10 Quotes From Shaykh Hamza Yusuf

The very few regular readers to this blog will know I am a huge admirer of Shaykh Hamza Yusuf and, as such, I have quoted him many times before (here is just one example).

Shaykh Hamza Yusuf

Anyways, below are 10 more quotes. Enjoy!


A lot of Muslims now tend to want to blame things outside of themselves and always look that it’s somewhere else. If you read the Quran what you’ll find is that the person that blames in the Quran is Iblees, and the person that takes responsibility is Adam. And this is why Adam was given the Khilafah, the Caliphate, over Iblees because Iblees blames. He even blames Allah. What Iblees says to God is “Because You lead me astray I’m going to lead all of them astray.” This is a sickness, it is a disease of blaming the other for what happens. – Shaykh Hamza Yusuf, from a talk entitled Tribulation And Ease

Be patient with the tribulations Allah gives you, but also be content with His decree, because being angry at the decree of Allah is one of the deepest sicknesses of the heart. – Shaykh Hamza Yusuf, from a talk entitled Tribulation And Ease

Everything that I loved about Christianity I got to bring into Islam. I didn’t see Islam as an abandonment of my Christian upbringing. I saw it as a fulfillment of it. I really didn’t have any conflict there. The Ten Commandments, I got. Jesus is a prophet as opposed to an incarnation of the divine, but one of the highest honored prophets. Mary is still a virgin in the Islamic tradition. The love of Jesus is in the Quran, but also the justice of Moses. So the Quran, although it appeals to the better angels of ourselves and asks us to be more Jesuit in our attitude towards the neighbor, it also allows for the redressing of wrongs. Muslims get that choice between the Mosaic justice and the turn-the-other-cheek of Christianity. I really felt that Islam was a fulfillment of that Abrahamic trinity of Judaism, Christianity, and Islam: the Old Testament, the New Testament, and the Final Testament. – Shaykh Hamza Yusuf, from an interview in The Cairo Review, Fall 2015

I think this whole idea of America being the global policeman, it’s over. We’re almost bankrupt, if we’re not already bankrupt. We’ve got trillions of dollars in debt. We can’t afford these budgets anymore. Americans are living in a fantasy world. They really are. Look at the debt that China holds on us. If you want a security threat to this country, it’s the trillions that are in Chinese coffers. They’re buying up all the real estate in California because they have all these dollars and they’re just dumping it on real estate because it’s a hedge against inflation. So, I think we need to take care of our country. – Shaykh Hamza Yusuf, from an interview in The Cairo Review, Fall 2015

I’ve been to so many conferences condemning this stuff [i.e. ISIS]. The media ignores us. There are books written on this…They [ISIS] have nothing to do with Islam…The idea that this [ISIS] somehow represents Muslims and Islam is insane. We live in this temporal idolatry of now and there’s no historical context given to these things. Nobody ever gets an idea of what’s going on. Muslims and Jews weren’t always fighting. It’s a lie. It’s a historical lie, but how many times have I heard that canard reiterated: “Oh, it’s always been like this.” It’s not true. It wasn’t always like that. I recognize that we’re dealing with a largely inattentive, relatively uneducated, and highly distracted population. So, it is hard to get in-depth. If you go to Great Britain for instance and look at the BBC coverage of some of these issues, it’s just a lot more nuanced. That’s a fact. Even Haaretz, even the Israeli media, is more nuanced. We just have a cartoon worldview here [in America] that really bothers me. – Shaykh Hamza Yusuf, from an interview in The Cairo Review, Fall 2015

One of the fundamental crises in the human condition today is that we do not know how to prioritise. We do not know what to put before what. Education is about prioritising. The single most important thing for people to learn is who they are. If they know they are abd–Allah then everything from there will be correct…Today we, as a species, suffer from spiritual amnesia, we have spiritual Alzheimer’s. – adapted from a speech by Shaykh Hamza Yusuf

People are dying of spiritual thirst…people are not well because they are not fulfilling their purpose. You cannot be well unless you are being human. We were created to be human, and the way that we are human is to surrender, to give up, to not fight Allah…and that is contentment. – Shaykh Hamza Yusuf

Society thrives on stability. When there’s great change in society there’s always turbulence, and technology thrives on rapid change, and so this is part of the crisis that we have in the modern world is this loss of a conformity to norms. – Shaykh Hamza Yusuf, from A Conversation With Miroslav Volf And Hamza Yusuf

When you are confronted with differing opinions of someone, err on the side of goodness, think the best of someone rather than think the worst of someone. For example, you say hello to someone, they do not respond, it could be they are ignoring you deliberately, but it could be they genuinely did not hear you, so err on the side of goodness. – adapted from a speech by Shaykh Hamza Yusuf

You cannot honour the Prophet by dishonouring his teachings. – Shaykh Hamza Yusuf

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