We present the biography of the virtuous Sheikh Muhammad Makki Al-Kittani (may Allah show him mercy) leader of the Syrian scholars. He is described by Sheikh Abu Fatah Abu Ghuda in the biography of the Sheikh Al-Kaffi in his book “Bachelor Scholars” page two hundred and sixty eight; he mentioned Shiekh As-Sayyid Makki Al-Kittani, “He is our teacher As-Sayyid As-Sharif Al-Jalil Sheikh Makki Al-Kittani (may Allah show him mercy) of Damascus; gatherer of virtue; inheritor of giants; exemplar; refuge of the scholars in leadership; virtuous intention in easing the difficulties; Spirit of Syria and one of its scholars; the refuge of the people from tribulations and harm and when his light went, his light did not re-emerge.”
Birth and upbringing
As-Sayyid Muhammad Al-Makki ibn Imam Muhammad ibn Idress Al-Kittani Al-Idressi Al-Hassani was born Fez (Maroc) in the year 1312 h/1894 ce. His lineage is traced back to our master Al-Hassan ibn Ali (may Allah be pleased with them).
The clothing that God dressed him is piety, love of knowledge, love of scholars from an early age. Brought up in a house of knowledge, happiness and honour. He was under much care and studied knowledge with his father; likewise he studied in Qaraween grand masjid. He continued from a childhood to maturity by the indication of his father. So he became skilled in swimming, shooting, horse riding, fishing, swordsmanship.
His trip to Medina and Egypt:
He migrated to Medina in the year one thousand, three hundred and twenty nine, together with his father Imam Muhammad ibn Ja’far Al-Kittani and his brother As-Sayyid Muhammad Al-Zamzami; intending to visit nobility, passing by Al-Azhar in Egypt. When the settled, for a period, on the wealth that Sheikh Makki Al-Kittani was given from the scholars of Al-Azhar. In Arabia he completed his memorisation of the Majestic Quran and continued to receive knowledge at the hands of its greatest scholars. They were: prophetic narration expert of the sacred sanctuaries ‘Umar Hamadan Al-Maharsi who he studied “Al-Ajrumiyyah,” “Al-Aliffyya of Ibn Malik,” some of the epistle of Ibn Abu Zaid Al-Qariwani; Mufti As-Sayyid Ahmed ibn Ismail Al-Barzaniji; Sheikh AbdulBaqi Al-Ansari Al-Lukuwi; Sheikh Abdulqadir As-Shabli Al-Tarablsi. As well as studying many of the books of prophetic narration at the hands of his father. During this trip he went to perform pilgrimage.
Then returned to Morocco by the agreement of the Sultan AbdulHafiz, he resided there for a number of years and he took from As-Sayyid Muhammad ibn Idress Al-Qadari, Sheikh Al-Juma’h Ahmed ibn Al-Khyat Az-Zakari and his uncle As-Sayyid Ahmed ibn Ja’far Al-Kittani, Abu Shayab Ad-Dakali, As-Sayyid Abdulkabir Al-Kittani and he received licences from them.
Settling in Damascus and receiving knowledge from its major scholars
In the midst of the First World War, he travelled with his father and brother to the Levante, Syria. Where he followed it by receiving knowledge upon the hands of its scholars and upon their leader of prophetic narrations Sheikh Badrudeen Al-Hassani, Sheikh Ameen Sawyd, Sheikh Tawfiq Al-Ayyubi and others. Then he travelled to Baghdad, then to India and took from some of its scholars. Then he returned to Damascus and remained there until the revolution of the Druze, when he returned to Morocco with his father. There, his father died in the city of “Fasfi” on the sixteenth of Ramadan in the year one thousand and forty five. Then he returned to Damascus and resided there, spread knowledge and beckoned to Allah (mighty and majestic).
