• About

    In 2009, Zaytuna College was founded in Berkeley, California, with a mission that called for grounding students in the Islamic scholarly tradition as well as in the cultural currents and critical ideas shaping modern society.

  • Academics

    As a Muslim liberal arts college in the West, Zaytuna offers a curriculum that provides its students with a foundation in the intellectual heritage of two major world civilizations: the Islamic and the Western.

  • Admissions & Aid

    Our mission is to educate students to become morally, intellectually, and spiritually accomplished individuals ready to contribute to our contemporary world in ways that are proportionate to their gifts and to the needs of human society.

  • Campus Life

    Zaytuna’s campus is on Holy Hill and students enter the College as part of a cohort, a community of learners that travel together through the curriculum.

Hamza Yusuf

President of Zaytuna College

Hamza Yusuf


Email: hyusuf@zaytuna.edu

Hamza Yusuf serves as president of Zaytuna College. In addition to teaching several subjects in Zaytuna’s curriculum, he has authored encyclopedia entries, academic papers, and articles on Muslim bioethics, legal theory, abortion, and many other topics. His books and translations include The Content of Character: Ethical Sayings of the Prophet Muhammad; The Prayer of the Oppressed; The Creed of Imam al-Tahawi; Purification of the Heart: Signs, Symptoms, and Cures of the Spiritual Diseases of the Heart; and Caesarean Moon Births: Calculations, Moon Sighting, and the Prophetic Way. He is a member of the Supreme Fatwa Council serving under his mentor, Shaykh Abdallah b. Bayyah, and serves as vice president for the Forum for Promoting Peace in Muslim Societies, an international initiative which seeks to address the root causes that can lead to radicalism and militancy. He holds licentia docendi in several Islamic subjects, a BA in Religious Studies, and a PhD in North and West African intellectual history.


  • Graduate Theological Union, CA

PhD, Islamic Studies, 2020

  • San Jose State University, CA

B.A., Religious Studies,
magna cum laude, 1997

  • Imperial Valley College, CA

A.A., English &
A.S., Nursing, 1990

  • Zaytuna University, Tunisia. \LHonorary Doctorate, conferred by Shaykh Shadhili Naifer, Dean of Zaytuna University, Tunisia, 1991. 

  • Granada, Spain. Madrasah Studies, 1987.\L

  • Medina, Saudi Arabia. Madrasah Studies, 1986.\L

  • Twaymarat, Mauritania. Madrasah Studies, 1984–1985.\L

  • Madrasah Bilal ibn Abi Rabah, Tizi, Algeria. Madrasah Studies, 1984.\L

  • Islamic Institute of al-Ain, Emirate of Abu Dhabi. Madrasah Studies, 1981–1984.

  • Norwich, England. Islamic Studies, 1977–1980.\L

Private Studies 

  • Studied grammar, prosody, literature, logic, philosophy, and rhetoric
    with his father, David J. Hanson.

  • Studied philosophy and educational theory in seminar format 
    with Mortimer Adler.

  • Private Studies 
    with Shaykh Abdallah Ould Ahmadna, Shaykh Murabit Muhammad Amin, Shaykh Iqbal Ahmad al-Adhami, Shaykh Ahmad Badawi Tayyid al-Asma, Shaykh Muhammad Fatatri al-Azhari, Shaykh Murabit al-Hajj, Shaykh Abd al-Rahman Ould Murabit al-Hajj, Shaykh Murabit Muhammad Hassan Ould al- Hassan, Shaykh Abdal Hayy al-Imrawi, Shaykh Abdallah al-Kadi, Shaykh Muhammad Alawi al-Maliki, Shaykh Hamid Omar al-Wali, Shaykh Muhammad al- Yaqoubi, Shaykh Abdallah Bin Bayyah, Shaykh Murabit Ahmad Fal, Shaykh Ahmad Jabir Jibran, Shaykh Anas Abu Murad, Shaykh Abdal Aziz Qassar, Sidi Abu Said, Shaykh Bayyah Ould Salik, Mufti Muhammad Ahmad Shaybani, Shaykh Abdallah Ould Siddiq, Shaykh Muhammad Mahmoud Ould Zaydan, Shaykh Salih al-Ghursi 1980–present.

  • San Jose State University, CA. BA, Religious Studies, magna cum laude, 1997

  • Imperial Valley College, CA. AA, English and AS, Nursing, 1990

Teaching Licenses

Received Teaching Licenses (ijāzah al-tadrīs) in the following subjects: Qur’anic Sciences; Arabic Grammar, Morphology, Elocution (tajwīd), Rhetoric (balāghah), Dialectics (bahth wa munādharah); Legal Theory (usūl al-fiqh); Mālikī Jurisprudence (fiqh); Hadith Sciences, Theology ('aqīdah), Timekeeping (Sacred Astronomy), Logic, Ethics, Traditional Psychology (tasawwuf), 1987–2013



  • The Burda of al-Busiri: The Poem of the Cloak
    2002 – view publication

  • Purification of the Heart: Signs, Symptoms, and Cures of the Spiritual Diseases of the Heart
    2004 – view publication

  • The Content of Character: Ethical Sayings of the Prophet Muhammad
    2005 – view publication

  • Caesarean Moon Births: Calculations, Moon Sighting, and the Prophetic Way
    2007 – view publication

  • The Creed of Imam al-Tahawi
    2007 – view publication

  • Agenda to Change our Condition

  • The Prayer of the Oppressed
    2010 – view publication

  • Walk on Water: The Wisdom of Jesus from Traditional Arabic Sources

  • Pearls of the Faith
    2017 – view publication