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According to the founder and President, Imam Abdul Jalil Muhammad the initiative is designed to help the development of Islamic scholars for the 21st Century and beyond who will be equipped to meet the challenges of a faith that currently has a growing base of 1.6 billion people.
“Deen Intensive Academy yearns to be a safe haven where believers can continue to learn the Deen (Religion) of Islam and dispense it properly to people who are thirsting and hungering for it. This is just my small advancement of making Islam real in our lives,” said Imam Abdul Jalil Muhammad.
For years he had been to many Islamic workshops/seminars but few were in the urban cities where people are rushing to Islam. That lack of opportunity inspired him to start DIA. He was also inspired out of the concern for more unity among Muslims, recognizing the value of various leading voices such as Imams Siraj Wahhaj, Zaid Shakir, Abdul Malik and others who were making tireless efforts to raise the banner of Islam in their respective works.
Imam Abdul Jalil reached out to Islamic leaders he was close with to join him in the vision and the DIA was born. Presenters included Imam Siraj Wahhaj, Imam of Masjid At-Taqwa in NY; Imam Zaid Shakir, co-founder of Zaytuna College, Imam Sultan Rahman Muhammad, Resident Imam at Mosque Maryam in Chicago IL; and Imam Abdullah Madyun, Imam of Masjid Ihsan, Chicago IL.
The initiative lived up to its name “Intensive”, with sessions starting at 8 am and lasting through 10:00 pm, breaking only for obligatory prayers and dinner.
Day one of the DIA started with Imam Siraj and was highlighted with the “Unity Jumu’ah Prayer Service” at the historic Masjid Muhammad conducted by Imam Sultan Rahman Muhammad, a Masjid his late father Imam Sultan Muhammad officiated at.
For Zarinah Shakir who traveled from Trenton, NJ to attend, the weekend was, “Excellent. That’s the one word I wrote on my evaluation. This was long overdue and a wonderful experience. The organizers outdid themselves.”
For more information on the next DIA visit www.deenintensiveacademy.com.
Brian Muhammad and Starla Muhammad contributed to this article.