Abdullah bin Hamid Ali is a full-time lecturer in Islamic Law and Hadith Science at Zaytuna College in Berkeley, CA. He is a lifelong student of the Islamic tradition being born to Muslim parents having begun a serious study of Islam in his early teens. He attended Temple University for 2 years (1995-1997) prior to pursuing studies that culminated in a 4-year collegiate license (ijaza ‘ulya) from the prestigious Al-Qarawiyin University of Fes, Morocco (1997-2001). He holds a BA from the Al-Karaouine/Al-Qarawiyin University’s Faculty of Islamic Law (Shari’a) and an MA in Ethics & Social Theory from The Graduate Theological Union (2009-2012) of Berkeley, CA. He is also pursuing his Phd in Cultural & Historical Studies at GTU as one of the institution’s Presidential Scholars.
A native of Philadelphia, PA, Abdullah relocated with his family by invitation from Zaytuna College’s Board of Trustees in 2007 to the Bay Area to instruct pilot seminarians in the Islamic rational sciences (theology, legal theory, hadith science) after spending 5 years as assistant full-time chaplain at the State Correctional Institution of Chester, PA (SCI Chester). Abdullah also serves as a member of Zaytuna’s Academic Affairs Committee (AAC), and plays a crucial role in curriculum development and pedagogical approaches at the college.
Abdullah is a very active member of the Bay Area community who regularly delivers the Friday service address at a number of mosques, and conducts regularly scheduled online classes via his website: www.lamppostproductions.com. He has also written more than 40 essays in a number of religious and socially relevant topics. His study interests include: critical race theory, intersections between legal trends and national identities, societal influences upon self perception and of the other, Muslim history and the rise of Islam in America, virtue ethics, liberation theology, cultural hermeneutics and standpoint theories, globalization and its effects upon traditional religious communities, restorative justice and the prison industrial complex, and anything that contributes to “humanizing” the peoples of the world.
Al-Ghazzālī, Abū Ḥāmid (Trans. Abdullah bin Hamid Ali). A Return to Purity in Creed, Philadelphia: Lamppost Productions, 2008
Attributes of God. Amal Press, 2006
Muslim Funeral Guide (Lamppost Productions), 2005.
Published Peer-Reviewed Essays:
“Preserving the Freedom for Faith: Reevaluating the Politics of Compulsion”, The Review of Faith & International Affairs, Vol 9, Monday 12 June 2011 (http://rfiaonline.org/archives/issues/9-2/772-freedom-for-faith-politics-of-compulsion)
- Full Version: (http://www.lamppostproductions.com/?p=1275)
“Scholarly Consensus: Between Use & Misuse”, Journal of Islamic Law and Culture, Volume 12, Issue 2, 2010 (http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/1528817X.2010.574391)