Source: Excerpted from Al-Ibaanah.com with slight updates
His Name and Birth:
His name was Muhammad Amaan bin Alee Jaamee Alee; and he went by the nickname Abu Ahmad. He was born and raised in Ethiopia in the district of Harer, town of Taga Tab. According to his official documents, he was born in 1349H.
His Early Studies:
The Shaikh grew up in the town of Taga Tab (Ethiopia) where he learned the Noble Qur’aan. After completing the Qur’aan, he began studying the books of Fiqh according to the madh-hab of Imaam Ash-Shaafi’ee, may Allaah have mercy on him. He also studied Arabic in his hometown with Shaikh Muhammad Ameen Al-Hareree.
He then justify his hometown as was the custom of the inhabitants of that area, and moved to another town where he met with a man who would become his colleague in seeking knowledge and migrating to Saudi Arabia, Shaikh Abdul-Kareem. So the ties of Islamic brotherhood were formed between the two of them. After meeting, they would go together to study under a teacher called Shaikh Moosaa under whom they studied Nadham-uz-Zubd of Ibn Raslaan. They then studied the text of al-Minhaaj under Shaikh Abaadir. While in this town, they learned several disciplines of Islamic knowledge.
The pair then had a desire to travel to the holy land of Makkah to seek knowledge and fulfill the obligation of Hajj. So they justify from Ethiopia and headed for Somalia where they boarded a ship and headed for Aden (Yemen). There they experienced many hardships and perils on both land and sea but they continued on to Hudaidah by foot and fasted the month of Ramadaan there.
They then departed for Saudi Arabia and passed through Saamitah and Abi ‘Areesh until they got permission to enter Makkah, which they walked to on foot. While in Yemen, some teachers warned them against the Salafi Dawah, which they called Wahhaabee.
His Studies while in Saudi Arabia:
After the Shaikh performed Hajj in 1369H, he began to seek knowledge in the study circles held in the precincts of Al-Masjid-ul-Haraam. There, he learned from Shaikh Abdur-Razzaaq Hamzah, may Allaah have mercy on him, Shaikh Abdul-Haqq Al-Haashimee, may Allaah have mercy on him, Shaikh Muhammad bin Abdillaah As-Sumaalee and others.
While in Makkah, he came to know Shaikh Abdul-Azeez bin Baaz and accompanied him in his journey to Riyadh when the Educational Institute was opened. This was in the early seventies (i.e. 1370H).
Some of the colleagues he studied with while undergoing secondary studies at the Educational Institute was Shaikh Abdul-Muhsin bin Hamad Al-Abbaad and Shaikh Alee bin Mahnaa, former judge in the Central Courthouse of Madeenah. At the same time, he would attend the many circles of knowledge in Riyadh.
He also benefited and was influenced by the (former) Muftee, the great scholar of Jurisprudence and Principles, Shaikh Muhammad bin Ibraaheem Aali Shaikh, may Allaah have mercy on him.
He would stick closely to Shaikh Abdur-Rahmaan Al-Afreeqee, may Allaah have mercy on him, as well as Shaikh Abdul-Azeez bin Baaz, may Allaah have mercy on him, whose vast knowledge and noble manners he was able to absorb.
In Riyadh, he studied under Shaikh Muhammad Al-Ameen Ash-Shanqeetee, may Allaah have mercy on him, and the Muhaddith, Shaikh Hammaad Al-Ansaaree, may Allaah have mercy on him.
He was also greatly influenced by Shaikh Abdur-Razzaaq Al-Afeefee, even in his manner of teaching. Likewise, he benefited from and was influenced by Shaikh Abdur-Rahmaan bin Naasir As-Saadee, may Allaah have mercy on him, since they would write letters to each other. However, it should be known that he did not study under Shaikh As-Saadee. He also learned under Shaikh Muhammad Khaleel Harraas, may Allaah have mercy on him, whom he was greatly influenced by, and Shaikh Abdullaah Al-Qaraawee, may Allaah have mercy on him.
