Biographies of Scholars

Ibn ‘Abdul Qawi (رحمه الله)

Sharhu Mandhoomatil Adaab was written by a Hanbali scholar known as Ibn ‘Abdul Qawi (may Allaah have mercy on him).

His full name is Muhammad ibn ’Abdul Qawi ibn al-Badran ibn Sa’ad Allaah al-Maqdisi al-Mardawi as-Saalihi al-Hanbali. His kunya was Abu ‘Abdullaah and his title at that time was Shams ad Deen.

He was born in the year 630 H, which is roughly the year 1232 CE, in a town called Marda, near the city of Nablus in Palestine.

He studied hadeeth under the Hanbali khateeb of Marda of that time, Ibn Khaleel (may Allaah have mercy on him). He studied fiqh under Shams ad-Deen al-Maqdisi (may Allaah have mercy on him), the nephew of the great Ibn Qudamah al-Maqdisi (may Allaah have mercy on him), the author of al-Mughni.

He was particularly excellent as an Arabic grammarian and a Mufti. He was a teacher of some of the famous scholars including Imaam adh-Dhahabi (may Allaah have mercy on him).

Ibn ‘Abdul Qawi was also the teacher of Shaykh al-Islaam Ibn Taymiyyah (may Allaah Have mercy on him). Adh-Dhahabi mentions that he received an Ijaazah from Ibn ‘Abdul Qawi (may Allaah have mercy on him).

Imaam Ibn ‘Abdul Qawi (may Allaah have mercy on him) died in the year 699 H, which is approximately 1299 CE.

He has many works. Being a grammarian and a linguist, one of the things which he produced was a book in poetry on Hanbali Fiqh. The reason why the scholars would codify law in rhyming poetry is so that it would make it easier to memorize all the legal issues.

If you read a paragraph in a book, it would be very difficult for you to memorize, even if you read it ten times over. However, if you listen to a poem, ten times or even twenty times, you will memorise the poem because of the way it is arranged, in a very timely fashion, with the right notes and so on.

This is the way the human mind works and this is what the early scholars used to do. They would take a science and put it in poetry form to make it easy for the people to memorise and retain. So when the time comes to recall it, they can always refer back to this “organised library” of poems that they have memorised.

He has some books, one of which is the excellent madhoomatil Adab.

Imam Abu Hatim, Muhammad ibn Idris Ar-Razi (رحمه الله)

He was born in Ray (Tehran – Iran) in the year 195 A.H. and he passed away in the year 277 A.H.

Lengthy Sojourn

He first set out in search of knowledge at the age of 18.

He states in this regard: “The first time that I had set out to acquire knowledge I remained away from home for 7 years. I had commenced counting the mileage that I had covered on foot till it reached 1000 Farsakh. Thereafter, I stopped counting”

He further states: “I do not remember how many times I had travelled from Kufah to Baghdad and from Makkah to Madinah.

I also went from Morocco to Egypt on foot. And from Egypt to Ramallah, from Ramallah to Baitul Maqdis and to Tabariyyah then to Damascus. And from Damascus to Hims, to Antaqiyyah. And from Antaqiyyah to Tarasoos. Thereafter, I returned to Hims. Then from Hims to Baisaan to Raqqah. And from there I crossed the Euphrates to Baghdad… all of this I did walking!

This was my first journey which lasted 7 years. I had left Ray (Tehran) in the year 213 A.H. and I returned in 221 A.H.

I went out once more in the year 242 A.H. and returned in 245 A.H (3 years). My age at the time was: 47.”

Hair-raising Incidents

His son Imam Abu Muhammad Abdur Rahman ibn Abi Hatim Ar-Razi (رحمه الله) relates the following hair-raising, strange incidents that took place while Imam Abu Hatim (رحمه الله) was on journey.

He says: “My father mentioned: “I was in Basrah in the year 214. I had been there for 8 months and I initially intended to stay for a year but my allowance had expired. So, I began to sell my clothes one after the other, until I did not have any more clothes to sell. So, I remained without any expenditure.

However, I continued to attend the gatherings of the ‘Ulama with one of my companions. At the end of the first day I returned hungry to my room. The only thing I had was water. The next day I joined my companion to the gatherings of the ‘Ulama despite my extreme hunger. However, on the third day, when my companion came by to call me to the gatherings of the ‘Ulama, I said to him: “I’m unable to accompany you due to extreme weakness.” He enquired the reason for my weakness upon which I said to him: “Two days have passed and I have not eaten anything.” He replied: “I have one dinaar of which I can share half with you.” That’s how we left Basrah.”

