Muslim-Jewish relations and Muslim-West relations in several international forums. She has in-depth experience in journalism, women and youth empowerment and community development. Currently she is pursuing her PhD in Geneva Switzerland.

Source: Modified from ADR Fellowship Portal

Shaykha Reima Yosif

Shaykha Reima Yosif was born and raised in US. She studied under various Shuyukh from the Middle East. She is a hafidha of the Qur'an and has a 4 year diploma in Classical Arabic. She has scholarly licenses to teach Sahih Bukhari, Muslim, Tafsir of the Qur'an ( the books of : Al-Kashaaf by Al-Zamakhshari, Al-Tafseer Al-Kabeer by Al-Razi and Jami' Al-Ahkaam by Al-Qurtubi) as well as two different Qira'at of the Qur'an. She has extensively studied comparative fiqh with special emphasis on women's fiqh. She has also composed books on comparative fiqh. She has translated over 200 various classical and contemporary Islamic texts from Arabic to English amongst them are: Sahih Muslim, Tafsir Ibn Qayyim, Ibn Hazim Al-anadalusi and Abu Hamid Al-Ghazali's work.

Shaykha Reima undertook formal studies at the American University in Cairo and Ain Shams University in Cairo Egypt. Her graduate studies are in English and Comparative Literature. She is a published poet, her first "Diwan" (poetry collection) is called "Kalimaat min Jawf Al-Zaman" ( Words from the Enclaves of Time) written in Arabic and published by Daar Alnashr Al-Masriyya (Al-Ahram) in Egypt.

Professor Kecia Ali

Prof. Kecia Ali serves as an Associate Professor of Religion at the Boston University, Department Religion. Prof Ali received her Ph.D. in Religion from Duke University, where she was the recipient of the James B. Duke fellowship, in 2002. Her specialization was Islamic Studies. She completed her undergraduate education at Stanford University with a degree in History and honors in Feminist Studies. From 2001 to 2003, Ali worked as a research analyst for the Feminist Sexual Ethics Project at Brandeis University. In 2003-2004, Ali was a research associate in Harvard Divinity School’s Women’s Studies in Religion Program. From 2004-2006, she held a Florence Levy Kay postdoctoral fellowship in Islamic Studies and Women’s Studies at Brandeis University.

Her research interests center on Islamic religious texts, especially jurisprudence; women in both classical and contemporary Muslim discourses; and religious biography. She is the author of Sexual Ethics and Islam: Feminist Reflections on Qur’an, Hadith, and Jurisprudence (2006), Islam: The Key Concepts (co-authored with Oliver Leaman), Marriage and Slavery in Early Islam (2010), and Imam Shafi’i: Scholar and Saint (2011) in Oneworld’s Makers of the Muslim World series. Her current research focuses on biographies of Prophet Muhammad.  She serves as co-chair for the Study of Islam Section of the American Academy of Religion and is a member of its Status of Women in the Profession Committee.

Source: Modified from Boston University Portal

Shaykha Zaynab Ansari

Ustadha Zaynab Ansari is based in the southeastern United States. She spent nearly a decade studying Farsi, Arabic, and traditional Islam in Tehran and Mashhad, Iran and Damascus, Syria. From 2004-2009, she volunteered, wrote, and taught for SunniPath Academy (now Qibla for the Islamic Sciences). Since 2009, Ustadha Zaynab has been a contributor at SeekersGuidance, an online educational initiative developed by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani, one of the original founders of SunniPath. In addition to writing for SeekersGuidance Answers Blog, Ustadha Zaynab has taught at SeekersGuidance annual Appalachian retreat and is in the process of developing new course content for the online academy.

Ustadha Zaynab is currently pursuing an M.A. in World History at Georgia State University, after graduating from that institution with undergraduate degrees in History and Middle Eastern Studies. She is a freelance writer for Azizah Magazine and My Muslim Veil and volunteers for the Islamic Speakers Bureau of Atlanta. Ustadha Zaynab is married and has three children.

Dr. Amira Bennison

Dr. Amira Bennison is the Senior Lecturer in Middle Eastern and Islamic Studies
at the University of Cambridge. She earned a BA in History and Arabic from the University of Cambridge and MA in Middle Eastern Studies from Harvard University.  
She earned her PhD from SOAS, University of London in Moroccan History. As part of her graduate studies she traveled to Egypt and Morocco.

Her research interests are North Africa and the Middle East since 1500; 18th-19th century Muslim religio-political discourse and state structures; the medieval Islamic West; Islamic cultural history and historical globalization. Some of her published books include Religious Minorities under the Almohads, The Great Caliphs: the golden age of the ‘Abbasid empire, Cities in the Premodern Islamic World: the Urban Impact of Religion, State and Society. Dr. Bennison has appeared in several TV programs about the history of the Middle East and North Africa including ‘Europe’s Lost Civilisation’; ‘The Thirties in Colour’ and ‘Islamic Science’.

Source: Modified from Cambridge University Portal

Ustadha Najah Bazzy

Najah Bazzy, RN, is a Transcultural Nurse Clinical Specialist and a Diversity Specialist with 25 years specializing in the area of transcultural health care. She has an extensive background in critical care nursing with special expertise in Arab and Muslim health care, beliefs, and practices. She is CEO of Diversity Specialists and Transcultural Health Care Solutions. She is also the Executive Director and Founder of Zaman International, a non-profit humanitarian organization which provides "Hope for Humanity".

Najah Bazzy is well known locally and internationally for her lectures on many topics related to Islam, including interfaith dialogue, gender equity and equality, human rights, and medical ethics. Since 9/11, she has spoken to thousands of non-Muslims and has engaged extensively in interfaith outreach that includes the United States Army, United States Department of Justice, New Detroit, and the Susan B. Komen Foundation. She is noted for her "ambassador" style of diplomatic dialogue. Najah Bazzy recently completed eight documentaries that highlight her life mission and vision for the human family. She and her family were featured in the PBS documentary "Muhammed: Legacy of a Prophet." She has also been featured in newspapers, nursing journals, television, and radio - both national and international. The International Channels Network recognized her work with a "We The People" award for being a 'Passionate Promoter of Leadership'.

2012 Program Outline:

9am to 10am                           Breakfast and Check-in

10am to 10:10am                    Introductory Comments

10:10am to 10:15am               Recitation by Qaria Salam Aref

10:15am to 10:25am               Tafsir by Dr. Heba Musharraf

10:30am to 10:40am               Poetry Recital by Andrea Assaf

10:45am to 11:30am               Prof. Amira Bennison. Title: Hidden Role of Women in the History of Morocco

11:35am to 12:25pm               Shaykha Reima Yosif. Title: The Firing Squad

12:30pm to 12:55pm               Ustadha Humera Khan. Title: Muslim Women and Activism   

1pm to 2:05pm                        Lunch and Dhuhr Prayer 

2:10pm to 3:00pm                   Professor Kecia Ali. Title: Gender Justice in Islam

3:05pm to 3:55pm                   Shaykha Halima Krausen. Title: Women in Private and Public Sphere

4:00pm to 4:40pm                   Ustadha Sabira Lakha. Title: Women and Ijtihaad (independent reasoning)

4:45pm to 5:05pm                   Asr Prayer break

5:25pm to 6:15pm                   Shaykha Zaynab Ansari. Title: A Glimpse into the Past: the Female Scholars of Hadith

6:20pm to 7:05pm                   Andrea Assaf (Artistic Closing)

7:10pm                                    Dua and Closing Remarks



“Through life’s rush
never forget compassion”

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