He was the great Islamic scholar, Imam, Muhaddith, the pious worshipper, Ash-Shaykh Abu ^Abdir-Rahman, ^Abdullah Ibn Muhammad Ibn Yusuf Ibn ^Abdillah Ibn Jami^, Al-Harariyy, Ash-Shaybiyy, Al-^Abdariyy, the Mufti of Somalia. He is Al-Harariyy because he is from the city of Harar. In 1887, Somalia was occupied and divided into five parts, and the western province of Harar was given to Ethiopia. He is Ash-Shaybiyy because he belongs to Banu Shaybah, a clan of Quraysh; they are the people in charge of the Ka^bah. He is Al-^Abdariyy because he also belongs to ^Abdud-Dar, a clan of Qusayy Ibn Kilab, the fourth grandfather of the Prophet ﷺ.
He was born in Harar around 1339 A.H., or 1920. He grew up in a humble house loving Islamic knowledge and its people. He memorized Al-Qur’an by heart with tajwid rules when he was seven years old. He continued to scoop from the sea of knowledge. He memorized numerous books in various Islamic sciences. He gave the knowledge of hadith a great amount of attention. He memorized the six books of Hadith (Al-Bukhariyy, Muslim, at-Tirmidhiyy, Abu Dawud, Ibn Majah, an-Nasa’iyy) and other books of Hadith with their chains of narration. He was authorized by scholars to give religious judgments and to relate hadith when he was less than eighteen years old.
He was not satisfied with taking knowledge only from the scholars of his own city. He went to many places in Ethiopia and Somalia seeking knowledge and its people. He had many trips with hardships and difficulties, but he did not care about them; whenever he heard about a scholar he went to him, which is the habit of the righteous Salaf.
His intelligence and wonderful memory helped him gain a vast amount of knowledge in the school of Imam Ash-Shafi^iyy, as well as the Malikiyy, Hanafiyy, and Hambaliyy schools. To the point that he became a person at who fingers point; people would come to him from different places in Ethiopia and Somalia. He became the Mufti of Somalia at the age of eighteen.
He took the Fiqh of the School of Ash-Shafi^iyy, its Usul and Arabic Grammar from Ash-Shaykh Muhammad ^Abdus-Salam Al-Harariyy, Ash-Shaykh Muhammad ^Umar Jami^ Al-Harariyy, Ash-Shaykh Muhammad Rashad Al-Habashiyy, Ash-Shaykh Ibrahim Abil-Ghayth Al-Harariyy, Ash-Shaykh Yunus Al-Habashiyy, and Al-Hafidh Muhammad Siraj Al-Jabartiyy. From those Islamic scholars he took many main texts such as Alfiyyah Az-Zubad, At-Tambih, Al-Minhaj, Alfiyyah Ibn Malik, Al-Luma^ by Ash-Shiraziyy and other main texts.
He took the sciences of the Arabic Language, especially from the righteous Shaykh Ahmad Al-Basir and Ash-Shaykh Ahmad Ibn Muhammad Al-Habashiyy and others. He read the Fiqh of the other three schools and their Usul under Ash-Shaykh Muhammad Al-^Arabiyy Al-Fasiyy, and Ash-Shaykh ^Abdur-Rahman Al-Habashiyy. He took at-Tafsir from Ash-Shaykh Sharif Al-Habashiyy in his town, Jimmah.
He took the Hadith and its sciences from many teachers, notably from Al-Hafidh Ash-Shaykh Abu Bakr Muhammad Siraj Al-Jabartiyy, the Mufti of Ethiopia, Ash-Shaykh ^Abdur-Rahman ^Abdullah Al-Habashiyy, and others.
