Nahjul Balagha is a collection of the sermons, letters and sayings of Imam Ali (a). It is considered to be one of the masterpieces of Islamic literature, second only to the words of the Holy Prophet (saw). Imam Ali (a) was an eloquent speaker and his words were very effective. The topics in Nahjul Balagha deal with different religious subjects and teach people how to be pious and prepare for the Hereafter.

In 2022, we were pleased to announce that the Nahjul Balagha International Essay competition is in three languages; English, Urdu and French.



Shaykh Bahmanpour studied sociology at the London School of Economics and Tabataba’i University, from which he attained a Master’s degree. He then studied religion in reputed religious seminaries.

In 1999, Shaykh Bahmanpour was invited by Cambridge University to teach as a visiting lecturer in the Faculty of Oriental Studies. Later, he was appointed Principal of The Islamic College in London and held this position for four years.

Shaykh Bahmanpour has a particular interest in the history of Jesus and Mary from an Islamic perspective. His screenplay about the life of Mary was produced into what was to become one of the most successful movies in the Persian language. It has also been reproduced into a television series and has been translated into several languages. Another of his works on Christian history is a screenplay about The Seven Sleepers of the Cave (Ashab al-Kahf).

Shaykh Bahmanpour has lectured worldwide and has authored several books including Muslim Identity in the 21st Century (2001), The Idols Will Fall (2010), The Blessed Tree: The Life and Times of Fatima Daughter of Muhammad (2011), Towards Eternal Life (2015), and Understanding Sura Yāsīn (2018).

Dr Shaykh Mohammed Ali Ismail, from Peterborough, UK, graduated in Law. He then went to Qum where he studied in the Hawza for ten years, specialising in Qur’an and Hadith Studies. During his time there, he regularly taught on short courses. Having graduated from the Hawza in 2007, he went on to complete a Post Graduate Certificate in Education at the University of Portsmouth.

Dr Ismail then moved to Damascus where for two years he taught and trained aspiring Ministers of Religion at the Islamic Institute for Post Graduate Studies. In 2010, he resettled in the UK and joined the academic team at The Islamic College, where, in his capacity as Head of Hawza and Qur’anic Arabic, he developed the Hawza Studies and Qur’anic Arabic programmes into fully validated Bachelor’s degree and Certificate courses. Currently, Dr Ismail is Director of Research and Publications, Senior Lecturer, and an editor at the College. Over the last two decades, Dr Ismail has regularly lectured and conducted courses in Islamic centres around the world. In 2020, he received his doctorate from Middlesex University.

Among his publications are Spiritual Development Programme for Madrasah Teachers (Manual and Workbook), and Islamic Laws, an annotated translation of the Tawdih al-Masa’il of Grand Ayatollah Sayyid Ali al-Husayni al-Sistani

Shaykh Khalil Jaffer was born in Mombasa, Kenya, and currently resides in Toronto. He holds a degree in computer science and has worked in software development. After completing his [post-secondary] studies, he trained as a lecturer in college, and gave evening lectures. His powerful and adept public speaking further developed during this period. After seven years in Nairobi, he relocated to Dubai for a further five years, before finally moving to Toronto. Having been part of a number of our community hotspots gives him a unique insight into the development of our society today.

Shaykh Vinay Khetia has studied at various traditional Islamic seminaries in London, Iraq and Syria. He has an undergraduate degree in Religious and Near Eastern Studies from the University of Toronto and an M.A. in the History and Philosophy of Religion from Concordia University. 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 Shi’ism.

Shaykh Khetia is an author, university lecturer, and researcher of religious studies with a specialization in Islamic intellectual history. He has published several peer reviewed academic papers on various subjects from Islamic law, theology and Qur’anic exegesis. He has studied in various Islamic seminaries receiving accolades from leading authorities in these seminaries.

Shaykh Tahir Ridha Jaffer is a graduate of the Hawza Seminary of Qum. He was qualified as an optometrist before deciding to pursue further Islamic Studies in the holy city of Qum where he has spent 15 years specializing in hadith studies. He completed his doctorate in 2018 and has also translated several works of hadith into English including Ghurar al-Hikam wa Durar al-Kalim, a collection of short quotations from Imam Ali (a) that was compiled by Abu al-Fath al-Amidi, a scholar of the 5th/11th century and Sunan al-Nabi, written by ‘Allama Tabatab’i on the traditions of the Prophet (saw).

Sister Jerrmein Abu Shahba obtained her BS in Biology and MS in Chemistry from Rutgers State University of NJ. She recently obtained her second master’s degree in Exegesis and Qur’anic Sciences.

Sister Jerrmein is a Clinical Research Scientist by profession and is a Certified Life and Health Coach. Her passion is to serve the Muslim community via coaching and mentoring youth and adults in setting and achieving their goals, overcoming struggles of life, and creating long-term transformation within the self, with Islamic guidance and practical solutions. She has also served as Project Manager for The World Federation’s Madinah and Bab Al-Ilm Course in 2014-2015.



