SHAYKH ABDUL MUHSIN AL-ABBAAD (HAFIDHAHULLAH)
Shaykh Abdul Muhsin al-Abbaad is a great scholar and Muhaddith of 15th Century. He was one of the descendent tribes of ‘Adnan (descendent of Prophet Isma’eel).
He is the great scholar and Muhaddith, Shaikh ‘Abdul-Muhsin bin Hamad bin ‘Abdil-Muhsin bin ‘Abdillaah Al-‘Abbaad Aali Badr. The family of Aali Badr comes from the family of Jalaas, which originates from the ancient tribe of ‘Anazah, one of the descendent tribes of ‘Adnan (descendent of Prophet Isma’eel). His great-grandfather’s nickname was ‘Abbaad and so as a result some of his offspring inherited it from him, such as Shaikh ‘Abdul-Muhsin and his mother, the daughter of Sulaymaan bin ‘Abdillaah Aali Badr.
The Shaikh was born on a Tuesday night after ‘Ishaa prayer in the month of Ramadaan, 1353H in the city of Zulfi, Saudi Arabia. This is the city where he grew up and learned the basics of reading and writing.
While in Zulfi, he studied under Shaikh ‘Abdullaah bin Ahmad Al-Manee’, Shaikh Zaid bin Muhammad Al-Munaifee, Shaikh ‘Abdullaah bin ‘Abdir-Rahmaan Al-Ghaith with whom he completed the noble Qur’aan, and Shaikh Faalih bin Muhammad Ar-Roomee.
When the first elementary school opened in Zulfi in 1368H, he joined it in its third year and obtained his primary degree there in 1371H.
After completing his primary studies, he moved to Riyadh and signed up with the Educational Institute there. This was the same year (1372H) that Imaam ‘Abdul-‘Azeez bin Baaz moved to Riyadh from Kharj, where he had served as judge since 1357H, and the first year he taught in this Institute. Amongst the colleagues that he studied with at that time was Shaikh Muhammad Amaan Al-Jaamee, may Allaah have mercy on him.
After graduating from this institute, the Shaikh enrolled with the College of Sharee’ah in the Imaam Muhammad bin Su’ood Islamic University of Riyadh. During his last year at the college, he was appointed a teacher in the Educational Institute of Buraidah in 5/13/1379H. Then towards the end of that final school year, he returned back to Riyadh to take his final examination for the college. Allaah blessed him by granting him the ability to finish first amongst his whole class which consisted of over 80 graduates. They represented the fourth class of graduates from the College of Sharee’ah of the Imaam Muhammad bin Su’ood University. He also finished in the first rank amongst his class during his first three years at the college and when receiving his secondary degree from the Educational Institute of Riyadh.
While in Riyadh, he was able to study under scholars the likes of Shaikh Muhammad bin Ibraaheem Aali Shaikh, Shaikh ‘Abdul-‘Azeez bin Baaz, Shaikh Muhammad Al-Ameen Ash-Shanqeetee, Shaikh ‘Abdur-Rahmaan Al-Afreeqee and Shaikh ‘Abdur-Razzaaq ‘Afeefee both in the University and in local masaajid.
He studied specifically under Shaikh ‘Abdur-Rahmaan Al-Afreeqee in Riyadh in the year 1372H and then studied Hadeeth and its Terminology the following year under him. He would say about him: “He was a sincere teacher and a great scholar, as well as a counselor, guide and good example, may Allaah have mercy on him.”
He also had a special relationship with Shaikh ‘Abdul-‘Azeez bin Baaz ever since the first time they met in 1372H. He studied formally under him in the fourth year of the College of Sharee’ah. Shaikh ‘Abdul-Muhsin mentioned: “Most of the contact I had with him would occur in between classes and in the masjid. I would also visit him in his home.”
