About Us

Aspiring to be a vanguard in the West, Mohammed Webb Foundation seeks to integrate the best of the American tradition with the universal teachings of Islam.

Who Was Mohammed Webb?

Mohammed Webb

Mohammed Alexander Russell Webb (1846-1916) was among the first prominent Euro-American converts to Islam. He accepted Islam in 1888 while serving as U.S. Consul to the Philippines.

Upon returning to America, he established an Islamic mission in Manhattan with a mosque, circles of brotherhood, and reading rooms. Webb was the father of the North American Islamic press and published several booklets and journals, the most famous of them being a monthly called The Moslem World. Webb was the official spokesperson of Islam at the World Parliament of Religions in 1893.

Mohammed Alexander Russell Webb considered himself every bit an American whose Islamic convictions were in complete harmony with the best in his national heritage. Today, we are honored to help carry his legacy forward.

Our History, Mission & Vision

Muslims throughout history have created beautiful, indigenous cultures wherever they went. The Muslim community of America aspires to be a vanguard in the West, and, as such, Mohammed Webb Foundation seeks to integrate the best of the American tradition with the universal teachings of Islam. In keeping with the legacy of Mohammed Webb, Abdulla Quilliam, Marmaduke Pickthal, and many others, we hope to take our community full circle, from east to west and back again, so that we may all come to the realization that ours is an interconnected, interdependent world in which civilizations are meant not to clash but to dovetail, complement, and enrich each other.

Mohammed Webb Foundation is based on an idea shared by many American Muslims—that of creating a space and community that embraces American values in an Islamic context. In March of 2004, a group of seven individuals began the initiative to translate this desire into a physical space that can serve everyone who shares these values and ideals. We seek to create a comfortable and inviting space for Americans to experience Islam through spirituality, and an atmosphere of community love and respect. We stress authentic relationships in an environment that allows our community members to develop spiritually while building life-long friendships.

Mohammed Webb Foundation invites American Muslims who share this vision to join us in the creation of a people-friendly and Islamically positive environment that will lay the basis of a lasting and dynamic Muslim community in America.

Watch this short video of our community members reflecting on all that Mohammed Webb Foundation has to offer:

Board of Trustees

Mohammed Webb Foundation’s Board of Trustees is comprised of individuals with diverse ethnic and professional backgrounds. In order to best serve the community, it is imperative for an organization to reflect its community in its decision-making body. As such, the board has teachers, entrepreneurs, physicians, and engineers each making contributions based on their skill set and all being equal participants in framing the future of our organization. Please feel free to email the board at board@mohammedwebb.org with your questions or comments.

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    Sofia Shakir
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    Sofia Shakir

    Sofia Shakir is a Chicagoland native and spent most of her formative years attending public schools in Lincolnwood and Skokie. She studied at the University of Chicago earning her AB in biology after which she obtained her medical degree from Aga Khan University in Karachi, Pakistan. She is a general pediatrician practicing in the western suburbs. Along with Mohammed Webb, she currently sits on the boards of the Islamic Food and Nutrition Council and the IMAN Health Advisory. Her passion lies in protecting children from preventable diseases and serving the underserved. In her free time she can be found humming along to 70’s and 80’s Bollywood music. Sofia currently serves as the President of the Board.

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    Jihad Shoshara
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    Jihad Shoshara

    Jihad Shoshara was born and raised in Chicago, and is a board-certified pediatrician who has been in practice in Naperville since 1999. He received both his undergraduate degree and his M.D. from the University of Chicago. Along with his wife, Dr. Sofia Shakir, he was a founding physician and long-time volunteer at the Inner-city Muslim Action Network (IMAN) Clinic in Marquette Park. As an active member of the American Academy of Pediatrics, Dr. Shoshara serves as one of the Illinois Chapter’s “vaccine champions” and is the chairperson of its committee on emergency planning. Outside of medicine, he and his wife organize the annual Chicago Muslim Turkey Drive, which provides free turkeys to families in need every Thanksgiving. He and his wife live with their three children in the Western Suburbs.

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    Bothaina Farhat-Voges
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    Bothaina Farhat-Voges

    Bothaina Farhat-Voges is an Arab-American immigrant. She has a BSc degree in mathematics and computer science. She currently works as a project manager in IT, having extensive experience in project management services. Bothaina is an active volunteer with Mohammed Webb Foundation community projects, Boy Scouts activities, and school events. She has two children and lives in the Chicago suburbs. Bothaina currently serves as the Secretary/Treasurer of the Board.

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    Abdul-Azeem Mohamed
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    Abdul-Azeem Mohamed

    Abdul-Azeem Mohamed was born and raised in Schaumburg, Illinois and embraced Islam in 1994. He has a B.S. in Political Science from Northern Illinois University and works as Director of Solution Architecture at a large software company. He is an active volunteer with Mohammed Webb community events, the Northern Illinois Food Bank and Wheaton Montessori School. Azeem resides in Wheaton with his wife and son.

