“Fully embracing a new faith tradition is one of the most challenging feats a person may embark upon. Many begin the journey but few arrive. During my travels I have found the M.E.C.C.A. Center to be one of the few institutions in our world dedicated to helping new and returning Muslims successfully enter the Way of Islam with the wisdom, inspiration, and communal support that they need.”
Adeyinka ‘Muhammad Abdul-Haqq’ Mendes is the founding-director of SacredService for Freedom and Justice, an organization dedicated to building economies and communities of peace and self-actualization. He also serves as the founding-director of the Association for African-American Healing, Ancestry, and Development (AHAD), an organization founded to make manifest the immense spiritual, intellectual, and socioeconomic legacy of African-Americans for the uplifting of humanity, God willing.
In addition to teaching the sacred poetry of the great Jalaluddin Rumi, Sacred Meditation, Liberation Therapy, and classical Arabic and Islamic sciences, he also serves as a Community Imam, and shares the healing wisdom found in the spiritual, scholastic, and sociocultural legacy of African Islamic civilization with audiences around the world. Mendes was born in Dayton, Ohio, reared in the United States and Nigeria, and currently resides with his wife and children in Atlanta where he may sometimes be found composing poetry or writing songs atop Stone Mountain.
After embracing Islam, the Way of Love and Religion of the Prophets, following a life changing trip to Jerusalem at the age of 17, he specialized in Arabic at the university level, and has been trained for over two decades in the traditional Islamic sciences and spirituality by notable scholars and spiritual masters from around the world among them Shaykh Hamza Yusuf Hanson (USA), Shaykh Muhammad Shareef (USA), Shaykh Alfa Ibrahim Makana (Nigeria), Shaykh Murabit al-Hajj (Mauritania), Shaykh Muhammad an-Ninowy (Syria), Shaykh Ahmad Zo Abdullah (Haiti), and Shaykh Imam Fodé Drame (Senegal).
In addition to establishing the Annual Rawdah Deen Intensive in 2003, a grassroots educational initiative, he has focused on translating and teaching rare Arabic manuscripts from West Africa authored by her greatest spiritual masters, intellectual giants, and statesmen. Mendes teaches a radically non-sectarian, non-misogynistic, nonviolent, and environmentally conscious methodology of Islam rooted in its classical and mystical traditions, in harmony with the best of the American ethos, positively engaged with society, and appreciative of human diversity, that is empowering to women and youth. He teaches that spirituality rooted in reason, revelation, and realization is the greatest healing for our modern physical, emotional, and spiritual pathologies and the greatest remedy for the world’s socioeconomic injustices.
(Biography taken from Imam Adeyinka ‘Muhammad’ Mendes)