Hamza Yusuf at Doha Academy Education Conference in Qatar, 2010.
1960 (age 53–54)
Walla Walla, Washington, United States
|Residence||Northern California, United States|
|Alma mater||San Jose State University|
|Occupation||Islamic scholar, author|
|Religion||Sunni Islam Maliki|
Hamza Yusuf is an American Muslim scholar, and is co-founder of Zaytuna College. He is a proponent of classical learning in Islam and has promoted Islamic sciences and classical teaching methodologies throughout the world.
He is an advisor to the Center for Islamic Studies at the Graduate Theological Union in Berkeley. He also serves as a member of the board of advisors of George Russell's One Nation, a national philanthropic initiative that promotes pluralism and inclusion in America. In addition, he serves as vice-president for the Global Center for Guidance and Renewal, which was founded and is currently presided over by Abdallah bin Bayyah.
He is one of the signatories of A Common Word Between Us and You, an open letter by Islamic scholars to Christian leaders, calling for peace and understanding. The Guardian newspaper in the United Kingdom reported that "Hamza Yusuf is arguably the west's most influential Islamic scholar." Similarly, The New Yorker magazine reported that Yusuf is "perhaps the most influential Islamic scholar in the Western world".
Yusuf was born as Mark Hanson to two academics in Washington State and raised in Northern California. He grew up a practicing Greek Orthodox Christian and attended prep schools on both the east and west coasts. In 1977, after a near-death experience and reading the Qur'an, he converted to Islam from Christianity (he seemed destined for the Greek Orthodox priesthood at his early age). Yusuf has Irish, Scottish and Greek ancestry.
Soon after converting, Yusuf moved to England, Spain, and eventually Al Ain in the United Arab Emirates to pursue serious study of Islam. There he primarily studied Arabic and also served as a muezzin of a local mosque. There he was introduced to Mauritanian scholars and began more serious study of various Islamic disciplines including Maliki fiqh. This eventually led him to travel to Mauritania itself in order to study directly with the renowned scholar and sage of the land, Sidi Muhammad ould Fahfu al-Massumi, more famously known as Murabit al-Hajj. During his intermittent stays there, Yusuf both lived and studied directly with Murabit al-Hajj.
He and other colleagues founded the Zaytuna Institute in Berkeley, California, United States, in 1996, dedicated to the revival of traditional study methods and the sciences of Islam. In the early 2000s he was joined by additional colleagues Zaid Shakir and Hatem Bazian in further establishing what was then Zaytuna Institute. Eventually, in the fall of 2010 it would open its doors as Zaytuna College, a four-year Muslim liberal arts college, the first of its kind in the United States. It incorporates Yusuf's vision of combining the classical liberal arts - based in the trivium and quadrivium - with rigorous training in traditional Islamic disciplines. It aims to "educate and prepare morally committed professional, intellectual, and spiritual leaders."
Yusuf has taken a stance against religious justifications for terrorist attacks. He described the 9/11 attacks as "an act of 'mass murder, pure and simple'". Condemning the attacks, he has also stated "Islam was hijacked ... on that plane as an innocent victim".
Jordan's Royal Islamic Strategic Studies Centre currently places him 42nd on its list of the top 500 most influential Muslims in the world. The magazine Egypt Today described him as a kind of theological rock star, "the Elvis Presley of western Muslims." Recently, Hamza Yusuf was ranked as "the Western world's most influential Islamic scholar" by The 500 Most Influential Muslims, edited by John Esposito and Ibrahim Kalin (2009).
Books and pamphlets authored
- Prayer of the Oppressed (2011) - with CD
- The Burda (2003) 
- Purification of the Heart: Signs, Symptoms and Cures of the Spiritual Diseases of the Heart (2004) 
- The Content of Character (2004) 
- The State We Are In: Identity, Terror, and the Law of Jihad (contributing Author) (2006)
- The Creed of Imam Al-Tahawi (2007)
- Agenda to Change our Condition co-authored with Zaid Shakir (2007)
- Walk on Water: The wisdom of Jesus Walk on Water: The wisdom of Jesus (2010)
Books with forewords and notes
- Instruction of the Student: The Method of Learning 
- The Prophetic Invocations By Mostafa Al-Badawi 
Book edited with Zaid Shakir
- Submission Faith and Beauty Submission Faith and Beauty, The Religion of Islam by Joseph Lumbard (2009)
- Caesarean Moon Births Part 1
- Caesarean Moon Births Part 2
- Climbing Mount Purgatorio
- Religion, Violence, and the Modern World
- Generous Tolerance in Islam and its Effects on the Life of a Muslim
- Chess in the Light of the Jurist
- Who are the Disbelievers?
