Hamza Yusuf was born in Walla Walla, Washington, and adopted Islam at the age of eighteen. Subsequently, he migrated to the Middle East, where he spent more than ten years studying Islamic sciences on the Arabian Peninsula and in North and West Africa. He returned to the United States and during the last twenty years has been teaching and writing in the U.S. He is the author of Purification of the Heart and has translated into modern English several classical Arabic texts and poems, including The Burda: The Poem of the Cloak and The Creed of Imam al-Tahawi. Through his numerous lectures and media appearances, he has been active in the ongoing public discourse about Islam, nationally and internationally. He currently is involved in establishing Zaytuna College, the first accredited Muslim college in America. He resides in Northern California with his wife and five boys.