The Revivers

The following documents fourteen centuries of scholarship, giving a list of all those that inherited the prophetic knowledge through a continuous and unbroken chain of traditional scholarship.

An Introduction to the Salaf, the First Three Generations
by Andrew Sanders:

The Prophet, sal Allahu ‘alayhi wasallam, said:

“The best of generations is my generation, then the one after that, then the one after that. After them will appear untrustworthy people”

From this hadeeth we understand that the first three generations are from the best of all people. They are the torchbearers of guidance, the most trust worthy people of following. They are the bedrock of scholarship for all those who truly desire to follow the traditional understanding of Islam as taught by the Prophet, sal Allahu ‘alayhi wasallam.

The first three generations, more commonly known as the Salaf, consist of:

1. The Sahaabah: The companions of the Messenger of Allah, sal Allahu ‘alayhi wasallam. These are the blessed people to have met the Prophet, sal Allahu ‘alayhi wasallam, or even seen him from a distance. Their belief in his prophet-hood and their visual seeing of the Messenger of Allah, sal Allahu ‘alayhi wasallam, is enough to be considered a companion.

Although there are different ranks of closeness to the Prophet, sal Allahu ‘alayhi wasallam, between them. Those who spent more time, traveled and struggled alongside the Prophet, sal Allahu ‘alayhi wasallam hold more rank than those who did not. We pray for them by saying radiy Allahu anhu [singular] or radiy Allahu anhum [plural] when mentioning their names. This supplication simply means, Allah be well pleased with him, or them.

2. The Tabi’een: These are the blessed people to have seen the companions of the Messenger of Allah, sal Allahu ‘alayhi wasallam, and have studied directly from them. We use the supplication radiy Allahu anhu for them, or rahimahullah.

3. The Tabi’ Tabi’een: These are the blessed people to have seen the students of the Sahaabah, and learned directly from them. We also use the supplication radiy Allahu anhu for them, or rahimahullah.

Below is a list of scholars from the first three generations:
         

The Scholars of the Salaf by al-Hajj Abu Ja’far al-Hanbali – hts publications 

[Where-ever edited, extra notes are added by Andrew Sanders under initials A.S]

The Scholars of the 1st Century AH (7th Century AD)

The scholars below are organised both according to chronological dating. These scholars are Orthodox in the sense that their creed, understanding of the foundations of fiqh was correct. Without this, no scholar could be included in the ranks as an Orthodox father or mother in the true sense of the word.

Shaikh ul-Islam Abu Bakr as-Siddiq, radiy Allahu ‘anhu

53 BH-13 AH/ 572-635 AD. He was the first khalifa [11-13 AH/632-634 AD] of Islam. All of the Sahaaba unanimously agreed upon his appointment. Of the 10 directly promised the Jannah by the Prophet Muhammad SALLALLAHU ALAIHI WA SALLAM, he is amongst them, in addition to his being the best friend of the Prophet Muhammad SALLALLAHU ALAIHI WA SALLAM . He SALLALLAHU ALAIHI WA SALLAM spoke of Abu Bakr RAA in the following way, ‘There is no one after the prophets and messengers that the sun has set or risen on more virtuous than Abu Bakr.’ He missed the presence of the Messenger of Allah SALLALLAHU ALAIHI WA SALLAM so much that he died of grief, but someone had also put poison in the soup that he drank. He breathed his last at the age of 63 years. He had ruled for 2 years, 3 months and 10 days.

Shaikh ul-Islam `Umar al-Faaruq

The second khalifa [13-23 AH/634-644 AD] of the Muslims and the second of ten to be promised the Paradise by the Prophet Muhammad SALLALLAHU ALAIHI WA SALLAM . In his time as khalifa, he had some 1,036 cities taken over and 4,000 masjids built, two of them being in Basra and its’ sister city, Kufa. He also set up inns and soup kitchens for the poor as well as destitute travellers. Pensions for soldiers and other public service workers were established. Al-Faaruq was known for his sagacity, his justice and uncompromising scrupulousness. His hatred for corruption and evil caused tremendous admiration for him from the Muslims. This only brought enmity from the kuffar, however. He was martyred at 63 years of age while leading the Fajr prayer by a Parsee named Abu Lu’lu al-Majusi. He left behind his wife and 13 children. He had ruled for 10 years, 6 months and 5 days.

Imaam `Uthmaan Ibn `Affaan al-Ghani

The third khalifa [23-34 AH/644-655 AD] of the Muslims and the third to be promised the Paradise by the Prophet SALLALLAHU ALAIHI WA SALLAM. Al-Ghani was also known as Dhun-Nurain (the possessor of the two lights) due to his marriage to two of the Prophet Muhammad SALLALLAHU ALAIHI WA SALLAM ’s daughters. A very shy man, but an adept statesman and scholar of letters, the third khalifa was a hard working man. It was under his supervision that the Qur’an was given a hard back spine, a cover as well as a universal postal system being established. He was murdered by a member of the Khawaarij named Himaar while in his home reading the Qur’an at the age of 86 years. He had ruled for 11 years 11 months and 19 days.

Imaam Asadullah `Ali ibn Abi Taalib al-Murtadaa

The fourth khalifa [34-38 AH/655-659 AD] of Islam and a master of Arabic grammar and theology, al-Murtadaa had one of the shortest tenures as khalifa, but his bravery through the annals of Islam is legendary. In addition to being the fourth of the ten promised the Paradise by the Messenger of Allah SALLALLAHU ALAIHI WA SALLAM , Imaam `Ali RAA was also married to the youngest and most cherished daughter of the Prophet SALLALLAHU ALAIHI WA SALLAM, Faatima az-Zahra RAA, a leader of the women of Paradise. He was murdered at the age of 63 years by Ibn Muljum, an assassin from the ranks of the Khawaarij, while opening the door to the masjid for the Fajr prayer. His body is buried somewhere in Kufa in Iraaq. There are two grave sites, due to the fact that at the time of his burial, the Khawaarij were searching for his body so that they might mutilate it. He had ruled for 4 years and 8 months.

Umm il-Mu’minin `A’isha as-Siddiqa

The favourite wife of the Prophet Muhammad SALLALLAHU ALAIHI WA SALLAM and the most knowledgeable of the women Sahaabiyaat, she narrated some 2,210 or more ahaadith. In addition to mastering the sciences of tafsir and fiqh, she was a Qaadiya with her own court in Iraaq when she visited as well as Madinah. She died at the age of 77 years.

Imaam `Abdullah ibn Mas`ud

One of the most senior most Sahaaba and a master of the Qur’an in its’ recital, memorisation and understanding of the events of its revelation. Ibn Mas`ud RAA was the judge and elder of the growing community of Kufa in Iraaq, the sister city of Basra.

Imaam al-Hasan ibn `Ali

The eldest son of Imaam `Ali ibn Abi Taalib RAA and the fifth khalifa after his father, al-Hasan was the chief negotiator between Mu`awiyah ibn Abi Sufyaan and the other Muslims and prevented an all out civil war amongst the Muslim community. The year he completed the negotiations is called ‘the Year of Jama`ah (togetherness),’ a time of peace and jubilation for Muslims. Due to this act, Allah would guide the khalifas of the Ummayyads for 100 years with few disturbances or insurrections. Every khalifa was succeeded after the natural death of the other. This was not the case with the Abbassids. Named by the Prophet Muhammad SALLALLAHU ALAIHI WA SALLAM himself, the names al-Hasan and that of his brother al-Hussain, were not popularly known amongst the Arabs. These names were referred to by the Prophet SALLALLAHU ALAIHI WA SALLAM as two fragrances from the Paradise. Upon retiring to Madinah, it is reported that he was poisoned by his wife who accepted an unscrupulous bribe. He is buried in al-Madinah the radiant. He had been the fifth khalifa and had fulfilled the prophecy made by the Messenger of Allah SALLALLAHU ALAIHI WA SALLAM that the khilaafa system after him would be 30 years. The six months, and the rest of the days of his khilaafa came to 30 years, exactly the number that had been prophesied.

Imaam al-Hussain ibn `Ali

Known as the master of the martyrs and one of the leaders of the Paradise and a fragrance of the Paradise. Imaam al-Hussain was an Imaam that campaigned for the rights of Muslims and also opposed some of the corruption that he saw amongst some members of the military of the khalifa of the time. A righteous man and scholar of Islam, al-Hussain was murdered by a rogue element in the army of the then khalifa, Yazid ibn Mu`awiyah. He is buried in Karbala.

