Sayyid Ahmad al-Ruqaymi

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Salam

One of the hidden gems of traditional Islam in Makka is the teacher of our teachers, the Husayni Sayyid,  Allamah Ahmad al-Ruqaymi.  During his teaching career he was known for his mastery of a range of sciences and regularly taught works as diverse as Sharh Ibn Aqil in grammar, Tafsir Nasafi, logic, the books of hadith and complex calculations in inheritance law, not to mention the Shafi’i school.

He is the teacher of countless students who have travelled to Makka to study in its circles of traditional knowledge.  Shaykh Yahya Al-Mulla studied with him back in the 1970s when he was a student at Dar al-Ulum Makka, as did Shaykh Khalid Turkestani, who read a number of works with him privately and provided me with the information presented below.

It is unfortunate that elderly scholarly gems such as Sayyid Ahmad are virtually unknown in traditional circles in the West, despite their producing generations of scholars and dedicating their lives to teaching.  How many a student has visited Makka a number of times and had no idea that scholars of his calibre were actively teaching?

Alhumdulillah I was fortunate enough to visit the Sayyid a few months ago at an appointment he gave me despite his Ill health, when I entered his run down flat I was taken to his room where he was lying down with the Tafsir of Imam al Baydawi resting on his chest so it would face him so he could read it.  He was kind enough to narrate the hadith of mercy to me and had to be pulled up to an upright position to allow him to sit up.  May Allah Most High protect him and give him a long life filled with worship.

Sayyid Ahmad al-Ruqaymi

He is the most learned scholar, hadith specialist and jurist:  Sayyid Ahmad bin Abdullah bin Abd al-Aziz al-Ruqaymi al-Husayni al-Shafi’i previously of Yemen and now of Makkah.

Birth & Upbringing

He was born in 1350 Hijri in Yemen in the area lower Wassab, which is east to the city of Zabid.  He was raised by his parents and his religious ubringing was undertaken by his father Sayyid Abdullah, with whom he studied the Quran with.  Thereafter he studied the foundational sciences of Islamic law, grammar and other subjects with his uncle Sayyid Muhammad Abd al-Aziz al-Ruqaymi (d.1367).  After his passing away he kept the company of his cousins Sayyid Khalid bin Abd al-Baqi and his brother Sayyid Ahmad, with whom he studied.

Arrival in Makkah

In the year 1384 Hijri he travelled to Makkah to perform the obligatory Hajj, bidding farewell to his family and heading towards Makkah intending to fulfill his obligation and take up residence.

His Teachers

During his residence he attended the circles and lessons of Sayyid Alawi bin Abbas al-Maliki.  He studied a number of sciences with him, amongst them being:  Ibn Aqil in grammar and parts of Sahih Muslim and other works in hadith.  After the passing away of Sayyid Alawi he attended the circle of his son Sayyid Muhammad Alawi al-Maliki (Allah Most High have mercy on him).

Likewise he kept the company of Shaykh Hasan al-Mashat with whom he read parts of the Sahih of Imam Muslim, the Tafsir al-Jalalayn, Qatr al-Nada and other works in a number of sciences.

He studied Islamic law and fiqh with Abdullah al-Lahji

He kept the company of Sayyid Muhammad Amin Kutbi and read a large number of works with him, such as Qatr al-Nada, Al-Mughni of Ibn Hisham and Ibn Aqil in grammar; Jawhar al-Maknun in Balagha; Taftazani and Sharh al-Izzi in Sarf; Sirah al-Nabawiyyah of Halabi and Suhayli; Jalalayn and other books.

He studied with Sayyid Muhammad al-Arabi al-Tubbani in the Haram al-Makki al-Sharif as well in his home.

He studied fiqh with Shaykh Ibrahim Fatani, with whom he read many works of the Shafi school such as: Al-Tahrir; Mughni Sharh al-Minhaj; Sharh al-Adhkar of Ibn Allan.  Likewise in Balagha the work Hawashi al-Naqiyyah and other books…

He did not miss out on taking from Shaykh Muhammad Nur Sayf Hilal, as he read many books in different subjects with him in the Masjid al-Haram and in his home.

He studied Islamic and Inheritance law with Sayyid Salim al-Attas.

He read Islamic law, hadith and grammar with Shaykh Abdullah Dardum

He read the work Lub al-Usul with Shaykh Muhammad Iwad (d.1412)

He read the work Lub al-Usul and Jam’ al-Jawami’ with Shaykh Ismail al-Zayn

He read the Sahih of Imam al-Bukhari; hadith science, tafsir and Al-Ashmuni in grammar with Shaykh Khayr Muhammad Hijazi

He also studied fiqh with Sayyid Umar al-Yafi’i

His Permission to Teach
He was given permission by his Shuyukh to teach, he also told me [Khalid Turkestani],

“I opened a small grocery store in which I used to work, Shaykh Muhammad al-Arabi al-Tubbani passed by and [on seeing me] said:  This is not your place, your place is teaching.  After some time Sayyid Muhammad Amin Kutbi also passed by and [on seeing me] said:  Your place is teaching and instruction.  Thereafter I left the grocery shop and turned my attention to teaching, and all praise is due to Allah for this.”

Teaching Career
Sayyid Ahmad’s teaching career spans decades, with his being honoured with teaching in the Masjid al-Haram for a period of time.  In addition to this he also taught at Shaykh al-Fadani’s school Dar al-Ulum al-Diniyyah as well as the Sawlatiyyah from which he retired relatively recently in 1428H due to old age.  Despite his Ill health he still receives students who come to read with him in his home.

