Faraz Rabbani

Toronto, Canada

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Shaykh Faraz describes himself as a "global nomad", as he spent his childhood in Canada, England, Egypt, and Spain, before returning to Canada to complete his high school and university studies. Having come from so many places, when he began to reflect on who he was, he discovered the only clear answer was "a Muslim."

And so began his journey as a student of knowledge. At university, he became active with the Muslim Students Association at a local and national level. He helped develop MSA National's MSA Starter's Guide and founded and ran The Muslim Voice, MSA University of Toronto's magazine, now in its 17th year. He also founded and ran the first online African news service (Africa-N), and worked as an editor on his college paper, The Strand.

Even while completing his Bachelors in Economics and Commerce at the University of Toronto, Shaykh Faraz developed a deep interest in Islamic learning, studying with local scholars such as Shaykh Talal al-Ahdab and Shaykh Faisal Abdur-Razak. After graduating from the University of Toronto in 1997, he and his wife (Ustadha Shireen Ahmed) travelled to Damascus and then to Amman, where he studied with leading Islamic scholars, including Shaykh Adib Kallas (Allah have mercy upon him), Shaykh Hassaan al-Hindi, Shaykh Muhammad Jumuah, Shaykh Akram Abd al-Wahhab, and Shaykh Nuh Keller. In 2001, Shaykh Faraz began answering questions for his family and friends online; this grew into the Hanafi Fiqh list at Yahoo Groups. On the advice of his teachers, the SunniPath web site was created, which featured both a question/answer service and online Islamic courses.

After ten years overseas, Shaykh Faraz returned to Canada in the Summer of 2007. In May 2008 he founded SeekersGuidance to deal with the urgent need to spread Islamic knowledge--both online and on the ground--in a reliable, relevant, inspiring, and accessible manner.

With fellow SeekersGuidance teachers Shaykh Yahya Rhodus and Shaykh Omar Qureshi, Shaykh Faraz hopes to establish a model Islamic seminary that will produce Islamic scholars of the highest caliber, through excellence in teaching, curriculum, spiritual training, and a deep spirit of service--with knowledge of both religion and contemporary social and intellectual realities. Shaykh Faraz also serves as a partner and legal advisor with StraightWay Ethical Advisory.

He is the author of Absolute Essentials of Islam: Faith, Prayer, and the Path of Salvation According to the Hanafi School (White Thread Press, 2004.) In 2009, Shaykh Faraz was named one of the 500 most influential Muslims by the Royal Islamic Strategic Studies Center.

His personal interests include reading, both in English and Arabic. He is very interested in management, economics, environmental matters, international development, technology (especially in its social, human, and spiritual impact), law, theology, and spirituality. He loves classical Islamic poetry and singing--but cautions that moderation is needed in listening to even permissible music, as the Qur'an should be given primacy in one's life over all other interests.

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