In 1380H, he transferred to teach in the Educational Institute of Riyadh. But when the Islamic University of Madeenah opened and the first college to be established there was the College of Sharee’ah, Shaikh Muhammad bin Ibraaheem Aali Shaikh selected him to work there as a teacher. Prior to this, towards the end of 1379H, Shaikh ‘Abdul-Muhsin had requested Shaikh Muhammad bin Ibraaheem, may Allaah have mercy on him, to put him in the teaching profession program, to which he agreed on the condition that when he completed the program he would teach at the Islamic University when it opened. Shaikh ‘Abdul-Muhsin replied that he was fully prepared for the task.
So he began teaching at the Islamic University of Madeenah in 1381H and he was the first to deliver a class there. He accompanied his teacher, Shaikh ‘Abdul-‘Azeez bin Baaz, who taught at the University for the next fifteen years.
He served as a member of the University’s committee from the time of its inception to 1393H. Then in 7/30/1393H, he was appointed vice-president of the Islamic University behind Shaikh ‘Abdul-‘Azeez bin Baaz, the president at that time, who nominated him amongst three candidates for the position, upon which King Faisal, may Allaah have mercy on him, selected him for the job.
Shaikh ‘Abdul-Muhsin stayed in this position up to 10/26/1399H when he was relieved of it at his own request. In the first two of these six years, he was the second-in-charge. Then when Shaikh ‘Abdul-‘Azeez bin Baaz, may Allaah have mercy on him, transferred to become president of the Educational Research and Religious Verdict Administration, he became first-in-charge. During these six years, the Shaikh did not stop giving two weekly classes for fourth-year students at the College of Sharee’ah.
Shaikh ‘Abdul-Muhsin says about this: “I would go to him, i.e. Shaikh Ibn Baaz, before going to the University and sit with him for a little while. Shaikh Ibraaheem Al-Husayyin would also be with him and would read the (chapters on) Mu’aamalaat (business and social dealing between Muslims) to him from after Fajr till the sun rose. On one of these days, he said to me: ‘I had a dream last night where I saw a beautiful camel, which I was pulling and you were riding. And I led it to the Islamic University.’ And all praise be to Allaah, this dream came true for I served as vice-president under him for two years, then assumed his role as interim president after him for four years.”
During the time that he served as president of the University, about five-thousand manuscripts were added to its library. This was the same time that Shaikh Hammaad Al-Ansaaree was hired to bring books from libraries around the world. Shaikh Hammaad said: “A majority of the classical works of the Pious Predecessor that were photocopied for the Islamic University were done at the time when Shaikh ‘Abdul-Muhsin served as president there.”
He also said: “I brought five-thousand manuscripts for the Islamic University during my travels. Most of the journeys I took for the purpose of obtaining manuscripts and photocopying them were done during the time that Shaikh ‘Abdul-Muhsin Al-‘Abbaad was president of the University.”
Most of these manuscripts were books of Hadeeth and books on the Creed of the Pious Predecessor. To get a clearer picture of the great service that Shaikh ‘Abdul-Muhsin did while president of the Islamic University, look at the following statement of Shaikh Hammaad Al-Ansaaree:
“A historical account should be written about Shaikh ‘Abdul-Muhsin Al-‘Abbaad. He did certain jobs in the University that I wish I could have recorded or taped. There were two times in the day that he would insist on working at his job even though it wasn’t required of him – in the morning and in the afternoon after ‘Asr. I went to visit him one time in his office after ‘Asr when he was president of the University and sat with him. I then asked: ‘Where is the coffee, Shaikh?’ He answered: ‘Its ‘Asr now and there is no one here to make it.’ One time I was determined to get to the University before him so I got in the car and went. When I arrived at the University, there was Shaikh ‘Abdul-Muhsin opening the door to the University before everyone else!”
He would also say: “Relate Shaikh ‘Abdul-Muhsin’s diligence at work to the people for there is no harm in this.”
