Unofficial Biography of Shaykh Hamza Yusuf

The Unofficial Biography of Shaykh Hamza

Last update Nov 21, 2013


FootNotes

[I] Mark Van Doren (June 13, 1894 – December 10, 1972) was an American Pulitzer Prize-winning poet, writer and a critic, apart from being a scholar and a professor of English at Columbia University for nearly 40 years, where he inspired a generation of influential writers and thinkers including, Thomas Merton, John Berryman, and Beat Generation writers such as Allen Ginsberg and Jack Kerouac. He remained literary editor of The Nation, in New York City (1924–28), and its film critic, 1935 to 1938.

 

"Mark Van Doren -." Wikipedia, the Free Encyclopedia. Web. 6 June 2010. <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mark_Van_Doren>.

 

[II] The great books are those that tradition, and various institutions and authorities, have regarded as constituting or best expressing the foundations of Western culture (the Western canon is a similar but broader designation); derivatively the term also refers to a curriculum or method of education based around a list of such books.

< http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Great_books>

[III] Email conversation with Shaykh Hamza’s Sister, Nabila Hanson.  She stated he was born in ’58 and that he is the second son.

[IV] This is an educated guess, most likely the son of Michael O’Hanson.  Everything lines up pretty nicely, but I could be wrong.

[V] That’s the correct spelling.  I’ve checked several times, regardless how Shaykh Hamza pronounces the word.  A Discover Magazine article which Shaykh Hamza discusses in “Islamic Theology” spells it the same.

[VI] Additional Footnote: Shaykh Hamza references this trip and “The Incorruptibles” in the Lecture “Islamic Theology (2013).”  He recommends people read a Discover Magazine article about it as well: http://discovermagazine.com/2001/jun/featsaints#.UoZJ_dKkrVg

[VII] On the Island, there are several Monasteries.  The only Church related to George is named St. Georgios Krimnon, but this Church makes no mention of the Saint’s body.  A link to the site is here: http://www.e-zakynthos.com/zakynthos-churches/monastery-st-georgios-krimnon.php

[VIII] I had to guess on the spelling.

[IX] As per the lecture "Educating Your Child in Modern Times", the only Jesuit boarding school on the East coast, established in 1789 is Georgetown Prep.

[X] Circa 2007 – Shaykh Hamza was referencing Tiger Woods as the best golfer and Caucasian rapper, Eminem as the best rapper. Eminem would disappear from the music top 40 charts, and Tiger Woods never really came back after his marital scandal of 2010.

[XI] I’m not sure which college or when.  Possibly, he was taking College classes while in high School.

[XII] The Deen Intensive Bio Page states he was attending college in Santa Barbara, California.  But on the Rihla TV show, during an episode interviewing his brother Troy,  Shaykh Hamza states that he was attending Ventura College with his Sister Nabila.  I could be mixing up two separate periods of his life.

[XIII] Shaykh Hamza references the year 1977 in this speech, but then says he was 17 years of age.  Which doesn’t work, because he was born in 1958 (based on his Sister Nabila).  Not sure where the discrepancy is.

[XIV] Never mentioned previously, and never mentioned since.  Shaykh Hamza’s time in Andalusia is a bit of a mystery.  If he’s reading this, I hope he can elaborate, on what he was doing there.

[XV] I discount the age of 16. Possibly Dr. Umar didn’t realize that Shaykh Hamza was older.  I don’t see why Shaykh Hamza would be in Spain studying in a madrassa before conversion.  A better guess would place him 19-20 years of age, at the time he was in Spain (Probably right after conversion)

[XVI] A text on Arabic grammar.

[XVII] The Zaytuna College Biography specifies that he studied at the Islamic Inst of Al-Ain.  The two names possibly belong to the same facility.  But in the Wesgreen speech, Shaykh Hamza

[XVIII] The Zaytuna College Biography page specifies that he was in Abu Dhabi from 1979-1984.

[XIX] No other information about his trip to Mali exists, except that he went in 1978 (see Lecture “Islamic Theology” 2013 as well).

[XX] Shaykh Mohammad Ahmad Al-Shaybani was Mufti of Abu Dhabi

[XXI] Shaykh Bayyah Ould Salik was head of the Islamic court in Al-'Ain

[XXII] Anecdote: When asked who was smarter, the Egyptian or Mauritanian Scholars?  The Mauritanian Scholar replied, “By day the Egyptians, by night the Mauritanians”

[XXIII] While on the Rihla to Medina in 2005, the author witnessed Shaykh Hamza expertly handle a student who became unconscious due to heat exposure. Shaykh Hamza stabilized the student then sent him off to the hospital.

