A Biography of Shaykh Muhammad Amaan Al-Jaamee

In the Name of Allaah, the Most Gracious, the Ever Merciful…

The great scholar, the imaam, Aboo Ahmad Muhammad Amaan ibn ‘Alee was originally from a village in Ethiopia called Taghaa Taab near or within the Harar region of Ethiopia, about 100 miles west of the Somali border. His family name, al-Jaamee, is an ascription to an Ethiopian village named Jaamaa.

He was born in the year 1349 amidst local political turmoil and tribal feuds. He began studying the Arabic Language from Shaykh Muhammad Ameen al-Hararee in Taghaa Taab. There he also completed memorizing the Quran and began studying the locally favored Shaafi’ee math-hab. He made his way to nearby villages to seek knowledge, and then nearby cities, into Somalia, and then across the Gulf of Aden into Yemen. He traveled impoverished, once spending his only amount of money on a single book. He eventually ventured north on foot, and offered the rites of Hajj in the year 1369.

After Hajj, he remained in Makkah, seeking knowledge at the study circles of the Sacred Haram Mosque at the Ka’bah. There, against the advice of some of his previous teachers, he reluctantly read the book, Al-Usool ath-Thalaathah of Shaykh Muhammad ibn ‘Abdil-Wahhaab (may Allaah have Mercy on him), through which Allaah guided him to abandon the innovations of the Soofee-Ash’aree cults that influenced his earlier studies. He then enrolled in Daar al-Arqam in Makkah, along with the likes of another future scholar, Shaykh Yahyaa ibn ‘Uthmaan al-Mudarris. Daar al-Arqam later became known as Daar al-Hadeeth.

In Makkah, he studied under the great scholar, Shaykh ‘Abdul-‘Azeez ibn Baaz (may Allaah have Mercy on him), whom he accompanied back to Riyadh in the early 1370’s, to attend the new academic institute there, along with other future scholars, such as Shaykh ‘Abdul-Muhsin Al-‘Abbaad (may Allaah preserve him). After completing the Secondary program there, he joined Riyadh’s College of Sharee’ah in 1374.

During his years in Riyadh, he benefited from the Muftee of that era, the great scholar, Shaykh Muhammad bin Ibraaheem (may Allaah have Mercy on him). He also studied under the great scholar of Tafseer, Shaykh Muhammad Al-Ameen Ash-Shinqeetee (may Allaah have Mercy on him), as well as the great scholar of Hadeeth, Shaykh Hammaad Al-Ansaaree (may Allaah have Mercy on him). He was also influenced by other great scholars, like Shaykh ‘Abdur-Razzaaq ‘Afeefee, Shaykh ‘Abdur-Rahmaan bin Naasir As-Sa’dee (through correspondence), Shaykh Muhammad Khaleel Haraas, and Shaykh ‘Abdullaah Al-Qar’aawee (may Allaah have Mercy on all of them).

In 1377, after the death of the great scholar, Shaykh Haafith al-Hakamee (may Allaah have Mercy on him), who had headed the Academic Institute of Saamitah in southern Saudi Arabia, Shaykh Ibn Baaz appointed Muhammad Amaan to relocate there as the new head of the institute. He continued teaching there until 1381, when he was selected to be among the first group of instructors at the newly founded Islaamic University of Al-Madeenah, alongside a number of widely recognized major scholars of the era. As a representative of the university, Shaykh Muhammad Amaan traveled extensively in missionary work, both inside Saudi Arabia and abroad.

Highly recognized for his dedication to the Sunnah, he was appointed as the very first chairman of the new College of Hadeeth at the Islaamic University in the year 1397. He was also assigned teaching positions at the Prophet’s Masjid, Qubaa’ Masjid, and other masjids around the city of al-Madeenah. During his time as Chairman of the College of Hadeeth, he submitted his thesis about the Attributes of Allaah to Cairo University in the year 1403, for which he was awarded his doctorate degree.

