Why this Imam Still Matters

Figure 1A: The Masjid where the Imam had preached at during his lifetime.
Figure 1A: The Masjid where the Imam had preached at during his lifetime.

Known to his contemporaries as “the teacher of the scholars, the `alim, the scholar of the principles of fiqh, the scholar of fiqh, the grammarian,” he is `Abdul Qadir ibn Ahmad ibn Mustafa ibn `Abdur-Rahim ibn Muhammad ibn `Abdur-Rahim Ibn Badran as-Sa`di ad-Dumi ad-Dimashqi al-Hanbali.

Born in the year 1265 AH to a righteous family, his father – Shaikh Ahmad ad-Dumi (d. 1317 AH) – was known to the people as a pious man while the grandfather of the Imam was a marja` in his own right, the scholar, Imam Mustafa ad-Dumi (d. 1322 AH). Imam `Abdul Qadir Ibn Badran ad-Dumi learned the Qur’an from his father and moved quickly to increase his knowledge.

He learned Ad-Dalil ut-Talib from his grandfather along with a number of other texts. His next teacher was Imam Muhammad ibn `Uthman ibn `Abbas al-Khatib ad-Dumi (d. 1308 AH). Again Ad-Dalil ut-Talib was gone through as well as its’ commentaries. Then they went and read Mukhtasar ul-Ifadat by Imam al-Balbani (d. 1033 AH).

Imam Ad-Dumi then headed to Damascus after he completed his work with his teacher in Duma and studied with one of the maraji` of the period, Imam Ahmad Ibn Hasan ash-Shatti (d. 1306 AH), completing work in fiqh and also focusing on inheritance.

His work also took him to study higher math as well as some portions of theoretical math. He also filled his time with studying the six books of ahadith with teachers and memorising them.

After some six years in Damascus, he suffered the loss of his teacher, his father and then his grandfather. He returned to Duma and taught in one of the larger masjids but attracted attention and criticism due to his rare positions and rulings that he was giving.

This led to his leaving Duma and heading to Damascus.

Scholars of the Ummayad Family Central Masjid approached him and asked him to teach and upon his tacit approval, he became the first permanent non-Ash`ari scholar to teach there in perhaps one century or more. He taught fiqh, tafsir and also math and inheritance.

In addition to this, the Imam taught in other areas in the city and drew a good number of students who came to benefit and also obtain blessings. Also during this time, the King of Arabia, after the Salafi takeover of the Peninsula, asked the Imam to become the marja` over Arabia.

After some convincing the Imam agreed. The reason for this is twofold. One is that Salafis murdered so many scholars after the takeover that the people needed further enquiries to be answered from abroad. Secondly, the maraji` of the Hanbali school have always exclusively been from Iraq/Sham and then Egypt. This had been established in writing atleast since 1100 AH.

Notable Rulings

The Imam ruled that all Sufi groups today are phoney and part of Satanic secret societies to undermine Islam and Muslim Orthodoxy.

[Al-Mawahib ur-Rabbaniyyah: fil Ajwibati `an As’ilat il-Qazaniyyah, pp. 195-197]

A very strong position was taken against bank notes that are referred to as money. The Imam rightly diagnosed this money as “debt notes” and stated that the true nature of money is that of “stale” or “dead.”

[Al-`Uqud ul-Yaqutiyyah, pp. 209-256]

If there are numerous jumu`ah prayers occurring in one place, this is permitted in so far as there is valid reason for them – such as in the case of overcrowding or uneven distribution of population throughout the different masjids.

[Al-`Uqud ul-Yaqutiyyah, pp. 159-162]

Only three people are required for Jumu`ah prayer to be valid. This was especially novel as the position of the school was always that it was forty men.

[Al-`Uqud ul-Yaqutiyyah, pp. 159-162]

It is impermissible for Muslims – except under pain of death, loss of limb or lifetime incarceration – to transact with banks on a regular basis with things such as loans, usurious gain and such.

