Are You Ready

The Festival of Knowledge Is Coming

DEC 15

DEC 16

Connecting brands and ideas

What is IlmFest?

ILMFEST is our grand yearly festival of knowledge, an unforgettable event as attested to by thousands of you last year!

For those who might be thinking “it’s just another conference”, think again! This is not your normal run-of-the-mill Islamic gathering – rather, IlmFest is a unique blend of those special ingredients that only AlMaghrib can pull off, whether it’s our relevant cutting-edge keynote lectures, or the live performances with a difference, or the engaging chai-chats, or the probing interviews, or the talent show sessions, or the eclectic mix of stalls, and much more! IlmFest truly has something for everyone!

Share the news with everyone you know because they’ll be talking about it for months afterwards, so just make sure you can say that you were there. IlmFest truly is an incredible experience that will leave all of its attendees yearning for more!

World Class Speakers

From the far corners of the world, the line-up of speakers at this years IlmFest is truly special. From young dynamic, knowledgable speakers, to well known shuyookh from around the globe. Hover over and click on the speaker list below to see bio and more.

Honorable Keith Ellison

Guest - Minnesota Only

The Honorable Keith Ellison is the Attorney General elect for the State of Minnesota. A position he will assume on January 7, 2019. Currently, Congressman Keith Ellison represents Minnesota's 5th Congressional District in the U.S. House of Representatives. The Fifth District includes the City of Minneapolis and surrounding suburbs and is one of the most vibrant and ethnically diverse districts in Minnesota.

Waleed Basyouni


Vice President of AlMaghrib Institute and Head of our Islamic Theology and Ethics Department. Students know him well for his sincere care for their well-being and progress in study. We see Shaykh Waleed as not just our senior scholar, but one of the most important leaders of the da‘wah in the West.

Omar Suleiman

Minnesota Only

Spirituality and Da‘wah Specialist. President, Yaqeen Institute for Islamic Research. Co-Creator, “Inspiration Series”. Founder, Muslims Understanding and Helping Special Education Needs. Resident Scholar, Valley Ranch Islamic Center. Co-Chair, Faith Forward Dallas. Bachelor’s in Islamic Law. Master’s in Islamic Finance. Master’s in Political History. Completing PhD in Islamic Thought and Civilization.

Yasmin Mogahed

Charlotte Only

Specialist in Spirituality, Relationships, Psychology, and Personal Development. International speaker and author. Writer for Huffington Post. Author of Reclaim Your Heart. Bachelor’s in Psychology. Master’s in Journalism and Mass Communication. First female AlMaghrib Instructor.

Ammar Alshukry


AlMaghrib Grand Slam Champion, excelling in his involvement at every capacity: volunteer, original Ameer of QTayybah, HQ staff, graduate and now instructor.

Suleiman Hani

Charlotte Only

A lecturer and author hailing from Dearborn, Michigan. At the age of 14, he completed a 10-month Qur’an memorization program and shortly thereafter began his intensive studies under local and global scholars.

Abdul Nasir Jangda

Minnesota Only

After graduating from high school, he continued his studies abroad at the renowned Jamia Binoria and graduated from its demanding seven year program in 2002 at the top of his class with numerous licenses to teach in various Islamic Sciences. Along with the Alim Course he concurrently completed a B.A. and M.A. in Arabic from Karachi University.

Abdulbary Yahya


Known as the most laid back, easy-going instructor in the AlMaghrib lineup. He is often used as the example for patience at its best, and is famous for his personal funny experiences that he uses wittingly to teach and help understand advanced Islamic concepts.

Majed Mahmoud

Minnesota Only

One of the leading activists of Da‘wah in his community. With his heart-touching reminders and soft approach, Majed makes Islam digestible and beloved to people of all ages. Majed is a shining example for students seeking growth and development within Islamic Studies. He’s the first graduate of AlMaghrib Institute to become one of its instructors, performing exceptionally in over 50 seminars including theology, Islamic jurisprudence, and Quranic Sciences.

