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Episode 84: Youssef Ismail


Episode description

We're joined this month by special guest Youssef Ismail, sharing his expertise with the science of moon sighting as we prepare to celebrate Eid-ul-Adha. In addition, he also tells the story of his time in the Bay Area during the early days of what would become Zaytuna College, and being "present at the birth," so to speak. Listen via the embed below (or at iTunes or Stitcher), and as always, please hit "like" on our Facebook page, and send any comments or questions to

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Episode 83: Lisa Ahmad

July 20th, 2019


Our special guest this month is famed chef and restaurateur Lisa Ahmad, who shares her heartfelt and inspiring story of coming to Islam, and how she founded Fremont, California's renowned Mirchi Cafe. It's a veritable …

Episode 82: Amir Sulaiman

July 1st, 2019


For this episode of the show we're joined by poet Amir Sulaiman, who shares his story, spanning his journey from growing up in Rochester, New York to …

Episode 81: Dr. Evelyn Alsultany

June 5th, 2019


Our guest for this episode is Dr. Evelyn Alsultany, a leading expert on the history of representations of Arabs and Muslims in the U.S. media and on …

Episode 80: Zainab Ismail

May 13th, 2019


This month we’re joined by world renowned fitness expert Zainab Ismail, who tells us the remarkable story of her journey to Islam, as well as the best nutrition practices to get the most out of fasting in Ramadan! …

Episode 79: Michigan Roundtable

April 29th, 2019


For the second of our two live episodes recorded during Diffused Congruence's Michigan tour, we were honored to be joined by a roundtable of MI luminaries -- Najah Bazzy of Zaman International, Mark Crain of DREAM of …

Episode 78: Dr. Su’ad Abdul Khabeer

April 10th, 2019


Our guest this month joined us for our special live show from the University of Michigan campus: Dr. Su’ad Abdul Khabeer discussing her fascinating …

Episode 77: Danish Qasim

March 19th, 2019


This month we're joined by special guest Danish Qasim, founder of the website In Shaykh's Clothing and a counselor to victims of spiritual abuse. We tackle a lot of heavy topics in this discussion, but it's necessary …

Episode 76: Sundiata Al Rashid

February 19th, 2019


For this episode we're joined by special guest Sundiata Al Rashid, Emir of the Lighthouse Mosque in Oakland, CA, for a wide-ranging discussion about his journey to Islam, and how the face of Islam in the Bay Area has …

Episode 75: Movies That Matter - The Godfather Trilogy

January 29th, 2019


We inaugurate a new series-within-a-series with this episode: Movies That Matter! On occasion we will take some time to look back at the long history of cinema and examine films worthy of deeper examination from a …

Episode 74: Dr. Ali Ataie Returns

January 1st, 2019


We close out this year's crop of episodes with a return visit from Dr. Ali Ataie, who joined us the morning after Christmas for an expansive and engrossing conversation about Jesus in Islam, and how Muslims view him and …

Episode 73: Zachary Markwith

December 17th, 2018


For our latest episode we're excited to be recording from Hub925 in Pleasanton, CA, with special guest Zachary Markwith a doctoral student at the …

Episode 72: Midterm Election Aftermath + Five Year Anniversary Thoughts

November 15th, 2018


Parvez and Zaki reconvened in the wake of last week's midterm elections and the subsequent "Blue Wave" to take stock of what these results mean for …

Episode 71: Dr. Ali Ataie

October 16th, 2018


Diffused Congruence is back for the fall! This episode, Parvez and Zaki are privileged to share a lively and engrossing conversation with Dr. Ali …

Episode 70: Back From Summer Hiatus!

