Ustaadh Abdullah bin Hamid Ali – born on December 6, 1972 - began the study of Arabic and Islamic Studies around the age of 17. For the next 7 years or so he would continue his studies in the US under the instruction of a number of teachers in the Philadelphia area.
About 5 of those years of study were spent at the Quba Instituteof Arabic and Islamic Studies under the tutelage of ImamAnwar bin Nafea Muhaimin and his brother Anas bin Nafea Muhaimin focused primarily on the study of the Arabic language and Tajweed (Qur’anic Recitation).
Anwar Muhaimin is the director of the Quba Institute, andis believed to be the first American born Haafiz of Qur’an having completed the memorization of the Holy Book at the age of 15 in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. He is also a graduate of the University of Medina’s Faculty of Language. His brother Anas is the AssistantDirector of the institute who also spent his youth studying in the Kingdom having completed the elementary, junior high, and high school curricula of the Kingdom, in addition to a rigorous study of the Qur’an and Tajweed.
Ustaadh Abdullah excelled at his studies with the Muhaimin Brothers and was considered the prize study of the Institute.
He also had the opportunity to improve his listening skills by attending the Institute of Arabic and Islamic Sciences in America of Fairfax, Virginia during the summer months of the years 1995 and 1996 on weekends.
Also during this time, Ustaadh Abdullah had the good fortune of studying with Dr. Khalid Blankinship, Professor of History and Religion at Temple University. Abdullah attended his graduate lectures on Intro to Islam and the Fundamentals of Islamic Jurisprudence on the university campus. He also attended private sessions with Dr. Blankinship in his office wherein they studied some ancient Arabic texts such as portions of Ibn Ishaaq’s Seerah, and the Risaalah of Ibn Abee Zaid Al-Qairawaanee (Maalikee Fiqh).
As a result of the close relationship formed between the two, Abdullah was instructed by the Dr. to further his studies in the city of Fez, Morocco at the ancient Al-Qarawiyeen University,which rivals Al-Azhar University in being the oldest university in the Islamic world. So with the help of Dr. Blankinship, Abdullah became the first American to attend and graduate from the University of Al- Qarawiyeen’s Faculty of Shariah in the year 2001 when he completed a four-year degree.
Most of Abdullah’s studies were not spent in the ancient-traditional university. Rather, they were done in the modern-style Islamic university of Al-Qarawiyeen. But, since he refused to limit his self to the curriculum of the modern university – as was the case when he was in America, Abdullah made sure he would receive his share of the study of the traditional books of Islam with a few of the traditional `ulamaa of Morocco.