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Bin Hamid Ali

Associate Professor


Abdullah bin Hamid Ali is an associate professor of Islamic law and Prophetic Tradition at Zaytuna College in Berkeley, California (2007-present). His course teachings include Creedal Theology, Prophetic Tradition, Commercial Law, Family Law, Inheritance Law, Jurisprudential Principles, and Islamic Virtue Ethics.

Prior to Zaytuna College

‘Abdullah bin Hamid ‘Ali begun studying Islam in his early teens. Born to Muslim parents who found their way to Islam via the NOI, he would eventually start learning the fundamentals of Islam from newfound friends of the Sunni tradition in West Philadelphia. He, however, would not begin a rigorous study of Arabic, Islam, and the Qur’an until close to the age of 17 beginning with his first Arabic teacher from Eritrea known by Philadelphia locals as Imam Aberra. More than a year later, he would begin a five-year journey studying Arabic language, tajwid, and Islamic Studies at the Quba Institute of Arabic and Islamic Studies under the tutelage of Imam Anwar bin Nafi Muhaimin and his brother, Anas bin Nafi Muhaimin. In earlier years, Abdullah received religious instruction in the basics of Islam from their father Shaykh Nafi Muhaimin as well. During his time as a student in computer science at Temple University (1995-1997), he met Dr. Khalid Blankinship, and joined his graduate seminars in Islamic Studies and Islamic Jurisprudence. In the privacy of his office, Dr. Blankinship would guide Abdullah in the reading of the Sirah of Ibn Ishaq and Al-Nafrawi’s commentary on the Risalah of Ibn Abi Zayd al-Qayrawani. He later went on to become the first American to attend and graduate from the Faculty of Shariah at the University of al-Qarawiyyin in Fez, Morocco (2001).

During his four year degree, his teachers included: Shaykh Muhammad at-Ta‘wīl, mufti, scholar and professor of ‘Usūl al-fiqh; Dr. Abdullah Ghāzīwī, Professor of ‘Usūl al-fiqh; Dr. Muhammad al-Sarrār, Professor of Fiqh al-Hadith; Dr. Muhammad ‘Abdal- Wahhāb Abyāt; Ustadh Muhammad ‘Alamī, Professor of ‘Usul al-fiqh; Shaykh Ahmad Zwetin, Professor of Fiqh al-Hadith and Dr. Hasan ‘Azūzi, Professor of Ulūm al-Qur’an, Ustadhah Rashīdah Nāsir, professor of Family Law, Ustadha Na’īmah Bennīs, professor of Inheritance Law, and many others.

He holds a Ph.D. in Cultural and Historical Studies in Religion (2016) and an M.A. in Ethics and Social Theory (2012) from the Graduate Theological Union. He obtained his B.A. (ijaza ‘ulya) in Islamic Law (Shariah) from the prestigious Al-Qarawiyin University of Fes, Morocco in 2001. He served as full time Islamic chaplain at the State Correctional Institute of Chester, PA from 2002-2007, and is the founding director of the Lamppost Education Initiative. His research interests include the interconnection between law and identity formation, comparative Islamic law, and Islam’s role in the modern world.

Selected Works

Interviews and Media Quotes:


  • Muslim Funeral Guide (Lamppost Productions), 2005
  • The Attributes of God (Amal Press), 2006
  • Al-Ghazzālī, Abū Ḥāmid (Trans. Abdullah bin Hamid Ali). A Return to Purity in Creed, Philadelphia: Lamppost Productions, 2008
  • – Reprinted in 2018 (Lamppost Education Initiative)
  • Ibn Rajab al-Hanbali (Trans. Abdullah bin Hamid Ali). Tears of the Yearners for the Meeting With God, Philadelphia: Lamppost Education Initiative, 2015

For more on Dr. Abdullah’s work, visit the following link: https://zaytuna.edu/academics/faculty/abdullah-bin-hamid-ali



  • Ph.D. & Presidential Scholar, Cultural & Historical Studies
  • Graduate Theological Union, Berkeley M.A., Ethics & Social Theory,
  • Graduate Theological Union, Berkeley, 2012 B.A.,
  • Islamic Law (Shariah), University of Al-Karaouine/Al-Qarawiyin.