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. Now he is currently living in Virginia still continuing higher studies. Other current activities include teaching classes for Imam Sadiq Howza, majalis, jumah services, weekly youth and adult classes in various communities throughout the United States.
- 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
- Started studying Islamic Seminary classes (Howza) in March 2013 at Imam Ali Center in Springfield, Virginia and also studied abroad in Najaf al-Ashraf. His teachers include Sheikh Mustafa Akhound, Sheikh Mirza Abbas Shamsudin, Sheikh Saed Ali Kulayni , Sheikh Muhammad BagherNejad, Sayed Ibn Abbas Naqvi, Sheikh Mohammad Jafar Danesh, Sayed Baqir Imrani, Sayed Raad al-Alawi, Sayed Muhammad Baqir Shirazi and Sayed Muhammad Baqir Qazwini.
- 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, an extensive book of narrations entitled Prophetic Gems, A Commentary to the Faith of Shia Islam (Aqaed Imamiyya) of Allama Muzaffar, Recalling the Sacrifices of Karbala and Esteemed Women of Islam.
- Founded an online library on Facebook in 2013 entitled; Shia Books for Free Download that now has 86,500+ members
- Founded a nonprofit organization to send free books to prisoners in March 2014 entitled; 2nd Chance Books which within the first 6 years has sent 13,000 Shia books inside the prisons throughout more than half of the country. The program has over 1,100 American Shia converts participating.
- Filmed a documentary for Ahlulbayt TV entitled Faith Behind Bars
- Achieved a certificate from Harvard University in Islamic Studies
- Had articles about my life published in magazines in America, Iran, China and Azerbaijan
- 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 online classes for Imam Sadiq Howza
- Was crowned with the turban from the respected and honorable marja’ Ayatollah Sayed Muhammad Taqi Modaressi on the 3rdof Shabaan / the birth anniversary of Imam Sajjad (as) in the Holy city of Karbala, Iraq 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)
- 2019 Faculty Member of John the Martyr Seminary of Karbala