Imaam Anas ibn Maalik

One of the great muftis of the Sahaaba and a man of sharp intellect and wisdom, he taught Imaam Abu Hanifa RH briefly and had resided in Kufa.

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The Scholars of the 2nd Century AH (8th Century AD)

The scholars below are organised both according to chronological dating. These scholars are Orthodox in the sense that their creed, understanding of the foundations of fiqh was correct. Without this, no scholar could be included in the ranks as an Orthodox father or mother in the true sense of the word.

Imaam Sufyaan ath-Thawri

97-161 AH/716-778 AD. Known as Shaikh ul-Islam and Leader of the Believers in hadith, he was one of the great students of the students of the Sahaaba. He had his own madhhab in fiqh and was an absolute mujtahid. He was a contemporary to Imaams Maalik and Abu Hanifa RH.

Imaam Sufyaan ibn `Uyainah

107-198 AH/725-813 AD. A Makkan scholar of high repute who met some 85 students of the Sahaaba, he was one of the most famous teachers of Imaam Ahmad ibn Hanbal RH. As a scholar of hadith and their application, he was sought after in his time due to his rigorous standards in study as well as great erudition. He taught Tasawwuf and the higher sciences of Qur’anic recital and interpretation.

Imaam Abu `Umar al-Awzaa`ii

88-158 AH/707-775 AD. Shaikh ul-Islam and one of the foremost collectors of the ahaadith with the other four great imaams, he was born and bred in today’s Syria. He narrated and learned from more than 11 students of the Sahaaba. He spoke truth and righteousness wherever he went and had not fear of the governmental authorities or what others might think of him for telling the truth.

Imaam al-Hasan al-Basri

D. 110 AH/728 AD. Perhaps the most outstanding student of Imaam `Ali ibn Abi Taalib RAA, as well as a long time disciple of Shaikha Raabi`a al-`Adawiyyah RAA, the first major Muslim saint. He was the son of two freed slaves of the two Sahaaba Umm ul-Mu’minin Umm Salama RAA and Sayyiduna Zaid ibn Thaabit RAA Imaam al-Basri studied Tasawwuf as well as the science of hadith. Long considered as one of the great saints among the students of the Sahaaba, his constant practice was to wear a black turban.

Imaam Tawus

One of the top students of Sayyiduna Ibn `Abbas RAA, he was also a teacher of one of the Ummayyad Khalifas, Khalifa `Umar ibn `Abdul `Aziz RAA. He specialised in the explanation and interpretation of the Qur’an and its’ sub-categories.

Imaam Ibrahim an-Nakha`ii

46-96 AH/661-715 AD. One of the great students of the Sahaaba and a major narrator from them. For his scholarship and great intellect and precision in fataawa, he was named, ‘the faqih of Iraaq.’

Imaam Waki` ibn al-Jarraah

197 AH/813 AD. One of the major students of Imaam Abu Hanifa RH and one of his 40 qaadis that used to preside over fiqh cases, this noble scholar was also one of the teachers of Imaam Ahmad ibn Hanbal RH.

Imaam Yazid ibn Harun

206 AH/821 AD. A scholar of absolute ijtihaad within a madhhab, he was one of the teachers of Imaam Ahmad ibn Hanbal RH who imparted some of his knowledge to him, teaching him the 24,000 ahaadith that he knew by heart.

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The Scholars of the 3rd Century AH (9th Century AD)

The scholars below are organised both according to chronological dating. These scholars are Orthodox in the sense that their creed, understanding of the foundations of fiqh was correct. Without this, no scholar could be included in the ranks as an Orthodox father or mother in the true sense of the word.

Imaam Abu Hanifa

80-150 AH/699-767 AD. One of the four Imaams of Absolute Ijtihaad, a master of fiqh and its’ principles, he was the first one to divide fiqh into chapters and headings, facilitating easy reading for students.

Imaam Maalik ibn Anas

93-179 AH/712-795 AD. Known as the ‘Imaam of Madinah’ and the ‘Master of Daar ul-Hijrah,’ he was an absolute mujtahid with piety that in our day and time would seem unreal. Indeed, even in his time, he was a great rarity. He tried not to run, become angry or raise his voice to often in a city that has housed within it the noble body of the Prophet Muhammad SALLALLAHU ALAIHI WA SALLAM.

Imaam ash-Shaafi`ii

D. 204 AH/819 AD. Known as the reviver and renewer of Islam in his era, he was the first of all the absolute mujtahids to write down a book explaining how to derive rulings in a systematic and cogent way. A direct descendant of the Prophet Muhammad SALLALLAHU ALAIHI WA SALLAM and raised in the shadow of Masjids al-Aqsa and the Sacred Masjid of Makkah, his knowledge of deriving furu` (branches) from usul (foundations) was second to none. It is for this reason that any faqih after him owes a debt to him, for making fiqh an easier exercise to partake in for the scholar.

Imaam Ahmad ibn Hanbal

164-241 AH/781-855 AD. The last of the four great absolute mujtahid imaams, he grew up in Basra and later made his living and life in Baghdaad, which at the time was the centre of Islamic civilisation. He is one of the great memorisers of hadith and the only one of two known to have memorised one million ahaadith. He was the first to write out a systematic grading system for ahaadith and recognition of their weaknesses. His strictness is well known throughout the Muslim world but his piety is also well celebrated.

Imaam `Ali ibn al-Madini

A companion of Imaam Ahmad ibn Hanbal RH and a scholar of hadith as well as a memoriser, he is mentioned in the books of critical analysis for hadith, a science that requires great depth and insight. Although criticised for other reasons, in hadith he is generally accepted and his positions endorsed.

Imaam `Abdur-Razzaaq an-San`aani

d. 211 AH/826 AD. A memoriser of hadith from Sanaa`a in Yemen, he was one of the teachers of Imaam Ahmad, he is know to have memorised nearly 17,000 ahaadith.

Imaam `Abdullah ibn alMubaarak

118-181 AH/AD. One of the 40 qaadis who passed rulings on the panel of Imaam Abu Hanifa RH, he was a decorated war veteran and a master in the science of hadith. He would send letters back from the battlefield to his friends and ask them to join him.

Imaam Abu Mansur al-Maaturidi

D. 333 AH/945 AD. The collector and organiser of the Maaturidi School of theology, Imaam Abu Mansur was a tireless theologian and a great Hanafi jurist of Samarqand. Due to his efforts and constant dedication to preserving the faith of Islam, most of those who follow the Hanafi School are taught theology from his books.

Imaam Abul Hasan al-Ash`ari

260-324 AH/874-936 AD. A major Shaafi`ii scholar, heresiographer, master of the disciplines of theology and friend of Imaam Ahmad ibn Hanbal RH, Imaam Abul Hasan left the Mu`tazilah faction early in his scholarly career and wrote books rebutting his former colleagues with expertise which was only surpassed by the Imaam of Imaams, Ahmad ibn Hanbal RH.

Imaam Abu Ja`far at-Tahaawi

229-312 AH/844-924 AD. A great Egyptian Hanafi jurist of the early generations, he wrote many books in different fields of Islam. However, his most well known book is al-`Aqidat ut-Tahaawiyyah, a book of theology that is taught throughout the Islamic world in different seminaries.

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An Introduction to the Khalaf – The generations after the Salaf
By Andrew Sanders 

The Khalaf are the blessed people that inherited the knowledge from the best of generations, the Salaf. Radiy Allahu ‘anhum. There tends to be a stigma that any scholarship after the Salaf is misguided. We seek refuge from this false notion.

Even though we are told that there would arise untrustworthy people in the later generations, the Messenger of Allah, sal Allahu ‘alayhi wasallam, stated that the guidance of Islam shall remain and it’s clarity will be like that of the day. He, sal allahu ‘alayhi wasallam, told us through various sayings that the deen of Islam will be preserved in every century by the people of knowledge. One such hadeeth  is where the Prophet of Allah, sal Allahu ‘alayhi wasallam, said:

 “This knowledge will be carried by the trustworthy ones of every generation – they will expel from it the alterations made by those going beyond bounds, the false claims of the liars, and the false interpretations of the ignorant” 

 The Holy Prophet, sal Allahu alayhi wasallam, also said:

 “At the head of every one hundred years, Allah will send to this nation one who will revive for it its Religion. 

