Bio of Allamah AbdurRazaq Afifi
The Shaykh studies and teaching in Egypt
Shaykh AbdurRazaq ibn Afifi ibn Atiyah ibn AbdilBarr ibn Sharfudin was born in 1323 in Shanshor Egypt. He joined Al-Azhar in 1340, which was at the time under administration of Shaykh Muhammad Shakir, the father of the great Muhadith Shaykh Ahmad Shakir. He spend 4 years in primaries, 4 years in secondary, 4 years in higher studies and 4 years in Takhsis.
Shaykh Abdullah As-Sa'd, one of his students, said: "He (sh Afifi) was known with his knowledge since the beginning of his Ilmi life . Shaykh Abdul Qadir Shaybah Al-Hamd told me about him: "We were students at Al-Azhar and Shaykh AbdurRazaq Afifi had a great reputation" and the Shaykh would during his position of student (at Al-Azhar) explain some lessons to some of his colleague students and among them Shaykh Abdul Haleem Mahmood the former Shaykh of Al-Azhar" (ie Shaykh Afifi as student would explain some matters to his colleague student Shaykh Abdul Haleem Mahmood)
After obtaining his degree from Al-Azhar, he started to teach in Masajid and Marakiz of Ansar As-Sunnah Nabawiyah, then he moved to Alexandria where he was Wakeel of the religious centre of Ansar As-Sunnah.
Shaykh AbdurRazaq Afifi established many Masajid and made them all affiliated to Ansar As-Sunnah An-Nabawiyah, and among these Masajid, Masjid Al-Qattan, Masjif Abu Afiyah, Masjid at-Taqwa, Masjid As-Sahabah, Masjid Sharwah Hasan, Masjid Umar ibn Al-Khattab, Masjid fajr Al-Islam.
Among his efforts in Egypt is also founding the great Markaz Al-Islami at the beginning of the city.
The Shaykh would not only teach authentic Aqidah in Masajid of Ansar As-Sunnah and condemn Shirk and Bida and forbid evil and Sufi practices, but also in other Masajid and his lessons were very popular. Shaykh Rashid ibn Uthman Az-Zahrani wrote (p 22) that with the centres mentioned previously:
"The Shaykh (rah) would also go to Jamaah Ikhwan al-Muslimeen on their main centre in the street Al-Iskandrani and he would give lessons on Aqeedah, and a massive crowd would gather there, it would fill the centre despite its largeness, and people would have to sit in the streets around this centre to listen and benefit from this great Salafi scholar"
His teaching in Saudi Arabia
Shaykh ibn Jibreen said: "As for his teaching, he spent his life teaching in Egypt then in the Kingdom in Dar at-Tawheed in Riyad in Atif, then in the Ma'had Ar-Riyadh al-Ilmi, then in the Kulliyah Ash-Shareeah and Kulliyah Lughah Al-Arabiyah in Riyadh, then on the Ma'had Al-Qadha al-'Aali as a director and teacher, until he retired, then in his retirement he acted in the presidency of Al-Buhuth Al-Ilmiyah wal Ifta all his life until his reached his time, and he was among the heads of this presidency. Many major scholars of this Kingdom became are counted among his students, and they acknowledged the excellence of his knowledge, and they found pride to attach themselves to his teaching in most occasions, in the same manner as many benefited from his lessons delivered in The Masjid and others"
Among his most famous students in the Kingdom:
Shaykh Abdul Aziz ibn Abdillah Aal Shaykh.
Shaykh Abdullah ibn Ghudayan
Shaykh Salih Al-Luhaidan
Shaykh Salih Al-Fawzan.
Shaykh Abdullah ibn Hasan ibn Qu'ud.
Shaykh Ibrahim ibn Muhammad Aal Shaykh.
Shaykh Abdullah ibn AbdirRahman ibn Jibreen.
Shaykh Salih Al-Atram.
Shaykh Abdullah At-Turki.
Shaykh Salih ibn Ghanim As-Sadlan.
Shaykh Rashid ibn Khunayn.
Shaykh Salih ibn Abdil Aziz Aal Shaykh.
Shaykh Ali Roomi.
Shaykh AbdulAziz ibn Abdil Munim.
Shaykh Su'ud Al-Funaysan.
Shaykh Mana' Qattan.
Shaykh Hamd Junaydal.
Shaykh Hamd Shatwi.
Shaykh Ali Yahya.
Shaykh Abdullah As-Sa'd
Shaykh Muhammad ibn Lutfi As-Sabagh
and others (such as Sh Baraak)
Shaykh Abdullah As-Sa'd said: "I asked our teacher Shaykh AbdurRahman ibn Nasir Al-Barraak about whom he benefited the most in his studies in Kulliyah Ash-Sharee'ah, and he replied: "Shaykh AbdurRazaq Afifi" and I said to him: "What about Shaykh Muhammad Al-Ameen Ash-Shanqiti?" and he replied: "Shaykh Muhammad Al-Ameen would come to us and gush out to us"
Meaning that Shaykh al-Ameen due to his great memory would throw a great deal of information in little time, so not every student could benefit.
