Prof. Joel Hayward's Books and Articles

Professor Joel Hayward, ZDaF, BA, MA Hons, PhD, FRSA, FRHistS

This small personal website exists merely to encourage an interest in international relations, politics, security, defense and current conflicts — and the Western and Islamic ethics at play within these fields — as well as to offer source-based arguments about them for readers' appraisal in the hope of contributing to healthy and respectful discourse.

Visit Prof Hayward's microsite on The Leadership of Muhammad at:

Visit Prof Hayward's microsite on The Warrior Prophet: Muhammad and War at:

Visit Prof Hayward's Researchgate page to read his books and articles at:

Visit Prof Hayward ORCID page

Professor Joel Hayward ZDaF, BA, MA Hons, PhD, FRSA, FRHistS

Professor Joel Hayward ZDaF, BA, MA Hons, PhD, FRSA, FRHistS

(This is a copyright free image. The author Joel Hayward has placed this image in the public domain.)

Professor Joel Hayward ( is a New Zealand-born British scholar, writer and poet. The National newspaper called Hayward “eminent” and a “distinguished historian of warfare and military strategy”  Kirkus Reviews said that Hayward "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 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.”

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.

Since 2021, he has been Professor of Strategic Thought at the Rabdan Academy in Abu Dhabi. For five years before that he was Professor of Strategic Thought at the National Defense College (NDC) of the United Arab Emirates, located in Abu Dhabi. From 2012 to 2016 he held two academic leadership positions within Khalifa University, also in Abu Dhabi. He was both the Director of the Institute of International and Civil Security and the Chair of the multidisciplinary Department of Humanities and Social Sciences. He joined Khalifa University as a full Professor of International and Civil Security in 2012, after having enjoyed a Fellowship at the Cambridge Muslim College. On 5 October 2016 he was named as the Best Professor of Humanities and Social Sciences at the 2016 Middle East Education Leadership Awards. In 2021, his book The Leadership of Muhammad was awarded the prestigious prize of Best International Non-Fiction Book at the 2021 Sharjah International Book Awards.

His career highlights include having been the Dean of the prestigious and historical Royal Air Force College for five years (2007-2011), Director of the Royal Air Force Centre for Air Power Studies for four years (2008-2012), Head of King's College London's Air Power Studies Division for six years (2005-2011), as well as Program Coordinator, Centre for Defense Studies, and Senior Lecturer in Defense and Strategic Studies, Massey University (both in New Zealand). He has also been the lead air power academic for King’s College London’s MA degree, Air Power in the Modern World, which was the UK’s first specialist degree programme in air power studies. He is also honoured to be Professor of Strategy (Adjunct) at the Indonesian Defense University in Jakarta.

A former competitive amateur boxer and weightlifter, with a first degree in Classical Studies, 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 Russian and German archives.

He is the author or editor of seventeen positively reviewed books and monographs and of dozens of peer-reviewed articles and book chapters. He rates Air Power, Ethics, and Civilian Immunity during the First World War and its Aftermath, (2010) Air Power and the Environment: The Ecological Implications of Modern Air Warfare (2009),and Hitler's Quest for Oil: The Impact of Economic Considerations on Military Strategy, 1941-42 (1995) as three of his best articles. Some of his works have been translated into Arabic, Bosnian, Chinese, German, Polish, Portuguese, Serbian and Spanish.

New from Claritas Books: The Leadership of Muhammad: A Historical Reconstruction

“insightful and intellectual”

Kirkus Reviews said that Hayward, who is "undeniably one of academia’s most visible Islamic thinkers," had produced "a learned history of Islam and Muhammad that succeeds in its goal of providing contemporary and future managers with valuable insights from his life on successful leadership strategies". Kirkus praised the book’s "full command of Islamic theology and the Arabic language as well as its rich endnotes," and concluded that it "eschews academic and religious jargon for an accessible narrative geared toward the general public, both Muslim and non-Muslim."

From LoveReading:

The Leadership of Muhammad is “insightful and intellectual”. Looking “not only at the theological texts, Hayward references early Arabic sources to examine the ways that Muhammad excelled during his twenty-three years as a leader.” The book is “authoritative and informative” and the writing is “clear and accessible throughout, making it easy to comprehend for non-academic purposes … Whether you’re looking for a book of History, Islamic studies, or an interesting look into great leadership, The Leadership of Muhammad: A Historical Reconstruction has plenty to offer.”

— “Indie Books We Love”, LoveReading, 12 October 2021

The San Francisco Review of Books called The Leadership of Muhammad “ground breaking,” with reviewer Foluso Falaye describing it as “a great source of knowledge about Muhammad and the beginning of Islam.” He wrote that its “critical approach will appeal to academic minds, although the language is simple and direct enough to carry all readers along.” He added that, “in addition to being historically informative, it offers valuable lessons about leadership that could help world leaders, decision makers, teachers, and people from all walks of life to communicate and lead better.”

