• About

    In 2009, Zaytuna College was founded in Berkeley, California, with a mission that called for grounding students in the Islamic scholarly tradition as well as in the cultural currents and critical ideas shaping modern society.

  • Academics

    As a Muslim liberal arts college in the West, Zaytuna offers a curriculum that provides its students with a foundation in the intellectual heritage of two major world civilizations: the Islamic and the Western.

  • Admissions & Aid

    Our mission is to educate students to become morally, intellectually, and spiritually accomplished individuals ready to contribute to our contemporary world in ways that are proportionate to their gifts and to the needs of human society.

  • Campus Life

    Zaytuna’s campus is on Holy Hill and students enter the College as part of a cohort, a community of learners that travel together through the curriculum.

Abdullah Bin Hamid Ali

Associate Professor

Abdullah Bin Hamid Ali


Email: aali@zaytuna.edu

Office hours: By appointment

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.


  • 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