Imam Yusuf Rios
Resident Scholar ICNA Chicago
Imam Yusuf Rios was born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania to a devout Christian family. In his late teens he yearned strongly to be a Catholic Monk. Later he joined the Capuchin Franciscans Program at Borromeo Seminary in Wickliffe Ohio where he studied for two and half years discerning a vocation as a Priest while in his early twenties. During his studies at Borromeo Seminary he studied Catholic and Western Philosophy and theology. It is during this period in his life where he discovered the path to Islam.
He joined the Muslim community in Cleveland and began studying Islam more seriously for a number of years. His passion of learning Islam led him to join the student body at Islamic American University in Detroit where he received his foundation in the Arabic & Islamic Sciences.
He then traveled to Cairo, Egypt where he continued his pursuit of Islamic knowledge for many years. He studied at the Asheera Academy for Higher Education in Islamic Psychology and Tradition (under the auspices of Al-Azhar University), Madrasatul-Hamd, and Masjid Al-Azhar. He was honored to study (both privately and publicly) with some of the most pre-eminent scholars of the Islamic sciences from Al-Azhar University. Some of his most influential teachers include Shaykh Sa’ad Al-Jawesh Al-Azhari from whom he received both specialized and general ijazaat in hadith sciences and transmission, as well as Dr. Ahmad Taha Rayyan–one of the most renowned scholars of Maliki fiqh.
Imam Yusuf has a BA in Western Philosophy and Sociology from John Carroll University and is working on a Masters in Islamic Sciences at the Islamic University of Minnesota. He has served as an instructor with Islamic American University, al-Huda University, Guidance College and the Shaukani Institute.