Dr. Musharraf Hussain is a Sunni Scholar and the chief Executive of Karimia Institute Nottingham. He came to Britain from Pakistan in 1966 with his parents to the town of Halifax, where he memorized the Quran, learned Tajweed and basic Quranic Arabic.
After completing a degree in Biochemistry at Aston University, he went on to gain a Science doctorate. He worked as a Scientist till 1990 and then decided to dedicate himself to serving the Muslim community. He studied the Islamic sciences at a seminary in Pakistan under the guidance of Justice Pir Muhammad Karam Shah and then at Al-Azhar University, Cairo.
He was awarded an OBE in 2008 for his services to community relations in Britain. Formerly he was the director of the PGCE teacher training course and vice-chair of the Association of Muslim Schools (2000-2003) as well as the chairman of the Christian Muslim forum (2008-2010).
In this episode, I had the pleasure of talking to Sh. Mustapha Khattab. We talked about his life story as well as what inspired him to write the new English translation of the Quran: Clear Quran.
Dr. Mustafa Khattab is a Canadian-Egyptian authority on interpreting the Quran. He was a member of the first team that translated the Ramadan night prayers (Tarawîḥ) live from the Sacred Mosque in Mecca and the Prophet’s Mosque in Medina (2002-2005). Dr. Khattab memorized the entire Quran at a young age and later obtained a professional ijâzah in the Ḥafṣ style of recitation with a chain of narrators going all the way to Prophet Muḥammad ﷺ.
He received his Ph.D., M.A., and B.A. in Islamic Studies in English with Honors from Al-Azhar University’s Faculty of Languages & Translation. He lectured on Islam at Clemson University (OLLI Program, 2009-2010), held the position of Lecturer at Al-Azhar University for over a decade starting in 2003, and served as the Muslim Chaplain at Brock University (2014-2016).
He is a member of the Canadian Council of Imams, a Fulbright Interfaith Scholar, and an iERA-Canada Outreach Specialist. He has served as an Imam in the U.S.A. and Canada since 2007 and is the translator of The Clear Quran (2015), the author of The Nation of Islam (2011) and Outfoxing Fox News (2017), and contributor to the Encyclopedia of Muslim American History (2010). His forthcoming works include Qamus-ul-Quran (The Clear Quran Dictionary), The Clear Quran for Kids, and Shukran (children’s story). He's currently the senior Imam of the Anatolia Islamic Centre, Mississauga, Canada.
Yvonne Maffei is a self-taught chef, food & travel writer, cookbook author, e-commerce entrepreneur, public speaker, food industry consultant, niche consumer marketing expert, and the founder of the first blog on halal food & cooking, MyHalalKitchen.com.
She gives cooking classes, presentations on the meaning of halal, and educates about conscious cooking and healthy eating. She consults food brands, schools, and hospitals on how to understand and source for halal ingredients and methods in cooking for food and cosmetic products.
Her book titles include Clean Your Kitchen Green (2010), Summer Ramadan Cooking (2013), and My Halal Kitchen: Global Recipes, Cooking Tips, Lifestyle Inspiration (2016).
She has been an invited guest at the White House under the Obama Administration, a special counselor to the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, a guest speaker at such prestigious events as the recent World Halal Summit in Istanbul, Turkey (2018), and a consultant to Aramark Corporation for the first-ever all-halal university dining facility at New York University in Manhattan.
She divides her time between the USA and Turkey and is working on a healing cookbook about holistic cooking and lifestyle, as well as conducting research on the superfoods of the Turkish Aegean & Mediterranean region.
Sajjad Chowdhry is an entrepreneur and management professional who draws on a diverse range of experience in startups, commercial real estate finance, Islamic finance, structured finance, investment, and trade & manufacturing, along with his strong academic pedigree.
In this episode, we discussed leadership in Muslim communities. I hope you will enjoy this as much as I did.
Today Khalid is a Conversion Rate Optimization expert. It means he helps companies sell more by improving their websites.
However, he started his business journey as a book store owner at the age of 12.
In this episode, we discussed many lessons from human psychology: why we do what we do.
I hope you will learn a lesson or two not only how to improve your site only, but your habits as well :)
Rafi is one of the thought leaders when it comes to Islamic Economy. Here is why I say this.
He is the managing director of Dinar Standard and Rafi and his team has been publishing "Islamic Economy Reports" in partnership with Thomson Reuters for the global Muslim market.
He is one of the very few people I know who are smart and humble. This is why he is not only a good friend but first and foremost one of my mentors and advisors.