Shaikh ‘Abdul-Muhsin Al-‘Abbaad was also the reason why Shaikh Hammaad Al-Ansaaree wrote his famous book on Tawassul, which served as a refutation of a book written by ‘Abdullaah Al-Ghumaaree, which Shaikh ‘Abdul-Muhsin had brought back with him from his trip to Morocco.
Amongst the other milestones reached by the University under Shaikh ‘Abdul-Muhsin’s presidency was that it transferred from being a government facility to a private institution, the advanced studies department for the Master’s and Doctorate’s programs were formed, the faculties of Qur’aan and Islamic studies, Hadeeth, and Arabic language were created, the size of the University’s land increased to accommodate a proposed 20,000 students, and the University’s printing department was also established.
Shaikh ‘Abdul-Muhsin continues to teach at the University until this very day even though he is past the compulsory age of retirement. No one has taught longer at the Islamic University than him since he taught from its very first day until now. In addition to this, he also continues to hold lessons in the Prophet’s Masjid.
Sufficient as testimony of the great role Shaikh ‘Adul-Muhsin Al-‘Abbaad has had on the Islamic University of Madeenah is what Shaikh Hammaad Al-Ansaaree said as recorded by his son, ‘Abdul-Awwal, in his biography of his father (2/597): “The Islamic University (of Madeenah) is the university of Al-‘Abbaad, Az-Zayid and Shaikh Ibn Baaz.” And then he began praising the days they spent together.
The first trip that the Shaikh took outside of his hometown of Zulfi was when he went to Makkah for Hajj in 1370H. Then in 1371, he traveled to Riyadh to seek knowledge. He also traveled to Morocco. It is said that Shaikh ‘Abdul-Muhsin Al-‘Abbaad obtained his Master’s Degree from Egypt.
“I have in my possession notes from the various grades of school beginning from the third year of primary school, which are from the dearest and most precious of what I saved.”
“From the most beloved of deeds to me and the most hoped for by me in the sight of my Lord is my immense love for the Companions of Allaah’s Messenger and my extreme hatred for those who hate them. And Allaah has indeed blessed me with boys and girls as children. I named four of my sons after the four rightly-guided Khaleefahs after first naming one with the name of the chief of Messengers, i.e. Muhammad. And I named some of my daughters after some of the Mothers of the Believers after naming one with the name of the leader of the believing women, i.e. Faatimah. I ask Allaah and seek a way to Him through my love for them and my hatred for those who hate them. And I ask Him to gather me in their company and to increase them in virtue and reward.”
Many of today’s scholars and well-known students of knowledge have studied under the Shaikh either through his classes in the University or the lessons he delivers in the Prophet’s Masjid. Amongst the most famous of them are:
1. Shaikh Ihsaan Ilaahee Dhaheer
2. Dr. ‘Alee Naasir Al-Faqeehee
3. Dr. Saalih As-Suhaymee
4. Dr. Wasee’ullaah ‘Abbaas
5. Dr. Baasim Al-Jawaabirah
6. Dr. ‘Aasim bin ‘Abdillaah Al-Qaryootee
7. Dr. Ibraaheem Ar-Ruhaylee
8. Dr. ‘Abdur-Razzaaq Al-‘Abbaad, his son
9. Dr. Rabee’ bin Haadee Al-Madkhalee
He had a special relationship with many people of knowledge, especially those who would teach in the Islamic University, and not to mention those about whom he heard were people of virtue and good standing, As an example, he had a special relationship with Shaikh ‘Umar Fullaata, may Allaah have mercy on him, which can be seen in a lecture he delivered about him after his death, which was later transcribed and published.
Shaikh ‘Abdul-Muhsin Al-‘Abbaad has authored numerous books, some of which were either originally lectures or lessons he gave throughout the course of his life. Below are some of his well-known published books and treatises:
1. ‘Ishroona Hadeethan min Saheeh-il-Bukhaaree [20 Hadeeth from the Narrations of Al-Bukhaaree]
2. ‘Ishroona Hadeethan min Saheeh-il-Imaam Muslim [20 Hadeeth from the Narrations of Imaam Muslim]
3. Min Akhlaaq-ir-Rasool-il-Kareem [From the Manners of the Noble Messenger]
4. ‘Aqeedatu Ahlis-Sunnah wal-Jamaa’ah fis-Sahaabat-il-Kiraam [The Creed of Ahlus-Sunnah wal-Jamaa’ah concerning the Noble Companions] This book is available on Al-Ibaanah.Com as a free downloadable e-book.
