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Shaykha Saira AbuBakr

Ustadha Saira AbuBakr has received a B.S. in Biology (California State University at Stanislaus) and an M.S. in Genetic Counseling (Sarah Lawrence College, NewYork). She worked as a genetic counselor for five years and then as a clinical researcher for one year. She has studied Maliki Fiqh, Arabic, Seerah, and Purification of the Heart at Islamic Studies School (prior to the formation of Zaytuna Institute), CA since 1997 with Shaykh Hamza Yusuf, Shaykh Khatri ould Bauba (Mauritanian),Shaykh Abdullah bin Bayyah and with Shaykh Salik ibn Siddina (Mauritanian). In 2000 she attended an 8 month Arabic intensive at the Fajr and Diwan centers in Cairo, Egypt to study Grammar and Rhetoric. She has a B.S. in Islamic Studies from Zaytuna College (Director Imam Zaid Shakir), Berkeley, CA, 2008. She recently returned from Syria where she spent two years furthering her studies in Aqeedah, Fiqh, Arabic and Tajweed and where she attended classes taught by Shaykh Mohammad alYaqoubi. During this time she also continued to teach sisters Seerah, Maliki fiqh, Arabic and other subjects in online and private halaqas.

Shaykha Rania Awaad

Raised in the U.S., Ustadha Rania Awaad began her formal study of the traditional Islamic sciences when her parents permitted her to travel to Damascus, Syria at the age of 14. Her desire to continue studying the Deen resulted in multiple trips back to Damascus, interspersed between her high school, college and medical studies. She was honored to receive Ijaazah (authorization to teach) several branches of the Shari’ah sciences at the hands of many renowned scholars, including many female scholars. She has received Ijaazah to teach Tajwid in both the Hafs and Warsh recitations from the late eminent Syrian scholar, Shaykh Abu Hassan al-Kurdi. In addition to completing several advanced texts of the Shafi’i madhhab, she is licensed to teach texts of Maliki fiqh, Adab and Ihsan. Currently, Ustadha Rania teaches online and local classes for The Rahmah Foundation, Rabata, and is on faculty of Zaytuna College where she teaches courses in Shafi’i fiqh, women’s issues in fiqh, and has helped develop and co-direct the Tajwid and Hifz program.

Ustadha Rania also a medical doctor with a specialty in Psychiatry. She completed her Psychiatric residency and fellowship training at Stanford University where she is currently on the faculty as a Clinical Instructor in the Stanford Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences department. Her medical interests include addressing mental health care concerns in the Muslim community- particularly that of Muslim women and girls. She has been awarded grants from the NIMH (National Institute of Mental Health) to conduct research on this topic and has presented her findings at several medical conferences. Other on-going endeavors include the compilation of manuscripts addressing female-related mental health and medical issues from a fiqh-oriented perspective.


She currently serves as the Director of the Rahmah Foundation, a non-profit organization dedicated to teaching Muslim women and girls traditional Islamic knowledge. In this capacity she also heads the Murbbiyah Mentoring Program which trains young women how to teach and mentor Muslim girls and teens. Ustadha Rania is both a wife and a mother; she has been counseling and teaching women classes on Tajwid, Shafi’i Fiqh, Ihsan, marriage and raising children since 1999.

Shaykh Mohammed Haddamin Fahfu was born in Mauritania and raised in a scholarly environment in the presence of al-Murabit al-Hajj bin Fahfu (May Allah preserve him). He memorised the Quran before the age of ten – as is the custom in Mauritania – at the hands of his father Shaykh Haddamin.


He then began his journey for knowledge through what is known as the Mahdara system in West Africa, where he studied under the great saint and scholar alMurabit al-Hajj and his own father Shaykh Haddamin. He studied a number of religious texts covering many different sciences in accordance with the Mahdara system. As such, he studied: ‘The Summary of Sheikh Khalil’, ‘The Text of Ibn Ashir’ and ‘The Summary of alAkhdari’ in Jurisprudence; ‘Maraqi al-Saood’ in Legal Principles; ‘Al-Alfiya of Ibn Malik’ in Arabic Grammar In addition, he studied other sciences such as Rhetoric and the Science of Hadith.


