The Chief Architect
ZAHIR AHMED, who is the writer, researcher and director of these videos, actually visited countries like Spain, Morocco, Egypt, Turkey, Palestine, India and many Islamic cities to photograph the most important monuments of the Islamic History.
Zahir Ahmed grew up in Bangalore, India. He was a rank student throughout his schooling in India [Amongst the top FIVE in the State of Mysore]. He came to the United States when Yale University offered him Thomas Edison Fellowship for graduate work. With his graduate degree from Yale, Zahir was invited by Space Technology Laboratories [TRW] in Los Angeles to work on the Man Landing on the Moon and other space projects. Later at Hughes Aircraft Company, he contributed his professional skills to various projects and won NASA and Hughes Achievements Awards for excellence. He now has founded an electronic company for designing state-of-the-art lighting ballasts. In parallel to his technology career, Mr Ahmed has been very busy with cultural and religious activities. He and his family are among the FOUNDERS of THREE Islamic Societies in Los Angeles, Islamic Center of Southern California, Islamic Society of Orange County and Islamic Center of South Bay-Lomita. His book "Muslims in India" won an award from CCIM, Chicago. His papers on Qur'an and Space Sciences and other subjects were well received by the ISNA conferences. He was the biggest producer of cultural shows in the Los Angeles area during the 70's & 80's promoting local talents. With his experience and talent in the story writing, cultural work and technology field, Zahir found himself capable of video production. He realized that Islamic propagation through modern technology happened to be the most powerful system. He embarked on "Muslims In India" project. This was presented in TWO volumes. He then visited Spain, Morocco and Jerusalem and presented the very famous "Muslim Spain" and "Dome Of The Rock". At present, he has constructed a marvelous story of Islam in Africa and its connection with America. Zahir's future projects will also be on Muslims in Russia and Muslims in China. His methodology is to accumulate information from experts on the subject. He then constructs the story to present the material. He even travels to the countries with his video camera. Script writing takes several months. The script is reviewed by the experts, whether religion, history or any other subject. Then it is reviewed for English and the narrator is selected. Recording of the voice is done in a professional studio. Every scene and every word is spoken in the film is selected by him. The whole effort is to assure that the information is authentic and is NOT misleading.
Muhammad Aryan made a significant contribution to all the videos produced by IVP through his expert knowledge of the Holy Qur'an, the Sunnah of Prophet Muhammad [p.b.u.h] and the history of the Khalifs of Islamic Civilization. Born in Jerusalem, Mr. Aryan completed his high school education during the British Mandate on Palestine. Due to wars from Jews, he was forced to take refuge in a nearby town. After two and a half years, he returned back to Jerusalem to teach the Arabic language and the religion of Islam. It is during this time in Jerusalem, Mr. Aryan met THREE top Islamic scholars from Alazhar University of Cairo, and studied Islam with them on a daily basis. He was influenced by their special understanding of the Islamic faith, and later, by his father-in-law, who was the Imam of Al-Aqsa mosque for 40 years. In 1952, he was invited by Kuwait to teach Arabic and Islam. He taught the religion of Islam and the Arabic language for 25 years. He received a degree in Classical Arabic from London University with honors. He then migrated to USA with his family. At UCLA, he earned a Master's degree in Eastern Languages and Cultures. Mr. Aryan has been an Islamic teacher in the Los Angeles area for more than 20 years. He is perhaps among those few people who stresses the importance of reunification of the Muslims through Khilafa as a religious duty. His remarkable Islamic research in "Dome Of The Rock" will be of an asset to the Muslim community for a long time to come. His Islamic information in "Preservation of the Holy Qur'an" , "Economics Order" and other films will be of tremendous value to those who like to know our faith in its purest form. Mr. Aryan's special knowledge of Islam through IVP videos has made an impact in the Islamic Educational circles.
Special thanks to Professor Thomas Irving (Talim Ali) whose expert knowledge of the Muslim history of Spain which was an asset to this production. Professor Irving has taught in several American, Canadian, Latin American, Asian, African and Mexican Universities. Perhaps his greatest work has been his translation of the Holy Qur'an in the American Style English which is easily understood by the youth in this country. He has a PhD from Princeton University.
Special thanks to Mossadaq Hossain of IBTS, New York for the great support he gave for this work.
Moonie Fishburn is a graduate of USC in Fine Arts. With her training in Voice Over, Drama and Speech, Moonie provided a superb narration in "Timeless Time" and "Dome of the Rock". Her almost perfect rendering of the American English expression make "Timeless Time" a legend.
Mike Curruthers: Mike's work has been widely appreciated. His clear and assertive style of rendering in our productions like "Dome of the Rock", "Muslim Spain" and "Muslims in India" will be remembered. He brought the American style to Islamic communication. He has been heard in several Radio and TV commercials.
Roger Steffens, a well known professional in the art of voice over and acting, provided his talents to our three documentaries, "Qur'an & Space Sciences", "The Economics Order" and "The Last Day" His remarkable talent of communicating the toughest information is praiseworthy. His exposure to Islamic culture while he was in Morocco is an asset to these productions.
Lauren Raber: Lauren's background in Spanish language, educated at UCLA in cinematography. Her effort to bring the Spanish Muslim history to light is highly appreciated in our video "Muslim Spain".
Steve Boergadine: Steve narrated the history of Prophet Muhammad (p.b.u.h) in "Muhammad the Last Messenger" in a style which cannot be matched. His spiritual and soothing voice brought dignity to the narration. Steve has done significant work in stage and theaterical field along with voice overs, writings, and direction. His superb narration in "Islam: Africa to America" cannot be forgotten.
The Background Music
Zahir Ahmed, selected carefully the background music to suit the scenes of each video. He went as far to cities in Morocco in search of Andalusian music, the singing styles of the Spanish Muslims. He found this music in the city of Tetuan, Morocco. Zahir's selection of the background music for the documentary films enhances the effects of the scenes and the narration.