Our Faculty

Our teachers are at the core of what we do here at Tayseer Seminary. 

Dr. Hassan Lachheb is the founder and president of Tayseer Seminary. He holds a Ph.D in Religious Studies from the University of Indiana, Bloomington, with a focus on theory of religion and Islamic studies. His research is focused on the intellectual history and religiosity of the Muslims in the Maghreb and Andalus.

Dr. Lachheb completed his M.A. in Islamic Theology, Islamic Legal Theory, and Maliki Jurisprudence at Dar al-Hadith al-Hassaniyyah for Higher Islamic Studies in Rabat, Morocco with honors in 2000. In addition, he completed his B.A. with distinction in Arabic Language and Literature at Mohamed V University in Rabat.

He also attended the Madrasa of Shaykh Abdullah al-Talidi in Tangier, Morocco where he extensively studied several disciplines including Principles of Jurisprudence (Usul al-Fiqh), Arabic Grammar, Philology, and Literature. He has also received many ijazaat (licenses to teach) from prominent scholars in Hadith, Comparative Jurisprudence (fiqh), and the Sciences of Qur'an. He has studied under several of the foremost Islamic scholars in Morocco.

Dr. Lachheb is a resident scholar of the Muslim Community of Knoxville.

Zaynab Ansari has served as a member of the full-time faculty of Tayseer Seminary since its founding in 2014 when she joined the Muslim Community of Knoxville in the pioneering role of women’s scholar-in-residence, one of the first women to serve in such a capacity in an Islamic institution in North America. With over 20 years of experience as a public speaker, facilitator of interfaith dialogue, youth mentor, and an instructor of the Islamic Sciences, Ustadha Zaynab is committed to reviving the Prophetic model of community and training the next generation of Muslim leaders, workers, and activists.

Ustadha Zaynab considers herself a lifelong student of traditional Islam and she was blessed to spend her formative years studying in Damascus, Syria with both male and female scholars of the Qur'an, Islamic law, theology, and spirituality. Prior to settling in Knoxville, Ustadha Zaynab was based in Atlanta, where she earned degrees in World History and Middle Eastern Studies from Georgia State University, and dedicated her free time to volunteering with the award-winning Islamic Speakers Bureau of Atlanta.

In addition to her work inside the classroom at Tayseer Seminary, Ustadha Zaynab is active with several nonprofit organizations and teaches online classes on a number of topics, including Qur'anic Sciences, Hadith, and Women in Islam.

Ustadh Nadeem Siddiqi grew up in Knoxville where he has lived since 1977. He graduated from the University of Tennessee with a degree in Economics in 2002 and from Tayseer Seminary in 2016 in its first class. He serves on the Board of Directors for the Muslim Community of Knoxville, Annoor Academy of Knoxville, Tayseer Seminary, and the Association of Muslim Chaplains. He serves as adjunct faculty for Tayseer Seminary where he teaches a course in community activism.

Ustadh Nadeem serves as a Muslim Chaplain in the local prisons and at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville for the Muslim Student Association.

Ustadh Nadeem is a local investor and advisor to businesses ranging from healthcare, IT services, real estate, and hospitality industries.

Dr. Michael Abdullah Dann joined the faculty of Tayseer Seminary in 2020. He earned his Ph.D. in Religion at Princeton University in 2015, and his B.A. in Arabic and Islamic Studies from the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor in 2006. Dr. Dann studied the traditional Islamic sciences in Egypt with scholars from Al-Azhar University and in Morocco at Sidi Mohammed Ben Abdellah University. Prior to joining the faculty at Tayseer, he served as an Assistant Professor of Islamic Studies at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign. He also served as an Instructor of Arabic at Fawakih Institute and of the Islamic sciences at Nakhla Institute in Trenton, NJ and currently serves as a chaplain in local prisons. He has translated and edited several works of Imam Abdessalam Yassine and portions of the tafsīr of Shaykh al-Sha’rawi. His academic research and publications are focused on hadith and the early history of the Sunni-Shi’i divide.


We look forward to being in touch with you soon inshaAllah.

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