Abu Ameenah Bilal Philips was born in Jamaica, but grew up in Canada where he accepted Islam in 1972.
He completed a diploma in Arabic and a B.A. from the College of Islamic Disciplines (Usool ad-Deen) at the Islamic University of Madinah in 1979.
At the University of Riyadh, College of Education, he completed a M.A. in Islamic Theology in 1985 and in the department of Islamic Studies at the University of Wales, U.K. he also completed a Ph.D. in Islamic Theology in 1994.