His Scholastic Accreditation:
He completed his secondary studies at the Educational Institute in Riyadh, then joined the College of Shareeah and obtained his diploma in 1380H. He then received the equivalent of a Masters Degree in Shareeah from the University of Punjab (Pakistan) in 1974 and thereafter a Doctorates Degree from Daar-ul-Uloom in Cairo.
His Scholarly Status and the Scholars Praise for him:
The Shaikh held a high status amongst the people of knowledge and virtue as they would mention good things about him and rely on him. In fact, reliance upon his knowledge and Creed reached the point that when he was a student in Riyadh, and his teacher Shaikh Abdul-Azeez bin Baaz, saw his superiority and enthusiasm for knowledge, he referred him to Shaikh Muhammad bin Ibraaheem, may Allaah have mercy on him, which resulted in him being appointed a teacher at the Educational Institute in Saamitah in the district of Jaazaan.
What also proves the trustworthiness of his knowledge and Creed and his high regard amongst the scholars was the fact that when the Islamic University in Madeenah was opened, he was appointed to teach in it after being selected by Shaikh Abdul-Azeez bin Baaz, may Allaah have mercy on him.
It is well known that the Islamic University of Madeenah was founded in order to disperse the Creed of the Pious Predecessors. And this same University entrusted him to teach this Creed, first in the secondary institute and then in the College of Shareeah, due to their trust in his Creed, knowledge and methodology and so that he could participate in achieving the Universitys goals.
Below are some of the statements of the trustworthy scholars that they wrote about Shaikh Muhammad Amaan Al-Jaamee, may Allaah have mercy on him:
In a letter written (no. 64) by the former Muftee of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, Shaikh Abdul-Azeez bin Baaz, may Allaah have mercy on him, on 1/9/1418H, he said about Shaikh Muhammad Amaan: “He is known to me for possessing knowledge, virtue, a good Creed, and activeness in Calling to Allaah and warning against innovations and misconceptions. May Allaah forgive him, grant him an abode in Paradise and keep his progeny upright. And may He gather us, you and him in the abode of His honor. Verily, He is All-Hearing and All-Near.”
In a letter dated 3/3/1418H, Shaikh Saalih bin Fawzaan Al-Fawzaan said:
“Shaikh Muhammad Amaan as I knew him: Indeed, the students and those who hold various type of higher degrees are many, but there are only a few from whose knowledge and personality you could truly benefit from. Shaikh Muhammad Amaan was one of these few rare scholars who employed their knowledge and efforts in order to benefit Muslims and guide them by calling them to Allaah upon knowledge. This was via the classes he would give while at the Islamic University and the Prophets Masjid as well as during the excursions he would undertake inside and outside of the Kingdom in order to give lessons and lectures on various topics. He would call to Tawheed and propagate the correct Creed, and he would direct the Muslim youth towards the methodology of the pious Predecessors (Salaf as-Saalih) while warning them about destructive principles and deviant calls.
Whoever did not know him personally should get to know him by way of his beneficial books and numerous tapes, which consist of a deluge of the great amount of knowledge and immense benefit he possessed.
Shaikh Abdul-Muhsin bin Hamad Al-Abbaad, a teacher at the Prophets Masjid, may Allaah preserve him, said: “I came to know Shaikh Muhammad Amaan bin Alee Al-Jaamee when he was a student in the Educational Institute of Riyadh and then when he was a teacher in the Islamic University of Madeenah in the secondary level and then in the university level. I knew him to have a good Creed and following a safe course. He dedicated himself to clarifying the Creed upon the beliefs of the Predecessors and to warning against innovations by way of his classes, lectures and writings. May Allaah forgive him, have mercy on him and grant him an immense reward.”
The Director of the Islamic University of Madeenah, Dr. Saalih bin Abdillaah Al-Abood, said in a letter written on 4/15/1417H: The brother, Shaikh Mustafaa bin Abdil-Qaadir, asked me to write something about Shaikh Muhammad Amaan Al-Jaamee, may Allaah have mercy on him, that I know personally about him and his good qualities. So I complied with his request by writing these brief words even though I was not one of his students or close companions throughout the times I met him and mixed with him. However, there were some meetings that took place between him and I, may Allaah have mercy on him, from which I benefited and which resulted in us getting to know each other better and love for the sake of Allaah to develop between us, not to mention a firm conformance with the methodology of the Salaf-us-Saalih in matters of Creed and refuting opposition.
