Shaykh Muhammad Al-Yaqoubi descends from a scholarly family that traces its roots back to Morocco. He is a sufi, a sayyid and a jurist, continuing the legacy of his late father, the Imam of the famous Grand Umayyad Mosque in Damascus, Sayyid Ibrahim al-Yaqoubi. For several years running, the Royal Aal al-Bayt Institute has included him as one of the 500 most influential Muslims in the world.
Prior to being forced into exile in 2011, Shaykh Muhammad was teaching regularly at the Umayyad Mosque, as well as being the weekly Friday speaker at the Hassan Mosque in the Abu Rumana district of Damascus. He also taught regular classes at the Mosque of Shaykh al-Akbar Muhyiddeen Ibn ‘Arabi.
Between 1992 and 2001, he worked in Kuwait, Sweden and USA; and travelled across the world teaching the sacred knowledge and calling people to Allah. He toured many countries in North America and Europe, the Far East and Arab World. It is known thousands of people have taken shahada at his hands. He is also popular among Sufi circles and many accept him as their spiritual teacher.
From an early age, Shaykh Muhammad al-Yaqoubi was taught by his father, ensuring every aspect of his son’s life was developed with the most detailed care under the guidance of the Sharia.
Resides: Fez, Morroco
Education: Islamic Studies,
Arabic literature and Philisophy degrees
Preferred Subject: Contemporary studies, sunnah/hadith
Sayyid Ibrahim al-Yaqoubi, Sayyid Makki al-Kittan, Shaykh Muhammad Abul-Yusr ‘Abideen, Shaykh Muhammad Wafa al-Qassaab, Shaykh AbdurRahman ash-Shaghouri
For over 20 years, Shaykh Muhammad studied over 500 books with his father, in the sciences of the Qur’an, Hadith, Fiqh, Mantiq and many other fields. His father gave him full authority to narrate Hadith, to teach and issue fatwa. He also received many other ijazas from the most prominent scholars of Syria, including Mufti Abul Yusr ‘Abidin and Shaykh Makki al-Kittani.
At the age of 11, Shaykh Muhammad started teaching a regular Qur’an and Tajwid classes at the Darwishiyya Mosque in Damascus. He began giving public speeches in Ramadan after Asr prayer in the same mosque at the age of 12. At the age of 14, he made his debut as Friday speaker in the mosque known as al-Saadaat, where Sayyiduna Mu’adh ibn Jabal is buried. At the age of 17, he was appointed Friday Imam and speaker and as a teacher of the Sacred Knowledge at the age of 20. Since then, he has been teaching the Islamic sciences to students of all levels from all parts of the world.
The Shaykh is also fluent in Arabic, English, and Swedish, and has trained several hundreds of scholars, imams and preachers both in Syria and the West. He is the author of a number of books in Arabic, as well as several poems in both Arabic and English. He has travelled the world extensively and participated in conferences, lectures and taught several intensive programmes from Finland to South Africa, and Indonesia to the West coast of the USA
Besides serving as a Friday speaker and instructor until 1990, Shaykh Muhammad pursued his academic studies at the University of Damascus, Faculty of Shari’ah, where he frequented some lectures and benefited from several professors between 1982-1985. He also received a degree in Arabic literature in 1987 and completed a two-year study of philosophy at the Arab University of Beirut. In 1991, Shaykh Muhammad joined the PhD program of linguistics at Gothenburg University in Sweden, where he worked as a researcher and a teacher of classical Arabic literature for a few years until 1996.Shaykh Muhammad worked in Dar al-Athar al-Islamiyyah in Kuwait in 1990 as Research Editor, and, between 1998-1999, as Assistant Director for Research and Studies, a position he was awarded due to his keen interest in the studies of ancient Arabic manuscripts and paleography.
While in school, Shaykh Muhammad studied French as a second language. It was in 1988 that he began learning the basics of English and German. At the age of 30, upon travelling to Sweden, he realised how vital is the English language in the work for Islam, so he moved to England to perfect his English in a year and then moved back to Sweden.
In Sweden, Shaykh Muhammad continued to lead Muslims in dialogue, debate and leadership. In 1999, the Swedish Islamic society in Stockholm (SIS) chose him as the Mufti of Sweden, forwarding to him the burning issues of fiqh that concern Swedish Muslims. In the year 2000, SIS elected him as a permanent founding member of the Swedish Islamic Academy in Stockholm in recognition of his work in Sweden to which he continues to commit through lectures and classes during his visits to Scandinavia.
Throughout the years of his study, Shaykh Muhammad went through spiritual training in the Sufi path under his father, who was a great Waliy and Murshid known for his righteousness and asceticism. Shaykh Muhammad studied the major works of Tasawwuf under him, accompanied him, and was his servant, the bearer of his shoes, which he considers the key to the opening he received. The company of his father exposed him to a wealth of light, wisdom, and knowledge, an experience that was far beyond what one may attain from books or from occasional meetings with teachers.
He was one of the first scholars to speak against DA’ISH, denouncing its atrocities and showing that its actions are unIslamic. His book Refuting ISIS has become essential reading. His criticism of the Syrian government’s response to protests made his stay in Syrian untenable, and so he had to flee the country.