September 5th, 2018


After a brief Summer hiatus, Parvez and Zaki reconvene for a brief and breezy episode catching up with each other and a lot of the news and headlines from within and without the Muslim community! Think of this as a …

Episode 69: Brother Ali

July 30th, 2018


We're joined this episode by legendary Hip Hop artist and community activist Brother Ali for an in-depth conversation about his journey to Islam, his musical inspirations, and how he tries to better the world at large …

Episode 68: Preacher Moss

June 29th, 2018


We're joined by comedian Preacher Moss (The "Allah Made Me Funny" comedy tour) for our latest episode, in a free-wheeling conversation that covers …

Episode 67: Ahmad Nassar

May 30th, 2018


We have a very timely discussion this episode, as we're joined by Ahmad Nassar, President of NFL Players Incorporated, the National Football League Players Association’s licensing and marketing business, for a …

Episode 66: Bushra Burney

May 22nd, 2018


Our guest this episode is playwright Bushra Burney, whose new play Designated Muslim had its first staged reading earlier this month. Bushra shares the origins of this play, why she was moved to write it, and the …

Episode 65: Jihad Turk

May 8th, 2018


For this episode we're glad to be joined by Jihad Turk, founder and president of Bayan Claremont -- the country's first graduate school to offer …

Episode 64: Shane Atkinson

April 20th, 2018


Our guest for this episode is Imam Shane Atkinson, Muslim life coordinator at Elon University, who joins us to share the story of his own to journey to Islam from his beginnings as a Southern Baptist in the Deep South. …

Episode 63: Dr. Abdullah bin Hamid Ali

April 2nd, 2018


This episode we're joined by Abdullah bin Hamid Ali, founder of Lamppost Productions and the Lamppost Education Initiative, and head of Zaytuna …

Episode 62: Ubaydullah Evans & Micah Anderson Roundtable

March 12th, 2018


We were lucky enough to get a few moments with visiting scholar Ubaydullah Evans and returning guest Micah Anderson a few weeks ago, and got both of …

Episode 61: Dr. Heather Laird Jackson

January 24th, 2018


For this episode we are joined by Dr. Heather Laird Jackson, a psychologist and mental health professional, to discuss her own journey to Islam and …

Episode 60: Imam Siraj Wahhaj

January 3rd, 2018


For our first episode of 2018, we're very excited to present an in-depth conversation with Imam Siraj Wahhaj. A world-renowned scholar and tireless …

Episode 59: Talking <i>Star Wars</i> With Omer Mozaffar

December 20th, 2017


As we wrap up 2017, we continue what's become a December tradition by once again inviting lecturer and film critic Omer Mozaffar for a conversation about the newest entry in the Star Wars saga: Episode VIII: The Last …

Episode 58: Dr. Sherman Jackson - LIVE!

December 5th, 2017


For this special episode of Diffused Congruence we're pleased to present the audio from a sit-down with Dr. Sherman Jackson that we moderated this past summer in the Bay Area. We're very excited to have Dr. Jackson back …

Episode 57: Omer Mozaffar

November 8th, 2017


For this episode we are joined by Omer Mozaffar, thought leader, film critic, and educator in the Chicagoland area, to discuss the alarming instances …

Episode 56: A.David Lewis / Muslim Superheroes

October 7th, 2017


On our latest episode we're very excited to speak with our special guest A. David Lewis, graphic novelist, scholar, and author of the new book Muslim …

Episode 55: Lena Khan on <i>The Tiger Hunter</i>

September 22nd, 2017


On our latest episode we're joined by Lena Khan, writer/producer/director of the new film The Tiger Hunter, in theaters now. The film stars Danny Pudi, Rizwan Manji, and Jon Heder, and is inspired by her father's …

Episode 54: Dawood Yasin

September 11th, 2017


On our latest episode, we're joined by Imam Dawood Yasin, Dean of Student Life & Experiential Learning at Zaytuna College in Berkeley, CA. Listen …

Episode 53: John O'Brien / Keeping it Halal

August 24th, 2017


For this episode we're joined by special guest John O'Brien, Assistant Professor of Sociology at New York University Abu Dhabi and author of the new …

Episode 52: Dr. Abdul El-Sayed

July 14th, 2017


For this episode we're joined by Dr. Abdul El-Sayed, currently running for governor in the state of Michigan. While Dr. El-Sayed's candidacy is …

Episode 51: Hakim Archuletta

June 23rd, 2017


As we get ready to close out Ramadan, we're joined by special guest Hakim Archuletta on the latest show for a lengthy and engaging discussion about …

Episode 50: Celebrating the Big Five-Oh!

