Picture of Aisha
Aisha A. Arshad

Ever since childhood, my faith has fascinated me.  Though I knew very little, I loved it deeply and sought every opportunity to learn more.  I remember as a teenager waiting every Friday night for a show called Al Falah featuring Muslims scholars from around the world.  My mom would make homemade pizza and we’d all watch it together.

John Esposito and Muzammil Siddiqi stand out the most in my mind but there were many others.  Each of them possessed a sound knowledge of Islam but also understood the Western context in which I was growing up.   This fascinated me and sparked a deep love and appreciation for my faith.  Over the next several years I read a few books here and there but my exposure to Islamic knowledge was rather limited until many years later when we moved to the Middle East.  I decided to start taking a few classes.  What stayed with me the most about my teachers was their character.  They were incredibly knowledgeable but also humble, and they exuded a certain nobility that is uncommon today.

I had already spent many years in academic and professional pursuits.  Now I felt the time was ripe to pursue a formal study of Islam. So after 15 years working in corporate IT and education, completing a Master’s in Educational Technology and a Bachelor’s in IT, I decided to go back to school to study my faith.

Our Ummah is facing challenges from all sides.  We face not only external threats including atheism, extremism, and Islamophobia, but even internal ones, like our own cultural baggage and our misplaced assumptions about religion and its role in society today.  Together these threats are creating an unprecedented crisis of faith, and we can no longer afford to blindly follow that same methods of Islamic training that we relied on in the past.  Now more than ever, Muslims need the tools to be able to think critically, and examine our faith deeply, so that we can arrive at a place where we feel confident in our faith and confident in ourselves.

I hope that the resources here will inspire you to excel in your own study and practice of Islam.  I appreciate you being here and allowing me to be a part of your noble journey.  All the best.

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