He met with the righteous Shaykh, Muhaddith, Qari’ Hajj Ahmad Al-Kabir, the Head of the Reciters in Al-Masjidul-Haram in Makkah (he was appointed as the Imam and Shaykh of Al-Masjidul-Haram by as-Sultan ^Abdul-Hamid II, the last Ottoman Khalifah), from him he took the 14 ways of reciting Al-Qur’an, as well as the Science of Hadith. He also met Shaykh, Qari’, Dawud Al-Jabartiyy.
He started giving classes at a young age for the students who may have been older than him; so he was both learning and teaching. He was superior in both Ethiopia and Somalia to his peers in knowing the biographies of the people of Hadith and their ranks, memorizing the texts, and getting in depth in the sciences of Hadith, language, Tafsir, and other than that.
He did not leave any known Islamic science without mastering it. He may talk about some knowledge or science and a person may think that he specialized in that only. You would see him humbly listening to a Hadith with his ear and his heart, although he knows better about it than the speaker himself.
He went to Makkah and met its scholars such as Ash-Shaykh, as-Sayyid, ^Alawiyy Al-Malikiyy, Ash-Shaykh Muhammad Yasin Al-Fadaniyy and Ash-Shaykh Amin Al-Kutubiyy. He attended circles by Ash-Shaykh Muhammad Al-^Arabiyy at-Tabban. He contacted Ash-Shaykh ^Abdul-Ghafur Al-Afghaniyy an-Naqshabandiyy and took at–Tariqah an-Naqshabandiyyah from him.
Afterwards, he went to Al-Madinah and contacted its scholars. He took hadith from Ash-Shaykh Muhammad Ibn ^Aliyy as-Siddiqiyy Al-Bakriyy. He met with Muhaddith Ibrahim Al-Khutniyy, the student of Muhaddith ^Abdul-Qadir Shalbiyy. He stayed by and in ^Ārif Hikmat and Al-Mahmudiyyah libraries going through the manuscripts. He stayed in Al-Madinah close to the Prophet’s ﷺ Mosque for about a year while receiving ijazah from many scholars.
He then went to Jerusalem in the 1940’s, then to Damascus, where he was welcomed by its people, especially after the death of its Muhaddith, Badrud-Din Al-Hasaniyy. He went to Damascus, Beirut, Hims, Hamah, Halab, and other cities. He then lived in Jami^ul-Qatat, and his fame spread in the area. Consequently, the scholars and students of Ash-Sham came seeking him, and he got to know some of its scholars. They benefited from him and acknowledged his knowledge, and he was called “the Successor of Ash-Shaykh Badrud-Din Al-Hasaniyy”. He was also known as “the Muhaddith of Ash-Sham”. A great number of the scholars of Ash-Sham praised him such as Ash-Shaykh ^Izzud-Din Ibn Ahmad Al-Khaznawiyy, Ash-Shafi^iyy, an-Naqshabandiyy from Al-Jazirah in the north of Syria, Ash-Shaykh ^Abdur-Razzaq Al-Halabiyy, the Director of Al-Masjidul-‘Umawiyy in Damascus, Ash-Shaykh Abu Sulayman Suhayl Az-Zabibiyy, Ash-Shaykh Mulla Ramadan Al-Butiyy, Ash-Shaykh Abul-Yusr ^Ābidin, the Mufti of Syria, Ash-Shaykh ^Abdul-Karim Ar-Rifa^iyy, Ash-Shaykh Naji Nur from Jordan, Ash-Shaykh Sa^id Tanatirah, Ash-Shaykh Ahmad Al-Husariyy, the Director of the Islamic school of Ma^arratu-n-Nu^man, Ash-Shaykh ^Abdullah Siraj Al-Halabiyy, Ash-Shaykh Muhammad Murad Al-Halabiyy, Ash-Shaykh Suhayb Ar-Rumiyy, the Amin of Al-Fatwa in Halab, Ash-Shaykh ^Abdul-^Aziz ^Uyunus-Sud, the Head of the Qurra’ of Hims, Ash-Shaykh Abus-Su^ud Al-Himsiyy, Ash-Shaykh Fayiz ad-Dayr ^Ataniyy, Ash-Shaykh ^Abdul-Wahhab Dibs wa Zayt of Damascus, Dr. Halawaniyy, the Shaykh of reciters in Syria, Ash-Shaykh Ahmad Al-Harun of Damascus, the righteous Waliyy, Ash-Shaykh Tahir Al-Kayyaliyy from Hims, Ash-Shaykh Salih Kaywan ad-Dimashqiyy, Ash-Shaykh ^Abbas Al-Juwayjatiyy ad-Dimashqiyy, Ash-Shaykh Muhammad Thabit Al-Kayyaliyy Ash-Shaykh Muhammad As-Sayyid Ahmad, Ash-Shaykh Nuh Al-Qadah Al-Urdunniyy and others, may Allah benefit us from them.
