Professor Joel Hayward (األستاذ جويل هيوارد), ZDaF, BA, MA Hons, PhD, FRSA, FRHistS, is a New Zealand-born British scholar and author who currently serves as Professor of Strategic Thought at the Rabdan Academy in the United Arab Emirates. The daily newspaper Al Khaleej called him “a world authority on international conflict and strategy”. Kirkus Reviews said that he “is undeniably one of academia’s most visible Islamic thinkers”. He is considered to be one of “the world’s five hundred most influential Muslims,” with his listing in the 2023 edition of The Muslim 500 noting that “he weaves together classical Islamic knowledge and methodologies and the source-critical Western historical method to make innovative yet carefully reasoned sense of complex historical issues that are still important in today’s world.”
Hayward has earned ijazāt (teaching authorizations) in several Islamic sciences. ʿAqīdah (Islamic theology) and Sīrah (the Prophet’s biography) are his main interests. He has held various academic leadership posts, including Director of the Institute for International and Civil Security at Khalifa University (UAE), Chair of the Department of Humanities and Social Sciences (also at Khalifa University), Head of Air Power Studies at King’s College London, and Dean of the Royal Air Force College (both UK).
He is the author or editor of seventeen books and major monographs and dozens of peer-reviewed articles, mainly in the fields of strategic studies, military history, the Islamic ethics of war and conflict, and Islamic and western history. His best-selling books include a major analysis of German airpower during the Stalingrad campaign and a thematic investigation of Horatio Lord Nelson and his way of war. His recent books include Warfare in the Qurʾan (2012), War is Deceit: An Analysis of a Contentious Hadith on the Morality of Military Deception (2017), Civilian Immunity in Foundational Islamic Strategic Thought: A Historical Enquiry (2019), and The Leadership of Muhammad: A Historical Reconstruction. The latter won the prestigious prize of “Best International Non-Fiction Book” at the 2021 Sharjah International Book Awards. His newest book is The Warrior Prophet: Muhammad and War (2022).
Professor Hayward has given strategic advice to political and military leaders in several countries, has given policy advice to prominent sheikhs, and was tutor to His Royal Highness Prince William, Prince of Wales. In 2011 he was elected as a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts and in 2012 he was elected as a Fellow of the Royal Historical Society. In 2016 he was named as the “Best Professor of Humanities and Social Sciences” at the Middle East Education Leadership Awards. Professor Hayward is also active in the literary arts and has published three books of fiction and four collections of Islamic poetry.
A former competitive amateur boxer and weightlifter, with a first degree in Classical Studies and an MA Hons and PhD in History, Prof Hayward is especially interested in international politics, Just War and the ethics of modern conflict. He also researches and lectures on the Islamic laws and ethics of security. He is interested in both the influence of conflict on Islam and the influence of Islam on conflict.
He is fascinated by comparative religious studies and the impact of religion on politics, and reads the scriptures of the Abrahamic faiths in their original languages (Hebrew, Greek and Arabic). Also able to read Latin and speak or read several modern languages, he has undertaken extensive primary research in Arabic, German and Russian archives.
He was very honored to be featured in a five-page story on his scholarship in the October 2022 issue of the Thelitcham Monthly, an academic-orientated magazine published in Malappuram, Kerala, India in the South Indian Malayalam language. In December 2022, the World Muslim League's Al-Rabita magazine also devoted six pages to a feature article on his life and scholarship.
He is currently writing a book on the diplomacy of the Prophet Muhammad and a book for Muslim children on how to understand the nature of knowledge, both sacred and scientific.
Academic books and major monographs in English and other European Languages:
Literary Books in English:
Books in progress:
Professor Joel Hayward (جويل هيوارد) is a New Zealand-born British Muslim scholar whose most recent book is The Warrior Prophet: Muhammad ﷺ and War