Bismillāhi’r Raĥmāni’r Raĥīm

Ibn Ĥajar al-Makkī al-Haytamī (909-974 AH / 1504-1567 CE) : Shaykh al-Islām Imām Abu’l Ábbās Aĥmed ibn Muĥammad ibn Álī ibn Ĥajar al-Makki as-Sáadī al-Anşārī al-Haytamī was born in the year 909 AH [1504 CE]. His father died when al-Haytamī was only a small child; so he was taken in the care of his [great] grandfather who had become famous by the sobriquet ĥajar, or the ‘stone’. Al-Fakihi writes that Al-Haytami would not write Al-Ansari with his name, out of humility.

His grandfather was an outstanding scholar and a man of exemplary piety, who spoke very little and only if necessary. His silence was so famous that people nicknamed him ‘Stone’; that is, 'as silent as a stone'. His progeny carried that epithet with their names.

Shaykh al-Islām al-Haytami saw him in his advanced years, estimated somewhere around a hundred and twenty; he says: ‘He was in perfect mental health and he used to worship amply even then.’ This grandfather had migrated to the western quarter in the area of Haytam, hence the appellation of Shaykh al-Islām as Al-Haytamī.

When his grandfather died, he was taken in by his father’s teacher, the noble shaykh Shams al-Shannāwī and Al-Shannawī’s teacher Shams ibn Abi’l Ĥamāyil, who was the foremost student of Ábd ar-Raūf al-Munāwī. Shaykh al-Islām Zakariyyah al-Anşārī used to respect him immensely and refer to him as: ‘our brother and our master.’ Ibn Abi’l Ĥamāyil cared about Al-Haytami and wrote specifically about him in his will to Al-Shannāwī.

Al-Haytami studied under both these great scholars at the mausolem of the gnostic, Sayyid Aĥmed al-Badawī. In the year 924 AH, he was transferred to Al-Az’har where he joined the scholars of Egypt at a very young age. He studied under the students of Ibn Ĥajar al-Ásqalānī, and foremost among them, Shaykh al-Islām Zakariyyah al-Anşārī. Whenever al-Haytamī would come to him, Shaykh Zakariyyah would pray for him: ‘I ask Allāh to give you knowledge of the religion.’ Al-Haytamī says: ‘I debated with senior teachers on the issue of the existence of the qutub, awtād and other grades of awliya’a; when we met with Shaykh al-Islām, he supported my view emphatically and then blessed me.’

Al-Haytamī studied under many teachers and prominently under:

  1.  Shaykh al-Islām Zakariyyah al-Anşārī

  2.  Shaykh Shams ibn Abi’l Ĥamāyil

  3.  Shaykh Shams al-Shannāwī

  4.  Imām Az-Zaynī Ábd al-Ĥaqq al-Sanbāţī

  5.  Imām al-Maĥallī

  6.  Shams al-Mash’hadī

  7.  Shams al-Samnūdī

  8.  Ibn Ízzuddīn Al-Bāsiţi

  9.  Amīn al-Úmarī

10. Shihābuddīn Aĥmed ar-Ramlī

11. Shaykh Nāşiruddin at-Ţablāwī

12. Tāj al-Áārifīn Imām al-Bakrī

13. Shams al-Badrī

14. Shams al-Ĥaţţābī

15. Shams al-Laqqānī

16. Shams al-Đayrūţī

17. Shams al-Ţahwāmī

18. Al-Jārbardī

19. Shams al-Íbādī

20. Shihāb al-Burlisī

21. Úbayd al-Shanshūrī

22. Ad-Duljī

23. Shams ibn Ábd al-Qādir al-Farđī

24. Shihab as-Şāliĥ al-Baţawī

25. Shihāb as-Şāyigh al-Ĥanafī

26. Ibn Taĥĥān

He took authorizations from Ar-Ramlī, Al-Bakri and At-Ţablāwī. When he was only twenty, in the year 929AH, his teachers authorized him to issue legal rulings and granted him this permission on their own initiative even though Al-Haytami had not requested for it.

In the year, 932 AH, Shaykh Al-Shannāwī advised him to get married. Al-Haytamī replied that he was poor and could not afford a marriage. Al-Shannāwī said that the proposal was for his own neice and offered to pay the dower himself. Thus Al-Haytamī married Al-Shannāwi’s neice.

Thereafter, in the year 934 AH, he went on pilgrimage [ĥajj] in the company of his shaykh, Al-Bakrī. Al-Haytamī had an urge to write a book in fiqh, whilst he was in Makkah; he saw Ĥārith al-Muĥāsibi in a dream commanding him to write the book and giving him glad tidings about it. Al-Haytami says: “This reminded me of a dream I had seen when I was still a student. I saw a beautiful woman who showed me her stomach and said: ‘write the text here in red, and its explanation below in black.’ I was distressed with such a dream but the knowledgeable interpreted it favorably and said: that ‘your writings and books will be famous across the world after being obscure or unnoticed for some time.’” He continued: ‘thereafter, I began writing the exegesis of Al-Irshād.’

