“The combination of the idea of Tawhid and the preservation of the text of the Quran affected me the most”Name: Sheykh Jamaal al-Din M. Zarabozo
Birth: 1960, France.
Residence: Berkeley, Colorado, US.
Education: Bachelors degree in Economics at the University of California in Berkley and in Davis, Master’s Degree in Economics from UC in Davis. Left his Ph.D. studies to pursue Islamic studies. Learnt Arabic autodidactly and studied Islam with Dr. Mustafa Azami, a world-renown scholar of hadith, in Boulder, Colorado.
Occupation: Islamic scholar, lecturer, editor, and author of numerous books on Islam
Activities: Imam of the Islamic Center of Boulder, Colorado; teaching Islamic and Arabic Language classes from the Muslim Community Association of the San Francisco Bay Area and from Masjid An-Nur Islamic Center (available via live streaming from his website http://www.jamaalzarabozo.com); a regular guest on the Islam Channel, and founder and editor of al-Basheer Magazine.
Works: A Commentary on the Forty Hadith of Nawawi, Towards Understanding Islam – Part I, How to Approach and Understand the Quran, The Authority and Importance of the Sunnah, Purification of the Soul, He Came to Teach you your Religion, The Fiqh of the Friday Prayer, The Friday Prayer – Khutbas I-II, Easy Fiqh, and Jihad and Western Attitude toward War. Translation from Arabic books: if The World of The Jinn and The Devils by Omar Al-Ashqar, Words of Remembrance and Words of Reminder ( Salih al-Sadlaan), The Fiqh of Marriage (Salih al-Sadlaan), Marital Discordn (Salih al-Sadlaan), The Concise Presentation of The Fiqh, Fiqh al-Sunnah (Syed Sabiq) and Religious Extremism in the Lives of Contemporary Muslims.
Previous faith: Catholic
Reason: “The idea of Tawhid appealed to me first of all – as it does to many converts to Islam – as this was one of the main problems I had with Christianity. The combination of the idea of Tawhid and the preservation of the text of the Qur’an were the aspects that affected me the most. I believed that if a Prophet was sent and needed to be followed, then we have to be able to say what that Prophet brought, and I could not find any people, other than the Muslims, who could say that so, I decided to become a Muslim. I was 16 years old at the time. I assumed there were no Muslims around, so I told my friends that I was Muslim. I started praying – I had a book which was written by a Christian missionary who had been to India in the 1800s. The book was called the Dictionary of Islam and it describes the prayer. That’s where I first learned how to pray…”