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Alaa Mohammad Shareef

Alaa Mohammad Shareef

Alaa Mohammad Shareef received her Master of Arts degree in Clinical Psychology as well as her Masters of Education degree in Mental Health Counseling from Teachers College at Columbia University. She holds a BA in Psychology from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, and additional certifications in Childhood & Adolescence Studies and Cultures & Communities Studies. She is formally trained in Arabic from Al Qasid Institute in Amman, Jordan.  

In the past Alaa has served on the Islamic Society of Milwaukee’s (ISM) Education Team as well as the Milwaukee Muslim Women’s Coalition (MMWC) as a Curriculum Developer. She currently provides mental health counseling in the state of NY to clients from diverse backgrounds and ages dealing with issues such as anxiety, depression, grief, divorce, trauma, family discord, and narcissism. Alaa also serves as an Arabic Interventionist, Presenter, and Trainer for Cornerstone’s Refugee Resilience program led by the International Rescue Committee (IRC).

With The FYI, Alaa is a researcher and community educator focusing on Muslim mental health curriculum development, advocacy and literacy. Her research on the Islamic history of Mental Health has led to her contributions as one of the leading authors for a Springer chapter titled Mental Health in the Islamic Golden Era: The Historical Roots of Modern Psychiatry



Workshops & Lectures

Mental Health Workshop 1x1

Mental Health Workshop

It’s time to break the stigma surrounding mental health and talk about what we can do better as individuals and...
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Tragic Events Toolkit

The toolkit provides guidance on how to process a tragic event with your family. Home Toolkits What’s on This Page...

Zakat eligibility of The FYI

The Family & Youth Institute, or The FYI, is a well-known Muslim organization in the United States. It works to promote mental health and wellness by strengthening and empowering individuals, families, and communities through research and education. It has been working for many years to bring Islamic perspectives to understanding and promoting mental health in our communities.

It is dedicated to serving and supporting Muslims – safeguarding our deen, our families, and our future generations. Therefore, the work of The FYI comes in the category of ‘fi sabeelillah’ or the Path of Allah, within the eight categories where Zakat money can be used.

Zakah expenditures are only for the poor and for the needy and for those employed for it and for bringing hearts together [for Islam] and for freeing captives [or slaves] and for those in debt and for the cause of Allah, and for the [stranded] traveler – an obligation [imposed] by Allah, And Allah, is Knowing and Wise.”
(Al-Tawbah 9:60)

According to scholars who widen the meaning of fee sabeelillah to include any activities that promote Islamic growth, The FYI is indeed eligible to receive part of the Zakat funds for its programs and services. I urge Muslims in America to support this organization through their donations, general charity, and through their Zakat. I ask Allah swt to strengthen and guide The FYI to continue its good work in supporting Muslims.

Shaikh Ali Suleiman Ali, PhD

About Shaikh Ali

Sh. Ali Suleiman Ali was born in Ghana where he spent his childhood studying with various Muslim scholars. He then moved to Saudi Arabia and enrolled in the Islamic University of Madina.  He graduated with a degree in both Arabic and Islamic Studies. Dr. Ali went on to complete his Ph.D. in Islamic Studies at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor.

Sh. Ali serves on the Advisory Council of The Family & Youth Institute. He is the Senior Imam and Director of the Muslim Community of Western Suburbs in Canton, Michigan. Additionally, he serves as the Director of Muslim Family Services in Detroit and is a council member of the Fiqh Council of North America (FCNA). He is also a member of the North American Imams Federation (NAIF) and the Association of Muslim Jurists of America (AMJA).