We are blessed with the opportunity to learn from these scholars and practitioners: Dr. Umar Abd-Allah, Dr. Karim Lahham, Rhamis Kent, Othman Llewellyn, Aishah Abdallah, Mariam Sheibani and Hakim Archuletta.
Dr. Umar Faruq Abd-Allah
Dr. Umar Abd-Allah (Wymann-Landgraf) is an American Muslim who embraced Islam in 1970. He studied Arabic and Islamic Studies at the University of Chicago and received his doctorate there in 1978. He taught at the Universities of Windsor (Ontario), Temple, Michigan, and King Abdul-Aziz (Jeddah). During several years abroad, he was able to study with a number of traditional Islamic scholars. He returned to the United States in 2000 under the auspices of the Nawawi Foundation (Chicago), where he worked until 2011. He taught Islamic studies at Darul Qasim (Chicago) from 2012 until 2013. He is currently engaged in independent research, writing, and teaching activities with institutions across the United States, Europe, and Africa with a focus on Islamic theology. Among his written works are A Muslim in Victorian America: The Life of Alexander Russell Webb (Oxford University Press) and Malik and Medina: Islamic Legal Reasoning in the Formative Period (Brill).
Dr. Karim Lahham
Dr. Karim Lahham is a Barrister-at-Law of the Inner Temple, London. Karim has a Masters from the Royal College of Art, studied law at St Edmund Hall, Oxford, and completed a doctorate in Islamic Studies at Pembroke College, Cambridge.
He was called to the London Bar in 1999 as an Inner Temple Major Scholar and continues to practice in the field of commercial law. Dr. Karim is also Senior Research Fellow at Tabah Foundation, UAE.
His recent publications include: Metaphysics and Sociology; Gandhi, Islam, and the Principles of Non-Violence and Attachment to Truth.
Rhamis Kent is an American who became Muslim in July 1999 in the early days of the community surrounding Hamza Yusuf and Zaytuna Institute (now Zaytuna College) in the San Francisco Bay Area.
He is a consultant with formal training in mechanical engineering (University of Delaware, B.S.M.E. '95) and permaculture-based regenerative whole systems design serving as a registered certified Permaculture Design instructor with PRI Australia.
He also serves as a co-director of the Permaculture Research Institute and a member of Permaculture Sustainable Consulting Pty Ltd (PSC).
Rhamis has taught Permaculture Design (formal Certification and short Intensive courses) in Palestine/Occupied West Bank, Greece, Ethiopia, Yemen, Turkey, Thailand, Italy, Jordan, Morocco, Tunisia, and The United States (California & Vermont). He has also performed additional consultancy work on projects in Afghanistan, Pakistan, and Western Sahara.
An American who embraced Islam in 1968, Othman Abd-ar-Rahman Llewellyn is an environmental planner (currently in the Saudi Wildlife Authority and previously in the Hajj Research Centre), who aspires to work toward the utmost good for created beings. He is a member of the IUCN World Commission on Protected Areas, the IUCN World Commission on Environmental Law, and the IUCN Species Survival Commission.
Among his published works are “The Basis for a Discipline of Islamic Environmental Law” in Islam and Ecology: A Bestowed Trust, R. C. Foltz, et al. (Eds.), Harvard Divinity School, 2003 and “Traditional Conservation Practices in the Red Sea Region of Saudi Arabia” in People of the Red Sea (Oxford: Archaeopress, 2005). He is a co-author of Environmental Protection in Islam (Himayat al-Bi’ah fi’l-Islam), 2nd rev ed., IUCN Environmental Policy and Law paper no. 20 Rev. (1994), and “In Jabal Aja” (with A. Abdallah) in The Face of the Earth by SueEllen Campbell, et al. University of California Press, 2011. He served on the drafting team of the “Islamic Declaration on Global Climate Change” launched in Istanbul in August 2015 and is a co-author of the paper, “An Ecoregion-Based Approach to Protecting Half the Terrestrial Realm” newly published in the journal BioScience, in support of the emerging conservation paradigm known as “Nature Needs Half.” He has written Saudi Arabia’s protected area system plan and is currently preparing a monograph on ecological implications of the ethics of Islam.
