Next week, July 10th, SeekersGuidance Canada has two new teachers joining our team, to serve our community through knowledge and guidance.
Shaykha Halimah Maideen and Shaykh Yusuf Weltch are both graduates from Tarim; students of Habib Umar and other luminaries; and authorized teachers of Qur’an and the Islamic sciences.
They will be teaching (1) Qur’anic recitation (tawjid) and memorization (hifdh); (2) youth educational classes–including a Young Seekers Curriculum; and (3) classes and programs at Seekers and cross the community. They will, insha’Allah, make a transformative impact on our community–and especially our youth.
Shaykh Yusuf Weltch’s Journey Into Islam and Seeking Knowledge
Shaykh Yusuf entered Islam over a decade ago. Immediately, he felt the deep urge to gain a deeper, clearer understanding of Islam–for himself, and to be able to convey the beauty Islam to those around him. So he studied at an Islamic Seminary on the East Coast of the United States for almost five years, completing a thorough and rigorous program of Islamic Studies to an upper intermediate level.
But he was looking for more. He was looking for a deeper understanding of the religion that addressed the spiritual dimensions of the message of the Qur’an and the Prophetic Way, and that had a deep concern for calling others to this truth and beauty.
In his searching, he met Shaykh Yahya Rhodus (of Al-Maqasid and SeekersGuidance), and attended one of the Al-Maqasid Retreats. This proved transformational: he found an understanding that combined (1) knowledge and guidance; (2) purification of the heart; and (3) concern for calling others–namely the maqasid (ultimate aims) of the Prophetic message.
Shaykh Yusuf Goes To Tarim To Study With Habib Umar
After deep thought, Shaykh Yusuf went to Tarim (Hadhramawt) himself, to study with Habib Umar bin Hafidh and the great scholars of the Ba-Alawi tradition. These traditional scholars spread Islam to much of East Africa, Western India, and the Malay Archipelago entered. They have produced some of the greatest scholars and callers throughout history, such as Imam al-Haddad and countless others.
After getting the blessing of his parents, Shaykh Yusuf headed out to study at Dar al-Mustafa in Tarim. There, he spent four years completing his Islamic studies–with a particular focus on practical Islamic spirituality (tasawwuf/tazkiya) and calling to Allah (da’wa). He also completed his memorization of the Qur’an (hifdh), with authorization (ijaza) during this time.
It was also in Tarim where–in a beautiful example of marrying for the sake of religion (din) and character (akhlaq)–he and Shaykha Halimah agreed to get married.
Shaykha Halimah Maideen, Female Scholar and Certified Hafidha from Singapore
Shaykha Halimah grew up in busy, cosmopolitan Singapore. Given her interest in religion and Islamic knowledge, her parents enrolled her in a full-time Islamic seminary as a teen. She completed a full curriculum of Islamic studies. After this, she went to a Qur’an memorization (tahfiz) academy, to complete her memorization of the Book of Allah.
But she, too, felt the urge to seek Islamic knowledge more deeply–to benefit herself more fully, and to be truly able to serve others. Thus, Shaykha Halimah also went to Tarim, and studied for six years at the prestigious Dar al-Zahra Seminary, under the supervision of Habib Umar and Hababa Noor, and other distinguished teachers.
Like Shaykh Yusuf, she too completed a well-rounded curriculum of Islamic studies, practical spirituality, and the art of calling to Allah.
How SeekersGuidance Canada Connected with Shaykh Yusuf and Shaykha Halimah
Our dear Ustadh Amjad Tarsin has now moved to the US–to join Shaykh Yahya Rhodus at Al-Maqasid. (Ustadh Amjad will continue teaching with SeekersGuidance as well, online and in the US, insha’Allah, and will be visiting SeekersGuidance Canada regularly.)
Ustadh Amjad reached out to Shaykh Faraz, suggesting he consider Shaykh Yusuf as a teacher at SeekersGuidance Canada. Shaykh Faraz consulted Shaykh Yahya and others, and they all encouraged that we seriously consider both Shaykh Yusuf and Shaykha Halimah.
Shaykh Yusuf came to Toronto in just before Ramadan for the Coffee and Connections class. His class was very well received, and the meetings regarding his future plans went well.
After consideration and consultation, we offered Shaykh Yusuf and Shaykha Halimah to come to SeekersGuidance Canada as teachers, and they agreed. They are joining us from July 10, 2019, insha’Allah.
Support the SeekersGuidance Canada Islamic Scholars Fund, to support qualified, dynamic teachers right here in Canada:
The SeekersGuidance Canada Islamic Scholars Fund has a 100% zakat policy: all funds go to support deserving, eligible scholars and students of knowledge. No funds are used for operations (and neither Ustadha Umm Umar nor I receive any funds from the Canada Islamic Scholars Fund).
Faraz Rabbani and Umm Umar