Shaykh Furhan Zubairi — Dean of IOK Seminary

Shaykh Furhan Zubairi was born in 1983 in Indianapolis, Indiana. Shortly thereafter, he moved and spent most of his youth in Southern California, graduating from high school in Irvine in 2001. He began his pursuit of Islamic knowledge and spirituality at the Institute of Knowledge (IOK) in 1998, where he started the memorization of the Qur’an and studied the primary books in the Islamic Sciences and Arabic language. After starting college, he took a break and went to Karachi, Pakistan, for 9 months to complete the memorization of the Qur’an at Jami’ah Binoria. He returned home and completed his B.S. in Biological Sciences from the University of California, Irvine in 2005. He then traveled to Egypt to further his studies of the Arabic language. Thereafter, his pursuit of Islamic knowledge led him back to Pakistan, where he completed a formal ‘Alamiyyah degree (Masters in Arabic and Islamic Studies) at the famous Jami’ah Dar Al-’Ulum in Karachi. He has obtained numerous ijazat (traditional licenses) in the six canonical books of hadith, as well as the Muwata of Imam Malik and Imam Muhammad, and has also received certification in the field of Islamic Finance. Shaykh Furhan Zubairi serves as the Dean of the Seminary and Extension Programs at the Institute of Knowledge in Diamond Bar, CA. He regularly delivers sermons and lectures at various Islamic Centers and events in southern California.

Shaykh Ahmad AlKurdy — Instructor

Shaykh Ahmad AlKurdy is an alumnus of the Islamic University of Medina with a BA from the Faculty of Law. He received his formal training in the study of Islam and the Arabic language in Syria, Saudi Arabia, and Southern California. He was raised in the San Fernando Valley, and is a former student of the University of California at Riverside. While studying abroad, he regularly returned home and served the local community in LA County, Orange County and the Inland Empire. He has served the community in multiple capacities and has been a regular guest speaker and lecturer at numerous Islamic Centers, colleges and events. After spending ten years in the Prophet’s City of Madinah, he has returned home to Southern California and joined the Institute of Knowledge (IOK) in Diamond Bar as an Instructor in the Seminary and Extension Programs, as well as a University Chaplain. He is also an Instructor and Faculty Member for the New Muslim Academy (NMA).

Shaykh Ahmed Billoo — Instructor

Shaykh Ahmed Billoo was born and raised in Southern California, and by God’s grace, he memorized the Qur’an at a young age. He has been active with various organizations and Islamic Centers for several years, delivering sermons, lectures, and leading prayers. He studied in Cairo, Egypt in 2006, and in 2007 was granted a scholarship to study at the Islamic University of Madinah. He completed an associate’s degree in the Arabic language and then went on to graduate from the College of Sharia (Islamic Jurisprudence). He currently resides in Southern California with his wife and daughters, serves as the Religious Director of the Islamic Center of Cypress, and is an instructor at the Institute of Knowledge Seminary in Diamond Bar, California.

Shaykh Jameel Besada — Instructor

Shaykh Jameel Besada was born and raised in Southern California, and converted to Islam in 2003. He graduated from UCSD in 2007 with a major in Spanish Literature and minor in International Migration Studies. Thereafter, he traveled to the Prophet’s city of Madinah to study at the Islamic University of Madinah, where he graduated from the College of Shariah in 2017. Currently, he is the Associate Religious Director at the Islamic Society of Corona-Norco (ISCN), an instructor at the Institute of Knowledge (IOK) Seminary, and Associate Chaplain serving the Muslim student community at Cal State University of Long Beach (CSULB).

Ustadha Yafa Aweinat — Instructor

Born and raised in Arizona and Southern California, Ustadha Yafa Aweinat has been teaching the recitation, memorization, and meaning of the Qur’an in many different capacities for the last decade. She completed the memorization of the Qur’an in 2009 and since then has continued her study of the science of tajweed and the different recitations of the Qur’an under various teachers. In 2011, she graduated from the Bayyinah Dream program which focused on learning Qur’anic Arabic. Yafa also completed her Bachelor’s Degree in Ethnic and Women’s Studies from Cal Poly Pomona in 2012.

Shaykh Omar Qureshi — Instructor

Shaykh Omar Qureshi graduated from the University of California, Irvine with a bachelor’s degree in Economics. He then moved to Damascus, Syria where he obtained a diploma in Arabic and Islamic Studies from the Abu Nour Seminary, and obtained licenses in other fields of Islamic knowledge through independent studies with prominent scholars. He also completed his degree from the Faculty of Shariah at al-Azhar University in Cairo, Egypt. Currently Sh. Omar is pursuing his doctorate in Islamic Studies from the University of Southern California (USC). His research interests include a comparison of the Hanafī legal schools of Iraq and Central Asia in the 10th and 11th century, the development of Sunni legal theory in the formative period, Islamic legal philosophy, the Maturidi theological school, and the intellectual history of the Arabic-Islamic world.