Born in South Africa of Muslim parents, Raficq Abdulla is an Oxford-educated barrister, as well as a writer, public speaker, and broadcaster.
He was formerly the University Secretary and legal adviser to Kingston University, where he presently serves as Visiting Fellow.
His publications include Words of Paradise, a new collection of interpretations of the poetry of Jalaluddin Rumi (1207-1273), and a fresh interpretation of Conference of the Birds, the allegorical poem by the medieval poet and mystic, Farid al-Din Attar (1142-1220). He has been a regular reviewer of books on Islam for many years and has published articles on issues concerning identity, Islamophobia, and the aftermath of the Salman Rushdie affair. He has also written on John Ruskin.
Over the past 15 years, Raficq Abdulla has written and presented a large number of programmes on Islam for BBC World Service radio, including The Four Caliphs, Rumi, The Conference of the Birds, and a series on the life of The Prophet Muhammad. He has written screenplays for Channel 4, including the award-winning films Blood of Hussein, and Born of Fire.
Most recently, he has been invited to speak on Rumi and the 20th century German poet, Rilke, across the UK, while also performing his own poetry and interpretations of Rumi and Attar at various festivals.
As a public speaker, Raficq has addressed a wide variety of national and international audiences in the UK, Canada, the USA, Spain and Dubai on issues concerning Islam, Muslims, Art, Identity, Poetry and Spirituality. He has also lectured on Islamic law to postgraduate students at the LSE, and on spirituality to the undergraduate programme at Syracuse University in London. He has advised Chatham House (a UK think tank) on multiculturalism and foreign policy.
He is a trustee of the Poetry Society, Planet Poetry and of PEN.
In 1999, Raficq Abdulla was awarded an MBE for his interfaith work among Muslims, Jews, and Christians.