Sun. Nov 17th, 2019

Monthly Spotlight – Imam Kashif

6 min read

Each Month, we will be interviewing a leader in the community and sharing their stories. This month we start off with Imam Kashif of Irving Masjid.

Imam Kashif was born Mohammad Kashif Ahmed, in Pakistan. His family decided to move to San Jose, California when he was 11 years old.

Imam Kashif then went to high school in Sacramento, and after graduation he moved to the UK to pursue Islamic education. He graduated 7 years later with a degree in Islamic Theology and Arabic Literature.

He later returned to the US and served as a chaplain at the maximum security prison in Folsom, California. After about a year, he took an Imam position in West Palm Beach, Florida.

4 years later, Imam Kashif returned to the Sacramento Area. For the last ten years he has served many roles in the community there, from Imam, to hifz school founder and teacher, to religious director.

As of 2019, he is now Imam at the Islamic Center of Irving.
Now that we have some background, let’s dive into the interview.

Badees: “What motivated you to go into Islamic Studies?”

Imam Kashif: “My parents wanted me to do hifz so I did that. Later on I became curious about the meaning of the Quran and what it has to offer, so I started to learn about it. I was also surrounded by scholars at the time. I admired how they were able to develop themselves spiritually and I wanted to be like them”

Badees: “Is there anything unique about the community here?”

Imam Kashif: “Here you see many people coming to salah, listening to lectures, and this is very unique mashaAllah. Every community has it’s pros and flaws, and it’s just something that they have to learn from and grow. Irving is a very vibrant community, but we need to keep growing and look to the future and see how we can improve.”

Badees: “When you have free time, what do you like to do?”

Imam Kashif: “I love to spend time with my family, alone. Sometimes, I like to just sit alone and contemplate different things. I don’t get much free time, so when I do have some once in a while, I like to relax, talk with friends, and just be casual.”

Badees: “What has been one of the most memorable moments in your career?”

Imam Kashif: “One of the most memorable moments for me was when I had a schedule of a funeral, a ‘aqiqah, a ‘izzah(visiting family of deceased), and a nikah all on the same day. I finished my lecture at the funeral service, then I had to run to a ‘aqiqah to give a lecture, then did a lecture at a ‘izzah, then conducted a nikah and gave a lecture there.

One of the challenges of being an Imam is that you can’t show your sadness in a place where people are trying to be happy, and you can’t show happiness in a place where people are mourning. I had to shift my feelings from one aspect to another very quickly, and it was very, very, challenging. Sometime you have to ask, do I still have my natural emotions attached or not?”

Badees: “How do you deal with struggle?”

Imam Kashif: “I always seek help by praying 2 rak’ah to Allah and making dua. Then I completely keep my trust in Allah because I know it’s out of my control.

One of the things that helps me is attaching myself more spiritually to Allah SWT, and it gives me a relaxed mind and heart. I realize that no matter how severe the calamity might be, Allah will make it easy inshaAllah.

One day that time will pass, and you will look back and learn from it. Each challenge prepares you for the next one.

Let us know who you want us to interview next! Email us at editor@theirvingmuslim.com

3 thoughts on “Monthly Spotlight – Imam Kashif

  1. Mashallah. Very informative interview. I would ask some deep questions about his struggle as a teenager growing up as a Muslim in such non Islamic environment and how did he deal with it. This is the struggle that many teenagers are going through. And sometimes they end up losing their Islamic identity.

  2. MashAllah very nice! I appreciate learning about our new Imam.

    For interview: how about interviewing some teens, ask what kinds of things (lecture topics, activities etc) they would want in our masjid that would be helpful for youth to be more Deen focused?

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