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Al-Azhar Grand Imams

Al-Azhar Mosque/Al-Azhar Grand Imams
Al-Azhar Grand Imams

Sunday, August 2, 2020

Ibrāhīm Al-Birmāwī (1101 AH/1690 CE-1106 AH/1695 CE)

Ibrāhīm Al-Birmāwī

Office assumption date

1101 AH/1690 CE

Retirement date

1106 AH/1695 CE

Era

The Ottoman’s

A Note about the Grand Imam

     Ibrāhīm Ibn Muḥammad Shihābud-Dīn Al-Birmāwī Al-Azharī Ash-Shāfiˁī Al-Anṣārī Al-Aḥmadī, took his surname after his village Birmā, Al-Gharbiyyah, Egypt. He moved to Cairo and joined Al-Azhar Al-Sharif, where he was educated by the most prominent scholars of his time, including Sheikh Ash-Shams Ash-Shūbarī, Al-Mazzāḥī, Al-Bābilī, Ash-Shabrāmallisī, and other scholars. He devoted himself to attend Sheikh Shihābud-Dīn Al-Qalyoubī’s class. Al-Birmāwī taught many Azhari scholars, including Grand Imam Ibrāhīm Al-Fayyoumī and ˁAlī Ibn Al-Marḥoumī. He assumed Al-Azhar Grand Imam’s position in 1101 AH/1690 CE. He wrote several books on Ḥadīth, Shafiˁī Jurisprudence, Islamic Inheritance Rules, and Mysticism. He died in 1106 AH/1695 CE after a fruitful life.

Brief Biographical Notes

     Grand Imam Ibrāhīm Ibn Muḥammad Ibn Shihābud-Dīn Ibn Khālid Burhānud-Dīn Al-Birmāwī Al-Azharī Ash-Shāfiˁī Al-Anṣārī Al-Aḥmadī was born in the village of Birmā, Tanta, Al-Gharbiyyah, Egypt. It is a great village to which a number of famous scholars belong, and after which Al-Birmāwī took his surname. His date of birth is unknown.

     Al-Birmāwī moved to Cairo to complete his academic studies; thus, he joined Al-Azhar where he acquired the well-known traditional disciplines of his time, including Islamic Sharīˁa, Arabic Language, and other related disciplines. He was educated by the top scholars of his time, including Sheikh Ash-Shams Ash-Shūbarī, Al-Mazzāḥī, Al-Bābilī and Ash-Shabrāmallisī. Afterwards, he devoted himself to attend classes of Sheikh Abū Al-ˁAbbās Shihābuddīn Aḥmad Ibn Aḥmad Ibn Salāma Al-Qalyoubī, who was a polymath and a widely-knowledgeable scholar. Students flocked to attend Al-Qalyoubī’s class to benefit from his books, follow his directions, and learn from his knowledge. Sheikh Al-Qalyoubī granted Al-Birmāwī a special care as he noticed his intellectual excellence, the matter which qualified Al-Birmāwī later to teach at Al-Azhar and to assume his teacher’s position.

     Many of Al-Birmāwī’s students became expert scholars, including the Senior scholars Al-ˁAjlounī, Sheikh ˁAlī Ibn Al-Marḥoumī, and the most brilliant of all, Grand Imam Ibrāhīm Ibn Mūsā Al-Fayyoumī, the sixth Grand Imam of Al-Azhar Mosque.

     Al-Birmāwī continued to teach at Al-Azhar throughout his life, even during his tenure as Al-Azhar Grand Imam which he assumed in 1101 AH/1690 CE. He did not live for so long after assuming the Grand Imam’s position; he remained in the position for only six years. Although it was a short period, it was abounded with the Imam’s books and lessons in various religious and linguistic disciplines, especially Shafiˁī Jurisprudence with which he reached the top and even contributed to the school ideas. Grand Imam Al-Birmāwī, may Allah rest his soul in peace, wrote several compilations in various disciplines, including Ḥadīth, Shafiˁī Jurisprudence, Islamic Inheritance Rules, and Mysticism.

     Grand Imam Al-Birmāwī died in 1106 AH/1695 CE. His funeral prayer was held in a well-attended scene with a solemn procession. Most people, the elite and the public, sadly mourned him.

Notable Contributions and Events

• He taught many students, who later became specialist scholars, including Senior Scholar Al-ˁAjlounī, Sheikh ˁAlī Ibn Al-Marḥoumī, and Grand Imam Ibrāhīm Ibn Mūsā Al-Fayyoumī, the sixth Grand Imam of Al-Azhar Mosque.

 

Categories: Grand Imams
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