Indigenising Islam as a Minority

The Case of Shaykh Seraj Hendricks











24th October – 17:30 BST (London time)

The Centre for Islamic Studies at the University of Cambridge, in coordination with the Woolf Institute, invites you to an evening in the company of Naz Shah MP, Dr Hisham A. Hellyer, Dr Timothy Winter, Dr Asim Yusuf, and Ms Arzoo Ahmed, for a panel discussion on the case of the late Shaykh Seraj Hendricks and his role and impact as a Muslim minority leader in Cape Town, South Africa, as an example of the indigenisation of Muslim religious authority as a minority, deeply impacted by Western traditions. Dr Hellyer will also share insights on his recently published book “Shaykh Seraj Hendricks: A Luminous Lamp in the Shade of Table Mountain“, a contemporary Sufi shaykh and Islamic scholar who was one of the main reference points for the Muslim community of the Cape in South Africa, who drew from his own Western education and his training at the hands of sages and savants in Makka.


Venue: Room 8&9, Faculty of Asian and Middle Eastern Studies, Sidgwick Avenue, Cambridge, CB3 9DA or via Zoom

Note that copies of the book will be available for purchase after the talk


Naz Shah is the Member for Parliament for Bradford West and Labour’s Shadow Minister for Crime Prevention; first elected in 2015 and retained her position in both the 2017 and 2019 General Elections, her past roles were as Shadow Minister for Community Cohesion and Shadow Women and Equalities Minister under the previous Labour leadership. She is also the vice-Chair of the All-Party Parliamentary Group on British Muslims



Dr Hisham A. Hellyer is a visiting fellow at Cambridge University’s Centre for Islamic Studies & scholar at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace. A senior associate at the Royal United Services Institute (UK), he has held posts at Harvard (USA), the American University (Egypt), and the University of Technology (Malaysia). The author of 7 books, including “Muslims of Europe: the ‘Other’ Europeans”, his expertise, ranging from international politics to belief, features regularly in the international press. Elected in 2020 as Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts, he was appointed senior scholar of Azzawia Institute by Shaykh Seraj Hendricks.



Dr Timothy J. Winter is currently the Shaykh Zayed Lecturer of Islamic Studies in the Faculty of Divinity at Cambridge University and Director of Studies in Theology at Wolfson College. Educated at Cambridge, Al-Azhar and London universities, he is also the founder and dean of Cambridge Muslim College. He has published and contributed to numerous academic works on Islam, including as Director of the Sunna Project, and is a leading figure in inter-faith activity, notably as one of the signatories to the Common Word statement. He is well-known as a contributor to BBC Radio 4’s ‘Thought for the Day’. A prolific writer, Dr Winter is the author of several books, including ‘Traveling Home: Essays on Islam in Europe”.



Dr Asim Yusuf was a founding trustee and first chair of the British Board of Scholars and Imams. A consultant psychiatrist and clinical director working for the U.K. National Health Service and a member of the Royal College of Psychiatrists, Dr Asim has a special interest in spirituality and mental health and is internationally recognized as a leading authority on the topic of Islamic spirituality and mental health. The founder of the Islamic Ethics and Global Citizenship Initiative, he was made OBE in 2022, for services to the Muslim community.



Ms Arzoo Ahmed is Head of Ethics at Our Future Health, the UK’s largest ever health research programme. Over the last year, she was Ethics Lead for the Newborn Genomes Programme at Genomics England, and prior to this she was a researcher at the Nuffield Council on Bioethics. She is a Research Associate on the Qatar National Research Funded project: Genomics, Islamic Ethics, and Public Engagement. Between 2016-2019, Ahmed was Director at the Centre for Islam and Medicine and a Research Associate at the Office for Public Management. Ahmed is completing an MA in philosophy at King’s College London, holds a BA in Physics and an MPhil in Medieval Arabic Thought from the University of Oxford, and an ‘Alimiyyah certification from Al-Salam Institute.