In this episode, we discussed how we can as a Muslim ummah transform from consumers to contributors to serve God by serving humanity.
Siddiqa Juma is an award-winning Muslim graphic artist. In this episode, we discussed creativity in Islam and as Muslims in our current time.
We also discussed her journey to the house of Allah one painting at a time which is a recurring theme in her artwork.
Osama is the founder of Mocha7 - a product innovation design and launch studio based in Seattle, USA.
He is also a mentor at Founder Academy among other things.
In this episode, we discussed how he pivoted in his career towards being a purpose-driven path.
He recently started a campaign to support the orphans with other Muslim photographers. Their charity campaign - http://ForYatim.com - is in its last week. Check it out if you haven't yet.
In this episode, I talked to Usman Majid. He is also a podcaster and you should check his podcast as well.
Usman's journey via identity crisis is something we all can learn from.
Hope you will enjoy this talk as much as I did.
Shelina is a vice president at Ogilvy Noor.
She helped in establishing Ogilvy Noor's pioneering role in the growing Islamic branding and marketing industry, and the growth of the Muslim consumer market, as well as establishing our thought leadership.
She is also an author. She wrote Generation M and A Love in a headscarf.
But it all started with taking an action. Listen to the episode to discover her story.
Almir Colan is a Director at the Australian Centre for Islamic Finance (AUSCIF) and CEO at Olive Investments. Almir is also an advisor to a number of institutions that provide Islamic finance services.
In this episode, we discussed a bit about his childhood and Bosnia where he grew up. We also discussed a bit of history, Islamic Finance, and cryptocurrencies as well.
In this episode, we had a heart to heart talk with a dear friend of mine Chris Abdur-Rahman Blauvelt.
While some of you have heard of his website Launch Good - a Kickstarter for Muslims, do you know his life story?
This is exactly what this episode all about. Enjoy.
Yusuf is originally from Bangladesh but he lived most of his childhood in the blessed city of Mecca. Life was good until one day his family got a notice that they have to leave the country. It changed everything.
Listen to this story full of adventure how it is to start from scratch in a new country and eventually he made it to America where he helps other entrepreneurs with their websites and online presence.
Nazir was raised in a family environment that some of us may call broken. It is not what happens to you, but what you do with it counts.
Today he is a father of 10 children and a Muslim parenting coach.
Listen to this episode to discover his story what led him to make this 180 degrees change.
Halil Demir started a local Muslim charity just months before 9/11.
Now it is a multimillion-dollar international relief organization: www.zakat.org.
Often we only see what is in front of our eyes and tend to forget how things are always in the years in the making.
What you might not know that he is originally from a farmer's family where he started taking care of the animals at the age of 6-7.
In this episode, we go back, way back when he started volunteering and helping those in need first in his home country in Turkey.
Later he continued his volunteer work while studying in Europe. Today Zakat Foundation of America is one of the leading Muslim charities in the world helping the needy.
We also discussed his book "9 Myths About Muslim Charities" and some funny stories Mr. Halil deals with as a Muslim charity in the US.
Harun Rashid is a serial entrepreneur. He is also the co-founder of Islamic Design House - a pioneering modest fashion brand.
In recent years, he was involved in MEN - Muslim Enterperenuer Network and Leverage Program where his integrity was put to test.
It was a difficult conversation. However, we still need to talk about these issues in our community to learn from our mistakes.
I hope you will enjoy this episode and let us know what you think.
It is a shameless plug :)
Following the advice from Chris - the founder of Launch Good, I have decided to share my story as well.
It is awkward to talk about yourself so I asked another good friend of mine Baba Ali to interview me.
By the way, you can also read more about me here:
Hope you will enjoy this episode and let me know what you think.
Here you can learn more about our projects:
Tody Tarek Fahim runs Endure Capital - a successful VC based in Palo Alto, California. He was also one of the early investors in the ride-hailing app Careem which recently got acquired by Uber.
Tarek was born and raised in Kuwait by Egyptian engineer parents. His parents set an example by helping others in the community.
This lesson in helping others towards fulfillment as a human being pushed him forward all throughout his life. This is why he created an NGO Alboraq while studying at the university as an engineer.
Later in his career, he always felt this itch for helping others more than just working as an engineer. This led him to study his MBA, then starting his own startup from scratch later helping other entrepreneurs as a VC.
At the end of the day, we invest in people. Companies may succeed or fail. People are the right thing to "bet" on.
