Muslim educator Usama Canon's death mourned by online community

Olivia Olphin September 7, 2021

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The sad news of the death of Muslim preacher and scholar Usama Canon has just been announced on social media. The educator had been suffering with ALS for many years, and received a terminal diagnosis in 2017. We remember his life and career as people share their respects online.

Who was Usama Canon?

Ustadh Usama Canon embraced Islam in 1996, and has spent his life working as an educator, preacher and scholar. He previously worked as the Outreach Director and as an Arabic Instructor at the Zaytuna Institute.

He was also a spiritual advisor to the Inner-City Muslim Action Network in Chicago, and used to travel around the US talking about the modern Muslim-American experience.

Canon was also the founder of the Ta’leef Collective, which had campuses in Chicago, Fremont and California, and was originally created in 2005 as an outreach program to help people with their journey into the Islamic faith.

The organisation describes itself as a place that: “Provides the space, content, and companionship necessary for a healthy understanding and realization of Islam.”

Ta’leef means “the coming together of many things” in Arabic. The organisation stated that it was a space were both Muslim and American values can “co-exist”.

However, in 2019, following a series of investigations into Usama Canon’s behaviour and alleged misconduct, the board distanced themselves from the original founder of the company.

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Usama Canon’s death announced online

The passing of Usama Canon was shared online by Dr Yasir Qadhi, an Islamic theologian and scholar.

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Canon received a terminal ALS diagnosis in 2017. ALS is a degenerative neurological disease that affects the nerve cells in the brain and in the spinal cord, and causes loss of control over the muscles in your body.

He had been fighting the condition for many years and finally passed away due to complications from this illness.

Friends and followers share their respects on social media

Many people whose lives had been touched by the preacher and academic have taken to social media to share their prayers after his passing.

We send out our condolences to the family and friends of Usama Canon during this difficult time.

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Olivia Olphin is an English Literature graduate and a film and literature fanatic. She has many years of reviewing experience, recently working as accredited press for the London Film Festival. She has also written widely about culture and sex education, as well as LGBTQ+ and women's issues.