Muhammad bin Alee bin Muhammad Thaanee, a former teacher in the Prophets Masjid, may Allaah have mercy on him, said in a letter dated 1/4/1417H: He was a Salafee scholar of first class rate in sacrificing himself for the Islamic Call. He was also very active in giving lectures in mosques and educational seminars both in and out of the country (of Saudi Arabia). He authored many books on Creed and other subjects. May Allaah reward him on behalf of Islaam and the Muslims with the best of rewards.
Muhammad bin Abdil-Wahhaab Marzooq Al-Bannaa, may Allaah preserve him, said about him: He, may Allaah have mercy on him, was upon good, which we love, such as good manners, sound Creed and pleasant companionship. I ask Allaah to shower him with His Mercy, grant him an abode in Paradise, and gather us together there as brothers upon thrones facing one another.
Shaikh Umar bin Muhammad Fulaata, a teacher in the Prophets Masjid and Director of the Daar-ul-Hadeeth branch, may Allaah have mercy on him, said in a letter dated 2/8/1417H: In general, he, may Allaah have mercy on him, was honest in speech, immense in his ascription to the beliefs of Ahlus-Sunnah, and strong in his desire to call to Allaah through speech and action. He was reserved in speech, strong in clarifying, and quick to get angry when Allaahs laws were violated. The gatherings he would hold in the Prophets Masjid, the books he would distribute, and the travels he would undergo speak on his behalf.
I accompanied him one time on a journey and what a great friend he was! He himself accompanied the great scholar Muhammad Al-Ameen Ash-Shanqeetee, may Allaah have mercy on him, author of Adwaa-ul-Bayaan and other books, on a journey and also served as a good companion for him. A journey is that in which the true nature of a man becomes revealed. He would not flatter others, nor would he be hypocritical. He would not argue or dispute with others. If the proof was with him, he would openly proclaim it. And if the opposite of what he adhered to became apparent to him, he would take on that view and recant from his prior position. This is the common practice of the believers as Allaah says: The only saying of the faithful believers when they are called to Allaah and His Messenger to judge between them is that they say: We hear and we obey! Such are the successful. [Surah An-Noor: 51]
I call upon Allaah as a witness to the fact that he, may Allaah have mercy on him, fulfilled many times over his duty of serving the Religion and spreading the Sunnah of the chief of messengers (i.e. Prophet Muhammad). As a result he encountered much harm and was subjected to plots and conspiracies, but he did not give in nor was he dissuaded from his goal until he met Allaah. The last words he uttered were the testimonies of Laa Ilaaha illaaAllaah and Muhammadur-Rasoolullaah.
Shaikh Umar Fulaata, may Allaah have mercy on him, also said: I came to know Shaikh Muhammad Amaan bin Alee Al-Jaamee, may Allaah have mercy on him, since a long time ago, after he came to this country (of Saudi Arabia) seeking knowledge, searching for good, and looking to learn the Creed of Ahlus-Sunnah wal-Jamaaah.
I met him in 1372H in the home of our teacher, example, and fatherly figure, Shaikh Abdur-Rahmaan bin Yoosuf Al-Afreeqee, may Allaah have mercy on him and us, in Riyadh, since he would spend a lot of time with him and benefit from him. When I asked about him, I was informed that he had come from Saamitah where he would teach and participate in examinations in the educational institute and faculties under the Aali Shaikh family.
What caused me to notice him at that time was his vigor, zeal, superiority and great concern for speaking the pure Arabic language as well as his ability to explain clearly some of the problematic Fiqh issues, which showed that he was a well-versed student of knowledge.
Not much time passed since then until it was conveyed to me that our teacher, Shaikh Abdur-Rahmaan Al-Afreeqee, presented him with the opportunity of becoming part of his family by way of him marrying his wifes sister. So based on this, the ties between them became strengthened and the connection and love between them increased.
