Shaykh Muhammad Irfan Faizi Chishti MBE graduated with a law degree in 1995 after which he embarked on a 7 year path of higher education specialising in theology and language. His studies took him to the world famous and reputedly the oldest university in the world; Al-Azhar in Cairo, Egypt and then returning to the UK to complete his Masters from Manchester University.
He trained professionally as a secondary teacher of Religious Education (2004) and after taking up post as Head of Department for Religious Education he relinquished this position (post 7/7) in order to further his community engagement work. Irfan has worked in many North West schools as a supply teacher and was well received by all the schools he has worked in. It was during this time that he re-established The Light of Islam Academy designing a ten year curriculum to take the young regular mosque attendees on a path of spiritual, innovative and inspiring learning.
Imam Irfan is very active in Inter faith work and is currently the Chair of the Multifaith Partnership in Rochdale. In his local community he served as appointed the unique position of “Official Chaplain to the Borough of Rochdale” – by the Mayor Robin Parker and is currently the Chair of the Multifaith Partnership Rochdale.
His work in the field of supplementary schools and capacity building was commended by the Secretary of State for Communities, Rt Hon. Hazel Blears in the Houses of Parliament and led to him receiving an MBE for Services to the Muslim Community – the first British trained Imam to receive such an Honour.
Imam Irfan has travelled extensively across the Muslim world representing British Islam and Muslims and these visits culminated recently in a lecture tour in Morocco where he had the honour of being the 2nd western Muslim scholar to lecture in Arabic in the famous Qarawiyeen University.
He resides in Rochdale and is father to Huzayfah (10) Faaiza (4) and Arsha (1.5).
Currently, he works as a Community Cohesion Advisor, Principal of Light of Islam Academy (Rochdale, UK), member of SACRE (Standing Advisory Council for Religious Education), member of the Crescent Community Radio team and Advisor to a national Citizenship education project for supplementary schools and state schools www.theiceproject.com
Imam Irfan Chishti can be contacted on: firstname.lastname@example.org