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As we stand on the shoulders of those who came before us, how do we, today, carry forward a deep-rooted legacy of spiritual and societal transformation? Join us on an eye-, heart-, and mind-opening journey to our Final Liberation! Through a series of insightful lectures and penetrating workshops, historian Dr. Bilal Ware and spiritual activist Shaykh Muhammad Mendes will:
- Unpack powerful lessons from the writings and life works of West African Muslim scholars and spiritual warriors.
- Illustrate the incredible, wide-ranging, and oft-unknown impact of Qur’an schools in West Africa.
- Explore West African Muslim-led social-spiritual movements that sparked the fire of liberation and successfully freed entire nations from the chains of colonization.
- Guide a tour through history—from the light of Bilal ibn Rabah to the love of Shaykh Ahmadou Bamba to the liberation theology of El-Hajj Malik Shabazz (Malcolm X)—with a special focus on how we can apply their lessons to illuminate our role in the present (in the era of ‘Black Lives Matter’).
- Uncover some of the keys to living authentically and building communities of self-reliance, freedom, justice, love, and equality wherever we may reside.
About Dr. Bilal Ware
Dr. Bilal Ware is a Professor of History at the University of Michigan and Director of the IKHLAS Research Initiative, which fosters research into historical and contemporary Islamic thought, knowledge practices, and epistemology through an interdisciplinary exploration of the traditional Islamic sciences with keen attention to diverse Muslim contexts, cultivating deep and meaningful scholarly and community dialogues. Dr. Ware specializes in premodern West African history. His research interests include Islam, popular religious culture, and race. His book, The Walking Qur’an: Islamic Education, Embodied Knowledge, and History in West Africa, documents the profound significance of Qur’an schools for West African Muslim communities, spanning a thousand years of history and bringing the story to the present through ethnographic fieldwork in Senegal, Gambia, and Mauritania.
About Shaykh Muhammad Mendes
Shaykh Muhammad Adeyinka Mendes is a spiritual activist, community Imam, poet, meditation coach, and instructor of Arabic as well as exoteric and esoteric sciences flowing from the Qur’an. He embraced Islam, the ancient religion of the Prophets, following a life changing trip to Jerusalem at the age of 17. He then specialized in Arabic at the university level, and has been trained for over two decades in the classical and Islamic Sciences by notable scholars and spiritual masters from around the world. Shaykh Muhammad teaches a radically nonviolent, non-sectarian, non-misogynistic, and environmentally conscious approach to holistically living Islam, throughout the US and internationally, and has focused on sharing the rich spiritual, intellectual, and sociopolitical legacy of Muslim Black Africa with diverse audiences. He lives in Atlanta, Georgia, with his family where he works as the founding-director of The Society for Sacred Service, The Mosque of Jesus Christ: A Mosque Without Walls, and the AHAD (African-American Healing and Development) and Darul-Kitab wal-Hikmah (Prophetic Knowledge and Universal Wisdom) Institutes.