Modeled after one of Dr. Gianotti’s community programs in Canada, AIC’s “Light Upon Light” evenings of spiritual discussion and fellowship feature a variety of spiritually nourishing (sometimes challenging) subjects in an inclusive space where participants of all ages and faiths actively contribute in a manner that is respectful to all. In these gatherings, we frequently interweave textual study and facilitated discussion in an effort to deepen ourselves and promote a sense of spiritual fellowship across denominational and religious boundaries.
January topic: “The Mysteries of Light and Darkness.”
Date: Friday, January 20, 2023
Time: 7:30 PM CT
Venue: American Islamic College Library
President Gianotti interviews a special guest each month to discuss the formative encounters of their lives.
January special guest: Dr. Shakeela Hassan
Shakeela Zia Hassan is a philanthropist, poet, interfaith community organizer, caring physician, and author who has lived and promoted transformative encounters for nearly nine decades. She has also been a champion of human rights and the arts. Read more…
In-person and Live-streamed
Date: Friday, January 20, 2023
Time: 11:00 AM CT
Venue: American Islamic College Library
Committed to thoughtful, respectful, and socially impactful inter-religious engagement, confident that religion can be a powerful force for social good, and inspired by a shared belief in the value of transformative, relational, experiential learning, AIC is honored to announce the Dr. Shakeela and Dr. Zia Hassan Institute for Interfaith Encounter (SZHIIE). The Hassan Institute will serve and enable meaningful, life-changing inter and intra-religious encounters across the city of Chicago and beyond. The scope of the Hassan Institute’s vision and activism will include research, teaching support, faculty fellowships, student internships, public lectures and workshops, community outreach, educational trips, and public programs all for the promotion of transformative encounters between diverse believers and faith communities.
The Hassan Interfaith Fellowships will be an integral part of the new Institute’s mission and vision. Inspired by the University of Chicago’s Metcalf Fellowships, these single-semester, paid, immersive work experiences for both undergraduate and graduate students will
- create new, meaningful internship opportunities that give students a deeper dive into faith and/or interfaith-based contexts and organizations so that they can come to understand why work is being done a certain way or why initiatives are being developed and chosen;
- empower students to dream up their own intra and interfaith initiatives and receive support and guidance from both the Institute and the College as they work to bring their visions into reality;
- make bright talent available to faith and/or interfaith-based organizations and workplaces that may not be able to budget for interns;
- provide real-life, immersive work experience to students and so enhance the connectivity and relevance of their studies to the wider world;
- require student fellows to write meaningful impact statements based upon their experiences, and these essays can then be used to guide aspiring HI Fellows who are interested in similar fields or experiences.
Dr. Shakeela Hassan
Shakeela Zia Hassan is a philanthropist, poet, interfaith community organizer, caring physician, and author who has lived and promoted transformative encounters for nearly nine decades. She has also been a champion of human rights and the arts. Her work bridging traditions has been informed by a rich personal journey that originated in Hyderabad and took her to Chicago, where she met and married her husband Zia, and by her medical practice at the University of Chicago, where she served as an Associate Professor of Anesthesiology and Critical Care.
As a producer and fundraiser, her credits include the documentaries Muhammad: Legacy of a Prophet, Ties That Bind, and The Sounds of Faith. Sponsored and managed by her Harran Productions Foundation, the Sounds of Faith initiative has generated over 20 events from Chicago to New York and Doha, Qatar. As an author, Shakeela has written two books on her friendship with the Honorable Elijah Muhammad and Sister Clara Muhammad, including A Starry Crown: Making of a Fez (Chicago: Harran Productions Foundation, 2019).
Dr. Hassan has served as an advisor to the International Human Rights Law Institute, Catholic Theological Union, American Islamic College, Hands of Peace, Chicago Theological Seminary, Lutheran School of Theology, and the Lake Institute on Faith and Giving (IUPUI). In Chicago’s western suburbs, Dr. Shakeela and her late husband, Dr. Zia Hassan, longtime professor and dean of the Stuart School of Business (Illinois Institute of Technology), also helped to establish and lead the Islamic Foundation of Villa Park to become a cornerstone institution for the diverse Muslim community of the greater Chicago area. Founded in 1986, the Islamic Foundation School of Villa Park (IFSVP) continues to be one of the leading Muslim K-12 institutions in America.