When he returned from Makkah, he wrote an abridgement of Al-Rawđah, Al-Jawāhir, Al-Minhāj and Al-Anwār. He then went on pilgrimage with his family again in the company of his shaykh, in the year 937 AH.

When he returned, he suffered at the hands of people in Egypt; one of his jealous enemies took hold of [the manuscript of] his exegesis of Al-Rawđ and destroyed it. This caused him immense hurt and finally he decided to relocate to Makkah, where he taught and wrote until he passed away in the year 974 AH [1567 CE.]

His works:

1. Mablaghu’l Arab fī Fađāyil al-Árab
[Attaining of Aspirations: on the Superiority of Arabs]

2. Al-Jawhar al-Munažžam fi Ziyārati’l Qabr [ash-Sharīf] an-Nabiyy al-Mukarram
[The Necklace of Gems: on visiting the esteemed mausolem of the Honorable Prophet]

3. As-Şawāyiq al-Muĥriqah álā Ahl al-Bidaýi wa’d Đalāli wa’z Zandaqah
[An Incinerating Thunder on the Innovators and Heretics]

4. Tuĥfatu’l Muĥtāj li Sharĥ Al-Minhāj in four volumes.
[A Gift to the Needy, an exegesis of the book Al-Minhāj]

5. Al-Khayrāt al-Ĥisān fī Manāqib Abī Ĥanīfah an-Númān
[Beautiful and Graceful: a Biography of Imam Abu Hanifah, An-Numan]

6. Al-Fatāwā al-Haytamiyyah [Al-Fatawā al-Kubrā al-Fiqhiyyah]
[Juridic Rulings of Al-Haytami]

7. Al-Fatāwā al-Ĥadīthiyyah
[Contemporary Juristic Rulings]

8. Fat’ĥ Al-Ilāh Sharĥ Mishkāh [al-Maşābīh li Tabrīzī]
[The Favor of the Lord: an exegesis of Mishkāh al-Maşābīh of At-Tabrīzī]

9. Al-Eeáāb fī Sharĥ al-Úbāb
[An Exhaustive Collection of Torrential Waters]

10. Al-Imdād fī Sharĥ al-Irshād [Al-Muqrī]
[The Aid: an exegesis of Al-Irshad, the Guidance]

11. Fat’ĥ al-Jawwād bi Sharĥ al-Irshād [Al-Muqrī]
[Favor of The Most Generous; an exegesis of Al-Irshad]

12. Al-Fat’ĥ al-Mubīn Sharĥ al-Arbaýīn an-Nawawiyyah
[A Manifest Victory: an exegesis of Nawawi's Collection of Forty Hadith]

13. Naşīĥatu’l Mulūk
[Advice to Kings]

14. Taĥrīr al-Maqāl fī Ādāb wa Aĥkām wa Fawāyid Yaĥtāju ilayhā Mu-addibu’l Aţfāl
[Penning a Passage: for teachers to know – Principles of Pedagogy]

15. Ashraf al-Waşāyil ilā Fahmi’sh Shamāyil [al-Muĥammadiyyah]
[The Most Honorable Means: towards understanding the Attributes of Sayyidina Muhammad sallallahu `alayhi wa sallam.]

16. Mádan al-Yawāqīt al-Multamiáh fī Manāqib Al-Ayimmah al-Arba.áh
[The Mine of Resplendent Gems: Biographies of the Four Imams]

17. Al-Minaĥ al-Makkiyyah fi Sharĥi Hamziyyah al-Būşīrīyyah
[The Meccan Gifts: an exegesis of Busiri's ode: Al-Hamziyyah]

18. Al-Manhaj al-Qawīm fī Masāyil at-Tálīm. Sharĥ Muqadammati’l Ĥađramiyyah li Shaykh Ábdullāh Bāfađl al-Ĥađramī
[The Right Way of Instruction: an exegesis of Al-Ĥađramī's Prolegomenon]

19. Ad-Durar az-Zāhirah fī Kashfi Bayāni’l Ākhirah
[Glittering Gems: an exposition of the Hereafter]

20. Az-Zawājir án Iqtirāf al-Kabāyir
[The Deterrents to Committing Major Sins]

21. Taĥdhīr ath-Thiqāt min Akli’l Kaftati wa’l Qāt
[A Warning of Reliable Scholars against chewing the narcotic plant 'Kat']

22. Al-Iýlām bi Qawātiý al-Islām
[The Promulgation: of things that effectuate apostacy]

23. Kaff ar-Ráā’á min Muĥarramāti’l Lahwi wa’s Samā’á
[Restraining the Commonfolk: on the forbidding of musical instruments]

24. [Itmām] an-Niýmatu’l Kubrā ála al-Áālam fī Mawlidi Sayyidi Waladi Ādam
[The Fulfilling of the Greatest Boon to the Earth; that is, the birth of the Prince of Adam's children]

25. Īđāĥ al-Aĥkām limā Ya’khudhuhu al-Úmmāl wa’l Ĥukkām
[Exposition of Rulings which are required by rulers and their deputies]

26. Al-Ifādah limā Jā’a fi’l Marađi wa’l Iýādah
[A Notification: on what has been reported about sickness and visiting the sick]

27. At-Tárruf fi’l Aşlayni wa’t Taşawwuf
[An Introduction to the Tasawwuf and the Two Fundamentals: Fiqh and Aqidah]

28. It’ĥāf Ahl al-Islām bi Khuşūşiyāt as-Şiyām
[The Presents of the Nation of Islam in the specialities of fasting]

29. Tuĥfatu’z Zuwwār ilā Qabr an-Nabiyy al-Mukhtār
[A Gift to the Visitors – who visit the blessed grave of the Chosen Prophet Sallallahu `alayhi wa sallam.]