Saad Tasleem

Charlotte Only

Shaykh Saad Tasleem, born and raised in the USA, is highly in tune with today’s youth struggles and pressures, while grounded with education in traditional Islamic Sciences. In his early years, Shaykh Saad tasted the alternative life as the lead singer of a punk rock band. Moving on from that lifestyle, Shaykh Saad still skateboards, snowboards, and rocks his Converse sneakers. After studying Art History, Modern Art, Graphic Design, and Psychology at the University of Maryland, he decided to take his life in a brand new direction.

Mohammed Faqih


Doctor of etiquettes and mannerisms. His knowledge is impeccable. His chain in the Qur’ān only 28 shy of the Prophet, on whom be peace. His demeanour utterly disarming. His style in fashion and stride in walk makes you say, “That man is fit to be president.”

Muhammad Abu Talab

Charlotte Only

Mohamed AbuTaleb serves as the Imam of the Islamic Association of Raleigh. He is a lifelong student of the Quran and Islamic studies, has studied with a number of credentialed scholars and teachers and has been blessed to memorize the Holy Quran. Mohamed has pursued seminary training through the Cambridge Islamic College and Al-Salam Institute in the United Kingdom, and studied under teachers trained at Islamic universities in India, Saudi Arabia, Syria, Jordan, and Egypt.

Farhan Abdul Azeez


Dr. Farhan Abdul Azeez was born and raised in Michigan. He has studied Arabic and Tajweed in Egypt, and Arabic and Islamic Studies with local institutes and teachers in the US. He currently is a student in the Qalam Institute Seminary program and a practicing Emergency Medicine physician.

Wisam Sharieff


Imam Wisam leads the popular QuranRevolution program for AlMaghrib Institute, a revolutionary program helping students read, recite, reflect, and retain Quran. By designing contemporary and pioneering learning systems, Imam Wisam has helped his students revolutionize their interaction with Quran.

Sarah Sultan


Sarah Sultan is a licensed professional counselor who strives to empower her clients through achieving healthier, more fulfilling lives and relationships while reconnecting with Allah during the healing process. Sarah has a Master's Degree in Mental Health Counseling and has practiced therapy for nearly 10 years.

Kaltun Karani


Kaltun has been an avid AlMaghrib student since 2005 and earned a BA in Islamic Studies from the institute. She is a passionate speaker and teacher of Islam and personal development. She’s known for engaging her audience and inspiring them to action. Kaltun is the founder and currently main teacher at Hikma Academy where she teaches her students the meaning of the Quran and other Islamic sciences in a way that is relevant to their lives.

Boonaa Mohamed


Minnesota – DEC 15



Charlotte – DEC 16



Minnesota: Saint Paul River Centre

175 W Kellogg Blvd
St Paul
MN 55102

Charlotte: Charlotte Convention Center

501 S College St
NC 28202


Sr Kaltun Karani

Nurturing Our Emotions – MINNESOTA
Our emotions and how we deal with them determine not only our well-being, but also the type of life we lead. How do we gain more awareness of our internal compass and allow it to lead us through a life we are pleased with in the Dunya and Akhirah?
What Strong Women Do – CHARLOTTE
“Despite facing many hardships, many women in history have been the backbone of society. What qualities did some of the most inspirational women possess that allowed them to leave such remarkable legacies?”

Sh Waleed Basyouni

What I Learned From Yousef – MINNESOTA
“The story of Yousef (A.S) is a favourite among many.
We love hearing about how this prophet overcame the difficulties in his life
– how he went from being thrown into a well to interpreting dreams for a king.
In this lecture, we contemplate how we can take lessons from
the story of Yousef and apply them to our own lives. “
“The rewards of praying in congregation outweigh those of praying alone.
Yet we often fail to recognize that fact. In this lecture, we will discuss practical ways to increase our time praying in congregation at the Masjid and the benefits of doing so.”

Sh Ammar Alshukry

The Desire for More: Minimalism and Surat At-Takathur – MINNESOTA
“It’s easy to get caught up in worldly-life desire. Sometimes, that desire can overtake us and spell disaster for our eternity. In these unparalleled times of materialism, let’s see how guidance from the Quran can help us replace
love of the dunya with love of the akhira.”

The Poor: The Followers of the Prophets & the Beloved of the Sincere – CHARLOTTE
Ever since the beginning of Prophethood, the poorest of society have been the first to accept and follow the truth. Why is that, and what lessons can we take from it?