June 13th, 2017


Parvez and Zaki take a break in the middle of Ramadan to celebrate fifty episodes of the podcast! Listen in for a fun and free-ranging conversation …

Episode 49: Wajahat Ali

May 2nd, 2017


We're joined once again by journalist, playwright, and raconteur Wajahat Ali for our latest episode. You've probably seen Wajahat all over cable news for the past few months, offering his cogent analyses and humorous …

Episode 48: Dr. Ihsan Bagby

April 3rd, 2017


For this month's show, we're joined by Dr. Ihsan Bagby, professor of Islamic Law at the University of Kentucky. Listen as he shares the story of his …

Episode 47: Baraka Blue

March 18th, 2017


For our latest episode we're pleased to be joined by renowned singer and poet Baraka Blue for a fun and engaging discussion about his journey to Islam, his work in the thriving Muslims arts scene, and a special reading …

Episode 46: Azhar Usman Returns!

February 28th, 2017


For this month's show, we're joined once more by world renowned comedian and true force of nature Azhar Usman. With his previous appearance on our show remaining an audience favorite even two years later, we've been …

Episode 45: Zaki Barzinji

January 27th, 2017


For this month's show, we're joined by Zaki Barzinji, the White House's Muslim American Community Liaison during the Barack Obama era. With last week's inauguration of President Donald J. Trump marking the end of Zaki's …

Episode 44: Talking <i>Star Wars</i> With Omer Mozaffar

December 19th, 2016


As we wrap up 2016 at Diffused Congruence, we've once again decided to end the year on a less serious note, and are joined by lecturer and film critic Omer Mozaffar for what's becoming an annual tradition as we have a …

Episode 43: Bilqis Abdul-Qaadir

December 9th, 2016


For our latest episode we take a break from the headlines to present the uplifting story of Bilqis Abdul-Qaadir, her all-star collegiate basketball …

Special Episode: Post-Election 2016 Wrap-Up

November 11th, 2016


This episode is as much - if not more - for us as it is for the listeners! We had to sit down to ruminate, analyze, commiserate, “unpack” and just …

Episode 42: Dr. Jonathan Brown

November 4th, 2016


On our latest episode we are joined by Dr. Jonathan Brown, scholar of Hadith and Islamic Studies, and Professor at Georgetown University. Dr. Brown …

Episode 41: Shadi Hamid

October 16th, 2016


For our latest episode we're honored to welcome back special guest Shadi Hamid, Senior Fellow at the Brookings Institution and author of the new book Islamic Exceptionalism: How the Struggle Over Islam Is Reshaping the …

Episode 40: Cavalcade of Annoyance

September 19th, 2016


We’ve hit the big 4-0! Zaki and Parvez return after a summer hiatus to ruminate on the ISNA Convention, Eid-ul-Adha and animal sacrifices, and the …

Episode 39: Nader Khan

July 30th, 2016


Our guest for this episode of the show is renowned singer/songwriter Nader Khan, who tells us about his life's journey, how he ended up choosing the path that he did, and what new projects he has coming up. Also, hear …

Episode 38: Zarqa Nawaz

June 24th, 2016


For our latest episode we're joined by Zarqa Nawaz, creator of the CBC comedy Little Mosque on the Prairie (the first sitcom to ever focus on the lives of Muslims in the west). During this breezy conversation Zarqa …

Episode 37: Ramadan Fitness and Fiqh-ness Special

June 6th, 2016


Welcome to our special Ramadan episode of Diffused Congruence, as Parvez and Zaki are joined by guest Imam Tahir Anwar for some insight into how best to maximize one's spiritual pursuits during the month of Ramadan, and …

Episode 36: Joe Bradford

May 16th, 2016


For our latest episode we're delighted to be joined by Joe Bradford, Muslim scholar, author, blogger, and entrepreneur. Joe discusses his journey to …

Bonus Episode: On Grief, Death, and Dying

April 29th, 2016


Well this is a first. We started out recording this bit as a brief, five minute addendum to tag onto the live show, but as tends to happen when we get together, five minutes stretched into twenty-five, and so we decided …

Special Live Episode: Mark Gonzales

April 29th, 2016


We were honored to present our very first live recording of the show a few weeks ago, and now here it is for your enjoyment. Our guest this time was poet and storyteller Mark Gonzales, who talked about his own journey …