The greatest scholars of this era loved this upright Salafee scholar and recommend him. His personal teacher, Shaykh ‘Abdul-‘Azeez ibn Baaz (may Allaah have Mercy on him), who outlived him by four years, said, “I know him as a person of knowledge, virtue, good creed, and diligence in calling to Allaah and warning against innovations and false teaching…”

Shaykh Saalih al-Fowzaan (may Allaah preserve him) said:

“Students and highly accredited teachers are many, but only a few of them truly benefit themselves and others. Shaykh Muhammad Amaan al-Jaamee was one of those select few scholars who put their knowledge and efforts to serve the Muslims and guide them by calling them to Allaah with insight. This was through classes he would give while at the Islamic University and at the Prophet’s Masjid, as well as during his travels inside the Kingdom and abroad. He would call to Allaah’s Oneness and spread the correct creed. He would direct the youth of the Ummah towards the methodology of righteous Salaf (early scholars), while warning them about destructive principles and deviant calls. Whoever did not know him personally should get to know him through his beneficial books and numerous tapes, which contain a massive amount of abundant knowledge and plentiful benefit…”

Shaykh Rabee’ ibn Haadee al-Madkhalee (may Allaah preserve him) said:

“I only knew Shaykh Muhammad Amaan to be a believing man of towheed, a Salafee of clear understanding, well versed in the sciences of the Islaamic Creed. I have seen no one better than him in presenting and explaining the creed. He taught us [the books] Al-Waasitiyyah and Al-Hamawiyyah in secondary school. I have never seen anyone more virtuous or skilled at educating the students than this man. We knew him to have good manners, humility, and dignity, manners which his students learned from him…”

The large body of his students who went on to become highly reliable scholars of today also testifies to the knowledge and sincerity of Shaykh Muhammad Amaan. The following are from the more notable of today’s scholars who learned from him:

  • Shaykh Zayd ibn Haadee al-Madkhalee
  • Shaykh Bakr ibn ‘Abdillaah Aboo Zayd
  • Shaykh Rabee’ ibn Haadee al-Madkhalee
  • Shaykh ‘Alee ibn Naasir al-Faqeehee
  • Shaykh Saalih ibn Sa’d as-Suhaymee

May Allaah have Mercy on those who have passed, and may He preserve those who remain.

Shaykh Muhammad Amaan also left behind a heritage of writings and recorded classes, some examples of which follow:

  • As-Sifaat al-Elaahiyyah (The Divine Attributes), his doctoral thesis
  • The Status of the Sunnah in Islaamic Legislation (book)
  • A Compilation of Writings in Creed and Sunnah
  • Explanation of Kitaab at-Towheed (recorded classes)
  • Explanation of al-Qawaa’id al-Muthlaa (recorded classes)
  • Two explanations of al-‘Aqeedah al-Waasitiyyah (recorded classes)
  • Explanation of the 40 Hadeeth of an-Nawawee (recorded classes)
  • Explanation of ‘Umdat al-Ahkaam (recorded classes)
  • Explanation of Nayl al-Owtaar (recorded classes)

Shaykh Muhammad Amaan was a man of obvious sincerity, shining in his personal character, and ingrained in his teachings and writings of and sound refutations of falsehood. He was a man devoted to advising the Muslims on every level he could reach them. He did not socialize much, but his interactions with the people were limited to benefitting and providing benefit. He was also cautious and chose his words wisely. He would not allow anyone to backbite in his presence, nor would he permit anyone to gossip or talk about people’s defects.

He was kind and gentle when people would regret speaking ill of him. After a lecture in Riyadh in 1412, when someone falsely accused him of allowing ribaa (interest), he said, “May Allaah excuse him, whether he honestly misunderstood or had ill intentions. I ask Allaah not to punish anyone because of me, as I only work to rectify matters.” He would pardon anyone who sought to apologize. May Allaah be gracious with him.

While he socialized rarely, Shaykh Muhammad Amaan would use his money, status, and free time to assist his students who needed his help. In fact, in 1374 when he first assumed a teaching position in Riyadh, he continued to sleep in the masjid, and he would give his entire salary away in charity, saying, “I don’t need it.” He only began to take some of it for his family once he was married. This lifestyle rightfully earned him the love of Allaah’s servants. One sign of the love Allaah placed in the hearts of his students for him is that when he left to teach at the Islaamic University of al-Madeenah in 1381, all of his students from Saamitah followed him there to enroll.

