In this episode, I caught up with Hamza Dudgeon from the YouTube channels "Hamza the Historian" and "Hamza the Linguist". Hamza is a Muslim convert from Minnesota who I met while he was doing his graduate studies at the University of Chicago. In this almost 3 hour long episode, we talked about powerlifting, his upbringing in Minnesota, his conversion to Islam, approaches to understanding various world views and the aftermath of the George Floyd murder.(We recorded this episode during the trial but it's being released after the conviction of Derek Chauvin)

His full bio is available below.

Hamza Dudgeon is an academician in Religious Studies and Islamic History. He holds an M.A. in Religious Studies from the University of Chicago and is currently a doctoral student at the Islamic University of Minnesota.

He has experience teaching at the university level, in public schools, and in a seminary setting. Hamza has taught Somali refugees, graduate students, undergrads, and visiting professors, as well as children of all ages and people of various ethnic backgrounds.

Besides teaching, Hamza is also passionately committed to his research. At the University of Chicago, he specialized in Islamic ritual (fiqh). Hamza's doctoral dissertation is on nascent Islamic legal epistemology (Uṣūl al-Fiqh) before al-Shāfiʿī (d. 820). Most in the field claim that a 9th century figure, al-Shāfiʿī is the first to advocate an Islamic legio-ritual theory known as Uṣūl al-Fiqh. However, al-Shāfiʿī’s teacher, Muḥammad b. al-Ḥasan al-Shaybānī (d. 805), promulgated a legio-ritual theory in his Kitāb al-Aṣl, which is largely untouched and unknown by Western Academics. Even before that, legal analogy (qiyas) and jurisprudential discretion (istiḥsān) is seen in the thought of al-Awzāʿī (d. 774).

Hamza Dudgeon has also written on Sufism’s esoteric allegories of Islamic ritual, how Chicago muftis use modern science to produce fatwas on transgenderism, Islamic ritual footwear, and Isma’ili Shi’ite legio-ritual theory. Hamza's paper on Islamic ritual footwear, “The Khuffayn in Muslim Ritual Thought,” was presented at the Middle Eastern Studies Association’s annual conference held in San Antonio, TX Nov, 2018. He has also published in JMIAS twice “The Counter-Current Movements of Andalusia and Ibn ʿArabī: Should Ibn ʿArabī be considered a Ẓāhirī?” and “The Revival of Sharia's Allegories: al-Ghazzālī and al-Ḥakīm al-Tirmidhī.” Hamza has an article on the entire history of the Hanafi school of Islamic jurisprudence, which is forthcoming in Routledge’s Handbook of Islamic Ritual & Practice.