On Naming and Defining the Self

By Shaykh Muhammad Shareef

This article originally appeared on Shaykh Muhammad Shareef’s site, Sankore: Institute of Islamic African Studies International.


Below find calligraphy drawn by Muhammad Shareef


It is a rendering of the first 10 verses of Ch. 96 of the Qur’an entitled The Clinging Clot (embryo) where God orders Prophet Muhammad to “Recite in the name of your Lord who created! He created human beings from a clinging clot…”

muhammad shareefShaykh Muhammad Shareef was born in Los Angeles, California and embraced Islam while a teenager. He is the founding director of the Sankore Institute of Islamic-African Studies International (SIIASI) and is well known for his scholarly translations, commentaries of classical Arabic manuscripts from Black Africa, and dynamic speeches calling for the renewal of Islam and justice for oppressed peoples.

He studied Arabic, Aqida, Maliki Fiqh, Ahadith, Tasawwuf, and the works of Shaykh Uthman ibn Fuduye with Shaykh Muhammad al-Amin, Shaykh Isa Talata Mafara, and other scholars in Sudan, Nigeria, Mali, and Niger in addition to receiving ijazas to transmit from many of them.

Muhammad has devoted himself to teaching and tirelessly calling people from all walks of life to Allah, the Sunnah of His messenger (Allah bless him and grant him peace), and the methodology of Shaykh ‘Uthman ibn Fuduye’ (Allah be pleased with him) with his words, actions, and state, for almost three decades. He is also an unyielding human rights activist, a historian, an Arabic calligrapher, and a diligent martial artist.

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