MSA-PSG 2016


Official conference information page

Welcome to

The 46th MSA-PSG Annual Conference

Dec 22–25, 2016 • Phoenix, AZ

We live in a time of unique circumstances. On one hand, as a community of Muslims in the West, we are in a position to learn, adapt, integrate into society, and influence others. On the other hand, the materialistic/secular culture of the society we live in is actively exported by the media and is rapidly becoming the dominant culture of the entire world, impacting the way of life across the globe. Setting the global cultural tone with a fundamentally secular mindset has allowed Western imperialism to occupy the hearts and minds of people everywhere.

Our challenge and the opportunity before us is clear. We need to forge an identity that is unique to Muslims in the West, one that enables us to to play a profound role in our society by interacting organically with society, learning and influencing, all the while being able to counter the dominance of cultural imperialism.

Awareness of current events

MSA-PSG is striving to bring awareness of major current events in a safe, Islamic, educational and spiritual atmosphere.

Conversation on larger issues

Join as we explore challenging topics, like Muslim “identity,” its relation to lifestyle, and our future as a community, helping to spark positive change.

Educational and inspiring

Scholars from around the world are invited to speak, listen, and discuss. The workshops are designed to delight, and to teach vital skills.


First ever MSA-PSG contemporary short speech format competition

Topic of Your Choice!

Muslim Active Thinking

MATIN talks is a new forum at the MSA-PSG conference that gives everyone, students in particular, the opportunity to apply their abilities toward addressing pertinent issues, and to present their ideas and experiences to a broader audience.

1st place winner: $800.00
2nd place winner: $350.00
3rd place winner: $250.00

Speech Format

Deadline: Dec 1, 2016

Participants will present speeches at the annual MSA-PSG conference December (22–25, 2016).
The speeches will follow the following format:

Speeches will be 12 minutes maximum (time limits will be strictly enforced)
Visuals are a must!
A wearable microphone will be available

Participants must submit their application by December 1, 2016.
This deadline is strictly enforced, as we cannot accept submissions after this date.




Motivation and Goal Setting

An interactive workshop set up to present methods and techniques for achieving objectives. These skills are much-needed regardless of age, gender or nationality.

Raising Children With a Strong Islamic Identity

This workshop will attempt to examine key reasons why Muslim youth often succumb to the negative influences posed by anti-Islamic value systems.

Digital Media Arts

The Storytelling Through Motion Design workshop will teach students how to use the After Effects software to create fun and educational videos. The students will learn how to organize their stories in an engaging and artistic direction.

Handmade Islamic Arts

Art can be used to serve the intellect but it can also be used to serve desires. Islamic art is a type of art that serves the mind as it expresses spirituality and strengthens one’s relationship with Allah.


Student Gathering

The student gathering is a rewarding experience because it gives the students a chance to meet peers with similar social and academic concerns. Student Affairs of MSA-PSG provides opportunities to sit with other students and share experiences and ideas.


Building Blocks of a Balanced Life

An Interactive Workshop, focusing on Knowing Yourself, Personality Types and the Fundamentals of Balance. It will cover the many facets of wellness including: Intellectual, Physical, Social, Environmental, Occupational, Psychological and Spiritual.


Women Empowered: The role of Muslim women within today’s societies

“When she is born, she opens the gates to paradise. When she’s married, she has completed half of her religion. When she’s a mother, Paradise lies beneath her feet.”


I’ve got 99 problems but Islam ain’t one!

Join us on a journey to explore #awkward social moments experienced by young muslims living in the West, and learn how to maintain an untainted Islamic identity.



  • Syed Farhat Abbas
    Syed Farhat Abbas
    Computer Engineer/Islamic Studies

    Moulana Seyed Farhat Abbas is a computer engineering graduate from Cal State University; before he began his quest for religious studies, he spent many years in the US working in corporate environment gaining experience in interaction with the community of both Muslims and non-Muslims.  About 9 years ago he was guided by Allah(swt) towards a better path and went to Qom for Howza studies pursuing a degree in Islamic studies.  Syed’s areas of studies have  included years of Arabic syntax and grammar, logic (mantiq), Islamic theology (kalaam), Islamic rulings and law (ahkaam), Islamic history, jurisprudence (fiqh), principles of jurisprudence (usul al-fiqh), Islamic philosophy and various other disciplines.

  • Seyed Abbas Ayleya
    Seyed Abbas Ayleya

    Seyed Abbas Ayleya, a well-respected Islamic Scholar, received his degree in Religious Studies and his Masters in Arabic and Islamic Studies from Pakistan. He was invited to the United States in 1997 and has since traveled throughout the United States as a notable lecturer of Shia Islam. Syed Abbas Ayleya regularly hosts workshops and lectures on numerous topics in Islam, including Beliefs, Ethics & Moral Values, The Quran, Jurisprudence, Historical Events, Spirituality, and Issues facing the Youth.

