Shaykh Hamza Yusuf

Sheikh Hamza Yusuf is an Islamic scholar, teacher, and co-founder of Zaytuna College in Berkeley, California, United States

He is an advisor to Stanford University’s Program in Islamic Studies and the Centre for Islamic Studies at Berkeley’s Graduate Theological Union. 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. Sheikh Yusuf initiated a media challenge to the Arab world that resulted in a highly successful cultural religious program that he hosted for three years and was one of the most watched programs in the Arab world during Ramadan.

The Guardian called him, “one of the West’s most influential Muslim scholars”. Jordan’s Royal Islamic Strategic Studies Centre placed him on its list of the top 50 most influential Muslims in the world. Recently, Sheikh 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).

In January 2015 he attended the World Economic Forum in Davos with Shayk Abdallah Bin Bayyah. He was on the panel discussing the session ‘Religion: A pretext for conflict?’ with names such as Tony Blair & Rabbi David Rosen. Shaykh Hamza Yusuf discussed how Muslim nations have moved away from a Hobbesian approach to that of a Lockean political philosophy, as well as highlighting the dangers of how extremists have perversely romanticised their approach to chivalry. He also highlighted that we can have constructive debates and scientific gatherings to discuss matters about religion and Islam, however to denigrate religion such as the recent events in Paris, will cause further divide in our efforts for tolerance and coexistence.

In March 2015, Zaytuna College was the first Muslim college in the U.S to be awarded accreditation. According to Yusuf, who hopes that the success of accreditation will further a greater acceptance of Muslims across the Western world, says, “[Accreditation] gives [the Muslim] community its first accredited academic address in the United States. And we hope, God willing, that there will be more such Muslim colleges and universities to come.”

Visit Zaytuna College‘s Website to keep up to date with Shaykh Hamza’s work.

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