Upon completing his studies, he taught at the school of al-Murabit al-Haj for over ten years. He also taught Jurisprudence and Legal Principles at Dar al-Mustafa (in Terim, Hadramawt) for a year. He was then appointed an Imam by the General Authority of Islamic Affairs and Endowments in the United Arab Emirates and has held this role for eight years where he also delivered Friday sermons. He currently occupies the official position of Mufti for Abu Dhabi in the UAE.

Mufti Muhammad Haddamin

Shaykh Mufti Abdur Rahman bin Muhammad bin Salek bin Fahfu. Is one of the greatest scholars living today.His father is more known in the west as the noble Shaykh Murabit al-Hajj. Shaykh Abdur Rahman is from the tribe of Massumi who trace their lineage back to the Himyar tribe of Yemen.

The Shaykh himself comes from a long line of scholars and is known throughout Mauritania and the world for his knowledge and piety. Shaykh Abdur Rahman is the senior son of Shaykh Murabit al-Hajj. The shaykh memorised the Quran at a young age and studied the sciences of reading the Quran. He then started studying Maliki fiqh and mastered all the major texts in the Maliki Fiqh such as al-Akhdari, Ibn Ashir, the Risalah of Ibn Abu Zayd, Ashal al-Masalik, Nazm Muqaddimah Ibn Rushd, Mukhtasar Khalil, and many more.​

The shaykh is a master in Maliki Fiqh. Shaykh Abdur Rahman has mastered over 18 sciences, including usul al-fiqh, hadith, inheritance, muamalat, Quran recitation (he knows all seven recitations), i’rab al-Quran, tafsir, mu’jizat al-Quran, and many more.The shaykh has served as an imam and mufti in Abu Dhabi, and currently lives with his family and children in the old quarters of Granada, Spain where he serves as the imam of Masjid al-Taqwa.

Mufti Abdur Rahman Ould al-Hajj

Shaykh Khatri's the brother of Murabit al-Hajj’s late wife, Maryam(May God have mercy on her)and a cousin and student of Murabit al-Hajj. Shaykh Khatry was one of the teachers of Hamza Yusuf. He is a man about whom Shaykh Hamza Yusuf said "knows the entire Qur'an like al-Fatiha".


He spent nine months in the late 90's in the San Francisco Bay Area, teaching Maliki fiqh and Ash`ari `aqida to numerous students from the many mosques in the area. During his stay in the Bay Area, Muslims took advantage of both his knowledge and his light, spending time in private association with him as well as in classes and listening to his Jumu`ah sermons

Shaykh Khatri bin Bwayba

Shaykh Muhammad Abul Huda al-Yaqoubi Al-Maliki

Born in Damascus on the 13th of Dhul Hijja, 1382 AH (1963 CE), Shaykh Sayyid Muhammad Abul Huda al-Yaqoubi is from a noble family of scholars that descend from the Prophet Muhammad (may Allah’s peace and blessings be upon him). From this household have emerged numerous renowned men of Allah who have taught the sacred sciences for many centuries. Shaykh Muhammad’s father, the light of Damascus and master of the Islamic disciplines, Sayyid Ibrahim al-Yaqoubi, was one of the greatest scholars of The Levant in recent times.


Shaykh Muhammad’s grandfather was a great scholar and Gnostic, Sayyid Ismail al-Yaqoubi; his father’s maternal uncle was Shaykh Arabi al-Yaqoubi and his paternal uncle was the famous Gnostic, Shaykh Sharif al-Yaqoubi. Amongst his blessed ancestors, three have held the Maliki Imamate at the Grand Umayyad Mosque in Damascus – may Allah envelope them all in His mercy.

