Imam’s Corner

Imam Ousmane Sawadogo:

Ousmane Sawadogo is a spiritual leader and scholar of Islam dedicated to serving the Muslim community. He has been serving as an Imam at the Central Illinois Mosque & Islamic Center (CIMIC) since 2016. He was born in Abidjan, the Ivory Coast (West Africa) and he is fluent in Arabic, English, French, Mooré, and Bambara. Imam Ousmane developed a deep love for Islamic studies from an early age and embarked on a rigorous educational journey of 11 years, that took him from his native West Africa to the Middle East.

His journey towards scholarly Islamic studies began in 1993 when he embarked on a transformative educational path to Syria and Egypt. During his time in the Middle East, he immersed himself in the comprehensive study of traditional and academic Islamic Sciences, Arabic Language and Literature, Tafsīr, Uṣūl Tafsīr, prophetic traditions and sayings (hadith), Hanafi, Maliki, Shafi and Hanbali Fiqh, comparative Islamic jurisprudence (al-Fiqh al-Muqāran), Uṣūl Fiqh, Aqīdah, and various other Islamic disciplines from Maʽhad al-Fath al-Islāmī and Al-Azhar University.

He also had the privilege of receiving guidance from esteemed scholars outside the classroom. He memorized the Quran with Sheikh Abdur Razzāq Al Halabī, under whom he also studied the kutub as-sittah, the Muwaṭṭaʾ of Imam Malik, Tafsīr al-Qurtubī, and several other classical Islamic works in the Umayyad Mosque in Damascus, Syria. Imam Ousmane’s commitment to learning led him to achieve the following credentials in Islamic and Arabic Studies.

  • Ph.D. in Arabic Language (2022): Al Madinah International University, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
  • Master of Arts in Applied Linguistics and TESOL (2015): Southern Illinois University, Carbondale, Illinois
  • Master of Arts in Arab Studies (2011): Cheikh Anta Diop University, Dakar, Senegal
  • Ijāzah ʽĀliah in Fundamentals of Religion, Major in Hadith (2003): Al-Azhar University, Cairo, Egypt
  • Certificate of Specialization in Hadith Studies (2002): Maʽhad al-Fath al-Islāmī, Damascus, Syria
  • Diploma of Islamic and Arabic Studies (1999): Maʽhad al-Fath al-Islāmī, Damascus, Syria
  • Ijāzah in Quran Memorization (1999): Sheikh Abdur Razzāq Al Halabī, Damascus, Syria


With a strong foundation in traditional Islamic education, Imam Ousmane combines his deep understanding of religious texts with a contemporary perspective and tries to bridge the gap between classical teachings and the challenges faced by the Muslim community in the modern world.




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