Shaykh Abdulfattah Abu Ghuddah

Shaykh Abdulfattah Abu Ghuddah

Shaykh Abdulfattah Abu Ghuddah (rahimahullah ta`ala) (1917 – 1997)

Shaykh Abu Ghuddah was one of the few best Islamic Scholars known in this era. He is known all over the world from Brunei to North America for his outstanding achievements in Hadith and Islamic Law (Shari’ah).


Shaykh Abdul Fattah bin Muhammad bin Bashir bin Hasan Abu Ghuddah (ra) was born in the city of Aleppo in the north of Syria in the year 1917 (CE). His father, Muhammad, was well known for his piety and adherence to Islam. He was in textile business, something that he had inherited from his father, Bashir, one of the biggest traders of textiles in Aleppo. The lineage of the Shaykh goes back to the great Sahabi, Khalid bin Walid RA).

His Search for Knowledge

The Shaykh studied at the Islamic Arab Institute in Aleppo, and then at the Khesrevia Madrassah (now known as Shari’ah Secondary school). He graduated in 1942. He continued his pursuit of knowledge at Al-Azhar, in Cairo, in the school of Shari’ah between 1944 and 1948 in psychology and principles of education, faculty of Arabic language, and graduated from Al-Azhar in 1950.

His Teachers

In Syria:

Among the most prominent of his teachers, were: Shaykh Raghib Al-Tabakh, Shaykh Ahmad Al-Zarqa, Shaykh Eisa Bayanuni, Shaykh Muhammad Al-Hakeem, Shaykh Asad Abji Shaykh Ahmad Kurdi, Shaykh Najib Sirajuddin and Shaykh Mustafa Al-Zarqa.

In Egypt:

Shaykh Muhammad Al-Khidr Husayn, Shaykh Abdul Majid Daraz, Shaykh Abdul Halim Mahmud, Shaykh Mahmud Shaltut [all Shaykhs of al-Azhar at one time]. He also met Shaykh Mustafa Sabri (Shaykh of the Ottoman Khilafa), Shaykh Muhammad Zahid Al-Kawthari, and Imam Hasan Al-Banna greatly benefiting and learning from them.

His Travels

Shaykh Abu Ghuddah travelled to most Arab countries and to Turkey, India, Pakistan, Indonesia, Malaysia and Brunei, meeting and learning from scholars of these countries, as well as they benefiting from his knowledge.

As a result of his numerous visits to India and Pakistan, he was able to bring much of the knowledge of the Indian subcontinent to Arabia. He produced numerous tracts and books and was responsible for spreading these among scholars. Among the prominent scholars that he met in those countries were: Shaykh Muhammad Shafi’ Mufti of Pakistan, Mufti Atiqur Rahman of Delhi, Shaykh Mohammad Zakaria Kandahlawi, Shaykh Muhammad Elias Kandahlawi, Shaykh Mohammad Yusuf Banwori, Shaykh Muhammad Latif, Shaykh Abul Wafa Al-Afghani, Shaykh Abul A’la Maududi and Shaykh Abul Hasan Ali Nadwi.

His Academic work

After he had completed his studies in Egypt, Shaykh Abu Ghuddah returned to Syria in 1951 where he was chosen as the leading teacher in Islamic Education, winning first prize. He taught Islamic Studies for eleven years in Aleppo, wrote text books in this field and also taught in Madrassah Sha’baniyah, a Shari’ah school specializing in producing scholars and orators. He then transferred to the College of Shari’ah in the University of Damascus, where he taught Usul Al-Fiqh, Hanafi Fiqh and Comparative Fiqh for three years.

After that he directed the production of an Encyclopaedia on Islamic Fiqh in the College of Shari’ah in Damascus for about two years, during which he also completed a Dictionary of Fiqh Al-Muhalla of Ibn Hazm which had been started by some of his colleagues. This was produced by the University of Damascus in two large volumes.

Political Career

In 1962, the Shaykh was elected as a member of Parliament for Aleppo City, despite the fierce opposition he faced from other contenders. He used this position to help and promote the interests of Islam and Muslims in Syria. The Shaykh was imprisoned in 1966 and spent eleven months in prison with other scholars before being released in June 1967.

Move to Saudi

After his release, he returned to Aleppo, but eventually moved to Saudi Arabia. There he taught at Imam Muhammad Ibn Saud University in Riyadh during the years 1965-1988. He also helped to develop and plan courses and programs at the University.

He was invited as a visiting Professor at Um Durman Islamic University in Sudan. He also participated in many seminars and conferences and also worked for a period in King Saud University in Riyadh.

In recognition of his scholarly achivement, Muslim scholars nominated the Shaykh in 1995 for the Prize of Sultan Brunei for Islamic Studies. The prize was offered to the Shaykh by the Oxford Centre for Islamic studies, in a ceremony in London attended personally by the Sultan and other dignilaries and scholars.

His Character

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