 Therefore the Khalaf are simply those trustworthy people who inherited the knowledge, and have passed it down in each century until our very time. The following documentation is a continuation of the scholars of each century, and it has been authored by the noble Shaykh, al-Hajj, Abu Ja’far la-Hanbali.

Scholars of the 4th Century AH

The Scholars of the 4th Century AH (10th Century AD)

The scholars below are organised both according to chronological dating. These scholars are Orthodox in the sense that their creed, understanding of the foundations of fiqh was correct. Without this, no scholar could be included in the ranks as an Orthodox father or mother in the true sense of the word.

  • Imaam Abu Bakr al-Khallaal
  • Imaam Ahmad al-Athram
  • Imaam al-Muzini
  • Imaam Abu Zur`a
  • Imaam Saalih ibn Ahmad
  • Imaam al-Maimuni
  • Imaam Abu Yusuf
  • Imaam Ibrahim al-Harbi
  • Imaam Muhammad ibn al-Hasan ash-Shaibaani
  • Imaam Ibn al-Qaasim
  • Imaam Abul-Hussain al-Khiraqi
  • Imaam Abu Bakr al-Aajuri
  • Imaam Harb al-Kirmaani
  • Imaam Ishaaq al-Marwadhi
  • Imaam `Ubaidullah Ibn Battah
  • Imaam Abu Bakr an-Najjaad
  • Imaam Abu Bakr al-Aajuri

Imaam Abu Bakr al-Khallaal

  1. 311 AH/923 AD. A memoriser of ahaadith and master of fiqh, he learned his fiqh from Imaam Ahmad’s uncles, cousins and closest students so as to memorise the madhhab. After long endeavours, he put all of the rulings and texts into one 20 work that is still extant today. For the remaining years of his life, he taught the book in the very masjid in Baghdaad where Imaam Ahmad RH used to hold lectures.

Imaam Ahmad al-Athram

  1. 261 AH/875 AD. A senior student of Imaam Ahmad ibn Hanbal RH, he had his own chain of transmission and hadith works that he wrote. He dedicated most of his life to being in the presence of Imaam Ahmad RH and learning fiqh from him.

Imaam al-Muzini

One of the direct students of Imaam ash-Shaafi`ii RH, who narrated directly from him. His narrations from the Imaam carry great authority in the Shaafi`ii madhhab.

Imaam Abu Zur`a

327 AH/939 AD. A companion of Imaam Ahmad and a scribe of hadith who would note and organise hadith and fiqh chapters according to the Imaam’s cue. He was a Zaahid and master in the science of hadith.

Imaam Saalih ibn Ahmad

  1. 266 AH/880 AD. The chief Qaadi of the city of Tarsus and the eldest of the sons of Imaam Ahmad ibn Hanbal RH, he wrote most of the narrations of his father and took down most of the proofs and evidences of the madhhab.

Imaam al-Maimuni

  1. 274 AH/887 AD. One of the inner circle of Imaam Ahmad ibn Hanbal’s RH students, he was allowed to write down rulings from the Imaam in his presence, an honour usually only reserved for his sons. He wrote two books on Hanbali fiqh terminology that are still extent.

Imaam Abu Yusuf

113-182 AH/AD. The greatest student of Imaam Abu Hanifa RH and the primary narrator of the Hanafi madhhab. He is also one of the teachers of Imaam Ahmad ibn Hanbal RH. During the Abbassid era, he was given a head place in the judiciary of the Islamic government.

Imaam Ibrahim al-Harbi

189-285 AH/805-898 AD. A senior student of Imaam Ahmad ibn Hanbal and a Sufi who wrote numerous books on the sciences. He was one of the major saints in his time in the city of Baghdaad. Still today, he is remembered there as a great saint.

Imaam Muhammad ibn al-Hasan ash-Shaibaani

135-189 AH/751-805 AD. The third source of Hanafi fatwa after the Imaam himself and Imaam Abu Yusuf RH. Imaam Muhammad learned from both individuals in addition to also learning some fiqh from Imaam Maalik ibn Anas RH in al-Madinah.

Imaam Ibn al-Qaasim

  1. 191/807 AD. One of the long standing companions of Imaam Maalik ibn Anas RH, his level in Maaliki fiqh is like that of Imaam Abu Hanifa’s RH two famous students, Abu Yusuf and Muhammad ibn al-Hasan ash-Shaibaani RH. He died at the long lived age of 63, an accomplished source for the Maaliki School and one of the main pools of righteousness that Imaam Sahnun RH, another Imaam from the school, would collect from in order to document the rulings within the school.

Imaam Abul-Hussain al-Khiraqi

  1. 334 AH/946 AD. Hanbali mufti, jurist, faqih and zaahid par excellence, Imaam al-Khiraqi was a student of Imaam al-Khallal and originally came from Baghdaad and settled in Damascus. He wrote most of his books on the subject of fiqh, one of them being his masterpiece, al-Mukhtasir al-Khiraqi. There have been some 300 commentaries written on this work down the centuries. He was martyred one day when trying to stop the corruption of a local governor.

Imaam Abu Bakr al-Aajuri

  1. 360 AH/971 AD. A Hanbali theologian and jurist of law, he was one of Baghdaad’s great scholars and a relentless persuer of justice wherever he saw the boundaries of Shari`a being violated. Kitaab ush-Shari`a, his most famous book, details the nature of creed, innovation and how to prevent straying from the way of Allah.

Imaam Harb al-Kirmaani

  1. 280 AH/893 AD. A student of Hanbali fiqh through Imaam al-Marwadhi RH, half of the Hanbali fiqh that he learned, he transmitted it through al-Marwadhi RH. The other half he took directly through Imaam Ahmad RH himself, who he was introduced to through al-Marwadhi RH.

Imaam Ishaaq al-Marwadhi

  1. 251 AH/865 AD. A student of Imaam Ahmad. He collected all of the Imaam’s fataawa and rulings into one volume and then presented them to him twice, having him look them over. When the Imaam’s assent was given, he began to teach the people using the work approved from the Imaam. Imaam Ahmad is the only Imaam who supervised the collection of his fiqh and his madhhab was operation and running, fully collated, during his lifetime. This is truly a unique and miraculous event from the life of Imaam Ahmad.

Imaam `Ubaidullah Ibn Battah

304-387AH/916-999AD. A major Hanbali scholar in theology, fiqh and the terminology of hadith, he was contemporary with the Hanbali master Imaam al-Khiraqi when he was present in Baghdaad. Many accusations surround his person, but none have truly been proven beyond doubt. He was in his time and still today remains one of the jewels of Baghdaad.

Imaam Abu Bakr an-Najjaad

253-348 AH/867-959 AD. The Hanbali Sufi, ascetic of rigorous piety and poor man for the sake of Allah, he narrated from the Hanbali hadith scholar, Imaam Abu Dawud as-Sijistaani RH. He died and was put to rest at 95 years of age in Baghdaad.


 

Scholars of the 5th Century AH

The Scholars of the 5th Century AH (11th Century AD)

The scholars below are organised both according to chronological dating. These scholars are Orthodox in the sense that their creed, understanding of the foundations of fiqh was correct. Without this, no scholar could be included in the ranks as an Orthodox father or mother in the true sense of the word.

  • Imaam Ibn `Aqil
  • Imaam Abu Mansur
  • Imaam Abu Ismaa`il al-Ansaari
  • Imaam Abu Haamid al-Ghazzaali
  • Imaam Abu Bakr ibn al-`Arabi

Imaam Ibn `Aqil

433-512 AH/1042-1118 AD. Shaikh ul-Islam of his time and the reviver of Hanbali fiqh for his age, he began as a Hanafi from Mu`tazilah parents, but then switched madhhabs. His Hanbali contemporaries had him expelled from the Masjid in Baghdaad for studying philosophy and Mu`tazilah creed. He later repented from this in his early twenties and thereafter became a source for Hanbali fiqh. One of his greatest legacies is the 200 volume Kitaab ul-Funun (the Book of Sciences), which centred on the madhhab and attempting to prove the superiority of the Hanbali madhhab. It also included numerous other chapters on science, physics (which he was a master and professor of) as well as medical information. A scholar of multifarious sciences and a master of theology, he stands now as he did then as a giant among the great mass of `ulama.

