Dr. Umar Faruq Abd-Allah delivers a talk in Birmingham
Dr. Umar Faruq Abdullah
Dr. Umar Faruq Abdullah (Wymann-Landgraf) was born a Protestant Christian in the Midwest, in 1948. He was raised in the Midwest, and in 1970 while he was a student at Cornell University (Ithaca, New York) he embraced Islam. He was named a Woodrow Wilson honorary fellow as a student of English literature at Cornell. He never completed his study in this though, and in 1972 he transferred to the University of Chicago. Here, he began to pursue a career in Islamic Studies. He received his doctorate in 1978, with honors from the University of Chicago. He completed his dissertation there focusing on the concept of “Amal” in Maliki legal theory.
After completion of his doctorate, Dr. Umar taught in a variety of universities including the University of Windsor (Ontario), Temple University (Pennsylvania), and the University of Michigan (Ann Arbor). After working for a few years, in 1982, Dr. Umar decided to go abroad. He first spent time in the beautiful scenery of Granada, Spain where he spent two years teaching Arabic. In 1984, Dr. Umar was appointed to the Department of Islamic Studies at King Abdul Aziz University (Jeddah, Saudi Arabia). He spent sixteen years in Jeddah teaching Islamic studies as well as Comparative Religion. In 2000, Dr. Umar returned to the States. In his time abroad, Dr. Umar did not waste a moment, spending any free time with the available scholars over there, obtaining traditional training in various Islamic disciplines. He speaks Arabic fluently, and is familiar with a large number of modern and ancient tongues.
When Dr. Umar returned to the States he began working with his community right away. He returned to Chicago, IL in August of 2000 and began working with the then newly founded Nawawi Foundation. Currently he continues to work as Chairman and Scholar-in-Residence of the foundation. Through the Nawawi Foundation, Dr. Umar holds regular classes. He is also presently conducting research in Islamic studies and related fields.
Dr. Umar is a returning scholar to the ALIM program. Previously he has taught classes concerning the history of Islamic Law, and Jihad in the modern world. He currently resides with his family in the western suburbs of Chicago.