Brief Intro to The Grand Muhaddith of our era:
Shaykh Muhammad Áwwamah (hafidhahullah)
(Prepared by his son, Shaykh Muhyuddeen,
Translated by Muhammad ibn Moulana Haroon Abasoomer)
The eminent Islāmic-scholar Shaykh Muhammad Ibn Muhammad ʿAwwāmah was born on the 1st of January 1940 in Aleppo.
Before he commenced his studies in the year 1953, he used to attend the lessons of Shaykh Muhammād As-Salqīni. From the very beginning he was the student of Shaykh Abdullah Sirājuddīn (r.a.). In the year 1378 A.H. (1957) he became the student of Shaykh Abdul-Fattāh Abū Ghuddah (r.a.). He was eventually considered as the most preferred and exceptional student of both these great personalities.
He enrolled in the Islāmic Shariʿah faculty in the year 1382 A.H. (1961). In the same year, he was appointed as a teacher and librarian at Madrasah Shaʾbāniyyah, which was the institute of his Shaykh and teacher, Shaykh Abdullah Sirājuddīn (r.a.) There he taught numerous subjects until 1400 A.H. (1979/80) when he left Syria. He also was in charge of the administration of the madrasah for some time.
In the month of Safar of the year 1379 AH, (1958) he travelled to Egypt, where he met many great and outstanding ʿulamā.
Amongst them are:
- Shaykh Ahmad ibnus Siddīq Al-Ghumārī (r.a.)
- Shaykh Abdullah ibnus Siddīq Al-Ghumārī (r.a.)
- Shaykh Abdul-Wahhāb Abdul-Latīf (r.a.)
- Shaykh Muhammad Abū Zahrah (r.a.)
He is gifted with distinct academic power and evident extraordinary qualities. The people of Aleppo had high regard for him and they considered him equal in rank to his teachers.
While still in his youth, he was appointed as a teacher at the Masjid Ar-Rawdah, which was at that time considered to be a prime seat of learning.
His Shaykh and teacher, Abdul-Fattah Abū Ghuddah (r.a.) has said with regards to him:
“My student of yesterday and comrade of today.”
He also praised him as:
“A great scholar and researcher.”
Shaykh ʿAwwāmah emigrated to Madinah Munawwarah in the year 1400 A.H. (1980) Here he joined the Islāmic university, where he established the faculty of academic research, which is today called:
“مركز خدمة السنة و السيرة النبوية”.
Centre for the service of the traditions and biography of the Prophet .
His first research was on the book “إتحاف المهرة” (a volumous book of hadīth.)
In the year 1406 A.H. (1986), he established a bureau for the research of Islāmic literature. For 12 years, he also served the publishing house of Dārul Qiblah.
He is a person of brilliant focus, ideas and an advocator of sublime methodologies. This is apparent in his two books:
أثر الحديث الشريف في اختلاف الأئمة الفقهاء
Atharul hadithish sharīf fi ikhtilāfil a’immatil fuqahā
أدب الاختلاف في مسائل العلم و الدين and:
Adabul ikhtilāf fī masāilil ʿilm wad dīn.
His methods with regards to the science of الجرح و التعديل (the validation of the narrators of hadith) are so unique, critical and foresighted, that they are ideal examples for us to follow.
He is a distinguished authority in the field of research. The famous Shaykh and Allāmah Muhammad Saʿīd At-Tantāwī (r.a.) said with regards to him:
“I know none upon the surface of the earth, who is more
knowledgeable in the field of research than him.”
His publications thus far are as follows:
1. أثر الحديث الشريف في اختلاف الأئمة الفقهاء
Atharul hadithish sharīf fi ikhtilāfil a’immatil fuqahā
2. أدب الاختلاف في مسائل العلم و الدين
Adabul ikhtilāf fī masāilil ʿilm wad dīn
These two books are translated in some languages and are also taught in some universities.
3. مسند عمر بن عبد العزيز للباغندي
He annotated and explained its Ahādīth together with a supplement of additional narrations.
4. الأنساب للسمعاني
He researched a portion of it.
5. تقريب التهذيب
by Hafiz ibn Hajar (r.a.) together with the foot notes of ʿAllāmah ʿAbdullāh Al-Basrī (r.a.) and his student Al-Mīrghanī (r.a.).
6. الكاشف للذهبي
including the footnotes of Sibt ibn Aʾjamī (r.a.) along with a detailed introduction and critical analysis of certain aspects in 5 volumes.
7. مجالس ابن ناصر الدين
of Hāfiz ibn Nāsirudīn Ad-Dimashqī (r.a.) in which the author expounded on the commentary of one single verse of the noble Qurān.
8. من صحاح الأحاديث القدسية This book consists of one hundred Ahādīth-Qudsī, with their references and commentary.
9. المختار من فرائد النقول و الأخبار A book comprising of many inspiring incidents which serve as guidelines for every student.
10. القول البديع by Allāmah As-Sakhāwī (r.a.). This annotated version is considered to be the most complete and (authentic) one.
11. السنن of Imām Abū Dawūd (r.a.) in 6 volumes. He annotated this celebrated compilation of hadīth from eight manuscripts, one of them being the personal copy of Hāfiz ibn Hajar.
12. الشمائل المحمدية of Imām Tirmidhī (r.a.) together with the commentary of Allāmah Al-Bājūrī (r.a.).
13. المصنف of Ibn Abī Shaybah (r.a.). A volumous and priceless work on hadīth, which took sixteen years to complete. He researched and sourced every hadith and also commented on them. It is printed in 26 volumes.
14. دراسة حديثية a detailed study and in depth analysis of the great Hanafī collection of Hadīth: Nasbur rāyah as well as Fathul Qadīr, sharhul Hidāyah.
Most of the above mentioned books have been repeatedly reprinted. His habit has been to refine the new editions and not to merely re-print a verbatim copy of the previous edition.
In all his researched books, he endeavours to acquire the personal copies of the respective authors. Allāh (r.a.) has made this possible for him in the majority of them. This also contributes to the uniqueness of his works.
Shaykh Muhammad ʿAwwāmah became famous through his introductions of his researched books. These introductions generally serve as a critical yet fruitful and academic analysis of the book at hand.
He is engaged in the service of knowledge and its seekers for the past fifty years. Despite his illnesses, he continues to do so with astounding loyalty in Madīnah Munawwarah. May Allāh (r.a.) grant the respected shaykh good health, a pleasant lengthy life and safety from all evil and calamities. May He also continue to benefit the ummah with his priceless wisdom. (Āmīn)