Haafidth Ibn Ahmad al-Hakamee
appropriately reference this biography to: www.fatwa-online.com,
Birth and Early Childhood
Haafidth ibn Ahmad ibn 'Alee al-Hakamee (rahima-hullaah) was
one of the notable scholars from the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia,
and one of the most famous of those who lived in the 14th
(hijree) century to come from the southern region of the country
Haafidth was born on the 24th of Ramadhaan, 1342 A.H. (1924
C.E.) in a coastal village called as-Salaam which lies just
southeast of the city of Jaazaan. When he was still just a
small boy he moved to the city of al-Jaadi' which is close
to the city of Saamitah because his father found that farmland
and pastures were better there. However, his immediate family
continued to commute between the two cities due to extenuating
young Haafidth was raised under the good and righteous guardianship
of his father who taught him modesty, purity and good character.
Before reaching the age of maturity, he worked as a shepherd
herding his fathers' sheep, which were the most important
form of wealth to his family as well as the rest of the people
in the society in those days. However, Haafidth differed from
the other boys in his village because of his intelligence
and his ability to memorise and understand quickly. He learned
to write while he was still a small boy and he memorised the
entire Qur.aan by the time he was twelve years old.
Knowledge and Religious Studies
the young Haafidth reached the age of seven years, his father
put both him and his older brother Muhammad [He is now one
of the well respected scholars in the southern part of the
Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. His efforts in Da'wah and Islaamic
teaching have had a tangible effect on the entire region.
He has been the head of the Islaamic Institute in Saamitah
for the last 20 years. He assumed the position after his brother
- who was the first head of the institute - left the position.
I ask Allaah to extend his life, and grant him good health,
and make success always his ally, and that the Muslims continue
to benefit from him. Ameen] into Qur.aan memorisation school
in the city of al-Jaadi'. There he read juz Amma and juz Tabaarak
(30th and 29th parts of the Qur.aan) to the teacher and afterwards
he and his brother finished learning to read the entire Qur.aan
with the proper rules of recitation in just a few months and
shortly thereafter he completed memorising the Qur.aan in
he concentrated on his writing skills until he perfected them
and was able to copy the Qur.aan with excellent handwriting.
At the same time he and his brother were busy reading and
memorising books of fiqh, inheritance law, hadeeth, tafseer,
and tawheed under the tutelage of their father since there
was no one else suitable or trustworthy enough to teach them.
the year 1358H (1940) Shaykh 'Abdullaah ibn Muhammad ibn Hamad
al-Qar'aawee [Shaykh 'Abdullaah al-Qar'aawee was born in the
year 1315 A.H. in the city of 'Unayzah in the area of al-Qaseem
and he died in the year 1389 A.H. in the city of Riyadh (rahima-hullaah).
Great credit goes to him for the growth and development of
knowledge and literature in the southern region of the Kingdom
of Saudi Arabia (Tuhaamah and 'Aseer). There were many positive
results and great improvements in the religion, society, and
culture of that area and its youth due to his call to Da'wah
at-Tawheed] travelled all the way from Najd to the city of
Tuhaamah in the southern part of the Kingdom after he heard
about the level of ignorance and the spread of innovation
in the region - which (eventually) becomes the condition of
every area that has only a few people calling to Allaah's
religion (Islaam) or no one at all to set the affairs straight.
Shaykh al-Qar'aawee vowed to shoulder the responsibility of
calling to the True Religion (of Islaam) and correcting the
corrupt beliefs in aqeedah and the superstitions that were
stuck in the minds of the ignorant people in the region.
1359H (1941) Haafidth ibn Ahmad's older brother Muhammad went
to Shaykh Hamad al-Qar'aawee with a letter from the both of
them requesting some books on Tawheed and expressing their
regret at being unable to come (and study with him) because
they were busy serving and seeing to their parents needs.
They also requested that the Shaykh visit their village so
that they might listen to some of his lessons. Shaykh al-Qar'aawee
accepted their invitation and went to their village where
he met the young Haafidth and got to know him very well and
saw in him promising signs of excellence and intelligence
- which turned out to be a very accurate evaluation.
al-Qar'aawee remained in al-Jaadi' (their village) a number
of days teaching, and a group of elders as well as some youth
from the local people attended the lectures. Amongst them
was the young Haafidth who was the smallest of them in age,
yet the fastest of them in memorising and understanding the
information given. Shaykh 'Abdullaah al-Qar'aawee said about
him: "And thus it was that I stayed a number of days
in al-Jaadi'. Haafidth attended the lessons and if he missed
anything then he would get it from his classmates. He is like
his name Haafidth (which means: one who memorises), he preserves
things (accurately) by heart as well as with his note taking.
I used to dictate to all of the students and then explain
the lesson and the older students used to ask him if they
had trouble understanding something or (if they missed) writing
something in their notes." [This quote was taken from
a short autobiography of the life of Shaykh al-Qar'aawee.]
