Dr. Imam Al-Hajj Talib ‘Abdur-Rashid was awarded an Al Ijaaza Society doctoral degree in Islamic leadership. NIMHSP, is the first muslim founded, Islamic human service credentialing agency in America. Dr. Imam Al-Hajj Talib Abdur Rashid was hooded and welcomed into the Ijaaza Society by his peers at the Al Ijaaza Society’s Islamic Counseling and Mental Health Convention on the 4th and 5th of February 2017, at SUNY New Paltz, NY. He was among others (Imam Jamil Al-Amin, et al.,) who received this high honor which distinguishes and highlights their lifetime of Islamic leadership and civic engagement. Imam Al-Hajj Talib ‘Abdur-Rashid has been the religious and spiritual leader (Imam) of The Mosque of Islamic Brotherhood Inc. for the past 29 years. Located in Harlem, New York City, the mosque is the lineal descendant of the Muslim Mosque Inc. founded by the late El-Hajj Malik El-Shabazz (Malcolm X), in 1964. Imam ‘Abdur-Rashid is also the former Ameer (President) of the Majlis Ash-Shura (Islamic Leadership Council) of Metropolitan New York. Nationally, he serves as the Deputy Ameer (Vice President) of The Muslim Alliance in North America, under the leadership of Imam Siraj Wahhaj. Further, he is a spokesman for the Association of African American Imams (NYC).
Imam Talib has worked as both a volunteer and paid chaplain in the jails and prisons of New York since 1978. In the late 1980s he emerged as a New York City based pioneering Muslim voice in interfaith relations. In 2014 he was formally recognized for 19 years of service to Harlem Congregations for Community Improvement, and still serves until this day. Although a community liason to the NYPD since the mid-1970s, Imam Talib’s public advocacy for police reform began in the 1990s on behalf of justice for the families of Shu’aib Abdul-Latif, Amadou Diallo , and Ousmane Zongo; three young, innocent, unarmed black men killed by the NYPD. From late 2011 his major voice was raised in critical opposition to both Stop and Frisk, and Suspicionless surveillance of the Muslim community – the particular policies and programs initiated by former NYC Mayor Michael Bloomberg and NYC Police Commissioner Ray Kelly.
Imam Talib has served as a faith-based HIV/AIDS educator, counselor, and advocate for Muslims living with AIDS and their families, since 1990. He is the co-founder of the African-African American Muslim Commission on HIV/AIDS , a member of the National Black Leadership Commission on HIV/AIDS, and the only American Muslim member of the Advisory Committee of the International Muslim Leaders Consultation on HIV/AIDS.
The Imam is a past recipient of the Council on American Islamic Relations’ Steward of Justice Award. His religiously inspired community activist work has earned him accolades from community organizations and city government alike, including several NY City Council Citations, and both borough-wide and congressional recognition for his work and contributions as a New Yorker.
In 2013 Imam Talib received the All Star Project’s Bridge Building Award for Leadership in Community Relations, for his long and consistent record of interfaith work in New York City ; the Micah Justice Award of The Micah Institute at New York Theological Seminary (for his prophetic model social justice work over 25 years), and the Citizen of the City award of The Police Reform Organizing Project. In 2014 he was a founding member of Interfaith Religious Leaders of African Ancestry, raising his voice against violence directed against women and children at home and abroad. In 2015 the New York Observer cited him as One of New York’s Most Influential Religious Leaders. That same year the imam received multiple awards upon completion of his term as Ameer/President of the Majlis Ash-Shura of New York. Those honors included the Excellence in Leadership Award(Islamic Circle of North America), Faith in Service Award (Arab Association of New York), and Civic Leadership Award (Muslim Democratic Club). In 2016 the Institute for the Black World 21st Century has honored Imam Talib with its Legacy Award for his consistent work throughout the years on behalf of the people of the African diaspora.
Imam Talib is the author of A Muslim Manifesto on Darfur, and Healing Indigenous Muslim Families of African Descent, as well as a published essay African Muslims in Early New York. His next book The Fundamentals of Faith as well as two more- Social Justice Writings of an African American Muslim, and Qur’an, Sunna, and the Non-Violent Jihad against HIV/AIDS are scheduled for publishing in 2017-18