ISR Season 4 Episode 28: “Hard Hearts” – Suhaib Webb

Imam Suhaib Webb is a contemporary American Muslim activist and speaker. After converting to Islam, Webb left his career as a DJ and studied at the University of Central Oklahoma, where he graduated with a Bachelors degree in Education. He also studied privately under a Senegalese shaykh, learning enough Islam and Arabic to become a community leader in Oklahoma City, where he was hired as Imam at the Islamic Society of Greater Oklahoma City. He simultaneously started teaching at Mercy School, an Islamic K-12 school in Oklahoma City. In 2004, he departed with his wife and children to Cairo, where he currently studies at Al-Azhar University in the College of Shari`ah. Additionally, he is in charge of the English translation Department at Dar al-Ifta al-Masriyah and is currently training as a mufti. Webb strongly advocates for an articulation of American Islam that is authentic, and has leaders that are acutely aware of the issues facing Muslim Americans.

ISR Season 4 Episode 27: “Communication” – Jamaal Diwan

Ustadh Jamaal Diwan was born and raised in Southern California and received a Bachelor’s Degree in Third World Studies and a minor in Psychology from the University of California, San Diego. He has served with the Muslim Student Association (MSA), MSA West, and Muslim American Society (MAS) in varying capacities. He remains an active MAS member and is a scholarship student with the Islamic American University. Jamaal and his wife, Muslema Purmul, participated in the International Union of Muslim Scholars “Future Scholars Program” in 2008/2009. They are currently pursuing Bachelor’s degrees at the College of Shari`ah at al-Azhar University in Cairo, and Master’s degrees from the American University in Cairo in Arabic Studies with an emphasis in Islamic Studies.

ISR Season 4 Episode 26: “The Manifest, The Beyond” – Dr. Imad Bayoun

Dr. Imad Bayoun is widely recognized for his commitment to religious education, especially among the youth. As a lecturer for the Muslim American Society (MAS), a religious, social, cultural and educational, not-for-profit organization, and as a council member of the MAS-Inland Empire chapter, Bayoun spends most of his free time teaching others about Islam. His unique way of speaking talking to the heart has inspired many. Bayoun was born in Beirut, Lebanon, and came to the United States in 1989. He currently resides in Riverside and works as an entomologist, employed as the Insectary and Quarantine Officer at the University of California at Riverside.

ISR Season 4 Episode 25: “Building a Relationship with Allah” – Bhawana Kamil

Bhawana Kamil was born in Oakland, California in 1979 while her parents were students at UC Berkeley. She was raised in the Bay Area, and received a Bachelors of Science in Chemistry from UC Berkeley. Soon after graduating, she accepted Islam in September of 2000. Bhawana traveled overseas to Cairo, Egypt for a few years with her husband to study Arabic and Islamic Studies for which she received graduate diplomas. After her return, she completed a Masters degree in Philosophy from San Jose State University, where she subsequently taught Ethics. Her Masters thesis was entitled, “Toward a Single Consciousness: Challenging ‘Un-American-ness’ of People of Color.”

She is the current president of the Bay Area chapter of the Muslim American Society, and formerly directed its Youth and Outreach departments. She is also a public speaker, and has spoken at a variety of settings, including schools, universities, churches, conferences, and camps on several topics including ‘An Introduction to Islam,’ ‘Women in Islam,’ ‘Challenges Facing Muslim Youth in the West,’ ‘Geography of the Muslim World,’ ‘Islam and the Environment,’ ‘Muslim-American Identity,’ and ‘Understanding Shariah.’

Bhawana serves on the Interfaith Council for Economics and Justice (ICEJ) for the County of Santa Clara and is a member of the Speakers Bureau for California Interfaith Power and Light (CIPL), an interfaith environmental advocacy group.

Her passions include social service and interfaith work. Bhawana also enjoys the outdoors, gardening, logic puzzles, and learning about cultures and languages. She currently resides in Santa Clara, California with her husband and young daughter.

ISR Season 4 Episode 24: “Taqwa” – Chantal Carnes

Chantal Carnes seeks to develop Muslim youth and their respective communities. Born and raised in Virginia, she embraced Islam in 1994 inspired by the scientific nature of many Qur’anic ayat. She obtained a Bachelor of Arts in Biology for her undergraduate education. Primarily through self study, she has studied Arabic extensively to be able to read classical Islamic texts and be fully conversant with native speakers. She has studied with various Islamic scholars in North America to advance her proficiency in several Islamic Sciences ( Aqeedah, Ulum al-Qur’an, Ulum al-Hadith, Fiqh and Seerah). Chantal has a Masters in Philosophy. She has been active with various MSAs and Islamic organizations throughout the US.

