Hamza Yusuf was born in Washington State and raised in Northern California. In 1977, he became Muslim and subsequently traveled to the Muslim world and studied for ten years in the U.A.E., Saudi Arabia, as well as North and West Africa. He received teaching licenses in a number of Islamic subjects from several well-known scholars. After ten years of studies abroad, he returned to the USA and received degrees in Religious Studies and Health Care. He is the founder of Zaytuna Institute where he also teaches, and has traveled all over the world giving talks on Islam. He has also translated several classical Arabic texts into modern English. Shaykh Hamza currently resides in Northern California with his wife and five children.