Ayatollah Syed Aqeel al-Gharavi is a prominent Indian Shi’a scholar, philosopher, thinker, writer, poet, educationist, community activist and a critic. Currently, he is acknowledged as one of the most famous and senior Shia scholars from the Indian Subcontinent.

He was the founder and principal of Hawza-e-Ilmiyyah Jamiatus Saqalain in Delhi and is the current Chairman of Safinatul Hidaya Trust in India. He is the vice-President of All India Muslim Majlis-e-Mushawarat and member of All India Muslim Personal Law Board.

He also supervises PhD students at the Aligarh University, India and in addition to these, he also serves as patron of Imamia Islamic University, Delhi and Secretary of Forum of Philosophers, India.

Ayatuolah Syed Aqeel al-Gharavi is currently appointed representative of Majma-e-Taqrib by Ayatullah Shaykh Mohsen Araki for the Indian sub-continent.

Ayatollah Shaykh Mohsin Ali Najafi is a prominent Pakistani Shi’a scholar, Muffasir, philanthropist and a selfless Aalim who serves the suffering humanity. Due to his charitable deeds, he is also popularly known as Mohsin-e- Millat. He has several works of compositions and has translated many Arabic and Urdu books on various topics. The Tafseer “Al Kausar Fi Tafseer-ul Quran” is one of his prominent books and has also translated the Holy Qur’an in Urdu as Balagh-ul-Quran.

He is currently serving as the Chancellor and founder of Al Kauthar Islamic University, in Islamabad and is the founder and head of a network of twenty-five Shia seminaries in Pakistan. He is also the Chairperson of Jabir Bin Hayaan Trust and Managing Trustee of Hussaini Foundation, Head of Uswa Education System and Head of Hadi TV network based in Islamabad.

Hujjatul Islam Sayyid Muhammad Rizvi is a popular Indian Shia scholar and the author of many books. He comes from Siwan District in Bihar, India which is a home to renowned Shia scholars in the Indian sub-continent.

He migrated to Africa with his parents. After finishing elementary education, he went on to pursue Hawza studies at Hawza-e-Illmiyyah in 1972 and later, returned to India in 1982. In June 1983, he was invited by the Shia Muslim Community of British Columbia, to move to Vancouver, Canada, where he served through his lectures, writings, and teachings.

Based on his publications and educational background, in September 1987, the Simon Fraser University (Vancouver) awarded him the Master of Arts degree in History in 1991. In the same year in July, he moved to Toronto and worked as the Director of Islamic Education and Information Centre. Since July 1996, he has accepted the responsibilities of the Imam e Juma and is the Resident Aalim of the Jaffari Islamic Centre, Toronto.

Maulana Muhammad Zainul Abidin was born in the province of West Bengal in India. After his primary education, he left his homeland for higher education and during this time he received secular as well as religious education.

Along with his Ph.D., he was also associated with various academic and religious institutes. Maulana is active in the fields of writing, compilation and teaching and is also a good orator.

Since 2018, Maulana Muhammad Zainul Abidin has been appointed in Nepal to conduct our Tableegh activities, on behalf of The World Federation – External Tableegh Department.



Sayid Jaouad Saihi, resident in Belgium, holds several university degrees as well as Hawzah degrees, including a PhD in Philosophy from the University of London, a PhD in Theology, Coranic Sciences and Hadith, and a PhD in Islamic Philosophy. He practiced as a research teacher at a renowned University from 2009 to 2018 and is currently a professor of French and a member of a think tank in education in Brussels.

Shaykh Mostafa Al-Khaliq, from the holy city of Karbala, studied at the Hawzah for 9 years and is currently a PhD student in religious sciences. He resides in Britain and has been actively engaged in Tabligh since 2001.

Dr. Ahmed Mustafa, a French national of Iraqi origin, has been a French translator for more than 15 years. Among his achievements are the translation of the Nahjul Balaghah and the translation of the complete book of prayers of Imam Sajjad (as) (al-Sahifah al-Sajjadiyyah). He has a master’s degree in translation and is a doctoral candidate in the translation of the Holy Qur’an. He has been teaching translation skills at various French universities for about ten years.

Born and raised in Madagascar, Shaykh Hamza Afzalhoussen completed his secular studies before embarking on his journey to Hawza Illmiyah in 2012.

After a decade of religious studies at the holy proximity of Lady Fatimah al-Ma’sumah (a), Shaykh Hamza is currently a great orator and speaks 6 languages. He also recites moving poetry and Nowhas and is also active in Tableegh through social media and teaching. Shaykh Hamza assisted The World Federation’s External Tableegh Department in the capacity of Project Coordinator for the French category of this Nahjul Balagha Essay Competition.