Shaykh Muhammad traces his lineage back to the Prophet Muhammad (may Allah’s peace and blessings be upon him) through the great Mawlay Idris al-Anwar who built the city of Fes, a descendant of Sayyiduna al-Hasan the Second, who is the son of Sayyiduna al-Hasan (may Allah be pleased with him), the grandson of the Prophet (may Allah’s peace and blessings be upon him) and son of Sayyiduna Ali ibn Abi Talib (may Allah ennoble his countenance).

From an early age, Sayyid Ibrahim al-Yaqoubi supervised Shaykh Muhammad’s upbringing and tutelage. He accompanied his father until his demise in 1406 AH. Shaykh Ibrahim meticulously ensured that every aspect of his son’s life was developed with the most detailed care under the guidance of the Shari’a. For over twenty years, Shaykh Muhammad studied over 500 works with his father, in the sciences of Qur’an, Hadith (Prophetic traditions), Fiqh (Jurisprudence), Mantiq (Logic) and many more. His father gave him full authority to narrate Hadith, to teach and to issue fatawa (legal rulings). He also received many other ijazat (licenses to teach) from the most prominent scholars of Syria such as: the Hanafi Mufti of Syria, Shaykh Muhammad Abul Yusr Abidin; the Maliki Mufti of Syria, Sayyid Makki al-Kittani; Shaykh Ali al-Boudaylimi of Tlemcen; Shaykh Salih al-Khatib; and Shaykh Abdul Aziz Uyun al-Sud.


Some of the books Shaykh Muhammad studied under his father are as follows: most of the six books of Hadith, al-Muwatta of Yahya al-Laythi, most of al-Muwatta of Imam Muhammad with Sharh al-Laknawi, most of al-Muwafaqat of al-Shatibi, the first volume and other sections (of the five volumes) of al-Hashiya of Ibn Abidin, Ihya Ulum al-Din, al-Hidaya of al-Marghinani, Mughni al-Labib of Ibn Hisham, parts of Kitab Sibawayhi, Miyar al-Ilm of al-Ghazali, several volumes of Sharh Sahih Muslim of al-Nawawi, several volumes of Irshad al-Sari of al-Qastallani, half of Madarik al-Tawil of al-Nasafi, Hashiyat al-Sawi on Tafsir al-Jalalayn, three volumes of Mu’jam Maqayis al-Lugha of Ibn Faris, al-Bayan w’al-Tabyin of al-Jahiz, several volumes of Wafayat al-Ayan of Ibn Khallikan, and Tabaqat al-Shafi’iyya al-Kubra of Ibn al-Subki, and Maqamat al-Hariri. In fact, Shaykh Muhammad wrote a thabat (detailed list) of the names of the books he studied under his father entitled, “The Concealed Pearls”. This book is a testament to his father’s labour of love and the expenditure of his energy in passing on his knowledge and experience to his children, a rarity in our times.


In the summer of 1973 at the age of 11, Shaykh Muhammad started teaching a regular Qur’an and Tajwid class composed of a group of boys at the Darwishiyya Mosque in Damascus. He began giving public speeches in Ramadan after Asr prayer in the same mosque at the age of 12. At the age of 14, he made his debut as Friday speaker in the mosque known as al-Saadaat, where Sayyiduna Mu’adh ibn Jabal is buried. At the age of 17, he was appointed Friday Imam and speaker and as a teacher of the Sacred Knowledge at the age of 20. Since then, he has been teaching the Islamic sciences to students of all levels from all parts of the world. Shaykh Muhammad memorized Jawharat al-Tawhid when he was 5 years old, al-Arba’in al-Nawawiyya when he was 6, and later on, dozens of famous didactic odes and poems along with most of al-Qur’an al-Karim. He also memorized considerable parts of al-Mufaddaliyyaat and al-Hamasah of Abi Tammam. The first poem he wrote was at the age of 13, and it was a plea to the Prophet. His collection of poetry is growing, and a few poems in English have been added to it. Throughout the years of his study, Shaykh Muhammad went through extensive spiritual training in the path of Tasawwuf under his father, who was a great saint and spiritual guide known for his righteousness and asceticism. Shaykh Muhammad studied the major works of Tasawwuf under him. As well as accompanying him, he was his servant, his student and the bearer of his shoes, which he considers the key to the opening he received. The company of his father exposed him to a wealth of light, wisdom and knowledge, an experience that was far beyond what one may attain from books or from occasional meetings with teachers.


