Dr Abu Ameenah Bilal Philips was born in Jamaica, West Indies. He grew up in Canada and accepted Islam in 1972. He completed a BA in Islamic Disciplines from the Islamic University of Madinah, Saudi Arabia. He then completed an MA in Islamic Theology from the University of Riyadh and then went on to do a PhD in Islamic Studies from the University of Wales.
From 1994 to 2001 Dr Philips founded and directed the Islamic Information Centre in Dubai, UAE. He was a professor of Arabic and Islamic Studies at the American University (Dubai) and Ajman University. He has also served as the head of the department of Arabic and Islamic studies at Preston University, Ajman, UAE.
Dr Philips is the founder of the International Open University (formally known as the Islamic Online University), IOU. An online university with hundreds of thousands of students worldwide whose aim is to make authentic Islamic knowledge more accessible and affordable.