Student Bio

Dr Hisham A. Hellyer, a British scholar of mixed Arab and English heritages, read degrees in law and the social sciences at Sheffield University before completing his doctorate at the University of Warwick. Ustadh Dr Hisham studied the Islamic intellectual tradition, particularly spirituality, law and theology, with scholars in the UK, Egypt, Malaysia, & South Africa, receiving ijāzāt from a number of them, with instruction to teach. Appointed as a Senior Scholar of the Zawiya Institute in Cape Town, South Africa, he is a muqaddam (authorised delegate) in the tariqa of Sayyid Muhammad b. Alawi al-Maliki, as per the authorisation of Shaykh Seraj Hasan Hendricks al-Alawi and Shaykh Ahmad Hasan Hendricks al-Alawi.

As a scholar at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace (USA) and the Royal United Services Institute (UK), he is a prominent public intellectual in the West and the Arab world in politics, international affairs, and religion in the modern world. A visiting professor at the UTM Centre for Advanced Studies on Islam, Science and Civilisation in Malaysia, Dr Hellyer was also Senior Fellow in Islamic Studies of Cambridge Muslim College by Shaykh Abdal Hakim Murad (Dr T. J. Winter of Cambridge University).

Dr Hellyer was born to an English father who embraced Islam at the Azhar in Cairo, and to an Arab mother who is of the Prophetic family through Abbas bin Abdal Muttalib & Hasan bin Ali. Beginning in his teens, he began researching Islamic law, theology and spirituality, benefiting from the company and instruction of a number of scholars, including Shaykh Ibrahim al-Battawi, professor of speculative theology & philosophy at the Azhar University, Shaykh Seraj Hasan Hendricks and Shaykh Ahmad Hasan Hendricks, the successors of the scholar and ‘alim of the Hijaz, al-Sayyid Muhammad bin ‘Alawi al-Maliki, and Professor Sayyid Muhammad Naquib al-Attas of Malaysia, the illustrious Islamic philosopher of the 20th and 21st centuries.

Well-known as an analyst and commentator focusing on politics and religion in the Arab world and Muslim communities globally in international media outlets, Dr Hellyer’s career has included positions at and affiliations with the Royal United Services Institute, the Brookings Institution, the Atlantic Council, Harvard University, and the American University in Cairo. His books include “Muslims of Europe: the ‘Other’ Europeans” (Edinburgh University Press), “A Sublime Way: the Sufi Path of the Sages of Makka” (Fons Vitae & Dar al-Turath al-Islami) (co-author), “A Revolution Undone: Egypt’s Road Beyond Revolt” (Oxford University Press), and “The Islamic Tradition, Muslim Communities and the Human Rights Discourse” (editor)(Atlantic Council).