He was also praised by Ash-Shaykh ^Uthman Sirajud-Din, the descendant of Ash-Shaykh ^Ala’ud-Din, the Shaykh of an-Naqshabandiyyah in his time, and they had brotherly and scholarly correspondences between them. He was praised also by Ash-Shaykh ^Abdul-Karim Al-Bayyariyy, the teacher in Jami^il-Hadrah Al-Kilaniyyah in Baghdad, Ash-Shaykh Ahmad Az-Zahid Al-Islambuliyy, Ash-Shaykh Mahmud (Efendi) Al-Hanafiyy, who is one of the famous and active Turkish scholars, Ash-Shaykh ^Abdullah Al-Ghumariyy, the Muhaddith of Morocco, and Ash-Shaykh Habibur-Rahman Al-‘A^dhamiyy, the Muhaddith of the Indian Peninsula, whom he met with many times and stayed as his guest for some time.
He took permission for At–Tariqah Ar-Rifa^iyyah from Ash-Shaykh ^Abdur-Rahman as-Sibsibiyy, Ash-Shaykh Muhammad ^Aliyy Al-Haririyy, and Ash-Shaykh Tahir Al-Kayyaliyy. He took permission in At–Tariqah Al-Qadiriyyah from Ash-Shaykh At-Tayyib Ad-Dimashqiyy, Ash-Shaykh Ahmad Al-^Irbiniyy, Ash-Shaykh Al-Mu^ammar ^Aliyy Murtada ad-Dayrawiyy Al-Bakistaniyy and Ash-Shaykh Ahmad Al-Badawiyy as-Sudaniyy Al-Mukashifiyy, may Allah have Mercy upon them. He took At–Tariqah Ash-Shadhiliyyah from Ash-Shaykh Ahmad Al-Basir. He took the Tariqahs of Al-Chistiyyah and As- Suhrawardiyyah as well.
Ash-Shaykh ^Abdullah went to Beirut in 1950 and he was the guest of the famous shaykhs like Qadi Muhyid-Din Al-^Ajuz, Shaykh Al-Mustashar Muhammad Ash-Sharif, Shaykh ^Abdul-Wahhab Al-Butariyy, the Imam of Jami^ Al-Basta Al-Fawqa, and Shaykh Ahmad Iskandaraniyy, the Imam and Mu’adhdhin in Jami^ Burj Abi Haydar, and they learned and benefited from him. Then he met with Shaykh Tawfiq Al-Hibriyy, may Allah have Mercy on him, and at his residence he used to meet the important people in Beirut. He also met with Shaykh ^Abdur-Rahman Al-Majdhub and Shaykh Muhammad Al-Butariyy. He met with Shaykh Mukhtar Al-^Alayiliyy, may Allah have Mercy upon him, who was the Amin of Al-Fatwa who acknowledged his honor and breadth of his knowledge, and prepared for his residence in Beirut to teach in different mosques. The Department of Al-Fatwa paid the expenses of his residence during that period. In 1969, upon the request of the Director of Al-Azhar in Lebanon, he lectured in at-Tawhid to the students there.