[Al-Mawahib ur-Rabbaniyyah: fil Ajwibati `an As’ilat il-Qazaniyyah, pp. 183-187]

Imam `Abdul Qadir Ibn Badran – may Allah have mercy on him – was one of the first maraji` to allow family photos or portraits in order to establish family lineage and also keep evidence or record of family.

[Al-Mawahib ur-Rabbaniyyah: fil Ajwibati `an As’ilat il-Qazaniyyah, pp. 203-205]

It was also stated by the marja` that it was valid for men to wear silver jewellery, such as rings but even necklaces (this was a rare and minority ruling while most were of the opinion that such things are effeminate).

[Al-`Uqud ul-Yaqutiyyah, pp. 167-179]

As was the case with Imam Muhammad `Alawi al-Maliki, Imam ad-Dumi despised the  beliefs of the movement built by Muhammad ibn `Abdul Wahhab, undermined its’ beliefs and affirmed Orthodoxy but often believed that the founder was either separate to or innocent of the false beliefs in the movement.

[Al-Madkhal ila Madhhab il-Imam Ahmad ibn Hanbal, pp. 446-447]

Both he and Imam Al-`Alawi al-Maliki came out of the time period in which many of the salafi theology books were not openly shown and the regime claimed to foster “togetherness.”

It was wrongly attributed to the Imam that he denied the Second Coming of the Messiah and that of Al-Imam Mahdi, based upon statements he made about hadith in that regard and verses.

[Al-Mawahib ur-Rabbaniyyah: fil Ajwibati `an As’ilat il-Qazaniyyah, pp. 47-103; Al-`Uqud ul-Yaqutiyyah, pp. 63-86 ]

However such an attribution can be shown to be mistaken when someone reads through all the Imam’s books and especially cross references with one of his final texts, Al-Madkhal, where it can be read that that he considers both doctrines part of Muslim theology and whoever denies them as being gravely astray.

[Al-Madkhal ila Madhhab il-Imam Ahmad ibn Hanbal, pp. 49-80]

Later Life and Death

He died on Sunday 29 Rabi` ul-Awwal 1346 AH after a long illness and left behind no children. Unfortunately after his death, his library in Duma was gutted and destroyed by vandals and devastated. The same thing happened in Damascus in an annexed library he owned.

This was due to the continued friction between Sunnis and `Alawis as well as the widespread unrest in the area as the French pulled out of Sham.

Why We Must Remember Imam Mustafa Ash-Shatti

Figure 1A: The late grand marja`, Imam Mustafa Ash-Shatti, a virulent and violent despiser and disparager of Salafiyyah. More of these type of scholars are needed today.
Figure 1A: The late grand marja`, Imam Mustafa Ash-Shatti, a virulent and violent despiser and disparager of Salafiyyah. More of these type of scholars are needed today.

He is Mustafa ibn Ahmad ibn Hasan ibn `Umar ash-Shatti ad-Dumi ad-Dimishqi al-Hanbali was born in the year 1273 AH in the city of Damascus, being the recipient of the legacy of one of the most famous Hanbali families in the Middle East.

His father, Shaikh Ahmad ash-Shatti, had gathered countless books together and was an avid researcher in the fiqh and theology of the Hanbali School and teacher of` Shaikh `Abdul Qadir al-Badran ad-Dumi.

Shaikh Ahmad ash-Shatti, the second of two sons by the legal authority for Hanbalis in his time, and his father, Shaikh Hasan ibn `Umar ash-Shatti, who was a dedicated war hero and heresiographer, exposed and refuted the rise of the Salafi movement in their area. The Shatti family was one of righteousness and bravery, fighting deviation wherever it appeared in addition to propagating the love of Allah and His Messenger in every lecture they gave.

