الشيخ محمد بن صالح العثيمين
Shaykh Muhammad ibn Saalih al-‘Uthaymeen
He is the companion of nobility, the Shaykh, the muhaqqiq (researching scholar), the faqeeh (jurist), the mufassir (Qur’aan commentator), Mohammad bin Saalih bin Mohammad bin Sulaymaan bin ‘Abd-ir-Rahmaan Aal ‘Uthaymeen from Al Wahbah from Banu Tameem. He was born on the night of 27th in the bountiful month of Ramadaan of the year 1347H in ‘Unayzah, one of the cities of Al Qaseem Region in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.
His father – rahimahullaah – enrolled him to learn Qur’aan with his maternal grandfather, the teacher, ‘Abd-ur-Rahmaan Bin Sulaymaan Ad-Daamigh – rahimahullaah, then he learnt writing, and something of mathematics, and texts of literature and mannerism in the school of the ustaadh, ‘Abd-ul-‘Azeez bin Saalih Ad-Daamigh – hafidhahullaah – and that was before he got enrolled in the school of the ustaadh, ‘Alee bin ‘Abd-illaah Ash-Shahaytaan – rahimahullaah – where he memorised the Noble Qur’aan, by-hearting it after reaching fourteen years in age.
And by the directions of his father – rahimahullaah – he began seeking religious knowledge. And the noble Shaykh, the great scholar, ‘Abd-ur-Rahmaan bin Naasir As-Sa’dee – rahimahullaah – who used to teach religious and Arabic studies in the Jaame’ Masjid of ‘Unayzah, had appointed two from his senior students for teaching the beginner level students. So he joined the teaching circle of Shaykh Mohammad bin ‘Abd-il-‘Azeez Al Mutawwa’ – rahimahullaah – until he took the knowledge of at-tawheed, fiqh (jurisprudence) and an-nahoo (grammar).
Then he sat in the study circle of his Shaykh, the great scholar, ‘Abd-ur-Rahmaan bin Naasir As-Sa’dee – rahimahullaah, so he studied with him tafseer (Exegesis of Qur’aan), hadeeth (Prophetic Tradition), seerah (biography of the prophet), tawheed, fiqh (jurisprudence), usool (science of principles), faraa’id, nahoo (grammar) and he memorized abridged texts in these sciences.
And in enumeration, the noble Shaykh, the great school, ‘Abd-ur-Rahmaan bin Naasir As-Sa’dee – rahimahullaah – is his first teacher, as he took knowledge from him – with regards to learning and methodology – most compared to those besides him. And he was influenced by his methodology and inherent derivation, and his way of teaching and his following of the proofs.
And when the Shaykh, ‘Abd-ur-Rahmaan bin ‘Alee bin ‘Awdaan – rahimahullaah – was judge in ‘Unayzah, he read upon him the science of al faraa’id, as well as he read upon the Shaykh, ‘Abd-ur-Razzaaq Al ‘Afeefee – rahimahullaah – in an-nahoo (grammar) and al-balaaghah (eloquence), while his presence as a teacher in that city.
And when The Educational Institute was opened in Riyaad, some of his brothers referred him to join it, so he asked permission from his teacher, the great scholar, ‘Abd-ur-Rahmaan bin Naasir As-Sa’dee – rahimahullaah – so he allowed him and he joined the institute in the year 1372-1373H.
And he benefitted – during these two years while attending The Riyaad Educational Institute – from the scholars that were teaching in it then; from them were: the great scholar, al-mufassir (Qur’aan commentator), Shaykh Mohammad Al Ameen Ash-Shinqeetee, and Shaykh; al faqeeh (jusrist) ‘Abd-ur-Razzaaq bin Naasir bin Rasheed, and Shaykh-ul-muhaddith (scholar of Prophetic Tradition), ‘Abd-ur-Rahmaan Al Ifreeqee – rahimahumullaah.
And during that period he got introduced to the noble Shaykh, the great scholar, ‘Abd-ul-‘Azeez bin ‘Abd-illaah bin Baaz – rahimahullaah – so he read upon him in the masjid from ‘Saheeh Al Bukhaaree’ and from ‘The Letters of Shaykh-ul-Islaam Ibn Taymiyah’, and he benefitted from him in the science of hadeeth (Prophetic Tradition) and looked into the opinions of the fuqahaa’ (jurists) of different madhaahib (schools of jurisprudence) and comparison between them. In enumerating, the noble Shaykh ‘Abd-ul-‘Azeez bin Baaz – rahimahullaah – is his second teacher with regards to enumeration and influence.
