Profiles of Muslim Celebrities

Zaid Shakir: People’s Imam and Scholar

BERKELEY, California – Imam Zaid Shakir is an American Muslim scholar and co-founder of Zaytuna College in Berkeley, California. He converted to Islam while serving in the Air Force, after years of living in rough inner-city neighborhoods.

Later, Shakir co-founded Islamic centers in Connecticut, where he joined with other community leaders in serving areas plagued by drugs and violence.

Though he is one of the West’s most respected Muslim scholars, Shakir is no Ivory Tower intellectual.

“The prophets weren’t sitting in a classroom pontificating about abstract things,” he says, “they were intricately involved in the lives of their community.”

In 2009, Shakir co-founded Zaytuna College, and in 2016 he conducted the funeral services for one of his heroes: the late boxer Muhammad Ali.

He’s co-founder and chairman of United for Change, whose stated goal is to leverage the diversity of the Muslim and interfaith community and address divisive obstacles.

In 2015, he signed the official Memorandum of Understanding between Zaytuna College and Hartford Seminary in Connecticut.

He is one of the signatories of A Common Word Between Us and You, an open letter by Islamic scholars to Christian leaders, calling for peace and understanding.

Imam Zaid is also a signatory along with religious and spiritual Leaders from around the world who presented the UN Secretary-General with a declaration in support of the Paris Climate Agreement under the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, marking the largest number of nations ever signing an international agreement.

Check the following (some of Imam Shakir’s remarkable works):

How to Overcome Sunni-Shia Hatred?

STAND UP: Finding Strength in Prophet’s Life