Jul 23, 2009 - writings    12 Comments

Amazing People I Really Admire

Amazing people I really admire…

Recently I had the opportunity to sit in front of four amazing famous speakers at ISNA and it started me thinking about the people I really admire in this world, so here they are….



Sh. Qaradawi – Dude, ppl talk about the mujaddid of this age and they bring up all these hard core hadith scholars and Iranian shah or someone. But this is the real thing right here. Sh. Qaradawi has vision, he has knowledge and above all he has wisdom. There is a reason ppl make fun of him and call his book “halal wal halal” because he’s just cool like that. They can’t stand it :-) But seriously, all you have to do is read one of his books or hear him speak. He may make things easier for the people, but he continues to be straight with the principles of Islam and Quran. This is the best kind of scholar, which keeps everything including the personal circumstances of people in mind and modern times, and brings us back to the real Sunnah. Read any of his books like Priorities of the Islamic Movement in the Coming Phase and you’ll just be…illuminated! You’ll breathe a sigh of relief and say finally someone making sense about Islam with real vision! He makes Islam so cool and amazingl!!

Dr. Ingrid Mattson – Here is a scholarly woman who has broken new ground by becoming ISNA’s first woman president. And the thing is she did it by just being herself. She isn’t loud or opinionated or pushing for things or trying to be motivating through her speeches. She said once that from childhood she was always a melancholy serious person and that’s what she is. She’s quiet and serious and makes excellent scholarly speeches that have more depth to them than most others. I think she’s awesome.

Suhaib Webb – I mean how can you not? DJ from the Midwest turns Azhari scholar. It’s got tabloid all over it :) But really he’s someone that’s following a certain path and you can just see the bright sparks trailing behind him. I can’t think of any other Da’ee that’s trying to bring Islam to the youth using today’s technology. I’m just waiting any day now for when he gets twitter ;)

Sh. Mokhtar – I could write a book here, but suffice it to say there is no-one like him. He’s like salafi/sufi all mixed in with a feminist side, lol. Does that explain it? There’s no other scholar I know who is more pro-women and fair to sisters. There’s no one with more spirituality and love for the prophet and the Quran and the sunnah. There is no one in the world I would rather go to with my problems or for help. ANDDDd he’s moving back to Albany YAyyyy! My life isn’t over. Thanks :)

Yusuf Islam – Even before I ever heard any of his music I used to listen to him on the lecture circuit when I was a kid. Back when ICNA was in those weird campuses like Delhi or NYIT he used to come and speak to us. We were always in awe that he was once ‘Cat Stevens’, but we really didn’t know what it meant. In his speeches, he’d talk about peace, love for Islam and helping others. He’s always been the same. Humble, down to earth, laid back, has a sense of humor, cares for humanity, cares for Muslims, wants people to see the real Islam, a father, husband, da’ee, artist, educator, philanthropist. I totally want to marry someone like him, or be him, one or the other ;)

Zarqa Nawaz – Creator of Little Mosque on the Prairie! I know there are a lot of haters out there that are like the characters should be wearing burqah or should be puppets to be Islamic or whatever, but come on. Have you ever seen a non-terrorist Muslim on TV, like EVER?! That is why she’s awesome. She had a creative idea and despite any detractors, Muslim or Non-Muslim, she made it work to the benefit of everyone even if they can’t see it. The show is great and so is she. And when I’m done writing my Muslim version of Pride and Prejudice I’m totally sending it to her!! :)

Abdullah Yusuf AliYes, the Quran translator! Why? Because every time I read it I think his translation is amazing. His commentary is amazing. His poetry and references are amazing. There’s a reason why his translation is the gold standard no one has been able to touch. He’s a person through which millions of Muslims understand the Divine. I read a biography of his where it talked about how he died alone and penniless. InshaAllah never. He has accrued a million good deeds from all of us.

Zaid Shakir – I remember sitting around a MYNA campfire somewhere while he told his story of how he became Muslim and then when I went to Syria I’d hear all these stories about Imam Zaid riding around all over town on his bicycle attending all these Duroos and how he started the first Eid party for the foreigners. And then he would come to our small town college to help us fundraise when I was at school. Now he’s on the West coast but we still love him because I mean he’s Imam Zaid!

Altaf Hussain/Naeem Muhammad – I hope they don’t read this heh. Altaf I mean is Altaf. Everyone knows, loves and learns from him. He’s traveled up and down the coast to the Midwest, to Cali and back fundraising, speaking and motivating. He reminds me of a young Imam Siraj who I know is also one of his heroes. He is an amazing person MashaAllah. Naeem went to Islamic school his whole life, active in MYNA, now Native Deen and Islamic Relief. Boy has passion or strength or something. Everything he does he does 100%. He’s like the Muslim Hannah Montana. Relief worker by day, rock star at night! Lol :D Plus both these brother’s wives were once my roommates!!! :)

Muslim Solidarity Committee – This is a group of non-Muslim Americans in my town who banded together to help the Muslims that the gov’t targeted post 9/11. They have supported the victims for the last 5 years physically and monetarily and continue to work tirelessly for social justice for Muslims. At a time when I have to literally beg Muslims to help in any way or to try to do something about what is going on, they are the ones organizing everything, staging protests, talking to the media and politicians, making films and supporting the families.