ISR Season 4 Episode 23: “Long Term Vision” – Jamaal Diwan

Ustadh Jamaal Diwan was born and raised in Southern California and received a Bachelor’s Degree in Third World Studies and a minor in Psychology from the University of California, San Diego. He has served with the Muslim Student Association (MSA), MSA West, and Muslim American Society (MAS) in varying capacities. He remains an active MAS member and is a scholarship student with the Islamic American University. Jamaal and his wife, Muslema Purmul, participated in the International Union of Muslim Scholars “Future Scholars Program” in 2008/2009. They are currently pursuing Bachelor’s degrees at the College of Shari`ah at al-Azhar University in Cairo, and Master’s degrees from the American University in Cairo in Arabic Studies with an emphasis in Islamic Studies.

ISR Season 4 Episode 22: “Attaining Inner Peace” – Yasir Fahmy

Ustadh Yasir Fikry Fahmy was born and raised in Clifton, New Jersey and graduated from Rutgers Business School. He worked in corporate America for approximately three years before pursuing his formal Islamic studies. He studied locally with scholars such as Dr. Mohammad Qatanani and Sheikh Muhammad Musa. He studied abroad, spending one year at the University of Jordan (Faculty of Shari`ah) and is currently studying at Al-Azhar University (Faculty of Islamic Studies and Arabic Language). He is a member of the Muslim American Society (MAS) and has taught on topics such as History of Islamic Legislation, Tafsir, Fiqh of Da`wah, Explanation of the names of Allah (swt) and Tazkiyah.

ISR Season 4 Episode 21: “Leadership” – Chantal Carnes

Chantal Carnes seeks to develop Muslim youth and their respective communities. Born and raised in Virginia, she embraced Islam in 1994 inspired by the scientific nature of many Qur’anic ayat. She obtained a Bachelor of Arts in Biology for her undergraduate education. Primarily through self study, she has studied Arabic extensively to be able to read classical Islamic texts and be fully conversant with native speakers. She has studied with various Islamic scholars in North America to advance her proficiency in several Islamic Sciences ( Aqeedah, Ulum al-Qur’an, Ulum al-Hadith, Fiqh and Seerah). Chantal has a Masters in Philosophy. She has been active with various MSAs and Islamic organizations throughout the US.

As for my teachers, I’ve had many, but my best teachers, whom I have learned the most from and rely on include: Shaykh Abdullah ibn Adhami and Ustadh Abdullah bin Hamid. Texts include Mukhtasar al-Akhdari, Matn Al-‘Ashmawiyyah, Matn al-‘Izziyyah and others.

ISR Season 4 Episode 20: “Steps towards Paradise” – Suhaib Webb

Imam Suhaib Webb is a contemporary American Muslim activist and speaker. After converting to Islam, Webb left his career as a DJ and studied at the University of Central Oklahoma, where he graduated with a Bachelors degree in Education. He also studied privately under a Senegalese shaykh, learning enough Islam and Arabic to become a community leader in Oklahoma City, where he was hired as Imam at the Islamic Society of Greater Oklahoma City. He simultaneously started teaching at Mercy School, an Islamic K-12 school in Oklahoma City. In 2004, he departed with his wife and children to Cairo, where he currently studies at Al-Azhar University in the College of Shari`ah. Additionally, he is in charge of the English translation Department at Dar al-Ifta al-Masriyah and is currently training as a mufti. Webb strongly advocates for an articulation of American Islam that is authentic, and has leaders that are acutely aware of the issues facing Muslim Americans.

ISR Season 4 Episode 19: “Environmental Consciousness” – Muslema Purmul

Ustadha Muslema Purmul was born in Raleigh, North Carolina and raised in San Diego, California. She received a Bachelor’s Degree in the Study of Religion and a Bachelor’s in Middle Eastern Studies from the University of California at San Diego. She has served the Muslim Students’ Association, MSA West and the Muslim American Society (MAS) in various capacities, is an active MAS member, and a scholarship student with the Islamic American University. Muslema and her husband, Jamaal Diwan, participated in the International Union of Muslim Scholars “Future Scholars Program” in 2008/2009. They are currently pursuing Bachelor’s degrees in the College of Shari`ah at al-Azhar University in Cairo, and Master’s degrees from the American University in Cairo in Arabic Studies with an emphasis in Islamic Studies.