The professor, Dr. Muhammad Hamood Al-Waailee, teacher in the Prophets Masjid and Islamic University of Madeenah as well as its headmaster for Advanced Studies and Educational Research, said in a letter dated 5/29/1417H: I began my acquaintance of the Shaikh in 1381H when this noble country of Saudi Arabia first opened the Islamic University in Madeenah. He was one of the first to teach there and I was one of his students. He was from a number of teachers that would give their students special attention, which was not restricted to just that of a student-teacher relationship in class.
He would devote a great amount of attention in most of his classes to the Creed of the Pious Predecessors, may Allaah be pleased with them, and would not let any opportunity pass in which he would not explain its status and high position. This was the same whether his lessons were on Creed or on other subjects.
When he would discuss the Creed of the pious Predecessors and attempt to implant it into the souls of his students a majority of who came from all places abroad he would speak with profound experience and knowledge of this Creed, as he had tasted its sweetness and treaded its path, to the point that those listening and watching him would feel as though their hearts would become soft with love and affection for it.
He would undergo journeys in order to spread the Call and teach outside of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. He would not let any occasion or opportunity pass without clearly explaining the loftiness, purity and nobility of this Creed. Anyone who reads the books and treatises that he wrote will come to realize the truth of his Call.
I attended the deliberation of his doctorates dissertation in Dar-ul-Uloom, which falls under the University of Cairo in Egypt. In most of his research, he strove to clarify the purity of the Creed and the soundness of the methodology of the pious Predecessors. His academic persona became apparent throughout the discourse in his ability to expose the falseness of every methodology that deviated from the methodology of the pious Predecessors
In summary, he may Allaah have mercy on him, had great love for the Creed of the pious Predecessors and he was sincere in calling to it and dedicated to defending it. Nothing prevented him from speaking the truth about it not even people turning away from him and boycotting him. May Allaah have mercy on him and forgive him.
Dr. Muhammad bin Abdir-Rahmaan Al-Khumayyis, teacher at the Imaam Muhammad bin Suood Islamic University in Riyadh wrote: The noble Shaikh, Muhammad Amaan bin Alee Al-Jaamee, may Allaah have mercy on him, from what I knew about him, was from the strongest at defending and calling to the Creed of the pious Predecessors. He would defend it in books, lectures and seminars. And he was strict in refuting those who opposed the Creed of the pious Predecessors.
It is as if he sacrificed his entire life for this Creed in terms of learning it, teaching it, instructing it and calling to it. He realized the importance that this Creed has on the life and uprightness of a human being. And he acknowledged the danger that innovations which opposed this Creed have on the livelihood of society and individuals. So may Allaah have mercy on him and forgive him and all of the Muslims.
The afore-mentioned statements of people of knowledge and virtue about Shaikh Muhammad Amaan Al-Jaamee show his academic status and his efforts and struggle in calling to Allaah for close to his last forty years. His strong love and interest for clarifying and teaching the Creed of the Salaf brought him to high levels of distinction to the point that he became known amongst the scholars for his devotion to it. But apart from Creed, he was also very well-versed in the subjects of Tafseer, Jurisprudence, and the Arabic language.
His Books and Writings:
The Shaikh authored several books and delivered many lectures and classes, which were transcribed before and after his death and published. Below is a list of some of his most famous and highly regarded works:
1. As-Sifaat-ul-Ilaahiyyah fil-Kitaab was-Sunnah an-Nabawiyyah fee Daw-il-Ithbaat wat-Tanzeeh [The Divine Attributes in the Quraan and Prophetic Sunnah in light of Affirming and Absolving] This is one of the larger books of the Shaikh, which is highly beneficial in its subject.
2. Adwaa alaa Tareeq ad-Dawah ilaal-Islaam [Illuminations upon the Path of Calling to Islaam] This book consists of a number of lectures he gave, which affirm the Creed of the Salaf, present the status of the Call to Islaam in Africa, discuss the problems faced by the Call and the Callers in current times and their solutions, and provide a refutation of the Sufees.
3. Al-Muhaadarah ad-Difaaiyyah an-is-Sunnah al-Muhammadiyyah [A Lecture in Defense of the Sunnah of Muhammad] The source of this book was a lecture he delivered in 1383H in Sudan in which he refutes the atheist Mahmood TaHa.