[XXIV] Rumor Alert: In the IIS Interview, Shaykh Hamza mentions that he was ready to start his Master’s Degree.  But he never mentions the Master’s again in later talks about his education.  Brother Saqib Usman emailed me and explained that at the Fawakih program in Michigan (2009) Imam Zaid Shakir mentioned that Sh Hamza’s application to Sanford was denied, even though he met all the requirements / qualifications required.

[XXV] Rihla 2005 to Saudia Arabia – Shaykh Mohammad stated himself that he was one of the teachers of Shaykh Hamza. As well, at the lecture “Unity in Diversity”, Shaykh Hamza recognizes Shaykh Mohammad al-Yaqoubi as his teacher.   Mentioned again at Rihla 2011 by Shaykh Humza during the closing remarks.

[XXVI] Sh Faraz Rabbani (2007 McMaster) stated that Shaykh Hamza received ijaza of some of the texts of Shaykh Haddad at the hands of Habib Ahmad Mashur al-Hadad. He mentioned “Knowledge and Wisdom” specifically at that time.

[XXVII] Shaykh Muhammad al-Shareef made the most public admonishment and received wide circulation (especially from those that don’t like Shaykh Hamza).  Shaykh Shareef wrote quite candidly on sunniform.com in 2010 explaining his actions, and the follow-up to his letter. You can read the thread here: http://www.sunniforum.com/forum/showthread.php?55592-Muhammed-al-Shareef-Sankore-Institute-refuting-Shaykh-Hamza-Yusuf!

[XXVIII] The aide is named in a later lecture, possibly an ISNA lecture. I will add it later when I dig it up.

[XXIX] Haroon Sellers is a member of Zaytuna and does the voice over for many of Shaykh Hamza’s audio.  This interview was conducted on behalf of Deen Intensive.

[XXX] Shaykh Hamza delves into this topic (“Jihad in the Quran” ) in detail on his Blog. To read the full article, go to:   http://www.sandalaproductions.com/Blog/26-the-sin-tax-of-ignorning-syntax.aspx  

[XXXI] The Royal Islamic Strategic Studies Centre is an independent research entity affiliated with the Royal Aal al-Bayt Institute for Islamic Thought. The Royal Aal al-Bayt Institute for Islamic Thought is an international Islamic non-governmental, independent institute headquartered in Amman, the capital of the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan. -

[XXXII] Pre 2011. Most likely 2010 or 2009.

[XXXIII] From the website:   The Sohaib and Sara Abbasi Program in Islamic Studies   is the central forum for interdisciplinary research and teaching in Islamic Studies at   Stanford University . It seeks to facilitate and promote the study of Islamic cultures and societies, including history from the beginnings of Islam to the twenty-first century, systematic study of Islamic social contexts, the religion of Islam in all its internal complexity, and the diversity of human experience as seen in literature and the arts originating in societies affected by Islamic civilizations. (http://www.stanford.edu/dept/islamic_studies/#sthash.718LmtmQ.dpuf)

[XXXIV] A national philanthropic initiative that promotes pluralism and inclusion in America



[1] Hanson, Hamza Yusuf. "What Happened to Poetry." The Spirtitual Rumi Conference. Freemount, CA. 4 June 2010. Lecture.

[2] Hanson, Hamza Yusuf. "Why I Came to Islam: Hamza Yusuf." Interview.  American Muslim Hour. IIS, Altadena, CA, 1995. Television.  (Can be purchased here:  http://www2.islam.org/iis/products.htm)

[3] Ibid. "Why I Came to Islam: Hamza Yusuf."

[4] Ibid. "Why I Came to Islam: Hamza Yusuf."

[5] Yusuf, Hamza. "Amid Mosque Dispute, Muslims Can Look to Irish-Catholics for Hope." The Christian Science Monitor - CSMonitor.com . N.p., n.d. Web. 13 Feb. 2011. <http://www.csmonitor.com/Commentary/Opinion/2010/0916/Amid-mosque-dispute-Muslims-can-look-to-Irish-Catholics-for-hope>.

[6]  "Chisholm, Minnesota -."  Wikipedia, the Free Encyclopedia . N.p., n.d. Web. 20 June 2009. <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chisholm,_Minnesota#History>.

[7] Yusuf, Hamza. "Nine Hundred Years Reviving the Spirit of Andalusia." Reviving the Islamic Spirit. Metro Convention Centre, Toronto. 25 Dec. 2005. Lecture.

[8] Lecture “Independence Day”

[9] Yusuf, Hamza. "ISNA 2009." ISNA 2009. Washington. 3 July 2009. Lecture.

