Creativity and The Creator: Keeping It Real While Keeping The Spirit

With the recent passing of pop icon Michael Jackson, issues related to Islam, entertainment and pop culture are once again a hot topic that many are heatedly blogging about and debating. Recent documentary films such as "New Muslim Cool" and "Deen Tight" have given audiences nationwide an honest and eye-opening window into the world of Muslim hip-hop artists in particular. This timely workshop with Ustadh Abdullah is intended to bring empowering understanding and balance to the often controversial subject of entertainment, culture and creativity in the Islamic worldview.

Session I: Scholarly Consensus in the Purview of Culture (Ijma' wa 'Urf)
Session II: Islam & Popular Culture (Entertainment & Art)
Session III: Q&A

Taught by Shaykh Abdullah bin Hamid Ali

At the age of 17, Abdullah bin Hamid Ali, begun a serious study of Islam and the Arabic language. A native of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania born to Muslim parents, he took advantage of many of the local scholars and teachers, including Dr. Khalid Blankinship, Hafiz Anwar Muhaimin, Ustadh Anas Muhaimin, their father―Imam Nafea Muhaimin, Imam Aberra―a native of Eritrea who studied Islam and Arabic in Egypt, and others.  Abdullah has served as resident scholar for Zaytuna Institute ( since 2007. Prior to moving to California from Philadelphia he served for five years as the fulltime Assistant Head Chaplain for the State Correctional Facility of Chester, Pennsylvania. In 2001, he became the first and only Westerner to attend and graduate from the University of al-Qarawiyyin’s Faculty of Shariah located in Fes, Morocco, having acquired a four-year collegiate license (al-ijazah al-‘ulya) to teach the Islamic sciences. Prior to studying under the tutelage of a number of Morocco’s prestigious scholars, he acquired fluency in the Arabic language having spent close to seven years in the US studying with some of America’s most influential academics and leaders in Philadelphia and surrounding cities. Before traveling to Morocco to pursue higher studies in Islam, he attended Temple University for two years majoring in Computer Science, while concurrently attending graduate level lectures on Islam with Dr. Khalid Blankinship. He has worked as an Islamic school teacher, a barber, a painter, and was as an active member of the hip hop generation being at one time a breakdancer and a rap artist who produced a single in 1986 and an LP in 1990 with a local Philadelphia group, Rock Hard Delegation. Abdullah has authored over 40 scholarly articles, authored and translated four published works: Muslim Funeral Guide (Lamppost Productions); Explanation of Murshid Al-Mu'een: Ibn Ashir Recited: Part 1 (Lamppost Productions); The Attributes of God (Amal Press); and A Return to Purity in Creed (Lamppost Productions).  His work can be found at:

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