Professor Hisham Mahmoud
Scholar | Professor
Shaykh Muhammad Mendes
Scholar | Spiritual Mentor
Imam Muhammad Adeyinka Mendes currently serves as Founding Director of SacredService for Human Liberation, Lead Arabic Instructor for Fawakih Institute Atlanta, and as a Lecturer at Madina Institute USA. He was born in the United States and reared there as well as in Nigeria. In Texas, at the age of 17, he embraced the Way of Love and Universal Religion of the Prophets, Islam, after a life changing journey to Jerusalem just a few weeks before his high school graduation.
Along with specializing at the university level, Muhammad Mendes has been trained for over two decades in the classical Sacred Sciences by notable scholars from around the world in the US, Syria, Mauritania, and Nigeria. He is invited to deliver Friday sermons, present at conferences, speak at universities, teach at spiritual and educational retreats, and lecture on Classical and Modern Standard Arabic, the Sacred Sciences, and African Diasporic History at national and international venues. In addition to establishing the Annual Rawdah in 2003, a grassroots Islamic educational initiative, he has focused on translating and teaching rare Arabic manuscripts from West Africa concerning theology, Qur’anic exegesis, jurisprudence, ethics, spirituality, medicine, and metaphysics, authored by her greatest spiritual and intellectual giants.
Muhammad Mendes teaches a radically non-sectarian, non-misogynistic, and non-violent methodology of Islam rooted in its classical and intuitive traditions, positively engaged with society, and appreciative of human diversity, that is empowering to women and youth.
As a student and passionate advocate of Permaculture, Sacred Economics, Islamic Gift Economics, Liberation Therapy, interfaith collaboration, and intentional community building, he hopes to practically contribute to the healing of our world at every level.
He resides with his wife and five very energetic children in Atlanta, Georgia, where he can sometimes be found composing a poem atop Stone Mountain or playing ping-pong at Madina Institute USA.
Hisham Mahmoud has studied the Islamic sciences of theology, hadith, legal theory, jurisprudence, ethics, and Qur'anic recitation, with scholars in Mauritania, Morocco, and Spain, as well as Arabic and its ancillary sciences with scholars in Egypt, where he focused on the disciplines of grammar, morphology, and rhetoric, and he continues to read in the Islamic sciences with his teachers in the United States.
He has edited several scholarly works on issues pertaining to theology, hadith, jurisprudence, and ethics. His first published work is entitled, "A Portrait of the Prophet," which is a translation of one of the most important compilations of the Prophet Muhammad's personal qualities صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم. He has lectured internationally on the Islamic sciences and on world religions. He also serves as an Editorial Board member of Fons Vitae and as an Executive Editor for Sandala Publications.
Hisham Mahmoud has taught for more than a decade at Harvard University, Princeton, and Yale, in addition to the Language Program at the Middlebury Colleges, and he currently resides in Pennsylvania with his wife and child.
Saad Omar is a teacher, artist and entrepreneur. He graduated from Georgetown University with a degree in English and a masters in nonprofit management from Indiana University. He has studied Islam and Arabic in Mecca, Jordan, Turkey and across the United States. Saad is a published songwriter and the founder of several creative and educational nonprofit organizations and small businesses, including the Poetic Vision Tour, Razjan, and the Shadows of Light. He is currently leading a major project to build a sustainable village in Medina, OH.
Saad has lectured across the world on topics relating to religion, spirituality, history, art, and poetry.