Islamic and knowledge activities
He continued his lessons, knowledge activities and rectification from his house in the province of “As-Salahiyya;” Then he taught in the province of “Al-Mazan;” then in his house in the province of “Al-‘Amara;” as well as other majids in Damascus, like the grand Ummayyad, Sheikh Muhiyyudeen, As-Sanjaqar and other Syrian masjids; without wage. He studied various knowledge and sciences, specialising in Prophetic narration, their reporters and their comprehension, spirituality and Maliki jurisprudence. He focused upon the Muslim youth to direct them to the correctly in religious issues. Because of this intention he set up many gatherings and assemblies of thought with the objective to rectify the religion, and how to defeat the colonists. He founded (The youth association of Damascus) its house became a centre for citizens of the freedom fighters, the scholars and the educated elite. He was able with his sincerity and dedication to serve the religious and national issues that reinforced the position of the scholars. He wanted to effect reform thought, social, political; making it the focus of attention for party leaders and political forces. Seen as most of them sought his support and satisfaction, when they participated with him, in influencing the national and youth communities.
This was effective in combating against the invading French forces by calling to arms assisting his brothers of the nationalist leaders like: Sheikh Muhammad Al-Ashmari, Sheikh Hassan Al-Kharat and other leaders of the Syrian revolution.
As he (may Allah show him mercy) organised a Palestinian task force called “Palestinian Youth” from some students and followers which increased in the country of Syria from the Palestinian, Syrian and Jordanians. This was arranged with the fighters Al-Hajj Ameen Al-Hassani and Al-Hajj Farhan As-Sa’adi from the year nineteen thirty six. This began a daring action against the forces of the British and Zionist in occupied Palestine. This continued for several years, he was totally cognisant of the danger of the Zionist attack on life and the furore of the Arabic and Islamic nations. This led him to increase his support for the fighters in Palestine, materially and morally.
When the youth resistance was established in nineteen fifty six he took part in it; he was the deputy president to the confederation of scholars; he was drilled with his colleagues the scholars of Damascus on archery, carrying and weaponry, as is the noble tradition.
Founding of the association of scholars and his leadership
After Syria independence he founded the association of scholars and was chosen as the deputy to president Sheikh Abu l’Khar Al-Madani, for a period. Then he became the president after the death of the erudite spiritual guide Abu l’Khar Al-Madani in the Islamic year one thousand and eighty. He remained its president until he returned to Allah in the year nineteen hundred and seventy three. This association included members of the best acting scholars in Syria. It included the gathering of the association of scholars of the virtuous erudite scholar Abu l’Khar Al-Madini, the president; the virtuous erudite scholar Ibrahim Al-Ghalini; the virtuous erudite scholar Hassan Habanaka Al-Madini; the virtuous erudite scholar Muhammad Salih Farfour; the virtuous erudite scholar Muhammad Sa’id Al-Burhani; the virtuous erudite scholar ‘Abdulwahab Dubs wa zayt; the erudite scholar ‘Abdulkarim Ar-Rifa’i; the erudite scholar ‘Abdurrahman Az-Za’bi; the virtuous erudite scholar ‘Abdurraouf Abu Tawq; the virtuous erudite scholar Muhammad Balanku legal edict of Halab and many others. It was the important assembly of religious and intellectual that influenced the social and political current events; especially the representatives of the Syrian elections.
His role in the political life of Syria
He had a prominent role in the political life in Syria after independence, until the beginning of this century. The leaders, ministers, presidents sought his support and acceptance.
His important role in the Morocco
Despite being busied with the problems of the East Arab countries, he worked towards rectifying the Arabs and Muslim there. But this did not prevent him and them from the importance of the Morocco. His house was a meeting point for freedom fighters, leaders, presidents and Moroccan students despite their differing upbringing and political membership. From that they sought to establish a political front for freedom in Morocco; through the support of his Moroccan brothers they provided physical support, political and religious support to the Moroccan and Algerian freedom fighters.
Translated by Sidi Arfan