Monday, 21 May 2012

Biografi Zaid Syakir

Birth Name: Ricky D. Mitchell
Islamic Name: Zaid Shakir
Profession: Islamic Scholar and Writer

Imam Zaid Shakir (born Ricky D. Mitchell, 1956) is a prominent American Islamic Scholar, and Writer, who moved with his family in 2003 to serve as a Professor and Lecturer at Zaytuna College in California, United States, where he now teaches regular courses on Arabic, Law, History, and Islamic Spirituality. He is one of the signatories of A Common Word Between Us and You, an open letter by Islamic scholars to Christian leaders. It has become the world’s leading interfaith dialogue initiative between Christians and Muslims.

Born in Berkeley, California and spent his formative years in Connecticut, he accepted Islam in 1977 while serving in the United States Air Force and shortly after changed his name to Zaid Salim Shakir. A summa cum laude graduate, he obtained a BA in International Relations at American University in Washington, D.C. and later earned his MA in Political Science at Rutgers University. While at Rutgers, he led a successful campaign for disinvestment from South Africa, and co-founded a local Islamic center, Masjid al-Huda.

After a year of studying Arabic in Cairo, Egypt, he settled in New Haven, Connecticut and continued his community activism, co-founding Masjid al-Islam, the Tri-State Muslim Education Initiative, and the Connecticut Muslim Coordinating Committee. As Imam of Masjid al-Islam from 1988 to 1994 he spear-headed a community renewal and grassroots anti-drug effort, also accepted the position as Professor and taught political science and Arabic at Southern Connecticut State University. He served as an interfaith council Chaplain at Yale University and developed the Chaplaincy Sensitivity Training for physicians at Yale New Haven Hospital. Zaid Shakir participates as a speaker at Islamic Society of North America annual conferences.

Zaid Shakir then left for Syria to pursue his studies in the traditional Islamic Sciences. For seven years in Syria, and briefly in Morocco, he immersed himself in an intense study of Arabic, Islamic law, Quranic studies, and spirituality with some of the top Muslim scholars of our age. In 2001, he was the first American graduate from Syria's prestigious Abu Nour University and returned to Connecticut, serving again as the Imam of Masjid al-Islam, and writing and speaking frequently on a host of issues.

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