Artists’ Biographies

The Munshids

Nader Khan

Nader Khan is a Canadian Muslim singer/songwriter, and social activist. He’s been touring and performing across Canada, USA, UK, Australia, Malaysia, and Singapore; to name but a few. His first album, Take My Hand, was released in 2009.

Over the past 5 years, Nader has also spearheaded various social justice initiatives that promote local and international relief efforts through Islamic devotional music, arts, youth engagement, and inspiration.

In 2013 Nader embarked on a daring new endeavour, bringing together service and devotion by channeling 100% of sales revenue from future albums into various humanitarian causes. His upcoming album, titled Water is set to release in mid 2015, and 100% of the album’s sales will be going towards WaterAid Canada.

Firqah Birr wa Taqwa

Biography to be posted soon…

Mostafa Atef

Biography to be posted soon…

The Keighley Munshids

The Keighley Munshids are a vocal group based in the Yorkshire town of Keighley. Trained by Sheikh Muhammad Adel, the lead munshid of the Zawiya Abul Hassan ash-Shadhili in Kharabshah, Jordan, they sing the traditional mystical odes of the fuqara of the Shadhili Darqawi Hashimi order. Their style is a capella, as per the Levantine tradition.

The Poets

Amir Sulaiman

Amir Sulaiman is a poet, recording artist, activist and newly appointed Harvard Fellow, born in Rochester, New York. His poems cross subjects of love, tragedy as well as what it means to reconcile humanity with the unprecedented trials of modernity. He has performed his works across the US as well as many other countries including England, Belgium, Senegal, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, Sweden, Australia, Iran and the Netherlands, and continues to tour world-wide.

Baraka Blue

Baraka Blue is a highly acclaimed rapper and poet hailing from Seattle and based in Oakland, California. He has performed all over North America as well as the Middle East, Africa, Asia, and Europe. He is highly decorated within the global artist community for his original synthesis of spoken word poetry with the tradition of mystical poets such as Rumi and Hafiz. His most recent book of poetry is entitled ‘Reedbed Diaspora’. In addition to performances, he has taught classes and led creative writing workshops internationally. His sophomore album, ‘Majunun’s Lost Memoirs’ can be heard in cafes and concert halls all around the globe.


The Craftsmen

Munir Humberto Zermeno

Born in Mexico City, in 1973, he converted to Islam in 1991. He travelled to Spain in 1991 to learn about Islam at the Comunidad de Spain in Madrid and Granada. In 1992, he established prayer at the first Islamic Central Cultural Centre of Mexico with the help of Omar Weston who graduated from the university of Medina. There he taught the five pillars of Islam, where he remained during and after Ramadan and partook in Eid Al Adha & Eid al Kabir festivities whilst propagating the dawah. In 1993, he married his wife Alima in a civil and Islamic marriage in Mexico City. In 1995, he founded the first Islamic establishment in Chiapas, Mexico. He works making bread in the local markets and doing dawah for the sake of Allah, as well as teaching Islam.

Ensar Oud

There are two types of Oud producers: those who have worked with Ensar, and those who have not. Leaving his mark wherever he goes, he gets the best out of each artisan, enriching and refining the art of Oud distillation.

His blind obsession with the intoxicating aroma of Oud oil has made him the go-to-guy for all serious collectors and connoisseurs. Tireless collaborations with distillers of every kind has seen the rise of a collective of the most talented and distinguished producers the Oud world has ever known, juicing up the most insane Oud oils available anywhere.

Ensar started his oud journey at the behest of his spiritual mentor, Sheikh Nuh Keller, who asked him to “go and bring back the finest Oud in the world.” More than a decade has passed since then and Ensar Oud has become the benchmark for anything Oud.

Inspired by the prophetic injunction for Muslims to excel in whatever project they embark on, and the eminence of fine perfume in the noble life of the Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings be upon him), his companions, and the righteous inheritors of his tradition, Ensar strives to meticulously – obsessively – imbue his craft with excellence and beauty.

Ensar personally conducts and oversees his distillations, from start to finish. His Ouds are crafted using wild-harvested and organic agarwood trees, free of chemicals, additives, or hormonal tampering, stressing the importance of maintaining correct adab with our environment.

Abdul-Qadir Wiswall

Abdul-Qadir is the owner and main coffee roaster of MicroBike Coffee in New Jersey, United States of America.  Always an enthusiastic drinker of coffee, his interest in roasting coffee began during a trip to Chiapas, Mexico.  The sight of the coffee farms and the green coffee sold in the market was the siren call that led to roasting his own coffee.  Returning back to the US, he began roasting using a $15 popcorn machine and that bag of Chiapas beans.  Even with that very basic initial setup, the result was one of the best cups of coffee he had ever had.   A few years later and many upgrades in equipment from the original popcorn machine, Abdul-Qadir now runs his own micro-roaster, supplying both local customers and restaurants as well as customers online.  He is excited to share what he knows about roasting, cupping and preparing coffee with anyone who will listen.


The Martial Artists

Jehad Shemis

Jehad Shamis took up archery in 2005 with a friend, Muhammad Ridhaa Payne, upon discovering it was a forgotten Sunnah of the Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessing be upon him). They joined a local archery club but soon established a new club catering for inner city youth. Soon after they took up horse riding with the view of combining both skills and practicing horseback archery. With no teachers for horseback archery in the UK the friends travelled to Germany to train with Abdul-Majid Schrade, a veteran horseback archer and teacher. They established a strong relationship with Abdul-Majid and over the following 4-5yrs would invite him over to conduct workshops for traditional archery and horseback archery in the UK. The friends then entered competitions for horseback archery which took them to Korea, USA and Turkey amongst other places.

Jehad has gained a Level 2 coaching qualification for archery in the UK and now teaches archery full-time mainly in schools as well as private groups around the UK. He is also part of the UK Muslim Archery club network which meet a few times every year to compete against each other and together help to revive this forgotten Sunnah.

Ismail Redjep

Ismail Redjep has had a prolific career in wrestling. He has wrestled for the Trakiec club in Polovdiv (where Alyaydin acted as both head coach and president) from 2000 to 2007. In 2008, he wrestled for the Locomotiv club and then went on to the Levsky club in Sofia spending four years there. He also graduated from the Sport Academy in Polovdiv. He has trained extensively with Alyaydin from 1997 to 2000.

During his wrestling career, Ismail was fortunate to represent the Bulgarian National Team.  His highest achievement was to win Silver medal at the World Championship in China in 2007. In the same year, he also won silver at the European Championship in Hungary. He won his first Gold Medal at the European Championship which was held in Serbia in 2008. At national level, Ismail competed in the 66kg category and from 2006-2012 he has won consecutive Gold Medals in the National Summer and Winter competitions.