Office Hours:
  • Thursday: Asr to Isha Salah
  • Friday: Asr to Isha Salah

Imam Mazhar Mahmood

Islamic Foundation of Peoria

Imām Mazhar, born and raised in the vibrant city of Toronto, Canada, has always harbored a profound passion for both learning and teaching the principles of Islam. His journey of scholarly pursuit commenced under the esteemed guidance of his late father, the revered Al-Qāri’ Maḥmood bin Aḥmad Sa’īd (may Allāh be pleased with them). Under his father’s tutelage, Imām Mazhar embarked on a journey to master the memorization of Al-Qur’ān and delve into the nuances of various recitations (Qirā’at). His commitment to acquiring knowledge led him to further heights, as he enrolled in a comprehensive four-year ‘Ālimiyyah program under the esteemed mentorship of Muftī Ādam Koya at the Bright Future’s Institute, Islamic Seminary.

Imām Mazhar’s unwavering dedication to the pursuit of Islamic knowledge manifested in a thirst for wisdom from various sources. Apart from his intensive studies with Muftī Ādam Koya, he dedicated substantial portions of his time to memorizing and comprehending classical religious texts. This fervor compelled him to engage in extracurricular activities, including journeys to different cities and countries to gain professional experience under the tutelage of prominent scholars. These luminaries included Shaykh Hamzah Wald Maqbul, Imām S’ad Baig, Shaykh Yusuf Badat, and Shaykh Habīb ‘Alī.

Upon graduating from Ontario Secondary School Diploma (OSSD) and attaining a Bachelor’s degree in Islamic Studies in 2009, Imām Mazhar set his sights on Dārul ‘Uloom Zakariyya in South Africa. There, he embarked on a comprehensive journey encompassing the higher faculties of Arabic, Morphology/Syntax, Poetry, Exegesis of the Holy Qur’ān (Tafsīr), Islamic Theology, and Ḥadīth Sciences. His unwavering dedication culminated in an honorable achievement, as he secured a Masters in Islamic Studies from Darul Uloom Zakariyya. Imām Mazhar holds authorizations in Ḥadīth from a multitude of respected scholars, including the Grand Muftī of South Africa, Shaykh Ridhā-ul-Haq, Shaykh ‘Alā al Dīn bin Jamāl al Dīn, Shaykh Sulaiman Choksī, Shaykh Muḥammad al ‘Awwāmah, and others. Alongside his Islamic degrees, he has acquired diplomas in Astronomy and Counselling.

Returning to Canada from South Africa in 2012, Imām Mazhar assumed the role of a teacher, specializing in the Arabic language, Islamic Studies, and Quranic Studies in various schools throughout Toronto. In 2014, driven by his ongoing educational pursuits and mentorships, he decided to embrace a transformative chapter in his life, relocating to Western Canada to dedicate his services to the Muslim and greater communities.

His time in Western Canada saw him residing in Kamloops, where he served as an Imām at the Ayesha Mosque and a Chaplain at Thompson Rivers University. Subsequently, he assumed positions as a Programs Manager and an Imām at the Islamic Society of BC. His journey further led him to Lac la Biche, Alberta, where he undertook the responsibilities of Director of Religious Affairs and Imam at Al Kareem Mosque, the second mosque established in Canada. Simultaneously, he contributed as an Arabic language instructor for the Northern Lights School Division (NLSD).

In a testament to his commitment to holistic education, Imām Mazhar enriched his academic insights by enrolling in courses offered by Harvard University through the edX program, delving into the diverse tapestry of world religions.

Today, Imām Mazhar stands as the Director of Religious Affairs at the Islamic Foundation of Peoria and holds writes for the prestigious Mathabah Institute in Toronto. He actively engages as a scholar at AMJA’s Imams Conference and serves as a Director at Imams Services Inc.

In his ongoing quest for knowledge, Imām Mazhar is currently pursuing a Ph.D. in Islamic Jurisprudence alongside a license in the practice of cupping therapy.

Beyond the realms of academia, Imām Mazhar is a dedicated member of the interfaith community, where engages in discussion and dialogue, conducts lectures at conferences, schools, seminars, and universities. He also lends his voice to various media platforms.

Residing in Peoria, Illinois, with his family of four, Imām Mazhar finds solace in the pleasures of travel, the world of literature, and his unwavering commitment to promoting unity, peace, and diversity in his community and the broader world.