Imam Wahy-ud Deen Shareef is the third child of Laura and John Wilson’s four children; John II, Intisar and Deborah. He and his wife Helima share their lives with four children: Ronald, Anita, Shakir, and Laila; eight grandchildren: Rashonda, Ronald II, Mathew, Eric, Brandon, Brianna Aliyah, Gerelle Amir and Anissa Na’ilah; two great grandchildren: Jaylin and Kori; and many nurturing family and community members.
Imam Shareef completed his Hajj to the Ka’bah in Makkah in 1987. He represented Imam W. Deen Mohammed (raa) at the World Conference on Religion and Peace in Tokyo in 1998. He was a delegate at the historic Millennium World Peace Summit of Religious and Spiritual Leaders at the United Nations in NY in 2000. As a delegate Imam and business person, he attended the Tuskon Business Conference in Istanbul, Turkey in 2010. In 2012, he received the Peace Islands Intitute's “Peace and Understanding” Award; he attended an Iftar (breaking of the Ramadan Fast) at the White House as a guest of President Barack Obama; and he co-lead an NICHP interfaith delegation of 11 Jews, 11 Christians and 11 Muslims to Palestine/Israel. As an invited Muslim delegate, he attend the Focolare Interreligious Convention in Rome, Italy in 2014.
Imam Shareef co-founded Waris Associates Inc. in 1984, which led to the establishment of the Waris Cultural Research and Development Center and Masjid Waarith ud Deen in Irvington NJ. He is a student of Imam W. Deen Mohammed (raa) and the Imam (religious leader) of Masjid Waarith ud Deen. These organizations develop and implement spiritual, educational, recreational, cultural and social programs that address the challenges facing American families today. He also serves as the Executive Director of ComWealth Economic Development Corporation (EDC), a non-profit economic development corporation.
He is the Convener of the Council of Imams in New Jersey and co-founder of the New African Partnership between CINJ and City National Bank in Newark. He is a co-founder of the Newark Interfaith Coalition for Hope and Peace. He is a member of the NJ State Attorney General’s Outreach Advisory Council.
W. Deen Shareef is currently the President/CEO of his own consulting company, Shareef Professional Services LLC (SPS). SPS provides project, program, construction, financial and administrative management services. The company’s services include staff and workforce development, team building and project coordination for business and commercial projects from concept design through implementation.
He established and is the former Director of the Newark Port Career and Business Development Center in the Department of Economic & Housing Development in the City of Newark, New Jersey. He was responsible for business and workforce development in the areas of the airport and seaport, focusing on the transportation, logistics and distribution industries. He was a Senior Advisor to former Mayor, now Senator, Cory A. Booker representing the State of New Jersey in the United States Senate.
He graduated from East Orange High School and received his Bachelor of Science degree in Mechanical Engineering from New Jersey Institute of Technology in Newark, NJ. He retired after 25 years of serving as a Engineering Project Manager for Kraft/Nabisco Foods. In his position at Kraft/Nabisco he managed major capital equipment manufacturing project installations for processing and packing consumer food products and represented Kraft at a UN sponsored business development mission to the Gambia in 2002.
Imam Shareef is a Co-host on a new monthly NJTV (PBS) television program “A Matter of Faith”, addressing local, national and international issues from a faith perspective. He is a frequently invited speaker on numerous college campuses and at corporate and public sector events. He has appeared as a commentator and contributor on several television programs presented by CNN, MSNBC (Morning Joe), ABC, PBS, NJTV and Ebru. As a consultant he serves as a director on several boards. As an inspirational speaker he conducts lectures, workshops, counseling, education and training programs for organizational and project management, ethical and moral guidance, personal and professional management, social responsibility and how to achieve productive ethically, intellectually, spiritually, and materially balanced lives