Dr. Shaykh Taha bin Hasan Abdul-Basser is an independent scholar of Islamic ethics and law who has acted as a shari`a compliance reviewer, examiner and consultant to investment funds, investment banks, retail banks, financial advisories, legal advisors and other for-profit and not-for-profit entities since 1998.
He was lead contributor to the Harvard Islamic Finance Information Program’s database software on Islamic financial ethics and jurisprudence, independent study course instructor (“Principles of Islamic Finance”) at Harvard Business School and a Senior Tutorial Advisor at Harvard University’s Department of Near Eastern Language and Civilizations. He is the Harvard Islamic Society Chaplain emeritus.
Born and raised in Brooklyn, New York City, Ustādh Taha bin Hasan Abdul-Basser started learning elementary Arabic and uṣūl al-dīn at 5 years of age, under his father, Hasan Abdul-Basser, who had reverted to Islam at the age of 16, on the advice of his mentor, al-Hajj Mālik (aka Malcolm X). While attending the Dalton School in New York City, Ustādh Taha returned to his personal study of Arabic with renewed vigor at the age of 16 and began to engage more deeply with works that he came across in his father’s personal library–such as Maulana Abdullah Yusuf Ali’s translation of and commentary on the Qur’an and Maulana Abdul-Hamid Siddiqui’s learned translation of Sahīh Muslim.
In 1992, he traveled to Cambridge, Massachusetts in order to attend Harvard College, where he studied Arabic formally with Professors Tahera Qutbuddin, William Granara, Asma Afsaruddin and Wolfhart Heinrichs and was encouraged by members of the Harvard Islamic Society, the Muslim student’s organization at the College, to pursue the Islamic sciences more deeply. Since then, he has benefited from several teachers (shuyūkh), including Shaykh Musa Madūrī of al-Azhar (Tanzania); the qaḍī and muftī, Shaykh Muḥammad al-Umrani (Sana`a), Shaykh Dr. Muhammad Ghunaym (Sana`a) and Shaykh Nizam Ya`qubī, from whom he has several licenses (ijāzāt).