For Reading Addicts:

"Hayward approaches the life of Muhammad with remarkable scholarly detachment and objectivity. He had previously published books on non-Islamic leaders, including Horatio Lord Nelson, and his approach to all of them is the same. Avoiding hagiography, he creates a psychologically believable portrait of Muhammad by critically interrogating the earliest sources and by explaining Muhammad’s ideas, actions and patterns of behavior in terms of the historical, geographical and cultural context in which he lived. … Hayward’s book is compactly written and argued. In only 179 tightly written pages he creates a thorough and detailed explanation of what Muhammad thought and did as a leader. He studiously avoids psychobabble and recourse to the types of modern leadership concepts and jargon that ruin so many historical accounts by making anachronistic assertions that couldn’t possibly be true. … I strongly recommend The Leadership of Muhammad. It is a ground-breaking, meticulously researched, objective account of the leadership of one of history’s most influential humans. Hayward tells us a lot in a few words, but what he reveals is highly illuminating and of wide interest.

—  Mohamed A. Amer, For Reading Addicts

In January 2012, the Royal Islamic Strategic Studies Centre (RISSC) in Amman, Jordan, published his concise monograph, Warfare in the Qur'an.

His most recent academic books include the edited work, Air Power and the Environment: the Ecological Implications of Modern Air Warfare, published in 2013.
In 2017, the RISSC published his monograph, War is Deceit.

In 2018, the RISSC published his monograph, Civilian Immunity in Foundational Islamic Strategic Thought: A Historical Enquiry.

His forthcoming book, The Warrior Prophet: Muhammad and War, is based on a careful analysis of the earliest Arabic sources.

Prof Hayward has lectured widely throughout Europe, Asia and beyond on various defense, security, ethics and religious topics and is a Professor of Strategy (Adjunct) at the Indonesian Defense University. He has given strategic advice to national political and military leaders in several countries, has given policy advice to prominent shaykhs, and has tutored His Royal Highness Prince William of Wales (future king of England).

Professor Joel Hayward with Her Majesty the Queen

Professor Joel Hayward and the Secretary General of the Indonesia Ministry of Defense (Jakarta 2010)

In October 2010 Professor Hayward spoke (twice) at the Global Peace & Unity (GPU) conference on the topic: "War & Ethics: The Compatibility of 'Western' and Islamic Thought". He especially enjoyed speaking alongside General Sir David Richards, Chief of the Defence Staff, at the Eid Celebration of the Armed Forces Muslim Association on 17 December 2010.

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 March 2014, Prof Hayward received ijazas in 'Aqidah and Sirah.

Unusually for a social scientist, Prof Hayward is also very active in the literary arts. He has published much poetry and fiction, including three  books of short stories and four collections of poetry. His latest works are an Arabic translation of his 2003 collection of short stories, and an entirely new collection, titled The Savage and other Islamic Short Stories. This has also appeared in an Arabic translation.

All Hayward's literary work has garnered strong reviews. His poems have appeared in many literary and community magazines and journals, including Damazine, Al-Mu'min, SpinFreshThe InvitationSouthern Ocean ReviewChaffNineteen-O-SplashThe Mozzie and Valley Micropress

Following on from Lifeblood: A Book of Poems (2003), his second major poetry collection, Splitting the Moon: A Collection of Islamic Poetry, was published by Kube Publishers in 2012. His third collection, Poems from the Straight Path: A Book of Islamic Verse, published by White Cloud Press, appeared in 2017.

"Hayward’s journey of exploration, transformation and illumination forms the beating heart of this moving collection of poetry [which is] a timely and important work that reveals the struggle and profound insights of someone bridging cultures and faith traditions." 

— Passion Islam, November 2017.

His fourth collection, Pain and Passing: Islamic Poems of Grief and Healing, which deals with the tragic death of his wife Kathy, appeared in early 2018.

A representative review of his poetry:

 "[Joel Hayward] is a very skilful and gifted poet whose way with words is impressive. His poems are easy to understand, highly pertinent and equally spiritually profound, that is to say, this collection of poems are much more than poetry; they also provide a powerful commentary on the social, political, moral and religious challenges and difficulties currently facing Muslims and non-Muslims alike. The fact that he is able to do this in an elegant, evocative and inspiring way is an added bonus. ... The poem titled The Voyage of a Scholar … is a beautiful example of how the poet is able to blend the personal, emotional, spiritual and existential dimensions of human experience, and do so without in any way over-playing or undermining any aspect. This is a very rare skill for a poet to possess. ... This is one of the best collections of Islamic poems I have read for some time; a must read for both Muslims and non-Muslims.”

— Muhammad Khan
The Muslim News, Issue 276
Friday 27 April 2012