30. Taţ’hīr al-Áybah min Danas al-Ghībah
[The Cleansing of the Blemish and the Filth of Backbiting]

31. Kitāb al-Ifşāh án Aĥādīth an-Nikāĥ
[An Explanation of the Hadiths of Marriage]

32. Taţ’hīr al-Janān wa’l Lisān áni’l Khawđi wa’t Tafawwuh bi Thalabi Muáwiyah ibn Abī Sufyān
[Cleansing the Heart and Tongues from maligning and slandering Muawiyah ibn Abi Sufyan]

33. Al-Ināfah fīmā Warada fi’s Şadaqati wa’d Điyāfah
[Loftiness – in the reports of Charity and Entertaining Guests]

34. Al-Qawl al-Mukhtaşar fi Álāmāt al-Mahdī al-Muntažar
[A Concise Statement: on the Signs of Mahdi, the Promissed Messiah]

35. Qurratu’l Áyn fī Bayāni anna’t Tabarrú la Yubţiluhu’d Dayn
[The Coolness of Eyes: in the description of that Endowment does not Nullify Loans]

36. Dhikr al-Āthār al-Wāridah fi’l Adhkār al-latī Taĥrusu Qāyiluhā Min Kayd al-Jinn
[The Litanies that have been reported which protect the utterer from the evil of Jinn]

37. Ĥāshiyah Al-Haytami álā Sharĥ Al-Īđāĥ fi’l Manāsik li’n Nawawī
[A Marginalia of Al-Haytami on the Book of Hajj by An-Nawawi.]

38. Asnā al-Maţālib fī Silat al-Arhām wa’l Aqārib
[The Coruscating Objectives in Charity and Kindness towards ones Friends and Relatives]

39. Arbaýīn al-Ádaliyyah or Al-Fađayil al-Kāmilah li dhawi’l Wulāti’l Áādilah
[The Collection of Forty on Judgement OR the Complete Virtues for Authorities and Judges]

40. Irshād Ahl al-Ghinā
[Guidance to the Wealthy]

41. Isáāf al-Abrār Sharĥ Mishkāt al-Anwār (ĥadīth) in four volumes.
[An Aid to the Righteous in the explanation of the book Niche of Lights]

42. Taĥrīr al-Kalām fi’l Qiyāmi án Dhikri Mawlidi Sayyidi’l Anām
[Penning the Statement: in the matter of standing up during the mention of the Prophet's birth]

43. Talkhīş al-Aĥrā fī Ĥukmi’t Ţalāq al-Muállaq bi’l Ibrā
[An Accurate Summary in the Ruling of Conditionary Divorce by Remission]

44. Tanbīh al-Akhyār án Múđalātin waqát fī Kitābi’l Wažayif wa’l Adhkār
[A Warning to the Good: on enigmatic and abstruse passages found in books of litanies]

45. Ad-Durr al-Manđūd fi’s Şalāti álā Şāĥib al-Liwāyi’l Máqūd
[Arranged Pearls: on the Salwat, Blessings to be sent on the Noble Standard Bearer]

46. Ad-Durr al-Manžūm fī Tasliyati’l Mahmūm [fi’s şalāt]
[A Necklace of Pearls: to comfort the melancholic, the sad.]

47. Darar al-Ghamāmah fī Dari’t Taylasān wa’l Adhbah wa’l Ímāmah
[Gushing Clouds: on the matter of headgear, caps and turbans.]

48. Zawāyid álā Sunan Ibn Mājah
[An Addendum to the collection of Ibn Majah]

49. Al-Fiqh al-Jaliyy fi’r Raddi álā Al-Khaliyy
[Important Knowledge: on the refutation of]

50. Al-Qawl al-Jaliyy fī Khafđ al-Mútaliyy
[A Prominent Saying]

51. Qawātiý al-Islām fi Alfāž al-Mukaffirah
[Words that cause Apostacy]

52. Al-Manāhil al-Adhbah fī Işlāĥi mā hiya mina’l Kábah
[A Pure Fount: on the repairs of Ka'abah]

53. An-Nukhab al-Jalīlah fi’l Khuţab al-Jazīlah
[Crème de la Crème: on Eloquent Sermons]

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Sources:

– Foreword of Fatāwā al-Kubrā al-Fiqhiyyah, by Ábd al-Qādir al-Fākihī al-Makki (d.982 AH)

– Az-Zirkily, Al-Aálām Vol.1 /Aĥmed al-Haytami

– Ismāýīl Pāshā Appendix of Kashf az-Žunūn, vol.5/pg.121 Entry under Aĥmed/Al-Haytamī