Announcement of Appointment as Azzawia Senior Scholar
☪️☪️27 Ramadan 1441/ 21 May 2020 ☪️☪️
Dear Shaykh Dr Hisham A. Hellyer,
A century ago this year, Azzawia Institute was founded by our grandfather, Shaykh Muhammad Salih Hendricks, may God’s mercy be upon him. He was one of the first South African shaykhs of the Tariqa Ulama Makka, a tradition that has continued with Azzawia shaykhs, going through our uncles, Shaykh Mahdi Hendricks, Shaykh Ebrahim Hendricks and Shaykh Mujahid Hendricks, until the present day with the shaykhs of Azzawia. That tradition has established a continuous and consistent relations with the Maliki family of Makka, and their Idrisi, Shadhuli, Alawi lineage, which we uphold.
In this year of the centenary of Azzawia’s establishment, we are marking some wonderful milestones. We had planned on you being with us in Cape Town in April of this year, 2020, with the noble Shaykh, al-Sharif Muhammad al-Jilani; and again in August, with other ‘ulama and mashaykh for an event relating to the centenary. But, indeed:
وَأُفَوِّضُ أَمْرِي إِلَى اللَّهِ ۚ إِنَّ اللَّهَ بَصِيرٌ بِالْعِبَادِ
“And I entrust my affair to Allah. Indeed, Allah is Seeing of [His] servants.”
As God kept us apart on these occasions, it was He who brought us together more than a decade ago, when you first came to Azzawia, and began your relationship with this institution. As God has ensured that you are not present with us in Cape Town during this time, it is also He that warranted that our hearts will not be separated.
This letter, which we are pleased to confirm publicly during the last nights and days of Ramadan 1441/May 2020, is thus meant to confirm our continued trust in you, and to officially announce a decision that was made some time ago.
As we continue renewing our commitments to the community via our online spaces more than ever, I am delighted, on behalf of Azzawia Institute, and in my capacity as Resident Shaykh of Azzawia, to formally pronounce that you have been appointed as the first ‘Senior Scholar’ in Azzawia’s century-long institutional existence, with no specified end-date. This was technically decided some time ago, but we take this Ramadan opportunity to declare it.
This should come as no great surprise to anyone. Years ago, we declared you as authorised (mujaz) in the line of our tariqa, with a full and complete licence (ijaza) indicating as such, just as we announced in Azzawia on more than one occasion, including during the Friday prayer speech. This was and remains a weighty responsibility, but one that we at Azzawia are content and satisfied you have fulfilled; and we beseech Allah for success and tawfīq.
We pray that you, Shaykh Dr Hisham, fulfill this additional trust (amana) of being connected to this historic institution; and we ask that God grants you aid and support.