Yusuf Estes: Preacher Turned Sheikh

Why I Like Listening To Yusuf Estes

I’m not sure when I first heard of Yusuf Estes. I think it was back in the late nineties. Whatever the case, I liked him from the moment I first heard him speak. Alhamdulillah, he has proven to be a great asset to Islam in the West.

Most of you probably already know the story behind his conversion and how he came to Islam. It’s available on Youtube and I advise you to search for it and give it a listen. It is one of the most touching conversion stories you’ll ever hear.

If you haven’t heard how Yusuf Estes became Muslim, Inshallah, I’ll give you a quick rundown of how it happened.

He used to be Christian. But not just your average, go to church every now and then Christian. Yusuf Estes was serious about his Christianity. In fact, he was actually a preacher. He was very much involved in church activities and he and his wife spent a lot of time calling people to church and trying to guide wayward souls to Christianity.

Sheikh Yusuf Estes

As it happened, one day he took a Muslim into his house as a guest. Being the devout Christian he was, Yusuf Estes had the notion that he was going to go to work on this Muslim and eventually get him to convert to Christianity. What happened was something totally different.

Together with his wife, they spent a lot of time and several days talking with their Muslim guest. They were very polite about it all, and they did not try to push Christianity on him. But they were determined to convert him, nonetheless.

But as Yusus Estes and his wife talked with their Muslim guest about politics and religion they begin to learn that Islam was actually full of truth.

Every time they tried to say something beneficial about Christianity or tried to convince their Muslim guest that Islam was wrong, they found out that in fact they were wrong!

To make a long story short, after a couple of months of going back and forth with the Muslim, Yusuf Estes and his wife both took their Shahada and converted to Islam.

And the rest, as they say, is history.

Today, the Sheikh has several websites devoted to spreading the message of Islam. I actually envy his ability to distribute so much information on Islam in what looks like a pretty effortless manner.

Yusuf Estes is a pretty popular speaker. I haven’t had the opportunity to listen to him live, but I’ve listed to several of his lectures over the years. What I love most about the way he talks is that he’s just so down to earth. It’s like listening to your grandfather.

Sheikh Yusuf Estes doesn’t really get too much into the deep, technical issues of Islam. His talks are usually about spreading the message and informing non-Muslims (and some wayward Muslims, too) about the truth of Islam.

Alhamdulillah, with his laid-back and relaxed manner of speaking, he gets the message across in a very accommodating way that is very comforting and inviting.

I rate this brother as one of my favorite Muslim speakers. He is definitely one of the most popular and beloved speakers in America.

May Allah reward Yusuf Estes and forgive him his sins, Ameen

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14 Responses to Yusuf Estes: Preacher Turned Sheikh

  1. Salam Alaycom
    I just love him 🙂
    I watched hin Live here in Lebanon about month ago, or more I can’t remember
    It was a pleasure to hear the story of his conversion Live ..
    Time passes so quickly, I even didn’t feel it pass, his words are simple, touching, and full of love ..
    I wish I’d have the chance to meet him again and again ,, and eventually meet him in Jannah 🙂
    Juma’a Mubaraka brother

    • Wa Alaikum Salaam Sr. Nada,

      Mashallah, I didn’t know Sheikh Yusuf has given talks in Lebanon. It’s good to hear Muslims from America sharing knowledge and experience with Muslims from other parts of the world.

      He is a good speaker. May Allah reward him and you. Ameen.

  2. As’salam Alaykum,
    I myself haven’t seen much of his work but my husband told me about him. It was nice to see how lit up he was about his lectures. Watching videos of how people became muslim has become a habit of his. I was big on Ahmed Deedat when I reverted, but then back then he was the “go to” person. Alhumdullilah there is someone for each generation that just has a way with people.
    My husband is Saudi and we would always argue about how to present Islam to our children, here they seem to think scaring people is the way. We always hear the negative, you will be punished, you will go to hell.. but videos like his and many others show you the love and greatness of Islam. I sometimes wish I was living in the states again. I must say once my husband started watching his videos and those of others (in English) he was surprised at their commitment and love of Allah (swt) and Islam. I must say it has eased things up here at home and he seems to see others perspectives now. My youngest is fasting her first Ramadhan fully and has almost leaned to pray entirely on her own. The difference with my youngest is that he didn’t judge her or jump at her to be perfect as if overnight she can fast a full day and know everything, which was what he pretty much did to our other children. Alhumdulillah
    Yes, I am attributing speakers like brother Yousef to opening his eyes to more than just how he was taught. Even though he is a Saudi and was raised in Makkah, he is finding out there is still so much to learn and how to be more sensitive towards others.
    May we always strive for knowledge and taqwah.

    • Ameen, Sister Khadijah.

      You’ve said it perfectly.

      Islam is not just a religion of doom and gloom. And I don’t think that kind of preaching will work with young, western Muslims today anyway.

      Perhaps when they’re very young we can scare them into submission with stories of flame and brimstone. Bit once they pass a certain age, those things lose effectiveness.

