Shaykh Ahmad Hendricks, an eminent figure in the Islamic landscape of Cape Town, has woven a path of profound spiritual and scholarly influence throughout his life.
His educational lineage, traced back through generations of esteemed scholars, and his own relentless pursuit of Islamic knowledge have shaped him into a respected leader in the community. From his intense ten-year specialisation in Islamic Law at Umm al-Qura University in Saudi Arabia to his immersive learning under his late uncles, his education epitomises dedication and deep reverence for Islamic teachings.
Now, as the current resident Shaykh of the Zawiya mosque, he continues to illuminate the path for others, teaching classical texts and guiding the spiritual journey of many. His work, both published and taught, resonates with the essence of Islamic unity and righteousness, a testament to his legacy.
Shaykh Ahmad Hendricks spent ten years specializing in Islamic Law ( fiqh and usul al-fiqh) at the Umm al-Qura University in Saudi Arabia. He also spent many years studying at the feet of his late uncles; Shaykh Mahdi, Shaykh Ebrahim and Shaykh Mujahid Hendricks. He is the current resident Shaykh oif the Zawiya mosque in Cape Town.
Educational Lineage and Studies
The Shaykh was schooled by his uncles for most of his life before departing Makka, including Shaykh Mujahid Hendricks, who sat at the feet of the great Shaykh Amin Kutbi who narrated from Shaykh ‘Umar Hamdan. Shaykh Ahmad’s other uncles, Shaykhs Mahdi and Embrahim Hendricks, narrated and received ijazat from the likes of Sayyid ‘Abbas al-Maliki, Shaykh Bakr al-Bar, Shaykh Bakr Babsay and Shaykh ‘Umar Ba Junayd. Shaykh Mahdi and Shaykh Ebrahim received specific ijaza in the thabat of Shaykh al_amir al_kabir from Sayyid ‘Abbas al-Maliki, being one of the authorities in transmitting the Shafi’i fiqh works of Imam al-Shirbini (May Allah be please with them). Shaykh Ahmad was therefore the recipient of a wealth of knowledge, even before departing to Makka.
The lineage of Shaykh’s educational journey can be traced back to his uncle who was tutored and nurtured by their father, Shaykh Muhammad Salih Hendricks. Shaykh Salih was a scholar who had the privilege to study under the esteemed Shaykhs ‘Umar Ba Junayd (d. 1334/1916) and Sayyid Husayn al-Hibshi (1281/1865), may Allah be pleased with them. Both scholars were direct disciples of the notable Sayyid ‘Ahmad Dahlan.
When Shaykh Ahmad received the news that he had been accepted to study at the Umm al-Qura University, Shaykh Ahmad was already reading for a degree in Philosophy, History and Arabic at the University of South Africa (UNISA) but saw fit to cease his studies at the end of the second year so that he might travel immediately to Makka.
Furthermore, beyond his formal studies at Umm al-Qura University, Shaykh Ahmad Hendricks spent about a decade under the tutelage of some of the preeminent scholars of his era. Notably among these scholars was Sayyid Muhammad ‘Alawi al-Maliki, who granted both Shaykh Ahmad Hendricks and his brother, Shaykh Seraj Hendricks, a full ijaza – a traditional Islamic academic degree – in the religious sciences. He also received ijazat, or authorizations to transmit certain knowledge, from both the esteemed late Sayyid ‘Ahmad Mashhur al-Haddad and Sayyid ‘Abd al-Qadir b. Ahmad al-Saqqaf.
Scholarly Contributions and Publications
Shaykh is recognized for his significant contribution, ‘The Book of Oneness of Allah’ (Kitab al-Tawhid), an esteemed guide laying out the fundamentals of ‘aqida (Islamic creed) for the Ahl al-Sunna wa-l-Jama’a, following the school of thought of Imam Abu al-Hasan Ash’ari.
Shaykh Ahmad has enriched the field of Islamic literature with several publications, including ‘Tafakkur, Sainthood and Nearness to Allah, Shari’a, Tariqa and Haqiqa’, among numerous other enlightening articles
Shaykh Ahmad’s Lectures and Classes
Shaykh Ahmad lectures every Monday evening at the Zawiya mosque in Cape Town, and has taught many classical texts including ‘The Revival of the Religious Sciences’ (Ihya Ulum al-Din) and ‘The Beginning of Guidance’ (Bidayat al Hidaya) of Imam al-Ghazali. The Jewel of Divine Unity (Jawhara al-Tawhid) of Imam Laqqani, ‘The Gardens of the Righteous’ (Riyad al-Salihin) of Imam al-Nawawi (d. 676/1277) and the Shafi’i fiqh manual of Abu Shuja (d. 488/1095)