Ahmad Zayni Dahlan

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Ahmad Zayni Dahlan
أحمد زَيْني دَحْلان
TitleShaykh al-Islam[1]
Born1231 A.H. = 1816 A.D.
1232 A.H. = 1817 A.D.
Died1304 A.H. = 1886 A.D.
Region Ottoman Empire
Main interest(s)Sufism, History, Aqidah, Kalam (Islamic theology), Fiqh (Islamic jurisprudence), Usul al-Fiqh (principles of jurisprudence), Hadith, Tafsir, Tajwid, Syntax, Rhetoric, Algebra
Notable work(s)Fitnat al-Wahhabiyyah,
Al-Durar al-Saniyyah fi al-Radd 'ala al-Wahhabiyyah,
Khulasat al-Kalam fi Bayan Umara' al-Balad al-Haram
Muslim leader

Ahmad Zayni Dahlan (Arabic: أحمد زَيْني دَحْلان‎) was the Grand Mufti of the Shafi'i madhab in Mecca,[2][3] and Shaykh al-Islam (highest religious authority in the Ottoman jurisdiction) in the Hijaz region of the Ottoman state,[4] and Imam al-Haramayn (Imam of the two holy cities, Mecca and Medina),[5] as well as being a historian and an Ash'ari theologian. He was known for his extreme criticisms of Wahhabism and his tendency toward Sufism (Mysticism).[6] In his treatise against Wahhabi influence, Dahlan clearly views Sufism as a legal and integral part of Islamic practice – including such aspects as Tawassul (intercession, or addressing God through an intermediary),[Note 1] Tabarruk (seeking blessings through persons or things), and Ziyarat al-Qubur (the visitation of tombs and graves).[7][8][9]

He was the descendant of 'Abd al-Qadir al-Jilani. He authored, and personally published numerous works on history, fiqh, and the Islamic sciences in general.


He was born in Mecca in 1231 or 1232 AH = 1816 or 1817 AD.[10]


He studied under Ahmad al-Marzuqi al-Maliki al-Makki (Arabic: أحمد المرزوقي المالكي المكي‎).[11]


His students were so many, to the extent that it is rare to find a scholar who came after him whose chains of narrations do not include him. Among his students were Shah Waliullah Dehlawi who received the ijaza from him,[12] Hussein bin Ali, Sharif of Mecca who studied the Qur'an with him and completed its memorization before he was 20 years old, Sheikh Mustafa, Usman bin Yahya, Arsyad Thawil al-Bantani, Muhammad Amrullah, and Ahmad b. Hasan al-'Attas.[13]


He wrote and taught in an era when the first printing press came to Mecca, Dahlan was able to disseminate his challenges to Salafism through his devoted students. He wrote, for instance, a booklet outlining the suffering Wahhabis brought to Mecca during their rule in the first quarter of the nineteenth century, Fitnat al-Wahhabiyyah (Arabic: فتنة الوهابية‎, lit. 'The Wahhabi Fitna'), and also a study refuting the entire Wahhabi doctrine and practices, Al-Durar al-Saniyyah fi al-Radd 'ala al-Wahhabiyyah (Arabic: الدرر السَنِيَّة فى الرد على الوهابية‎, lit. 'The Pure Pearls in Answering the Wahhabis').[14]

Following is a list of some of his published works:[15]

  • Fitnat al-Wahhabiyyah (Arabic: فتنة الوهابية‎).
  • Al-Durar al-Saniyyah fi al-Radd 'ala al-Wahhabiyyah (Arabic: الدرر السَنِيَّة فى الرد على الوهابية‎).
  • Khulasat al-Kalam fi Bayan Umara' al-Balad al-Haram (Arabic: خلاصة الكلام في بيان أمراء البلد الحرام‎).
  • Al-Futuhat al-Islamiyyah ba'da Mudhiy al-Futuhat al-Nabawiyyah (Arabic: الفتوحات الإسلامية بعد مضي الفتوحات النبوية‎).
  • Sharh al-Ajurrumiyyah, by Ibn Ajurrum (Arabic: شرح الأجرومية‎).
  • Sharh al-Alfiyyah, by Ibn Malik (Arabic: شرح الألفية‎).
  • Tanbih al-Ghafilin, Mukhtasar Minhaj al-'Abidin, by al-Ghazali (Arabic: تنبيه الغافلين: مختصر منهاج العابدين‎).


He died in Medina in the month of Muharram of 1304 AH = 1886 AD.[16]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Supplication Allah by means of an intermediary, whether it be a living person, dead person, a good deed, or a name or Attribute of Allah.


  1. ^ Muhammad Hisham Kabbani (2004). The Naqshbandi Sufi Tradition Guidebook of Daily Practices and Devotions. Islamic Supreme Council of America. p. 187. ISBN 9781930409224.
  2. ^ Eric Tagliacozzo (2009). Southeast Asia and the Middle East: Islam, Movement, and the Longue Durée. NUS Press. p. 125. ISBN 9789971694241.
  3. ^ Countering Suicide Terrorism: An International Conference. International Institute for Counter-Terrorism (ICT). 2001. p. 72. ISBN 9781412844871.
  4. ^ "Hadith On The Present Fitna". abc.se.
  5. ^ "'Political' Takfirism in #AlSaud Kingdom: From Ancestor to Grandson". Islamic Invitation Turkey.
  6. ^ "History of Islamic Conquests". Catawiki.
  7. ^ Gibril Fouad Haddad (2015). The Biographies of the Elite Lives of the Scholars, Imams and Hadith Masters. Zulfiqar Ayub. p. 319.
  8. ^ "Mawlana Shaykh Ahmad Zaini Dahlan". Scribd.
  9. ^ "The Doctrine of Ahl as-Sunnah Versus the "Salafi" Movement". As-Sunnah Foundation of America.
  10. ^ "History of Islamic Conquests". World Digital Library.
  11. ^ كتاب: إمتاع الفضلاء بتراجم القراء فيما بعد القرن الثامن الهجري، تأليف: إلياس بن أحمد حسين بن سليمان البرماوي، الجزء الثاني، الناشر: دار الندوة العالمية للطباعة والنشر والتوزيع، الطبعة الأولى: 2000م، ص: 24-26.
  12. ^ انظر مقدمة كتاب: الفضل المبين في المسلسل من حديث النبي الأمين، تأليف: الشاه ولي الله الدهلوي، تحقيق: محمد عاشق إلهي البرني المدني، الناشر: دار الكتاب ديوبند، سنة الطباعة: 1418هـ، ص: 13-14.
  13. ^ Anne K. Bang (2003). Sufis and Scholars of the Sea: Family Networks in East Africa, 1860-1925. RoutledgeCurzon. p. 68. ISBN 9781134370139.
  14. ^ Isa Blumi (2013). Ottoman Refugees, 1878-1939: Migration in a Post-Imperial World. Bloomsbury Academic. p. 218. ISBN 9781472515384.
  15. ^ "Essential Islamic Creed By Shaykh Zayni Dahlan (Arabic-English)". Kitaabun Books.
  16. ^ "Sayyid Ahmad Zayni Dahlan al-Makki' ash-Shafi'i [d. 1304 AH / 1886 CE]". The IslamicText Institute.

External links[edit]