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    Saira Toor
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    Saira Toor

    Saira Toor has a BBA in Marketing Management from Loyola University Chicago. After earning an MBA from the University of Iowa, she spent over a decade dedicating her time and talent towards the development of nonprofits and educational facilities. From program managers and faculty to support staff and students, she has identified, retained and empowered exceptional individuals to add significant value to their organizations and broader communities. Saira is the former Director of Education and Training at Batuta Academy. She has also served as Director of Transitional Housing as well as Case Manager at Hamdard Center. She has three children and resides in the western suburbs.

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    Zareen Hassan
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    Zareen Hassan

    Zareen Hassan was raised in Dallas, Texas and received her Bachelors degree and Masters in Social Work from Austin College and The University of Texas, Austin, respectively. She is a founding member of the Texas Muslim Women’s Foundation in Dallas, Texas and has worked for a number of nonprofit organizations over the years. Her passion lies in helping women from under-served populations succeed in life. Along with her husband and two children, Zareen moved to the Chicago suburbs in 2013 and became involved with Mohammed Webb Foundation in the fall of 2015. She chaired Mohammed Webb Foundation’s 12th Anniversary Benefit Dinner held on May 14, 2016 and looks forward to working more closely with the community.

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    Sumayyah Khan
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    Sumayyah Khan

    Sumayyah Khan was born and raised in Pakistan and migrated to the United States in 1997. She is a dentist and owner of a private practice in the southwest suburbs of Chicago and has been providing dental care since she graduated from the University of Illinois at Chicago in 2001.  Dr. Khan’s mission in life is to create and spread beautiful smiles one person at a time. She has been actively involved in serving the community by providing free dental care through various community outreach programs. She has been an active supporter and has closely worked with organizations like Give Kids a Smile, Dentistry from the Heart and Operation Gratitude. She lives in Naperville with her husband and two children and always knows to have fun.

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    Roohi Younus
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    Roohi Younus

    Roohi Younus previously served as the inaugural Executive Director of Mohammed Webb Foundation. Eight years ago, Roohi co-founded a successful event management firm, R&R Event Management. Through the process of managing conferences, comedy shows, film premieres, trade show booths, and benefit dinners for non-profit organizations, she gained insight into various organizational structures, developed donor management skills, lead more than 400 unique volunteers, upheld non-profit compliance guidelines and contributed to marketing and branding discussions. She has served as an extension of organizations, communicating the vision and executing the mission of organizations such as Unity Productions Foundation and Zaytuna College. Roohi graduated from DePaul University with a Bachelor’s Degree in Computer Information Systems. She resides in Woodridge, IL with her husband, two children, and parents.

Meet Our Staff

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    Martha Rashedi
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    Martha Rashedi

    Martha Rashedi is the Director of Operations at the Mohammed Webb Foundation. She comes to Mohammed Webb with extensive experience in government, private and nonprofit sectors. She has a Master’s degree in Nonprofit Administration and graduate certificates in Governance, Nonprofit Management, and Higher Education Administration from North Park University. She received her Bachelor’s Degree in Human Resource Development from Northeastern Illinois University. Martha resides in Chicago and can be reached at martha@mohammedwebb.org.

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    Rafia Khader
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    Rafia Khader

    Rafia Khader is the Administrative Manager at Mohammed Webb Foundation. She comes to Mohammed Webb with experience in Islamic non-profit administration, blogging, and interfaith. She has a Bachelor of Arts degree in Economics from Benedictine University and a Master of Arts in Religious Studies from the University of Chicago. Deeply committed to religious praxis, Rafia is honored to help make all the programs and events at Mohammed Webb a continued success. Originally from Toronto, Canada, Rafia currently resides in Indianapolis with her husband. Rafia can be reached at rafia@mohammedwebb.org.

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    Mohamed Aly
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    Mohamed Aly

    Mohamed Aly is the Accounting Manager at Mohammed Webb Foundation. With more than 11 years of experience in the field of accounting and auditing, his experience spans several lines of businesses and sectors. He is a Member of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA) and a Chartered Global Management Accountant (CGMA). Mohamed resides in Schaumburg and can be reached at mohamedaly@mohammedwebb.org.

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    Alia Hirzalla
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    Alia Hirzalla

    Alia Hirzalla serves as the Principal for the Mohammed Webb Youth Sunday Program. She has her Bachelor’s degree in Interdisciplinary Studies, with a Minor in Art and Social Studies. Prior to joining Mohammed Webb, Alia has taught at MAS, Isra School, and Iqraa center. Her teaching credentials also include a certificate in Bilingual Studies, Training and Instruction, and Foreign Language. Currently, Alia is also working towards her Master’s degree in Theology from the Graduate Theological Foundation. In addition to this, she also teaches classes in Tafseer, Arabic and Calligraphy to adults at the Tazkeyah Center. Alia can be reached at alia@mohammedwebb.org.

