Our Team

omar-suleiman-hero-image

Sh. Omar Suleiman

Founder & President

Imam Omar Suleiman is the Founder and President of the Yaqeen Institute for Islamic Research, and an Adjunct Professor of Islamic Studies in the Graduate Liberal Studies Program at SMU (Southern Methodist University). He is also the Resident Scholar at Valley Ranch Islamic Center and Co-Chair of Faith Forward Dallas at Thanks-Giving Square. He holds a Bachelors in Accounting, a Bachelors in Islamic Law, a Masters in Islamic Finance, a Masters in Political History, and is currently pursuing a Phd. in Islamic Thought and Civilization from the International Islamic University of Malaysia.

Dr. Nazir Khan

 President & Director of Research

Dr. Nazir Khan MD FRCPC is a Director of Research at Yaqeen Institute. He is a medical doctor and clinical neuroscientist, as well as an Imam and consultant for the Manitoba Islamic Association’s Fiqh (Religious Affairs) Committee and the Islamic Society of Calgary. He is a specialist in the field of Diagnostic Radiology and Fellow of the Royal College of Physicians of Canada. He has memorized the Qur’an and received traditional certification (ijazah) in the study of the Qur’an, Hadith and Islamic theology (aqeedah). His expertise in both medical sciences and Islamic theology uniquely positions him to address challenging contemporary questions regarding faith, reason, and science. Dr. Khan’s work as an Imam has gone beyond conventional roles and expanded new frontiers for the Muslim community in Canada in many ways including hosting a Muslim Mental Health Fair bringing together thirteen mental health agencies to meet the Muslim community, presenting a seminar on Advance Care Planning and End-of-Life decision making at the Mosque in collaboration with the Winnipeg Regional Health Authority, and co-presenting a workshop on preventing Domestic Violence representing a collaboration between the Manitoba Islamic Association and the Winnipeg Police Services. He has also taught an introductory class on Islam to the Winnipeg Police Academy. Dr. Khan has been active in multi-faith dialogue and creating open forums for fostering mutual respect and understanding. The Muslim-Catholic Dialogue series in Winnipeg co-presented by Dr. Nazir Khan and Father Peter Genger was featured in the Winnipeg Free Press. He has delivered classes and workshops addressing “Misconceptions about Jihad” in Winnipeg, Hamilton, Calgary, and Toronto. He is the founder and lead author of SpiritualPerception.org, a website dedicated to exploring exciting new avenues integrating classical insights on Islamic theology and epistemology with contemporary research in psychology.

Fawad A. Shaikh

Board Member

Fawad joined the TELUS Partner Solutions team in July 2016 as Director for Global Business Development. In this role, Fawad is instrumental in identifying and developing emerging opportunities, customers and sectors to ensure TELUS maintains its global leadership position, and leads a team dedicated to delivering on the growth breakthrough objectives which underpin the TELUS Partner Solutions vision. A recognized thought leader and innovator, Fawad has contributed to the successful launch of several Canadian telecom breakthroughs, including the first FTTN deployment by a Canadian CLEC, the introduction of a wholesale residential VoIP offer, and an Enterprise IP trunking service. Since joining TELUS in 2006, Fawad has held numerous high-profile roles in Technology Strategy and Business Solutions, including leadership of a Technology Strategy consulting group that researched and modelled business cases for TELUS-wide transformation initiatives, and managing several portfolio leadership roles within the Business Solutions Marketing team.

waqar-khan-hero-image

Waqar Khan

Executive Director

Founder and partner in many successful organizations including the food-based charity called Charity Right where they serve millions of meals all across the world to those most in need. Former Director of Business Development and Relations at Bayyinah Institute. Waqar is the Executive Director for Yaqeen Institute Canada and the head of International Development.

nida-khan-hero-image

Nida Khan

Director of Creative Services

Nida Khan is a designer, artist, transformative communication coach, and professor at George Brown College and Toronto Film School. She teaches visual, web and interactive design, and has a passion for transformative learning, design thinking, and distilling knowledge into visual ‘edu-graphics’. With over eight years of experience art directing for both print and digital media, Nida has a reputation for innovation and bringing brand stories to life with high visual impact.

