Zaid Shakir is a Muslim American scholar and co-founder of Zaytuna College. He teaches courses on Arabic law history and Islamic spirituality.
Shakir is also co-founder and chairman of United For Change whose stated goal is to leverage the diversity of the Muslim and interfaith community and address divisive obstacles. In 2015 he signed the official Memorandum of Understanding between Zaytuna College and Hartford Seminary in Connecticut.
He is one of the signatories of A Common Word Between Us and You an open letter by Islamic scholars to Christian leaders calling for peace and understanding. Imam Zaid is a signatory along with religious and spiritual Leaders from around the world who presented the UN Secretary-General with a declaration in support of the Paris Climate Agreement under the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change marking the largest number of nations ever signing an international agreement.
A summa cum laude graduate he obtained a BA in International Relations at American University in Washington D.C. earned his MA in Political Science at Rutgers University. He then left for Syria to pursue his studies in the traditional Islamic Sciences. For seven years in Syria and briefly in Morocco he immersed himself in an intense study of Arabic Islamic law Quranic studies and spirituality with some of the top Islamic scholars of our age such as Sheikh ʿAbd al-Raḥmān al-Shāghūrī and Sheikh Mustafa Al-Turkmani. In 2001 he was the first American male graduate from Syria's Abu Nour University with a BA in Islamic Sciences.