Imaam Abu Mansur al-Hanbali

  1. 461 AH/1068 AD. One of the Hanbalis that protected Imaam Ibn `Aqil RH from physical attack by the Hanbalis for his studying philosophy, he offered the Imaam advice and also gave him sincere correction in matters of creed and the philosophical discourse that he was involved in at the time. Imaam al-Hanbali owned his own madrasah and extended a helping hand to someone who he believed was sincere. Indeed, Allah used him to preserve someone who would become one of the revivers of the religion.

Imaam Abu Ismaa`il al-Ansaari

396-481 AH/1006-1088 AD. Shaikh ul-Islam for his time among the Hanbalis and a major scholar of Tasawwuf, hailing from Heart in today’s Afghanistan. He wrote in Persian, Arabic, the language of the Pathans (his racial background) and others in everything from creed to the dangers of studying philosophy. In order to refute philosophers of his time, he read their books to deconstruct their methods. The Hanbali authorities, who saw then and still today, hold study of Greek philosophy as impermissible warned him of capital punishment if he kept studying these works and using them as teaching aids. He continued and was eventually executed for his disagreement. He left behind some over 11 works in different sciences.

Imaam Abu Haamid al-Ghazzaali

450-505 AH/1058-1112 AD. Shaikh ul-Islam for his period and hailed by the Shaafi`ii madhhab as, ‘the second advent of Imaam ash-Shaafi`ii,’ he wrote works in every single science of Islam. According to Imaam adh-Dhahabi RH, the Muslims made ijmaa` (consensus) of his being a reviver of the religion for his time period. A great Sufi, poet, theologian and memoriser of texts, his compendium, Ihyaa’ `Ulum ud-Din (Revival of the Religious Sciences) is still taught throughout the Muslim world in different seminaries and in some is considered required reading for advanced students.

Imaam Abu Bakr ibn al-`Arabi

468-543 AH/1076-1148 AD. Referred to loosely as the Qaadi of the Maalikis, he was a famous student of Imaam Abu Haamid al-Ghazzaali RH. He was born in today’s Spain and is considered on of their greatest scholars. His commentary on the Qur’an as well as different hadith collections is held to be amongst the many pearls and jewels of Islam.


 

Scholars of the 6th Century AH

The Scholars of the 6st Century AH (12th Century AD)

The scholars below are organised both according to chronological dating. These scholars are Orthodox in the sense that their creed, understanding of the foundations of fiqh was correct. Without this, no scholar could be included in the ranks as an Orthodox father or mother in the true sense of the word.

  • Imaam Abdul Qaadir al-Jilaani
  • Imaam Ibn al-Jawzi
  • Imaam Abul Hussain al-Yusufi
  • Shaikha Shahidah ad-Dinuri
  • Shaikh Shams ud-Din `Abdul Waahid

Imaam Abdul Qaadir al-Jilaani

470-561 AH/1077-1168 AD. Shaikh ul-Islam of the Hanbalis of his time, a renewer of the religion and also the founder of the Qaadiri Sufi Order, there are few houses that have not heard his name. He was born in Baghdaad to parents related to the Prophet Muhammad SAW on both sides. In his youth, he vowed not to stop learning Islamic knowledge until he mastered 13 sciences of the Shari`a. He realised this goal with his teacher, Imaam Ibn `Aqil RH.

Imaam Ibn al-Jawzi

509-597 AH/1115-1202 AD. Shaikh ul-Islam of the Hanbalis of his time, member of the Qaadiri Tariqah in Baghdaad and one of the best students of Imaam `Abdul Qaadir al-Jilaani RH. While in his youth, he memorised more than 100,000 ahaadith and the Qur’an in his youth. A direct descendant of Sayyiduna Abu Bakr RAA and a best friend to Imaam Muwaffaq ud-Din RH, he brought over 10,000 people into Islam with his hands. He wrote over 300 books and was a senior theologian of high standing in the seminary that he founded.

Imaam Abul Hussain al-Yusufi

494-575 AH/1101-1179 AD. A hadith scholar of Palestinian origin from the Hanbali School who taught the science of the narrators of hadith and criticism and verification of the variants and texts of ahaadith.

Shaikha Shahidah ad-Dinuri

480-574 AH/1087-1178 AD. An Iraaqi Hanbali mistress of Hadith and their sciences, she trained many Qaadis from her madrasah in Baghdaad. Her memorisation and commentary on the six sahih collections was the envy of all of those who came into her presence. She also wrote articles on Jihaad as well as military campaigns and history. Her cousin, Imaam Bahaa’ ud-Din RH, ranks amongst her best students.

Shaikh Shams ud-Din `Abdul Waahid

564-623 AH/1169-1226 AD. A major Palestinian Hanbali scholar of hadith with chains of transmission stretching back to al-Bukhaari and Muslim, this Imaam visited the birthplace of both to take in their blessings. He dedicated most of his life to the grading of hadith and criticising their transmitters, but he also wrote frequently in fiqh. His pocket-sized ‘Guide to Salaah’ was used by both soldiers in the Islamic army and school children for an easy reference. He is the cousin of the al-Maqdisi clan, a family of male and female scholars originally hailing from Palestine but then relocated to Damascus.


Scholars of the 7th Century AH

The Scholars of the 7th Century AH (13th Century AD)

The scholars below are organised both according to chronological dating. These scholars are Orthodox in the sense that their creed, understanding of the foundations of fiqh was correct. Without this, no scholar could be included in the ranks as an Orthodox father or mother in the true sense of the word.

  • Imaam Muwaffaq ud-Din Ibn Qudaamah
  • Imaam Majd ud-Din `Abdus-Salaam
  • Imaam Bahaa ud-Din al-Maqdisi
  • Shaikha Sayyida al-Maqdisiyyah
  • Imaam `Imaad ud-Din Ibn Qudaamah
  • Imaam Abu `Umar ibn Qudaamah
  • Imaam Shihaab ud-Din al-Harraani
  • Imaam Ibn Naasih al-Hanbali
  • Imaam Yahya an-Nawawi
  • Imaam Shams ud-Din ibn Qudaamah
  • Shaikha Raabi`a al-Maqdisiyyah
  • Imaam `Abdul Waahid al-Maqidisi
  • Imaam Ibn Diqaaq al-Batti
  • Imaam `Abdul Ghaani al-Maqdisi

Imaam Muwaffaq ud-Din Ibn Qudaamah

541-620 AH/1146-1223 AD. One of the major resources for the Hanbali School and Shaikh ul-Islam for his time, this Imaam was sometimes referred to as, ‘the Mufti of the Mortals.’ Although versed in the sciences of Shari`a, he was also a very studious astronomer and mathematician. He was also a soldier in the Islamic army and was a Sufi of the Qaadiri Order, having taken initiation directly from Imaam `Abdul Qaadir al-Jilaani RH.

Imaam Majd ud-Din `Abdus-Salaam

  1. 653 AH/1255 AD. One of the great Iraaqi Hanbali jurists of Baghdaad, the rulings of Muwaffaq ud-Din RH and his won carry great weight in the school and few desire to disagree with them even today, although both have been gone from this life for 700 years or more.

Imaam Bahaa’ ud-Din al-Maqdisi

556-624 AH/1161-1227 AD. A scholar of hadith, creed, fiqh, astronomy, chemistry, metallurgy and a decorated war veteran from the Islamic Army of Salaah ud-Din RH, he is also from the famous and well known al-Maqdisi tribe, composed of great luminaries of Hanbali fiqh, men and women. He learned the arts of warfare and sword fighting at an early age and took an interest in the military life. His only time off the battle field was to write a fiqh commentary with his first cousin. Most likely one of the bravest soldiers a Palestinian mother has ever produced.

Shaikha Sayyida al-Maqdisiyyah

610 AH/1213 AD. A sister of Imaam Muwaffaq ud-Din and his rival in fiqh, she won wide acclaim for her knowledge of creed as well as fiqh, at times besting her brothers in the subject.

Imaam `Imaad ud-Din Ibn Qudaamah

The next eldest brother to Imaam Muwaffaq ud-Din RH after Imaam Abu `Umar RH. He was a faqih and a war hero.

Imaam Abu `Umar ibn Qudaamah

The oldest brother of Imaam Muwaffaq ud-Din RH and a war veteran from Salaah ud-Din’s RH Jerusalem campaign.