A Chadian national of Kanuri (Bornu) origin born in the city of Makkah, Aishah Abdallah is a wilderness leader and environmental educator and interpreter. She focuses on the wildland ethics of Islam, aiming to provide experiences that prepare competent outdoor leaders whose care and compassion extend to all beings, who understand the processes that have shaped the places they visit and the diversity of life they harbor, and who practice and communicate the ethics of stewardship on Earth.
She is a member of the IUCN Commission on Education and Communication and a Leave No Trace Master Educator, and served as Coordinator of Saudi Arabia’s national Leave No Trace Master Educator Training Program. She is on the steering group of the Global Muslim Climate Network, contributed actively to the drafting of the “Islamic Declaration on Global Climate Change” launched in Istanbul in August 2015, and has delivered presentations at the WANA Forum in Jordan (2010) and for the Islamic Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (ISESCO) at the Crans Montana Forum in Morocco (2016).
Her publications include “A Process to Establish Traditional Himas as Community Conserved Areas: Essential Skills Required” Kuwait Institute for Scientific Research, 2014 and “In Jabal Aja” (with O. Llewellyn) in The Face of the Earth by SueEllen Campbell, et al. University of California Press, 2011. She has recently received a Ford Conservation and Environmental Grant for her project Curriculum Design for Wilderness Leadership Education in Arabia, and is currently preparing a survey of major themes and thinkers in current discourse on Islamic ecological ethics.
Mariam Sheibani is a PhD candidate in Islamic Thought at the University of Chicago. Her research examines post-formative developments in law, theology and Sufism in the Ayyubid and Mamluk periods. Prior to her doctoral studies, she earned a BA in Public Affairs and Policy Management, an MA in Legal Studies, and an MA in Islamic studies. She has studied and done research in Jordan, Turkey, Egypt and Morocco. Alongside her academic studies, she remains a dedicated student of the Islamic tradition, and her studies have focused on the Qur'anic sciences, Shāfiʿī law and legal theory, hadith, theology, and Sufism.
Hakim Archuletta has worked within the healing arts profession for over forty years. His interest in natural medicine, the body and Gods Creation began as a young child. Previous, formal studies were in Fine Arts, graphic arts, cinema, theatre and ethnomusicology.
After becoming Muslim he began the study of homeopathy with John Damonte in London, was invited to study traditional Unani medicine in the manner of the Hakims by Hakim Muhammad Said of the Hamdard foundation and did so with various Hakims (traditional Islamic Doctors) his primary teacher being Hakim Taqiuddin Ahmad in Karachi where he also learned traditional pharmacy and was supported by grants from The Bawani Trust.
Returning to the United States he began practicing what he had learned, set up a family practice clinic in Santa Barbara California, began teaching students and acting as a counselor, taught science at high school level for many years, and ran many homeopathic study groups for professional and lay persons.
He began travel and teaching, counseling, and lecturing for many years at such institutions as UC
Berkeley, Harvard, George Washington University, Columbia, Yale, Wellesley, Stanford, University of Pennsylvania, Oxford and many others as well as in communities across the country and the world.
He has students and patients across the world , writes, reads and organizes poetry readings, he addressed and led the New Mexico State Legislature in prayer following 9/11 and more recently began to focus on trauma, was trained in the methods of Dr Peter Levine and others and does trainings in these principles and methods.
He lives with his wife and son in the mountains of new Mexico works a great deal via the internet and travels often for workshops and lectures.
A reading list was provided from our scholars in an effort to help participants better prepare for the retreat. Participants are encouraged to attend all of the classes to benefit from the integrated nature of the program.
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