20th Annual Conference – Fiqh Responses to Challenges Facing Muslim Families in the West

Discounted Registration Opens: May 31th, 2024
Registration Deadline: August 15th, 2024, or registration maximum capacity reached

Topics for the Upcoming Conference on
Fiqh Responses to Challenges Facing Muslim Families in the West


Topic One: Pre-Marital Phase

  1. Marriage to Muslim converts before ascertaining the quality of their Islam
  2. Recalcitrance (unreasonable refusal) of the walī (guardian) and mechanisms for tackling this
  3. Marriage to non-Muslim women in the West
    1. Chastity requirements for a non-Muslim potential wife: theory and application
    2. Effect of inherited cultural differences in domicile on marriage to Jewish or Christian women
    3. Waiting periods and ascertaining absence of pregnancy from previous relationships
  4. Compatibility of spouses
    1. Compatibility of Spouses between Islam and Muslims’ culture
    2. Does being a widow, divorcee, or mother impact compatibility?
  5. Prenuptial and postnuptial agreements
  6. Communication before marriage and its parameters
    1. Prohibition of cohabitation before marriage
    2. Parameters and limits of communication and becoming acquainted before engagement
    3. Advance notice to the family of engagement plans
    4. Using matrimonial apps and social media to become acquainted before engagement
    5. Engaged couples meeting in person in public spaces
    6. Accepting the invitation of the suitor’s family before announcement of engagement

Topic Two: Marital Phase

  1. How time, place and circumstances affect head of household status
  2. Relations with in-laws: living arrangements, expenses, authority
    1. Marital finances in the West
    2. Working wife: family and financial consequences
  3. Financial assurances for stay-at-home wife
  4. Delaying having children until the marriage is deemed stable
  5. Islamic cohabitation: obligation and waiving it in case of gross misconduct
  6. Regulations concerning children born outside wedlock (e.g., are they considered mahram?)
  7. Right to compensation for labor (beyond the scope of marital care)

Topic Three: Marital Discord

  1. Domestic violence: types and rulings
  2. Dealing with nushūz (marital misconduct)
  3. Infidelity and ways of dealing with it
  4. Principles for distinguishing between khulʿ (release for payment) and imposing divorce on account of harm
  5. Civil divorce and the extent of its Islamic validity
  6. Inheritance across religious boundaries

Topic Four: LGBT Issues in Family Relations

  1. Islamic guidelines for dealing with children who identify as LGBT
  2. Marriage to homosexuals, bisexuals, and gender-transitioned individuals

Post-Conference Workshops

Date: Monday, September 30th, 2024 (8:00 AM – 5:00 PM)


As religious leaders, Imams in the US should have a general understanding of the legal issues that affect their congregations and communities. Here are some important legal issues that imams need to be educated about in the US:

  1. First Amendment: Imams should be familiar with the rights and protections under First Amendment of the US Constitution, which guarantees the right to freedom of religion and freedom speech. They should be aware of the legal protections afforded to religious practices and be prepared to advocate for their center’s and congregants' religious freedom. Additionally, Imams should understand the basics of protected speech, unprotected speech, and the parameters of them.
  2. Civil rights: Imams should understand that the community members have basic civil rights that protect them from discrimination based on race, religion, gender, disability, and other factors. They should also be aware of what resources and organizations that offer additional assistance in this field.
  3. Immigration law: With immigration law standards ever-evolving, Imams should have a topical knowledge of the community needs for immigration services. They should also be aware of the challenges facing undocumented immigrants and be prepared to provide referrals and resources to these individuals.
  4. Family law: Imams often get called upon to provide guidance and support in family law matters, such as marriage, divorce, and custody disputes. They should be familiar with the legal requirements and procedures in these areas and be able to provide counsel (within the realm of Sharia acceptance) and referrals to legal professionals as needed. The Imams should also understand their obligations to protect youth and children, in their capacity as mandated reporters of abuse and exploitation.
  5. Other Common Civil Claims:
    1. Defamation: Imams should be aware of the potential legal consequences of making false statements that harm an individual's reputation. Imams should be cautious when making statements about individuals, particularly public figures, and avoid making statements that are knowingly false or recklessly made.
    2. Copyright Law: Imams should be aware of copyright laws when sharing or using materials created by others. They should ensure that they have the appropriate permissions or licenses to use copyrighted materials, such as music or videos, in their sermons or other communications.
    3. Privacy: Imams should be aware of the privacy rights of individuals and ensure that they are not sharing private information about individuals without their consent.
      Cybersecurity: Imams should be aware of the potential risks of using electronic communication methods and take steps to protect themselves and their congregations from cyber threats such as hacking, phishing, and identity theft.


