In the name of Allāh the Most Gracious, the Most Compassionate
Shaykh Okasha ibn Abdullah ibn Hassan ibn Ya’qoub Kameny was born in Kumasi, Ghana, West Africa. His parents were righteous and pious individuals who held deep concern of the Deen in their hearts and encouraged their children towards the acquisition of Sacred Knowledge. Shaykh Okasha is the 5th of 10 Siblings, and like his elder siblings he pursued the path of Seeking Sacred Knowledge under the guidance of his noble father Shaykh Abdullah ibn Hassan ibn Ya’qoub Kameny.
The seeds of seeking knowledge were planted at the tender age of three wherein he would accompany his older brother Shaykh Sharafuddeen to the circles of knowledge held at the local Masjid Al Tawhid. The circles were taught by the erudite scholar and Mufassir Shaykh Adam Baba RA who himself had studied with Shaykh Abdul Aziz ibn Abdullah ibn Baaz RA. When the Shaykh reached school age he was enrolled at the Al Azhariyyah School for Islamic Theology and spent the next eleven years studying there. With the Mercy and Blessing of Allāh he excelled at Al Azhariyyah and continued attending the circles of knowledge, learning and memorising sacred texts at the feet of the traditional scholars in the local Masājid.
Following in the footsteps of his three elder brothers and sister at the age of 12 the Shaykh had completed the memorisation of the Holy Qur’ān together with the recognition of applications of the rules of Tajweed. His love for the Book of Allāh let him to memorise the Qur’ān in the 10 Qira’āt and he received Ijāzah in them. The Shaykh always had a sharp memory and from a young age was introduced to the disciplines of memorising the various texts; this was both due to the environment and the guidance of his Shuyukh; the simple village life and economic conditions of the time meant books of knowledge were not readily available amongst the students. This encouraged the Shaykh to memorise the texts knowing that he could not afford his own personal copy. After completing the Holy Qur’ān the Shaykh memorised Sahih Al Bukhāri, Sahih Muslim, and continued to memorise many other classical texts.
A GLIMPSE AT SOME BOOKS & MUTŪN THE SHAYKH HAS MEMORISED & STUDIED
The Shaykh studied Qur’ān, Qira’āt, Tafseer, Hadith, Fiqh, Arabic Linguistics, Rhetoric and Poetry at the feet of prominent scholars either residing in Ghana or visiting from other Islamic centers of learning, such as Al Azhar and the Islamic University of Madina. The Shaykh was not only a student to his teachers but just as the students of the Salaf were, he was their aid and a helper. Many of his teachers recognized the Shaykh’s humility and kindness, and through their love for him they imparted knowledge to him that is beyond his age and time.
THE SHAYKH STUDIED QUR’ĀN AND ITS SCIENCES FROM THE FOLLOWING SHUYUKH
THE SHAYKH STUDIED ARABIC LANGUAGE, RHETORIC AND POETRY FROM THE FOLLOWING SHUYUKH
THE SHAYKH STUDIED FIQH AND ITS SCIENCES FROM THE FOLLOWING SHUYUKH
NARRATIONS FROM THE SHAYKHS’ LIFE
In the Shaykh’s youth, there was an inter-school Qur’ān competition held at his school. All the schools had presented their best reciters and memorisers of the Holy Qur’an. Due to the Shaykh’s young age he was not included in the competition and so he was outside playing football with his peers. As the competition progressed the Shaykh’s school noted that they were in a difficult position in the competition – at this point one of the teachers sent some students to “bring Okasha”. Shaykh Okasha was brought from the football field and with the mercy of Allāh won the competition that day and continued to win twenty other such competitions across Ghana.
The Shaykh’s elder sister Shaykha Mardiyyah once remarked regarding the Shaykh’s habit of revising even whilst he was walking. People who didn’t know the Shaykh would think he is talking to himself, so his elder sister said once jokingly remarked, “Please you better stop this lest we wouldn’t know for sure whether or not you are on the edge of insanity.” This was because of Shaykh Okasha’s constant engagement in memorisation and revising. This reminds us of the narration regarding Imām an-Nawawi in al-adhkār how he also used to revise while he would walk. The Shaykh’s Da’wah began when his Shuyukh preferred to take him around with them as they travelled Ghana and the world- this was because Shaykh Okasha was like a son, support and humble student to his teachers.
Being an excellent reciter of the Qur’an he was also picked by his Shuyukh to recite the Ayaat they would be talking about. On one such trip Allamah Shaykh Tawfiq Al Bakry RA brought Shaykh Okasha with himself to the USA. Upon their arrival, the local communities urged Shaykh Tawfiq Al Bakry to leave behind Shaykh Okasha for the service of Islām and the benefit of Muslims in the USA. Since then, he has been leading Muslim communities across the US for over a decade. Noting the condition of the Muslims and observing the widespread misconception the Shaykh founded Masjid Al Wasatiyah Wal-Itidaal and its School in order to educate the Muslims, dispel deviant views and call towards the truth. The Shaykh travels extensively both locally and abroad taking the message of the middle path and correct understanding where ever he travels. It is through the blessing of Allāh that the masses have benefited greatly from the Shaykh’s Da’wah and he receives great acceptance where he travels. The Shaykh’s character, conduct, knowledge and humility are such that he always puts any achievement as Allah’s favour upon him and the result of the Du’ā of his parents and teachers.
To this day he continues to take the advice of his parents and mentions the supplication of his mother who prayed “May you shine and be loved”. Presently Shaykh Okasha Kameny is the founder and Chief Educator at the Academy of A.R.K., where he designs various educational programs and study tools in Islamic studies through various lecture series, custom designed curriculums, and individual instructions. Alongside teaching the different Qira’āt and giving Ijāzah in them, the Shaykh is also engaged in globalising the Dawah; he is striving to establish an accredited online university and a modern platform by which to disseminate classical knowledge to counter misinformation on Islam and save the youth. May Allāh ‘azza wa jall put barakah in the life and knowledge of the Shaykh and may the believer benefit from him, and may he be a means of guidance for humanity – Aāmeen.