      People need to know that Allah loves us when we strive to please Him. And that He is truly merciful to us in innumerable ways.

  3. As salaam u alayakum,

    May Allah subhan wat alaa increase you all in knowledge!

    Yusuf Estes is a very controversial preacher. In fact a Post Graduate studnet at Umm Qurra University – Madina, Saudia Arabia.

    Moosa Richardson has websight with the very controversial things Yusef Estes has said and his unique teachings.

    “The quran is not a book” this is the teachings of the Jahmiyyah.

    Allah has referred to the Quran as a Book, which by definition is something written, in many Quranic passages. One example would be (what means): ( By the Mountain, and by a written Book (the Quran), written in pages of a book spread out ) [52:1-3]

    The Prophet (may Allah raise his rank and grant him peace) said, what means, (( Do not travel with the Quran, since I can not guarantee that the enemies would not get a hold of it. )) [Muslim]

    Quite obviously, the Messenger of Allah (may Allah raise his rank and grant him peace) was not referring to the Quran memorized in their hearts or the Quran in al-Lowh al-Mahfooth (the Preserved Tablet)! He was referring to the mus-haf, the written Quran, and he explicitly called it “the Quran”.

    Imam Abu Hanifah said
    “The Quran is written in the mus-hafs, memorized in the hearts, and recited on the tongues.”

    Imam Ash-Shaafi’ee said
    “What we recite from the Quran on our tongues, listen to with our ears, and write in our mus-hafs is all called the Speech of Allah.”

    Imam Ahmad said
    “You interact with the Quran in five ways: [1] memorizing it by heart, [2] reciting it on the tongue, [3] listening to it with the ear, [4] viewing it with the eye, and [5] writing it by hand.”

    Imam Al-Bukhaaree said
    “As for the Quran that is recited, written in the mus-hafs, written down and recorded (therein), understood in the hearts, then it is the Speech of Allah the Most High, not something created

    My brothers and sisters we are living in a time were you must investigate these speakers

    So before seeking to sit in a gathering, have you asked yourself:
    – Is this person known to the scholars or their students?
    – Does he have tazkiyaat of any sort?
    – Who are his companions (from whom does he sit with)?
    – Does he frequent the gatherings of Ahlus-Sunnah, their masaajid, seminars, lectures etc.?
    – What do the people of Sunnah in his area say about him?
    – Does he cooperate with Ahlul-Bid’ah, their masaajid and programmes (is he here, there and everywhere)?
    Do you put up these roadblocks in your mind before setting out to seek knowledge with a man? Seeing that it is from the most important affairs you could ever set out upon…your salvation, your ‘aqeedah, your path towards paradise insha’Allaah

    • Wa Alaikum Salaam,

      I’ll let the comment go through but not the link.

      Br. Moosa Richardson may be correct and Allah knows best.

      But I do not want to get involved nor allow slander or backbiting of other Muslims on this website. There are more than enough places to do that on the internet.

    • why are we Muslim doing this to ourselves? cant we have one voice. our enemy are out there planning against us, here we are doing this to ourselves. These is wrong, don’t judge anybody, leave judgement to Allah.

  4. Famous statement of Muhammad Ibn Sereen: “This knowledge is a matter of deen, so be careful who you take your deen from.”Due to the weakness in the Ummah and lack of comprehension of the pure Islamic methodology, it is common in our time that an ignorant person is taken as a person of knowledge, and that an ignorant person assumes the role and responsibility of a speaker and caller to Islaam. Despite the mountain of statements from the Salaf, the likes of al-Laalikaaee, al-Barabahaaree, Ahmad Ibn Hanbal, Ibn Sireen and so on imploring the Muslims to stick to the Scholars, the people of sunnah (the jama’aah) and to stay away from doubtful matters.’Imaam Maalik said it is not enough for someone to be a worshipper, and to be known for Zuhd, outward expression of worship, that you take from them…but they did not take from them because that was not their affair (knowledge), they were worshippers that’s all. In this time we see someone who has a lihyah (beard), his thobe above his ankles and he is then the muftee of his area, this is a mistake!’

    ‘It is forbidden for the one who is asked and doesn’t know, to answer. Likewise it is haraam for the one to ask one who doesn’t know…he has to ask the scholar…if you had a medical situation, would we go to a mechanic? And if we had a problem with our car, would we go to a farmer…no we would go to each individual who is a specialist in their field…so when it comes to the issue of deen, we must go to the scholars, it is not right to ask (just) anybody or do what everyone else is doing.’

    ”Abu Dardaa’ went to the masjid one day (in the time of the tabi’een) and he observed the people praying differently than according to the Sunnah, so he came home angry and his wife (Ummudh-Dardaa’) asked him what has made you angry? He said, ‘By Allaah I don’t see anything from the time of the Prophet (sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) except praying together (meaning that they had abandoned much of the Sunnah). This is his statement whilst he was close to the time of the Messenger (sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam). So what about know? 1400 years after that, are general masses upon Sunnah? Are the general masses upon knowledge? No! Rather we should follow the scholars!

