Shaykh Abul Khair Maydani r.a

Photo one : A Rare photo of Shaykh Abul Khair Maydani

Photo Two :  Shaykh Abul Khair al-Maydani, Shaykh Ibrahim al-Ghalayni, Shaykh Makki al-Kittani and Shaykh `Abd al-`Aziz `Uyun al-Sud

Shaykh Muhammad Khayr (Abu Al-Khayr) ibn Muhammad ibn Husayn Ibn Bakri Al-Maydani Al-Hanafi Al-Naqshbandi Al-Mujaddidi Al-Nadari was the Shaykh of the Levant and one of its senior scholars. He was a faqih, muhaddith and a man of immense piety and fear of Allah and love for the Prophet. He cried profusely out of the fear of Allah.

He was born in Damascus in 1875-76 (1293) in the district of Maydan of poor but pious parents. After his fathers demise, his mother moved with him to another locality and he completed his early education at the Al-Rushdiyah School, than the Anbar School. He was always first in class.
When his higher education was completed, he went to Istanbul, Turkey to enter the military academy, but for reasons Allah wanted, he returned to Damascus to finish some paper work. His mother sent him with a question to Shaykh Salim Almsuti. This Shaykh immediately realized that this young boy was righteous and intelligent and asked him to study the Islamic Sciences.
Shaykh Al-Maydani wanted his mothers approval first, so Shaykh Salim went to her and convinced her. He told her that her son would be the Shaykh of Sham (Syria). He was closely attached to his shaykh, with who he studied Fiqh and Hadith.

Some of his other teachers were:
• Shaykh ‘Isa Al-Kurdi from whom he took the Naqshbandi Order. After Shaykh
Salim passed away, Shaykh Abu Al-Khayr stayed with Shaykh ‘Isa until he passed away. He received ijaza from Shaykh ‘Isa and even married his daughter.
• Shaykh Muhammad Kutb who was the Shaykh al-Qurra in his time.
• Shaykh Amin Suwayd, with who he read and studied Sharh Ibn Aqil and Al-

• Shaykh Ibrahim al-Yaqoubi
• Shaykh ‘Abd al-Hakim Al-Afghani who emulated the Shahaba in his ways. He was a renowned Hanafi jurist and is said to have been a noted commentator of al-Bidaya, al-Kanz and other books.
• Shaykh Sultan Al-Daghistani with who he studied Sharh Al-Daghistani, Sharh Al-Maqsud fi Al-Sarf and Talim Al-Muta’llim.

• Shaykh ‘Abd al-Rahman Dibs wa Zayt
• Shaykh ‘Ata Allah Al-Kasm under him read part of Al-Dur Al-Mukhtar.

• Shaykh ‘Abd al-Rahman Al-Burhani under who he studied Al-Ajrumiya and Al-Sanusiya in Tawhid.
• Shaykh Bakri Al-‘Attar with who he read some of Sunan Ibn Majah.
• Shaykh Muhyidin ibn Salim Al-masuti (their biography is here : ) under who he studied Sharh Shaykh Khalid Al-Azhari and Qatr.
• Shaykh Mahmud Al-‘Attar under who he studied Al-‘Awamil wa Al-Azhar and
In addition, he studied and read Al-Sahihayn, Al-Jami’ Al-Sagheer in Hadith and in Fiqh he studied Nur Al-Idah, Muniyat Al-Musalli, Al-Quduri, Nanweer Al-Absaar with various commentaries. He also read Fath Al-Ghaib fi Shaqqi Al-Jaib by Shaykh ‘Abd al-Qadir Al-Jilani and some grammar.

His attachment to his teacher, Shaykh Salim was so strong that his shaykh said to him, “There is nothing in my chest, except that I have granted it to you”. He received Ijaza from Shaykh Salim.
As a student he ensured that he prepared the lesson thoroughly before proceeding to the class. When he read al-Hidaya with Shaykh ‘Abd al-Hakim al-Afghani he found that his own understanding corresponded to his teachers.
After his studies, he began teaching. He found himself attached to imparting his knowledge through teaching. He used to awake about one and a half hour before Fajr during which he engaged in voluntary Salat including Salat al-Tasbih after which he sat facing the direction of the Qibla engaged in seeking forgiveness (istighfar) and after Fajr he read some adhkar and about two juz of the Quran, after which he taught till the morning. This session was allocated to Hadith, after which there was a lesson in Fiqh.

In addition he conducted one or two lessons after Zuhr, ‘Asr and ‘Isha Salat either in Jami’ Al-Towbah or in Jami’ Abi Bakr Al-Ajuri.

