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[Auto-Biography] – How I Was Guided To Tawhid & The Straight Path – Shaikh Muhammad Ibn Jamil Zeno [1431H]

Abu Ubaydah
Checked & Annotated
Abu Hibban & Abu Khuzaimah Ansaari

To proceed I received a letter from a Turkish student from Qauniyyah and the text of it was,

“To Muhammad Ibn Jamil Zeno, Teacher in Darul Hadeeth Khayriyyah in Makkah Mukarramah,

Asalamu alaykum wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuh

to proceed:

Oh Noble teacher! I am a student of knowledge in the faculty of Shar’eeah of Qooniyyah. I transalted your book, ‘The Islamic Belief’ as part of my dissertation into Turkish but I require your biography so that I can include it with the published book. I require from your virtous self that you send me these details.  I Thank you very much now oh virtuous Shaikh. Wasalam Upon obedience and guidance.

Bilal Baromaji – Turkey

Many other students of knowledge have requested me write about my life and the various stages in my life that I traversed since I was younger till this current age of 70 years, in how I  came towards the correct Islamic belief of the salaf Saaliheen, based on the evidences from the Noble Quran and the authentic Ahadith.  This is indeed a major blessing and no one knows this except the who tastes.

The Messenger of Allah (Sallalahu Alayhi Wasallam) spoke the truth when he said, “He has found the taste of faith (iman) who is content with Allah as his Lord, with Islam as his religion and with Muhammad (ﷺ) as his Prophet. (Trans, hadith has been narrated by Abbas (RadhiAllahu Anhu) Muslim no.34)

Therefore I am writing my autobiogprahy  so that the reader will obtain some advice and lesson from it and be able to distinguish between the truth from the falsehood insha Allah. I ask Allah that he benefits the Muslims with this book and makes this is sincere to seek his face.

Muhammad bin Jamil Zeno




I was born in the country of Syria in the city of Halb (Aleppo) in 1925 corresponding to 1344 hijri and at this moment my age is approximately 73 years). When I was approximately 10 years old I entered into a private school where I learnt to read and write. After this I entered the school for the memorisation of the Qur’aan  known as Dar al-Huffadh and I spent 5 years there, where I learnt Tajweed and memorised the Qur’aan.

Then I entered a madrassah in Aleppo which was known as The Faculty of Shar’eeah at-Tajhaziyyah which is now known as ‘Shar’eeh Secondary School’. In this school I learnt the Shar’eeah along with modern subjects. So I learnt Tafseer, Hanafi Fiqh, Arabic Grammar (Sarf and Nahw), History, Science of Hadeeth and other sciences of the Shar’eeah. Like this I learnt modern subjects such as Physics, Chemistry, Mathematics along with learning and reading the French language as well classical sciences invented by the Muslims like Algebra.

I remember when I learned the subject of Tawheed from a book called “al-Husoon al-Humaydiyah”. This book was based upon Tawheed Ruboobiyah and the main content which the book was trying to prove was that this Universe has one Creator and one Rab (Cherisher, Sustainer, Nourisher, Guide). Only afterwards I realised the author of the book and also where they teach the Shari’ah subjects to the general Muslims at the schools and universities, tawheed ruboobiyah was taught with numerous mistakes. And these same mistakes were committed by those who fought and differed with the Messenger of Allah (Sallalaahu alayhi wasalam). Even though they accepted that their creator is the one and only Allah. Whereby Allah the Most High has mentioned in regards to them:

And if you asked them who created them, they would surely say, ” Allah .” So how are they deluded?  (surah 43 az-Zukhruf ayah 87)

Rather Shaytaan, the accursed even accepted that his Rab is Allah. Allah the Rab of the worlds mentioned his declaration that:

[Iblees] said, “My Lord, because You have put me in error, I will surely make [disobedience] attractive to them on earth, and I will mislead them all (Surah 15 al-Hijr ayah 39)

Therefore, Tawheed Uloohiyah which is the foundation of Islaam, whereby a Muslim attains salvation. I didn’t learn this and I didn’t know anything about it. The situation is that the students of the schools and universities where they teach the modern subjects don’t know anything about regards and neither is this subject taught.

Whilst Allah the Most High commanded and sent all the Messengers and Prophets (Alayhimus Salaam) to call towards his Uloohiyah and this is what the seal of the Prophets, Muhammad the Messenger of Allah (Sallalaahu alayhi wasalam) called his people towards. However they rejected this and became arrogant, just like Allah the Most Great said about their condition,

Indeed they, when it was said to them, “There is no deity but Allah,” were arrogant (Surah 37 as-Saafaat ayah 35)

This is why the Arabs perfectly well knew the meaning of “There is no one worthy of being worshipped in truth except Allah.” They knew whoever said this would not be allowed to ask anyone else for help. Now the situation is as such that some Muslims testify the Aqidah of Uloohiyah from their tongues yet at the same time call upon other than Allah! Therefore they negate their own declarations.   

