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Educational Journey of Shaykh Yasin al-Fadani

By : Amirul Ulum

Living in midst of religious scholars who were actively engaged in worship and religious studies allows Shaykh Yasin al-Fadani to readily absorb the essence of Islamic teachings. He studied from his father, Shaykh Muhammad Isa al-Fadani, basic religious knowledge such as Quranic recitation, theology (tauhid), jurispundence (fiqh) and Arabic grammar.

He also received guidance from his mother Maimunah binti AbduIlah al-Fadani in the study of Quran who had memorised the Quran. Shaykh Yasin al-Fadani promptly memorised the Quran completely and accurately before the age of 8 under the guidance of his mother.

Other than his father, Shaykh Yasin al-Fadani also studied the basic of religious knowledge under his uncle, Shaykh Mahmud al-Fadani who studied under the same scholars as his father in the Sacred Mosque of Mecca.

Shaykh Yasin al-Fadani was known to be prodigious in the eyes of his teachers, causing him to receive particular attention from his teachers. He had the ability to ingest and comprehend knowledge in the study circles swiftly in comparison to his peers.

As he was approaching his teenage years, his father instructed him to study at the Shaulatiyyah Madrasah in 1927 (1346H). At this madrasah, which was built by Shaulan an-Nisa, Shaykh Yasin al-Fadani studied religious knowledge for 6 years. His teachers were impressed and awed by his special abilities. Honourable character and his ability in the mastery of religious teachings at Madrasah Shaulatiyyah were a springboard in his path of religious scholarship. Amongst his teachers at the school were Sayyid Muhsin al-Musawa, Shaykh Mukhtar Uthman Makhdum, Shaykh Abdullah Muhammad Niyar and Shaykh Muhammad Hassan al-Masyhath.

Whilst focussed in his studies at Madrasah Shaulatiyyah, a conflict occured between the Indonesian students with the teachers of Shaulatiyyah regarding the use of Indonesian language which was still entrenched amongst students originating from Indonesia. The situation became tensed when one of the teachers in the madrasah ridiculed the Indonesians for their use of native language. This was after the Indonesian students tolerated discriminations from non-Indonesian teachers for an extended length of time.

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The result of this internal conflict was the establishment of Darul Uloom al-Diniyah Madrasah in 1934 at Syi’ib Ali. Most of those involved in the establishment of the school were religious figures from Indonesia and South East Asia who were initially teachers and students at the Shaulatiyyah Madrasah. About 120 Indonesian religious scholars worked together to raise funds and set down the infrastructure and organisation in establishing the school. After the school was established, the scholars agreed in choosing Sayyid Muhsin al-Musawa as it’s first rector.  After receiving the responsibility of managing and leading the school, Sayyid Muhsin al-Musawa mentioned in his speech that Darul Uloom al-Diniyah Madrasah was established only for the sake of Allah.

Whilst the Indonesian students were establishing the Darul Uloom al-Diniyah Madrasah, Shaykh Yasin al-Fadani had not completed his study in Madrasah Shaulatiyyah. After the Darul Uloom al-Diniyah Madrasah had declared itself as an institution for the study of formal classical Islamic knowledge, Shaykh Yasin al-Fadani enrolled himself as a student of the school. He completed his studies at Darul Uloom al-Diniyah Madrasah after completing advanced stages of religious study.

Amongst his teachers at Darul Uloom al-Diniyah Madrasah were Sayyid Muhsin al-Musawa, Shaykh Ibrahim Dawud al-Fathani, Shaykh Muhammad Ali Al-Maliki, Shaykh Zubair ibn Ahmad al-Filfulani, Shaykh Abdul Muhaimin al-Lasemi and many more.

Due to his love towards knowledge, Shaykh Yasin al-Fadani’s thirst for knowledge was not quenched by the knowledge received at Darul Uloom al-Diniyah Madrasah. He proceeded to further his studies in the study circles organised by the scholars in the Sacred Mosque of Mecca. This involved the study of religious texts and also special sessions held seasonally or once every year. Numerous scholars became his teacher in his quest for knowledge. In fact, it was through these scholars that he began to specialise further in the different branches of religious sciences.