5. Fadlu Ahlil-Bait wa ‘Uloo Makaanatihim ‘inda Ahlis-Sunnati wal-Jamaa’ah [The Virtue of the Members of the Prophet’s Household and their High Status amongst Ahlus-Sunnah]
6. ‘Aqeedatu Ahlis-Sunnah wal-Athar fil-Mahdee-il-Muntadhar [The Creed of Ahlus-Sunnah wal-Athar concerning the Awaited Mahdee] This book was originally a lecture the Shaikh gave, which Shaikh ‘Abdul-‘Azeez bin Baaz, was present for and praised, and announced he would publish before it was completed.
7. Ar-Radd ‘alaar-Rifaa’ee wal-Bootee [A Refutation of Ar-Rifaa’ee and Al-Bootee]
8. Al-Intisaar Lis-Sahaabat-il-Akhyaar [Supporting the Excellent Companions – A Refutation of the False Allegations of Hasan Al-Maalikee]
9. Fadlul-Madeenah wa Adaab Suknaahaa wa Ziyaaratihaa [The Virtue of Madeenah and the Etiquettes of Living in it and Visiting it]
10. Sharh ‘Aqeedah Ibn Abee Zaid Al-Qayrawaanee [An Explanation of the Creed of Ibn Abee Zaid Al-Qayrawaanee] This explanation is based on various lesson he would give in the masjid. Shaikh ‘Abdul-Muhsin was one of the first Pious Predecessor, if not the first, to explain this book. Shaikh Hammaad Al-Ansaaree, who died in the middle of 1418H said: “No Pious Predecessor explained the Creed of Ibn Abee Zaid Al-Qayrawaanee. Only the Asha’rees have explained it.”
11. Min Aqwaal-il-Munsifeen fis-Sahaabee al-Khaleefah Mu’aawiyah [From the Statements of the Impartial on the Companion, the Caliph Mu’aawiyah] This book has been translated and is available in the English language.
12. Rifqan Ahlus-Sunnah bi-Ahlis-Sunnah [Ahlus-Sunnah, be gentle with one another] This book has been published on-line and in book format.
13. Fat’h-ul-Qawee-il-Mateen bi-Sharh-il-Arba’een [Allaah’s Aid in Explaining An-Nawawee’s 40 Hadeeth] An excellent book in which the Shaikh explains An-Nawawee’s 42 hadeeth and Ibn Rajab’s additional 8 hadeeth – 50 in total.
14. Sharh Shuroot as-Salaat [An Explanation of the Conditions, Pillars and Requirements of Prayer] This is a brief explanation of the classical work of Imaam Muhammad bin ‘Abdil-Wahhaab, which is pending publication by Al-Ibaanah Book Publishing.
Shaikh ‘Abdul-Muhsin has many more books and treatises attributed to him, whether from his writings or a transcription of his lectures and lessons, which have not been mentioned here.
The great scholar, Hammaad Al-Ansaaree, may Allaah have mercy on him, said about him:
“Verily, my eyes did not see the likes of Shaikh ‘Abdul-Muhsin Al-‘Abbaad in terms of piety.” [Tarjamah Hammad Al-Ansaaree (2/621)]
It is important to note that Shaikh Hammaad said this even though he had met and accompanied great scholars the likes of Muhammad bin Ibraaheem Aali Shaikh, Al-Mu’allimee, Ibn Baaz and Al-Albaanee. So this is a significant testimony.