Hadith of Brotherhood

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Salam

We were honoured in the UK for this year’s Ramadan to host Shaykh Khalid Turkestani from Makkah, a student of Shaykh Muhammad Yasin al-Fadani and Sayyid Muhammad bin Alawi al-Maliki amongst others.  During his stay of 9 days we completed a reading of Imam Ibn Abi Jamrah’s abridgement of Bukhari as well as reading a number of musalsal hadith from the collection Ithaf al-Ikhwan.  A quick translation of the Musalsal hadith on brotherhood which was narrated at the Mukhtasar Bukhari Khatam on Sunday 4th August 2013 is presented below.  Alhumdulilah this is a rare musalsal narration not commonly found with scholars but transmitted by Shaykh al-Fadani to his students at special gatherings.

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Shaykh Khalid Turkestani said: I was informed by  Shaykh Muhammad Yasin al-Fadani who said to me, “You are my brother in this world and the next” and said:

I was informed by our brother in Allah, the Shaykh, the Allamah Abd al-Qadir bin Muhammad Salih ibn Abdullah al-Shaybi al-Makki who said to me, “You are my brother in this world and the next” and said:

I was informed by Mulla Ismail bin Muhammad Nawab al-Hindi al-Hanafi who said to me, “You are my brother in this world and the next” and said:

I was informed by Sharif Muhammad bin Nasir al-Hazimi al-Tihami al-Yamani who said to me, “You are my brother in this world and the next” and said:

I was informed by Qadi Muhammad bin Ali al-Shawkani who said to me, “You are my brother in this world and the next” and said:

I was informed by Abd al-Qadir al-Kawkabani al-Hasani who said to me, “You are my brother in this world and the next” and said:

I was informed by our Shaykh Muhammad Hayat al-Sindi who said to me, “You are my brother in this world and the next” and said:

I was informed by Salim bin Abdullah bin Salim bin Muhammad bin Isa al-Basri al-Makki who said to me, “You are my brother in this world and the next” and said:

I was informed by my father who said to me, “You are my brother in this world and the next” and said:

I was informed by Shams al-Din Muhammad bin Ala al-Din al-Babili al-Shafi’i who said to me, “You are my brother in this world and the next” and said:

I was informed by Salim bin Muhammad al-Sanhuri who said to me, “You are my brother in this world and the next” and said:

I was informed by Shams al-Din Muhammad Ibn Abd al-Rahman al-Alqama who said to me, “You are my brother in this world and the next” and said:

I was informed by Hafiz Jalal al-Din Abd al-Rahman bin Abi Bakr al-Suyuti who said to me, “You are my brother in this world and the next” and said:

I was informed by Abul Qasim bin Yusuf al-Tujibi who said to me, “You are my brother in this world and the next” and said:

I was informed by Musa Ibn Abdullah bin Asim by ijazah who said to me, “You are my brother in this world and the next” and said:

I was informed by Abu Ali Umar Ibn Abd al-Majid al-Randi who said to me, “You are my brother in this world and the next” and said:

I was informed by Abul Hasan Ali bin al-Kawthar who said to me, “You are my brother in this world and the next” and said:

I was informed by Abul Fath al-Karukhi who said to me, “You are my brother in this world and the next” and said:

I was informed by Mahmud Ibn al-Qasim al-Marwazi who said to me to me, “You are my brother in this world and the next” and said:

I was informed by Abd al-Jabbar who said to me to me, “You are my brother in this world and the next” and said:

It was narrated to me by Muhammad Ibn Ahmad bin Mahbub al-Tajir who said to me, “You are my brother in this world and the next” and said:

It was narrated to me by Muhammad bin Isa bin Sawrah who said to me, “You are my brother in this world and the next” and said:

It was narrated to me by Yusuf bin Musa al-Qattan al-Baghdadi who said to me, “You are my brother in this world and the next” and said:

It was narrated to me by Ali bin Qadim who said to me, “You are my brother in this world and the next” and said:

It was narrated to me by Ali bin Salih Khuyay who said to me, “You are my brother in this world and the next” and said:

It was narrated to me by Hakim bin Jubayr who said to me, “You are my brother in this world and the next” and said:

It was narrated to me by Jami’ bin Umayr al-Taymi who said to me, “You are my brother in this world and the next” and said:

On the authority of Ibn Umar (Allah be pleased with them both) who said: The Messenger of Allah (Allah bless him and give him peace) established ties of brotherhood between his companions.  Ali (Allah be pleased with him) came with tears in his eyes and said, “O Messenger of Allah, you have established the ties of brotherhood between your companions but not established this tie between me and anyone else”.  The Messenger of Allah (Allah bless him and give him peace) said: “You are my brother in this world and the next”.

Ibn Umar said:  Ali bin Abi Talib (Allah ennoble his countenance) said to me: “You are my brother in this world and the next”.

Jami’ Ibn Umayr al-Taymi in turn said: Ibn Umar said to me, “You are my brother in this world and the next.”

I [Shaykh al-Fadani] say:  This hadith is Hasan Gharib, containing a pattern chain of brotherhood where each of the narrators says “So and so narrated to me and said to me: You are my brother in this world and the next,”  Some of the people of knowledge have questioned the authenticity of this pattern as al-Tirmidhi narrated it in his Jami’ with this chain without the pattern.  However this does not necessitate Tirmidhi not narrating it with the pattern chain as on some occasions he may have done so along with it being one chain of transmission.