Saturday, September 4, 2010
Muhammad Fall Ibn Abdullah Ibn Muhammad Fall Ibn Babah al-'Alawi,
known as Sheikh Bah
He was born in 1936, in Nabbaghiya.
1/ His quranic studies and sciences relating to it:
He completed the memorisation of the Quran at the age of eight, under a number of teachers, men and women.
The Mauritanian scholar studied tajweed and the sciences relating directly to the Quran initially with Sheikh Muhammad Lamin Ibn Baddi al-'Alawi (who passed away in 1962) - may God be pleased with him. The Shaykh recited the Quran a second time in the city of Medina Munawwira at the hand of a Shami scholar, Tayssir Tawfik, as well as other scholars that he met there.
2/ His studies with his Shaykh Muhammad Mukhtar:
Back in his home village, Nabbaghiya, our beloved teacher studied Grammar, Linguistics, Jurisprudence, Hadiths, Seerah at the feet of his Shaykh, Muhammad Abdullah Ibn Muhammad Mukhtar al-'Alawi, deceased in 1974, keeping his company for almost 20 years. During this period he narrated from his Shaykh numerous poems, some litterature and history.
3/ Other studies:
As to Usul (foundations of Islamic jurisprudence), Theology (Kalam), Logic (Mantiq), Bayan (Rhetorics) and other sciences, he did not study them with a specific teacher, but rather through extensive readings of books and commentaries, supported by a gifted mind, and of course with the authorization of one of his Shaykhs.
He then started to teach until he totally mastered them, God bless him!
4/His travels to the Haramayn for hajj and 'umra:
His first travel to hajj was in 1957; he then performed hajj another two times, in 1962 and 1971, and has performed 'umra a many times.
During those travels, he met and sat with numerous scholars of many different trends, including the renown hadith scholar Muhammad Hafiz Ibn Abdul-Latif Tijani Misri (who past away in 1977), which he had met for the first time in Medina Munawwara in 1957. Their relationship would then grow and strenghten; he loved him very much, and read to him parts of Bukhari, Muslim, Abu Dawud, Tirmidhi and Ibn Majah. Shaykh Muhmmad Hafiz thus gave him an Ijaza (licence) for those books of hadith. The two scholars met many times; their last meeting was in 1966, when the Egyptian scholar visited Nabbaghiya.
Shaykh Bah also met with the big hadith scholar Mekki Kettani in Medina Munawwara in 1962. He also received an Ijaza from him for all major hadith books. Shaykh Bah received licenses from other scholars from Hijaz countries, Sham, Morocco and other places, such as Abu Hassan Nadawi al-Hindi. He even met with Abdul Aziz Ibn Baz!
5/ His other travels:
Our Shinguetti scholar did numerous trips to Morocco, sometime for long periods, regularly buying books from specialised bookshops. He also spent time in the public library in Rabat, becoming familiar to its staff, introducing books unknown to them, as Shaykh Bah had visited the libraries of Medina, including that of the Prophet's mosque. He also visited the most renown libraries of Damascus and Beirut. He also took advantage of the libraries of some of his Shaykhs in Senegal. His extensive reading in those various libraries demonstrate his degree of scholarship and is quite unusual for a Mauritanian scholar...
6/ His teaching debuts in Dakar then Mauritania:
The Shaykh started teaching in Dakar, Senegal, in 1956, when people from around Senegal, in the capital for trade, were visiting him all day long to read, sometime way into the night.
The desert scholar then started teaching in Nabbaghiya, Mauritania, in early 1962, were he is presently the Shaykh of the traditionnal Islamic school for Islamic Sciences of Nabbaghiya.
7/ Some books he authored:
Shaykh Bah has written numerous books, including a tafsir (commentary) of the Quran in eight volumes, a commentary on the character of the Prophet, Peace be upon him, that is published, "Rishq al-Siham", an apology of sufism and the tijjani tariqa, currently out of print, "Rissalat al-Islamiyah fii Dhami al-Tabarruj wa Mudharihi", an epistle he wrote when the American first landing on the moon, explaining that whether one believes it was true or not was not relating to creed, as some jurists had stated at the time. This epistle was published in the Moroccan magazine "Dawatul Haqq". He also wrote "Tasjil al-Tikrar", a commentary of the Ihmirar of Ibn Buna al-Jikani, and a commentary of the Diwan of Ghilan. He has some abridged commentaries and annotations on Maraqi Sa'ud of Ibn al-Haaj Ibrahim al'Alawi on Usul and on the mandhumah of Akhdhari on Bayan, and also on Khalil and other texts that are read in the mahdhara. Shaykh Bah also wrote many fatwas on a variety of topics.