Then he returned to ‘Unayzah in the year 1374H and began to study under his teacher, the great scholar, ‘Abd-ur-Rahmaan bin Naasir As-Sa’dee, following his lessons by enrolment in The College of Shari’ah (Islaamic Law) that became a part of Al Imaam Mohammad bin Sa’ood Islaamic University, until he acquired the Certificate in Higher Education.
His Teaching Career:
His teacher sensed in him prompt ability to confront questions and swiftness in knowledge-based inherent derivation, so he encouraged him to teach and yet he was only a student in his study circle.
And when he graduated from The Educational Institute in Riyaad he was appointed as a teacher in The Educational Institute in ‘Unayzah in the year 1374H. And in the year 1376H his teacher; the great scholar, ‘Abd-ur-Rahmaan As-Sa’dee – rahimahullaah – passed away. So after him, he was given the position as the imaam of the Jaame’ Masjid in ‘Unayzah, and as an imaam for the two ‘eed festivals in it and to teach in The ‘Unayzah National Library, which was a subsidiary to the university which was founded by his teacher – rahimahullaah – in the year 1359H.
And when the students increased and the library could no longer hold them; the noble Shaykh –rahimahullaah – began teaching in the Jaame’ Masjid itself. And the students gathered towards him and flocked around him from the Kingdom and besides it, until they reached to a number in hundreds in some of the lessons. They studied under serious training not just mere listening; he remained upon that, as an imaam, a khateeb (orator) and a teacher until his death – rahimahullaah.
The Shaykh remained a teacher in The Educational Institute from the year 1374H to the year 1398H when he shifted to teaching in The College of shari’ah (Islaamic Law) and usool-ad-deen (Principles of Religion) in Al Qaseem, a subsidiary to Al Imaam Mohammad bin Sa’ood Islaamic University, remaining a teacher in it until his death – rahimahullaah.
And he used to teach in Masjid Al Haraam and Masjid An-Nabawee in the seasons of hajj, ramadaan and summer vacations since the year 1402H until his death – rahimahullaah.
The Shaykh – rahimahullaah – had unique educational method in his quality and successfulness. So he used to debate his students and accept their questions, and give lessons and seminars with high reassuring and confident spirit, he was energetic in spreading knowledge and proximate to the people.
Efforts of His Knowledge:
His – rahimahullaah – great efforts appeared through more than fifty years in giving and exertion in spreading knowledge while teaching, orating, extending guidance, joining seminars and calling towards Allaah – the Almighty and Exalted.
And he was heedful in authoring and dispatching verdicts and answers that are exceptional with an inherent discernment; scientific and rational. His books, letters, seminars, verdicts, sermons, meetings and sayings have been issued in tens of dozens, like the issuance of thousands of hours of his audios that are recorded in seminars, sermons, meetings, radio broadcasts and his knowledge-based lessons in exegesis of the Holy Qur’aan, his unique explanations of the Noble Prophetic Tradition, and the biography of the Prophet, and texts and poetry in the Islaamic and linguistic sciences.
And enforcing the fundamentals, the rules and the guidelines that were decided by his nobleness – rahimahullaah – for spreading his authorship, letters, lessons, seminars, sermons, legal verdicts and meetings, is being carried out by ‘The Shaykh Mohammad bin Saalih Al ‘Uthaymeen Charitable Foundation’ – with aid and guidance of Allaah – being obliged and honoured for taking the responsibility of releasing all of his knowledge-based efforts and its care.
And building upon his – rahimahullaah – guidelines, his personal website has been established on the World Wide Web, for the sake of spreading the desired benefit – with the aid and guidance of Allaah – to present all efforts of his knowledge, from his authorship and audio recordings.
Other Works and Efforts:
In addition to those fruitful efforts in the area of teaching, authorship, post as an Imaam, sermons, issuing legal verdicts, calling towards Allaah – the Almighty and Exalted – the noble Shaykh had many successful works, from them are what follows:
• Member of the Committee of Major Scholars in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia from the year 1407H until his death.
• Member of the Study Council in Al Imaam Mohammad bin Sa’ood Islaamic University in the two academic years of 1398H-1400H.
• Member of The Council at The College of Islaamic Law and Principles of the Religion in the branch of Al Imaam Mohammad bin Sa’ood Islaamic University in Al Qaseem and Director of ‘aqeedah (creed) department in it.
