Sheikh Hammoud bin Abdullah bin Uqla (rh): Biography
Praise be to Allah, we praise Him, we seek Help, we seek His forgiveness, and we seek refuge in Allah from the evils of ourselves and our evil actions. Whosoever Allah guides, there is none to mislead, and whosoever He allows to stray, there is none to guide. And I bear witness that there is no deity except Allah the One, who Has no partner, and that Muhammad is His slave and His Messenger.
“O You who Believe! Fear Allah as He should be feared and do not die except as Muslims.”
“O Mankind! Fear your Lord who created you from one soul and created from him his spouse, and created from them both, many men and women. Fear Allah from whom you demand your mutual rights, and the wombs. Surely Allah is ever watchful over you.”
“O you who believe fear Allah and speak the truth. He will direct you to do righteous deeds, and forgive you your sins, and whoso obeys Allah and His Messenger, then he has indeed achieved the supreme achievement.”
To proceed: The best speech is the book of Allah, the best manner is the manner of Muhammad (Peace and Blessings of Allah be upon him), and worst of matters are its innovated ones, and every innovation is a misguidance.
Nations have not ceased to record the biographies of their great personalities, with every pride; so that those who come after them may follow their example. Therefore it is incumbent upon this Ummah that should record the history of its personalities of distinction, especially the history of its scholars. Since this Ummah will stand remaining until the Hour is established,. And through its great personalities, Allah the Magnificent, opens the world, and causes the slaves to be subservient to Him. And the best of its distinct personalities are the scholars because they are the inheritors of the Prophet (Peace and Blessings of Allah be upon him)- for he is the most noble of Messengers, with the most noble of inheritances, and the most noble of inheritors.
Friday 18 January 2002, corresponding to 04 Dhul-Qa’dah 1422AH, witnessed tragic demise of one of our most senior scholars, the noble Sheikh, Hammoud bin Uqlaa Ash-Shuaibi, may Allah have mercy upon him. This was perhaps the biggest loss to the Muslim Ummah and the Mujahideen since the assassination of Sheikh Abdullah Azzam in 1989. There follows a summarised biography of the Sheikh, most of which has been translated from www.aloqla.com, the Sheikh’s official web-site.
He is Abu Abdullah Hammoud bin Abdullah bin Uqla bin Muhammad bin Ali bin Uqla Ash-Shuaibi Al-Khalidi from Aale Jinaah, from the tribe of Bani Khalid. His fifth great grandfather (Uqla) migrated from the Eastern Province of the Arabian Peninsula to Shaqraa’ and then to Qaseem and settled there. His brother migrated to Al-Jawf and settled there. Al-Uqla are from the people of Al-Jawf and are their paternal cousins.
He was born in the city of Ash-Shaqqah which is one of the northern districts of Buraydah, in Qaseem Province, (which lies between the cities of Riyadh and Madinah, in the Arabian Peninsula), in the year 1925 CE (1346AH) and was raised up there. When he reached the age of six, his father enrolled him with scribes and so he learnt reading, writing, and arithmetic. Once he had mastered these, he moved on to the recitation of the Quran. At seven years of age, he lost his eyesight as a result of smallpox which had spread across many areas of the country and that was in the year 1931 CE (1352AH).
Nonetheless he continued his studies with the scribes, upon the wishes of his father – may Allah have mercy on him. For it was his father who had made him memorise the Quran before he went to the scribes which he did so under Sheikh Abdullah bin Mubarak Al-Omary. By the age of thirteen, he had memorised the Quran, 1938 CE (1359 AH). However, it was not until the age of fifteen that he had mastered the memorisation and tajweed 1940 CE (1361AH). His father played a major part in his upbringing and education and he was – may Allah have mercy on him- eager that he be from amongst the students of knowledge.
After memorising the Quran, he worked with his father in the field as far as he was able to, pollinating the date-palms and cultivating the land.
Studies in Islamic Knowledge
Then in 1946 CE (1367AH) he travelled to Riyadh to seek knowledge, upon the instruction of his father – may Allah have mercy on him. And he started to study knowledge with the blessed Sheikh Abdul-Lateef bin Ibrahim Aal-ash Sheikh. He completed ‘Al-Ajroomiyyah’, ‘Usool Ath-Thalatha’, ‘Rahbiyatu fil Faraaid’, and ‘Qawaaid al Arba’ah’ which he memorised and understood.
