Shaykh Wahbi Ghawji's Bio-Bibliography
by GFH

Shaykh Wahbi ibn Sulayman ibn Khalil Ghawji al-Albani was born in 1932 CE (1343) in Skudera, the former capital city of Albania. He attended classes and learnt the Qur'an and what is called "the science of states, `Ilm,which includes the books of doctrine and morals for us H.anafis." His first teacher and certifier in the Islamic Sciences was his father Shaykh Sulayman, who narrates from the Shuyukh of Albania.

His secondary studies came to an end when King Ah.mad T.ughu made it the law for students to wear European hats. He said: "My father sent me to Egypt and I stayed there for ten years. I learnt Arabic and received a degree from the Faculty of Shari`a and a specialized degree in Islamic judgeship. I attended the courses of Imam Muh.ammad Zahid al-Kawthari (in exile from Turkey) whose hand I was honored to kiss and who handed me his thabat or record of authorities (al-Tah.rir al-Wajiz fi-ma Yabtaghihi al-Mustajiz). However, I narrate from him only through the intermediaries of Shaykh Muh.ammad `Ali al-Murad al-H.amawi and Shaykh `Abd al-Fattah. Abu Ghudda al-H.alabi, Allah have mercy on all of them!" He described al-Kawthari as "a Sign of Allah in learning, modesty and abstinence, as if he were a king walking in the street." This is how we see Shaykh Ghawji also.

In 1948 CE he was appointed as a religious teacher in the governmental schools in Damascus, a post he retained until 1980 CE, at which time he left Syria and moved to the H.ijaz. After several years in al-Madinat al-Munawwara he moved to the United Arab Emirates where he was appointed a lecturer at the Faculty of Islamic Studies and Arabic in Dubai. In 2000 CE he returned to Damascus where he has been living since, teaching at Ma`had al-Fath. al-Islami and striving to support da`wa in Albania.

Among Shaykh Ghawji's teachers beside those already mentioned:

Shaykh `Inayat Allah Nabi al-Shahir al-Askubi who narrates from his Macedonian and other Shuyukh;
Shaykh `Abd al-Wahhab Dibs wa-Zayt al-H.ims.i,
Shaykh Muh.ammad Mah.mud al-H.amid, and
Shaykh Sa`d al-Din al-Murad al-H.amawi from their Syrian and other Shuyukh;
Sayyid Muh.ammad al-`Arabi ibn al-Tubbani the author of Bara'at al-H.anifiyyin (published as Bara'at al-Ash`ariyyin)
and Sayyid Muh.ammad ibn `Alawi al-Maliki from their Meccan and other Shuyukh;
Mufti Muh.ammad Shafi` al-`Uthmani,
his son Mufti Muh.ammad al-Taqi the continuator of Shibbir Ah.mad `Uthmani's Fath. al-Mulhim `ala Sharh.i Muslim,
Mufti `Ashiq Ilahi al-Murtahini al-Madani, and
Sayyid Abu al-H.asan al-Nadwi from their Indo-Pakistani and other Shuyukh.

Among the works Shaykh Ghawji authored and published in Damascus and Beirut:

