Saturday, July 4, 2009

Suhaib Webb

Suhaib Webb is a contemporary American Muslim activist and speaker.[1]



[edit] Biography

[edit] Early life

He was born William Webb in 1972 in Oklahoma, where he grew up in a Christian[2] At age 14, he lost interest in religion going through a self-described spiritual crisis. He also began engaging in delinquency by joining a local gang and became a successful local Hip-Hop DJ, making records with various artists. family, where his grandfather was a preacher.

[edit] Conversion to Islam

He first encountered Islam through Muslim contacts in the music industry. At the age of 17, he received a copy of the Quran, the Muslim Holy Book. He experienced a three-year period of exposure to Islam through local Muslim acquaintances as his life became increasingly dominated by his gang violence. His involvement in a drive-by shooting was his “wakeup call.” [3] He then became a Muslim in 1992 at the age of twenty, and took the name Suhaib.

[edit] Education

After converting to Islam, Webb left his career as a DJ and studied at the University of Central Oklahoma, where he graduated with a Bachelor's degree in Education. He also studied privately under a Senegalese Sheikh, learning enough Islam and Arabic to become a community leader in Oklahoma City, where he was hired as Imam at The Islamic Society of Greater Oklahoma City. [4] He simultaneously starting teaching at Mercy School, an Islamic K-12 school in Oklahoma City. In 2004, he departed with his wife and children to Cairo, where he currently studies at Al-Azhar University in the College of Shariah.

[edit] Career

Apart from his studies, he frequently lectures in the United States and United Kingdom, and records commercial lecture series on Islam and contemporary Muslim matters. During his time off from Al-Azhar University, he resides in the Silicon Valley of the San Francisco Bay area. Suhaib Webb is an active member of the Muslim American Society and its youth department and has been so for the last ten years. It is through the Muslim American Societies scholarship program that he was sent to Egypt to attain fluency in Arabic and focus on Islamic studies. [5] Additionally, Webb is a qualified instructor of the AlMaghrib Institute, took part in The Radical Middle Way movement, and blogs frequently offering Islamic perspectives on modern-day issues such as community involvement and social relevance. [6]

[edit] Reputation

Webb has widespread respect as a sensible Muslim leader. UK government officials were recently quoted in The Guardian defining Webb as a “moderate leader” along with the likes of Hamza Yusuf and Amr Khaled.[7]

[edit] Views & Accomplishments

Despite being a full-time student, Webb continues his work as an Imam. He is a student of Maliki fiqh and a hafidh of the Quran in multiple Qira'at. [8] Webb helped raise $20,000 for widows and children of firefighters killed in the 9/11 attack. [9] Webb has been an advocate for grassroots Muslim activism to promote social change. [10] He has also strongly advocated for an articulation of American Islam that is authentically Islamic with leaders that are acutely aware of the issues facing Muslim Americans. [11]

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