Some of the books Shaykh Muhammad studied under his father are as follows: most of the six books of Hadith, al-Muwatta of Yahya al- Laythi, most of al-Muwatta of Imam Muhammad with Sharh al-Laknawi, most of al-Muwaafaqaat of ash-Shaatibi, the first volume and other sections (of the five volumes) of al-Hashiya of Ibn ‘Abideen, Ihya ‘Ulum ad-Deen, al-Hidaya of al-Marghinani, Mughni al-Labeeb of Ibn Hisham, Parts of Kitab Seebawayhi, Miyar al-Ilm of al-Ghazali, several volumes of Sharh Sahih Muslim of an-Nawawi, several volumes of Irshad as-Saari of al-Qastallaani, half of Madarik at-Taweel of an-Nasafi, Hashiyat as-Saawi on Tafseer al-Jalaalayn, three volumes of Mu’jam Maqaayiis al-Lugha of Ibn Faaris, al-Bayaan wat-Tabyeen of al-Jaahiz, several volumes of Wafayaat al-Ayaan of Ibn Khallikaan, and Tabaqat ash-Shafi’iyya al-Kubraa of Ibn as-Subki, Maqamaat al-Hariri. In fact, Shaykh Muhammad wrote a thabat (detailed list) of the names of the books he studied under his father entitled, The Concealed Pearls. This book is a testament to his father’s labor of love and of the expenditure of his energy in passing on his knowledge and experience to his children, a rarity in our modern times.
Amongst the scholars who gave him ijaza (the authority to narrate Hadith through their chains) were the Malikite Mufti of Syria, Sayyid Makki al-Kittan; Shaykh Muhammad Abul-Yusr ‘Abideen, the previous Mufti of Syria; the great Murshid, Shaykh Ali al-Boudaylimi of Tlemsan; Shaykh Zayn al-‘Abideen at-Tounisi; Shaykh ‘Abdul’Aziz ‘Uyun as-Soud; Shaykh Muhammad Wafa al-Qassaab; and several others. Shaykh Muhammad’s father, may Allah shower him with His Mercy, also wrote several ijazas for him, giving him full authority to narrate Hadith. His father also issued for him ijazas qualifying him to teach the Shari’ah and to be a Murshid in the Sufi path. This was affirmed by several shaykhs of the path, the last of whom is Shaykh AbdurRahman ash-Shaghouri in Damascus, may Allah extend his life.
In 1987, al-Yaqoubi completed a degree in Arabic Literature at the University of Damascus within the Faculty of Islamic Law. He then studied philosophy for two years at the Beirut Arab University.
In 1991, he joined the PhD program of linguistics in the Oriental Studies Department of the University of Gothenburg. In Sweden, he worked as a researcher and teacher of Arabic literature. In 1999, the Swedish Islamic Society appointed him mufti of Sweden. Al-Yaqoubi is “fluent in several languages including Arabic, English, and Swedish” and sacred knowledge organisation states that he has trained several hundreds of scholars, imams and preachers
- Al-Anwar fi Shama’il al-Nabiy al-Mukhtar, by al-Baghawi, preface and indices
- Ahkam al-Tas’ir fil: Fiqh al-Islamic Rulings on Price-fixing in Islamic Law
- Husn al-Fahm li Mas’alati al-Qadā’i fil ‘Ilm: Understanding Court procedures according to Magistrates’ knowledge
- Refuting ISIS: A Rebuttal Of Its Religious And Ideological Foundations
- Foreword, Lights of Yearning: In Praise of the Most Praised ﷺ
- Al-Anwar Al-Muhammadiyyah: The Prophetic Lights
- Inqādh Al-Ummah إنقاذ الأمة the Arabic of Refuting ISIS
- The Manners Of Debate (Arabic Edition) (Arabic)
- Judgement of Hadith Narrators (Arabic Edition)
- “In the Shade of the Levant”
- Celebrating Love and Theology: Refutation of the Mu’tazilites
- A Compendium of the Prophet Muhammads Noble Names
- Invocations of the Heart
- Love and Marriage
- The Book of Knowledge: Imam al-Ghazali
- Yasin: The Heart of the Qur’an
- Invocations of the Heart
- The Miracle of the Fig
- The Champion of Truth: Abu Bakr al-Siddiq
- Islam: The Religion of Love
- Light upon Light
- Shaykh Muhammad memorized Jawharat at-Tawhid when he was five-years-old, al-Arba’in an-Nawawiyya when he was six, and, later on, dozens of famous didactic odes and poems along with most of the Qur’an al-Karim. He also memorized considerable parts of al-Mufaddaliyyaaat and al-Hamaasah of Abi Tammaam. The first poem he wrote was at the age of thirteen, and it was a plea to the Prophet salla Allahu ‘alayhi wa sallam. His collection of poetry is growing, and a few poems in English have been added to it.
- In the summer of 1973, at the age of eleven, Shaykh Muhammad started teaching at the Darwishiyya Mosque where he taught a regular Qur’an and Tajwid class composed of a group of boys. He began giving public speeches in Ramadan after ‘Asr prayer in the same mosque at the age of twelve. At the age of fourteen and a half, he made his debut as Friday speaker in the mosque known as as-Saadaat, where Sayyiduna Mu’aadh ibn Jabal is buried.
- Shaykh Muhammad is married and has three children, Aicha, who is four; Ibrahim, who is two; and Ismael, who is four-months-old.