Abdullah bin Hamid Ali

Abdullah bin Hamid Ali, founder of the Lamppost Education Initiative, is the head of Zaytuna College’s Islamic Law Council, and a full-time faculty member who teaches Islamic law and Prophetic Tradition. He holds a PhD in the area of Cultural & Historical Studies in Religion from the Graduate Theological Union of Berkeley, California. He also holds a BA in Shariah Law from the University of Al-Qarawiyin (Fez, Morocco), and an MA in Ethics & Social Theory (GTU). He has a number of published essays and books.


8 May 2017

Prophetic Pugilism & The Freedom Principle

Strength is often mistaken as a weapon to be used to subdue one’s enemy and make others into one’s subjects. The Prophet, however, saw the truth of the matter, which was that strength and power are responsibilities given to a person as a test from God to see whether or not he/she will abuse them. As a genuine pugilist who pities his challenger in light of the latter’s unawareness of just how much harm he is exposing himself to, the Prophet Muhammad stayed true to his description as a mercy to all worlds by protecting those who offended him from divine retribution through his refusal to defend himself from personal offense. Muhammad’s—upon him Allah’s peace and blessing—freedom principle gives us a way to realize both peace and justice in this world. More importantly, it also gives us the key to the attainment of divine satisfaction in the next.

27 January 2017

Religious Policing & Compelling Conformity

Should compulsion—rather than conviction—play a role in realizing the ideal of a virtuous community? Is there a role for the “policing” of other people’s religious belief and morality?

26 October 2016

Feminism & Recalibrating Faith According to an Islamic Epistemic

Women’s rights should definitively remain a major concern of Muslims. But challenging the feminist epistemic should not be seen as a direct challenge to the legitimate pursuit of women’s rights and social empowerment.

6 April 2016

The Ideology of Police Brutality

Police officers neither make laws nor determine their constitutionality. But, they do something just as—if not more—significant. They enforce them. What happens when an officer selectively enforces laws? What happens when he chooses not to arrest a friend but to detain a foe? What happens when the police officer is motivated by racial bias to physically injure, kill, or frame citizens simply because he/she does not look or live the way they prefer? The fact that this prerogative is left up to law enforcement is essential to understanding how systemic oppression quickly spreads and is perceived by the victims of such actions.

20 January 2016

Violence and Defection From the Faith

Muslim scholars would serve the religion better by re-characterizing what was classically referred to as “apostasy” as its true meaning, which is “defection.”

6 May 2015

Building Stronger Muslim Families

When it comes to the subject of building a strong(er) Muslim family, it is important that we not only value what it means to share a home. We must also value the meaning of what it means to be “Muslim” in a Muslim family.

11 January 2015

We Are All Responsible: Charlie Hebdo and the Defamation of Islam

Removing the confusion of today cannot be simply by trying to weed out who is “qualified” to speak for Islam and who is not. And, it will definitely not be removed through indiscriminate violence against innocents. I believe that the following steps need to be taken.

27 August 2014

The Attributes of the Servants of the Merciful

Imam Zaid Shakir

2 July 2014

“White” and “Black” Are Not the Only Options for Social Integration

As long as there is no agreement on what indigenization of Muslims in America looks like in the end, we will continue to clash as a community on various levels.

25 March 2014

Seeing Our Self in Our Anger

Abdullah bin Hamid Ali comments on the hadith of the Prophet, "Do Not Be Angry", with advice on how to control our anger.