> What are Shiekh `Ali Filali's qualifications?
Sheikh `Ali Filali has been studying Maliki Jurisprudence
for over thirty-five years, has a shahadah `ilmiyyah (i.e. Ijazah) from
Qarawayeen University in Shari`ah, and has multiple connected
chains of transmission to the Prophet (May Allah bless him and
give him peace), including that of his own family lineage
(e.g, his father and grandfathers are all well-known fuqaha'
of Maghrib). He is a scholar in his own right.
He has specifically assigned Abu Qanit Hasani as his messenger
to the West as he himself does not speak English nor have
familiarity with the situation and challenges faced in
> A friend recently introduced me to this website because
> I want to learn the Maliki School.
> I must admit that the GH itself and the answers of Abu Qanit
> are quite astounding, masha-Allah. However, unlike my friend
> who seems to have full trust in Shaykh Abu Qanit simply on the
> basis of his clearly apparent encyclopedic knowledge
> (masha-Allah), I still have some waswasa in my heart before I
> can fully accept the Shaykh's fatwas.
First of all no one is asking you to accept the Sheikh's "fatwas".
The Shiekh himself doesn't like to use the word "fatwa" for the
things he teaches.
The Shiekh explains the material in a way to make the questioner
qualified himself instead of becoming dependent on someone (unlike
most muftis). Additionally almost always, he gives Arabic references
for his statements both in his written works and correspondences
(unlike most all muftis present today (who find it cumbersome
to do such and are not qualified in the skill of referential teaching)).
> I read on the web-site that it is not bad adab to ask a teacher
> of his qualifications before studying with him, but it is bad adab to
> ask after starting; thus I would like to please ask the following questions:
Unfortunately, you probably will never get the opportunity to study
with Abuqanit Hasani and Sheikh Filali (at least not in the near future).
This is due to the current lifestyle of khumul (being hidden) that they
have chosen and Allah has chosen for them following the footsteps of
many past scholars of the Maghrib.
Additionally, one day you may wake up and find that this wonderful
web-site has been shut down since Abuqanit Hasani now feels that
there is no longer a need for it (as the knowledge will have spread
far and wide by then, insha'allah).
[To address the desire and need to sit with real human teachers, we have
added a teachers link page to offer students the opportunity to sit
face-to-face with qualified teachers of the din.]
> 1) Which texts and for what length of time did Shaykh Abu Qanit
> study with Shaykh 'Ali Filali?
Abuqanit Hasani has been studying Jurisprudence formally for over
ten years. Although this is not a very long time, those that have
in actuality studied with him in person (a rare few) agree that
he is far more qualified and understands the issues at a far greater
depth than the average gray-bearded sheikh alive today who
may claim to have been studying for thirty or forty years.
As for the texts he has studied with `Ali Filali and his other Teachers,
they are about fifty substantial Arabic texts, such as the over twenty
volume Tafsir Imam al-Qurtubi, the eight volume al-Khurashi Sharh
Mukhtasar Khalil, Tuhfah al-Hukkam, al-Qawanin al-Fiqhiyyah, the
various available shuruh of al-Murshid al-Mu`in, al-Khulasah
al-Fiqhiyyah, al-Mudawwanah al-Kubra, Muqaddimat ibn Rushd,
Additionally, he has perused many traditional and ancient Arabic
books about `aqidah, fiqh, and tasawwuf, which amount to near or
over one thousand separate works.
Also, he is a Hafiz of the Qur'an and has memorized well over ten
thousand hadith (not counting duplications). He has also memorized
thousands of lines of mutun (similar to the al-Murshid al-Mu`in).
His mastery of the Arabic language in its grammar and lexicography
is surpassed by perhaps only a few in the world alive today.
> 2) Which ijazas did Shaykh Abu Qanit receive from Shaykh Filali?
Permission to teach Maliki Jurisprudence and other aspects of the
din (e.g., `aqidah and general tasawwuf) to the Western populace.
> 3) Where is Shaykh Abu Qanit and the Guiding Helper Foundation based?
Sheikh Abuqanit leads a migratory lifestyle and thus has no "base". The same
is true for the Guiding Helper Foundation in that it is just a "virtual" identity
which brings together several individuals who have devoted much time
to help make this knowledge available to people and spread.
As for his background, it is also migratory. However, both of his parents
were born near the Himalayan mountains Southeast of Nepal. His parents are
not originally from that region; for example, his father's family
used to live with the Ottomans before their downfall.
His father is a direct descendant of the Prophet's grandson Hasan and his mother
is a direct descendent of the Prophet's grandson Husayn. Thus, he is a rare
type of "Sayyid" known as a Hasani-Husayni (like `Abd al-Qadir al-Jilani).
Additionally, there are many re-known scholars in his family lineage on both sides.
In all of this, Sheikh Abuqanit himself does not like the idea of "personality-
centered" teaching. This is why detailed information about him is not
mentioned on the web-site nor in the books.
> 4) Does the Foundation have a general biography of Shaykh Abu Qanit,
> similar to the one which Nuh Keller placed in the back of his Reliance
> of the Traveller about himself?
There is a short biography at the following location:
> Please forgive me for any bad adab, but we live in a confusing age
> with so-many people saying so-many different things.
It is a confusing age, but we have found from our own travels in the Muslim
world that today a degree from a prestigious institution (e.g., al-Azhar)
or Ijazas from Shuyukh does not guarantee that the person is
actually qualified. Thus for this reason, we at the Guiding Helper
Foundation under the supervision of Abuqanit Hasani decided
not to emphasize his qualifications too much as much as we are
emphasizing that all things we note are backed up in a written
Notes of Sources taken from pre-Colonial trusted Arabic sources.
One of the Notes of Sources books which is available is about
800 pages long. The other book (not available on the web-site
yet) is much longer.
> I hope you can please help this faqir.