  • Mohammad Al-Asi
    Mohammad Al-Asi

    Imam Muhammad Al-Asi was born in Grand Rapids, MI in the year 1951, but moved to Lebanon at age 11. After studying in the Arab University of Beirut, Imam al-Asi returned to the united states ins 1973, and graduated with a degree in Government and Politics in 1979. Imam al-Asi currently spends much of his time attending conferences, speaking to a variety of student groups, and lecturing in several countries around the world. His primary work in progress is the first tafsir of the Qur’an written in the English language.

  • Osama Abdulghani
    Osama Abdulghani



    Sheikh Usama Abdulghani was born in Washington DC in 1973. He grew up in the USVI on a small Island called St. Croix. Sheikh was approximately 14 years old when his family converted to Shi’ism. After graduating from high school, he moved back to the USA and lived in Upstate New York where there was a small hawza, i.e. Islamic seminary. As a convert, this was a great opportunity for him to learn about the Shia faith.

    His journey to Iran began when it was suggested by the principal of the school (Sheikh Faezi) that some of the students should go to Iran for 4 months and then return to the USA to propagate the religion. Once the group arrived in Iran it was a turning point in the lives of several of the students. It was the month of Muharram when they arrived and Sheikh Usama says, “Muharram is something else in Iran. For those brothers and sisters who have not seen it, it is something to see and feel rather than be described”.

    It was then that one of Sheikhs’ teachers in Iran convinced him by his character that the hawza was the way to go if Sheikh Usama wanted to serve our beloved religion. By the grace of Allah, Sheikh Usama is now a student in post-doctorate studies in Islamic law and the methodologies of deriving laws. Sheikh has also completed his Phd equivalent in Qur’anic studies and will be writing his thesis after the summer.

    Excitingly, Sheikh wrote his master’s thesis on the relationship between husband and wife according to the Qur’an and Sunnah. Sheikh Usama has given numerous lectures and facilitated seminars and camps on the topic of marital bliss and Islamic family life. Sheikh has a particular focus on developing communities and families that are focused on the preparing for the arrival of the twelfth Imam.

  • Maryam Ghassemi
    Maryam Ghassemi

    Maryam Ghassemi, is a devoted mother, teacher, mentor, wife and a community leader. She homeschooled her 5 children and continues to mentor them through the graduate studies today. She has served as a volunteer in a number of schools and assists with Al Mahdi Education Center in El Paso, Tx.

  • Safiyyah Abdullah
    Safiyyah Abdullah

    Safiyyah Abdullah - DC-based Muslim American activist and spoken-word artist.

  • Johanna Movassat
    Johanna Movassat

    Dr. Johanna Movassat graduated from Loyola Marymount University in Los Angeles, with a BA in Art History, and the University of California, Berkeley, with a MA and a PhD in Near Eastern Studies: Art and Archaeology. She attended the Goethe Institute in Berlin; studying German and lived in Iran for five years, where she studied Farsi, and taught English at the Iran America Society, Iranzamin College and Language House International. She has traveled throughout Europe and the Middle East photographing works of art and has taught at UC Berkeley, City College of San Francisco and Santa Clara University. For the past 26 years she has been teaching at San Jose State University in the Department of Art and Art History and for the Humanities Honors program for the Department of Humanities. She has taught courses in art history ranging from Western Art, Ancient Egypt and Mesopotamia, East Meets West: The Silk Road, Islamic Art and Architecture, Writing in the Arts, to Arts in a Global Context. She has written and lectured on numerous topics on the arts of the Middle East and published The Large Vault at Taq-i Bustan: A Study in Late Sasanian Royal Art (Mellen Press, 2005).

  • Fatimah Sabour
    Fatimah Sabour

    Ms. Sabour considers herself a Muslim Activist, and co-founder of M.A.N.A. (Muslim Ambassadors of North America), an outreach organization aimed to serving humanity by bridging gaps and promoting understanding within and between faiths, cultures, communities, as well as marginalized and underserved groups.  She frequently delivers lectures at local schools, churches and various Islamic centers throughout the country.  Desiring to give back to her own community, in hopes of making a positive influence in tomorrow's generation,  Sr. Sabour continues to foster children from both Hispanic and African American backgrounds.

  • Abdul Alim Musa
    Abdul Alim Musa

    Imam Abdul Alim Musa (born 1945 as Clarence Reams) is a Muslim American activist and director of Masjid Al-Islam in Washington, D.C. He is a member of the Institute of Contemporary Islamic Thought (ICIT) and a well-known speaker around the world. He is founder and director of As-Sabiqunand the Islamic Institute of Counter-Zionist American Psychological Warfare.

  • John Andrew Morrow
    John Andrew Morrow

    John Andrew Morrow (born 1971) is a Métis Canadian professor, author, and research scholar from Québec who specializes in Hispanic, Native, and Islamic Studies.