Omar Khan

Director of Outreach and Partner Development

Omar Khan was born and raised in Montreal, Canada. He began public speaking and organizing Islamic events at the age of 13. He served many years as a youth coordinator for various communities. He has completed his memorization of the Qur’an and has obtained traditional certification (Ijaazah) in the ten methods of recitation (Ashara Qira’aat), and is a teacher for Qur’an Revolution. He was the former International Finance Manager and Fund Development Manager at the AlMaghrib Institute. He graduated from Concordia University, from the John Molson School of Business with Bachelors in Accounting, and has studied Special Care Counseling at Vanier College. He also holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Islamic Sciences from the AlMaghrib Institute.

Safiah Chowdury

Fellow

BA(H) in Political Studies & Global Development Studies from Queen’s University. MPhil in Islamic Studies & History from the University of Oxford. She has held leadership positions in various Muslim organizations and has appeared in a number of print, radio, and television media. Safiah currently works in social policy, research, and development with a focus on poverty reduction.

Dr. Jibran Khokar

Fellow

He was born in Kuwait where he memorized the Quran with an ijazah. He completed his Bachelors in Life Sciences from Queen’s University and his Doctorate in Pharmacology and Toxicology from the University of Toronto followed by a post-doctoral fellowship at Dartmouth College. He is currently an Assistant Professor of Neuroscience at the University of Guelph where he studies topics related to substance use and severe mental illness, and how drugs of abuse affect the developing brain.

Dr. Zohair Abdul-Rahman

Fellow

Zohair Abdul-Rahman M.Sc is a Research Fellow at Yaqeen Institute. He has memorized the Qur’an and studied the Islamic sciences, receiving ijazahs in ‘Aqeedah (theology) and Hadith. Currently, he is studying medicine at the University of Queensland in Brisbane, Australia, where he also serves as a volunteer Imam at various mosques, delivering khutbahs, classes and lectures. He has strong research interests in Islamic theology, Islamic spirituality, and psychology. Alongside his Islamic research, he has also published in medical journals on the topic of mental health and presented his research at academic conferences.

Hassam Munir

Fellow

Hassam Munir is currently pursuing an MA in Mediterranean and Middle East History at the University of Toronto. His current primary research interests are Islamic intellectual history and the use of digital technology (and virtual reality in particular) as a pedagogical tool for the study of Islamic history. He has experience in the fields of journalism and public history, and was recognized as an Emerging Historian at the 2017 Heritage Toronto Awards.

Ibrahim Hindy

Scholar

Born and raised in Toronto, Imam Ibrahim had an early passion to study Islam and encourage youth to connect to Islam. Imam Ibrahim has been active in the Muslim community from a young age and was serving as a regular Khateeb in some of the largest Masajid in Canada since the young age of 18.

Dr. Abdullah Hakim Quick

Scholar

Dr Abdullah Hakim Quick is a historian, social activist and religious leader of African and Native American descent. He has travelled to over 58 countries doing research and delivering lectures to various communities. His qualification in Islamic Studies comes from a BA from the Islamic University of Madinah, Saudi Arabia and his history background is shaped by an MA and PhD from the History Department of the University of Toronto, Canada.

Naved Bakali Senior

Scholar

Naved Bakali completed his Ph.D. in Educational Studies from McGill University, Canada. He is currently an Assistant Professor of Education at the American University in Dubai. Naved also serves as a non-resident Research Fellow with Trends Research and Advisory; he is an educational advisor to the National Council of Canadian Muslims and a Research Affiliate with the Canadian Network for Research on Terrorism, Security and Society. He has published extensively in the field of Islamophobia, critical approaches to countering violent extremism, and Muslim youth identity in the post 9/11 context. He is the author of Islamophobia: Understanding anti-Muslim Racism Through the Lived Experiences of Muslim Youth.

Ammar Khatib

Contributor

Imam Ammar Khatib is a scholar of the Qur’anic sciences and specialist in Arabic linguistics. He has written many treatises on matters related to qira’at and the Qur’anic text. He is a volunteer Imam in Winnipeg and a consultant for the Manitoba Islamic Association Fiqh Committee.

Dr. Amira Ayad

Contributor

Dr. Amira Ayad is the founder of Women Whispers Academy and holds a Master’s degree in Pharmaceutics and a Ph.D. in Natural Health. She is currently pursuing her Master’s in Pastoral Studies-Muslim faith with Emmanuel College-University of Toronto and works as a spiritual care practitioner at Scarborough Health Network. Her practice combines the best of both worlds: science and spirituality.