4. Haqeeqat-ud-Dimuqratiyyah wa annahaa laisat minal-Islaam [The Reality of Democracy and a Clarification that it is not from Islaam] The source of this treatise was a lecture he gave in 1412H.
5. Haqeeqat-ush-Shooraa fil-Islaam [The Reality of Shooraa in Islaam] This is a small treatise.
6. Al-Aqeedat-ul-Islaamiyyah wa Taareekhuhaa [The Islamic Creed and its History] An excellent treatise on the progression and evolution of the recording of Creed and the formation of deviant groups throughout the history of Islaam.
7. Nidhaam-ul-Usrah fil-Islaam [The Structure of the Muslim Family] A short treatise which was originally a lecture he gave in Africa. The book was translated and published in English.
Many of the lessons and classes the Shaikh would give explaining classical works on Creed and Jurisprudence were also transcribed and published on the Internet and in book format. Amongst these works are his explanations of:
1. Tajreed-ut-Tawheed of Al-Maqreezee
2. Thalaathat-ul-Usool of Muhammad bin Abdil-Wahhaab
3. Shuroot-us-Salaat of Muhammad bin Abdil-Wahhaab
4. Al-Usool-us-Sittah of Muhammad bin Abdil-Wahhaab
5. Al-Aqeedat-ut-Tadmuriyyah of Ibn Taimiyyah
6. Al-Qawaaid-ul-Muthlaa of Ibn Al-Uthaimeen and more.
It is hard to imagine that a man of such a high regard amongst the scholars and who expended such great efforts in his call to Allaah and his love for the Creed of the Salaf would be void of any students. Many students studied under him to the point that it is difficult to confine their amount due to their large number. However, from the most outstanding of them are:
1. Dr. Rabee bin Haadee Al-Madkhalee;
2. Shaikh Zayd bin Haadee Al-Madkhalee;
3. Dr. Alee bin Naasir Al-Faqeehee, teacher in the Prophets Masjid;
4. Dr. Muhammad Hamood Al-Waailee, teacher in the Prophets Masjid and headmaster of the Islamic Universitys Advanced Studies department;
5. The Muhaddith, Shaikh Abdul-Qaadir bin Habeebillaah As-Sindee, may Allaah have mercy on him;
6. Dr. Saalih bin Saad As-Suhaymee, teacher in the Prophets Masjid and Islamic University;
7. Dr. Ibraaheem bin Aamir Ar-Ruhaylee, teacher in the Islamic University;
8. Dr. Bakr bin Abdillaah Abu Zaid, member of the Committee of Senior Scholars;
9. Dr. Falaah Ismaeel, teacher in the University of Kuwait.
Some of his Noble Characteristics:
1. His Sincerity: He, may Allaah have mercy on him, was sincere to Allaah, His Book, His Messenger, the Muslim Imaams and their common-folk. This becomes apparent with just the slightest bit of reflection, since if one looks at his life, he will see that the Shaikh sacrificed his entire life in affirming what our Lord is deserving of in terms of His Lordship, Worship, and Names and Attributes according to the understanding of the pious Predecessors. This can be seen in his lessons, writings, lectures, and refutations against those who opposed the Quraan and Sunnah. Furthermore, he was just and balanced when refuting his opponents steering clear from partisanship and vain desires.
2. His Mixing Little with People: He, may Allaah have mercy on him, was known to mix little with people unless it was for good. So as a result most of his time and his days would be reserved. His manner of doing this was well known since he would go out from his home to work in the Islamic University, then return home, then go to the Prophets Masjid to give classes there after Asr, after Maghrib, after Ishaa and after Fajr. He would continue to follow this schedule up until he was bedridden when his illness worsened.
3. His Reserved Tongue: He, may Allaah have mercy on him, was also reserved in speech, He would not speak ill, throw blame or backbite others. In fact, he would not allow anyone to backbite others while in his presence nor would he permit anyone to convey gossip and people’s defects to him.
If any students of knowledge fell into error, he would request the tape or the book (containing the error) and would listen or read it. If it became apparent to him that it was in fact an error, he would fulfill his requirement of advising that person.
4. His Forgiving Nature and Forbearance: He would react to those who treated him badly by displaying forbearance and forgivingness.