As a youth, Mustafa studied with his father, uncle and other Hanbali authorities of the time, including `Abdullah ibn Sufan al-Qaddumi, Ahmad ibn `Ubaid al-Qaddumi, Muhammad ibn `Ubaid al-Qaddumiand Muhammad ibn `Uthman ad-Dumi. He quickly became distinguished among the students for his quick memory, love for hadith and strength in creed, his favourite subject.

As he came from a family of Hanbali theologians, it would seem that he would follow in their footsteps, reading the foundational texts such as The Splendid Pearl with its commentaries by his grandfather and the Grand Imam, Muhammad ibn Ahmad as-Saffarini, The Brilliance of Belief  by Imam Muwaffaq ud-Din with its commentaries, along with The Essence and the Letter of Faith by Imam Abdul Qadir al-Hanbali al-Ba`li, and numerous other texts.

He followed the route of all Orthodox scholars in that he was made to spend time memorising these texts before he could discuss them and receive a legal authorisation to teach them. He attended the Dar al-Hadith Academy and gave his all until being authorised in the six books, the musnad and other literature.

As a young adult, Imam Mustafa became an expositor, then a jurist, and not long after was promoted to be a judge. However, the age in which he lived was very different to that of his grandfather. Previously, Salafiyyah and other dangerous aberrations were merely deviations from the norm, but now these ‘johnny-come-latelys’ of falsehood in the local area had grown to hold sway over a large portion of the laity, and what’s more, they were violent.

When confronted by the Shaikh, who at this time was based in the hamlet of Dumah, they threatened his life and attempted to exact violence, but through nothing but the Providence of Allah, the Shaikh was never severely injured, and continued to teach and preach. He wrote some 20 books on various subjects, but was forced to shine in the area of heresiography, as he was surrounded by those who would take Muslims from the truth into the darkness.

His most well-remembered document on theology was the text An-Nuqul ash-Shar`iyyah fir-Radd `Al al-Wahhabiyyah (tr. The Divine Texts in Answering Muhammad ibn `Abdul Wahhab and his followers). What the Imam did was remarkable, in that he took all the literature that was extent from Muhammad ibn `Abdul Wahhab’s time, processed it and wrote this tiny book, a sort of a summary of more than 60 books.

The book was read in masjids, in homes and posted on doors. He spoke the truth and stood for everything that it commanded. He died in the year 1348 AH (AD 1929) and was buried in the family graveyard.


Imam Mustafa ibn Ahmad ash-Shatti, may Allah have mercy on him, was one of the great Imams of the past. I will quote his biography written by a relative, Muhammad Jamil ash-Shatti:

The birth of my cousin Shaikh Mustafa Afandi-who I mentioned previously with his brothers-was in the year 1272. He grew up in the house of his father and uncle, reciting the Grand Qur’an to Shaikh Ahmad al-Qaddumi, whose biography we will mention shortly.

He learned handwriting from Salim Afandi, who came from the Badrara’iyyah and joined the lectures of his father and uncle in the subjects of fiqh, inheritance and other sciences. Shaikh Mustafa read on the topic of grammar, syntax and subsciences to the two noble scholars of great knowledge, Shaikh Salim al-`Attar, Shaikh Bakri Al-`Attar, showing promise and excelling.

In the year 1294 he was given the position of preacher and expounder of law at the Madrasah al-Badra’iyyah, holding that post even un to this day. Once the year 1300 came, he wrote and taught law at the Court of Bazuriyyah for a short time before he made his two hajj trips, one in 1305 and another in 1308. In the year 1305, he attended a gathering of Shaikh Muhammad ad-Dandarawi, successor to the teacher, Ibrahim ar-Rashid, who was the successor to the noble master, Ahmad ibn Idris.

Shaikh Mustafa learned Tasawwuf from Shaikh ad-Dandarawi and would eventually become one of his successors in Sham. After that he would hold gatherings of dhikr in our Badra’iyyah Madrasah up until the year 1319 AH, as Shaikh ad-Dandarawi, who was in Makkah, ordered that the dhikr should not take place in the madrasah any longer once he was informed this was happening.

