20 Years Since My Wife and I Went to Damascus
This week marks 20 years since my wife (Ustadha Shireen Ahmed) and I headed out to Damascus. It was August 28, 1997. We had been married for a year, just graduated from the University of Toronto.
With the direction and encouragement of our teachers and mentors — Shaykh Talal Ahdab, Sidi Nazim Baksh, Shaykh Nuh Keller, and others — we made our way to Damascus, Syria.
The ten years we spent overseas were a blessing. There were numerous challenges, but there were also numerous openings. In Damascus, we had access to living giants of Islamic scholarship. Shaykh Adib Kallas, then approaching 80, made himself available after Fajr several days a week for students to study with him from home. I was also able to sit almost daily with both Shaykh Muhammad Jumuah and Shaykh Hassan al-Hindi.
Shaykh Adeeb Kallas
Shaykh Hassan al-Hindy
Shaykh Mumen al-Annan
This week, we finished teaching an intermediate level text in Islamic beliefs—Imam Sawi’s commentary on Jawharat al-Tawhid—with a group of dedicated seminary-track students at SeekersHub Toronto.
This was a text that I began studying, 20 years ago, soon after arriving in Damascus — I remember the date: September 21st, 1997—with Shaykh Mumen al-Annan.
Shaykh Mumen was a young scholar; a student of Shaykh Abd al-Rahman al-Shaghouri, Shaykh al-Bouti, and others. He embodied—both in his knowledge and his character—the way of the scholars of Sham. It took us the better part of a year to cover this 400-page text in intermediate Islamic beliefs.
At SeekersHub Global, we are striving to facilitate this direct study and mentorship—to transmit both reliable Islamic knowledge, but also transmit the beautiful way of guidance, character, and Prophetic concern.
Our aim is to establish a Global Islamic Seminary that frees up qualified, traditionally-trained scholars around the world to teach, guide, and give mentorship; and to support deserving students around the world, to cover a complete curriculum of Islamic studies.
To do this, we need your support.
SeekersHub Global urgently needs to reach $75,000 in monthly donations to sustain and grow our online seminary; our guidance services; and to be able to serve seekers across the globe. We are currently at $54,000, with a shortfall of $21,000.
If you’re not yet a monthly donor, I’m asking you to become one today. Give generously to help us build a Global Islamic Seminary that will, insha’Allah, produce the next generation of Islamic scholars.