At the feet of Shaykh Umar Hamdan al-Mahrisi, Shaykh Yasin al-Fadani studied the sciences of hadith and chains of transmission (sanad). Under Shaykh Muhammad Ali al-Makki, he studied Arabic Grammar, Principles of Islamic Jurispundance (Usul Fiqh) and Islamic Legal Maxims (Qawaid Fiqhiyyah). He also studied those subjects at feet of Shaykh Ali al-Malkki. In addition, he also studied Islamic Astronomy and Cosmology (Ilm ul-Falak) under Shaykh Khalifah al-Nabhani.

Shaykh Yasin al-Fadani also studied at the feet of scholars who recided in Kampung Al-Jawi including those who only resided temporarily before returning to Indonesia. Amongst his teachers who were Indonesians residing in Mecca were Shaykh Baqir Jukjawi, Shaykh Ma’shum Ahmad Lasemi (who established Nadhatul Ulama’), Shaykh Baidlowi bin Abdul Aziz (leader of Thariqah Muktabarah Nadhatul Ulama’ and brother to Shaykh Abdul Muhaimin al-Lasemi), Shaykh Wahyudin bin Abdul Hamid al-Palimbani al-Makki, Shaykh Husein bin Husein bin Umar as-Samarani, Shaykh Jum’an bin Makmun at-Tangerani, Shaykh Ali bin Abdullah al-Banjari, Shaykh Mukhtar bin ‘Atharid al-Bughuri, Sayyid Ali bin Abdurrahman al-Habsyi al-Kuwitangi, Shaykh Manshur bin Abdul Hamid al-Jakartawi and numerous others.

In his quest for knowledge, Shaykh Yasin al-Fadani does not limit himself to teachers older than him. Despite being older and having mastery in various disciplines of Islamic sciences, he was not hesitant to study with those younger than him. In fact, one of his students, after learning from him and numerous other scholars became renowned for his mastery of religious knowledge. Shaykh Yasin al-Fadani was not ashamed to sit in the study circle of that student. That special student was Sayyid Muhammad ibn Alawi al-Maliki who was the son and successor of his teacher, Sayyid Alawi ibn Abbas al-Maliki. The presence of Shaykh Yasin al-Fadani in the study circle of his student also acts as an acknowledgement towards the scholarly abilities of Sayyid Muhammad ibn Alawi al-Maliki who was renowned for his extensive knowledge and also had numerous murids amongst Indonesian and South East Asian students.

When his teacher Sayyid Alawi ibn Abbas al-Maliki passed away, Shaykh Yasin al-Fadani was one of the scholars of the Sacred Mosque of Mecca who proposed to the mufti of Hijaz to elect his son, Sayyid Muhammad ibn Alawi al-Maliki to be one of the teachers in the Sacred Mosque of Mecca. Other than Shaykh Yasin al-Fadani, Shaykh Hasan bin Muhammad al-Masyhath, Shaykh Abdullah bin Sa’id al-Lahji, Shaykh Abdullah Dardum, Shaykh Zakaria Bela, Shaykh Abdul Fattah Fawah, Shaykh Muhammad Amin al-Kutb and Shaykh Ibrahim al-Fathani also proposed the same matter.

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The example that was shown by Shaykh Yasin al-Fadani was also similar to another Indonesian scholar, Shaykh Khalil Bangkalan who was the teacher of Kyai Hasyim Asy’ari. Shaykh Khalil Bangkalan then proceeded to study under Kyai Hasyim Asy’ari as a form of acknowledgement towards the profound knowledge of Kyai Hasyim Asy’ari. This is also similar to Imam Abu Hasan al-Asy’ari and Imam al-Qaffal. Imam Abu Hasan al-Asy’ari studied jurispundence (fiqh) according to the Shafi’i mazhab from Imam al-Qaffal whilst Imam al-Qaffal studied theology (aqidah) from Imam Abu Hasan al-Asy’ari.


Notes :

Quoted from the book of Shaikh Yasin al-Fadany the Musnid Dunya of the Archipelago by Amirul Ulum translated by Muhammad Khairool Haque

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