Abdullah al Andalusi is an international speaker, thinker and intellectual activist for Islam and Muslim affairs. He is an Instructor and Head of the Department of Occidentology at The Quran Institute (TQI), and co-founder of the discussion forum, The Muslim Debate Initiative (MDI).
His work involves explaining and demonstrating, by rational argument, the intellectual proofs for the Islamic belief system, and promoting the Islamic way of life and Islamic solutions for contemporary problems. On a personal note, Abdullah takes Islamic opinions from the classical Sunni schools of thought (Ahl ul Sunnah wa Jama’ah).
Abdullah is of Portuguese* and French/Colonial north African descent, and was formerly a Christian until he embraced Islam at 14 after a period of study that started when he was 10 years old. He has continued to study Islam in depth ever since. Abdullah has had a long experience of working in the Muslim community, and his activities involve researching, writing and talking extensively on Islamic revivalism (nahda), theology, philosophy, the physical sciences, sociology, psychology, anthropology and political philosophy. Abdullah has delivered talks internationally on the question of the purpose of life, the existence of God, the Miracle of Quran, the superiority of the Shariah as a social and political system, and Islamic Economics. Furthermore, Abdullah has given extensive talks and written articles rationally critiquing Secularism, Liberalism, Secular Democracy and Materialism (Atheism & Secular Humanism).
He has spoken in community centres, universities, colleges and numerous appearances on various programmes on TV and Radio channels including the BBC, ITV, BBC Arabic, BBC Radio 4, Al Jazeera, Press TV, Islam Channel, Russia Today and IQRA TV. He also has engaged in a number of debates, with Atheists, Secularists, Agnostics, Liberals and Christians on a variety of topics from theology to political philosophy.
In 2009, he co-founded the public discussion forum: The Muslim Debate Initiative, a forum that promotes open dialogue and critical debate between thinkers, academics, politicians and public speakers of all backgrounds.
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*Portugal is part of the iberian peninsula that includes Spain. According to Muslim tradition, a revert/convert to Islam may choose to take on a name of Islamic significance upon becoming a Muslim (similar to the Christian tradition of using Hebrew-based ‘Christian names’ like ‘John’, ‘Matthew’ etc), hence he took the name ‘Abdullah’. It is also traditional for many Muslim names to contain the geographical origin of the individual appended to it in a byname (This is called ‘nisba’ in Arabic). Many reverts/converts from either of the Iberian countries, tend to take on the Arabic name for the Iberian peninsula itself: ‘Al Andalus‘ which becomes the byname ‘Al Andalusi’ (translated in english ‘The Iberian’).
This should not be confused with the current southern Spanish province ‘Andalusia’, formerly the Amirate of Grenada. Since it was the last part of Muslim Iberia to fall to invading Spanish-Christian kingdoms, the Catholic conquerors used the spanisized version of the Arabic name for the Iberian peninsula (Al Andalus) to name its newly conquered province.