Shaykh Muhammad `Uthmān Sirāj al-Dīn al-Naqshbandī(1314-1417=1896-1997)
Muhammad `Uthmān Sirāj al-Dīn ibn Shaykh Muhammad `Alā al-Dīn al-Husaynī was the Shaykh of the Naqshbandī and Qadirī Sufi Orders.
He was born in the village of Bayāra in the Halabja region of Iraq in 1896(1314).
He was raised into a home with an environment of `ilm, piety and `ibāda. His father had taken special care in training him with both the outward and inner branches of `ilm more so after he had observed the boys zeal and readiness and after some karāmāt were witnessed. He was known for his exemplary behaviour and conduct with the `ulama and the awliyā. From a young age he was inclined to the pristine teachings of Islam and he loved the recitation of the Qurān.
He studied Tajwīd under the renowned Egyptian Qārī, Shaykh Mustafā Ismā`īl. In addition he studied the art of public speaking and learnt the essentials with regard to leading a congregation in Salāt. He studied the various Islamic Sciences in the way the `ulama did. In addition he had also studied the various Arabic Sciences and Persian at the Bayāra and Durūd Schools.
After his father’s demise in 1953 (1373) he took over his duties and engaged in advising and guiding the people. He was very familiar with Prophetic and Herbal Medicine and thus treated many people. He was familiar with the herbal names in Kurdish, Arabic, Persian and Latin.
He remained in Bayāra until 1958 when he travelled to Iran where he found an environment and an atmosphere more conducive to the Islamic teachings and advising people in matters of Islam. Here many `ulama gathered around him.
He established a school that accommodated 450 students who all studied the Islamic sciences at his expense. Under his supervision more than 100 such schools were established in the region and during his stay in the area more than one million Muslims had attached themselves to him. These people adhered to the recitation of the Qurān and the litanies of the Naqshbandī Order.
After the revolution of 1979 he returned to Bayāra but after the war between Iraq and Iran had erupted he moved to Baghdad. In 1988(1409) he moved to Turkey where he settled in the village of Jamshet in Istanbul where he remained until his demise in 1997(21 Ramadān 1417). He is buried in the Naqshbandī Zāwiya in Istanbul.
He was known for his adherence to the Qurān and the Sunna and his compassion and service to all Muslims. Sometimes as many as three hundred people would visit him and every one would leave with some gift be it some honey, fruit or something else. He assisted the poor and destitute and regarded himself as a servant of the poor.
His nephew mentioned that in 1989 he was blessed with a daughter and after one month she developed a growth at the back of her neck. This growth increased and the doctors were certain that she would require an operation once she is about two years old and able to bear the anaesthetic. The father was concerned when this continued to increase in size and he went to his uncle, Shaykh `Uthmān Sirāj al-Dīn to request him to supplicate to Allah for the young girl. The Shaykh advised him to change her name and he mentioned some of the negative effects associated with the name. the name was changed to Māriya al-Baghdādiyya and gradually within five days it disappeared.
Some of the books authored by him are:
- Tafsīr Sūra Wa al-Tīn
- Sirāj al-Qulūb
- Risāla al-Shihāb al-Thāqib
- Al-`Itiqād al-Rasīn wal-Yaqīn billah
Hajj Gibril Haddad
Translated by Shoayb Ahmed from Nathr al-Jawāhir wa al-Durar fī ‘Ulama al-Qarn al-Rābi’ ‘Ashar by Dr Yusuf al-Mar’ashlī 2/2091 .
Dr Yusuf al-Mar’ashlī mentions that the Shaykh passed away in 1418