The Direction

Shaykh John Starling

Executive Director

Shaykh John Starling, is a graduate of NCSU’s College of Management and the Islamic University of Al-Madinah’s Arabic Language Institute and College of Islamic Doctrine and Mission. In the past, he has worked at the C-level in both for-profit and non-profit sectors here at home and abroad. He has served as an executive director of a private Islamic endowment and Chief Editor of an outreach periodical. He has done extensive work as a translator for several Islamic publishing companies and worked as an instructor and curriculum developer in New York City.

Shaykh John is currently the full-time Executive Director of GCLEA and volunteers as an on-call Muslim chaplain at both Virtua Marlton and Voorhees Hospitals. He is a regular lecturer at several universities and Islamic centers throughout the northeast.  He is a presenter on TV Imaan, Tanzania and dedicates his spare time to publishing a variety of works.  Shaykh John can be reached at

You can follow him on facebook HERE.

You can connect with him on LinkedIn HERE.

Shaykh Rashid Ahmadi

Religious Director

Shaykh Rashid is a California native. He grew up just outside of Sacramento in a religious household and completed memorizing the Quran at age 16. After his high school graduation, he was admitted to the world-renowned Islamic University of Madinah.
During his 14 year stay in the Prophet’s City, he earned 4 degrees; an Associates in Arabic, a Bachelors in Hadith and Islamic Studies, a Post Graduate Degree in Dawah, and a Masters in Teaching Arabic to Speakers of other Languages (TASOL). Additionally, Shaykh Rashid benefited greatly from traditional studies with numerous major scholars studying classical texts in fiqh, hadith, and tawhid etc.
As a hafiz of the Quran, Shaykh Rashid has a passion for the various modes of recitation. While in Madinah he obtained an Ijazah/License in “Hafs an Asim” from a renowned scholar and master of the Quran and is currently pursuing a license in “Warsh”.
During Shaykh Rashid’s stay in Madinah he was blessed to work in the Prophet’s Masjid as a translator/interpreter for the Friday prayer services under the supervision of Shaykh Abdur-Rahman al-Sudais, the Imam of Masjid al-Haram in Makkah.
Shaykh Rashid is happily married with 5 boys. In his spare time, he enjoys sports such as football, basketball, and baseball.
Shaykh Rashid was personally invited by Imam John Starling, a friend of 15 years, to serve as religious leader of GCLEA. He can be reached at