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Mustafa Davis, Brother Khadim, and Usama Canon

For ten years Usama Canon and Mustafa Davis have been the dynamic duo of Ta’leef Collective. Ta’leef’s mantra, “come as you are, to Islam as it is,” sums up the ideal experience for anyone curious to learn about the faith of 1.6 billion people. The space offers a safe and friendly environment for seekers, believers, and the curious. After celebrating Ta’leef’s growth and success, Usama Canon recently announced that Mustafa Davis has tendered his resignation as the Media Director and board member. With new chapters on the horizon for them both, these Brothers continue to exemplify true companionship and brotherhood.

Both California natives have their own unique stories prior to embracing Islam in 1996. Their paths led them to studying Arabic and Islamic Jurisprudence in America and outside of the United States under today’s foremost scholars. As the saying goes, “behind every great man is a great woman,” and both men are married to phenomenal women they met during the beginning stages of their spiritual growth and development.

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Mustafa Davis, Hamza Yusuf, Usama Canon

After returning to the States in 2003, Davis pursued studies in filmmaking at the New York Film Academy (Universal Studios – Hollywood, CA), and after graduation his family relocated to Abu Dhabi in the United Arab Emirates where he established the Media Division of the Tabah Foundation for Islamic Studies and Research. He held the executive positions of Media Division Director, Film Producer/Director and Media Advisor. Canon’s family relocated and settled in the Bay Area while he served as the Outreach Director and an Arabic Instructor at Zaytuna Institute, as well as a Muslim Chaplain for the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation. After the inception of Ta’leef Collective in 2005, they both cultivated separate businesses, Oudimentary and Mustafa Davis LLC.

One of the highlights of their work collectively intersected with the creation of Prison Blues, [1] a film exploring the reality of incarceration in the United States and the high conversion rate to Islam. Mustafa Davis beautifully crafted the documentary, and he included an enlightening perspective with two men that Usama Canon has worked with during his time as a spiritual advisor to the Inner-City Muslim Action Network (IMAN). Both men that are highlighted in the film embraced Islam in prison and have become community leaders, post release, working to assist other formally incarcerated Muslims with their transition back into society. The film is worth watching for anyone seeking to gain an understanding of an often overlooked reality of the American Muslim Community.

Aside from their well established titles, accolades, and world renowned businesses, both men have rightfully dedicated their lives to the service of others. They are husbands, fathers, brothers, and uncles. They don’t claim to have all the answers, and will quickly dismiss the title teacher because they still consider themselves students. Both men are constantly working to hone their skills, and to better themselves and those around them. The body of believers is meant to be a community rooted in love and mercy. Brother Usama and Brother Mustafa have ultimately developed a unique friendship helping to strengthen communal bonds. Additionally, they have empowered others to tap into their human excellence, and the community which surrounds them is a true testament of their countless hours of service.

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We pray that Allah blesses them and their families, rewards them and their families, guides them and their families, and continue to love them both deeply by the blessings and truth of our most Beloved Prophet Muhammad, prayers and peace upon Him and His family.


[1] Prison Blues, additional films, and classes can be screened for free at www.taleefcollective.org. Create a free account & click OnDemand for all media content.

Posted by Aïdah A. Rasheed

Aïdah Aliyah Rasheed is a creative & currently lives in the San Francisco Bay Area.

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