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Mohamad Adam El-Sheikh: American Fiqh Council Pioneer

NEW YORK – For Muslims in the US, Mohamad Adam El-Sheikh will always be remembered as one of the prominent Muslim scholars who laid foundation for the Fiqh Council of North America, serving as its executive director.

The American-Sudanese Imam was born in 1945 and graduated from the faculty of Shari’ah and Law, Omdurman Islamic University, Sudan, in 1969. In 1973 he was appointed by the Department of Justice to serve as a judge for the Shari`ah Courts.

In 1978, he got a scholarship to travel to the US in order to continue his higher education, thus receiving his Masters of Comparative Jurisprudence (MCJ) from Howard University in 1980, his LLM from the National Law Center at George Washington University in 1981, and his PhD in Comparative Jurisprudence from Temple University in 1986.

For over 14 years, El-Sheikh was the Imam at Masjid Al-Rahmah of the Islamic Society of Baltimore, Maryland. He became an instrumental figure in founding the Muslim American Society in the US in 1992.

He also helped launch the Dar Al-Hijrah mosque in Falls Church, Virginia, and later became the Imam of the mosque between from 2003 to 2005.

After 2005 El-Sheikh left Dar Al-Hijrah to become the executive director of the Fiqh Council of North America, an association of Islamic legal scholars.

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He is also the head of the Islamic Judiciary Council of the Shari’ah Scholars’ Association of North America (SSANA).

The Fiqh Council of North America (originally known as ISNA Fiqh Committee) is an association of Muslims who interpret Islamic law on the North American continent.

The Fiqh Council traces its origins back to the Religious Affairs Committee of the then Muslim Student Association of USA and Canada established in the 1960s.

In 1980, after the establishment of the Islamic Society of North America (ISNA), the Religious Affairs Committee evolved into becoming the Fiqh Committee of ISNA, and then eventually transformed into the Fiqh Council of North America in 1986.