Profile image of Zaid Shakir
Cofounder

Zaid Shakir

Zaid Shakir, a cofounder of Zaytuna College, is a prominent American Muslim scholar. He has taught courses in Arabic, Islamic spirituality, contemporary Muslim thought, Islamic history and politics, and Shafi’i fiqh at the College. He speaks and writes on a wide range of topics, and he travels frequently across the United States to support institution-building projects in the Muslim community. In 2007, he was a signatory of the 2007 letter “A Common Word Between Us and You,” an appeal for peace and cooperation between Christians and Muslims, and in 2016, he presided over the public memorial for Muhammad Ali.  

Email: [email protected]

Prior to Zaytuna College

He speaks and writes on a wide range of topics and has become a voice of conscience for American Muslims as well as people of other faiths. He is regularly included as one of the Western world’s most influential Muslim scholars in The Muslim 500, an annual ranking edited by John Esposito and Ibrahim Kalin. He is also one of the signatories of "A Common Word Between Us and You," an open letter by Islamic scholars to Christian leaders that calls for peace and mutual understanding. He holds an M.A. in Political Science from Rutgers University.

Selected Works

  • Where I'm Coming From: The Year In Review, NID Publishers, 2010.
  • Treatise for the Seekers of Guidance, NID Publishers, 2008 (translated with commentary has been awarded as a finalist in the category of general spirituality by USA Book News).
  • “The Zaytuna Ruku Tree”, Holy Ground: A Gathering of Voices on Caring and Creation, 2008.
  • A Sierra Club landmark book collection. Scattered Pictures: Reflections of An American Muslim, Zaytuna Institute, 2005, and reprint NID Publishers, 2007.
  • Agenda to Change our Condition (2007).
  • The Heirs of the Prophets, Starlatch Press, 2001 (translated).
  • Muslims and The Climate Crisis: Responding To A Higher Call, Creation At The Crossroads, 2016. A faith-sharing resource created in collaboration by RENEW International, GreenFaith, and the Catholic Climate Covenant.

Education: B.A., Islamic Law and Arabic Language, Abu Nour University, Damascus, 2001 M.A., Political Science, Rutgers University, New Jersey, 1985 B.A., (summa cum laude), International Relations, American University, Washington, DC, 1983. Computer Support Specialist, United States Air Force, Logistical Support Training School, Denver, Colorado, 1976 United States Air Force – Accommodation Medal – 1981 Diplomas (ijazahs) from Shaykh Abdul Rahman al-Shaghuri (non-philosophy Tasawwuf texts), Shaykh Mustafa al-Turkmani (Islamic Sciences) and Shaykh Muhammad al-Ya'qubi (Islamic Sciences).