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Hamza Yusuf - Essay Example

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Hamza Yusuf

Yusuf often acts as a guest speaker at events coordinated by different subdivisions of the Muslim Students Association of the US and Canada. Together with Haten Bazian and Zaid Shakir, Yusuf is a co-founder of the Zaytuna College located in Berkeley, California. The college was established in 1996 and is dedicated to reviving traditional methods of study, especially with regard to the sciences of Islam (Ghazali 2011, 65). Yusuf is also a signatory of A Common Word Between Us and You, which is an open letter written by Islamic scholars addressed to Christian leaders, speaking to the need for peace and understanding. Yusuf has adopted a stance against all religious rationalizations for terrorist attacks. After 9/11, he typified the actions of the attackers as acts of mass homicide. Yusuf strongly condemns terrorist attacks arguing that Islamic is exploited as an innocent victim (Ghazali 2011, 115). Yusuf has authored an array of books and pamphlets, which seek to educate Muslims on proper and ethical conduct. Thought Yusuf is renowned for a number of original thoughts, which are aimed at assisting Muslim lead fruitful lives devoid of evil deeds. One of his most notable thoughts is that of dunya. Yusuf typifies dunya as the illusory nature of the world; it consists of aspects that delude people into thinking that they are permanent fixtures in the world. Dunya also compels Muslims to think that they can transgress since they believe they are independent from Allah. In essence, Yusuf considers dunya as the element that takes Muslims away from the akhira (the after life), thus exemplifying Satan’s game. Satan’s game, according to Yusuf (2008, 69) is aimed purposely at detracting people away from the akhira through shaytan, which means to obstruct or make distant from the akhira. Therefore, Yusuf (Yusuf and Shakir 2007, 128) believes that dunya makes Muslims feel that dunya is nearer than the akhira. Islam argues that dunya is distant and equates it to attempting to reach for grapes that are beyond one’s grasp. This is the true character of dunya; one can never get it since it always evades people. Through his teachings, Yusuf seeks to teach Muslims that dunya is unimportant. He in turn demonstrates the importance of the akhira, which is the essence of all Islamic messages. Therefore, he argues that, in all their actions, Muslims must endeavor to head away from dunya and further towards the akhira. In order to delineate the true nature of dunya, Yusuf contrasts it to normal human actions. Yusuf (2004, 89) argues that seeking food to sustain a healthy body is not considered dunya, neither is earning enough money to meet one’s obligations or spend on halal. In order to justify his stance regarding dunya, Yusuf ponders on the assertions of the Holy Prophet of Islam that if Adam’s son had a single mountain of gold, he would then desire a second mountain. The Prophet argued that the son’s mouth would never be filled, with the exception of the dust of his private grave. Yusuf takes this teaching to mean that dunya is deceptive since it compels people to desire more earthly possession than they need. Yusuf teaches Muslims to steer clear of the deluder and in turn move towards the akhira. In addition to this, Yusuf teaches that Muslims should avoid the delusion of dunya that it is possible to live both in the past and future. In turn, Yusuf believes that Muslims should always endeavor to live in the present. He argues that ...Show more

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Hamza Yusuf Name: Institution: Biography Hamza Yusuf, who was born as Mark Hanson in 1959, is considered the most influential Islamic scholar of the Western world. Yusuf was born to American academics in Washington State and was raised in Northern California…
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