2016-2018 Zonal Representatives
Congratulations to Sr Lubabah, Br Ahmed and Br Farhan on their appointment as ISNA US Zonal Representatives for the 2016-2018 term.
West Zone – Br Asif Ahmed Sheikh
Ahmed Shaikh is an attorney licensed in California and Texas and a Board Certified Specialist in Estate Planning, Trust and Probate. He has served in the field of Trusts and Estates for over a decade, with prior experience in Workers Compensation and Civil Rights. He is also a regular speaker on Islamic Inheritance, having taught both one day and multi-day programs on issues surrounding the faraid of inheritance, marriage and divorce, charitable tax planning and other issues. While much of his private law practice focuses on litigation of inheritance issues among non-Muslims, much of his work for the local Muslim community is to help families organize their affairs consistent with their values, which includes the fard of Islamic Inheritance. He is presently the elected Secretary/Treasurer for the Estate Planning Section of the Orange County Bar Association, which has approximately 450 Attorney members, and set to rotate into the Chairmanship of the organization in 2018.
He has served the community in various roles since his undergraduate days. He served as President of the MSA chapter in San Diego State University in 1995-96 and was involved with the MSA/Masjid at Indiana University Bloomington and the Law School in various capacities until graduation in 1999. He is a San Diego native (of immigrant parents) and currently lives in Orange County, California.
He has been on the ISNA Endowments Committee since at least 2008. He has spoken at the ISNA National Convention on several occasions, as well as other conferences, such as the ISNA Central Zone, the Educational Conference in Chicago and in ISNA Tours for the Endowment Committee in Seattle and the San Francisco Bay Area with Ahmed El-Hattab and Monem Salam, a prior West Zone Representative. He is currently completing a book to be published by the American Bar Association on Estate Planning for Muslim clients.
Locally in Southern California, Br. Ahmed has worked for the Islamic Shura Council in resolving internal Masjid disputes, and also helps organize events at local Masajid, focusing particularly on debate and discussion of critical issues, ranging from halal meat to Syria. These programs are primarily designed to help generate greater interest in the Masjid and increase attendance and participation. In 2015 and part of 2016, much of his work involved helping educate the Muslim community against the “Countering Violent Extremism” pilot program in the Los Angeles area, which has been largely defeated in Southern California.
He is also a columnist at muslimmatters.org, where he writes about how the law affects Muslims. He delves into areas as diverse as elder abuse by adult children and FBI interviews. He has also recently written for the Wealthcounsel Quarterly, a national print publication for Estate Planning Attorneys, on his work in Islamic Inheritance, called “Counseling Sharia.”
Central Zone – Sr. Lubabah Abdullah
Lubabah Abdullah is an attorney in St. Louis, Missouri concentrating her practice on Immigration law, Family law, and is focusing much of her attention on Estate Planning, helping Muslims fulfill their Islamic obligation to have a will and appoint guardians for their children. Prior to starting her own firm she worked as the Executive Director of the Muslim Alliance of Indiana and as an attorney at the Julian Center helping victims of domestic violence.
Her service to the community includes serving her MSA chapter during her undergraduate years to host the MSA National Central Zone conference at the University of Missouri in Columbia, Missouri. She has served on ISNA’s Legal Affairs Committee for the past 5 years as well as on the board of Al Salam Day School, the Islamic school affiliated with the Islamic Foundation of Greater St. Louis. Sr. Lubabah also served two-terms on the board of MSA National as Vice-President (US) and Treasurer. As Vice-President, she worked very closely with ISNA to ensure the success of the MSA Continental Conference held alongside the ISNA convention. When MSA National underwent restructuring and incorporated the Board of Advisors (BOA), she was elected to serve on the BOA for several years. She lives in St. Louis with her 2 young children.
East Zone – Br. Farhan Syed
Farhan Syed is a transplant Virginian, hailing from South Florida. Since his youth, Farhan has been active member of his local community by serving in various leadership roles, most recently serving as a board member from 2013-2016 of the Al-Fatih Academy, an Islamic school located in Northern Virginia. During the early years of the founding of the Muslim Youth of North America (MYNA), Farhan played an active role by promoting MYNA and organizing various programs and activities. The same commitment continued when he reached college and helped establish the first regional zone (MSA-SEZ) of MSA National, in 1994 and was elected as the East Zone representative (US) for MSA National (1995-1997). During his tenure as East Zone representative, he was active in the revival of MSA National, in the development of leadership training programs, and in organizing the zonal conference for MSA National. He has been a regular attendee of the ISNA convention throughout the years. His involvement with ISNA directly came at a most critical time in the wake of the 9/11 attacks, when ISNA decided to hold the annual convention in the East Zone, in Chicago, IL in 2002. Br. Farhan stepped up and provided great leadership as the 2002 ISNA Convention Steering Committee Vice-Chair.
In addition, he has been involved with Council of American Muslim Professionals (CAMP) – Chicago, a featured speaker on Islam for the Archdiocese of Chicago, Ecumenical Office (2001-2005), conducting Islam 101 workshops to local parishes and Catholic schools. Br. Farhan also served as Cub Scouts committee chair of the All Dulles Area Muslim Society’s (ADAMS) Pack 1576 (2012-2014). Farhan received his BS degree in Computer Engineering from the University of Miami, FL and attended law school at the John Marshall Law School in Chicago. He is currently employed by the United States Department of Commerce. Farhan resides in Northern Virginia with his wife and four children.