Mohammed Webb Foundation seeks motivated self-starters to help further our mission of offering Muslims and Muslim families across Chicagoland an inclusive space for practicing their faith together.

We are not hiring at the moment. Please check back for available openings.

Meet Our Vanguards

A community-based organization needs support from every member. Though we receive funds from several sources on a need basis, Mohammed Webb Foundation Vanguards are individuals and families who regularly contribute financially ($100 or more per month) and provide much-needed volunteer efforts. Below is a list of our current vanguards:

  • Abdul-Azeem & Irum Mohamed
  • Abid & Ayesha Bengali
  • Aisha Sethi
  • Amaar Malik & Saima Mussani
  • Bilal Zaheer & Sahar Malik
  • Dr. Naimath Khan & Mrs. Sarwath Khan
  • Dr. Osama ElShafie & Dr. Judith Weddle (see profile below)
  • Dr. Saera Arain Saleem and Dr. Moeen Saleem
  • Dr. Yousuf & Mrs. Dilara Sayeed
  • Edmund Arroyo and Humaira Basith (see profile below)
  • Faiyaz and Mahrukh Hussain (see profile below)
  • Fatima Iqbal & Waseem Khan
  • Ian Bushner and Sadiya Ahmed (see profile below)
  • Jihad Shoshara and Sofia Shakir (see profile below)
  • Mazen Asbahi & Lena Shahbandar
  • Naris & Seema Apichai
  • Richard & Denise Bashqawi
  • Rizwan Syed
  • Tanveer and Amber Mallick
  • Terri & Adnan Arain

Would you like to become a Vanguard? Vanguards are invited to special VIP events, enjoy discounts on events and programs throughout the year, and more! Click here to become a Vanguard today!

The Ahmed/Bushner Family

The Ahmed/Bushner family is one of our newer families, becoming involved through our Sunday School program. Sadiya Ahmed is our current Adult Education Coordinator. Ian Bushner is a practicing attorney who served on the Mohamed Webb Foundation Board. Ian and Sadiya work together to instill values of religion, cultural appreciation, and social justice in their young children Safaa, Emaan, Esa, and Noah. The Ahmed/Bushner family loves pulling a Clark Griswold each Ramadan, turning their home into a Muslim Cracker Barrel, and introducing their friends and neighbors to Islam.

The Arroyo/Basith Family

The Arroyo/Basith team are two of the original founding board members! Edmund is a therapist and youth educator, and Humaira has been a leader in the Chicago Muslim community on many levels.  Samar is one of our most promising future leaders and when Zayn Al-Abideen came along, the community was blessed.

The Shoshara/Shakir Family

The Shoshara/Shakir family is headed by the dynamic duo of Jihad and Sofia. Jihad is the passionate promoter of the Annual Turkey Drive for needy Chicago families and also heads our Adult Lecture Series every Sunday morning. Both Jihad and Sofia head up the family support group and currently serve on the Board.  Their beautiful children are Asad, Jinann, and Malek, who are all participants of the Mohammed Webb Youth Sunday Programming. Jinann was a recent recipient of the Winter of Mercy Award.

The Weddle/ElShafie Family

The Weddle/ElShafie family- Judy, Sara and Osama – discovered Mohammed Webb Foundation and are happy to have found such a dynamic and creative organization through which they can share their faith, and develop new relationships. The Weddle/ElShafie family is happy to benefit from and support Mohammed Webb and its growing list of activities.

The Hussain Family

The Hussains who used to be our international Vanguards have relocated back home to Chicago from Switzerland with their two boys. Along with extensive travel opportunities, their overseas assignment continues to pay dividends in that their older son Ammar is now fluent in French having attended a French immersion program during his two years at a Swiss international school. The Hussains suspect that their younger son Nabeel knows more French than he lets on given that he also attended a bi-lingual program at his pre-school — but at the moment they are just happy that he is integrating well into his new US school.  One of the things that the Hussains missed most while overseas was “the caring and supportive Webb family network that cannot be replicated anywhere else.”

Are you a current Mohammed Webb Vanguard and would like your profile be featured on our website? Please email us at admin@mohammedwebb.org to learn how!

Support our Mission — Donate Today!

Mohammed Webb Foundation relies on the generous support and donations from community members like you to help keep all our events and programs going strong. Please consider either making a one-time or recurring donation through our website or you can donate while shopping online through AmazonSmile. We thank your for your generous donations!

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Email: admin@mohammedwebb.org

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