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Ustadha Shamira Chothia Ahmed, Guest

Born and raised in California’s Central Valley, Ustadha Shamira is passionate about educating and empowering Muslim women to reach their highest spiritual potential through acquiring sacred knowledge. Having graduated as valedictorian from a large public high school, her studies led her — following a brief soul-searching stint at Georgetown University — to seek sacred knowledge from scholars on three continents — Africa, Europe, and Asia. Ustadha Shamira began her journey in seeking sacred knowledge at the women’s Dar-ul-Uloom Mu’eenal Islam seminary in South Africa, and completed the five-year intensive ‘alima program at Ja’mia Al-Imam Muhammad Zakariyya, one of Britain’s first and most renowned Islamic universities for women. Thereafter, she continued her Arabic and Qur’anic studies in Damascus, Syria where she obtained an ijāzah in Tajwīd of the Ḥafṣ recitation from the late eminent Syrian scholar, Shaykh Ḥasan al-Kurdī. In 2005, Ustadha Shamira taught Hanafi fiqh for women at the Zaytuna Institute in California and since then has taught various Islamic sciences in venues across North America. In 2008, she earned a Master’s Degree in Demographics and Social Analysis from the University of California at Irvine, focusing on the identity formation of the Muslim-American population. In 2013, Ustadha Shamira specialized in the detailed rulings of menstruation, lochia, and abnormal discharge under the direction of Mufti Abdur Rahman Ibn Yusuf Mangera and assisted in compiling Imam Abu Hanifa’s Al-Fiqh al-Akbar Explained. As a wife and mother of five children, Ustadha Shamira has a passion to empower women in their child bearing years to gain closeness to their Lord. As a certified birth doula and lactation educator, she infuses her classes with Islamic spirituality and offers birth consultations and virtual doula services to Muslim women. Ustadha Shamira is a co-founder of the Rahmah Foundation and currently teaches for Nur al Iman, a full-time girls’ shariah program with Ustadha Mona Elzankaly based in the Bay Area.