Imaam Shihaab ud-Din al-Harraani

682 AH/1284 AD. Custodian of the Hanbali institutions of Damascus and the head of the judicial council of Hanbalis in Syria. He was a saint from the Qaadiri Order and a regular preacher at Masjid al-Hanbaliyyah.

Imaam Ibn Naasih al-Hanbali

Hanbali Mufti and master of tafsir in the Qur’an and hadith, he was one of the teachers of Imaam Muwaffaq ud-Din RH.

Imaam Yahya an-Nawawi

631-676 AH/1233-1277 AD. Shaikh ul-Islam of his time and one of the great commentators on the collection we know as Sahih Muslim, he was a major Shaafi`ii scholar from Damascus. His love for knowledge and his zeal for teaching others brought him great fortune from Allah by way of the popularity that he still enjoys today. Before his death, he gave all of his library away in charity and quietly went to the house of his parents where he soon died.

Imaam Shams ud-Din ibn Qudaamah

682 AH/1283 AD. The nephew of Imaam Muwaffaq ud-Din RH and the teacher of Imaams Yahya an-Nawawi and Ahmad ibn Taymiyyah RHM, he was one of the great commentators on al-Mughni, as well as the text al-Muqni`a and the Mukhtasir of Imaam al-Khiraqi RH. A very shy and humble man, he had to be forced to assume the position of grand Qaadi of Syria when it was clear that his knowledge warranted such a promotion.

Shaikha Raabi`a al-Maqdisiyyah

600 AH/1204 AD. The older sister of Imaam Muwaffaq and a Haafiza of Hadith, her and her husband knew atleast 100,000 ahaadith each. Her vast knowledge of fiqh as well as different levels of hadith authentication astounded even senior level students who attended her classes.

Imaam `Abdul Waahid al-Maqidisi

The father of Imaams `Abdul Waahid and `Abdul Ghaani, he was a notable Hanbali scholar of Palestine, born and raised in the shadow of the Dome of the Rock complex.

Imaam Ibn Diqaaq al-Batti

One of the teachers of Imaam Muwaffaq ud-Din RH, he specialised in social etiquettes and Arabic grammar and morphology.

Imaam `Abdul Ghaani al-Maqdisi

541-600 AH/1146-1204 AD. Grand Haafiz and memoriser of hadith from the Hanbali School, he wrote a large commentary on the Mustadrak of al-Haakim that is still extent.


 

Scholars of the 8th Century AH

The Scholars of the 8th Century AH (14th Century AD)

The scholars below are organised both according to chronological dating. These scholars are Orthodox in the sense that their creed, understanding of the foundations of fiqh was correct. Without this, no scholar could be included in the ranks as an Orthodox father or mother in the true sense of the word.

  • Imaam Ibn Rajab al-Hanbali
  • Imaam Taqi ud-Din as-Subki
  • Imaam `Ataa Allah al-Iskandari
  • Imaam Sulaimaan at-Tufi
  • Shaikha Faatimah bint Jawhar
  • Imaam Ismaa`il Ibn Kathir
  • Imaam Taaj ud-Din as-Subki

Imaam Ibn Rajab al-Hanbali

736-795 AH/1336-1396 AD. One of the great memorisers of hadith and a great Sufi of the Qaadiri Order, he was a master theologian as well as historian. His well documented biography of all the Hanbali scholars of his time as well as those before him is when of the classics of Islamic scholarship.

Imaam Taqi ud-Din as-Subki

683-756 AH/1284-1355 AD. Egyptian master of exegesis of the Qur’an, its’ recitation and Shaafi`ii fiqh, he was hailed as the Imaam of his age by his teachers and students. One of the best things to issue forth from Damascus, his books were considered authoritative, regardless of what science he wrote in with his hand.

Imaam `Ataa’ Allah al-Iskandari

  1. 709/1309 AD. A great Maaliki scholar of Egypt whose mastery of the Shadhili Order combined with creed, hadith terminology and its’ narrators made him one of the greatest scholars of his time. His speeches at al-Azhar were attended by his own peers as well as senior ranking `ulama. He was truly a sage in his own right.

Imaam Sulaimaan at-Tufi

  1. 750/1349 AD. An expert in Hanbali fiqh, theology and fundamentals in faith, he was an avowed enemy of innovation and its’ people.

Shaikha Faatimah bint Jawhar

A memoriser of more than 100,000 ahaadith and a skilled teacher in fiqh, she was a famous figure in her time period.

Imaam Ismaa`il Ibn Kathir

701-774 AH/1302-1372 AD. A master of hadith and memoriser of more than 100,000 ahaadith, he made his mark in Islam throught explanation of the Qur’an as well as his incredible documentation of history in his own time and epochs before. At one time he was given the office of Mufti for Syria.

Imaam Taaj ud-Din as-Subki

727-771 AH/1327-1370 AD. The son of Taqi ud-Din and a combatant against heresies and innovations. Upon the death of his father, he was put into the office of head of judiciary.


 

Scholars of the 9th Century AH

The Scholars of the 9th Century AH (15th Century AD)

The scholars below are organised both according to chronological dating. These scholars are Orthodox in the sense that their creed, understanding of the foundations of fiqh was correct. Without this, no scholar could be included in the ranks as an Orthodox father or mother in the true sense of the word.

  • Imaam Ibn Hajar al-`Asqalaani
  • Imaam Jalaal ud-Din as-Suyuti
  • Imaam Qutlubagha
  • Imaam Muhammad ibn Muhammad al-Hanbali

Imaam Ibn Hajar al-`Asqalaani

773-852 AH/1372-1448 AD. Shaikh ul-Islam for his time and a memoriser of more than 100,000 ahaadith, this Shaafi`ii sage was of Palestinian stock but raised in Egypt. He was a teacher at al-Azhar and his famous commentary on the Sahih of al-Bukhaari was given as a gift on celebrations.

Imaam Jalaal ud-Din as-Suyuti

849-911 AH/1445-1505 AD. A major Shaafi`ii scholar of hadith and a Shaikh ul-Islam of his time, he wrote more than 600 books. He lived a life of piety and avoiding the people, focusing on writing and perfecting scholarly works. His books span areas of medicine and astronomy to issues dealing with differences of opinion between the scholars of his own madhhab and others.

Imaam Qutlubagha

802-879 AH/1400-1474 AD. A major Hanafi jurist of Egypt and one of the best students of Imaam Ibn Hajar RH, Imaam Qutlubagha had a lifelong love for knowledge and travelled throughout the Egypt and other countries acquiring knowledge.

Imaam Muhammad ibn Muhammad al-Hanbali

836-900 AH/1433-1495 AD. The Chief Qaadi of Egypt and the head of the Hanbali seminaries, he wrote numerous works about the life of Imaam Ahmad ibn Hanbal RH. When not giving rulings or studying the texts related to matters of creed, his favourite activity was worship in the form of dhikr as well as gatherings of dhikr. He was a devout Sufi and scholarly genius.


 

Scholars of the 10th Century AH

The Scholars of the 10th Century AH (16th Century AD)

The scholars below are organised both according to chronological dating. These scholars are Orthodox in the sense that their creed, understanding of the foundations of fiqh was correct. Without this, no scholar could be included in the ranks as an Orthodox father or mother in the true sense of the word.

  • Imaam Musa al-Hijaawi
  • Imaam Ibrahim as-Saalihi
  • Imaam Shihaab ud-Din as-Saalihi
  • Imaam Muhibb ud-Din al-`Aqili
  • Imaam Muhyi ud-Din Muhammad

Imaam Musa al-Hijaawi

  1. 968 AH/1561 AD. The former Mufti over Syria, Jordan, Lebanon and Palestine, he shined in the field of comparative fiqh, Hanbali creed and fiqh as well as Arabic grammar and syntax.

Imaam Ibrahim as-Saalihi

A teacher of Imaam al-Hijaawi RH and a fiqh expert.

Imaam Shihaab ud-Din as-Saalihi

One of Imaam al-Hijaawi’s RH teachers in fiqh.

Imaam Muhibb ud-Din al-`Aqili

One of the great Hanbali masters of hadith, he was a teacher of Imaam al-Hijaawi RH.

Imaam Muhyi ud-Din Muhammad

A faqih as well as a scholars well grounded in hadith methodology, he was one of the teachers of Imaam al-Hijaawi RH.


