Sheikh Mateen Charbonneau
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.
In 2012 he had the opportunity to travel with the members of Al-Anwar Hussain TV to visit the Holy shrines of Imam Ali (as) and Imam Hussain (as) in Iraq for Ziyarat Arbaeen and again in 2015, 2016 and 2018 he had the opportunity to revisit Iraq where he also had the privilege to visit Masjid al-Kufa and the shrines of Imam Kadhim (as) and Imam Jawad (as) in Kadhimiyya, Baghdad and the shrines of Imam Hadi (as) and Imam Askari (as) in Samarra.
Since March of 2013 he has been studying Howza (Islamic Seminary) classes under the esteemed scholars such as Sheikh Mustafa Akhound, Sheikh Mirza Abbas Shamsuddin, Sheikh Saed Kulayni and Sheikh Mohammad Baghernejad.
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 and A Commentary to the Faith of Shia Islam (Aqaed Imamiyya) of Allama Muzaffar (4 volumes). 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 Modaressi in the Holy city of Karbala on the birth anniversary of Imam Sajjad (as) in 2018. Now he is currently still continuing higher studies and also teaching classes for Imam Mahdi Online Howza.
- Converted to Shia Islam on July 2nd 1999 at the age of 17
- Learned Quranic Arabic in the year 2000
- Independently studied Islamic books full time from the year 1999-2007
- Filmed a documentary for al-Anwar Hussain TV entitled The Journey of the Spirit in 2011
- Made the pilgrimage to Iraq for Ziyarat Arbaeen in January 2012, November-December 2015, November 2016 and April 2018. Visited Najaf, Kufa, Kadhimayn, Samarra and Karbala.
- Authored several 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, Prophetic Gems and A Commentary to the Faith of Shia Islam (Aqaed Imamiyya) of Allama Muzaffar (4 volumes).
- Spoken at several events in Washington DC, Maryland, Virginia, New Jersey North Carolina and also internationally in London, UK.
- Founded an online library on Facebook in 2013 entitled; Shia Books for Free Download that now has 72,000+ members
- Started studying Howza classes in March 2013 at Imam Ali Center in Springfield, Virginia. His teachers include Sheikh Mustafa Akhound, Sheikh Mirza Abbas Shamsudin, Sheikh Saed Ali Kulayni and Sheikh Muhammad BagherNejad.
- 2013 & 2014 filmed several short videos about Imam Hussain (as) for Stand with Dignity in New Jersey
- Founded Yasin Publications in January of 2014
- Founded a nonprofit organization to send free books to prisoners in March 2014 entitled; 2nd Chance Books
- Filmed a documentary for Ahlulbayt TV entitled Faith Behind Bars
- Achieved a certificate from Harvard University in Islamic Studies
- Was crowned with the turban from the hand of Sheikh Ahmad al-Haeri on the martyrdom of Muslim ibn Aqil (ra) / Day of Arafat in 2016
- Filmed an Autism Awareness workshop for Muslim communities
- 2017 started teaching for Imam Mahdi Howza founded by Sheikh Muhammad BagherNejad
- Was crowned with the turban from the hand of Marja’ Ayatollah Sayed Muhammad Taqi Modaressi in the Holy city of Karbala on the birth anniversary of Imam Sajjad (as) in 2018
- Was certified at the 17th annual conference of Shia scholars of N. America and Canada for Mediation training by the Northern Virginia Mediation Service (NVMS)