Sisters X– These are various sisters I met while in Syria. Mostly British they come from all different backgrounds but the one thing they have in common is that they left everything to travel halfway across the world to study Islam. The strength and vulnerability and just character of these sisters is something I think of often. Sometimes I’ll think of something they did or said, or something they taught me or some trip or fun we had. I don’t know what it is but I’ve just never met any sisters like these except there.

Various Husbands – I won’t mention any names, but every time I see something they do for their wife or their kids or their parents or the community, I’m just amazed. They are soo good! Maybe I’m comparing them to all the fob husbands I know or the freak-file guys I interact with on the web, but I’m always filled with admiration for them just for being good men.

Wives of Imams and Speakers – I’ve never met one who I didn’t think was amazing. From Imam Suhaib’s to Imam Zaid’s to my own sister. They’re never in the limelight but everything their awesome husband’s do is to their credit. They take care of the homes, the family, the kids, their husbands and they sacrifice a lot in the way of Islam. I admire them much! :)

Gosh this list could get endless. I’d add like Jamal Badawi, more amazing anisahs of mine in Syria, a great American daee’ah there sr. Tamara, Salahuddin, Muhammad Asad, Ibn Hazm, Malcolm X, Hamza Yusuf, Imam Siraj, Br. Djafer, Rachel Corrie, Sr. Zainab, Scott Ritter, Ghazali, Rumi, tons of poets, sahabah, sahabiyat, prophets, our prophet (s). Who else??

Elizabeth Bennett once said, “The more I see of the world, the more am I dissatisfied with it; and every day confirms my belief of the inconsistency of all human characters, and of the little dependence that can be placed on the appearance of either merit or sense.” There are days that I get more and more disillusioned by humanity, with their meanness, their greed, jealousy, evils and selfishness. Sometimes I honestly ask Allah why He created us all when we’re so messed up! So that’s why today I thought I’d do the opposite and try to reaffirm that there are still some good people out there that I love and admire and make Dua for.

Jazaks for reading & coment!!! Let me know who you admire the most and why!!

Ws :)


  • I was looking for names for my new baby daughter when I read this articles. Never in my life I would imagine there would be love in our society, for our imam’s like u describe in ur article. Makes me want to go and hugh my imam and my comunity members. May Allah bless u and keep u safe. Don’t forget to write more stuff like this.

  • Ameen jazaks bro. Don’t forget to name your daughter after someone amazing inshaAllah!! InshaAllah she will be as well, congrats!

  • Thank Sis.when my son was born I knew exactly what to name hamzah. But with my daughter I am having some trouble. Today is her 4th day after birth. Pray I get a name soon amen!

  • as salaamu alaykum,

    Aww, thanks for the shout out =) It was nice to read this, you can really get focused on the negatives of our community and forget to appreciate the blessings we have. I agree with everyone you mentioned and especially Shaykh Mokhtar. He really is so enlightened when it comes to issues related to women, mashaAllah.

  • i’m a new reader of your blog. i like! :) and i like your list of amazing people. good stuff alhamdulillah. just curious, who is your sister married to?

  • she’s married to shaykh arsalan al college station-texasi ;)

    bro ahmed my nephew’s name is hamza and his older sister is ‘maryam’ :) maryam (as) is the only woman to be called by name in the quran ma’shallah

  • Thanks Sis. May Allah bless u for ur good thought. Thank you so much for ur excellent suggestion. We have decided to name her Aisha. Thanks again for ur suggestion. May Allah make my daughter follow the right path. Amen

  • That would definitely be my second choice :) May Allah bless her. Ameen.

  • Thank you sister. U rock…
    May Allah bless all the kids and lead all to his right path.

  • As’salaamu-alaikum,

    Came across your blog…jazakallah-khair for posting! I totally hear you on your comment about humanity— Subhan’Allah! He (swt.) is the One who provides, alhamdu’lillah….if we didn’t know bad, then we wouldn’t know good?!?!

  • assalaamu’alaikum wr wb.
    i’m not madinah’s residence. just guest here. thank’s alot for ur kindness. I loved to read your blog and web. Jazaakumullaah khairan katsira

  • Assalaamu’alaikum wr wb
    I’m not Madinah’residence. I just guest on your blog from different country. I loved to read your web and blog.
    thanks alot for all. Jazakumullaahu khairan katsira. I hope Allah give u someone as ur husband/wife that best for ur world and akhirat.