Then he went to read with His Eminence, Sheikh Muhammad bin Ibraheem Aal ash- Shaikh 1947 CE (1368AH). And he started by reading ‘Zad al-Mustaqni’, ‘Kitab at-Tawheed’ , ‘Kashf ush-Shubuhaat’, Al-Waasitiyyah’ by Sheikh-ul-Islam Ibn Taymiyyah, ‘Al-Arba’een An-Nawawiyyah’, ‘Alfiyatu Ibn Malik’, ‘Buloogh al Maraam’; these were all read with the Sheikh as a norm, and as a must. He then augmented these with other books, which he used to read alone with the Eminent Sheikh – May Allah have mercy on him – ‘At-Tahawiyyah’, ‘Ad-Durrah al Mudayyinah’ by As-Safaareeni, and ‘Al-Hamawiyyah’ by Ibn Taymiyyah. He read these alone with the Eminent father, Sheikh Muhammad bin Ibraheem – May Allah have mercy on him- until the Institute of Knowledge was opened in 1950 CE (1371AH). This was the first institute of its kind to be opened in the region. The Sheikh memorised all these books just like he had memorised Surah Al-Fatihah. The Sheikh mentioned that the one who had most influence upon him was his eminence former Mufti of the country, Sheikh Muhammad bin Ibraheem – May Allah have mercy on him.
His father – may Allah have mercy on him- was an ordinary person and he would only read the Quran without memorising it. However, he used to make the Sheikh memorised the required daily Juz (parts of the Quran) every day before he went to the scribes.
Some of the Sheikh’s teachers include:
Sheikh Abdul-Aziz bin Baz – May Allah have mercy on him- who taught him Tawheed and Hadeeth
Sheikh Muhammad Al-Amin Ash-Shinqiti
Sheikh Abdur-Rahman Al-Afriqi – an excellent scholar in Hadeeth
Sheikh Abdul-Aziz bin Rasheed – a distinguished scholar who taught him Fiqh
Sheikh Abdullah Al-Khulaifi and Sheikh Hamad Al-Jasir who taught him composition and dictation
A number of scholars from Egypt who taught him grammar and rhetoric, including Yusuf Umar Hasanayn, Abdul-Latif Sarhaan and Yusuf Ad-Daba’
Sheikh Saud bin Rashud (The Judge of the Riyadh court)
Sheikh Ibrahim bin Sulaiman
In 1955 CE (1376AH), the Sheikh was appointed teacher in the Institute. And between 1956 – 1985 CE (1377 – 1406/1407AH), he was a teacher in the university, after which he was made to be retired. At the university, he taught: Tawheed, Fiqh, Faraaid, Hadeeth, Usool, Rhetoric, Grammar, as well as all the other subjects which are usually taught at the College of Shariah. He also supervised a number of theses at Masters and Doctorate level.
Some of the Sheikh’s students include:
Mufti Abdul-Aziz Aal-ash Sheikh (Present Mufti of Saudi Arabia, Head of the Committee of Senior Scholars
His Excellency, Dr. Abdullah bin Abdul Muhsin At-Turki, former Minister of Islamic Affairs
His Excellency, Dr. Abdullah bin Muhammad bin Ibrahim Aal-ash Sheikh, Minister of Justice
Dr. Sheikh Saleh bin Fawzan Al-Fawzan – member of Committee of Senior Scholars
Sheikh Ghayhab Al-Ghayhab
His Excellency, Sheikh Judge Abdur-Rahman bin Salih Al-Jabr
His Excellency, Sheikh Judge Abdur-Rahman bin Ghaith
Sheikh Abdur-Rahman bin Abdullah bin Al-‘Ajlan, former Head of the Courts, Qaseem Province
Sheikh Sulaiman bin Muhanna, Head of Riyadh Courts
Sheikh Abdul-Aziz bin Abdur-Rahman As-Sa’eed, Head of the Committees for Enjoining Good and Forbidding Evil
Sheikh Muhammad bin Muhawass, Head of Investigation and Prosecution
Sheikh Dr. Abdullah Al-Ghunaiman
Sheikh Hamad bin Faryan, Former Attorney of the Minister of Justice
Sheikh Ibrahim bin Dawud, Attorney of the Ministry of Interior
The Sheikh also taught Sheikh Salih Al-Lahaydan, Head of the Supreme Council of Judges, and Sheikh Muhammad bin Salih Al-Uthaymeen, but only as a supplementary teacher, i.e. .in the absence of their assigned teachers.
