shalawi.gif (62920 bytes)AS-SAYYID MUHAMMAD IBN ALAWI ABBAS IBN ‘ABD AL AZIZ AL MALIKI ( Born 1947 in Makkah)

by Shaykh Seraj Hendricks, Head Mufti of Cape Town, South Africa

The Sayyid is a descendent of the prophet Muhammad (Blessings and Salutations of peace upon Him) through Imam Hasan, a grand-son of the prophet. He is a contemporary Saudi Arabian scholar of Tafseer (interpretation of the Qur’an), Hadith (the sayings of the Prophet), Fiqh (Islamic law), `Aqeedah (tenets of faith) and Seerah (Prophetic biography). He is the most highly acclaimed and respected scholar (Shaykh) in Makkah (Mecca). He was born to a family of traditional Maliki scholars of ancestral residence in the Holy City. His grandfather was the Qadi (Chief Judge) of Makkah and an Imam of the Holy Mosque, the site of the Ka’bah.

His father Sayyid Alawi taught and lectured in the precints of the Holy Mosque for 30 years until he passed away in 1971, his funeral being the biggest one in the area in the present era. Sayyid Muhammad was educated by his eminent father from childhood and was authorised to teach every book he studied with him. He also learnt at the feet of prominent scholars of Makkah such as Shaykh Say-yid Ameen Kutbi, Shaykh Hassan Masshat, Shaykh Muhammad Nur Sayf, Shaykh Saeed Yamani and many others.

At the age of 25 he received his Phd from from the esteemed Al Azhar university of Egypt. His thesis - on Hadith (the sayings of the Prophet) - was rated excellent and highly praised by the ‘ulama (learned elders) there at the time such as Imam Abu Zahra. During his never-ending quest for knowledge he has travelled extensively to north Africa, Egypt, Syria, Turkey, Yemen and the Indo-Pak sub-continent to gather Hadith, collect manuscripts, visit scholars, saints and benefit from their wisdom.

Apart from the ‘ulama of the Hijaz (Arabian Peninsula) he has got "Sanad" or "‘Ijazah" (lineage of authority to teach and guide) in the theological and spiritual sciences from eminent savants all over the Islamic world. The great Da’ee (spreader of the religion) and Imam of Yemen, Imam Habib Ahmad Mashur al-Haddad , Shaykh Hasnayn Makhluf the great Mufti of Egypt, Shaykh al Ghimari of Morrocco , Shaykh Diauddin Qadiri of Madinah and numerous others have given him their ‘ijazah.

In 1970 he was appointed professor of Islamic studies at the Umm-ul-Qurra university in Makkah. In 1971, after his father’s death, the scholars of Makkah asked him to accept his father’s position as a teacher in the Holy Mosque, which he did. Hundreds of students have learnt at his feet and have become savants of Islamic knowledge and spirituality in their countries, particularly Indonesia, Malaysia, Egypt, Yemen and Dubai. Since 1983 he has concentrated on research and teaching . He also gives classes at his home and mosque on al Maliki street in the Rusayfa district of Makkah. He is highly respected by the Saudi government and was nominated head judge at the international Qira’at (Qur’anic reading) competition in Makkah three times. He is also the author of close to one hundred books.

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