Born and raised in Berkeley, California, Shaykh AbdulKarim Yahya, by the Grace of Allah, embraced Islam in 1989 in his home city. In 1996, having been inspired to study religious knowledge by the books of Imam Ghazali (Allah be pleased with him) and the call for the revival of Islamic knowledge, he traveled with his family to Damascus, Syria where he embarked on a course of active pursuit of knowledge. During his two-year stay in Damascus he focused his attention on the acquisition of an elementary knowledge of the Arabic language and Quranic recitation, studying the latter under the tutelage of the highly respected Shaykh of Qur’an Abu Anas (Allah preserve him) at the Rawda Mosque in Damascus. Thereafter he moved on with his family to Tarim, Hadramaut where he currently resides.
As a student at Dar al-Mustafa he has primarily turned his efforts towards keeping the company of his Shaykhs’ from the noble prophetic descendents of Ba Alawi and their lovers as well as attaining a knowledge of the Islamic Sciences. Specializing in jurisprudence according to the school of Muhammad Bin Idris al-Shafi’i (Allah be pleased with him), Shaykh AbdulKarim has studied the curriculum of jurisprudence at Dar al-Mustafa all the way to the Minhaj of Imam Nawawi (Allah be pleased him).
Since 1998, Shaykh AbdulKarim has been studying at the hands of Habib Umar and his older brother Habib Mashhour, the two sons of the late Habib Muhammad Bin Salim Bin Hafiz, as well as the other teachers of Dar al-Mustafa in Tarim, Hadramaut. Shaykh AbdulKarim has been given permission to answer questions according to the Shafi’i School as well as to teach jurisprudence, Arabic Grammar, and other disciplines by his Shaykh Habib Umar, Allah preserve him. He has also worked extensively as a translator For Habib Umar Bin Hafiz and Habib Ali al-Jifri (Allah preserve both of them).