Category: Scholarship

Sawlatiyyah- Sh. Muhammad al-Mulla

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-Praising the One who created man, and ennobled him with knowledge and clarity. Salutations and blessings upon the choicest of His creation, the Master of the children of Adnan, upon whom was revealed ‘Recite and your Lord is most generous’.
To proceed: the loftiest of objectives is the adornment with knowledge and embellishment with manners (adab) accompanied by following that which has been ordered and leaving that which has been prohibited. For one of those who who kept his eyes awake in its attainment, and spent him time in knowing and completing, the striving student, Muhammad bin Allamah Abi Bakr al-Mulla al-Ahsai. He received and studied the sciences mentioned above in our school ‘Al-Sawlatiyyah al-Hindiyyah’ in Makkah the protected, established by the erudite and righteous, the deceased Mawlana al-Sheikh Rahmatullah bin Khalil al-Rahman al-Hindi. Appreciating his efforts this certificate was awarded to him from the the school so that reliance may be placed on it. And by Allah is success.
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Salam, the above is a very rough translation of the meaning of the main paragraph of the above certificate. Some of us went through a basic reading of the whole of Mukhtasar al-Quduri last year with Sheikh Bandar Abdullah al-Mulla in the Dawsari masjid located in the the Gold Belt area of al-Khobar. Sheikh Bandar is credited (Allah reward him) with helping us in meeting the hanafi scholars from al-Ahsa belonging to the Mulla family. He also gifted us with a number of works in fiqh which can only be described as ‘Tarjuman al-Qalb’.
After the seminar on the four madhabs in al-Ahsa which took place in Dammam, and at which Sheikh Bandar presented a brief history of the hanafi school, he gifted a book to me by his father in law on the history of the different schools in al-Ahsa. The work contained amongst other things a copy of Sheikh Muhammad al-Mulla’s certificate of graduation from Madrassa al-Sawlatiyyah in Makkah. I had been meaning to scan it and place it on the internet for others to benefit from, but was delighted find that someone else had already done so.
This certificate emphasizes the important point that tasawwuf is not divorced or alien to the studying and teaching of sacred knowledge. This is what scholars such as Sheikh Muhammad al-Mulla dedicated their life to and this is what they passed on to their students, and this is what we witnessed ourselves and were told by them.
We have recorded evidence of Sheikh Abu Bakr (Sheikh Muhammads father) being presented with poetry written by his students expressing their happiness and joy at the return of their teachers son from the Hijaz after completing his studies.
Sheikh Muhammad al-Mulla’s son Sheikh Yahya mentioned to us that his father was: ‘An ocean in both outward sacred knowledge and tasawwuf’.
May Allah (the exalted) have mercy on all those mentioned in this post.

Categories: Scholarship

Al-Ahsa to India: Sheikh Abu Bakr al-Mulla

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Salam, I found the following biography of the author of ‘It-haf al-Talib’, namely Sheikh Abu Bakr al-Mulla al-Ahsai. The interesting thing about it is that it was published in India quite some time ago, and reminded me of some of the links between the people of al-Ahsa and the Indian Subcontinent.
The first time that we met Sayyid Ibrahim al-Khalifah, an elderly Saudi man came into the room, Sayyid Ibrahim told me that he could speak Urdu/Hindi, I smiled back politely not expecting much, to my surprise the elderly gentleman proceeded to speak very clear and grammatically correct urdu/hindi. Puzzled I asked where he had learnt it, and he replied that he lived in India with his father who traded there, he spent a number of years living in Bombay, and was sent back home to al-Ahsa at the outbreak of the second world war!
I met other al-Ahsa people who mentioned their family members who were buried in India due to their passing away whilst working there, this was all before the Saudi ‘Industrial Revolution’ which turned the flow of workers in the opposite direction.
As for the hanafis, then one of the Scholars of the al-Mulla family whom I’m not sure if is still alive (he was in a comatose state when I was in al-Ahsa last year), namely Sheikh Abdullah bin Abd al-Rahman al-Mulla. He was born in the year 1330 (nearly 100 years ago), he studied with the scholars of al-Ahsa, then proceeded to study in India at Dar al-Ulum Deoband. It is said that his certification from Dar al-Ulum Deoband makes him the first Saudi to gain a university degree.
Sheikh Yahya al-Mulla’s father, Sheikh Muhammad al-Mulla had some students from the indo-pak subcontinent. Once when I was with Sheikh Yahya he went to his room and returned with an urdu translation of the short text by Sheikh Abu Bakr al-Mulla entitled ‘Wasilah al-Talab’. He added that a student of his father who had returned back to pakistan had translated it, I didnt note down the Sheikhs name, but I was told that he had passed away.
I also discovered that one of the fastest growing tariqahs in pakistan, namely the Idrisi’s, whose Sheikh resides in Pakistan itself was the murid of Sheikh Muhammad al-Mulla.
These are some brief comments, and are by no means exhaustive, the picture below is of the cover of the biography of Sheikh Abu Bakr al-Mulla published in India.

