Abd al-Hakeem Carney

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Seth L Carney (known as Shaykh Abd al-Hakeem Carney), was a Shia scholar and a popular member of the Near and Middle Eastern Studies Department at Wayne State University in Detroit.


Seth attended Moses Brown School and Classical High School in Providence, but began his college education at the age of 15 at Simon's Rock College of Bard, transferred to Providence College in Rhode Island, where he earned his BA. He converted to Islam at the age of sixteen, and continued his study of Islam and the Arabic language throughout his life. He earned an MA in Islamic Societies and Cultures at the School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London, and had submitted his PhD candidate dissertation in Islamic Studies on early Shi'ite hadith literature shortly before he died.

He studied the Arabic language in Egypt and in London, and completed his studies in the Shi'ite hawzah with scholars in London, completing the levels of muqaddimah, sutuh, as well as studying Dars al-Kharij. He was entered into the Shi'ite clergy by Ayatullah Bahar al-Ulum in London in 2001. He partially translated the work of Mantiq al-Muẓaffar, an important introductory text on formal logic that is used in the Shi'ite seminary and was the editor of a number of websites dealing with Islamic theology. He was the original founder and editor of the Shia Encyclopedia project, Shiapedia.com, which eventually expired after his own demise. Various pieces of his original work from the Shiapedia website have been utilized on The Shiapedia, a site that aims to revive the project.

He taught philosophy and logic at the Islamic College for Advanced Studies in London; Islamic, Religious Studies at Lawrence University in Appleton, Wisconsin, and was on the faculty of Wayne State University when he died.

He spoke at various Islamic Centers throughout the United States and the United Kingdom, including the Imam Khu'i Centre in London and New York, the Islamic Centre of America in Dearborn, Michigan, the Islamic House of Wisdom in Dearborn Heights, Michigan, the Grand Mosque of Parma outside of Cleveland, Ohio, and many other smaller centers throughout the United States and the United Kingdom. He was particularly popular among young Islamic audiences.


Shaykh Abd al-Hakeem Carney passed away unexpectedly in July of 2007. He was survived by his parents, his sister, his brother and his maternal grandparents. His funeral services were held at the Islamic Center of America on July 11 with internment at the United Memorial Gardens in Plymouth Michigan. Additional memorial services were held at the Islamic House of Wisdom in Dearborn Heights, in London, and at Wayne State in Detroit.

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