- The Muslim 500
- Edward E. Curtis, The Columbia Sourcebook of Muslims in the United States, p. 405. ISBN 0231139578
- Shamim Akhter, Faith & Philosophy of Islam, p. 81. ISBN 8178357194
- Jocelyne Cesari, When Islam and Democracy Meet: Muslims in Europe and in the United States, p. 150. ISBN 1403978565
- Zareena Grewal, Islam Is a Foreign Country: American Muslims and the Global Crisis of Authority, p 129. ISBN 1479800902
- "Prominent Malikis in the American milieu include the founder of the Zaytuna Institute Shaykh Hamza Yusuf Hanson". Jocelyne Cesari, Encyclopedia of Islam in the United States, p 23.
- Joseph E. B. Lumbard, Islam, Fundamentalism, and the Betrayal of Tradition: Essays by Western Muslim Scholars (Perennial Philosophy Series), p 40. ISBN 1933316667
- John Esposito, The 500 Most Influential Muslims, p 86. ISBN 978-9975-428-37-2
- Madawi Al-Rasheed, Transnational Connections and the Arab Gulf, p 175. ISBN 1134323999
- Mucahit Bilici, Finding Mecca in America: How Islam Is Becoming an American Religion, p 86. ISBN 0226922871
- Edward E. Curtis, The Columbia Sourcebook of Muslims in the United States, p. 405
- Z. Grewal, Islam Is a Foreign Country: American Muslims and the Global Crisis of Authority, p 377
- Jocelyne Cesari, Encyclopedia of Islam in the United States, p 643
- Carnegie Workshop Biographies | Graduate Theological Union
- Introducing global center for renewal and guidance « Bin Bayyah
- Introducing global center for renewal and guidance | Islam | Saudi Gazette
- Signatories | A Common Word Between Us and You
- O'Sullivan, Jack (October 7, 2001). "If you hate the west, emigrate to a Muslim country". The Guardian (London). Retrieved November 22, 2011.
- O'Sullivan, Jack (October 7, 2001). "If you hate the west, emigrate to a Muslim country". The Guardian (London).
- Raquel Ukeles, The Evolving Muslim Community in America: The Impact of 9/11, p 101
- Z. Grewal, Islam Is a Foreign Country: American Muslims and the Global Crisis of Authority, p 161
- Another Mother of the Believers | AE
- Daniel Brumberg, Dina Shehata, Conflict, Identity, and Reform in the Muslim World: Challenges for U.S Engagement, p 367
- ZAYTUNA COLLEGE | About > Our Mission
- Charles L. Cohen, Ronald L. Numbers, Gods in America: Religious Pluralism in the United States, p 186
- The 2013/14 Edition is Here!
- Elmhurst College: Modern Lessons from an Ancient Faith
- "The 500 most influential Muslims in the world". Royal Islamic Strategic Studies Centre. Archived from the original on October 2, 2010. Retrieved October 2, 2010.
- The Prayer of the Oppressed: Imam Muhammad b. Nasir al-DarÏ, Hamza Yusuf
- The Prayer Of The Oppressed: Amazon.co.uk: Imam Muhammad b. Nasir al-Dar'i, Sheikh Hamza Yusuf: Books
- The Burda: The Poem of the Cloak (CD Audio Book): Amazon.co.uk: Imam Salih Sharaf ud-Din Abu Abdullah Muhammad bin Hasan al Busiri, Hamza Yusuf: Books
- Purification of the Heart: Signs, Symptoms and Cures of the Spiritual Diseases of the Heart: Amazon.co.uk: Hamza Yusuf: Books
- Purification of the Heart: Signs, Symptoms and Cures of the Spiritual Diseases of the Heart. By Hamza Yusuf
- The Content of Character: Ethical Sayings of the Prophet Muhammad: Amazon.co.uk: Books
- Amal Press
- The State We are in: Identity, Terror and the Law of Jihad: Amazon.co.uk: Hamza Yusuf Hanson, Tahir Abbas, Yahya Birt, H.A. Hellyer, Aftab Ahmad Malik: Books
- The Creed of Imam Al-Tahawi: Amazon.co.uk: Hamza Yusuf: Books
- The Creed of Imam al-Tahawi: Hamza Yusuf. Treatise on muslim belief
- Educating Your Child in Modern Times: Amazon.co.uk: John Taylor Gatto, Hamza Yusuf Hanson, Dorothy Sayers, Nabila Hanson: Books
- Educating Your Child in Modern Times - Raising an intelligent, sovereign & ethical human being: 4 CD set - Hamza Yusuf, John Taylor Gatto
- Instruction of the Student: The Method of Learning: Amazon.co.uk: Imam al-Zarnuji, Hamza Yusuf, Gustave E. von Grunebaum: Books
- Amazon.com: The Prophetic Invocations (9781929694105): Dr. Mostafa al-Badawi, Hamza Yusuf: Books
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Hamza Yusuf.|
- Official website
- Zaytuna.org Zaytuna College website
- Sheikhhamza.com – Contains list of books recommended by Hamza Yusuf and a biography