MSA Showdown: Retreat 2017

Gatlinburg TN

Apr 14 - 16, 2017

The purpose of MSA Showdown: Retreat 2017 is to unify MSAs for the sake of Allah. It serves as a forum for efficient and effective interaction between MSAs across the United States. The committee focuses on facilitating networking and training/development, and operates with the understanding that through cooperation we can achieve much more than we can accomplish individually.

Under the guidance of the MSA Lone star council, MSA showdown has been connecting MSAs to one another and to useful resources. the goal is to create a network where MSAs can discuss possible solutions to problems and exchange ideas that help these organizations reach their highest potential. Additionally, we are focusing on leadership development for the executive officers to provide them with practical tools to manage their MSA board.  

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Ustadh Nadeem Siddiqi

UTK Muslim Chaplain

Bio: Ustadh Nadeem Siddiqi grew up in Knoxville and has lived here since 1977. He graduated from the University of Tennessee with a degree in economics in 2002 and from Tayseer Seminary in 2016. He is a past board member of MCK and a current board member of Annoor Academy, ACO, American Muslim Advisory Council, and Tayseer Seminary. Ustadh Nadeem serves as a Muslin Chaplain in the local prisons and at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville for the Muslim Student Association. He is a student of Shaykh Hassan Lachheb and Ustadha Zaynab Ansari. He also serves as adjunct faculty for Tayseer Seminary where he teaches a course in activism. Ustadh Nadeem is a local investor and advisor to businesses ranging from healthcare, IT services, real estate, and hospitality industries including start-ups.

Shaykh Hassan Lachheb

Tayseer Seminary

Bio: President and co-founder of Tayseer Seminary, Shaykh Hassan Lachheb earned his Ph.D. in Religious Studies at the University of Indiana, Bloomington. His academic research focused on the intellectual history and religiosity of the Muslims of Maghrib and Andalus. Shaykh Hassan completed his M.A. in Islamic Theology, Islamic Legal Theory, and Maliki Jurisprudence at Dar al-Hadith al-Hassaniyyah for Higher Islamic Studies in Rabat, Morocco with honors in 2000. In addition, he completed his B.A. with distinction in Arabic Language and Literature at Mohamed V University in Rabat. Shaykh Hassan has extensively studied several disciplines including Principles of Jurisprudence (Usul al-Fiqh), Arabic Grammar, Philology, and Literature. He has also received many ijazaat (licenses to teach) from prominent scholars in Hadith, Comparative Jurisprudence (fiqh), and the Sciences of Quran. He has studied under several of the foremost Islamic scholars in Morocco. Shaykh Hassan is the resident scholar of the Muslim Community of Knoxville and the spearheading faculty member of the Tayseer Seminary. He currently resides in Knoxville with his wife and three children.

Ustadh AbdelRahman Murphy

Qalam Institute

Bio: Ustadh AbdelRahman Murphy is a graduate of the University of Illinois at Chicago, with a Bachelor’s in Teaching of English and Religious Studies. He is currently pursuing his Master’s in Mental Health Counseling. He has served as a youth director, Muslim chaplain, and assistant imam in a full-time capacity since 2009. His Islamic studies background includes completing an Imam Certificate Program in Makkah, Saudi Arabia under the mentorship and training of Shaykh Khalid Hilwany. While growing up in the Chicagoland area, he spent two years studying at Riyadh As Saliheen Institute under Shaykhs Ehab Ash-Shaer and Abu Abdullah. While finishing his university studies, he benefitted directly from the training and teaching of Professor Omer Mozaffar in areas of Quran and texts of Imam Ghazali. After graduating with his BA, Ustadh AbdelRahman moved to Dallas, where he began reading classical texts with Shaykh AbdulNasir Jangda. In May of 2014, he formally graduated from the Qalam Seminary’s one-year program. Currently, he is continuing his study of the Quran and Imam Ghazali’s text with Professor Omer Mozaffar, and is working to complete his coursework of the Dars-e-Nizami curriculum directly with Shaykh AbdulNasir Jangda.

Ustadha Zaynab Ansari

Tayseer Seminary

Bio: Zaynab Ansari spent a decade studying Farsi, Arabic, and traditional Islam, sitting with male and female scholars in seminaries in the Middle East, including traditional scholars in Damascus in the 1990s. Upon her return to the United States, she earned degrees in history and Middle Eastern Studies from Georgia State University. Since 2014, Zaynab Ansari has served as a scholar-in-residence for Tayseer Foundation, offering enrichment courses and halaqahs to women and youth in the Muslim Community of Knoxville, and working on interfaith dialogue. She is currently an instructor at Tayseer Seminary, which features a one-year intensive in Islamic Studies, drawing students from Tennessee and all regions of the United States. Ustadha Zaynab has previously written and taught for SunniPath. She has been a freelance writer for Azizah Magazine, a certified speaker with the Islamic Speakers Bureau of Atlanta, and a contributor to online Islamic educational portals such as SeekersHub. She has also served as the coordinator of oral histories for the After Malcolm Project, a digital archive of African-American Muslim history. She is part of the teaching faculty of the Ribaat Program, an online Islamic Studies curriculum led by Anse Tamara Gray, a leading woman scholar of traditional Islam. She is also a board member of Lamppost Productions.

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