Dr. Zia Hassan (d. 2017)
The late Zia Hassan was Professor of Management Science and Dean Emeritus at the Stuart School of Business, Illinois Institute of Technology (IIT), where he taught policy and quality management. His research focused on effective organizations and quality issues and was presented in numerous publications and conferences. Dr. Hassan oversaw the launch of the Stuart School’s Master of Science programs and guided its accreditation with the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB), which is the highest accreditation standard in that field and earned by less than 5 percent of the world’s business schools. He mentored countless students and was widely admired by industry-leading alumni, who honored his legacy by establishing the M. Zia Hassan Endowed Professorship fund at IIT. He served as a consultant to numerous American and international businesses and was a fellow of the American Society for Quality. In addition, he was the founding Chairman of the Board of Trustees at the Islamic Foundation of Villa Park, where he served in that capacity for forty years, and he served as the Financial Officer of Harran Production Foundation, where he partnered with his wife Shakeela in a shared commitment to education, diversity, conflict resolution, and consensus and community-building for respectful coexistence.
On Saturday, Sept. 3rd, AIC President, Dr. Timothy J. Gianotti and AIC Board of Trustee Dr. Marcia Hermansen were joined by Dr. Mahan Mirza of the Ansari Institute at The University of Notre Dame, and Dr. Adnan Aslan of Respect Graduate School to speak on, “Is Islam Secularizing?” With about 220 people in attendance, the dynamic conversation covered topics not only about secularism and religion as two distinct categories, but also about the role of religion in the Secular (an epistemic category), Secularization (a historical process), and Secularism (a worldview) and everything in between. The conversation was inspired by Jose Casanova, Peter Berger, and more recently, Sherman Jackson.
On Friday, Sept. 2nd, a group of graduate students from The Lutheran School of Theology (LSTC) visited the College during their orientation week. Students had the opportunity to observe the Muslim congregational prayer service, Jumah. Dr. Timothy J. Gianotti, President of AIC, led a fruitful discussion around the diversity of Muslims, touching upon history, tradition, and culture as contextual elements which impact the diversity of thought and practice.
August 30, 2022
As-salaamu ‘alaykum! I extend a very warm welcome to our new and returning students and offer prayers of peace and blessings to all of our friends in the wider community!
May the year ahead be filled with life-changing encounters, purposeful work, much personal growth, and many joyful awakenings!
Positive change is in the air. With new academic and community partnerships across the city of Chicago and beyond, a renewed sense of rootedness in this incredible city (where American Muslims have made and continue to make history), and with a re-energized, bold spirit to push and guide us, all of us at the American Islamic College welcome you as companions on a great journey. This quest is, at its core, a search for the knowledge that heals, awakens, transforms, ennobles, beautifies, and empowers us to become agents of positive change in the world and visionary leaders at a time when such change and such leaders are needed more than ever. So, if well-being, truth, beauty, nobility, and a thirst for a better life and a better world mean something to you, then you are with us, whether you are enrolled or stand beside us as partners, allies, and supporters.
I am so delighted that you have been called to join us on this journey, and I look forward to meeting you, getting to know you, engaging you, challenging you, and being challenged by you, in sha’ allah. May God bless your academic year, and may your light be refined and intensified by Divine grace, luminous company, and this noble pursuit.
With prayers for God’s blessings and peace,
Timothy J Gianotti, Ph.D.
President & Acting Provost
Dear AIC Faculty, Staff, Students & Dorm Residents,
We wish everyone a blessed, safe and productive New Year 2022. American Islamic College remains committed to the health of our campus and our surrounding communities as we proceed to move into the Spring 2022 Semester and beyond. AIC will remain vigilant and continue to address the still lingering impacts from the global pandemic.
To this end, and going forward, the College will encourage and help facilitate ready access to COVID-19 vaccination, be vigilant in testing requirements, require masking in common areas, enhance cleaning protocols, and other protocols in accordance with public health requirements. This is particularly true as we currently exit the 2021 holiday season, which likely included personal travel and the expected gathering of family and friends.
