abdullah ali v2
Associate Professor

Abdullah bin Hamid Ali

  • Graduate Theological Union, PhD, Cultural and Historical Studies in Religion, 2016
  • Graduate Theological Union, MA, Ethics and Social Theory, 2012
  • Al-Qarawiyyin University, BA, Shariah, 2001


Dr. Abdullah Ali is a scholar of Islamic law with field specialties in Islamic Theology as well as Race and Blackness Studies in Muslim History. His research interests include the interconnection between law and identity formation, comparative Islamic law, and Islam’s role in the modern world. At Zaytuna College, Dr. Ali teaches Jurisprudential Principles, Family Law, Inheritance Law, Commercial Law, Prophetic Tradition, Creedal Theology, and Islamic Virtue Ethics.

He received his BA or Al-Ijazah Al-‘Ulya from Al-Qarawiyyin University in Shariah in 2001. He received both his MA and PhD from the Graduate Theological Union in 2012 and 2016, respectively. Prior to his post at Zaytuna College, Dr. Ali was a chaplain at State Correctional Institute in Chester, PA, from 2002 to 2007. 

His PhD thesis, titled “The ‘Negro’ in Afro-Arabian Muslim Consciousness,” demonstrates the interplay between conceptions and perceptions of race in constructing class differences; it is an example of how race taxonomies are constructed and employed to impress upon peoples’ psychological states and sociocultural sensibilities. It aims to uncover how indigenous black African Muslims responded to challenges to their humanity and agency by their Arab coreligionists who saw themselves as ethnically and culturally superior to their brethren. 

Dr. Ali is fluent in Arabic.

Dr. Ali joined Zaytuna College in 2007.

Email: [email protected]

Office hours: By appointment

Journal articles      

“Is There an Interreligious Threat to Religious Freedom?” Religious Freedom Institute (2018). https://www.religiousfreedominstitute.org/cornerstone/is-there-an-interreligious-threat-to-religious-freedom.

Review of “Muhammad’s Heirs: The Rise of Muslim Scholarly Communities, 622–950. American Journal of Islamic Social Sciences 35, no. 2 (2018): 91–94. 

“Tunisia and the Liberation of Muslim Women,” Muslim 500(2018). https://www.themuslim500.com/guest-contributions-2018/tunisia-and-the-liberation-of-muslim-women/. 

“Beyond Racism: The Challenge of Turning the Islamic Ideal Into Reality.” Renovatio, The Journal of Zaytuna College (2017). https://renovatio.zaytuna.edu/article/beyond-racism.

“Preserving the Freedom for Faith: Reevaluating the Politics of Compulsion,” Review of Faith & International Affairs 9 (June 2011). https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/15570274.2011.571413#.VIcaY8nDVgo.

“Scholarly Consensus: Between Use & Misuse,” Journal of Islamic Law and Culture 12, no. 2 (2010). https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/1528817X.2010.574391?src=recsys.


In Defence of the Four Imams, by Ahmad Ibn Taymiyah, translated by Abdullah bin Hamid Ali. Claritas Books, 2019. https://www.claritasbooks.com/in-defence-of-the-four-imams?search_query=in+defence+of+the+four+imams+&results=7.

The “Negro” in Arab Muslim Consciousness. Claritas Books, 2019. https://www.claritasbooks.com/books/the-negro-in-arab-muslim-consciousness)

Tears of the Yearners for the Meeting with God by Ibn Rajab al-Hanbali, translated by Abdullah bin Hamid Ali. Philadelphia: Lamppost Education Initiative, 2015. https://lamppostedu.org/tears-of-the-yearners-a-translation-by-shaykh-abdullah-ali. Republished in 2019 as On Remembering Death, Claritas Books 2019. https://www.claritasbooks.com/on-remembering-death?search_query=on+remembering+death+&results=2.

A Return to Purity in Creed by Al-Ghazzālī, translated by Abdullah bin Hamid Ali. Philadelphia: Lamppost Productions, 2008. Reprinted in 2018, Lamppost Education Initiative. https://lamppostedu.org/return-to-purity.

The Attributes of God. Amal Press, 2006.

Muslim Funeral Guide. Lamppost Productions, 2005.

Working papers

“The Homosexual Challenge to Muslim Ethics,” Lamppost Education Initiative.

“The Place of ‘Isnad’ in Islamic Education: Demystifying ‘Tradition,’” Lamppost Education Initiative.

“Feminism and Recalibrating Faith According to an Islamic Epistemic,” Al-Madinah Institute. 

“Prophetic Pugilism and The Freedom Principle,” Al-Madinah Institute. 

“Religious Policing and Compelling Conformity,” Al-Madinah Institute. 

“The Ideology of Police Brutality,” Al-Madinah Institute. 

“Violence and Defection from the Faith,” Al-Madinah Institute. 

“Building Stronger Muslim Families,” Al-Madinah Institute. 

“Bilal and Other Racial Minorities in Early Islam,” Lamppost Education Initiative.

Lectures, talks, and other speaking engagements

The “Negro” in Afro-Arabian Muslim Consciousness.
The Negro in Arab Muslim Consciousness.
The ‘Negro’ in Arab-Muslim Consciousness.” Soundcloud podcast. 
The Study Qur’an
LGBT, Muslims, and Religious Freedom. Dr. Abdullah bin Hamid Ali and Ismail Royer. 
Bostock vs. Clayton County: A Conversation with Dr. Abdullah bin Hamid Ali and Ismail Royer
Responding to Gay Muslims
Imagery and Coins, part 1: Dr. Khalid Blankinship
Imagery and Coins, part 2: Dr. Khalid Blankinship
Feminism vs Islam.
“‘The Negro’ in Early Islam, Imanophobia, and Trump.” Ep. 3. Karima podcast.