• And in the period of his teaching in The Educational Institute he took part in the membership of the Committee of Planning and Curriculum for The Educational Institute and authored a number of books prescribed in it.
• Member in the Committee of Awareness in the season of hajj from the year 1392H until his death – rahimahullaah – where he used to give lessons and hold seminars in Makkah and The Sites, and give legal verdicts in issues and rulings of shree’ah.
• He directed the Charitable Society for Memorisation of the Holy Qur’aan in ‘Unayzah from its establishment in the year 1405H until his death.
• He attended many seminars inside the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia having various categories of people; likewise he attended seminars through the way of telephone for the Islaamic societies and centres in various directions of the globe.
• He is from the Major Scholars of the Kingdom that answer questions of enquirers about the rules and regulations of the religion and its principles of ‘Aqeedah (creed) and Sharee’ah (Islaamic law). And that was through radio broadcast programmes from the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia; the most famous amongst these programmes was the program ‘Noor ‘Alad-Darb’ (Light upon the Path).
• He assigned himself for answering the questions of the common peoples through phone calls, letters and meetings.
• He organised knowledge-based meetings; weekly, monthly and yearly.
• He took part in many conferences that were held in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.
• And because of his care for the educational behaviour and the preaching aspect, he attended to the students while directing and guiding them to a serious educational behaviour of a student of knowledge and his achievements. He worked to attract them and have patience in their education, and to tolerate their many various questions and attend to their affairs.
• And the Shaykh – rahimahullaah – has many deeds in the fields of goodness, and in the chapters of righteousness and in the areas of charity towards people, eagerness to help in their needs, writing documents and contracts between them and providing advice to them with truth and sincerity.
The noble Shaykh – rahimahullaah – is counted amongst the steadfast and unswerving people of knowledge that are gifted by Allaah – with his Grace and Generosity – with inherent discernment; great inheritance in knowing the proof and following it; derivation of the rules and benefits from the Book and the Sunnah. And he explored depths of the Arabic Language with regards to its meanings, expression and eloquence.
And when the characteristics of great scholars, and their praiseworthy manners and combination upon knowledge and action appeared from him, people loved him with great love, everyone appreciated him with full appreciation, and Allaah bestowed upon him their acceptance and reassurance of his choices in the matters of jurisprudence. And they accepted his lessons, legal verdicts and all sorts of efforts in knowledge, drinking from his certain knowledge and benefiting from his advices and sermons.
He was awarded the Malik Faysal – rahimahullaah – International Award for serving Islaam, in the year 1414H. It came in the merits that were chosen by the Choosing Committee to give him the award what follows:
Firstly: His exercising with the manners of the noble scholars, the most notable of which are piety, vastness of heart, speaking the truth, actions for the benefit of the Muslims and advising their elites and their masses.
Secondly: Benefiting many from his knowledge; with teaching, passing verdicts and authorship.
Thirdly: His attending general beneficial seminars in different regions of the Kingdom.
Fourthly: His beneficial participation in many Islaamic conferences.
Fifthly: His following of exceptional behavior in calling towards Allaah with wisdom and good exampling, and his presenting living example of the methodology of the pious predecessors, in intellect and action.
He has five boys and three girls. His sons are: ‘Abd-ullaah, ‘Abd-ur-Rahmaan, Ibraaheem, ‘Abd-ul-‘Azeez and ‘Abd-ur-Raheem.
He passed away – rahimahullaah – in Jeddah city just before Maghrib on Wednesday, 15th of the month of Shawwaal of the year 1421H. He was prayed over in Masjid Al Haraam after salaat-ul-‘asr on Thursday. Then he was followed by those thousands of worshipper and huge crowds, awing spectators. He was buried in Makkat-al-Mukarramah.
And after salaat-ul-jumu’ah on the following day, he was prayed over salaat-ul-ghaa’ib in all of the cities of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.
May Allaah have mercy upon our Shaykh, mercy deserved by the righteous. And may He grant him abode in His expansive gardens, and bestow upon him His Forgiveness and His Pleasure and reward him with good for what he gave forward for Islaam and the Muslims.
The Study Committee at The Shaykh Mohammad bin Saalih Al ‘Uthaymeen Charitable Organisation.
[Taken and translated by Zubayr Abbasi from the official website of the Shaykh, http://www.ibnothaimeen.com/all/Shaikh.shtml]