Hamza Yusuf is one of the leading proponents of classical learning in Islam. He has promoted Islamic sciences and classical teaching methodologies throughout the world. He has also been a strong advocate for social justice, peace, and conviviality among peoples and places. For several years, he has argued that the “them versus us” problem is fundamentally flawed, and, in R.D. Lang’s term, a “knot” that will destroy all of us if we do not extricate ourselves from it.
Hamza Yusuf has also been a passionate and outspoken critic of American foreign policy as well as Islamic extremist responses to those policies. He has drawn criticism from both the extreme right in the West and Muslim extremists in the East. He believes that education and critical thinking are essential to improving conditions throughout the world and that the strongest moral force in the world is not religion but middle-class prosperity. The evidence for this is that some of the most religious countries in the world are also the most corrupt due to widespread poverty and a small corrupt and wealthy elite; conversely, some of the least corrupt countries, such as Finland, are the most secular, with the greatest middle class and tax laws that help prevent obscene accumulations of wealth and subsequent wealth disparities found in some of the poorest countries. Hence, he advocates the absolute need for a more just economic system in the world that will work toward alleviating poverty on the one hand and restricting Pharaonic corporate and individual wealth on the other hand. He believes that the framework for that system is provided for best in the sound Islamic economic teachings of the Qur’an and the Prophetic traditions and their subsequent derived laws as codified in classical Muslim commercial laws, which among other things prohibits the sale of debt and the increase of a money supply through fractional reserve banking.