 

Scholars of the 11th Century AH

The Scholars of the 11th Century AH (17th Century AD)

The scholars below are organised both according to chronological dating. These scholars are Orthodox in the sense that their creed, understanding of the foundations of fiqh was correct. Without this, no scholar could be included in the ranks as an Orthodox father or mother in the true sense of the word.

  • Imaam Mansur al-Bahuti
  • Imaam `Abdullah ad-Danushi
  • Imaam al-Jamaal `Abdul Qaadir al-Hanbali
  • Imaam ash-Shihaab Ahmad al-Waarithi

Imaam Mansur al-Bahuti

  1. 1051 AH/1641 AD. Shaikh ul-Islam of his time and a reviver of Hanbali fiqh in his native Egypt. His books became so widespread and famous that they are depended upon for many of the fataawa in the Hanbali School today.

Imaam `Abdullah ad-Danushi

A teacher of Imaam al-Bahuti in fiqh and fataawa. He was one of the great Egyptian Shaafi`iis.

Imaam al-Jamaal `Abdul Qaadir al-Hanbali

One of the teachers of Imaam al-Bahuti in fiqh and an authority in tafsir.

Imaam ash-Shihaab Ahmad al-Waarithi

Faqih of the Hanbalis of Egypt and a teacher of Imaam al-Bahuti.


Scholars of the 12th Century AH

The Scholars of the 12th Century AH (18th Century AD)

The scholars below are organised both according to chronological dating. These scholars are Orthodox in the sense that their creed, understanding of the foundations of fiqh was correct. Without this, no scholar could be included in the ranks as an Orthodox father or mother in the true sense of the word.

  • Imaam Sulaimaan ibn `Abdul Wahhaab
  • Imaam `Abdul Baaqi al-Hanbali
  • Imaam Muhammad Salim al-Kurdi
  • Imaam `Abdul Wahhaab ibn Sulaimaan
  • Imaam `Alawi al-Haddaad
  • Imaam Ahmad ad-Dardir
  • Imaam Muhammad al-`Afaaliq
  • Imaam Jamil al-Afandi
  • Imaam al-Ahdal
  • Imaam Ahmad as-Saffaarini
  • Imaam Muhammad `Ali Basha
  • Imaam Wali ullah ad-Dahlawi

Imaam Mustafa ash-Shatti al-Hanbali

1205-1274 AH/1791-1857 AD. Leading jurist of the Hanbalis in Syria and a noted scholar of the Qaadiri Order, his piety and righteousness made his reputation that much greater to his contemporaries.

Imaam Sulaimaan ibn `Abdul Wahhaab

  1. 1275 AH/1859 AD. Shaikh ul-Islam of the Ottoman Hanbalis and the successor to Imaam `Abdul Wahhaab ibn Sulaimaan RH, Imaam Sulaimaan was one of the great Qaadiri Sufis of his time. He was the first of the `ulama of the time to write a book against his brother, Muhammad ibn `Abdul Wahhaab, who began to refer to the great majority of Muslims as idol worshippers. It was through the careful thought and scrupulous action of his father and himself that Ibn `Abdul Wahhaab was exposed as a scholarly impostor. Indeed, it is he who can be called the defender of the faith and reviver of the religion for that time.

Imaam `Abdul Baaqi al-Hanbali

A major Hanbali hadith scholar and memoriser of more than 100,000 ahaadith, he was one of the teachers of Imaam Sulaimaan RH.

Imaam Muhammad Salim al-Kurdi

Shaafi`ii jurist of Kurdistan and hadith master of his locale, he had many students and disciples. One of his main specialities was the science of collecting and commenting upon the Signs before the Day of Judgement. This science is almost completely lost today.

Imaam `Abdul Wahhaab ibn Sulaimaan

1080 (?)-1153 AH/1668-1741 AD. One of the premier scholars of the Najd region of the Arabian Peninsula, the Imaam was a master of fiqh, Qur’anic commentary as well as Tasawwuf based on the Qaadiri Order and other sciences.

Imaam `Alawi al-Haddaad

  1. 1216AH/1851 AD. One of the great Shaafi`ii scholars of his age and a direct descendant of the Prophet Muhammad SALLALLAHU ALAIHI WA SALLAM, he is one of Yemen’s most brilliant scholars and a warrior against the enemies of the Qur’an and the Sunna. His sons and grandsons carried on the tradition and to this day have teaching centres in Hadramaut.

Imaam Ahmad ad-Dardir

1127-1201 AH/1715-1787 AD. A great Ash`ari theologian and Shaafi`ii Imaam, he wrote many insightful books and treatises on subjects ranging from spiritual purity to the relationship between humanity and Allah.

Imaam Muhammad al-`Afaaliqi

Hanbali jurist and Qur’anic commentator residing in the Najd region of Arabia, he was one of the great Ottoman Hanbalis of the period.

Imaam Jamil al-Afandi

1279-1354 AH/1863-1936 AD. A Shaikh ul-Islam for the period and one of the great Ottoman Hanafi legal consultants, he was also a head teacher at one of the Maaturidi Seminaries in Istanbul. A quick read through his books will show the expertise that he was able to wield with the pen that he used.

Imaam al-Ahdal

A verifier of hadith and scholar of fiqh, tenets of faith and state funding, his knowledge of economic systems and Shari`a precision is sorely missed.

Imaam Ahmad as-Saffaarini

1188 AH/1774 AD. A Hanbali theologian, master of poetry, syntax, grammar and morphology, he authored many books, mostly on the subject of tenets of faith and comparative creed.

Imaam Muhammad `Ali Basha

1182-1262 AH/1769-1849 AD. A great Albanian Mujaahid who grew up on the island of Macedonia, he was the subduer of innovations and the destroyer of cults in his time, both by the pen and the sword. His campaigns to crush the Khawaarij of his time as well as deal with insurrections has made him a champion of the Muslims for every time. He was a symbol of the rule of law over the chaos of the cults. A modest man of sturdy build but strong handshake, he never ceded an inch to cults or to their leaders.

Imaam Waliullah ad-Dahlawi

1176-1237 AH/1702-1763 AD. A Shaikh ul-Islam of his time and one of the renewers of Islam in India, this Hanafi saint wrote and preached in Arabic and Persian. His books, much to the blessings of the Muslims conferred by Allah, are now being printed and brought into the English, Urdu and Arabic mediums so that those who could not meet this wali of Allah first hand could at least be exposed to his moving words.


 

Scholars of the 13th Century AH

The Scholars of the 13th Century AH (19th Century AD)

The scholars below are organised both according to chronological dating. These scholars are Orthodox in the sense that their creed, understanding of the foundations of fiqh was correct. Without this, no scholar could be included in the ranks as an Orthodox father or mother in the true sense of the word.

  • Imaam Jawdat Basha
  • Imaam Muhammad Amin Ibn `Aabidin
  • Imaam Ahmad as-Saawi
  • Imaam Muhammad `Illish
  • Imaam Sa`d ibn `Atiq
  • Imaam Jamil ash-Shatti
  • Imaam Diyaa ud-Din Khaalid al-Baghdaadi
  • Imaam Muhammad al-Alusi
  • Imaam Ahmad Ridaa Khaan

Imaam Jawdat Basha

1238-1312 AH/1823-1894 AD. An Ottoman historian and Hanafi legalist, he wrote volumes on the development of historical research as well as a massive commentary on the history of the Ottomans leading up to his time period. A true servant of Allah and a man of integrity.

Imaam Muhammad Amin Ibn `Aabidin

1252 AH/1838 AD. The highest authority of the late Hanafi School, his books are depended upon for fatwa in the Hanafi School. This Egyptian Mufti learned in the greatest institutions of his time and produced works the like of which have not been repeated since.

Imaam Ahmad as-Saawi

  1. 1241 AH/1847 AD. Erudite and precise Maaliki commentator on the Qur’an from the fold of al-Azhar Academy.

Imaam Muhammad `Illish

1196-1275 AH/1802-1881 AD. A Shaikh ul-Islam of his time and also Shaikh ul-Azhar, he excelled as one of the chief opponents of the cults and their admirers. His bold and unrelenting stand against the reformist elements in his midst showed the calibre of the man that he was and the level of practice that he put with his preaching.