    Raised in a multilingual family, he lived in Montreal for ten years and in the Greater Toronto Area for another twenty. The product of a Catholic education, he completed his elementary school in French, his high school in English, and his university studies in English, French, and Spanish. He embraced Islam at the age of 16 after which he adopted the name Ilyas ‘Abd al-‘Alim Islam. After completing his Honors BA, MA, and PhD at the University of Toronto, where he acquired expertise in Hispanic, Native, and Islamic Studies, he pursued post-graduate studies in Arabic in Morocco and the United States. Besides his Western education, Dr. Morrow has completed the full cycle of traditional Islamic seminary studies both independently and at the hands of a series of Sunni, Shi’i, and Sufi scholars. Not only is he a senior scholar, academic, and professor, he is also a respected ‘alim holding the titles of ustadh, duktur, hakim, and shaykh. Dr. Morrow has spent over a decade and a half in the United States working at various universities including Park University, Northern State University, Eastern New Mexico University, the University of Virginia, and Ivy Tech where he was unanimously appointed to the rank of Full Professor. One of his most noteworthy and memorable experiences involved working as a professor of advanced Spanish, Islamic culture, and world literature for the Institute for Shipboard Education’s Semester at Sea Program. Aside from his academic duties, Dr. John Andrew Morrow is the Director of the Covenants Foundation, an organization dedicated to disseminating traditional, civilizational, Islam; promoting Islamic unity; protecting persecuted Christians; and improving relations between Muslims and members of other faiths. He regularly travels the world to promote peace and justice.

  • Rasool Naghavi
    Rasool Naghavi

    Rasoul Naghavi is a PhD candidate in Shiite Jurisprudence (Fiqh) at the “Islamic Seminary of Qom” Iran and a visiting researcher at ACMCU since August 2013. His areas of interest include Islamic Jurisprudence (fiqh), Principles of Fiqh, Exegesis of the Holy Qur’an, Shiite Theology, Islamic history, Shiite Political Theory, Faith-based peacebuilding, theological   formation of peace, restorative justice and Conflict analysis.

  • Abbas Ghassemi
    Abbas Ghassemi

    Dr. Abbas Ghassemi, is a frequent speaker at the Al Mahdi Education Center in El Paso and an Emeritus Professor of Chemical Engineering and Emeritus Director of Institute for Energy & the Environment (IEE).





Ages under 18

Juz 26

Ages 18 and up

Juz 5 and Juz 26



Surah Al-Ikhlas (112)

Surah Al-Qadr (97)



Ages under 18

Surah Al-Bayyinah (98)

Surah Az-Zalzalah (99)

Ages 18 and up

Surah Al-Muzzammil (73)

Surah At-Takwir (81)

One Complete Juz’ Any Juz’ from The Holy Quran

NOTE: Participants may sign up for more than one category. Sisters section will be held as a competition of its own.

Single's Halaqa


Join Us!

Come join us in a four session interactive discussion with single brothers and sisters and gain some knowledge on what the essential factors are in keeping a marriage and family together!

  • Individuals must be single and above the age of 18.
  • Participants must also be registered to the conference prior to joining the discussion.
  • Seats are limited, in the first come first served order, please Apply as soon as possible.


FRIDAY - DEC 23, 2016

10:00 AM


The Role of Physical Attraction
in Marital Satisfaction




FRIDAY - DEC 23, 2016

06:00 PM


The Islamic Family: Roles and
Responsibilities Within and Beyond




SATURDAY - DEC 24, 2016

10:00 AM


Managing Conflict Within a
Family Using Islamic Akhlaq




SATURDAY - DEC 24, 2016

06:00 PM


The Happily Ever After: Weddings
Within Islamic Societies and Cultures



More Activities



Children's Program

The MSA-PSG on-site children’s program encourages Muslim parents to bring their children along to the conference instead of leaving them behind with a babysitter. The day care will provide children (ages 3-12) with productive material to work with throughout the day.


Bazaar (Shops)

Tables will be held in the hotel hallway selling different types of products such as Books, Islamic Rings, Handmade Jewelry etc. You are welcome to setup a table at the conference with no additional cost. However before you do so you must register your table for approval.


Protectors of Zainab (sa)

A special session will be held during this year’s conference dedicated to the soldiers fighting against ISIS. During the program, letters, written by individuals who participated in the “Writing Letters to the Family of the Martyrs” MSA-PSG facebook event, will be read to the general audience.


Prayers & Supplications

The MSA-PSG conference programs are designed to accommodate the correct amount of time to every lecture, workshop, or event. All 5 daily prayers will be conducted on their exact time, ending ongoing programs of any sort.


Jum'a Prayer (Friday)

MSA-PSG will be holding Friday congregational prayer during the conference. Prayers will be led by Imam Muhammad Al-Asi. By upholding this important prophetic tradition, we hope to unite the hearts of our ummah.


Heavenly Match

Heavenly match is an excellent opportunity for confidential matchmaking under Islamic guidelines for prospective candidates. This program has been coordinated, for many years, by some of the most experienced experts in the field.



December 22-25, 2016

Hyatt Regency Phoenix
122 N 2nd St, Phoenix, Arizona 85004

Registration Closed

Online registration is now closed. Please visit the registration desk to register.