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July 25th, 2016

Shaykh Hamza Yusuf has Different Strokes for Different Folks

Submitted by Rashid Jahangiri

In a blog article ‘The Source of Muslim Extremism’ in The Huffington Post by Dr. Mike Ghouse, published July 11, 2016, he writes:

Contemporary Muslim scholar Hamza Yusuf writes, “This insidious disease has a source, and that source must be identified, so we can begin to inoculate our communities against it.”

Shaykh Hamza Yusuf co-founded liberal arts Zaytuna College:

His bio on faculty pages says:

“Hamza Yusuf is a president, cofounder, and senior faculty member of Zaytuna College. He is an advisor to Stanford University’s Program in Islamic Studies and the Center 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. In addition, he serves as vice-president for the Forum for Promoting Peace in Muslim Societies, which was founded and is currently presided over by Shaykh Abdallah bin Bayyah, one of the top jurists and masters of Islamic sciences in the world.”


It is in my knowledge that in early 1990s Hamza Yusuf, after “testing the waters” with Professor Dr. Hibbatul Mannan Omar AKA Dr. Khalid Omar (son of Abdul Mannan Omar), highly praised Maulana Muhammad Ali English translation and Commentary of Holy Quran. Around half a dozen years ago I mentioned this to a former Quadiani, who was student of Hamza Yusuf in San Francisco Bay Area, on internet. Sometime later Hamza Yusuf was put on spot where he expressed somewhat appreciation of Maulana Muhammad Ali scholarly works. Recording of this came to public knowledge in a YouTube video. Dr. Zahid Aziz gave Eid Khutba (sermon) and quoted words of appreciation by Hamza Yusuf, see pages 4 – 5 of this link.

Eid Khutba by Dr. Zahid Aziz came into knowledge of opponents of Lahore Ahmadiyya Movement. They built pressure on Hamza Yusuf. He wrote a long article to dispel the impression that he considers Maulana Muhammad Ali as a Muslim. See: "Sticks and Drones May Break Our Bones, but Fitna Really Hurts Us".

In rebuttal Dr. Zahid Aziz wrote an article: Hamza Yusuf’s retraction of his praise for Maulana Muhammad Ali

On October 31, 2015, APPNA (Association of Pakistani Physicians of North America) winter meeting dinner was held at Fairmont, San Francisco. Hamza Yusuf was key note speaker. I twice met him after the speech. I told him what is wrong with his above mentioned article. I gave him copies of the Eid Khutba by Dr. Zahid Aziz, his own article, and Dr. Zahid Aziz's rebuttal article. I also gave my cover letter. I gave him my private phone number and email address. I requested him to please read the material I gave him and asked him to email me his reply. He promised he will, and during conversation he kept looking at me with a piercing look, perhaps to memorize my face. It has been more than eight months; he did NOT get back to me. Following is portion of text of my cover letter:

Dear brother Hamza Yusuf,

Dear brother, I feel that you have factual errors in your article ‘Sticks and Drones May Break Our Bones, but Fitna Really Hurts Us’. Brother I have full conviction that guidance only comes from Allah SWT, but as a Muslim brother of yours, I feel it is my responsibility ti at the very least point out your factual errors. With this I do my duty.

Brother, please email me your rebuttal of article by Dr. Zahid Aziz. I will forward it to him for posting on his blog. I look forward to your reply. Brother you know better than me, we all will die and we all will be accountable for our oral words, written words, actions and inactions. Ref Holy Quran 33:67, 34:31-38, and 40:47-48.

Brother Hamza you must have read about Mohammad Alexander Russell Webb. He was the first American Muslim convert. He converted to Islam after correspondence with Hazrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmad, the MUJADDID of 14th Islamic century. After his tenure as US ambassador in Philippines, on his way back to USA he visited India. His plan was to meet Hazrat Ahmad in Qadian. Before he could get to Qadian from the port city where his ship anchored, he met many Muslim scholars who advised him against visiting Qadian. They convinced him that as his plan is to propagate Islam in USA and open Isamic Centers etc., so by his visit to Qadian and meeting with Hazrat Ahmad will discourage Muslims in India to financially contribute towards his objective in USA. Anyways, Mr. Webb did not visit Qadian and returned to USA. He did get some funds from Indian Muslims but as history is witness they did not last and he could not fulfill his mission. Later he had regrets of not visiting the reformer of the age in Qadian, and kept contacts with LAM [Lahore Ahmadiyya Movement] elders and even edited book ‘The Teachings of Islam’ which is Hazrat Ahmad’s book translation by Maulana Muhammad Ali. Brother my point is, we humans sometime due to temporal [reasons] and fear of losing popularity stray away from our belief that source of all kinds of strength is Allah SWT. Holy Prophet Muhammad SAWS despite all the odds against him preached and practiced Holy Quran teachings that don’t call Kafir to anyone who says Asaalam Alikum, let alone a Kalima Shahada reciter. By the way one such person who discouraged Mr. Webb from visiting Qadian, himself accepted Hazrat Ahmad as Mujaddid of era and was an elder of LAM.