Imaam Sa`d ibn `Atiq

1279-1349 AH/1862-1930 AD. A major Qaadi and master of tenets of faith from the Arabian Peninsula, his students include Imaam Muhammad ibn Ibrahim RH.

Imaam Jamil ash-Shatti

Former curator of Hanbali classic works in Syria and a scholar of high repute, he was a descendant of Imaam Mustafa ash-Shatti RH.

Imaam Diyaa’ ud-Din Khaalid al-Baghdaadi

1242 AH/1826 AD. Hanafi jurist and Naqshbandi spiritual master, he was one of the peerless missionaries of the Ottomans. He wrote works in Persian, Arabic and Osmanje (a now defunct language of the Ottomans bearing some resemblance to Urdu).

Imaam Muhammad al-Alusi

A commentator on the Qur’an from the modern age. His explanations of verses and texts is a good source of modern commentary for today’s student of knowledge.

Imaam Ahmad Ridaa’ Khaan

1272-1340 AD/1856-1921 AD. A Shaikh ul-Islam of his time and one of the great renewers of Islam in India in particular and of the Muslim world in general. There is no science in Islam that this Hanafi saint did not pen a work in and the same can be said for most of the secular sciences as well. A great Polemicist and a fighter of heresies, he spent most of his life fighting the cults and their influence. His victory over falsehood is one of the clearest examples that when one wants something only for the sake of Allah, they will be victorious and granted it by His Will.


 

Scholars of the 14th Century AH

The Scholars of the 14th Century AH (20th Century AD)

The scholars below are organised both according to chronological dating. These scholars are Orthodox in the sense that their creed, understanding of the foundations of fiqh was correct. Without this, no scholar could be included in the ranks as an Orthodox father or mother in the true sense of the word.

  • Imaam Muhammad Zaahid al-Kawthari
  • Imaam Yusuf an-Nabahaani
  • Imaam Muhammad ibn Ibrahim
  • Imaam `Abdul Qaadir Badraan
  • Imaam `Abdul Latif as-Subki
  • Imaam Muhammad al-Khidr ash-Shanqiti
  • Imaam Badr ud-Din al-Hasani
  • Imaam `Abdul `Aziz ibn al-Ghaith
  • Imaam Muhammad al-Khidr al-Hussain

Imaam Muhammad Zaahid al-Kawthari

1296-1371 AH/1844-1952 AD. A Shaikh ul-Islam and unparalleled Hanafi judge of his time and the renewer for his century, he was one of the greatest disciples of the Naqshabandi Order that had ever been seen and such a highly qualified scholar of the Ottomans that he was overqualified for al-Azhar. Indeed, he was a defender of the faith in his time from secularism, modernism, cultism and all the filth that was taking hold of the Muslim world.

Imaam Yusuf an-Nabahaani

1265-1350 AH/1849-1931 AD. A Shaafi`ii master of the sciences of Islam from Beirut in today’s Lebanon, he was a scholar who many believe had never been put to the test regarding his knowledge, meaning that what we had seen was not all of what he could have given. But what he did give while with us was a treasure chest of books so replete with diamonds of wisdom and rubies of orthodoxy that perhaps this world was not ready for the likes of 100% of this man.

Imaam Muhammad ibn Ibrahim

1311-1389 AH/1894-1969 AD. Considered by many to be a Shaikh ul-Islam for his time, this Hanbali faqih was one of the last of a by-gone age. He was educated in the age old kuttab institutions in the Arabian Peninsula and scaled the mountains of knowledge, arriving at their summit at the age of 26. Beset with difficulties of sight and occasional chest colds, he became one of the great Qaadis of the Peninsula and was a close confidant of Imaam Abdul Fattaah Abul Ghudda RH . The Imaam had memorised hundreds, if not thousands of classical Islam texts by memory, not to mention the thousands of hadith that had filled his memory banks. He was the last Grand Mufti of Arabia to not be a cultist and one of those who dared to speak against the raging tide of secular man-made laws in his time.

Imaam `Abdul Qaadir Badraan

1346 AH/1928 AD. A former Shaafi`ii who later became a Hanbali, this Imaam was one of the hidden treasures of Syria.

Imaam `Abdul Latif as-Subki

Hanbali Qaadi and Shaikh ul-Azhar for his time, he wrote fataawa that were needed for the contemporary age. His most famous fatwa delivered during his life was regarding the impermissibility of any Muslim in Palestine forsaking the land and leaving, which the Imaam classed as apostasy.

Imaam Muhammad al-Khidr ash-Shanqiti

1353 AH/1934 AD. Master of the sciences of fiqh, hadith, Usul ul-Fiqh and creed, this Grand Mufti of Mauritania still is mentioned with the great scholars of his age. Originally coming from the town of Lahsira in West Africa, he travelled throughout Mauritania seeking knowledge and many times attained his objective. He had more than 7 children, all of whom became high level judges throughout the Muslim world. Indeed, even his wife was a highly cultured scholar. He later moved to al-Madina in Arabia to teach fiqh and creed to some of the Maaki students based there.

Imaam Badr ud-Din al-Hasani

1267-1354 AH/1850-1935 AD. One of the last great memorisers of hadith. This Hanafi master had a photographic memory and used it to his utmost ability. He lived a life of ascetic worship and teaching, with a handful of students receiving his full devotion.

Imaam `Abdul `Aziz ibn al-Ghaith

1376 AH/1957 AD. High level Maaliki scholar, the Grand Mufti of Tunisia and a martyr in the cause of Allah. Imaam al-Ghaith executed when it was demanded by the then Tunisian President Bourguiba that he give a fatwa in favour of people stopping the Ramadan fast. Instead he appeared on television and told the people to complete their fast as Ramadan is compulsory and that Bourguiba is a kaafir. He received capital punishment for his statement and brave stand, but is one of those we remember for his bravery in Islam.

Imaam Muhammad al-Khidr al-Hussain

1295-1377 AH/1876-1958 AD. One of the great Maaliki scholars of his age, Shaikh ul-Azhar and the first non-Egyptian Shaikh al-Azhar. His family were Algerians that had migrated to Tunisia as refugees from French invasion. A tireless critic of secularism and its’ allies, he wrote scathing attacks against the likes of fellow Azharite, Shaikh `Ali Abdul-Razzaaq, who in 1925 passed a fatwa in favour of secularism, as well as the infamous Taha Hussain, who in 1926 wrote polemical articles against Islam. He resigned as Shaikh al-Azhar in 1954 when the government demanded that he give fataawa in favour of government policy.


 

The Contemporary Scholars

The scholars below are organised both according to chronological dating. These scholars are Orthodox in the sense that their creed, understanding of the foundations of fiqh was correct. Without this, no scholar could be included in the ranks as an Orthodox father or mother in the true sense of the word.

  • Imaam Muhammad Fuaad al-Barraazi
  • Imaam `Abdullah Bin Bayyah
  • Imaam Muraabit al-Haaj
  • Imaam Ismaa`il Badraan
  • Imaam Hamud ash-Shu`aibi
  • Imaam `Abdul Hamid Kishk
  • Imaam Muhammad Ibn al-Hasan ash-Shanqiti
  • Imaam Muhammad al-Khalifi
  • Imaam Muhammad Ba`yun ar-Rankusi
  • Imaam Muhammad ibn `Alawi al-Maaliki
  • Imaam Mustafa Ceric
  • Imaam Hussain Hasan Sab`iyyah
  • Imaam Abdul Fattaah Abul Ghudda
  • Imaam Al-Haaj Maalik ibn Dawud
  • Imaam al-Hussain ibn al-Mahmud
  • Imaam Harun Musa Jall
  • Imaam Sa`id Jall
  • Imaam `Abdul `Aziz Daarimi
  • Imaam `Uthmaan ibn `Abdillah al-Maaliki
  • Imaam Ahmad Haaj Baba
  • Imaam Ahmad `Isa Sokotowi
  • Imaam Muhammad Naasir ud-Din al-Haaj
  • Imaam Habib ur-Rahmaan al-`Azami

Imaam Muhammad Fu’aad al-Barraazi

Born in the same village as Imaam an-Nawawi RH in Syria, this is one of the last of the Imaams of this age who has ijaaza in the popular positions of all four madhhabs. An unusually modest man, with ijaaza in the six sahih collections, he has very little grey hair and is medium in stature. His style of teaching, so expressive and filled with life, holds his audience at attention and eager for more. A rigorous and strident Hanafi, he desires that the madhhabs should dominate the West in addition to the raising up of homegrown fuqahaa in these lands. It was for this reason and others that he relocated from Syria to Denmark and began teaching a Shari`a course while there. He resides there with his wife and children and has learned the national language of Denmark. A close friend of Imaam `Abdullah Bin Bayyah RH and a friend to the Muslim Ummah, his advice is always welcome by `ulama and laity alike.

