Shaikh Ahmad Shaakir
Author: Dr. Badee’ Al-Lahaam
Source: His editing of the book “Al-Baa’ith-ul-Hatheeth Sharh Ikhtisaar ‘Uloom-il-Hadeeth” of Ahmad Shaakir, which is an explanation of a book from Al-Haafidh Ibn Katheer.
He was Ahmad Ibn Muhammad Shaakir Ibn Ahmad Ibn ‘Abdil-Qaadir. His lineage traces back to Al-Husayn Ibn ‘Alee, (Radiya ‘Llahu ‘anhuma). He was born and died in Cairo, Egypt.
His father, Shaikh Muhammad Shaakir, was among the men responsible for passing judgements (qadaa) and religious rulings (fatwa). He assumed the position of Chief Judge of Sudan in 1900. So while residing there, he enrolled his son, Ahmad, in the Ghawrdoon School. Then in the year 1904, Ahmad enrolled in the Institute of Alexandria (in Egypt) and then joined the Al-Azhar University, attaining the level of scholarly grade in 1917.He then took on some judicial positions. Then he was appointed judge and head of the highest religious court, in which position he served until 1951, when he retired with a pension.
He had a strong love for the subject of Hadeeth, such that he took an interest in its books (i.e. collections of Hadeeth) since 1909. And that was under the direction and instruction of his father. He obtained ijaazahs (written approvals) on Hadeeth from ‘Abdullaah Ibn Idrees As-Sanoosee, the Scholar and Muhaddith of Morocco, and from Ahmad Ibn Ash-Shams Ash-Shinqeetee. He also learned under Shaikh Taahir Al-Jazaa’iree Al-Atharee and other scholars, whose specialization was the Prophetic Hadeeth.
Shaikh Ahmad took on the role of working on a number of these books of the Sunnah. Among these books was the Musnad of Imaam Ahmad, which he worked on, covering close to a third of it, but without completing it.
Also, he worked on Sunan At-Tirmidhee of which two volumes got printed. He also worked on Saheeh Ibn Hibbaan, of which the first volume was printed, and he wrote a valuable introduction for it.
He also edited the book Ar-Risaalah of Ash-Shaafi’ee, and the methodology he employed in verifying and checking it is considered an example to be followed.
He also wrote an explanation of the book “Ikhtisaar ‘Uloom Al-Hadeeth” of Ibn Katheer, which is the present book. He also participated in the verification and checking (tahqeeq) of a number of books like Sharh Sunan Abee Dawood, Kitaab Jamaa’ul-‘Ilm of Ash-Shaafi’ee, Al-Muhallaa of Ibn Hazm, Tafseer At-Tabaree and others. He also wrote an excellent explanation to the Alfiyyah of Imaam Suyootee concerning Hadeeth.
His brother, Mahmood, said: “As for the most important book he wrote, then it was “Nidhaam At-Talaaq”, which shows his Ijtihaad and his lack of fanaticism towards one particular madh-hab. In this book, he brings out the “Rules and Regulations of Divorce” from the texts of the Qur’aan and the explanations of the Sunnah concerning divorce. And there was great excitement amongst the scholars upon the appearance of this book.”
The Shaikh died in Egypt in the year 1958 (1377H). For further information on his life, his biography can be found at Al-Aalam (1/253) and Mu’jam-ul-Mu’allifeen (13/368).