As for ‘Tawheed al-Asma wa-Sifaat,’ it is a great shame that in numerous countries and cities the attributes of Allah are figuratively explained in the various schools and institutes and this is what also happened in our school that Ta’weel was done of the Sifaat of Allah. I remember my teacher explaining Istiwa in the following Ayah of Qur’aan:

The Most Merciful rose (istiwa) over the Throne. (Surah 20 Taha ayah 5)

To mean Istawlaa meaning taking control over, becoming dominant and prevailing and then use the following poem as a proof:

“Indeed Bishr (an Ameer) became dominant (Istiwa) over Iraq without the sword and spilling blood.”

Imaam Ibn Jawzee said that nobody knows the poet who uttered these words. Others have said he was a Christian. The tafseer or explanation of the word ‘Istiwaa’ in Saheeh Bukhari under the saying of Allah the Rab of the worlds,

It is He who created for you all of that which is on the earth. Then He directed Himself to the heaven, Istiwa [His being above all creation], and made them seven heavens, and He is Knowing of all things. (Surah 2 al-Baqarah ayah 29)

Imaam Mujaahid and Abul Aaliyah said the meaning of ‘Istiwaa’ is “A’alaa and Irtafa’a” meaning He rose or became Lofty. (Saheeh Bukhari, Kitaab at-Tawheed 8/175. [Trans Note:Chapter 22 “And His Throne was on water”])

So how is it allowed for a Muslim to leave the saying of the Tabi’een from Saheeh Bukhari and take the saying of an unknown Poet? (Obviously) this is not possible.

This corrupt Ta’weel in which they rejected Allah the Most Great being above His Throne, is against the belief (aqeedah) of Imaam Maalik and Imaam Abu Haneefah. The madhab of Imaam Abu Haneefah, which they are always studying, he says, “Whoever says that I don’t know if my Rab is in the heavens or on the Earth, then he has committed Kufr ie disbelief”. Because Allah the Rab of the worlds says,  The Most Merciful rose (istiwa) over the Throne. (Surah 20 Taha ayah 5) and His Throne is above the seven Heavens. (See Sharh Aqeedah Tahaawiyah p.322)

I completed my Secondary education in 1948 and also quickly obtained my College certificates. I also passed my entry examination for Cairo University which is in Egypt, however because of bad health I wasn’t able to go there to study and entered the Dar al-Mu’alimeen in Aleppo instead.

After graduation I started teaching as a teacher for 29 years and then I left teaching. After leaving teaching I went to Makkah Mukarramah for Umrah in 1399 Hijri (1979). I was introduced to Shaykh Abdul Azeez Ibn Abdullah Ibn Baaz. When he found out that my aqeedah was salafee he put me as a teacher in the Haram in Makkah during the days of Hajj.

When the season of Hajj finished he sent me to Jordan as a Daa’ee. When I arrived there I stayed for a while as an Imaam, Khateeb and teacher of the Quran in Jamia Masjid Salahudeen Ayubi which is in the city of Ramthaa. I used to go to the primary schools and give lectures on tawhid to the students and bring their attention towards it, so they accepted this knowledge with a great goodness.

I went to Makkah Mukarramah for Umrah again in 1400 Hijri (1980), in the month of Ramadhaan, and stayed there until after Hajj. Whilst I was there I met a student of knowledge from Darul Hadeeth Khayriyyah. He asked me to become a teacher and teach at Dar ul Hadeeth, because there was an extreme need for teachers there, especially for lessons in the science of Hadeeth.

I spoke to the Director of Darul Hadeeth on the telephone and he showed some verbal acceptance and said that I should get a reference from Shaykh Ibn Baaz. Therefore I spoke to the Shaykh and he wrote to the Director that I should become a teacher there. I then started teaching the students at the school with regards to Tafseer, Tawheed, Qur’aan and other sciences (subjects).

Then with the grace and help of Allah the Most beneficient and Most Noble I started writing small booklets, which became accepted with honour around the world. Some books were translated into English, French, Bengali, Indonesian, Turkish, Urdu and other languages and spread around the world. I named them ‘Silsilah at-Tawjeehaat al-Islaamiyah’ which is compromised of more than 20 booklets, and most of them have been printed in the thousands. All praise is due to Allah. Most of them are given for the sake of Allah.

I ask Allah the Rab of the worlds that the general Muslims gain the full benefit from them, and make this act sincerely for Him. (Allahumma Ameen)

Taken from Kayfa Ihdataydu Ila Tawhid Was- Siratul Mustaqim (p.2-5)

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