Please join us for our annual 'ASHURA Program on Monday, December 5th, 2011. The program will go from Maghrib to Isha.
Shaykh Qasim Hatem from Seattle, WA
He was born in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, where his forefathers built one of the very first mosques in North America. His family moved to Washington State in 1993, where he would later earn a full-ride scholarship to play football for the University of Washington. Originally recruited as a linebacker, he would go on to earn a starting position in 2001 at nose tackle on the top-ranked and Rose Bowl-winning Huskies. Appearing in Sports Illustrated and being scouted by NFL teams, Shaykh Qasim seemed destined to fulfill the "All-American Dream."
Shortly after that spectacular finish in the Rose Bowl, Shaykh Qasim's life took a drastic turn. He woke up one morning, planning on heading out to Spring practice, and found himself unable to breathe. After being rushed to the hospital, he was diagnosed with three pulmonary embolisms, blot clots that passed through his heart and into his lungs, causing the shortness of breath. Face-to-face with death, was the end of his lifelong football career and the birth of an entirely new direction: The worship and service of God.
A year after graduating with his bachelor's degree in psychology in 2003, Shaykh Qasim traveled to Yemen to study in the blessed city of Tarim. He first enrolled in the Badr Language Institute and then moved on to the prestigious seminary, Dar al-Mustafa, to study the traditional Islamic disciplines under some of the most illustrious scholars of our time. Shaykh Qasim completed his rigorous studies in 2011, with primary ijazaat (licenses to teach) in: Shafi'i fiqh (jurisprudence), 'aqeedah (Islamic creed), nahu (Arabic grammar), tajweed (Quranic recitation in hafs), and da'wa (methodology of inviting to Islam).
Currently Shaykh Qasim is the Resident Scholar and Board Member of the Mihraab Foundation based in Seattle, Washington.
Shaykh Humza Maqbul from Seattle, WA
Hamza was born in Whittier, California and lived in Southern California until the age of ten when he moved to Blaine, Washington. He later attended the University of Washington and in 2004 completed a Bachelors of Science in Biochemistry and a Bachelors of Arts in Near Eastern Languages and Civilizations. He served as the president of the University of Washington Muslim Students Association, one of the largest and most active student groups on campus, as a student senator for two years, and as the Senate-appointed member of the special funding committee. After 9/11, he was listed by the University of Washington as an expert on Islam and was invited to address various groups including high schools and universities, community groups and television, radio, newspaper and internet media. After graduation, Hamza went on to pursue traditional Islamic studies, which took him to Syria and Egypt where he studied the Arabic language; Morocco, Mauritania, and the UAE.