Born on in 1948 at sea to Palestinian refugee parents, Dr. Ahmad was raised in Pennsylvania. He graduated cum laude from Harvard in 1970 and in 1975 obtained a Ph. D. in astronomy and astrophysics from the University of Arizona. He teaches an introductory course on Islam at the Wesley Theological Seminary and holds a position as senior lecturer at the University of Maryland in College Park, MD where he has taught honors courses in “Religion and Progress” and on “Religion, Science, and Freedom.” He has also taught college courses on Islam and Development at Georgetown University and graduate courses in Islam and Development and Theory of Social Change at the Johns Hopkins University School for Advanced International Studies. Dr. Ahmad has lectured on Islam at the Foreign Services Institute and for the Joint Special Operations University’s Middle East Orientation Course. He has done postdoctoral work in astronomy at Harvard, the University of Maryland, and under contract to Goddard Space Flight Center and for private firms. He is currently President of the Minaret of Freedom Institute, an Islamic think-tank in the Washington, DC area.
Dr. Ahmad is an internationally sought-after speaker on matters relating to Islam and Muslims. He is author of Signs in the Heavens, co-editor of Islam and the West: A Dialog, and co-author of Islam and the Discovery of Freedom. Dr. Ahmad‘s essay “An Islamic Perspective on the Wealth of Nations” appears in the International Library of Critical Writings on Economics series #129 The Economics of Property Rights. His most recent books are The Islamic Rules of Order and the Directory of Policy Experts in Islamic Studies and Muslim Affairs. In addition to serving as a Muslim chaplain at American University, he is a chaplain at the Adventist Behavioral Center and the Perkins Hospital, Imam of the Dar-adh-Dhikr Mosque, President of the Islamic-American Zakat Foundation, and arbitrator for the Coordinating Council of Muslim Organizations in the Greater Washington Metropolitan Area. He resides in Bethesda with his wife Frances Eddy.
Dr. Ahmad has received the “Star Cup for Outstanding Public Service” award from the Montgomery County Civic Federation, the “Champion of Democracy Award” from Marylanders for Democracy, the “Samuel P. Chase Freedom Award” from the Libertarian Party of Maryland, and the “Sentinel Award” from the Montgomery County Civic Federation.
Ghiyath Nakshbendi, was the founder of the first college Masjd at Montgomery College, Rockville, Maryland back in 1972, when he was on a tenured faculty there. Also, he was a member of Advisory Committee on U.S.-Muslim World Relations at US Institute of Peace which was formed in 2006. Ghiyath was a guest of the U.S. Department of State tour (2008) to Saudi Arabia-Egypt and Jordan, tour of 4 American Muslim, to speak about Islam in America. He left academic to pursue carrier in the financial industry for more than 25 years. He returned to academia in 2007 to teach business courses at Kogod School of Business, and he is an affiliate faculty at the School on International Service. At American University he introduced the first graduate and undergraduate academic course on Islamic Finance in the District of Columbia area. a Fulbright Scholar with previous affiliation with 5 other educational institutions of higher learning in the U.S. and abroad, where he taught business courses in Arabic.
Ghiyath is very active in the American University community, serving on committees across campus to being faculty advisor to several university students clubs, including the Muslim Student Association, and recently volunteered to serve as an Associate Muslim Chaplain. Between teaching and committees work, he spends time counselling students on varieties of topics.
Ghiyath is a Middle East and North Africa expert, with a focus on the GCC. A native Arabic speaker. He was born, raised, educated and did major projects in the region from Mauritania to Oman, over a period of 20 years. He is a regular visitor to the region and follows the region development regularly.
He is a frequent speaker nationally and internationally. He had speaking engagements with the U.S. Department of State. He lectured at the Foreign Service Institute. His television, radio and print interviews, includes: Alhurra Television, Express News, SNRT of Morocco, HOT 102 FM Station of Jamaica, Atlantic Radio of Morocco, VOA, SkyNewsArabia, Kuwait TV , FM 93.3 Radio of Kuwait , OmanTV, Dubai TV., Xinhua News Agency , Al Ekhbariya TV of Saudi Arabia, French TV. France 24 and Radio Monte Carlo International among others. Ghiyath Nakshbendi’s name is listed on the Fulbright Specialist Roster. Also, he is a fellow of Sovereign Investment Lab. BAFFI CAREFIN Centre for Applied Research on International Markets, Banking, Finance and Regulation. at Università Bocconi.
He earned his MBA from the Mays School of Business at Texas A&M University, College Station, Texas and was awarded his Ph.D. in Business Administration from American University, Washington, D.C.