Dr. Yusuf Ziya Kavakci, Majlis Member
Dr. Yusuf Ziya Kavakci was born on June 22, 1938 in Hendek, Sakarya, Turkey. At an early age (8-9 years) he accomplished memorizing whole Qur’an (Hifz al-Qur’an), graduated from Hasircilar Qur’anic School (Adapazari) with a training in Tajwid, Qira’ah, Arabic (Sarf and Nahw), Tafsir, Hadih, Fiqh, and allied Islamic Sciences. He passed national Exams for Waiz (Preacher and lecturer in Islamic Sciences) and Mufti (ordained and authorized to give Fatwa and religious verdict in Islamic field) and qualified for those jobs. He worked as Muadhdhin (Professional caller to prayer, Hirka-i Sharif Mosque), Imam (Kara Ahmed Pasha Mosque in Topkapi), and Waiz in the governorships Fatih and Beyoglu in Istanbul.
Dr. Kavakci received a bachelor’s degrees in Law from The College of Law of Istanbul University and also in Islamic Studies from the Institute of Higher Islamic Studies, got his Ph.D. in Islamic History and Culture from Faculty of Arts, Istanbul University. After working as Assistant Professor and as Associate Professor in the Institute of Islamic Research, Istanbul University, he helped to establish the first college of Islamic Studies in modern Turkey. The College of Islamic Studies is now a part of Ataturk University, Erzurum where Dr. Kavakci worked as senior faculty. He chaired Tafsir, Hadith, Fiqh and other departments and got full professorship in Islamic Law and worked as Dean of the College. His professorship in Islamic Law was the first such position in Turkey after the fall of the Ottoman Empire. He was educated in the traditional Ottoman way of Islamic Studies as well as in modern methods of teaching in today’s universities.
He is a board certified attorney in Turkey and practiced Law in Libya, Iraq, Saudi Arabia and attended numerous International Conferences on Islam. He was involved in the activities of the Islamic Conference and was in charge of the Muslim Minority students sponsored by Islamic Development Bank in Turkey. In addition to numerious books published in Turkish, he has published the following books in English:
Islam (Briefly), (1991), Istanbul, Turkey.
Travelogue of my journey to the Cape of Good Hope by Omer Lutfi Efendi, (Translation from Ottoman Turkish), (1991), Cape Town, South Africa.
Islamic Law of Inheritance, (1994), Dallas, Texas.
Dr. Kavakci currently resides in Richardson, Texas. He is the resident Islamic Scholar and Spiritual Leader of the Muslim community affiliated with the Islamic Association of North Texas.