Mohamed Al-Darsani, Wafed Ahdali

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  • The mental health of community members is a critical issue that Imams cannot ignore. As trusted community leaders, Imams can play a significant role in promoting mental health awareness, reducing stigma, and providing support to those who are struggling with mental health issues. This workshop is designed to provide Imams with the knowledge and skills they need to support their community members in maintaining good mental health.

  • In this workshop, Imams will learn:

    1. The basics of mental health and common mental health issues.
    2. Common mental health issues: Discussing common mental health issues such as depression, anxiety, bipolar disorder, and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
    3. How to recognize warning signs of mental health issues in community members.
    4. How to make your masjid or office a welcoming and supportive environment for individuals with mental health issues through inclusive language, staff training, policies and procedures, and fostering a culture of acceptance
    5. Strategies for reducing stigma surrounding mental health in the Muslim community.
    6. The importance of self-care for Imams and the congregation.
    7. How to collaborate with mental health professionals and make appropriate referrals.
    8. Crisis intervention strategies and suicide prevention.

This workshop will be led by mental health professionals with expertise in Islamic counseling.

Attendees will have the opportunity to ask questions and engage in group discussions to share their experiences and learn from each other.

By the end of this workshop, Imams will be equipped with the knowledge and skills they need to promote mental health awareness, reduce stigma, and provide support to those who are struggling with mental health issues in their communities.


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Fees & Guidelines

Main Conference (September 27-29, 2024)


  • Complimentary Shared Room Accommodations (2 per room) (Friday & Saturday nights only)
  • Meals starting Friday night until Sunday noon (6 meals). Unregistered dependents are not included. $75 meals’ vouchers can be purchased separately per dependent.
Registration Completed and paid by Imams Student of Knowledge
Early Birds May 31st $125 $175
Regular June 1st - July 31st $200 $250
Late August 1st - August 15th $300 $350
Very Late After August 15th (No Hotel Room) $300 $350
  • Fees will be assessed based on payment date, not registration date.
  • Registration after deadline of August 15th will be allowed on case by case with valid excuse and within strict time window. No hotel room will be made available.
  • Unpaid registrations will be discarded after July 31st and new late registration will be required for attendance (space permitting).
  • Fees are independent of hotel room allocation. Whether or not you opt for hotel accommodation, the registration fee remains the same.

Post-Conference workshop (September 30th, 2024)

Monday post-conference workshops: $175 for Imams and Students of Knowledge. Includes:

  • Shared room accommodation on Sunday night (September 29th) only.
  • Meals starting Sunday night until Monday noon.
  • Workshop material

Hotel Accomodation

  • Complimentary hotel accommodations are available for out-of-town attendees who register by the deadline. 'Out-of-town' is defined as residing more than 30 miles from the venue.
  • Participants must reserve hotel rooms as needed. No rooms will be automatically reserved, including complementary rooms.
  • Rooms reservation must be completed and submitted by August 15th, 2024
  • Extra charges apply for extra stay or private room
  • AMJA guarantees accommodation ONLY for those who registered and paid before deadline.
  • AMJA can accommodate roommate requests only if requested partner consents, and both attendees are arriving and departing on same days. Roommate request will be available for reservations before August 16th. Requested roommate must have been registered and paid before the deadline.

Lecture Hall Accessibility:

  • Access to the lecture hall requires a visible conference badge.
  • Dependents accompanying attendees are not permitted inside the lecture hall.
  • No children under 16 years of age are allowed in conference halls. No accommodations for childcare will be provided.