Since Shaikh ‘Abdul-Muhsin Al-‘Abbaad was well-versed in the field of Hadeeth, the great scholar, Imaam Al-Albaanee, would rely on some of his verifications, as can be seen in his as-Saheehah (5/276). While authenticating a hadeeth about the Mahdee and quoting Ibn Al-Qayyim as saying it was good, he said: “Shaikh Al-‘Abbaad concurred with it in his treatise on the Mahdee.”
He had a very strong relationship with his teacher, Shaikh ‘Abdul-‘Azeez bin Baaz. Whever someone would come from Madeenah (to Riyadh), he would ask them about Shaikh ‘Abdul-Muhsin Al-‘Abbaad, Shaikh Hammaad Al-Ansaaree and Shaikh ‘Umar Fullaata. [Jawaanib min Seerah Ibn Baaz (pg. 261)]
Shaikh Al-Albaanee, may Allaah have mercy on him, said:
“I do not know of anyone equal to him in this era with devotion to the Hadeeth and vast research of it. I cannot do without nor do I see that anyone else can do without his books and benefiting from them.”
When the Shaikh served as president of the Islamic University of Madeenah, he didn’t abuse his position and take it as an opportunity to oppress the workers and employees. Shaikh Hammaad Al-Ansaaree relates: “I went to the University at the time of ‘Asr when Shaikh ‘Abdul-Muhsin served as its president. And there would be no one in the University except for him and me. So I said to him: ‘Why don’t you bring someone who will open the University for you before you come?’ He replied: ‘I will not make anybody work at this time because it is a time of rest.’ This was at the time of ‘Asr.”
One graduate from the University related that when the Shaikh was president there he would not like to stop the university car on the road to buy things for the house. Meaning: Since the car was just to take him to and from work, he would not like to abuse this by using it for personal reasons.
On another occasion, when his term of presidency ended, his driver saw him standing on the street waiting, so he passed by him as usual and offered to take him home, but he replied: “I wouldn’t think of it. My term as president has ended and I called my son to come and get me.”
In his lecture on Shaikh ‘Umar Fullaata’s biography, Shaikh ‘Abdul-Muhsin said: “From the funny incidents between us is that I would always joke with Shaikh ‘Umar about his age and how old he was even though he did not look it. One year while we were on Hajj, we went inside one of the tents in ‘Arafaat where we saw a man whose hair had become completely white – even his eyebrows. So I told Shaikh ‘Umar: ‘This man is from your peers’ – meaning he is old. After we sat down, the man looked at me and said: ‘I am your student. You taught me during the night courses of the primary school in Riyadh.’ This was around 1374H. While I was studying in Riyadh, I would teach voluntary courses in the evening at that school where most of the students worked during the day. So Shaikh ‘Umar, may Allaah have mercy on him, saw that as an opportunity to turn the tables around on me. Thereafter, he kept asking that man over and over again: ‘You are Shaikh ‘Abdul-Muhsin’s student?’”
As mentioned before, Shaikh ‘Abdul-Muhsin holds regular lessons at the Prophet’s Masjid in addition to teaching in the University. He also holds some classes in his masjid. From the classical works that he would explain in the Haram during his lessons there and which can be found in the tape library at the Haram:
1. An explanation of the abridgement of al-Alfiyyah of As-Suyootee (57 tapes)
2. An explanation of the Creed of Ibn Abee Zayd Al-Qayrawaanee (14 tapes)
3. An explanation of Saheeh Al-Bukhaaree, which he did not complete (623 tapes)
4. An explanation of Sunan An-Nasaa’ee (414 tapes)
5. An explanation of Sunan Abee Dawood (272 tapes) and still ongoing
6. An explanation of the Book of Fasting from al-Lul’lu wal-Marjaan (7 tapes)
7. An explanation of Adaab-ul-Mashee ilaas-Salaat (14 tapes)
May Allaah reward the Shaikh for his great efforts in educating the Muslims and spreading the truth and may He preserve him. The telephone number of the Shaikh in Madeenah is 04/8475207.