He is an authority in the science of Hadith; his asanid (chains of transmission) are of the highest amongst scholars of our time. Students and scholars visit him in Syria or when he travels, to hear the masalsalat and take ijaza in narration of Hadith. In his efforts to revive the tradition of Hadith recitals, he has taught al-Muwatta of Imam Malik, Sahih al-Bukhari, Sahih al-Muslim, Sunan Abi Dawud, Jami’ al-Tirmidhi and he intends to finish all the main six books of Hadith in the coming terms insha’Allah.


He has travelled extensively and participated in conferences, delivered lectures and taught intensive programmes. Additionally, he has delivered Friday speeches in Lebanon, Egypt, Jordan, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, Algeria, Pakistan, Denmark, Finland, Sweden, Norway, Switzerland, Germany, France, Spain, Canada, the United States, Indonesia, Singapore, South Africa, Morocco and the UK. Over a thousand people have embraced Islam at his hands and many have repented after listening to him. He is a scion of the prophetic household, a torch bearer in this time and a charismatic public speaker in both Arabic and English.


Sayyid Muhammad al-Yaqoubi’s incredible training at the hands of several luminaries of this ummah, most notably his father, have propelled him to rank among the leading scholars of Islam in the world today. He currently resides in Damascus and is a public teacher at some of the most prestigious institutions there. He teaches Aqida (theology) at the Grand Umayyad Mosque; he holds the position of Jumu’a Khatib (Friday speaker) at the Jami’ al-Hasan Mosque; at the Mosque of Shaykh Muhyiddin Ibn Arabi, he teaches from al-Risalah of Imam al-Qushayri and al-Shama’il al-Muhammadiyyah of Imam al-Tirmidhi.

May Allah preserve him for the benefit of the ummah. Ameen.

Twitter - @ShaykhAbdulHuda

Mufti Abdullah Bin Bayyah


Shaykh Abdullah Bin Bayyah was born in 1935 in the East of Mauritania. He is a scholar who grew up in a house known for its scholarship; his father Shaykh Mahfoudh Ben Bayah, may God have mercy on him, was one of the region’s eminent scholars and the head of the Conference of Mauritanian Scholars established after the country’s independence.

He studied in the Mauritanian centers of learning known as Mahadhir especially the school of his father Shaykh Mahfoudh Ben Bayah in which all the sacred sciences were taught including: jurisprudence, legal theory, syntax, language, rhetoric, Quranic exegesis and its auxiliary sciences, and the science of Prophetic tradition.

He was able to progress rapidly in these sciences and was successful in the exam set by the Judiciary after independence.

He was sent to study law at the Faculty of Law in Tunisia and was trained in the Tunisian courts in 1961. Twelve judges were chosen and each of them presented a research paper in Juristic method and law and Abdullah Bin Bayyah was first in his group.

Shaykh Salek is from Mauritania, West Africa, a country known for producing some of the Muslim world's most knowledgeable scholars.


He studied for over 17 years in the famous mountain region of Taganat, from numerous accomplished scholars including Murabit al-Hajj, one of the greatest scholars of our age. In addition to memorizing the entire Quran in two of its recitations, he has studied and mastered some of the most advanced texts in the disciplines of Islamic jurisprudence (fiqh), arabic grammer (nahu), doctrinal creed (aqida), prophetic narration (hadith), and the study of the life of the Prophet Muhammad, peace be upon him (seerah). From a family tracing its lineage back to the Prophet, peace be upon him, himself, he is respected and widely regarded amongst his peers as a scholar of the highest caliber.


He currently runs a school in Mauritania teaching the Quran, Islamic law, and numerous other subjects to children and adults of all ages.

Shaykh Salek Bin Siddina

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