Therefore, as a precaution and in support of COVID-19 Orders for the City of Chicago effective January 3, 2022, (see link below) — the College will now institute an additional campus health requirement. All employees, physically attending students and dorm residents, regardless of vaccination status, will be required to provide a negative COVID-19 test in order to return to campus in January,2022. This campus wide policy will become effective Tuesday January 18, 2022 (first day classes Spring Semester 2022). The test should be completed within the prior 72 hours of returning to campus. AIC encourages all employees, students and dorm residents to get vaccinated. Evidence of vaccination, booster and/or testing status can be presented at the campus security desk.
Links to qualified COVID-19 testing sites throughout Chicago and Illinois can be found at:
Links to qualified COVID-19 vaccination sites throughout Chicago and Illinois can also be found at:
Before returning to campus in January 2022, or taking up residence in the dormitory, kindly plan to schedule your testing in advance. Testing centers will likely become busy in the new year. If you have any questions regarding this requirement, please direct them to email@example.com. We ask that you please do your part to support your health and the health of our campus and broader community. Thank you!
Hind Makki is an interfaith and anti-racism educator who holds a degree in International Relations from Brown University. She is the founder and curator of Side Entrance, an award-winning website documenting women’s prayer experiences in mosques, and served on the Islamic Society of North America’s Mosque Inclusion Taskforce. Hind is an advisor to the ISPU project Reimagining Muslim Spaces, consulting with American mosques on gender, economic, and convert diversity. She is an alumna and advisor to the American Muslim Civic Leadership Institute and serves on the Consultative Circle to the national interfaith organization, Shoulder-to-Shoulder. In 2018, Hind was featured as one of CNN’s 25 Influential American Muslims. Locally, Hind served on the advisory boards of the Br. Jeffrey Gros, FSC Institute for Dialogue, Justice, and Social Action at Lewis University and the Chicago History Museum’s exhibit “American Medina: Stories of Muslim Chicago.” Hind can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
American Islamic College has kept a careful watch upon unfolding events and remains vigilant in monitoring the CONTINUING Covid-19 pandemic. After much consultation and in cooperation with the Illinois Board of Higher Education (IBHE) and the Higher Learning Commission (HLC), we have extended our emergency shift from face-to-face, on site education to online/remote learning for the duration of the fall semester (August-December, 2021). The College (including the library) will remain open so that students can consult the administration and use the collection and computers for their research. Students are also welcome to use campus computers to attend their Zoom classes if they do not have the tools or internet access at home. We are confident that there will be no lapse in the quality of course content or standards during this period of emergency.
Our commitment to your well-being remains paramount, and so we urge you to contact us if you experience problems or complications as a result of this pandemic arrangement. Be assured that health, wellness, and safety guidelines are strictly observed at the College. More information on this can be found here.
AIC is committed to science-based, medically approved practices that safeguard the health and safety of everyone at the College and within the wider community. Vaccination is thus strongly encouraged and both mask-wearing and social distancing are required whenever anyone is on campus. This includes the dormitories and the masjid or prayer hall. Individuals who choose not to be vaccinated for any reason (medical, religious, or other) are urged to be especially meticulous in their mask wearing, social distancing, and hygiene (esp. hand washing), and we recommend that they voluntarily get themselves tested on a weekly basis as an extra precautionary measure.
We have a shared responsibility for safeguarding each other.
In accordance with federal, state, and local guidelines, AIC has adopted the following policy for large-attendance public events on campus.
Guests’ decision to attend a public event on campus serves as their acknowledgement of the potential risks posed to them by COVID-19, particularly for those unvaccinated.
- Face masks must be worn by anyone coming to campus regardless of vaccination status. In other words, both vaccinated and unvaccinated individuals must wear a mask and socially distance when on the College property.
- Social distancing will be observed and enforced.
- Proof of ID and vaccination will be checked by a trained and designated staff member upon entrance to the building. City mandate requires vaccination. Those without proof of vaccination may join virtually. Live-streaming of the event will be available for those who do not wish to provide this information at the door. Please note that these safety measures are to ensure the safety of everyone in attendance.
Visitors traveling to Illinois must fully comply with the City of Chicago Travel Advisory before coming to campus.
For CDC regulations, please visit: https://www.cdc.gov/
For Illinois Department of Health, please visit: https://www.dph.illinois.gov/
For Chicago guidelines, please visit: https://www.chicago.gov/city/en/sites/covid19-vaccine/home.html
For questions or concerns, please contact the main office at 773.281.4700 x. 202 or email email@example.com.