[10] Yusuf, Hamza, and John Taylor Gatto. Speech. Educating Your Child in Modern Times : Raising an Intelligent, Sovereign, Ethical Human Being.  N.p.: Alhambra Productions, 2004.

[11] "Rihla TV: Meeting with Family." Interview by Hamza Yusuf Hanson.  Rihla TV . MBC. California, 2004. Television.

[12] Ibid. "Rihla TV: Meeting with Family."

[13] Yusuf, Hamza. "Islamic Theology 2013."  YouTube . YouTube, 16 May 2013. Web. 1 Nov. 2013. <https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VrMLLiihDC0>.

[14] Lecture "What Do Muslims Believe." - (1:24)

[15] Ibid. “Islamic Theology 2013”

[16] Lecture “Independence Day”

[17] Ibid "Educating Your Child in Modern Times Set." - 0:58.8

[18] Ibid "Educating Your Child in Modern Times Set."  - 0:58.8

[19] Yusuf, Hamza. "The Stations of Gratitude." Lecture. Zaytuna, Hayward, Calif. 2003. Hayward: Alhambra Productions, 2001.

[20] Ibid. "Why I Came to Islam: Hamza Yusuf."

[21]  Hanson, Hamza Yusuf. "Converting to Islam." Converting to Islam. California. 1995. Lecture. (28:52)

[22] Lecture, “Reviving the Spirit of Al-Andalus”, Toronto, 2007.

[23] Ibid. “Islamic Theology 2013”. 3:30.

[24] Yusuf, Hamza, and Umar Farooq. "Attributes of Allah." Attributes of Allah. Chicago. 1 Jan 2004. Lecture.

[25] Ibid. "Why I Came to Islam: Hamza Yusuf."

[26] Yusuf, Hamza.  Key to Unity . Alhambra Productions, 2001.  Youtube . 9 Oct. 2011. Web. <https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=A_4JSxPb_ms>.

[27] Ibid. "Key to Unity".

[28] Wesgreen International School Welcomes Shaykh Hamza Yusuf. Perf. Hamza Yusuf. Youtube. Jesuslisa07, 28 Apr. 2010. Web. 1 July 2010. <http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Jd9gAK40SEI>.

[29] Ibid. “ISNA 2009”

[30] Ibid. “ISNA 2009”

[31] Ibid. "Key to Unity".

[32] Ibid "Educating Your Child in Modern Times Set."

[33] Ibid. "Key to Unity".

[34] Ibid. "Key to Unity".

[35] Hanson, Hamza Yusuf. "Another Mother of the Believers."  Zaytuna Institute & Academy . Zaytuna Institute. 05 May 2009 <http://www.zaytuna.org/articleDetails.asp?articleID=124>.

[36] Wesgreen International School Welcomes Shaykh Hamza Yusuf. Perf. Hamza Yusuf. Youtube. Jesuslisa07, 28 Apr. 2010. Web. 1 July 2010. <http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Jd9gAK40SEI>.

[37] Ibid. "Why I Came to Islam: Hamza Yusuf." (25:36)

[38] Ibid. “Another Mother of the Believers”.

[39] Ibid. "Why I Came to Islam: Hamza Yusuf."  (25:36)

[40] Ibid. “Another Mother of the Believers”.

[41] Ibid. “Another Mother of the Believers”.

[42] KAUFMAN, JONATHAN. "'Rock Star' of New Muslim Generation Also Happens to Be White Suburbanite."  Wall Street Journal  [HAYWARD, California] 15 Feb. 2002, US ed., Business sec.: n. pag. Print .

[43] Ibid. “Islamic Theology”.

[44] Ibid. "Educating Your Child in Modern Times Set."

[45] Yusuf, Hamza. "Western Ailments & Islamic Solutions". TARIQ Mosque, Toronto. 27 Apr. 2011. Lecture. <http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IYo93yw_sdA>

[46] Ibid. "Another Mother of the Believers".

[47] Ibid. "Another Mother of the Believers".

[48] Hanson, Hamza Yusuf.  Fatwa Concerning the Obligation of Following Rightly Guided Scholars . Hayward: Zaytuna Institute, 2001. Print.

[49] Yusuf, Hamza. "God's Wikileaks: Ready or Not, All Secrets Will Be Revealed." Web log post.  Sandala Productions . N.p., 1 Jan. 2011. Web. 5 Jan. 2011. < http://www.spiritualprogressives.org/article.php/20110106082404424>.

[50] Ibid. "Western Ailments & Islamic Solutions".

[51] Zaytuna College Biography page, reviewed on Nov 20, 2013.  <http://www.zaytunacollege.org/academics/faculty/hamza_yusuf>

[52] Yusuf, Hamza. "Reviving the Islamic Spirit Conference ". Toronto. Dec. 2006. Lecture .