After this time, Shaikh Mustafa attended the gatherings of Shaikh Badr ud-Din al-Maghribi with great enthusiasm and both the laymen and scholars were active in attendance of his classes.

Imam Mustafa was given at that time a great love for the Sufis, the People of Sole Existence, Direct Experience by their speech, and their way so that this became for him a methodology that he made use of, called to and taught this in the Madrasah. Students benefited from him in fiqh, grammar and other sciences.

In the year 1316 AH he was given the responsibility of giving rulings in the land as his father had died and he was not long in that position before it was given to those that do not deserve it and what was meant to happen took place.

Once he went on his way, the Ottoman government in 1337 AH gave him the post of teaching and giving rulings as a Qadi in the city of Duma and he went into that position and remains so up until today and this is not anything new for the people of knowledge and virtue.

He is a faqih, genius, noble, benevolent, even when having heated discussions and arguments into the night. He authored a book in refutation of the Wahhabi group and at the last part of it he wrote a research point on Tasawwuf that was printed in Beirut in the year 1330 and made some poetry as well. Some of this was sent to men in the Ottoman government, including statements like:

From you my hand his been planted in the tree of ihsan and this has led to the most majestic flowing of means

It is by your virtue and due to you that it grows, which is why gatherings are to be made.

Without this, the tree of faith becomes dry and not moist

Please see Mukhtasar Tabaqat il-Hanabilah, pp. 207-209

Imam Mustafa Ar-Ruhaibani

Figure 1A: A photo of the town of Ruhaibah, the home of the grand marja`.
Figure 1A: A photo of the town of Ruhaibah, the home of the grand marja`.

The marja` is referred to by the scholars as, “the Shaikh, the Imam, the `Alim, the Faqih, the Scholar of Inheritance, the Complete Researcher and Authority, Unique Researcher of his time, former Mufti of the Hanbalis of Damascus.”

Birth and Upbringing

Mustafa ibn Sa`d ibn `Abduh as-Suyuti ar-Ruhaibani ad-Dimishqi. Born in the hamlet of Ar-Ruhaibah in the year 1165 AH, he memorised the Qur’an and then set out almost immediately for Damascus at a young age.

The first teacher of the Imam was the great scholar, Imam Ahmad al-Ba`li (d. 1189 AH), whom he benefited from greatly and strived a great deal before Imam al-Ba`li died and he had to move to another teacher.

Learning and Authority

The next two teachers he moved to in Damascus were also marja` scholars and they were Imams Muhammad ibn Mustafa ibn Al-Lubadi an-Nabulsi (d. 1191 AH) – a marja` from the great hamlet of maraji`, namely Kafr Lubad – and Shaikh `Ali Afanda At-Taghtashani.

After benefiting from these men, he next moved to the Imam, Muhammad ibn `Ali as-Salimi and Shaikh Muhammad al-Kamili.

When looking at the curriculum of Ar-Ruhaibah and Damascus in fiqh and other areas, this is the shape of what the Imam studied after completing his work on the Qur’an and the readings in the six books of hadith:


Beg: Ad-Dalil ut-Talib Li-Nail il-Ma’arib Imam Mar`ii ibn Yusuf al-Karmi (d. 1033 AH). This is the standard foundational work in Sham while the scholars of the Gulf, Egypt lean heavily on Ar-Rawd ul-Murbi` by Imam Mansur al-Buhuti (d. 1051 AH).

Inter: Ghayat ul-Muntaha by Imam Mar`ii ibn Yusuf al-Karmi. This text was a joining between the original text of the author, Al-Muntaha, as well as the work Al-Iqna`, penned by the Palestinian giant, Imam Musa ibn Yahya al-Hajjawi (d. 968 AH).

Well known throughout Sham, Iraq, Egypt but is more dominant in Sham than in Egypt and the Gulf, which usually utilize Kash-shaf ul-Qina` by Imam Mansur al-Buhuti (d. 1051 AH) – top student of Imam Yahya al-Hajjawi (d. 1000 AH), the son and marja` successor of his father, Imam Musa al-Hajjawi (d. 968 AH).