Episode 35: Dr. Meraj Mohiuddin

April 15th, 2016


For our latest episode we're pleased to be joined by Dr. Meraj Mohiuddin, author of the upcoming book Revelation: The Story of Muhammad. Listen in as Dr. Mohiuddin shares how he came up with the idea for the book …

Episode 34: Dr. Ingrid Mattson

April 1st, 2016


For this month's show we're joined by Dr. Ingrid Mattson, renowned scholar and former president of ISNA (the Islamic Society of North America), who …

Episode 33: Professor Mohammad Fadel

February 26th, 2016


With this election season's craziness really kicking into gear, we're very excited to be joined by Mohammad Fadel, Associate Professor of Law at …

Episode 32: Dr. Umar Faruq Abd-Allah

January 8th, 2016


Happy New Year! Starting 2016 strong with our latest episode! We are truly honored to be joined by one of the foremost Muslim scholars in America, …

Episode 31: Talking <i>Star Wars</i> With Omer Mozaffar

December 28th, 2015


We've had a great 2015 here at Diffused Congruence, and we wanted to wrap up the year's offerings with something a bit less serious than perhaps we're used to. With the current release of Star Wars: The Force Awakens

Episode 30: Dr. Joseph Lumbard and <i>The Study Quran</i>

November 30th, 2015


For our latest episode we're joined by renowned author Dr. Joseph Lumbard, who served as co-editor of The Study Quran, a new translation that aims to contextualize and add commentary to the text, and features …

Episode 29: Micah Anderson on Meditation and Mindfulness

November 6th, 2015


Continuing last month's theme about emotional problems within the American-Muslim community, we're joined by Micah Anderson, an expert on meditation and mental health, for a fascinating conversation about his own …

Episode 28: Social Worker Sabeen Shaiq

October 20th, 2015


This month we're joined by clinical social worker Sabeen Shaiq for a riveting conversation about the things that tend to remain unsaid in many American Muslim families. Sabeen talks about the importance of communication …

Episode 27: Hind Makki of Side Entrance

September 19th, 2015


This episode we're joined by Hind Makki, interfaith activist, speaker, and founder of the globally-acclaimed website Side Entrance, which catalogs the "sisters' sections" of mosques all over the world. In addition to …

Episode 26: Mokhtar Alkhanshali

September 4th, 2015


For our latest episode, we're joined by Mokhtar Alkhanshali, the "Indiana Jones of coffee" and founder of Mocha Mill, who shares the amazing story of how your favorite caffeinated beverage originated in the Muslim …

Episode 25: Dr. Ebrahim Moosa

August 12th, 2015


For our big twenty-fifth episode, Parvez and Zaki are honored to be joined by Dr. Ebrahim Moosa, renowned scholar and professor of Islamic Studies at …

Episode 24: Comedian Maysoon Zayid

July 17th, 2015


For this week's show we're joined by actress, comedian, and commentator Maysoon Zayid, who's made a name for herself thanks to her raw political …

Episode 23: The Team From Islamica!

July 3rd, 2015


Diffused Congruence welcomes in July with a fun and funny conversation with the jokesters at satire site Islamica News! Founded in 1999, Islamica …

Episode 22: Haroon Moghul

June 19th, 2015


It's twice the Diffused Congruence this month! For this episode of the show we're joined by Haroon Moghul, PhD candidate at Columbia University …

Episode 21: Dr. Sherman Jackson

June 5th, 2015


This month we're honored to be joined by Dr. Sherman Jackson, professor of Religion and American Studies and Ethnicity at the University of Southern …

Episode 20: Entrepreneur Shahed Amanullah

May 15th, 2015


For this month's show we're joined by self-proclaimed "serial entrepreneur" Shahed Amanullah, founder of,,, …

Episode 19: Marvel Comics Editor Sana Amanat

April 3rd, 2015


For this month's show we're joined by Marvel Comics' Sana Amanat. In addition to overseeing multiple fan favorite titles, Sana is also director of …

