Instructor Profiles

INSTRUCTOR PROFILES

Alina Fazal-Juma has a Bachelor of science in Psychology from the university of Birmingham, England, and a Postgraduate Certificate in Autism and Behavioural Science. Whilst she works full time with children on the Autism spectrum, Alina also has a passion for visual arts.

From a young age she has developed skills in graphite drawings, henna, acrylic, oil and watercolour painting.

The inspiration behind her Artwork comes from the beautiful faith of Islam and rich cultural influences. For the last 6 years Alina has focused on contemporary Islamic and Inspirational Art. She opened her business 'My Pure Art' in 2009 and is currently completing a specialized course in the Art of Arabic Calligraphy. Alina loves to spread the joy of Art and use it to inspire a class.

Anar Allidina, MPH, RD holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Kinesiology from the University of Waterloo, and a Masters degree in Public Health Nutrition from Hunter College in New York. She completed her Dietetic Internship at New York-Presbyterian Hospital – at the university hospitals of Cornell and Columbia in New York City.

Anar is passionate about communicating nutrition in an easy to understand, enjoyable, practical way. The abundance of nutritional information surrounding us on what we should and should not eat can be overwhelming, leaving many us confused rather than informed. Anar believes that healthy eating does not mean sacrificing your favorite foods and depriving yourselves by dieting. Instead, she focuses on an individual holistic approach that works with your lifestyle. Anar focuses on small changes to improve the quality of your diet – whether your goal is weight loss, general wellness, or addressing a health concern.

Anar's hands on approach, which includes cooking demonstrations, pantry assessments and grocery store tours, will equip you with what you need to make healthy eating an enjoyable part of your life. You will be given the knowledge and guidance to reach your health goals and to feel your best!

Aziza Amarshi is a registered pharmacist and holistic nutritionist who practices pharmacy both at Southlake Regional Hospital in Newmarket as well as King City Guardian pharmacy in King City, Ontario.

She completed her undergraduate studies at University of Toronto in genetics and molecular biology and then went on to pursue a pharmacy degree from the Leslie Dan school of pharmacy at U of T.

She graduated in 1998 and has been practicing as a pharmacist ever since. It was her dissatisfaction with the fragmented way the medical system treats the body that recently lead her to pursue a certificate in Holistic Nutrition from the Canadian School of Natural Nutrition. She now successfully implements an integrative and holistic model of health in her practice as a community pharmacist at King City Pharmacy, providing her patients access to both conventional and alternative methods of healing.

Her unique position as a pharmacist and nutritionist has given her great insight into the relationship between food and illnesses. She promotes healthy eating habits to her clients not just for preventative purposes but to also alleviate symptoms of medical conditions such as eczema, anxiety, depression, irritable bowel syndrome, lactose intolerance, menopause, PMS, arthritis, allergies and food sensitivities.

She firmly believes that food that is good for us doesn't need to taste bad or require us to spend the entire day in the kitchen. She also believes that our body has an innate wisdom to prefer what is good for it if we only tune in to that wisdom.

Her interest in the Islamic perspective on health and nutrition has led her on a journey to explore the nutritional logic behind the ahadith of our aimmah on food and digestion. It is a journey that has just begun and yet it has led her to firmly believe that the wisdom to preserve health has been imparted to us by our prophet and aimmah and it is upto us to understand the logic behind these ahadith and to implement them into our lives to achieve life long health and wellness.

Dr. Fatima R Kamalia (MD, FRCP, FAAP) is a pediatrician with a private practice in Thornhill, Ontario. She is an attending staff at MacKenzie Health Hospital and is also affiliated with the Hospital for Sick Children and North York General Hospital. She did a two year undergraduate degree at the University of Toronto in the department of Immunology, she then obtained her medical degree at Queen's University medical school, and her pediatric residency at the hospital for Sick Children. She recently obtained a masters certificate in Leadership through York University Schuilick School of Business, sponsored by the OMA and the CMA. She is an active member of the Bathurst mosque jamaat and has given many lectures on a variety of pediatric topics for the community through the Jafari Islamic Community, the Medical Advisor Board, and Imamia Medics International.

Fatma Zaidi is an Aromatherapist with 21 years of experience working on 4 continents. She has spoken to many International Groups including the United Nations in Geneva, Switzerland. Aromatherapy was an introduction to her life purpose of helping people and empowering them with the message of love, hope and healing. She now resides in Toronto where she works with women to support them in their lives and businesses. She is passionate about teaching that we all are responsible and capable of making better choices that have the power to change our lives.

Originally from Tanzania, Shaykh Hasanyn Kassamali is the founder and religious director of the Academy for Learning Islam. He has a B.A. in Sociology from the University of Alberta and a Masters in Islamic Studies from the University of British Columbia. He has studied hawza program at Islamic seminaries in the Middle East.

Shaykh Hasnain has served as Resident scholar in Edmonton, Vancouver, Orlando and has lectured in many different communities around the world.

Marzia Hassan is a registered social worker and relationship consultant who has been working with individuals, couples and families for more than a decade. She has a Certificate in Family Therapy at Guelph University and a Masters in Social Work (MSW) from the University of Toronto. She is also certified as parent coach from the Positive Parenting Program (Triple P) network, a respected and evidence based parent training program.

