Imam M. A. Azeez
Imam Mohamed Abdul-Azeez is the religious leader of the SALAM Islamic Center in Sacramento CA. Imam Azeez was educated in Medicine, political science, sociology, Islamic history and Islamic theology. He holds an MD from Ain Shams University, a BA from Ohio State University, and an MA from University of Chicago.
Imam Azeez has been involved in Islamic activism and education for the past 10 years. He worked with and taught Islam at numerous institutions from the Midwest to the West coast.
Imam Azeez has made dozens of media appearances, both local and national. He was interviewed on the Sacramento Bee, the Sacramento News and Review, the Columbus Dispatch, and the Los Angeles Times. He was interviewed on most local TV channels, and was featured on CBS News.
Imam Azeez is a passionate advocate of interfaith work, and dedicates much of his time educating the community about the true peaceful essence of the religion of Islam. In his capacity as the Imam of SALAM, he is a member of the Sacramento Interfaith Service Bureau, and participates in most inter-religious dialogue in the area.
Imam Azeez memorized the Quran at a young age, and is known for his "heavenly" voice in its recitation. He teaches Quranic studies to youth and adults at SALAM.
The Imam is married to Kauthar Fattouh, of Ottawa, and has one daughter, Zeyneb, and two sons, Adam and Rodwan.
You can follow Imam Azeez on Twitter: http://twitter.com/mazeez
You can also listen to Imam Azeez's lectures on Youtube: http://www.youtube.com/imamazeez
Imam Azeez believes that the responsibilities of today’s Imam encompass far more than leading prayer and giving answers to complicated questions about Islamic law. Imam Azeez counsels and mediates in family concerns, teaches classes for both the Muslim and non-Muslim community, actively promotes and participates in the Sacramento interfaith community, acts as the spokesperson and outreach coordinator…. and organizes events at SALAM.
Imam Azeez holds that a “modern” Imam must go beyond the traditional role of leading prayers and giving khutbas. He also must be concerned with energizing the community… providing a broad world view and an understanding of political and social life. He must even make statements to the media clarifying misconceptions and explaining how Muslims fit into the overall American and international communities. Imam Azeez and SALAM have recently been highlighted in various news articles in both our local and national media.
Imam Azeez acknowledges that Imams living in the modern age must be able to comprehend the culture and society that they live in. “Even jokes”, he quips. In retrospect, it seems as if he was being prepared all along to step into his role at SALAM. Along the way, he has acquired a unique perspective on Islam in America. Through his education and upbringing, he has learned to view Islam through both a traditional spiritual and an objective secular lens. He has studied the biological, historical and sociological aspects of mankind in detail. He is, so to speak, a “Renaissance” imam, particularly suited to SALAM which, he claims, is “an open-minded environment where good ideas thrive, guided by the strong evidence of Qur’an and Sunnah.”
Imam M. A. Azeez counts Sheikh Mohamed Al-Ghazaly among his mentors. Al-Ghazaly was very well grounded in Qur’anic study, Seerah (the study of the Prophet’s life) and Islamic history. He used logic to apply sacred text to situations faced today, understanding that while Islam is valid in all time periods, intellect and logic must be used to understand Islam’s teachings. Sheikh Al-Ghazaly strived to live in accordance with his statement, “My prayers, my rituals, my life and my death are all for Allah, the Lord of the Worlds”.
Continuing his post-graduate education, keeping abreast of current Muslim social and political thought and staying at SALAM are among Imam Azeez’s personal goals. He has a special interest in the critical reading and analysis of Islamic history.
Imam Azeez enjoys nature, especially picnicking with his family. In fact he considers any time spent with Zeyneb as precious. He likes to exercise and he certainly gets plenty of it with his busy schedule and keeping up with Zeynab. He bikes, jogs, lifts weights and rollerblades. He is also intrigued by all things computer and electronic. In fact, he relies on his trusty BlackBerry to inform him of Salah times.