Episode 18: Imam Zaid Shakir

March 9th, 2015


We're very excited to be joined by renowned scholar Imam Zaid Shakir for this month's episode. As a founding member of Zaytuna College, the first …

Episode 17: Al Jazeera's Wajahat Ali

February 20th, 2015


This month we're joined by award-winning playwright, journalist, and humorist Wajahat Ali for a far-ranging conversation that starts with a lengthy …

Episode 16: Comedian Azhar Usman Gets Serious

January 24th, 2015


For the first episode of 2015, Parvez and Zaki are joined by stand-up comedian Azhar Usman -- "America's Funniest Muslim" -- for a wide-ranging, free-form conversation that's as incisive and introspective as it is …

Episode 15: <i>The Daily Show</i>'s Aasif Mandvi on His New Book

December 15th, 2014


This month Parvez and Zaki are pleased to be joined by actor, comedian, and writer Aasif Mandvi as he talks about his journey as a working actor to becoming The Daily Show's "Senior Foreign Looking Correspondent." He …

Episode 14: <i>Serial</i>'s Rabia Chaudry

November 27th, 2014


Since its launch last October, the Serial podcast has taken the country by storm.
Reporter Sarah Koenig's gripping investigation into the 1999 murder …

Episode 13: Our Lunch With Dean Obeidallah

November 13th, 2014


We start off episode thirteen with highlights from Zaki's roundtable interview with Daily Show host Jon Stewart on his feature directing debut, the based-on-true-events Iranian prison drama Rosewater. After that, listen …

Episode 12: Parvez & Zaki Celebrate One Year!

October 10th, 2014


After last week's debate about Islam and Muslims between Bill Maher and Ben Affleck (which conspicuously had no Muslims actually involved in the …

Episode 11: Ayesha Mattu and Ali Eteraz

September 23rd, 2014


For this episode of the show, Parvez and Zaki shine a spotlight on Muslim authors who've successfully broken through into the mainstream. First, we …

Episode 10: Shadi Hamid

August 29th, 2014


For this month's show we're joined by Shadi Hamid of the Brookings Institute and author of Temptations of Power: Islamists and Illiberal Democracy in a New Middle East for a far-ranging conversation on the foreign …

Episode 9: Mustafa Davis

July 18th, 2014


For this episode, we're joined by famed photographer and filmmaker Mustafa Davis, co-founder of Ta'leef Collective, about his road to Islam, and what …

Episode 8: Zareena Grewal

May 16th, 2014


This month, we speak with Professor Zareena Grewal about her new book, Islam is a Foreign Country, and engage in a spirited conversation about the …

Episode 7: Faran Tahir

April 11th, 2014


For this month's show, Parvez and Zaki are joined by acclaimed Pakistani-American actor Faran Tahir, who's been appearing on big and small screens for more than twenty years now in big budget fare such as Iron ManStar …

Episode 6: Abu Qadir Al-Amin

March 14th, 2014


This month we're honored to be joined by Imam Abu Qadir Al-Amin, a veteran religious leader in the San Francisco Bay Area who came to Islam after first being exposed to the teachings of Elijah Muhammad and the Nation of …

Episode 5: Muneer Fareed

February 7th, 2014


For episode five of the show, we had an in-depth chat with with Islamic scholar Dr. Muneer Fareed on a variety of topics, including the distinctions …

Episode 4: Rehan Jalali

January 17th, 2014


We encountered a slight delay thanks to various unforeseen technical difficulties, but nonetheless, the Diffused Congruence team is back to help you …

Episode 3: Kamran Pasha

December 6th, 2013


It's the first Friday of the month, and that means it's time for a new Diffused Congruence podcast! Our special guest for this episode of the show is …

Episode 2: Zahra Billoo

November 1st, 2013


For our second episode, hosts Parvez Ahmed and Zaki Hasan are joined by Zahra Billoo, executive director of the San Francisco-Bay Area chapter of CAIR (Council on American-Islamic Relations), for an in-depth …

Episode 1: Usama Canon

October 4th, 2013


Welcome to Diffused Congruence, an all new podcast celebrating the many facets of the American Muslim experience. With new episodes slated to drop the first Friday of every month, the goal of our show is to highlight …

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