Beg. and Inter: Lum`at ul-I`tiqad al-Hadi ila Sabil ir-Rishad by Imam Muwaffaq ud-Din Ibn Qudamah and its’ associated commentaries.  Most authorities and their students tend to study the bare text but to compare it with Imam Al-Balbani (d. 1083 AH) and sometimes progressing to the Nihayah of Imam Ibn Hamdan (d. 695 AH).


Beg. and Inter: In this area,  Imam Mustafa ar-Ruhaibani consulted the works of Imams Muhammad Ahmad as-Saffarini (d. 1188 AH), Ibn al-Mabrid (d. 909 AH) as well as Badr ud-Din Al-Balbani (d. 1083 AH), may Allah have mercy upon all of them.

Imam Mustafa ar-Ruhaibani, like many of the Imams of his time and Maraji`, had no tariqah in tasawwuf, yet was a paragon of piety according to all accounts and biographies of him by contemporaries.

The Imam eventually was given permission to give rulings by Imam ash-Sharif Isma`il al-Jarra`ii (d. 1202 AH), who was the chief judge in Damascus and their Mufti up until his death.

Imam ar-Ruhaibani had a huge footprint in Islam and was declared to be marja` by his peers in his time and taught numerous maraji`, one of them being Imam Hasan ash-Shatti (d. 1275 AH).

The two maraji` came together and authored a text entitled,  Al-Ghayah, a work dually authored and collected by the two authorities. The original work by Imam Ar-Ruhaibani was entitled Matalib Uwl in-Nuha Fi Sharhi Ghayat il-Muntaha, which was a large three or six (depending on print size) volume work that was an expansion of Imam Mar`ii ibn Yusuf al-Karmi’s Ghayat ul-Muntaha.

Imam Hasan ash-Shatti’s contribution to the text was his Tajrid Zawa’id il-Ghayah wash-Sharh, which further fleshed out the texts in the two works but also highlighted the differences between these two mountains of knowledge.

The works of the the Imam are some five or more which include the above fiqh text and also the following:

Tuhfat ul-`Ibadi Fima fil-Yawmi wal-Lailati min al-Awrad. This is at text that details the various supplications of a believer in his daily life from authentic sources in the Sunnah of our Messenger, Muhammad, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him.

Majmu`a Fatawa. A series of collected fatawa on numerous topics that is currently under scrutiny for printing. We ask Allah to speed the process and make these works available to us.

Notable rulings

Imam Mustafa as-Suyuti ar-Ruhaibani stated boldly and without apology that whoever made hajj and thought that this lifted from him the obligation of prayer and zakah should be asked to repent or if he was ignorant taught the truth. If he was to continue after that, the ruling of the Imam is that he is to be killed.

[Source: Matalib Uwl in-Nuha Fi Sharhi Ghayat il-Muntaha, vol.2, pp. 478-479]

Building on graves and making tawaf around them was seen as impermissible, rather than disliked, the stricter of the two positions narrated from Imam Musa al-Hajjawi.

[Source: Matalib Uwl in-Nuha Fi Sharhi Ghayat il-Muntaha, vol.2, pp. 146-147]

Women were not to be forbidden from visiting the graves, but it was still disliked as there was a fear that there may be wailing and the tearing of clothing in morning. It is here that the Imam took the more lenient position rather than prohibition.

[Source: Matalib Uwl in-Nuha Fi Sharhi Ghayat il-Muntaha, vol.2, pp. 159-160]

The dead know of those who visit them every second and not merely Friday, which is the most far ranging of most of the rulings of the scholars.

[Source: Matalib Uwl in-Nuha Fi Sharhi Ghayat il-Muntaha, vol.2, pp. 161-162]

One should recite Surahs such as Fatihah, Yasin, At-Takathur, Ikhlas, Falaq and Nas upon entering and in the graveyard, a practice that has its’ origins in the first three generations.

