Imam Ali (as) said “Those who give up religion to better their lot in life seldom succeed. The Wrath of Allah makes them go through more calamities and losses than the gains they gather for themselves.”[i]
Joshua Charbonneau is an American Muslim. He was born in 1982 in Sumter, South Carolina. He is of French Canadian and American descent. He was born into a Christian family, and later chose to revert to Shi’a Islam at the age of 17, having studied both faiths. After reverting to Islam he chose the name Mateen which in Arabic means strong, firm and unshakable. His first language is English and he also learned Quranic Arabic.
At age 26 he moved to Washington, DC area and has been an active part of the Muslim community. He took part in a documentary by Al-Anwar Hussain TV entitled Journey of the Spirit where he narrated his incredible story on how he became a Shia Muslim.
Since March of 2013 he has been studying Howza (Islamic Seminary) classes in America and Najaf al-Ashraf under esteemed scholars such as Sheikh Mustafa Akhound, Sheikh Mirza Abbas Shamsuddin, Sheikh Saed Kulayni, Sheikh Mohammad Baghernejad, Sayed Ibn Abbas Naqvi, Sheikh Mohammad Jafar Danesh, Sayed Baqir Imrani, Sayed Raad al-Alawi and Sayed Muhammad Baqir Shirazi.
Sheikh Mateen has also written, compiled and published some very in-depth books entitled The Suffering of the Ahl ul Bayt and their Followers (Shia) throughout History, Christians who defended and died for Prophet Muhammad and his Family (English, Spanish, French), Mystery of the Shia, a Study Guide for Logic and an extensive book of narrations entitled Prophetic Gems, A Commentary to the Faith of Shia Islam (Aqaed Imamiyya) of Allama Muzaffar (4 volumes) and Recalling the Sacrifices of Karbala. These titles are available at Amazon.
In 2014 he founded a nonprofit organization to send free books to prisoners entitled 2nd Chance Books, which was filmed about in a documentary by Ahlul Bayt TV entitled Faith Behind Bars.
He received his turban from the hand of Sheikh Ahmad al-Haeri on the martyrdom of Muslim ibn Aqil (ra) / Day of Arafat in 2016 and also from Marja’ Ayatollah Sayed Muhammad Taqi Modarresi in the Holy city of Karbala on the birth anniversary of Imam Sajjad (as) in 2018.
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