The Passing of Shaykh Muhammad Mustafa al ‘Azami
It is with a heavy heart that I convey the sad news of the passing away of my teacher, Sheikh Muhammad Mustafa Al-A’zami (rahimahullah).
The Sheikh was one of the world’s premier scholars of Hadith, and received his education at Dar al-‘Ulum Deoband, India (1952), al-Azhar University, Cairo (M.A., 1955),
and the University of Cambridge (Ph.D., 1966). He was Professor Emeritus at King Sa’ud University (Riyadh) where he also chaired the department of Islamic Studies.
He served as curator of the National Public Library, Qatar; Associate Professor at Umm al-Qura University (Makkah); Visiting Scholar at University of Michigan (Ann Arbor); Visiting Fellow at St. Cross College (University of Oxford); King Faisal Visiting Professor for Islamic Studies at Princeton; and Visiting Scholar at University of Colorado (Boulder). He was also an Honorary Professor at University of Wales (Lampeter).
His publications include Ageless Qur’an: A Timeless Text, The History of the Qur’anic Text, Studies in Early Hadith Literature, Hadith Methodology and Literature, On Schacht’s Origins of Muhammadan Jurisprudence, Dirasat fi al-Hadith an-Nabawi, Kuttab an-Nabi, Manhaj an-Naqd ‘ind al-Muhaddithin, and al-Muhaddithin min al-Yamamah. He had also edited numerous other works including Kitab at-Tamyiz of Imam Muslim, Muwatta of Imam Malik, Sahih Ibn Khuzaymah and Sunan Ibn Majah to name a few.
In 1980 he was the recipient of the prestigious King Faisal International Award for Islamic Studies.
In the western world, the Sheikh was best known for his critical investigation of the writings of the famous orientalists Ignác Goldziher, David Margoliouth, and Joseph Schacht.
I was fortunate to spend almost 15 years with the Sheikh learning from him and benefiting from his knowledge.
A great loss for the Muslim Ummah!
Source: Imtiyaz Damiel, Facebook.
Sad News indeed 😦
In my undergrad, I had benefited greatly from reading his book “On Schacht’s Origins of Muhammadan Jurisprudence”. His works, along with the works of Dr. Jonathan Brown, has helped solidify the authenticity and reliability of our hadith tradition both in western academia as well as the English-speaking audience at large.
An appropriate hadith comes to mind:
Narrated AbudDarda’: Kathir ibn Qays said: I was sitting with AbudDarda’ in the mosque of Damascus. A man came to him and said: AbudDarda, I have come to you from the town of the Apostle of Allah (peace_be_upon_him) for a tradition that I have heard you relate from the Apostle of Allah (peace_be_upon_him). I have come for no other purpose. He said: I heard the Apostle of Allah (peace_be_upon_him) say:
If anyone travels on a road in search of knowledge, Allah will cause him to travel on one of the roads of Paradise. The angels will lower their wings in their great pleasure with one who seeks knowledge, the inhabitants of the heavens and the Earth and the fish in the deep waters will ask forgiveness for the learned man. The superiority of the learned man over the devout is like that of the moon, on the night when it is full, over the rest of the stars. The learned are the heirs of the Prophets, and the Prophets leave neither dinar nor dirham, leaving only knowledge, and he who takes it takes an abundant portion.
May Allah(SWT) grant him Jannatul Firdous.
Innal Lillahi wa’inna ilaihi Ra’jeun.
May Allah grant him Jannat-ul-Firdaus. Ameen.
You have certainly been taught well by erudite members of the ummah, and, although I do not know Sheikh Muhammad Mustafa Al-A’zami, you certainly have been influenced by many scholarly men who have inculcated rigor and diligence on you. I am certainly pleased at the high-end, original dawah on this website, especially the polemical material on Christianity. I don’t think I’ll ever match the depth you have on your knowledge on the New Testament and textual criticism.
I became somewhat interested in in-depth Christology and Christian soteriology when I asked a Muslimah what she knew about Christianity. She said that she only knew about Jesus from an Islamic perspective (but it was clear to me to that she didn’t really have that much knowledge at all.) She also mention the Gospel of Barnbas as a credible source in our discussion. I came across your website when I was looking for Islamic responses to John 20 (Didymus and the “my lord and my God” comment). I really did like your exposition of Luke 23:34 (Father forgive them) since it actually poses problems for Christian soteriology and the notion that Jesus was God because he was able to forgive sins.
I feel like there needs to be more Muslims with the knowledge and proficient to address specific claims of Christianity. I need to be more intellectually engaging.
I actually feel inspired to read the New Testament now.
A sheikh said to us that it is a privilege to do dawah. Allah, SWT, does not need us to spread the deen. May Allah be pleased with Sheikh Muhammad Mustafa Al-A’zami .
John 20:28 can be refuted with 1 Corinthians 8:6:
“6 yet for us there is but one God, the Father, from whom all things came and for whom we live; and there is but one Lord, Jesus Christ, through whom all things came and through whom we live.”