Shaykh Seraj Hendricks was a High School English teacher between 1980 and 1982 in Cape Town before leaving for Saudi Arabia in 1983 to study at the Umm al-Qura University in Makkah. He spent three years at the Arabic Language Institute studying Arabic and related subjects before being accepted for the BA (Hons) Islamic Law degree. He specialised in Fiqh and Usul al-Fiqh in the Faculty of Shariah and graduated in 1992.
Previous to this he spent a number of years studying at the feet of his illustrious uncle, the late Shaykh Mahdi Hendricks (d.1981) – erstwhile Life President of the Muslim Judicial Council and widely regarded as one of the foremost scholars of Islam in South Africa.
During his studies at Umm al-Qura University he was also a student of the late Sayyid Muhammad Alawi al-Maliki in Makkah for a period of eight years and from whom he obtained –along with his brother Shaykh Ahmad Hendricks – a full ijazah (licence) in the religious sciences and a number of tariqas – particularly the Ba Alawi tariqa. He also obtained ijazahs from both the late Sayyid Ahmad Mashur al-Haddad and Sayyid Abd al-Qadir b. Ahmad al-Saqqaf.
Habib ‘Umar bin Hafidh and Shaykh Seraj
Shaykh Seraj has also made a number of appearances on various local and international television and radio stations and has presented papers and talks at numerous conferences and public events. He has also written numerous articles for a number of magazines, newspapers, and journals.
His published works include a highly successful book on the hajj entitled “A Concise Companion to the Hajj” which is currently being rewritten and revised. His MA dissertation entitled “Tasawwuf (Sufism): Its Role and Impact on the Culture of Cape Islam” is due for publication shortly. He has also completed an annotated translation of Imam al-Ghazali’s Ayyuh al-Walad to be launched in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia in October 2009. Along with his brother, Shaykh Ahmad, he is also the designated khalifa of the late Sayyid Muhammad Alawi al-Maliki in South Africa.