Lost at Sea

His son further states: “I heard my father mention: “When we left Madinah Munawwarah and boarded a ship at Al-Jar (which is a day’s journey from Madinah and is a shore to the red sea) we were three people: myself, Abu Zuhair Al-Marwarruzhi (رحمه الله) and another Sheikh from Nishapur.

ًWhilst we were at sea one night I experienced a wet dream. I informed my colleagues in the morning and they suggested that I dive into the sea, but I could not swim. They then decided to tie me up with a rope and dip me into the water and in this way, I had to have a ghusl!!

We were lost at sea for three months until we reached a strange land. We walked on the land for a few days until all our food and water became exhausted. We kept walking for two full days in this condition of hunger. On the third day, we continued walking though we were absolutely exhausted until the Shaykh Al-Marwarruzhi fell unconscious. We tried reviving him in vain and thereafter continued for 1 or 2 Farsakhs (5 – 10 kilometres) until I myself lost my footing and fell unconscious. So, the Shaykh from Nishapur left me and continued for a while until he managed to spot some people who had arrived from sea. After they gave him water he said to them: “Go and search for two of my companions who have fallen unconscious behind me.”

After some time, I could feel someone sprinkling water on my face. After I regained consciousness I asked for water to drink. Then I mentioned to them about our third companion. They replied that there is someone attending to him. They then dragged me till I reached their ship where they attended to us. We stayed with them for a few days till we regained our strength. They had really taken good care of us.

Thereafter, they gave us some provisions and a letter of recommendation for the governor of the next town which was called “Rayah.” We continued in this manner till those provisions also expired. We still continued to walk in that condition of thirst and hunger till we found a turtle lying on the shore. We took some shells and began to scoop off the inside of the Turtle until our hunger and thirst was removed.

We continued till we reached the town of Rayah and we gave that note to the governor. He took us into his house and took good care of us feeding us meat and bread etc.

After a few days when we decided to leave he gave us food and provision for the road till we reached Egypt”.

 Extracted from the book:
صفحات من صبر العلماء على شدائد العلم والتحصيل
“Incidents of the sacrifices of the ‘Ulama in their quest for knowledge”
By Shaykh ‘Abdul Fattah Abu Ghuddah
(رحمه الله)

Imam Baqy ibn Makhlad al Andulusy (رحمه الله)

He was born in Spain and passed away there as well. He was born in the year 201 A.H. and passed away in 276 A.H.

At the age of 20 he travelled to Baghdad on foot for the sole purpose of meeting Imam Ahmad ibn Hambal (رحمه الله).

He relates:

“When I drew near to Baghdad, I heard of the sanction on Imam Ahmad (رحمه الله) and that he was banned from having any lessons. I became extremely saddened by this. After reaching Baghdad I went to the Masjid in search of some gathering of learning. I was shown a huge gathering wherein someone was authenticating people. He was mentioning the categories of the various narrators of Hadith.

Upon enquiry, I was told that this was Imam Yahya ibn Ma’een (رحمه الله). I then saw a gap near him and went closer and asked: “O Abu Zakariyya! May Allah have mercy on you, I am a traveller and very far away from home. I wish to ask you a question so please do not refuse me”. He said to me: “Go ahead”. I enquired from him about a few people that I had met from the As-habul Hadith (seekers of Hadith). Some of them he authorised and some he unauthorised…

Then I said to him: “Can I seek your authorisation of Imam Ahmad ibn Hambal?” He looked at me astonished and said: “Can a person like me be asked about Imam Ahmad ibn Hambal (رحمه الله)?! Verily that is the leader of all the Muslims and the best and most exalted of them”.

I then went out in search of the house of Imam Ahmad (رحمه الله). I tapped on the door. When he came out he saw a man who he did not recognise. I said to him:

“O Abu Abdillah! I am a man who is far away from his home and this is my first time in this town. I am a student of hadith and I have undertaken this journey specially to benefit from you”.