- Abu H.anifata al-Nu`man Imam al-A'immat al-Fuqaha', a four-hundred page biography with an edition of the Fiqh al-Akbar which received over a half dozen editions at Dar al-Qalam. It was translated into Persian and published in Teheran in 2003.
- Arkan al-Iman on the branches of faith at Mu'assasat al-Risala.
- Arkan al-Islam on the fiqh of the Five Pillars according to the H.anafi School, in two volumes at Dar al-Basha'ir al-Islamiyya.
- Al-H.ayat al-Akhira: Ah.waluha wa-Ahwaluha wa-H.usn `Aqibati al-Muttaqina fiha bi-Fad.l Allah wa-Rah.matih at Dar al-Basha'ir, on the states of the hereafter.
- Jabir ibn `Abd Allah: S.ah.abiyyun Imamun wa-H.afiz.un Faqih, a biography at Dar al-Qalam.
- Kashfu Shubuhati Man Za`ama H.illa Arbahi al-Qurud. al-Mas.rafiyya in refutation of those who declared licit bank interests on loans.
- Kalimatun `Ilmiyyatun Hadiyatun fil-Bid`ati wa-Ah.kamiha at Dar al-Imam Muslim, a fine, concise study of the Sunni definition of innovation.
- Maqalatun fil-Riba wal-Fa'idat al-Mas.rafiyya at Mu'assasat al-Rayyan and Dar Ibn H.azm, against the legitimization of usury in all its forms.
- Al-Mar'atu al-Muslima: { Wa-Laysa al-Dhakaru kal-Untha } which received many editions at Mu'assasat al-Risala and Dar al-Qalam, a study on the rulings pertaining to women in Islam.
- Masa'il fi `Ilm, published in Dubai which is the redacted version of his introduction to Id.ah. al-Dalil [see below] and is epitomized at the fore of our forthcoming translation of Ibn Jahbal al-Kilabi's refutation of Ibn Taymiyya on the attribution of direction to Allah Most High.
- Min Qad.aya al-Mar'ati al-Muslima: Maqalat fil-Mar'a at Dar Ibn H.azm. Naz.ratun `Ilmiyyatun fi Nisbati Kitabi al-Ibana Jami`ihi ila al-Imam al-Ash`ari, wa-Yalihi Fas.lun fi Khilafat Ahl al-Sunna wal-Khilafat al-Manqula bayna al-Maturidiyya wal-Asha`ira at Dar Ibn H.azm, a study of probable corruption in the text of al-Ash`ari's Ibana followed by a review of the diffferences between the Ash`aris and the Maturidis.
- Al-S.alatu wa-Ah.kamuha at Mu'assasat al-Risala, on the second pillar of Islam.
- Al-Shahadatan wa-Ah.kamuha at Mu'assasat al-Risala, on the first pillar of Islam.
- Al-S.iyamu wa-Ah.kamuh at Mu'assasat al-Risala, on the fourth pillar of Islam.
- Al-Tah.dhir min al-Kaba'ir at Amman's Dar al-Bashir.

He also wrote important marginalia:
- Minah. al-Rawd. al-Azhar on Mulla `Ali al-Qari's (d. 1014) Sharh. al-Fiqh al-Akbar, a classic textbook of Sunni doctrine, at Dar al-Basha'ir al-Islamiyya.
- Al-Ta`liq al-Muyassar on Shaykh Ibrahim al-H.alabi's (d. 956) recension of H.anafi fiqh, Multaqa al-Abh.ur.
- Muqaddima fi `Ilm, a long introduction to Id.ah. al-Dalil fi Qat.`i H.ujaji Ahl al-Ta` by the Shafi`i Egyptian Qad.i Badr al-Din Ibn Jama`a (694-767), a defense of Sunni doctrine against over-interpreters and anthropomorphists.
- On al-Qasim ibn Sallam's Fad.a'il al-Qur'an at Dar al-Kutub al-`Ilmiyya.
- On the H.afiz. Murtad.a al-Zabidi's (1140-1205) two-volume `Uqud al-Jawahir al-Munifa fi Adillat Madhhab al-Imam Abi H.anifa on the H.anafi proof-texts at Mu'assasat al-Risala, which Abu Ghudda identified as `Iqd al-Jawahir in his bio-bibliographical introduction to al-Zabidi's Bulghat al-Arib fi Mus.t.alah.i Athar al-H.abib salla Allahu `alayhi wa-Sallam.
- On al-Kawthari's (1296-1391) Mah.q al-Taqawwul fi Mas'alat al-Tawassul and H.afiz. Muh.ammad `Abid al-Sindi's (d. 1257) H.awla al-Tawassul wal-Istighatha at Dar al-Basha'ir, both of them written to clarify the Sunni ruling on using intermediaries and intercessors as opposed to the neo-Mu`tazilis who deny or downgrade this ruling.

- He also wrote prefatory material for the following works:
- `Abd al-Karim Tattan and Muh.ammad Adib al-Kilani's Sharh. Jawharat in two volumes at Dar al-Basha'ir, together with Shaykh `Abd al-Karim al-Rifa`i.
- Khaldun Makhlut.a's 600-page Ah.wal al-Abrar `inda at Dar al-Basha'ir, on the states of the pious at the threshold of death, which vastly expands on al-Raba`i's (d. 379) slim Was.aya al-`Ulama' `inda H.ud.ur al-Mawt.
- The Amman edition of Imam al-Lacknawi's (d. 1304) Naqd Awham S.iddiq H.asan Khan at Jordan's Dar al-Fath., whose original title is Ibraz al-Ghayy al-Waqi` fi Shifa' al-`Ayy.

The writer of these lines was honored to read with Shaykh Ghawji the Fiqh al-Akbar, the Wasiyya, the Tahawiyya, and the Nasafiyya. May Allah preserve him and continue to benefit the Umma with him, and to Allah the Lord of the worlds belongs all praise and thanks.

GF Haddad
[SP 2006-04-11]

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