Starting a Pre-Marriage Education Program


One of the most important and sensitive roles of an imam is that of marriage counselor. And studies show that pre-marital counseling increases the likelihood of strong, successful marriages that last. So, the aim of this workshop is to empower you – the imam – to support strong marriages more effectively by teaching you how to design and provide a marriage preparation program for your community. 

The Pre-Marriage Education workshop covers the following topics:

  • How to support singles and couples through the marriage process
  • Resources to explore couple compatibility
  • Relationship red flags (problematic behaviors and patterns)
  • Critical topics to ensure marital success
  • Marriage preparation resources for imams


Sheikh Yassir Fazaqa

Sh. Yassir Fazaga has a Bachelor’s Degree in Islamic Studies from the Institute of Islamic and Arabic Sciences in Fairfax, Virginia and has a Masters in Marriage & Family Counseling from California State University of Long Beach. He has completed his 2nd Masters in Middle Eastern Studies at UT Austin, Texas and is a licensed counselor. Sheikh Yassir has served as the Religious Leader of Orange County Islamic Foundation (OCIF) in Mission Viejo, California. He was the Director of Mental Health Department at Access California Social Services Agency in Anaheim, where he helped families with different challenges in life which include domestic violence issues, communication problems, marital matters, generational gap, difficult teens, some mental and personality disorders, divorce, grief, and single parenting, among others.  Sh Yassir Fazaga is a unique talent in North America. His skill set of being a traditionally trained and experienced Imam along with being a clinically experienced and credentialed psychotherapist is extremely rare. He was one of the first to meld the two disciplinestogether about 20 years ago and continues to be one of a handful of people that have this experience.

Dr. Sameera Ahmed

Dr. Sameera Ahmed holds a Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology, has a private clinical practice in Canton, MI, and has taught classes at a variety of universities across the nation. She is known for her contributions in promoting Muslim mental health through the publication of Counseling Muslims: Handbook of Mental Health Issues and Interventions, the most cited, internationally known academic book on Muslim Mental health. Dr. Ahmed serves as Associate Editor for the Journal of Muslim Mental Health and mentors up-and-coming Muslim mental health researchers. Dr. Ahmed has been invited as a subject matter expert to events organized by the White House, Health and Human Services (HHS), Substance Abuse Mental Health Service Administration (SAMHSA), and the Department of Education (DOE) and has been cited in numerous media outlets, including The New York Times, The Washington Post, and The Atlantic. She is best known for her ability to transform research into practical resources tailored to the American Muslim community. Dr. Ahmed has been a community activist at both the grassroots and national levels for over 30 years.