In addition to running a psychotherapy practice in Toronto, Sr. Marzia facilitates workshops on parenting and couple relationships. She also chairs the board of Jaffari Support Services, a faith based social services agency, which provides counseling services to the community.

Br. Mohammadreza Ardehali has a Bachelor and Master in Arabic language and literature and a Ph.D. in progress in Qur’anic Hermeneutics. He has worked on the meaning of the Qur’an and its interpretation for many years and is writing his PhD dissertation on the first complete Imami interpretation of the Qur’an in Persian, Rawd al-Jinan wa rawh al-janan by Abu al-Futuh Razi (d. ca 554 AH). He is currently coauthoring a book on Quranic Arabic and teaching Arabic at Ryerson University.

Sabiha Karim-Jaffer was born in Nairobi, Kenya and was raised here in Toronto. She has completed her Bachelors Degree in Computer Science. She worked in IT and Web Design for a few years and has since changed gears. Sabiha and her husband relocated to Damascus, Syria to pursue Hawza studies and a Master's degree in Islamic Education. She is now a full-time mom and in her spare time enjoys doing research and delivering lectures on various Islamic subjects, conducting workshops, facilitating at retreats and teaching women and children about Islamic values. She feels that this is a life long journey which has just begun and hopes to keep moving forward with the help of The Almighty.

Quran Appreciation teacher

Sabireen Dharsi-Karim is a certified teacher with the Ontario College of Teachers. She has her B.Ed alongside her Hons. Bachelors degree in Psychology York university. . She is currently a Grade 2 teacher at the As-Sadiq Islamic School.

Sabireen enjoys teaching children of various ages and her particular interest involves teaching them about Islam in a fun, creative and stimulating way. Sabireen is TRIBES trained and so incorporates various unique activities in her lessons. Sabireen is always looking to explore her horizons with teaching various age ranges and exploring different subject matters.

Quran Appreciation teacher

Sakina Kermali has been in education for over 15 years having taught children of various ages. She works well with young children and is able to have a good rapport with them. She is constantly looking for fun and innovative ideas to teach students in order to make learning exciting. Sakina is a qualified Early Childhood Educator and has had the opportunity to run her own preschool program for many years. She has experience in teaching and supervising a variety of programs at the secular level. Sakina has also been involved in the Madrasah system where she has served as both teacher and as a Quran coordinator. She believes that it is important to educate and instil Islamic values in our children as they are the future generation.

Shahin Pardhan has both a BBA and MBA with honours and distinction from the Schulich School of Business at York University. She was employed at a major packaged goods firm in Toronto as an Assistant Brand Manager and in London at a leading insurance and investment company as a Senior Marketing Analyst. She is currently the Interfaith Coordinator for the Al Mahdi Islamic Centre in London Ontario which involves interfaith work at a local food bank, helping new reverts, and being the Islamic representative at a Peace Camp for kids from the three Abrahamic faiths. She is also an active member of the Funeral and Burial committee and runs Children's Programs in the holy month of Ramadhan, Muharram, Shabaan and Zilhajj. Shahin has taught at the West Madressa for over 10 years and now lends her experience to teaching at the Ahlul Bayt Madressa in London. She has helped to implement a new curriculum and coordinate both the Deen and Qu'ran programs. Shahin is currently teaching a Qur'an Appreciation course offered by the Academy for Learning Islam.

Shahin is one of three founders and administrators for Shia Connections, a matchmaking service which uses consultants to help match candidates in a non-traditional manner. She has been invited to speak about Islam and diversity at various religious institutions, universities, and through forums in London Ontario.

Ms.Shahnaaz Alidina is an educator pursuing a doctoral degree in Language, Culture and Teaching at York University, Toronto. Having over 20yrs of experience in teaching in secular as well as Madrasa, Sr Shahnaaz has taught Language Art at York University, Has taught Maths and English at Elementary school as well as Fiqh, Tafsir and Akhlaq in Madrasas. She has worked with NGO in setting up preschool in poor communities, has been a Montessori school principal, an online tutor for Early Childhood Montessori Education for a college in UK as well as HoD for Akhlaq studies in Nairobi Madrasa. Currently she is pursuing issues of literacy and cultural learning among minority students in Ontario. Sr.Shahnaaz has a passion for learning and understanding the Quran and is keen to see girls and women further themselves through education.

Shaikh Vinay have a undergraduate degree in Religious and Near Eastern Studies from the University of Toronto. He completed his M.A. in the History and Philosophy of Religion at Concordia University. Currently he is a PhD Candidate in the department of Religious Studies at McMaster University with a focus on the intellectual history of Islam and specifically Shiism.
Shaikh Vinay has also studied at various traditional Islamic seminaries in London, Iraq and Syria. He has written and published various articles dealing with Qur'anic Studies, Shiism and Islamic Law in academic publications.

Originally from Kenya, Tahera Kassamali works as the Outreach coordinator and Instructor at the Academy for Learning Islam. She has a B.A. with honors in English literature from the University of Alberta and a B.Ed from the University of British Columbia. She has also studied in the hawzas of the Middle East.
Sr. Tahera brings many years of experience as a female lecturer in the community and teacher at Islamic schools.