I wonder how administrations at Stanford University and Berkeley’s Graduate Theological Union will deal with Shaykh Hamza Yusuf when they come to know truth about him and find out he speaks from both sides of his mouth. On one hand he impresses people like Dr. Mike Ghouse and on other hand he endorses extremist ideologies of Pakistani Mullah-Mafia. How he will “inoculate our communities” when in principle he agrees with those ideologies?

Please read the following blog article that exposes Hamza Yusuf modus operandi: Reform In Islam To Come From Within, which says:

The economist has an interesting article on reform in Islam:

I commented as below (buried in 4 pages of comments to this economist article):

"Look, for example, at the personally courageous stance of Hamza Yusuf, an American-born scholar with a wide following in the Islamic heart-land"

Ah where was the courage of Hamza Yusuf when he backtracked and apostasized the Lahori Ahmadis and removed his youtube of half hearted praise.

Courage is exhibited when a scholar upholds principles that can be deeply unpopular at the time.   Hamza Yusuf did not pass this test.

3 Responses to “Shaykh Hamza Yusuf has Different Strokes for Different Folks”

  1. AA, 

    To be a Muslim is to be free and independent, and value each statement one makes.  I have disagreed with Shaikh Hamza, and wrote to him that the was wrong in teaching the abrogation theory. He has not responded yet. YouTube:   Abrogation theories about Quran:

    Mike Ghouse

  2. July 27th, 2016 at 4:16 am
    From Rashid Jahangiri:

    Email correspondence with Dr. Mike Ghouse.

    After my above blog post was posted I sent following email to Dr. Mike Ghouse:

    Dear Brother Mike Ghouse,

    Asalaam Alikum,

    I read your link to Huffungton Post. You have praised Shaykh Hamza Yusuf. I would say he speaks from both sides of his mouth. The truth is that he endorses the EXTREMIST IDEOLOGIES OF MULLAH-MAFIA. As he is in USA so in public he speaks totally opposite. If you do not agree, please read article WITH DIRECT REFERENCE TO COMPLETE ARTICLE OF HAMZA YUSUF. You will find Hamza Yusuf is NOT worth your praise. After reading the following article ask yourself, how a person like Hamza Yusuf can bring change in minds of young extremists Muslims in USA?

    In reply brother Mike Ghouse sent me email:

    Salaam  Rashid Saheb

    I've criticized hamza Yusuf on the issue of abrogation theory, he is wrong on that.

    Mike Ghouse

    I am thankful to brother Mike Ghouse for replying my email and posting his comments. Although, my blog was NOT about ‘issue of abrogation theory’ and rather it was about Shaykh Hamza Yusuf dichotomy in core beliefs and values depending on who is the listener and reader. I call it dishonesty and hypocrisy. By the way, Hamza Yusuf belief in abrogation in Holy Quran further degrades his Islamic scholarship in my eyes. In my opinion he is another Pakistani Mullah who speaks and writes good English.

    I wish in his comments in this thread brother Mike Ghouse had written something to the effect that, I would ask Hamza Yusuf to answer Dr. Zahid Aziz article, or at the very least retract his own article referenced in my original post in this thread.

    Few years ago brother Mike Ghouse initiated a very noble project. I am not sure if he succeeded in that. Project was an effort by him at least for one time bring Muslims from different schools of thoughts (sects), including the Mehmoodis (Qadianis who do not offer prayer behind non-Qadiani Imam or offer funeral prayer of non-Qadianis), to offer prayer together in one congregation. I am not sure how brother Mike Ghouse can achieve his noble goals if people like Hamza Yusuf write and call Kalima-Shahada reciters as Kafirs (in this case people like Maulana Muhammad Ali and other members of Lahore Ahmadiyya Movment), while in USA, and get away.

  3. July 31st, 2016 at 6:44 am
    From Rashid Jahangiri:

    Dr. Mike Ghouse's Reply

    I sent an email with link to Dr. Mike Ghouse. He sent me following reply:


    Dr Rashid jahangiri

    I did not know hamza Yusuf called  the Ahmadiyyas a kafir, I would like to read about it and bring it up.  I thought he was a muslim without a noose around him.

    End quote.

    I am glad to read brother Mike Ghouse's reply. I pray he finds time to read Hamza Yusuf article and then can follow up with him. I hope it happens not too far in future. Otherwise, as a tax payer and citizen of the USA, I reserve right to contact Stanford University’s Program in Islamic Studies, Center for Islamic Studies at Berkeley’s Graduate Theological Union, One Nation, and Forum for Promoting Peace in Muslim Societies, and ask them do they want to teach Islam to students in USA the way Hamza Yusuf understands, and how they can promote pluralism and peace in USA with Hamza Yusuf standards that are in sync with Pakistani Mullah-Mafia?

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