  5. when you have a known studnet of knowledge who his living and translating in mecca for the major scholars refuting statements of yusef with quran and sunnah that is not back biting.

    in fact you are doing your readers a unjust by not informing them of this information the only infallible person is Muhammad ibn Abdullah sallie alahi was salaam .

  6. Imam an-Nawawee (may Allah have mercy upon him) said in his Riyaadh-us-Saaliheen (*),
    Translated by Aboo ‘Imraan al-Mekseekee

    chapter 256: “You should know that backbiting is permissible for specific legislated reasons unreachable except by (way of backbiting) they are the following six reasons:

    1. The first is complaining of oppression, so it is permissible for the oppressed person to present his case to the muslim ruler or muslim judge or someone of similar stature and authority to assist in removing the oppression. He can say: “I have been wronged by such and such a person.”

    2. The second is seeking assistance in changing evil (munkar) and refuting the disobedient until they return to what is correct. So o­ne can say to the o­ne who has the ability to change the evil: “Such and such a person has done this, so advise him.” Or something similar and that he intends to reach this disobedient o­ne by way of removing the evil, so if he intends other than that then it is not permissible.

    3. Thirdly when o­ne seeks fatwa. So he says to the mufti: “My father has oppressed me, or my brother, or my husband, or such and such has done this, does he have right to? And what is the way to sincerity (ikhlaas) and obtaining my rights and repelling oppression?” or something along the lines, so this is permissible by necessity. However it is better to say:” What do you say regarding a man, or person, or husband, if his condition is such and such?” So he obtains his purpose without specification, but being specific is permissible, as we will mention in the hadeeth of Hind, Allah willing.

    4. The fourth reason is warning the muslims from evil and advising them and that is from several aspects:

    A.) From it is the disparagement of the criticized people by way of the reliable and trustworthy witnesses. That is permissible by consensus of the muslims rather it is obligatory by necessity.

    B.) From it is when a man inquires about someone before marriage, or entering into a business partnership with someone, or safekeeping something with someone or doing business with someone. It is obligatory upon the o­ne advising not to conceal his condition rather he should mention the shortcomings he has with the sole intention of advising him.

    C.) From it is if o­ne sees a person of fiqh frequenting an innovator or a faasiq (a person engaged in disobedience) and taking knowledge from him, and he fears that he may affect him (with his innovation or fisq) then it is upon him to advise of his condition o­n the basis that he intends to advise. And this is where error may occur, the person who speaks of the individual could be envious and Shaytaan (may Allah’s curse be upon him) may deceive him into thinking he is advising with compassion, it is necessary to be aware of this (type of fitnah).

    D.) From it is o­ne who has position but he does not establish it, whether it is because he is not fit for it, or he is o­ne who is corrupt, or neglectful, or something similar to these examples. It is obligatory to mention that to the o­ne in authority so as to remove him and replace him with o­ne more befitting. He should make him aware of his condition so he can be dealt with and urge him to improve or be replaced with someone else.

    5. The fifth reason is concerning the o­ne who openly commits disobedience or innovation like openly drinking alcohol, taking the property of others, taking taxes not legislated or other issues of falsehood, then it is permissible to mention what he does publicly. It is not permissible to mention other faults he may have except those we have mentioned before.

    6. The sixth reason is to describe someone. So if a man is known by a nickname such as “The Weak-eyed” “The Lame” “The Deaf o­ne” “The Blind o­ne” “The Cross-eyed” and other similar names. It is permissible to describe him for identification but unlawful to indicate his deficiencies. If o­ne can describe him another way then it is best.

    * The current English translation of this chapter by Dar-us-Salaam is missing portions that deal with the permissible forms of backbiting. Likewise the Spanish translation, “El Paso hacia el Paraiso” translated by Ahmad M Safi oddly enough, has omitted the entire introductory text of the Noble Imam!


    • This same excuse of saving protecting Muslims from evil has led to much division and infighting among Muslims. I prefer to go the safer route and leave this with Allah. There certainly is no sin in keeping my mouth shut and there is certainly the potential of sin by speaking evil of him.

      Besides, there are more than enough open enemies of Islam like the so-called the Progressive Muslims, anti-Hadith Muslims, and uber-secular-atheist Muslims who are causing a lot more damage and are are more than enough to keep my hands full.

  7. In any branch of knowledge , especially in searching truth in Islam, we can at best try to understand, we can’t judge and conclude or declare anything as finally true or aberrant from truth. The judge is Allah of all effort depending on the intention of every work. So, let everything to Allah. Reward or punishment will be ultimately from him. We shouldn’t try to be judge. Moreover, try to hide others fault is a duty to all Muslim. We should try to be positive. Being negative is considered as trying to find faults of others. this may be a sin of a Muslim to find fault of other Muslim.

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