Shaykh Muhammad Amaan battled serious illnesses in the latter part of his life and was bedridden during his last year. Before he passed, he gathered his family together, advised them, and reminded them to be conscious of Allaah, maintain family ties, and to be steadfast upon the Salafee creed. “The creed, the creed,” he would repeatedly say. The last thing he said was the testimony that he lived and died for: “There is no deity deserving of worship other than Allaah, and Muhammad is the Messenger of Allaah.”

Shaykh Muhammad Amaan died on Wednesday, the 26th of Sha’baan, 1416, leaving behind two wives and 18 children. May Allaah have Mercy on him and bless his family and students.

Written by: Moosaa Richardson

12 thoughts on “A Biography of Shaykh Muhammad Amaan Al-Jaamee

  1. Beautiful. May Allāh have mercy on him. Ustādh Moosaa, I wish to read a biography of Shaykh Qar’aawee & Shaykh Yahyaa Mudarris..in English..any info?

  2. Assalamu alaykum

    Could you translate the biography of Shaykh Yahyaa al-Mudarris because so little is known about the Shaykh amongst the western brothers, yet he is from the senior scholars?

    • Na’am his biography would be great I got to catch a couple of his classes in the haram in mecca after maghrib shaykh reminds me of the reciter huthaify hafiduAllah a little as far as looks and beard.

  3. A salamaleykoum.
    Thanks you very much for the great work. I have been following you for years and I have learnt a lot about Islam since then. This is in regard to a very serious matter.
    I am writing to you because i am French and I felt so bad about the killing that happened on France today. Those guy wanted to revanche the Honor of the Prophet of Islam SWS. Now this problem is creating a line between the non Muslm who wants to honor the journalist and lot of Muslim who are kinda pro Kouachi and Coulibaly like me. Those Journalist used to moke everybody badly even IsaaObviously they do not understand our position. So would be more than happy to get your thought about this issue. many people are also thinking this is a made up job planned by the Jews but that is another story.
    May Allah reward you with good
    Mamadou

      • Assalamu alaykum
        basically does Islam permit the killing of civilians or suicide because I know the people who do suicide bomb say they don’t intend to kill themselv

        • Wa ‘alaykas-salaamu wa rahmatullaah. It is never allowed for a Muslim to kill himself, and one who does so goes on and on in the Hellfire repeating the action. May Allaah save us. Military fighting (jihaad) is done with the established legitimate Muslim ruler (not Khawaarij like ISIS) as enlistment in the military services available. It does not matter what people who do suicide bombs say, their act is suicide.

  4. Jazakallahu Khyren.

    Very much needed bio of one the virtuous scholars of our time.

    Like Brothers Junaid and Hasan suggested, a translated bio of Shaykh Yahya Mudarris حفظه الله would be excellent.

    May Allah Bless you…

  5. Assalamu alaykum

    Could you translate the biography of Shaykh Yahyaa al-Mudarris because so little is known about the Shaykh amongst the western brothers

  6. Assalaamu’alaykum

    Respected Ustaadh.
    I want to understand something.
    How does a layman like me come to know who is truly a scholar and
    who is not? What is the criteria that I must use to distinguish between who is genuinely a scholar upon the salafee creed and who is a fraud?

    • Wa ‘alayk as-salaamu wa rahmatullaah. The more connected you are to something, the more you know its experts and highest ranking authorities. When people are so disconnected from authentic knowledge of their religion, they confuse a YouTube personality, or an author of a book, or a university teacher, with a real scholar of Islam. We need to learn about the descriptions of the people of knowledge, from the Book and the Sunnah, and then from the biographies of the great imaams of the Salaf, whose status of scholarship was unchallenged. This can help us identify who resembles them the most today, and who is in direct opposition to their beliefs and practice. That’s from one angle, for those more interested in investing more time and effort. From another angle, the scholars recognize scholarship. From the recent scholars whom the Ummah recognized as top scholars are: Shaykh Ibn Baaz, Shaykh Ibn ‘Uthaymeen, and Shaykh al-Albaanee (may Allaah have Mercy on them). One can find many scholars they recognized and recommended, from those who have remained upon their upright methodology and beliefs, the likes of Shaykh Saalih al-Fowzaan and Shaykh Rabee’ ibn Haadee (may Allaah preserve them). And Allaah knows best.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.