Listen to the full episode for the hidden gems and once how he almost became a dentist :)
Br. Anas was born and raised in England. Growing up he began to notice the materialistic nature of his surroundings and it felt like a "cold" and "empty" place. He was looking for a greater purpose in life.
Fortunately, he went to an ethnically diverse school where he could get a glimpse of different views of the world. He also noticed that in general people with religion seemed happier compared to those who lived their lives without one. Eventually, this intention to live with religion led him to Islam.
His love for Islamic knowledge was so intense so he migrated to the Middle East to study Islam. He visited Mecca for hajj during this time. It was then he envisioned a Muslim clothing brand to enable more beautiful and modest options for ever-growing Ummah. Shukr Clothing was born.
After World War II in 1947, there was a division of British ruled lands into India and Pakistan. Many Muslim families started migrating to Pakistan. Br. Arif's dad was one of these immigrants. When he came to Pakistan he almost had nothing but a suitcase of books. In other words, he had to start from scratch in a new land. He loved books and the books helped him to rediscover himself again as one of the leading book publishers after many years in Pakistan.
In 1980, there was a change in the air. This time it was a "computer revolution". His dad bought a computer to learn the new possibilities and what it may mean for his book publishing business. For br. Arif and his brothers, the computer was a new toy where they can play games. The boys soon started learning more about coding to develop their own games.
This sense of curiosity led br. Arif to dive deep into computer programming. Today his company PAK Data is among the pioneers for the Global Muslim market with apps as Quran Majeed and other Islamic apps with over 40 million app installs worldwide. Listen to the full episode to discover how br. Arif started his journey.
Sabiha and her parents migrated from India to the USA when she was one year old. It was another 8 years before she could visit India again. While she enjoyed the visit she also noticed the vast difference between these two worlds.
Much later when she was at the right age, she was introduced to her future husband during one of these visits. You may call it an arranged marriage, but for Sabiha and her father, it was uplifting and helping a community member similar to what her parents did.
Even though it started with helping one more fellow human being towards a better life, this marriage ended up being much more productive.
It turns out that her husband Faisal Masood is a serial entrepreneur and one of those Muslims on "fire".
Faisal and Sabiha are the co-founders of AMCC. It is a non-profit organization to empower Muslim startups and entrepreneurs.
Sometimes all it takes is just one email to change someone's life course to 180 degrees. This is what happened to our guest in this episode.
Muhammad's life was just the way he wanted. He was working at a bank and making a good living.
Until one day he received an email. He discovered he could no longer keep doing what he was doing and had to quit his job.
What would you do in this case? Listen to the full episode to find out what Muhammad did and where he is today.
He was adopted as the 11th child. His home was so tight that he had to sleep under a dining table instead of a bed.
Today he is the CEO and Founder of Brainy Bunch - Islamic Montessori Schools. It is over 100+ schools today and they teach to 6000+ students.
It may seem far fetched, but there is a deep connection where he was raised and what he does today. Listen to the full episode to discover the links.
Sh. Ismail Kamdar was born in South Africa. He lost his father at an early age. He also started his Islamic education at 13 initially to please his mom. Soon he found himself in the ocean of Islamic knowledge and he loved it so he became a life long student.
For many, this would be enough for a lifetime, but not for Sh. Ismail. He wants to follow Abu Hanifa in his footsteps to be financially independent so he can serve without compromising his integrity.
He started his transition five years ago by tapping into entrepreneurship. Alhamdulilah, he is halfway there as of today.
It is a story of life long learning, endurance and patience.
Shahed studied to be an engineer as his father. Yet he ended up pursuing a career as a serial entrepreneur. Among others, he is the founder of Zabihah (www.zabihah.com) - the original halal guide for halal restaurants. Today he is a managing director at a private equity firm Frost Capital.
Today he shares 3 ways to serve your community as a Muslim and the best way to serve others that will benefit everyone.
Ali had everything: money, cars, girls, and anything he ever wanted. Yet he felt empty inside. Something was missing.
Today he is a serial entrepreneur and a Muslim comedian with a purpose. Let’s discover his transformation story from the man himself.
Imagine you studied 7 years to be an architect. At the last moment, before you take your last exam, you find yourself in a life-changing car accident that turns your world upside down.
This is exactly what happened to Sr. Saiyyidah. Listen to discover her journey how she ascended from this calamity and how she is helping other Muslim women to excel via positive psychology.
Salam and welcome to Muslims On Fire!
It is a podcast about the stories of ordinary Muslims doing extraordinary things.
I am your host, Maruf.
It is a trailer episode and a little background info on why I am creating this podcast.