Shaykh al-Qar'aawee was ready to return to the city of Saamitah
- which by this time he had already made his dwelling place
and the center for his da'wah activities - he asked the young
Haafidth's parents to permit him to employ someone to herd
their sheep on Haafidth's behalf in exchange for their permission
that Haafidth and his older brother return with him to Saamitah
so that they might seek knowledge there underneath his tutilage.
But Haafidth's parents refused the Shaykh's request at first,
insisting that their youngest son remain with them because
of their great need for him. However, Allaah decreed that
the life of Haafidth's mother would end during the month of
Rajab in the year 1360H (1942), so Haafidth's father then
allowed him and his brother Muhammad to study with the Shaykh
two or three days a week and then return to him.
began to study in Saamitah with the Shaykh who would dictate
lessons to him after which he would return to his village.
Haafidth was an inspired student who understood and memorised
everything that he read or heard.
his father did not live long after that as he died on his
way back from Hajj in the same year 1360 A.H. (1942 C.E.).
After that, Haafidth was able to study and gain knowledge
(full time) so he went to his Shaykh and stayed with him,
always learning and benefiting from him. Haafidth proved to
be an exceptionally gifted student who learned very quickly.
He was also very good at poetry and prose and he (eventually)
authored many books in the major categories of Islaamic knowledge.
Haafidth was only nineteen years old, Shaykh al-Qar'aawee
asked him to write a book about Tawheed and the 'aqeedah of
the Pious Predecessors, that would be easy for students to
memorise, and that would also demonstrate just how much he
has benefited from his reading and studying. The young Haafidth
responded by writing a treatise in didactic prose entitled:
((Sullam-ul-Wusool ilaa 'Ilm-il-Usool fee at-Tawheed)) which
he completed in the year 1362 A.H. (1944 C.E.), and which
met with the avid approval of his teacher as well as the other
prominent scholars of his time.
followed this work with other writings also in didactic prose
on tawheed, hadeeth terminology, fiqh, principles of fiqh,
inheritance law, seerah of the Prophet, and others, all of
which were originally published with the help of King Saud
becomes clear for us through what Shaykh Haafidth al-Hakamee
left behind for us from his writings that he was profoundly
affected by reading books that were written by the scholars
of the early generation of Muslims about tafseer, hadeeth,
fiqh, and principles of fiqh, Islaamic manners, Arabic language
and grammar. As regards 'aqeedah, he was obviously very influenced
by the writings of Shaykh al-Islaam Ibn Taymiyyah and his
famous student Ibn-al-Qayyim.
of His Other Achievements
Shaykh 'Abdullaah al-Qar'aawee realised the superiority of
his student Haafidth, he appointed him as a teacher for the
other students and they benefited greatly from his lessons.
1363 A.H. (1945 C.E.) Shaykh al-Qar'aawee selected Haafidth
to be the director of a school in Saamitah, which was the
first and the largest of all of the schools that Shaykh al-Qar'aawee
established for the students of knowledge in the southern
region the kingdom. Haafidth was also made regional superintendent
for all of the schools in the neighbouring villages and townships.
al-Qar'aawee went on to enlarge the schools in Tuhaamah and
'Aseer and he eventually established at least one school in
every village in the south that taught Islaamic studies. He
appointed his students as teachers and administrators for
these schools however, when Shaykh al-Qar'aawee had established
literally hundreds of schools in the southern region he took
his first student, Haafidth al-Hakamee, as his assistant whilst
travelling and supervising the schools.
Haafidth travelled to many places in order to fulfill his
responsibilities with Shaykh al-Qar'aawee including as-Salaamah
al-'Ulyaa and the city of Beesh, Umm al-Khashab in northern
Jaazaan. Afterwards, he returned to Saamitah again as director
of the schools in the region in order to help his Shaykh administer
the many schools that he had established so that the important
improvements brought about by this da'wah might continue.
of Shaykh Haafidth al-Hakamee's time was spent trying to uplift
the youth in his area and benefit them with his knowledge
as much as he could. Some of his students are now renowned
scholars in their own right having taken positions as judges,
teachers, and preachers everywhere in the southern region
of the kingdom and elsewhere.
1373 A.H. (1955 C.E.) a high school was opened in Jaazaan,
the capital city of the southern region, and Shaykh Haafidth
al-Hakamee was chosen to be its first director in the same
year. Then in 1374 A.H. (1956 C.E.) a scholastic institute
was opened in Saamitah by the General Directorate of Colleges
and Institutes and Shaykh Haafidth al-Hakamee was chosen to
be its director as well. Shaykh Haafidth performed his administrative
duties extremely well in addition to teaching some classes
where he was known to give the students knowledge above and
beyond the limited curriculum of the institute either himself
or through some of the other in the institute.
Haafidth al-Hakamee remained as the director of the scholastic
institute in Saamitah until he performed Hajj in the year
1377 A.H. (1958 C.E.). After completing the rights of Hajj,
Shaykh Haafidth died in the city of Makkah from a sudden illness
on the 18th of Dhul Hijjah, 1377 A.H. (1958 C.E.) while he
was still a young man of only 35 years. May Allaah, the Exalted,
have mercy upon him.