His teaching
approach focused on trying to instill within the student the true spirit of Islam and the Sharia’ and to expose them to the secrets of the Quran. In this way such scholars would emerge who would carry the responsibility of da’wa and return the former glory to the Ummah.
He travelled to the Hijaz to be in close proximity to the House of Allah and to complete his quest for knowledge. His first visit was in 1903 (1321) which was followed by visits in 1923 (1343), 1942 and 1943 (1363). During the last two visits, he used to sit in the Haram wherestudents and scholars gathered around him. This was mainly after ‘Isha and Fajr. With the result a number of scholars from the Hijaz benefitted and narrated from him. Some of them were:
• Shaykh Muhammad Amin Kutbi
• Shaykh ‘Alawi Al-Maliki
• Shaykh Yahya Aman
• Shaykh Muhammad Khayr Al-Pakistani
• Shaykh Mukhtar Makhdum
• Shaykh Husayn ‘Abd al-Ghani Al-Falambani
• Shaykh Salih Idris Al-Kalantani
• Shaykh Muhammad Yasin Al-Fadani
• Shaykh Zakariya ibn ‘Abd Allah Billa
• Shaykh Khalil Tayiba
• Shaykh ‘Abd al-Fattah Abu Ghudda
He visited cities in Syria like Homs, Hama, Aleppo. He also visited Beirut, Tripoli, Al-Quds and Baghdad.
Shaykh Abu Al-Khayr was proficient in Turkish, Persian, Kurdish, French and was well acquainted with English and at times would even discuss matters related to Medicine, Interpretation of Dreams, Algebra and Physics. He was well versed in many sciences, but was renowned as a scholar of Hadith. He was a specialist in the Hanafi madhhab and memorized a substantial amount in Sira and Islamic History.

When he discussed Sira and he related some sad incident, he cried and very often the listeners wept along with him. In poetry he had memorized poems of contemporary and classical poets. He had a unique style in teaching grammar and morphology. He was appointed as the Head of the Ulama League in 1946 (1365). Two books or treatises are credited to him. One, on the biography of his shaykh, Shaykh ‘Isa Al-Kurdi, and the other in Usul-Hadith.

His preoccupation in teaching did not give him the chance to write
extensively. His lessons concentrated mainly on Fiqh, Hadith and Tasawwuf.
Shaykh Mahmud Rankusi and Shaykh Lutfi Al-Fayumi were two of his famous students.

He was living example and embodiment of the Quran and Sunna. On seeing him a person would be reminded of Allah. He used to say, “Allah has created me for the people and not for myself”. He had some unique qualities that very few people could match him in, namely his kindness, humility, his obedience to his parents and teachers, his mercy and compassion to his students and his excessive dhikr.

He used to present them with gifts on occasions of marriage or hen they were blessed with the birth of a baby. He slept very little at night. He had a passion for all the sciences and this is evident from his amazing library and his many students. He devoted a lot of attention to solving peoples problems and answering their questions, at any time, even if the person came at night and he was asleep, then he awoke. It is well known about him, that he did not sleep until he answered someone’s question or learned something new.

He passed away on a Friday, the 17th day of the month of Ramadan in 1961 (1380).

Shaykh Mahmud Rankusi led the janaza Salat which was attended by many ‘ulama. He was regarded by some as one of the awliya in Sham along with Shaykh Amin Suwayd and Shaykh Hafiz Al-Hajjar.

Photo Three : the tombstone of Shaykh Abul Khair al-Maydani Alayhi Rahma

A Shorther Biography :

Born in Midan in 1293/1875 to a poor family, studied with the Rashidiyya and ‘Anbar, then in Istanbul; student of Shaykh Salim al-Masuti, then of Shaykh ‘Abd al-Hakim al-Afghani, and then of Shaykh `Isa al-Kurdi; married the daughter of Shaykh `Isa; died 1380/1961. See: Muti’ al-Hafiz, Nizar Abaza, Tarikh ‘ulama Dimashq fi’l qarn al-rabi’ ’ashr al-hijri, Damascus: Dar al-Fikr, 1361-1405, vol. 2, p. 720-732. A more detailed biography by Muhammad Riyad al-Malih, precedes the text of Khalid al-Mujaddidi al-Naqshbandi, Jaliyat al-akdar wa’l-sayf al-battar fi’l-salat ‘ala al-Mukhtar (ed. Muhammad Abu’l-Khayr al-Midani),Damascus 1967, p. 5-13.