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Abu ‘l-Ikhlas Hasan al-Shurunbulali

Born in a village in Upper Egypt in 994/1586, his father took him to Cairo at the tender age of six. He memorized the Qur’an and subsequently studied the Islamic sciences under numerous scholars, specifically Qur’anic recitation under Shaykh Muhammad al-Hamawi and Shaykh ‘Abd al-Rahman al-Masiri, and jurisprudence under Imam ‘Abdullah al-Nahriri, ‘Allama Muhammad al-Mahabbi, …

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Shaykh ‘Ashiq Ilahi al-Bulandshehri

A prolific writer and eminent scholar of the Indian Subcontinent, Shaykh ‘Ashiq Ilahi al-Bulandshehri (or al-Barni) was born in 1343 ah in Bulandshehr of Uttar Pradesh. After attaining his primary education at Madrasa Imdadiyya Moradabad and Jami‘ Masjid Aligarh, he traveled to Mazahir ‘Ulum Saharanpur in pursuit of higher knowledge. After completing his studies, he …

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Maulana Masihullah Khan Sherwani

One of the greatest authorities on tasawwuf of his times, Mawlana Muhammad Masihullah Khan was among the senior representatives (khalifas) of Hakim al-Umma Mawlana Ashraf ‘Ali Thanawi. He hailed from the renowned and distinguished Sherwani family of Pathans, who are descendents of the Messenger of Allah (Allah bless him and give him peace). Mawlana Masihullah …

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Imam Shams al-Din al-Sakhawi

Imam Shams al-Din Muhammad ibn ‘Abd al-Rahman al-Sakhawi, born in 831/1427 in Cairo, was one of the foremost students of Shaykh al-Islam Ahmad ibn Hajar al-‘Asqalani (d. 852/1449). Sakhawi was a great jurist, historian, and a hadith master. Among his numerous works are Al-Maqasid al-Hasana and Al-Qawl al-Badi’ fi ’l-Salat ‘ala ’l-Habib al-Shafi’; the latter …

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Mashhad Al-Allaf

Dr. Mashhad Al-Allaf holds a doctoral degree in Modern Philosophy: Science & Metaphysics (1995). His bachelor’s and master’s degrees concentrated on the Philosophy of Science. He has taught at Washington University, St. Louis University, and Webster University and is the author of several works, including The Basic Ideas and Institutions of Islam (2008), Locke’s Philosophy …

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Imam Abu Hamid al-Ghazali

Abu Hamid ibn Muhammad ibn Muhammad al-Tusi al-Shafi’i al-Ghazali (or al-Ghazzali) was born in 450/1058, in Tus (located in present-day Iran). He studied under the great theologian and jurist Imam al-Haramayn al-Juwayni (478/1085) and produced a number of texts on Islamic law and theology. At the age of 34 he accepted a position as rector …

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Shaykh Zafar Ahmad Uthmani

He was the authoritative scholar of the Islamic sciences, the Qur’anic exegete, Hadith expert, jurist, and Sufi, Zafar Ahmad ibn Latif ‘Uthmani al-Thanawi. He was born the 13th of Rabi’ al-Awwal, 1310 ah. His mother died when he was only three, so his grandmother raised him. She was a righteous woman who had performed the …

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Shaykh ‘Abdullah Gangohi

Shaykh `Abdullah Gangohi (d. 1921) author of Ikmal al-Shiyam (commentary of the Book of Wisdoms) was a teacher in various Islamic schools in the Indian subcontinent, during an era of great academic and spiritual achievement in the region. His main area of expertise was Arabic language, and some of his works have become part of …

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Mulla ‘Ali al-Qari

‘Ali ibn Sultan Muhammad al-Qari, more popularly known as Mulla ‘Ali al-Qari, was an ascetic, hadith scholar, jurist, theologian, and author of what has been hailed as the most comprehensive Arabic commentary on the Mishkat al-Masabih, entitled Mirqat al-Mafatih. He is also famous for his commentary on Al-Fiqh al-Akbar, called Minah al-Rawd al-Azhar (Gifts of the Blooming Gardens). Qari was born in Herat, …

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