[53] Ibid. "Why I Came to Islam: Hamza Yusuf."

[54] Yusuf, Hamza. "ZAYTUNA COLLEGE | About Us."  ZAYTUNA COLLEGE | About Us. N.p., n.d. Web. 21 Nov. 2013. <http://www.zaytunacollege.org/academics/faculty/hamza_yusuf>.

[55] Yusuf, Hamza. "ZAYTUNA COLLEGE | About Us."  ZAYTUNA COLLEGE | About Us . N.p., n.d. Web. 21 Nov. 2013. <http://www.zaytunacollege.org/academics/faculty/hamza_yusuf>.

[56] Ibid. "Western Ailments & Islamic Solutions".

[57] Ibid. "Why I Came to Islam: Hamza Yusuf".

[58] Yusuf, Hamza. "ISNA 2008." ISNA 2008. Chicago. 11 Sept. 2008. Lecture .

[59] Zaytuna Newletter - Web archive from 2000. <http://web.archive.org/web/ 20010112073300/http://www.zaytuna.org/ newsletter/new-prop.html>

[60] Ibid. “Islamic Theology 2013”. (Part 3 - 25:00)

[61] Ibid "Another Mother of the Believers".

[62] Ibid "Another Mother of the Believers".

[63] Yusuf, Hamza. "Reviving the Islamic Spirit Conference ". Toronto. Dec. 2004. Lecture .

[64] Ibid. “Another Mother of the Believers”.

[65] Ibid. “Another Mother of the Believers”.

[66] Ibid. “Another Mother of the Believers”.

[67] Ibid. “Another Mother of the Believers”.

[68] Ibid. “Another Mother of the Believers”.

[69] Yusuf, Hamza, and Habib Ali Jifri. "Revelation – A Sacred Trust". UK. 14 Oct. 2011. Lecture.

[70] Ibid. “Another Mother of the Believers”.

[71] Ibid. “Another Mother of the Believers”.

[72] Yusuf, Hamza. "Western Ailments & Islamic Solutions". TARIQ Mosque, Toronto. 27 Apr. 2011. Lecture

[73] Ibid. Zaytuna Scholar Biography

[74] Ibid. "Another Mother of the Believers".

[75] Lecture “Danger of Religiosity”

[76] Yusuf, Hamza. “Danger of Religiosity” London, UK. 2003. Lecture.

[77] Lecture “Danger of Religiosity”

[78] Lecture "Traditional Education in an Age of Terror."

[79] Lecture “Danger of Religiosity”

[80] O'Sullivan, Jack. "'If You Hate the West, Emigrate to a Muslim Country'"  The Guardian . N.p., n.d. Web. 21 Nov. 203. <http://www.theguardian.com/world/2001/oct/08/religion.uk>.

[81] Lecture "Americas Tragedy An Islamic Perspective."  Alhambra Productions. 2001.

[82] Yusuf, Hamza. "ISNA 2002." ISNA 2002. Washington. 9 Sept 2002. Lecture .

[83] Yusuf, Hamza. "Deenport Interview with Shaykh Hamza Yusuf." Interview by Haroon Sellers. Deenport. Deenport, 1 Aug. 2004. Web. 1 Jan. 2005.

[84] Yusuf, Hamza. "The Sin Tax of Ignoring Syntax."  Sandala Productions . N.p., n.d. Web. 12 Apr. 2011. <https://www.sandala.org/blog/the-importance-of-being-ambiguous-or-the-sin-tax-of-ignoring-syntax#.Uo5J0NKkrVg>.

[85] Yusuf, Hamza.   “ISNA 2003”. Give and take for God's sake. Chicago. Sept 6, 2003.

[86] Yusuf, Hamza.   “ISNA 2006”. Forgotten Debts. Chicago. Sept 2006.

[87] Ibid. ISNA 2008. 18:36.

[88] Ibid. “ISNA 2006” Forgotten Debts. (31:50)

[89] Hanson, Hamza Yusuf. "Islam and the Western World." Islam and the Western World. Capital Hill, Washington. 1 June 2009. Address.

[90] Hanson, Hamza Yusuf. "About the Translation and Recording of the Prayer of the Oppressed."  Sandala Productions . Web. 18 Feb. 2011. < https://www.sandala.org/blog/----about-the-translation-and-recording-of-the-prayer-of-the-oppressed#.Uo5KbtKkrVg >.

[91] "About Hamza Yusuf."   Sandala Productions. Web. 18 Feb. 2011. <http://www.sandalaproductions.com/AboutHamzaYusuf.aspx>.

[92] Ibid. Zaytuna Scholars Info.