Shaykh ^Abdullah’s primary goal was to spread the correct belief of Ahlus-Sunnah wal-Jama^ah, a task which has been occupying most of his time. He fought the atheists and the people of bid^ah to extinguish their misguidance.
Shaykh ^Abdullah Al-Harariyy was very pious, humble, and a worshipful Muslim. He spent his time teaching and performing dhikr at the same time. He did not care about acquiring worldly things. He had a good and pure heart. He did not waste a moment without teaching, performing dhikr, reciting, admonishing, or guiding. He had the correct belief in Allah and held on to Al-Qur’an and As-Sunnah. He had a good memory and powerful, brilliant proofs. He was wise, managing things at the right time and place. He refused and renounced disobeying Allah very much. He had a high effort in bidding Al-Ma^ruf and forbidding Al-Munkar until the people of misguidance and prohibited innovations feared and envied him. This did not lessen his efforts to fight them, because Allah Supports and Defends the people who believe in Him.
Ash-Shaykh ^Abdullah Al-Harariyy conveyed the knowledge of the Religion with continuous chains back to Prophet Muhammadﷺ . Among them is: from Muhammad Ibn ^Aliyy ^Adham Husayn as–Siddiqiyy Al-Khayradadiyy Al-Madiniyy from Muhaddith Abul-Ma^ali Muhammad Badru-d-Din Ibn Yusuf Al-Baybaniyy Al-Hasaniyy Al-Maghribiyy from Muhaddith as-Sayyid Yusuf Ibn Badru-d-Din Al-Maghribiyy from Shaykh Abdullah Ibn Hijaziyy Ash-Sharqawiyy [Shaykhil-Jami^il-Azhar] from Shaykh Muhammad Ibn Salim Al-Hifniyy from Shaykh ^Id an-Namrisiyy from ^Abdullah Ibn Salim Al-Basriyy from Shaykh ^Aliyy Zaynul-^Ābidin Ibn ^Abdul-Qadir at–Tabariyy Al-Makkiyy from ^Abdul-Qadir Ibn Muhammad at–Tabariyy Al-Makkiyy from Imam Yahya Ibn Mukrim at–Tabariyy Al-Makkiyy from Hafidh As-Sakhawiyy from Shihabu-d-Din Ahmad Ibn Hajar Al-^Asqalaniyy from Ustadh Ibrahim Ibn Ahmad at-Tanukhiyy from Abu-l-^Abbas Ahmad Ibn Abi Talib Al-Hajjar from Abi ^Abdillah Al-Husayn Ibn Mubarak Az-Zabidiyy from Abu-l-Waqt ^Abdul-Awwal Ibn ^Isa Ibn Shu^ayb as-Sijziyy Al-Harawiyy from Abil-Hasan ^Abdur-Rahman Ibn Muhammad Ibn Mudhaffar Ibn Dawud ad-Dawudiyy Al-Bushinjiyy from Abi Muhammad ^Abdullah Ibn Ahmad Ibn Hammuyah as-Sarakhsiyy from Abi ^Abdillah Muhammad Ibn Yusuf Ibn Matar Ibn Salih Ibn Bishr Al-Farabriyy from Imam Abi ^Abdillah Muhammad Ibn Isma^il Al-Bukhariyy Al-Ju^afiyy from Imam Abi ^Abdillah Ahmad Ibn Hambal Ash-Shaybaniyy from Imam Abi ^Abdillah Muhammad Ibn Idris Ash-Shafi^iyy Al-Muttalibiyy from Imam Abi ^Abdillah Malik Ibn Anas Al-Asbahiyy from Nafi^ Ibn ^Abdir-Rahman from ^Abdillah Ibn ^Umar Ibnil-Khattab from the Messenger of Allah.
He (may Allah have Mercy upon him) departed this life the dawn of Tuesday, the 2nd of Ramadan, 1429 AH – September 2, 2008.