Imaam `Abdullah Bin Bayyah

One of the contemporary scholars of the age, the Imaam was born in the Eastern province of the West African country Mauritania. Born into a family of scholars, he studied the Maaliki madhhab and its’ various disciplines until he reached the level of Mufti. Upon completing a large part of his education in Mauritania, he travelled to Tunisia, UAE and other Muslim countries to increase in knowledge. He is a close companion of Imaam Muhammad Fu’aad al-Barraazi and they often come together to study different modern phenomena that Muslims are facing on a fiqh board with other muftis representing the four madhhabs.

Imaam Muraabit al-Haaj

Most certainly, if he is not THE Shaikh ul-Islam of the age, then he most assuredly should be classed as one of them and one of the major Imaams of the Muslims. Born and raised in the West African country of Mauritania, he completed his schooling in the 18 sciences of the Shari`a at an early age. His hard work in memorising the Qur’an resulted in him knowing all ten variants in addition to the six sahih collections and their variations. His school in Mauritania, where the now 95 year-old sage still teaches from to this day, has had some more than 30,000 qaadis and muftis pass through it over the years. He is one great `aalim of the age and we ask that Allah cause us to benefit from his rank.

Imaam Ismaa`il Badraan

One of the two advanced level Hanbali muftis of Syria and a scholar dedicated to aiding Muslims against contemporary tribulations that face them, such as battles over the Qiblah in North America, spiritual maladies and ignorance of the faith of Allah.

Imaam Hamud ash-Shu`aibi

1346-1423 AH/1925-2002 AD. One of the senior-most Hanbali jurists and one of the last students of the Mufti of Arabia, Imaam Muhammad ibn Ibrahim RH. Born in the al-Qasim province of the Arabian Peninsula and educated on a steady diet of 10 of the 18 sciences in the Islamic Shari`a, Imaam Hamud was a diligent student and never tired of sitting with Imaam Ibn Ibrahim and memorising texts. Although having some fataawa that other `ulama differ with, he was nonetheless and effective scholar and always active for Islam and the preservation of Orthodox values. Through his life he would always say that Imaam Ibn Ibrahim RH has the greatest effect on him in his formative and adult years.

 

Imaam `Abdul Hamid Kishk

A Maaliki scholar from Egypt, his taped lectures are still an inspiration to their listeners today. His specialties were in creed, ahaadith and sirah.

Imaam Muhammad Ibn al-Hasan ash-Shanqiti

One of the sons of Imaam Muhammad al-Amin ash-Shanqiti, Imaam Muhammad ibn al-Hasan is from Mauritania and spent much of his adult life being educated in the Arabian Peninsula. He has a firm and solid foundation in the Maaliki madhhab but also holds intimate knowledge of the Hanbali madhhab, the dominant fiqh of the Peninsula.

Imaam Muhammad al-Khalifi

A former Mufti, Friday speaker and Imaam in Masjid ul-Haraam, he was one of the contemporary Hanbali Imaams who brought out easy to read and use books on the fiqh of the madhhab that could be utilised by young adults. Many of the books he printed were done with money from his own possession, for it was the love of the faith that drove him to do such things, and may Allah reward him for what he has done for His Sake.

Imaam Muhammad Ba`yun ar-Rankusi

1329-1405 AH/1910-1985 AD. The most well rounded and highly educated of the students of Imaam Badr ud-Din al-Hasani, Imaam Muhammad was a highly qualified Hanafi jurist and scholar of hadith in Syria, the like of which has not been seen since in the cities of the Muslim world. He was known to base every one of his actions of a hadith, even if a weak hadith, so as not to do anything the Prophet Muhammad SAW might not have done.

Imaam Muhammad ibn `Alawi al-Maaliki

1366 AH/1947AD-Current. Al-`Allamah al-Maaliki is a descendant of the Prophet Muhammad SAW and one of the great scholars of the Arabian Peninsula today. Imaam al-Maaliki was born and bred in Makkah under the tutelage of his father, who was a judge in the city and the Grand Imaam at one time in Masjid ul-Haraam, the site where the Ka`ba is housed. Although disliked by the enemies of Islam, they fear and respect his spiritual power and station. He still today teaches students from his house in Makkah.

Imaam Mustafa Ceric

A graduate of al-Azhar, Imaam Ceric originally hails from Sarajevo in the Balkans, where he graduated from a Madrasah there before heading to Egypt to complete his advanced studies. He is a strong advocate for unity between Orthodox Muslims.

Imaam Hussain Hasan Sab`iyyah

1364 AD/1945 AD. A student of Imaam Rankusi and a member of the Naqshbandi Order, this scholar was born into a religious family in Haifa, Palestine but grew up in Beirut in Lebanon. His religiosity was unusual among his peers and he soon found his way to an Islamic institute in Damascus in Syria. His standing among his peers is great and those who know of him respect his knowledge.

Imaam Abdul Fattaah Abul Ghudda

1336-1417 AH/1917-1997 AD. One of the great Hanafi scholars of the age and an arch-enemy to cults and innovation, Imaam Abdul Fattaah was born in the city of Aleppo in Syria to a pious family of upright Muslims. He began studying at an early age and was a student of Shaikh ul-Azhar Muhammad al-Khidr Hussain and a whole galaxy of other popular Islamic scholars. Some of his greatest academic achievements were to bring the Islamic classics from India and to print them and make them available to a global audience. He made many friends in his life, one of his best being the late Mufti of Arabia Shaikh Muhammad ibn Ibrahim, the Hanbali jurist. All who have come into the presence of Imaam Abul Ghudda, be they enemies or friends, all admit that he was an enigma in his time and a true sign of righteousness.

Imaam Al-Haaj Maalik ibn Dawud

A great Maaliki jurist living in Koutiala in the Republic of Mali. He specilises in heresies as well as the science of Maaliki fiqh in contemporary times. He is the son of a jurist and teaches regularly in Mali.

Imaam al-Hussain ibn al-Mahmud

Head preacher and expounder of Islamic law currently at Daar ul-Idhaa`a al-Wataniyyah in his home city of Timbuktu in Senegal in West Africa. He is a long time friend of Imaam Maalik ibn Dawud.

Imaam Harun Musa Jall

A teacher of all ten recitals of the Qur’an at his school, Madrasat ul-Qur’an il-Karim in the West African country of Mauritania.

Imaam Sa`id Jall

A lecturer and senior judge in the country of Mali in West Africa and very active in cult outreach. An outstanding Maaliki scholar and master of many disciplines.

Imaam `Abdul `Aziz Daarimi

Professor of theology and teacher of Maaliki fiqh at the University of Yanqaam in Sierra Leon in West Africa.

Imaam `Uthmaan ibn `Abdillah al-Maaliki

Head teacher and lecturer at Madrasat ul-Qur’an il-Karim in the city of Bidibinnabi in Mali in West Africa.

Imaam Ahmad Haaj Baba

Theologian and professor of hermeneutics in Kumaasi in Ghana in West Africa. He majors in Ash`ari theology and Maaliki fiqh.

>Imaam Ahmad `Isa Sokotowi

The father of Imaam Ahmad Haaj Baba and a master of Maaliki fiqh in his own right. In addition to this, he also specialises in creed and heresiology.

Imaam Muhammad Naasir ud-Din al-Haaj

Professor of Theology and fatwa giver for Sokoto State, Nigeria in West Africa. He is also a scholar of Maaliki fiqh.

Imaam Habib ur-Rahmaan al-`Azami

1319-1413 AH/1894-1992 AD. One of the great hadith scholars of this age, he was born in the district of Azamgarh in India. Along with learning Hanafi fiqh, he was a tenacious holder to the Sunna, studying the ahaadith and their sciences rigorously, to the point of giving up socialising with people in many instances. Such dedication and hard work, however, did pay off in the end. The Imaams works enjoyed then as they do today, a wide diffusion in the Islamic world. His books on hadith verification and terminology are amongst the rare gems that a student could have in his library.

The End


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