Shaykh Mehdi Hazari
Shaykh Hazari was born in Toronto, Canada, but he spent most of his youth in the Sultanate of Oman where he received his primary education; his family moved to the United States in the 1980’s. He finished high school and thereafter completed his undergraduate studies at the University of Florida/Florida Atlantic University, and then received his Master’s degree from the University of Toronto. He received his doctorate from Johns Hopkins University. He is a physiologist/environmental scientist by profession, specializing in neuro- and cardiovascular physiology and studies the effects of air pollution on human health.
Dr. Hazari has published numerous peer-reviewed articles in his field of science and regularly presents his work at national and international conferences. He also lectures and mentors graduate and undergraduate students in affiliation with local universities. Dr. Hazari received the 2011 Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers (PECASE) from President Barack Obama at the White House in July 2012.
Shaykh Dr. Hazari also completed hawzah studies under the direction of his eminence Shaykh Mohamad al-Ali al-Halabi. These studies, which have spanned more than fifteen years, include completion of introductory seminary-level subjects (i.e., muqaddimat —usul al-fiqh, fiqh, Quranic studies, theology, and logic), as well as more advanced instruction in Islamic law (lumuah).
Shaykh Hazari is also a religious speaker, teacher, and volunteer in the Shia and Muslim community at-large for almost two decades; he gives speeches in centers across North America and regularly interacts with youth groups at all level. He delivers speeches mainly in English; however, he speaks Arabic and Urdu as well.
Shaykh Hazari is the resident scholar (alim) or imam of the Islamic Ahlul Bayt Association of the Triangle (IABAT) in Durham, North Carolina, where he provides religious services (such as marriage, death/burial, and counseling), leads congregational prayers, provides guidance to the weekend school, and delivers lectures.
He is also deeply committed both locally and nationally to community service, public outreach, and intra-/interfaith dialogue. As such, he is involved with a Durham organization that provides healthy food to deprived students and builds bridges between the people of the community.
Shaykh Dr. Hazari is a member of the Council of Shia Muslim Scholars of North America and a board member of the Imam Mahdi Association of the Marjaeya (I.M.A.M.). In addition, Shaykh Hazari also contributes to the publication of Islamic books, authoring the booklet Who is Hussain? and articles on numerous topics. He also provides expert review of jurisprudential books on common subjects like food and drink, wills, and expiation.