During these current weeks of a mandated shelter in place, we know how difficult it has been for parents to juggle work, children, and routines previously deemed rather simple. You don’t have to do this alone.  Northstar School would like to offer support by inviting you to join us, along with Dr. Rania Awaad, Shaykh Yahya Rhodus, Imam Tahir Anwar, and Imam Zaid Shakir and  for very special webinar addressing how to foster resilience, particularly among our children.

We are honored to welcome our distinguished keynote speakers as they share insights on adapting to adversity and educating our youth during this unprecedented time. Commemorating our eighteenth anniversary, we hope to also share stories about the inspiring work that this school is doing in establishing an institution whose legacy and impact will be a source of immense good and blessings for many generations to come, insha’Allah.

As an educational non-profit, we also greatly need your support more than ever to sustain our work. We look forward to you joining us for this special webinar, and excitedly anticipate announcing the winners of the Praised One poetry contest for this year.  Register now!

Educating Our Children in Uncertain Times

Saturday, April 18, 2020 4:00 pm PST

IMAM ZAID SHAKIR (Zaytuna College)
DR. RANIA AWAAD (Khalil Center & Stanford University)
IMAM TAHIR ANWAR (Zaytuna College)


This webinar is completely free, but we are asking guests to register and receive a reminder as the event approaches. If you cannot attend, but would like to support Northstar School, please click on the link below.

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For more info: email events@northstarschool.org, or call 510-397-1501

Dr. Rania Awaad | BIO

Raised in the U.S., Ustadha Rania Awaad began her formal study of the traditional Islamic sciences when her parents permitted her to travel to Damascus, Syria at the age of 14. Her desire to continue studying the Deen resulted in multiple trips back to Damascus, interspersed between her high school, college and medical studies. She was honored to receive Ijaazah (authorization to teach) several branches of the Shari’ah sciences at the hands of many renowned scholars, including many female scholars. She has received Ijaazah to teach Tajwid in both the Hafs and Warsh recitations from the late eminent Syrian scholar, Shaykh Abu Hassan al-Kurdi. In addition to completing several advanced texts of the Shafi’i madhhab, she is licensed to teach texts of Maliki fiqh, Adab and Ihsan. Currently, Ustadha Rania teaches online and local classes for The Rahmah Foundation, Rabata, and is on faculty of Zaytuna College where she teaches courses in Shafi’i fiqh, women’s issues in fiqh, and has helped develop and co-direct the Tajweed and Hifz progam.

Ustadha Rania also a medical doctor with a specialty in Psychiatry. She completed her Psychiatric residency and fellowship training at Stanford University where she is currently on the faculty as a Clinical Instructor in the Stanford Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences department. Her medical interests include addressing mental health care concerns in the Muslim community- particularly that of Muslim women and girls. She has been awarded grants from the NIMH (National Institute of Mental Health) to conduct research on this topic and has presented her findings at several medical conferences. Other on-going endeavors include the compilation of manuscripts addressing female-related mental health and medical issues from a fiqh-oriented perspective. She currently serves as the Director of the Rahmah Foundation, a non-profit organization dedicated to teaching Muslim women and girls traditional Islamic knowledge. In this capacity she also heads the Murbbiyah Mentoring Program which trains young women how to teach and mentor Muslim girls and teens. Ustadha Rania is both a wife and a mother; she has been counseling and teaching women classes on Tajwid, Shafi’i Fiqh, Ihsan, marriage and raising children since 1999.

Shaykh Yahya Rhodus | BIO

One of the well-respected Muslim scholars in the Western world, Shaykh Yahya has studied at some of the most prestigious learning institutions in the Muslim and Western world. Having embraced Islam at the age of 19 in Santa Clara, California, he immediately began his study of the Islamic sciences with local teachers. Shortly thereafter, he traveled to Mauritania to pursue a full-time course of study where he was able to learn from one of Mauritania’s greatest scholars, Murabit al-Hajj. Yahya then went on to spend several years in Tarim, in the Hadramawt Valley of Yemen. There, he studied at the reputable school, Dar al-Mustafa, with the renowned scholars Habib Umar bin Hafiz and Habib Ali al-Jifri.  Upon returning to the United States, Shaykh Yahya served for a period of time as a full-time instructor at Zaytuna College. He holds a B.A. in Near Eastern Studies from UC Berkeley, an M.A. in Islamic Studies from the Graduate Theological Union, and a Ph.D. in Theology and Religious Studies from the University of Cambridge, England. He is the Founding Director of al-Maqasid.

Imam Tahir Anwar | BIO

Imam Tahir Anwar is an American Muslim scholar and preacher. Born in London, England, he has lived in the San Francisco Bay Area since 1983. After completing his religious studies, Imam Tahir has served the Bay Area Muslim community since 2000. He also teaches Islamic Law at the renowned Zaytuna College, America’s first Muslim liberal arts college located in Berkeley, CA. In addition, he is the founding board member of Averroes High School, the Bay Area’s first Muslim high school. He is currently the chairman of the board of NISA, North-American Islamic Shelter for the Abused, an organization that works towards alleviating issues related to domestic violence.
He has a passion for community service. He served on the Human Rights Commission for the City of San Jose for over 5 years and on the Human Relations Commission for the County of Santa Clara for one year. He also leads a group for Hajj each year.


Imam Zaid Shakir | BIO

Imam Zaid Shakir is a co-founder, and senior Faculty Member of Zaytuna College located in Berkeley, CA. He is amongst the most respected and influential Islamic scholars in the West. As an American Muslim who came of age during the civil rights struggles, he has brought both sensitivity about race and poverty issues and scholarly discipline to his faith-based work.  Born in Berkeley, California, he accepted Islam in 1977 while serving in the United States Air Force. He obtained a BA with honors in International Relations at American University in Washington D.C. and later earned his MA in Political Science at Rutgers University. While at Rutgers, he led a successful campaign for divestment from South Africa, and co-founded New Brunswick Islamic Center formerly Masjid al-Huda.  He is a frequent speaker at local and national Muslim events and has emerged as one of the nation’s top Islamic scholars and a voice of conscience for American Muslims and non-Muslims alike. Imam Zaid has served as an advisor to many organizations, and influential leaders. He is ranked as “one of America’s most influential Scholars” in the West; by , edited by John Esposito and Ibrahim Kalin, (2009). Imam Zaid is a signatory along with religious and spiritual Leaders from around the world who presented the UN Secretary General with a declaration in support of the Paris Climate Agreement under the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, marking the largest number of nations ever signing an international agreement. Inspired to work with religious groups on sustainable living and climate change in 2017, Imam Zaid is a Green Faith partner in action for the earth. The mission is to inspire, educate, organize, and mobilize people of diverse religious and spiritual backgrounds globally for environmental action. In 2018, CNN listed him among 25 influential American Muslims.

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