Many times people would come up to him on the street or while in the Prophets Masjid and ask his forgiveness for speaking bad about him and attacking his honor, and he would say to them: I hope Allaah will not cause anyone to enter the Hellfire because of me.
He would also pardon those who sought to destroy his reputation, saying: There is no need for anyone to come to me to seek my pardon, for I have already pardoned everyone. And he would request those in his gatherings to convey this from him.
5. His Concern and Care for His Students: He, may Allaah have mercy on him, was from those who gave special to his students, which would not stop with the end of his classes. He would attend their special functions, ask about their situations, take care of some of their needs, and help them out with some of their family problems or some of the hardships of life that they encountered. In general, he would make use of his money, reputation, and time in order to assist those students of his that were needy.
These actions of his justify a profound effect on his students and as a result, he would earn true love from them. His students felt the great gap in this aspect after he died. The truth is that the Shaikh, may Allaah have mercy on him, possessed many good characteristics, all of which cannot be mentioned here.
Some of his Wise Sayings:
The Shaikh said: It is upon our youth to take advantage of their free time by spending it on studying books that cure the diseases of the heart. This will cause a person to try to adhere to the ways and practices of the pious Predecessors in being steadfast and upright, and not just practicing it outwardly. Practicing Islaam on the outside is of no use by itself. Wearing a short garment (thawb) and growing a long beard are two things that Allaah has prescribed and encouraged. However, if there cannot be found any Islamic concept and understanding behind that, these outward features are of no use or benefit. [The tape: Sharh Asbaab Inshiraah-us-Sadr]
His Salafee Creed:
What proves that the Shaikh was upon a sound Salafee Creed was that fact that he would teach from the classical books of Creed from the pious Predecessors, such as: al-Waasitiyyah, al-Fataawaa al-Hamawiyyah al-Kubraa, at-Tadmuriyyah, Sharh al-Aqeedatut-Tahaawiyyah of Ibn Abil-Izz, al-Eemaan, Thalaathat-ul-Usool, Fath-ul-Majeed, Qurratu Uyoon-ul-Muwahhideen, al-Usool-us-Sittah, al-Waajibaat-ul-Mutahattimaat, al-Qawaaid-ul-Muthlaa and Tajreed-ut-Tawheed of Al-Maqreezee. These lessons were recorded and are widely available in cassette form. He would explain some books several times such as Thalaathat-ul-Usool.
He would also refute the people of innovation, such as the Sufees, the Sheeah, and the Rawaafid as can be witnessed in his books, the articles he would write for scholastic magazines, and the lectures and classes he would give. As an example, refer to his book: Adwaa alaa Tareeq ad-Dawah ilaal-Islaam [Illuminations upon the Path of Calling to Islaam].
His Sickness and Death:
During the last part of his life, he was stricken with a terminal illness to the point that he was bedridden for almost a year. But he endured it with patience and forbearance.
Shaikh Umar Fulaata, may Allaah have mercy on him, said: In the last part of his life, he was stricken with chronic illnesses, but endured them. One of his children related to me that before he died, he gathered his family together, advised them and emphasized in counseling them to be conscious and fearful of Allaah (Taqwaa), to maintain family ties, and to strive upon the Salafee Creed up until the time that they meet Allaah. The last thing he said before he died was the testimony that: There is no deity that is worshipped in truth except Allaah and Muhammad is the Messenger of Allaah.
On a Wednesday morning, on the 26th of Shabaan 1416H, his soul returned back to its Creator. His funeral prayer was held on that day after Dhuhr and he was then buried in the Baqee-ul-Gharqad Cemetery in Madeenah. A large group of people were present at his funeral including amongst them many scholars, judges, and students of knowledge. His death put the ummah at a loss, since they were now lacking a great and hard-working scholar, may Allaah grant him a spacious abode in Paradise.
Sources for his Biography:
Refer to the biographical account of the Shaikh written by his student, Mustafaa bin Abdil-Qaadir Al-Fulaanee in 3/5/1419H as found in the book: The Islamic Creed and its History (pg. 5-22) with alterations and additions.
Published on: August 31, 2007
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