On Saturday, June 1, 2024, The Islamic Seminary of America (TISA) held its inaugural commencement ceremony in Richardson, Texas, awarding master’s degrees to 3 students from the class of 2023 and 3 students from the class of 2024. This historic event marks a significant milestone for TISA.

TISA’s board members, dean, faculty, graduates, students, staff, and guests were in attendance from around North America. The keynote speaker, Dr. Izzeldin Abuelaish, moved and inspired the audience, speaking of hope, courage, and being rooted in one’s identity. Dr. Izzeldin Abuelaish, MD, MPH, a distinguished Palestinian medical doctor and University of Toronto professor, born and raised in the Gaza Strip’s Jabalia Refugee Camp, embodies resilience and compassion. His unwavering commitment to fostering peace between Palestinians and Israelis through utilizing health as a catalyst exemplifies the transformative power of hope and familial bonds. Renowned for his award-winning memoir, “I Shall Not Hate: A Gaza Doctor’s Journey,” Dr. Abuelaish’s life story has recently been brought to the screen, captivating audiences worldwide.

Dr. Yasir Qadhi, TISA’s Dean of Academic Affairs, remarked, “This commencement signifies a pivotal moment in TISA’s mission to nurture a cohort of distinguished leaders who embody Islamic values while tackling contemporary issues head-on.” He emphasized, “Ultimately, our goal is to make the world a better place for all people”.

Held at the Davidson-Gundy Alumni Center at the University of Texas at Dallas, the first-ever TISA commencement was a moment of celebration and achievement, and a continuation of the longstanding Muslim tradition of knowledge, scholarship, and leadership.