A Question from a Reader on my Islamic Education
I have received the following question from one of the readers of my blog:
I am not sure how much you have noticed, but in the West, their is a campaign to undermine your personal credentials as an ‘Alim. The all-too-common tactic of attacking the ‘messenger’ rather than the message itself is being employed in these campaigns.
We want to be able to refute any false claims against you and support all of your works, wholeheartedly. Can you please provide us information regarding the Shuyukh that you have learned under in the past, and who you may be currently learning under? As well as, the source of your ‘ijaza, etc. This will be very important in refuting any slanderous attacks against your credibility.
I have received this question in various forms and the frequency of it increased lately. Here is my response:
Alhamdulillah I have had the chance to experience the various methods of gaining Islamic knowledge through studying directly under shuyukh in their general circles or privately. I have experienced the regular academic method of university study, studying by correspondence, and studying directly from books.
Studying under shuyukh in their general circles:
I have attended the circles of the scholars of Makkah and Madina for a combined period of a few months and for a short while attended the circle of Shaykh Ibn Uthaymeen.
Studying under shuyukh privately:
In addition to an ijaza in Quran recitation according to the recitation of Hafs I have read and completed Sahih al Bukhari with Shaykh AbdulRahman Shumailah al Ahdal and he has given me ijazah to narrate Sahih al Bukhari from him through three high isnaads, one of them being the highest existing isnaad in the world. The other two he has received from his shuyukh in Makkah.
I have also read and completed Sahih Muslim and al Muwata by Imam Malik with Shaykh AbdulRahman and he has given me ijazah on both books.
I have studied al Minhaaj by Imaam Nawawi on Shafi fiqh with Shaykh AbdulRahman al Ahdal and Shaykh Hamud al Ahdal and received ijaza from both of them.
The above mentioned shuyukh have also given me ijazah to narrate through their isnaad the six books of Hadith, al Adhkaar by Imaam Nawawi, al Shifa by Qadhi Iyaad, and some other books in Shafi fiqh.
I have studied, traveled and lived with Shaykh Hassan al Ahdal and it was through him that I got to study with other scholars from this blessed family of scholars who are descendants of al Hussain bin Ali may Allah be pleased with them. They are based in al Marawa’ah in Tihama which is in the Western part of Yemen on the coast of the Red Sea and this is the land of the Sahabi Abu Musa al Ash’ari. He has given me a general ijaza in the six books of hadith, Buloogh al Maraam by Ibn Hajjar al Asqalani, Umdat al Ahkaam by al Maqdisi, al Minhaaj by al Nawawi, al Ghaya wal Taqreeb by Abu Shuja, and al Waraqaat by al Juwaini.
I have spent a short time with Shaykh Salman al Odah.
I have benefited considerably from the scholars I met in the US during the 90’s, a time in which there was a great influx of scholars in America.
And last but not least, I have benefited and continue to benefit from the Shaykh whom I trust his deen and know him to be a scholar who does not fear in the sake of Allah and is willing to stand up for the truth, Shaykh Hussein bin Mahfoodh. He is a friend whose relationship with me extends over the years. Until this day, I consult with him on the various important aspects of Sharia that I am presented with and I have continued to benefit from his knowledge and wisdom over the years. I have accompanied him and traveled with him and consider him to be one of the best scholars that I have come to know.
Regular academic university study:
In 2002 I was given permission from the administration of the University of Eman in Yemen to attend any class at any level and I took advantage of this and attended classes in Tafsir and Fiqh for a period of a few months. I have also benefited from the teachings of Shaykh Abdul Majid al Zindani the Rector of the University.
Studying Sharia by Correspondence:
I studied for two years through correspondence with the Islamic university in France. I lost interest and discontinued my studies with them because I reached the conclusion that it was not a proper method of disseminating Islamic knowledge. This was in the mid 90’s so things must have changed now in the field of correspondence study due to advances in technology.
Studying from Books:
After receiving the basics from the scholars and the keys of knowledge, learning from books is a lifelong practice of the seeker of knowledge.
In addition to the ijaza’s I have mentioned above I have a general ijaza in Quran, Sciences of Quran, Hadith, Sciences of Hadith, Tafsir , Fiqh, Usool Fiqh and Arabic from:
Shaykh Hassan Maqbooli al Ahdal
Shaykh Hussein bin Mahfoodh
Shaykh AbdulRahman Shumailah al Ahdal
Shaykh Hamud Shumailah al Ahdal