Achmat Salie (America)
He is the founder and director of an Islamic Studies program at Oakland University and has taken an active role in cultivating both knowledge and awareness of Islam in southeastern Michigan over the past nine years. As the spiritual backbone of several Muslim communities in Bloomfield Hills, Troy, and Toledo, Salie has developed a passion for Islamic spirituality. He stated:
“Islam’s genius was to make the ordinary very sacred. The Prophet of Islam, a successful merchant, aimed to make sacred a community of merchants and traders. There was no dichotomy between the political and the religious. Sleep is an act of worship and so too is intimacy with one’s wife or husband. All of life could be sacred. Islam became a powerful movement because it went beyond “God is One” to “God IS”. God is omnipotent, omniscient, All hearing, All Seeing, All Compassionate, and Ever Caring (Theosophical Society of Detroit, 2006).
In addition to his title as Imam, Achmat Salie is a counselor, interfaith and youth coordinator, peace and eco-justice advocate, as well as a University Professor. He holds degrees in Islamic Law, Education, Arabic, and Business and has a MBA in E-Commerce and a doctorate DBA in business leadership. Originally from South Africa, he is passionate about peace, social and environmental justice and has been appointed Ambassador to the Parliament of World Religions. He has been nominated as Michigan faith based advisor to the White House on Islam and the environment.
Ebrahim E.I. Moosa
He is Associate Professor of Islamic Studies in the Department of Religion. His interests span both classical and modern Islamic thought with a special focus on Islamic law, history, ethics and theology. Dr Moosa is the author of Ghazali and the Poetics of Imagination, winner of the American Academy of Religion’s Best First Book in the History of Religions (2006) and editor of the last manuscript of the late Professor Fazlur Rahman, Revival and Reform in Islam: A Study of Islamic Fundamentalism. He was named Carnegie Scholar in 2005 to pursue research on the madrasas, Islamic seminaries of South Asia.
Born in South Africa, Dr. Moosa earned his MA (1989) and PhD (1995) from the University of Cape Town. Prior to that he took the `alimiyya degree in Islamic and Arabic studies from Darul Ulum Nadwatul `Ulama, one of India’s foremost Islamic seminaries in the city of Lucknow, Uttar Pradesh. He also has a BA degree from Kanpur University, and a postgraduate diploma in journalism from the City University in London.
Previously he taught at the University of Cape Town’s Department of Religious Studies in South Africa till 1998 and was visiting professor at Stanford University 1998-2001 prior to joining Duke University. As a journalist he wrote for Arabia: The Islamic World Review, MEED (Middle East Economic Digest) and Afkar/Inquiry magazines in Britain, and later became political writer for the Cape Times in South Africa.
He contributes regularly to the op-ed pages of the New York Times, Atlanta-Journal Constitution, The Boston Review and several international publications and is frequently invited to comment on global Islamic affairs. Currently he is completing a book titled Muslim Self Revived: Ethics, Rights and Technology after Empire. He is also working on another book, titled Between Right and Wrong: Debating Muslim Ethics. In these writings Moosa explores some of the major challenges that confront a tradition-in-the making like Islam , in a rapidly changing world. Moosa examines the way religious traditions encounter modernity and in the process generating new conceptions of history, culture and ethics.
Dr. Moosa serves on several distinguished international advisory boards and is associated with some of the foremost thinkers, activists and role-players in the Muslim world and beyond. He advised the first independent South African government after apartheid on Islamic affairs and serves on committees of the Organization of Islamic Conference in addition to others. He also has extensive experience in human rights activities. He has received grants from the Ford Foundation to research contemporary Muslim ethics and issues of philanthropy in the Muslim world.