Family connections and remembering one’s loved ones was especially important to the Imam during the period of occupation in Sham from the French when sometimes people were stopped from going to the graves due to warfare.

[Source: Matalib Uwl in-Nuha Fi Sharhi Ghayat il-Muntaha, vol.2, pp. 161-162]

Jihad is a communal obligation and does not become an individual obligation. The point is important as the Imam himself was a warrior but never stated that most, all of the Ummah are obligated as we find today.

[Source: Matalib Uwl in-Nuha Fi Sharhi Ghayat il-Muntaha, vol.2, pp. 509-511]

Those innovators and people in cults are unbelievers in general but not individually until the judgments have been established and they have been evaluated; but these people in the groups, one is to fear for their souls.

[Source: Matalib Uwl in-Nuha Fi Sharhi Ghayat il-Muntaha, vol.6, pp. 200-203]

Imam Mustafa as-Suyuti ar-Ruhaibani died Friday 12 Rabi` ul-Akhir 1243 AH at 78 years of age and was prayed upon by all the scholars of the Ummayah Family Central Masjid and buried with the family of Imam Ibn `Abdul Baqi ad-Dimishqi.

We ask Allah to reward him and place him in the highest palaces of the Paradise for his leadership.

A Word about Imam `Abdul Ghani Al-Maqdisi

Figure 1A: A picture of the village of Jama`il (alternatively spelled Jama`in), which is an outskirt of the city of Nablus in the province of Palestine in the country of Sham.
Figure 1A: A picture of the village of Jama`il (alternatively spelled Jama`in), which is an outskirt of the city of Nablus in the province of Palestine in the country of Sham.


The Name of the Imam

He is the Shaikh, the Imam, the `Alim, the Zahid, the Hafidh, Taqi ud-Din Abu Muhammad `Abdul Ghani ibn `Abdul-Wahid ibn `Ali ibn Surur Al-Hanbali Al-Maqdisi.

He was a renowned theologian and one of the greatest Hanbali scholars of his age. He was also a direct descent of `Umar Al-Faruq, the second khalifah of the Muslims.

Imam `Abdul Ghani Al-Maqdisi was born in the city of Jama`il (in today’s Palestine) in the year 541 AH (1146 AD), on the outskirts of Jerusalem.[1]

As a young boy, the Imam was constantly in the presence of scholars, jurists, Sufis, theologians and masters of Arabic language, most of whom were from his own family, such as his brother Imam Ibrahim Al-Jama`ili.[2]

Early Education

When he began his education, his tutors and professors were all stellar figures, for example his brothers, Imams Muhammad [3] and Ahmad [4] as well as `Abdullah Al-Yunaini.[5]

The most outstanding contemporaries in the time of `Abdul Ghani Al-Maqdisi included Shaikha Shuhda Al-Hanbaliyyah [6] and Imam Baha’ ud-Din Al-Maqdisi. [7] There was also Imam Ibn Al-Manni,[8] who was the Shaikh ul-Islam of his age and the judge of the city of Baghdad.

In his adolescence, `Abdul Ghani memorised the Qur’an, thousands of ahadith and the commentaries of the shaikhs Al-Khiraqi, Ibn `Aqil, Mahfudh Al-Kalwadhani [9] and `Abdul Qadir Al-Jilani [10] in Hanbali fiqh.

As he began to master the sciences of Islam, many scholars favoured him. Although shy to give fatwa, his teachers prevailed upon him to do so until he finally felt the confidence of his competence. Although an accomplished scholar in the realm of fiqh, his main love was theology.

He wrote some three different books in the subject matter of intermediate and advanced theology, making him a living legend in the sight of the people of Syria, Jordan, Lebanon and Palestine.

The Scholar and His Students

Scholars from the four corners of the Earth flocked to see him, hanging on his every word and taking copious notes in the lectures that he gave some three times a week.

