Imam Mowlid Ali: My Mishkah Journey
Imam Mowlid graduated from Mishkah University with a Bachelors and Masters in Sharia. He is currently pursuing his Doctorate degree. He is the Imam of Jamaat Ibad Ar-Rahman in Durham, North Carolina. A Hafidh of the Quran, he is also the founder of Al-Misbah Quran Academy and has been an avid teacher and mentor of many young hufaadh, as well as a teacher of different Islamic classical texts to both adults and youth.
Bismillah. I currently serve my community as an Imam. Everything I learned in Mishkah is vital in my profession. I started Mishkah University in the fall of 2006, when it was Sharia Academy of America. Two giants were my gateway to the university: Dr. Salah As-Sawy and Dr. Hatem Al-Haj. These two great scholars, truly, exemplify the statement of the Prophet S.A.W: Welcome Student of Knowledge. They welcomed me with open arms and hearts and became part of my journey to seeking knowledge.
“O Allah, facilitate for me the path to knowledge” – this dua was my most constant companion. I used to make lots of dua. One day I entered our Masjid and gazed at the announcement table and I saw a flyer: Fiqh of Zakah by Dr. Salah As-Sawy and Dr. Hatem Al-Haj. I felt peace in my heart. I knew this seminar would help me to get to know the Shaykhs and I attended it with much enthusiasm. Throughout, I sat in the front row, with a pen and a notebook. Shaykh Salah’s eloquence and his deep knowledge of fiqh is beyond description.
Allah is the facilitator. It began with a man whose name I did not know nor his ethnicity. All I knew about him is that he is a Muslim. He sat next to me throughout the seminar, though we didn’t talk to each other. He was very calm and shy. He didn’t know that I was interested in seeking knowledge other than attending the seminar, like anyone else. When the two Shaykhs completed their course, I went back home, not knowing there will be a presentation about the University.
I left; the gentleman stayed to listen to the presentation. He subsequently approached Dr. Salah and stated his intention to sponsor my studies at the University. I came back to the Masjid for Maghrib and Dr. Salah asked me the name of the person who sponsored my education. I said, “Ya shaykh I don’t know who you are talking about.” This brother never discussed with me anything about seeking knowledge. Until now, I don’t know his name. In fact, I asked once about his name and he responded with humility: “Mowlid, you don’t need to know my name, just keep studying and pray for me”. Indeed, Allah is the facilitator.
That’s another great thing about Mishkah: the curriculum and the instructors. Mishkah selects the best teacher for every course. Each course’s objectives are well articulated in the beginning of the course. I was enrolled in the Arabic program, so most of my teachers were Arabic speaking professors from Al-Azhar university. My teachers had formidable credentials in their respected field and I enjoyed each and every lesson.
Mishkah is the right place for every student of knowledge. Without Mishkah I wouldn’t be where I am today. I am able to serve my community with knowledge due to the education I received and I’m grateful for Mishkah. All praise is due to Allah.