Sh Majed Mahmoud

The Good End – MINNESOTA
“Our Prophet (pbuh) taught us that our actions and our lives will be
judged by how they end. How can we ensure that we conclude our lives
in the best way possible way, so that we are ready to stand in front of our Lord?”

Sh Mohammed Faqih

The Power of Forgiveness – MINNESOTA
“One of the most powerful characteristics of our faith is forgiveness.
We find strength in knowing that our Lord loves to forgive. But we often
find it difficult to be the giver of forgiveness within our lives and relationships. It’s time we revisit the guidance of our Lord and His Messenger to re-discover how this one, oft-neglected skill can reshape our entire lives.”

The Ego Factor – CHARLOTTE
“How in control are you of your ego? Too often we let our egos destroy
the good of our lives… along with the good of our Hereafter. Join us for
an eye-opening session where we will learn all about the “ego factor”
and how we can prevent it from growing into an uncontrollable beast.”

Sr Sarah Sultan

Why Do Bad Things Happen To Me? – MINNESOTA
“The struggles we face in life often overwhelm us to the point of losing all hope. But is there a way to approach these struggles in a manner that will allow us to grow and reconnect with Allah? How can an Islamically-based psychological approach allow our struggles to push us forward instead of holding us back?”
Cultivating Contentment Through The Power of the Present – CHARLOTTE

“Dwelling on the past results in regret, while overthinking about the future leads to worry. How can we take control of the present and use it to overcome our struggles, to become our best selves and to gain closeness to Allah?”

Sh Abdulbary Yahya

Activism and Knowledge in the Information Age – MINNESOTA
“In the age of deception and widespread ignorance, people are easily misled and misguided. In order to refrain from being lead astray, we must remain steadfast upon the Quran and Sunnah through knowledge and action. Can we take advantage of the advancements in technology and information, using it for good while avoiding its pitfalls?”
Time: Why We Never Have Enough – CHARLOTTE
“Our lives are busier than ever. With so many distractions, it’s easy to lose the little time we do have. We need to understand that the time we’ve been given is a trust from Allah. If we waste it, we’ll be accountable to Him. So how can we use it in the best way possible, in the midst of all the pressure surrounding us everyday?”

Sh Omar Suleiman

A Life of No Regrets – MINNESOTA
The Prophet (pbuh) once advised his companion: “Do not say anything for which you must apologize and abandon any desire to acquire what other people have.” Today, many of us struggle with the regrets we’ve accumulated over the span of our lives. How can we follow the Prophet’s advice and start living a life of no regrets?

Br Farhan Abdul Azeez

Unapologetically Muslim – CHARLOTTE/MINNESOTA
“What can we do to empower ourselves and our families to be confident in our Islam and identity as Muslims? Join us for an enlightening talk that explores
this important question.”

Ust Yasmin Mogahed

Mental Prison: Breaking The Habits That Shackle Us – CHARLOTTE

“Many of us feel paralyzed by our problems, becoming prisoners to our circumstances. But our situation isn’t determined by what happens to us. It is determined by how we respond. When we change our lens, our thinking and our response, we can change our lives.”

Sh Mohamed AbuTaleb

We Need a Dream: Prophet Ibrahim’s Vision for a Community of Believers – CHARLOTTE

“Muslims today struggle under the weight of Islamophobia, the incessant pulls of atheism, materialism and more. At times, it seems like a miracle that we are even able to keep our faith. Prophet Ibrahim (a.s), amidst unimaginable challenges, not only saw a way to survive, but charted a path for future generations to thrive. We explore and commemorate his blessed example while looking inward to examine how that vision can motivate our own dreams for ourselves, our families and our communities.”

Sh Saad Tasleem

Does Patience Mean Suffering in Silence? – CHARLOTTE
Often when we are facing difficulties in life, we are told to “have patience.” But what does having patience really mean? Do we sit idly by and wait for things to get better? Or do we take action knowing that everything is in the hands of Allah SWT? As we look into the meaning of patience, we will discover the right way to deal with difficulty, the proper response to abuse and removing ourselves from bad situations.

Imam Wisam Sharieff

The Art of Quranic Recitation? – CHARLOTTE/MINNESOTA

Learn the key principles that you can use to improve, gain confidence and fall in love with your Quranic recitation.