His students include many, but perhaps the most important of them was Imam Muwaffaq ud-Din Ibn Qudamah, who transmitted many of his documents as well as chains of transmission in the six hadith collections.

Later Life and Death

Thus in addition to being a towering figure in Hanbali fiqh, beginning to advanced theology, Imam `Abdul Ghani was an accomplished master and commentator on ahadith and their sub-sciences.

He would later die in the year 600 AH (AD 1203), having lived a rich and beneficial life that produced books and students that today the entire Ummah of the Muslims still benefits from in manifold ways. May Allah bless this Imam and give him admittance into the highest palisades of the Paradise.

 His Written Legacy:


Al-Iqtisad Fil-I`tiqad. This is a book on advanced theology that itemises creed into a series of themes.

Al-`Itiqad. A short text that outlines the foundational creed as opposed to that of the cults. This was written in refutation to the rise of esoteric trends that existed in the lifetime of the author.

Ahadith ul-Masih id-Dajjal. A two volume work that collected together the available Ahadith on the False Messiah in put them under bullet pointed chapters. This was taken by Imam Ibn Kathir (d. 774 AH), may Allah have mercy upon him, and popularised.

As-Sifat. A text explaining the theology regarding the Names and Attributes of Allah.

I`tiqad ul-Imam ish-Shafi`ii. The author shows the complete agreement between all the Imams on foundational theology and particularly the Imam’s dislike for speculative theology.


 `Umdat ul-Ahkam. This is a collection of the 500+ main Ahadith that are used for rulings in the books of fiqh. This has had dozens of commentaries and inspired Imam Ibn Hajar Al-`Asqalani, may Allah have mercy upon him, to write his text, Bulugh ul-Maram.

`Umdat ul-Ahkam il-Kubra. This is a larger and more expanded presentation than the text above. In this book, the author adds more Ahadith to the topic to enable the memoriser to put together valuable pieces of information with regard to rulings.

Al-Misbah fi `Uyun il-Ahadith is-Sihah. A text composed of 48 subsections discussing salient points around the Ahadith in the collections of Imams Al-Bukhari, Muslim, Abu Dawud, At-Tirmidhi, Ibn Majah, An-Nasa’ii.

Al-Kamal fi Ma`rifat ir-Rijal. This particular book covers the names, dates of birth and death as well as reliability of the men that narrate hadith in the collections of Al-Bukhari, Muslim, Abu Dawud, At-Tirmidhi, An-Nasa’ii and Ibn Majah.


Sharh ul-Hidayah. This was a commentary on the fiqh text, Al-Hidayah, which was written by Imam Abul Khattab Mahfuz Al-Kalwadhani. It is in one large volume.

Tuhfat ut-Talibin fil Jihadi wal-Mujahidin. A book on warfare and particular battles of interest, particularly regarding the author’s struggles.


Mihnat ul-Imam Ahmad ibn Hanbal. A history of the trials and tribulations the Imam underwent during the Inquisition.


Mukhtasar Sirat in-Nabi. This is the text that is on our list to complete.

[1] The name of Jerusalem in Arabic is ‘Bait ul-Maqdis,’ which means, the ‘Holy House.’ Those who lived in that city or the smaller hamlets surrounding it took the last name Al-Maqdisi, symbolising their relation to the city. This was primarily the practice of the Hanbalī scholars, who made this name popular amongst themselves as a sign of the prestige at being born in one of the three most important cities of Islam.

[2] `Imad ud-Din Ibrahim ibn `Abdul Wahid, 543-614 AH (AD 1148-1217). As one of the major commentators on the collections of Al-Bukhari, Muslim and Abu Dawud, he specialised in hadīth codification and the history of the narrators of ahadith. He left behind some ten books in various subjects.

[3] Diya’ ud-Din Muhammad ibn `Abdul Wahid, 569-643 AH (AD 1174-1245). He was a famous author, grader, verifier and codifier of ahadith, writing a commentary on the collections of Al-Bukhari and Muslim, a text which many authorities in his time consider better than the commentary that Al-Hakim wrote in his Al-Mustadrak.

