What is Safina Society?
Safina Society is an educational institute founded by Dr. Shadee Elmasry that is currently headquartered at NBIC. Our methodology is traditional Islam based on the four schools. Through live and online classes (Arkview programs), book publications and videos, we seek to reach the entire family of all age groups and every possible demographic. And finally, excellence, unified style and thought out streamlined design is in our DNA.
What does "Safina" mean?
The Prophet ﷺ described the end of time: tribulations will surge upon the believers like the waves of a raging sea (Bukhari). In another saying, he ﷺ said, "My family is like the ark of Noah, whoever gets on it is safe and whoever does not, drowns. And my Companions are like the stars, whichever one you follow you will be guided."
In yet another, he was asked "Who will be on your Sunna in those times?" He, peace be upon him, replied, "The jamaa," i.e. the larger community.
The word safina means ark. We believe that we can be saved from the tests coming upon us first by the power of Allah and second by physically gathering upon the study of His Book and the example of His Messenger ﷺ, who said "grab onto it with your inside teeth."
We believe in togetherness. We believe in relationships. We believe in the concept of a society being a collection of people that share the same space and believe in the same traditions, laws, and ethics. Alone, we are the lone sheep (Tirmidhi), while together, we are an impenetrable fortress, everyone supporting everyone (Bukhari). "Grab hold of the rope of Allah together, and never be separated" (Aal Imran).
And so packed in the name Safina Society is the intention of receiving guidance and salvation through companionship and knowledge.
What is our Vision?
Our presence on this earth is a test of wills. We are here to discover our Maker, to know and love Him through our own choice and volition. We also recognize that we are near the end of our umma’s history, and that keeping the faith is more often than not, an uphill challenge, for in the End Times, the umma is afflicted with the epidemic of loving dunya and hating death. Our response is companionship and knowledge. We are dedicated to gaining knowledge and eliminating distractions.
Our beliefs are based on the robust and firmly established teachings passed on by luminaries of the Sunna, Imam al-Nawawi and al-Ghazali, and those before them, Abu Hanifa, Malik, Shafi', Ahmad, Bukhara, Muslim and al-Juwayni. We serve the entire family as well as every possible demographic.
We do not seek to be huge. We care about quality over size and numbers. We are not slaves to numbers nor to our audience. We embrace technology and use it without allowing it to alter our vision, purpose or inner state. Through technology, we hope to bring like-minded students of knowledge together physically, not only virtually. We care as much about presentation as we do about content. Excellence, unicity of style along with simplicity is built into our DNA.
Safina Society's History
Safina Society was born as an idea in 2009 by Dr. Shadee Elmasry. A couple of weekend classes were given in the ensuing years, mostly in New Jersey. But only in 2012 did the New Brunswick Islamic Center agree to incubate Safina Society as an organization. In January 2013, we launched our local classes, which we continue to offer for various levels: scholarship, youth, & converts. In 2016, we launched the Safina Society Podcast, hosted by Muin Saiyed. Most recently, we have launched pre-recorded classes, which you can visit here.
MEET THE FOUNDER
OF SAFINA SOCIETY
Dr. Shadee Elmasry was born and raised in New Jersey. He began studying the traditional sciences rigorously at age eighteen. He studied in Yemen, Mecca and Madina, London and Cairo under several veteran ulama. He studied Arabic Maliki fiqh, usul, aqida and suluk.
In addition to traditional learning, Dr. Elmasry has received a masters and PhD in religious studies, completing his masters thesis at The George Washington University and his PhD at The University of London, SOAS on Da’wa in the Works of Imam Abd Allah bin Alawi al-Haddad.
Dr. Elmasry went on to teach at several universities including Yale, The University of London SOAS, Trinity College, Hartford Seminary and Manhattanville College. Currently, he has found his way back home as Scholar in Residence and Director of Education at the New Brunswick Islamic Center in New Jersey. He is also the founder and head of Safina Society—an institution dedicated to disseminating Ahl al-Sunna & Jama knowledge live and online.