Categories: al-Ahsa Scholarship

Iranian Turkoman Sunni Scholar

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Sheikh Nur Muhammad Nurizad, the Sunni scholar, Imam and Khatib of the Friday prayers in the town of Kanbad Kawas in northern Iran passed away recently on the 14 of Rabi al-Awal.

He (May Allah have mercy on him) was a pious sincere scholar who spent over 60 years of his life in teaching, and was regarded as one of the most notable Sunni Qadi’s and Mufti’s of Iran.

May Allah the exalted envelop him in His mercy, truely to Him do we belong and to Him we return

Categories: Scholarship

Sayyid Ibrahim al-Khalifah al-Hasani al-Shafi

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Salam
I found this old picture of Sayyid Ibrahim al-Khalifah who is a Shafi Scholar and respected for his attention to the sciences of hadith. I visited him twice in al-Ahsa, once at his masjid opposite the fort pictured elsewhere on this blog.
The second time was in the basement of his home where he was reading Sahih al-Bukhari with his students. He began the lesson by reading hadith for quite some time, and then went round each student asking them to read several hadith each, alhumdulilah I was honoured to be able to read to him when my turn came.
After the dars I asked him for Ijazah which he kindly gave me, unfortunately I do not have his thabat at hand to scan, however it should be noted that he narrates from over 70 different Shuyukh.
He has studied the Shafi madhab with the scholars of al-Ahsa, is known for his abilities as a Munshid and has a number of students, some of them quite young who study with him and look up to him as a father figure.
It is not difficult to see why as the Sheikh is one of the most friendliest scholars I have met, and one quickly feels at ease around him.
May Allah swt keep him in good health and enable us to benefit from him further.
NOTE: The picture above was taken some time ago

Categories: al-Ahsa Scholarship

Reasons for Writing

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Salam

Many a time when browsing in a bookshop I find works by contemporary scholars which make me think: Why!

I found the following quote in the interesting autobiography of Sh. Abdullah al-Ghumari which pretty much sums up what should be kept in mind by all authors. I would perhaps add an extra point, namely that of editors meticulously editing material which have not received critical editions, but perhaps this could be incorporated into one of the seven reasons, as editing as in the modern form did not exist at the time of Imam al-Maqqari.

Reasons for writing:
Al-Maqqari said in Azhar al-Riyad:
I saw in the handwriting of some of the senior (scholars) regarding that which is desired from writing are seven:
-something which has not been written before and is authored
-something written incompletely and is completed
-or is incorrect and is corrected
-or is difficult and is explained
-or is lengthy and is condensed/abridged
-or is not in one place and is gathered
-or is prose and is versified

Categories: Scholarship

Sheikh Muhammad Ali al-Sabuni, a contemporary Mufassir

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Salam
I have on the shelf to the right of me the second volume of a tafsir by Sheikh al-Sabuni on the the legal rulings derived from the Quran, the sheikh as far as i am aware is from Syria, and currently teaches in Makkah. He has other works on tafsir, the most well known being his ‘Safwat al-Tafasir‘ in 3 volumes (if i recall correctly). I came across a copy of this work in a Slough bookshop, I asked the price to be told it was 90 pounds! not surprisingly i declined this offer, the lady then went down to 45 pounds.
Getting back to Sheikh al-Sabuni, from what I have heard, he is a murid of Sheikh Mahmud Effendi in Istanbul, and spends some months of the year in Turkey. May Allah (Most High) facilitate meeting him and sitting in his company to draw from the baraka of the years he has spent studying the Quran. Amin

Categories: Other Scholarship

A Dars of the Shamail

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A dars of the Shamail in the madrassa of the late Sheikh Muhammad ibn Alawi al-Maliki in Makkah, may Allah (Most High) envelop him in His mercy.

The picture was taken in the private Madrassah of the Sheikh located in his home in Makkah.

Categories: Hadith Makkah Scholarship