[4] Shams ud-Din Ahmad  ibn `Abdul Wahid, 564-623 AH (AD 1169-1226). He traveled to the lands of Sham, Al-Bukhara and Naisabur, studying with the `ulama’ of these areas and receiving ijazahs to teach what he had learned. He and his brother, Diya’ ud-Din were both sons of Sayyidah Al-Jama`iliyyah, the older sister of Shaikh ul-Islam and the decorated war soldier of his age, Muwaffaq ud-Din Ibn Qudamah, which again showed the high rank that both branches of this Palestinian family possessed and the fact that Islam was their top priority.

[5] Abu `Uthman `Abdullah ibn `Abdul `Aziz al-Yunaini 535-617 AH (AD 1141-1220). Although perhaps the most accomplished scholar of Tasawwuf in Lebanon, Syria, Palestine and Jordan, he additionally became a celebrated figure for his worship, fighting on the battlefield against the Christian invasions of the Middle East and a donor to numerous charities. He was the first to witness the Christian invasion of the Muslim world from his home city of Ba`labak (in today’s Lebanon), where he became a conscripted soldier in the Islamic army. He left behind numerous texts on devotional prayers, cultivating a more deep and meaningful relationship with Allah and how to survive the temptations of the worldly life.

[6] Shuhdah bint Abi Nasr Ahmad ibn Al-Faraj ad-Dinuri, 480-574 AH (1087-1178 AD). She was a master of hadith, fiqh, theology, as well as one of the graders of ahadith and commentatress on doctrines such as salvation, the angels and the Attributes of Allah. Although perhaps one of the most famous scholars of the city of Baghdad, she was reputed to be down to earth, accessible to all and full of compassion for the poor.

[7] Abu Muhammad `Abdur-Rahman ibn Ibrahim Al-Maqdisi, 556-624 AH (AD 1161-1227). The Imam was a general in the Islamic army that would recover Jerusalem from Christian invaders, but is renowned for his teaching and preaching doctrine and writing one of the smallest and most concise commentaries in his madhhab in history. Until now, his grave in Palestine is a popular place of visitation while he is revered among the people.

[8] Abul Fath Nasr ibn Fatyan ibn Matr an-Nahrawani, 504-583 AH (AD 1111-1187). The scholar known universally by the scholars of his time as, ‘The Advocate of Islam, the Shaikh of the Hanbalis and the faqih of Iraq,’ he was accepted wholly by the scholars of his time as perhaps the greatest male scholar of his time in Iraq without dispute. Every science that he touched made him shine and any book he wrote on every science became a best seller amongst his people. The vast majority of his books remain unpublished manuscripts in museums across the world. His most famous students were the scholars Muwaffaq ud-Din Ibn Qudamah, his two older brothers and his two older sisters.

[9] Abul Khattab Mahfudh ibn Ahmad Al-Kalwadhani, 432-510 AH (AD 1041-1116). The Imam was perhaps the greatest teacher of `Abdul Qadir ibn Musa Al-Jilani and stood shoulder to shoulder with the greatest scholars of the madhhab in his time. The khalifa of his time made him the chief Qadi for the Islamic world and often when scholars saw him, they would comment, ‘Here comes the law,’ referring to his penchant for enforcing justice. Imām al-Kalwadhāni saw no difference between prosecution for the rich or the poor.  But he was even handed, believing no one to be above the law. He left behind some 10 or more books in various sciences.

[10] `Abdul Qadir ibn Musa Al-Jilani, 471-561 AH (AD 1079-1166). He was known more for his spiritual and devotional books, although he was a highly accomplished scholar in all 18 sciences of the Revealed Law. Imam Al-Jilani wrote books in every single science of Islam, most of them being brief manuals to help the novice gain a stronger footing in the faith as well as day-to-day matters in jurisprudence.