He said to me: “Come to the passage so nobody sees you”. He then asked me: “Where are you from?” I replied: “From the far West” he asked: “from Africa?” I replied: “further than that. I have to cross the sea to go to Africa, I am from Spain”. He said: “Your country is very far off. Nothing is more beloved to me than to assist a person like you but I have been afflicted with the sanctions that you may have heard of” I said: “Of course, I heard of it whilst I was near Baghdad, but O Abu Abdillah! This is the first time I have come here. Nobody knows me so if you permit I will come every day in the clothes of a beggar and call out at the door like they normally call out. Then you could come to this passage and if you narrate to me only one Hadith a day it would be sufficient for me”. He replied: “Yes, on condition that you do not go to any other gathering or halaqah (gathering) of the As-habul hadith”. I said: “As you wish”.

So, I used to take a stick in my hand, wrap a cloth on my head, put my paper and ink in my sleeve and come to his door and call out like the beggars would call out. Then he would come to the passage and narrate to me two or three Ahadith and sometimes even more. In this manner, I collected approximately 300 Ahadith. I did this till the end of the sanctions and till Imaam Ahmad (رحمه الله) regained his status in the eyes of the people.

Whenever I would attend his gathering later on, he would keep me close to him and he would say to the As-habul Hadith:

“This person is fit to be called a student of Hadith”.

Then he would narrate to them my experience with him”.

Imam Abul Waleed Al-Faradhy (رحمه الله) says: “Imam Baqy ibn Makhlad (رحمه الله) used to say: “Verily I know a man (referring to himself) whose days use to pass by during his student-hood and he would not have food to eat except cabbage leaves that would be thrown away as garbage.”

He once said to his students: “Are you’ll seeking ‘ilm? (knowledge), is this the way to seek ‘ilm?!! Only when one of you does not have anything to do does he think of seeking knowledge! Verily I know a man (referring to himself) who days use to pass by during his student days and he would not have anything to eat but the cabbage leaves that people use to throw on the streets!

And certainly, I know a man who sold his pants many a times to buy pages for writing!!!

Extracted from the book:

صفحات من صبر العلماء على شدائد العلم والتحصيل
“Incidents of the sacrifices of the ‘Ulama in their quest for knowledge”
By Shaykh ‘Abdul Fattah Abu Ghuddah (rahimahullah)

Shaykh Muhammad al-Hassan al-Amin Walid al-Didu al-Shanqiti

One of the contemporary shining lamps and jewels of guidance of this ummah is Shaykh Muhammad al-Hassan al-Amin Walid al-Didu al-Shanqiti.

Link to his website:

The Shaykh was born in the year 1963, towards the end of the month of October, in the Mauritanian desert province of Abu Telmit.

He started his education in the basics of the Arabic language and Islamic studies at the hands of his father, grandfather, and his parents’ uncles. He learned from his father both the Warsh as well as Qalun variants/narrations of the Qira’ah of Nafi’, along with the basics of Uloom al-Quran, and completed his Quranic education at the age of seven, in a period of a little over two years.

He was given authorisation (Ijazah) in over 40 disciplines by his grandfather, whom he stayed with until the latter’s death in year 1982. He learned at his side the arts of teaching, preaching, and impromptu poetry.

He has Ijazah in all of the ten recitations of the Quran, as well as the major books of Hadith such as the two Sahihs of Bukhari and Muslim, the four Sunan, Imam Malik’s Muwatta, Mustadrak Hakim, Imam Ahmad’s Musnad, Darimi, Bayhaqi, Darqutni, etc.

He has committed many of these books to memory.

He received Ijazahs from scholars of various schools and orientations, from all the major centres of learning in the Muslim world (Egypt, Syria, India, Morocco, countries in the Arabian Gulf, Yemen, etc.), and from some of the most famous names of the past century, such as Shaykh Abdul Fattah Abu Ghuddah, Shaykh Hamud al-Tuwaijeri, Shaykh Abdullah Siddiq al-Ghumari, Shaykh Muhammad Abu Sunnah, Shaykh Abul Hasan Ali al-Nadwi, etc. (This list includes the senior most Ash’ari/Sufi, Maturidi/Deobandi, Salafi/Wahhabi, and Azhari/Ikhwani scholars of the 20th century!)

He holds a PhD in Fiqh and Usool al-Deen, and is currently the director of the Markaz Takwin al-Ulama (in a town with an unpronounceable name) in Mauritania.

He is among the senior most scholars (ilm-wise) and leading fuqaha of our times. All of his duroos, along with knowledge, focus on matters of the heart. He is the author of several published and unpublished works, including explanations of the basic texts in all of the Islamic disciplines. He is a very humble man, and from his small town in the sub-Saharan desert, he is playing an important role in changing Muslim societies the world over.