Whilst working at the university, the Sheikh assisted in reviewing the attainments of a number of scholars and doctors as part of their approval for promotion (to Phd Level). These included:
Abdul Qadir Shaibah Al-Hamad
Abu Bakr Al-Jaza’iri
Muhammad Aman Al-Jami As-Somali
Rabi’ bin Hadi Al-Madkhali
Muhammad bin Salih Al-Uthaymeen
Some of the Sheikh’s students in Qaseem include:
Sheikh Salman bin Fahd Al-Awdah
Sheikh Ali bin Khudayr Al-Khudayr
Initially the Sheikh used to receive a monthly salary of 1200 Riyals. All the other scholars used to receive 1000 Riyals, but Sheikh Abdul-Lateef interceded for him because he was blind, and needed to pay a reader to read for him. Upon compulsory early retirement in 1985 CE (1406 AH), he received a pension of 17250 SR.
The Sheikh expressed a desire to participate in radio programmes, but he was not permitted to do so. In 1957 CE (1378AH), the Sheikh performed his first Hajj, for which he travelled by car. At that time, the road was not even, and it was all desert. The journey from Riyadh to Makkah took nine days, the cars were not very good, and the route was tough.
The Sheikh’s sons and daughters used to help him read and write and he has written a number of research papers which include:
“The Supreme Imamate (Leadership)” (Related to the rules of Islamic Governance)
“Demonstrable Proofs on the Certainty of Iman in Allah and the Last Day”
“The Preferred Statement Regarding the Ruling of One Who Seeks Assistance from the Disbelievers” He sent this book to Usama Bin Ladin, who wrote a 20- page introduction to it before it was distributed.
“Tayseer Al Wusool” – Written in conjunction with Sheikh Abdul-Muhsin Al- ‘Abid and Sheikh ‘Atiyyah Salim
Collection of approximately 100 fatawa which include criticism of certain current issues, and an explanation of some rulings.
Love for the Mujahideen
His life revolved around Jihad and the Mujahideen. He was always following up news of Jihad everywhere. In fact his stance in matters of Jihad were well known for he spoke when others were silent. He always spoke that which he believed to be the truth and feared none but Allah. He was one of the few scholars inside the Arabian Peninsula to publicly declare the Saudi rulers as disbelievers, for their assistance of disbelievers against Muslims. For this reason, despite being blind and in his seventies, the Sheikh was imprisoned for a period in 1995.
He had an amazing stance toward the current situation of the Mujahideen in Afghanistan, to the extent that some of his closest companions feared that something may happen to him. One of close students said:
“Most of his night was spent in supplication for the Mujahideen in Afghanistan. He was a very-soft hearted person who was easily moved to tears. Whenever there was any good news he would cry with happiness and whenever there was bad news he would cry out of sorrow.
Whenever anyone defamed the Mujahideen, he would become extremely angry. His students used to know the current situation of the Mujahideen just by looking at his face as he entered his circle of knowledge.
After the fall of Kunduz, he became so upset that his students feared that he would die of sorrow, he kept on repeating ‘Where are the Muslims?’, Where are the Muslims?'”
He was very pious and an ascetic. He was also a very strenuous worshipper. He supported the truth and its people and was harsh on corruption and its people, He was very courageous and brave and disregarded the consequences of speaking the truth. This was despite the fact that some of the his close companions urged him not say all that he did – but did not sway.
He was one of the first scholars in the Arabian Peninsula to issue a public fatwa calling upon the Muslims to support the Taliban.
After the events of 11 September 2001, whilst many in the Muslim World were siding with America and grieving for it, he issued fatawa clarifying the Truth and called upon the Muslim Ummah to come to the support of the Taliban and the Foreign Mujahideen in Afghanistan. Many of his students answered the call and went to Afghanistan, of which some were martyred.
Shortly before he died, he issued a letter to the Islamic scholars in Pakistan, together with his students, Sheikh Sulaiman Al-Alwan and Sheikh Ali Al-Khudayr. He also wrote a letter of encouragement to Ameer-ul-Mumineen, Mulla Muhammad Umar Mujahid.
Forgive Sheikh Hamoud bin Uqla ash-Shu’aybee and cover him with Your Mercy, Expand and enlighten his grave,
Make his grave a garden from the gardens of Paradise,
Save him from the trials in the grave,
Save him from the great terror on the Day of Judgement,
Save him from the reckoning on the Day of Account
The Sheikh was like a father to the Mujahideen around the world. And though he may have never met some of them in the world, we ask Allah that he unites them all together in the highest positions in Paradise, along with the Prophets, the Truthful ones, the Martyrs, and the righteous ones, and what an excellent company that is to have. Ameen.