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What Is The Fiqh Council of North America?

The Fiqh Council of North America (FCNA) is a body of recognized and qualified Islamic Scholars from the United States and Canada who accept the Qur’an and authentic Sunnah as the primary sources of Islam. Furthermore, FCNA is guided by the judicial heritage of the Prophet’s companions and the legal rulings and methodology of established classical normative Muslim Scholarship.

History Of The Fiqh Council

The Fiqh Council of North America traces its origins back to the Religious Affairs Committee of the then Muslim Students Association of the United States and Canada in the early 1960s. This Religious Affairs Committee evolved into the Fiqh Committee of the Islamic Society of North America (ISNA) after the founding of ISNA in 1980. As the needs of the Muslim community and the complexity of the issues they faced grew, the Fiqh Council was transformed into the Fiqh Council of North America in 1986.

The Council continues to be an affiliate of ISNA, advising and educating its members and officials on matters related to the application of Shariʻah in their individual and collective lives in the North American environment.

Our Council's Executive Committee

Dr. Yasir Qadhi


Dr. Yasir Qadhi is the Dean of The Islamic Seminary of America and the Resident Scholar of the East Plano Islamic Center.  He was born in Houston, Texas, and graduated with a B.Sc. in Chemical Engineering from the University of Houston, after which he was accepted as a student at the Islamic University of Madinah. After completing a diploma in Arabic, he graduated with a B.A. from the College of Hadith and Islamic Sciences, and then completed a M.A. in Islamic Theology from the College of Dawah. He then returned to America, and completed a PhD in Religious Studies from Yale University. Along with these academic degrees, he has also obtained traditional ijāzāt in multiple recitations of the Quran (qirā’āt) and in the books of hadith. He is one of the few people who has combined a traditional Eastern Islamic seminary education with a Western academic training of the study of Islam.

Dr. Zainab Alwani


Dr. Zainab Alwani is the Founding Director of the Islamic Studies program at Howard University School of Divinity (HUSD). She is the Associate Professor of Islamic Studies and the chair of the Religious Studies Master of Arts program at HUSD. She is an Islamic scholar, researcher and community activist. Dr. Alwani is also the first female jurist to serve on the board of the Fiqh Council of North America and currently serves as the Council’s Vice-Chair. She is a member and a board member of various national organizations including, Muslim Women Lawyers for Human Rights KARAMAH, and the American Academy of Religion. Dr. Alwani is currently serving as the Editor-in-Chief of the Journal of Islamic Faith and Practice. Her research focuses on Quranic studies, Islamic jurisprudence, the relationship between civil and religious law in the area of family, women and gender, and inter-religious relations.

Dr. Zulfiqar Ali Shah


Dr. Zulfiqar Ali Shah is the Executive Director/Secretary General of the Fiqh Council of North America and Director Religious Affairs of the Islamic Society of Milwaukee. He received his Ph. D. (Theology and Religious Studies) from the University of Wales, U. K., obtained his M.A. (Hons), (Islamic Studies: Usuluddin with specialization in Comparative Religions) from the International Islamic University, Islamabad, Pakistan and B. A. (Hons), (Islamic Studies: Usuluddin) from the same university. He is Hafiz of al-Qur’an. He has taught at the International Islamic University Islamabad, University of Wales, University of North Florida, St. Thomas University and Cardinal Stritch University. He is former president of Sharia’ Scholars Association of North America (SSANA) and Islamic Circle of North America (ICNA) and author of multiple books and articles.

Dr. Muzammil Siddiqi

Muzammil Siddiqi received his BA in Islamic and Arabic studies from the Islamic University of Medina, Saudi Arabia and later went on to complete a degree in comparative religion at Harvard University. Since 1981, he has served as the director of the Islamic Society of Orange County in Garden Grove, California. Internationally, he is a member of the executive board of the International Assembly of the Council of Ulama’ in Makkah; a member of the Supreme Islamic Council of Egypt and the Supreme Council of Mosques in Makkah, Saudi Arabia. In October 2011, he was invited by Pope Benedict XVI to join him and many other religious leaders of the world in a pilgrimage of peace. Dr. Siddiqi served as the president of ISNA from 1996 – 2000.

Dr. Mohammad Qatanani

Dr. Mohammad Qatanani has been the Imam of the Islamic Center of Passaic County since 1996. Dr. Qatanani received a bachelor’s degree in Islamic Legislation and Jurisprudence in 1985 from the University of Jordan as well a master’s degree in Islamic Jurisprudence in 1989. He also received a Ph.D. in Islamic Jurisprudence from the University of Jordan in 1996. Dr. Qatanani has completed numerous researches and studies and published several books in the fields of Jurisprudence of Minorities, Outreach, Interfaith, Marriage, Family, Muslim Character and Quranic Tajweed. Dr. Qatanani is a member of the Fiqh Council of North America and a founding member of the Imams Council of Tri-State Area and WAFAA house (Women Against Family Abuse). He holds appointments as Professor of Islamic Studies at the Graduate Theological Seminary, Professor at the Islamic American University, and Professor of Arabic and Islamic Studies at Montclair State University where he has been recognized as one of the top teachers in America by “Who’s Who Among America’s Teachers.” Dr. Qatanani has received many awards and recognitions, including the “Ambassador for Peace” award by The Inter-religious and International Federation for World Peace and a Special Commendation from the City of Paterson and County of Passaic, New Jersey. He is a member of several interfaith outreach and dialogue organizations and founder of “Muslim-Christian Dialogue of New Jersey.”

Shaykh Umer Khan

Shaykh Umer Khan graduated with the highest marks in his class in his formal Shahādah al-‘Ālimiyyah degree (License in Islamic Scholarship, i.e. ʻālim program) from Al-Salam Institute, authorized by Dar al-ʻUlūm Nadwat al-ʻUlamā’, Lucknow, India. He also completed a traditional Dars-e-Niẓāmī dawrah of the six canonical books of ḥadīth. Shaykh Umer completed his iftā’ (License to Give Islāmic Legal Verdicts) from Darulifta Birmingham, granting him the traditional title of ‘mufti’. He was also authorized by Shaykh Mohammad Akram Nadwi to give fatwā. He has a Master’s in Finance (from Wharton, UPenn) and another Master’s in Islamic Finance and he holds several professional certifications and qualifications in Islamic Finance. Shaykh Umer teaches the Islamic sciences at seminaries (Institute of Knowledge and Al-Salam Institute), researches and writes fatwās (legal verdicts) for various institutions, and serves as a sharīʻah advisor to a number of companies.

FCNA Members

Executive Members

Dr. Yasir Qadhi

Dr. Zainab Alwani

Dr. Zulfiqar Ali Shah

Dr. Muzammil Siddiqi

Dr. Mohammad Qatanani

Shaykh Umer Khan

Council Members

Dr. Abdulbari Mashal

Shaykh Abdur Rahman Khan

Dr. Ali Sulaiman Ali

Dr. Deina Abdelkader

Dr. Ihsan Bagby

Dr. Jamal Badawi

Dr. Jasser Auda

Dr. Khalid Nasr

Dr. Muddassir Siddiqui

Shaykh Muhammad Nur Abdullah

Shaykh Mustafa Umar

Dr. Ossama Bahloul

Shaykh Suhaib Webb

Dr. Tamara Gray

Imam Yahya Hendi