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Our Team

Amal Killawi

Amal Killawi serves on the Board of Directors and is a Research Fellow and Community Educator at The Family and Youth Institute. She holds a Master’s in Social Work, a Certificate in Sexual Health, and a Bachelor’s in Psychology from the University of Michigan. She is currently pursuing her PhD in Social Work at Rutgers University.

Amal’s research interests include: marriage education, mental health, and sexual health, help seeking behaviors, culturally competent health services, and community-based participatory research.

She has presented her research nationally at academic and community conferences.

Amal previously served as a counselor for college students and domestic violence survivors, as a researcher at the University of Michigan, the Institute for Social Policy and Understanding (ISPU), and the Arab Community Center for Economic and Social Services (ACCESS), and as an online counselor and writer for Virtual Mosque.

Amal has been a community organizer for over 15 years, focusing her efforts on youth empowerment, health and marriage education, and providing a voice for the disadvantaged. She has served with the Muslim Students’ Association, the Peaceful Families Project, Muslim Family Services, and the Journal of Muslim Mental Health.


Workshops & Lectures


Divorce Support Toolkit

This toolkit provides resources and practical tips on maneuvering through a divorce, regardless of what stage of the process you...

Religious/Spiritual Abuse Toolkit

This toolkit includes resources to support those impacted by spiritual abuse. Home Toolkits What’s on This Page Resources on Spiritual...
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Workshops & Lectures


Marriage Prep Workshop

Whether you are searching for a spouse or have been married for a number of years, no relationship is perfect....

Parenting Workshop

Description Parenting is difficult on its own but given the competing demands, multiple responsibilities, lack of support, and often increasingly...
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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).