His knowledge of Aqidah, Tafsir, Fiqh, Hadith, Usul Fiqh and others fields
Shaykh Abdullah ibn Jibreen said: “His teaching, Shaykh AbdurRazaq, in sciences such as Hadith, language, Tafsir, Ahkam would surpass his colleagues until even his teachers…as for his knowledge it was a sea without shore in most sciences he obtained through research and explanation”
Shaykh Abdullah As-Sa’d said: “He was distinguished with ilmi strength and clear intellect, and abundant cognisance of religious sciences, whether it was in knowledge of beliefs in knowing the belief of the pious predecessors and knowing the views of other sects and their doubts, or in Fiqh and its Usul, and in sciences of Tafsir and other religious sciences, he was among the greatest of people of knowledge of his time”
Shaykh Dr Muhammad Sabbagh said: "He (rah) was a Faqeeh Mujtahid, and he was not satisfied with Ta'asub to a Mazhab among Mazahib with his great knowledge of them, such a knowledge of them that i have not seen a similar to him, rather he would walk with the evidence"
Shaykh Salih Al-Atram said: "He had learned Fiqh upon the Mazhab of Malik, and he would teach us "Al-Muqni" upon the Mazhab of Ahmad with great ease, and we would consider differences in Fiqh as great and immense until we asked him: "how can you come with such a speech (while you studied Maliki Fiqh)?" and he replied: "I have not read other than your book in front of you "Al-Muqni'" then he started to explain it to us and said: "Teaching consist in understanding a book and its aim and methodology and the Usool of its Mazhab" and he gave us an example about the Qisas of the drunk person when the author said that there were 2 narrations for the drunk when he intends to become drunk, so those who saud about Qisas, they considered that he intended to remove his intellect (by drinking) and those who denied Qisas linked him to the one who loses intellect by an excuse, and there came the difference (in understanding)"
Dr Muhammad Lutfi Sabbagh said: "He was a great Muhadith, it would be rare that a Hadith would be hidden to him, and he had a distinguished capacity to do takhrij of a Hadith and give a ruling on it"
Shaykh Abdullah ibn Jibreen said: "We would read to him in a sitting a Hadith from the beginning of "Sahih Al-Bukhari" and he would give us a lengthy explanation, so that the explanation of a single Hadith would take most time of the lecture"
Dr Muhammad Lutfi Sabagh wrote: “He was a great exegete, and if I forget something, I would not forget his exalting lessons of Tafsir of the Quran that he would deliver in the Masjid of Shaykh Muhammad ibn Ibrahim Aal Shaykh (rah) in Dakhnah in Riyadh, and I was regular in them, and this is a favour of Allah upon me. He would dwell in the deep meanings of the verse, its correspondence with what is before and after, and he would link between these meanings and the life of people, he would point at the secrets of Balaghah and the aspects of I’jaz in it, and he would not be satisfied with the extrapolations of the late scholars nor the recent scholars tempted by western thoughts, to whom the matters of the unseen have become difficult so they went to extrapolate the texts with far fetched extrapolations”
Shaykh Abdullah Ibn Jibreen wrote: “I saw him (rah) one day doing Tafsir of Surah Saba in the Masjid of Samahah Shaykh Muhammad ibn Ibrahim Aal Shaykh (rah), and he would spend for the Tafsir of two verses one hour or more, and he would derive in each verses benefits, rulings, sayings, preferences showing to us the greatness of the Quran with what it has in possibilities and benefits, and this indicates the huge extent of the Shaykh’s cognisance and his knowledge”
Shaykh AbdurRazaq Afifi did not author many books and the reason is as mentioned by his students, that he used to say: "I do not see in most of late scholars anything new, rather a repetition of what their predecessors mentioned except Shaykhul Islam ibn Taymiyah (rah), as you will find in his books a lot of knowledge in which he was not preceded"
Zuhair Shawish said that Shaykh AbdurRazaq Afifi said to him: "O Zuhair, publishing a book with its Tahqiq and good presentation is better than writing"
When he would see a small book of a recent author without any benefit or precision, he would say: "Why did he write such?" or "If only he sufficed with what the Imams have written"
With this, Allamah AbdurRazaq Afifi wrote some books and put notes on some:
1) "Muzakarah fi At-Tawheed.
2) Tahqiq and Ta'liq upon the book "Al-Ihkam fi Usul Al-Ahkam"
3) Ta'liq on some parts of "Tafsir Jalalayn"
4) Ta'liq on the Risalah of Shaykhul Islam ibn Taymiyah to the Jama'ah of Musafir ibn Adi.
5) Ta'liq upon "Al-Fatwa Al-Hamawiyah Al-Kubra" of Shaykhul Islam ibn Taymiyah.
6) Ta'liq upon the book "Al-Tadmuriyah" of Shaykh Al-Islam ibn Taymiyah.
7) Ta'liq upon the book "Ar-Risalah At-Tabukiyah" of Ibn Al-Qayim.
8) Ta'liq upon "Al-Fiyah Al-Iraqee"
9) Ta'liq upon "Sharh Al-Aqidah Al-Wasatiyah" of Shaykh Muhammad Khalis Harras.
10) Hashiyah upon "Sharh Al-Aqidah At-Tahawiyah" of ibn Abil Izz Al-Hanafi.
11) Ta'liq upon "Al-I'tiqad" of Al-Baihaqi.
12) "Muzakarah if Hukm Al-Bursah"
13) He has small Ta'liqat upon the book "Al-Mustasfa" of Al-Ghazali, "Al-Itisam" and "Al-Muwafaqat" of Ash-Shatibi as informed by Shaykh Ibn Qu'ud.
He wrote many Fatawa and researches during his time at the Lajnah Ad-Daimah, as well as introduction to many books and epistles in the Jami'ah.
Shaykh Afifi's epistles and Fatawa have been compiled by his students Shaykh As-Sa'eed Abduh and Shaykh Waleed Manese in 676 pages, published by Dar ibn Hazm and Dar Al-Fadheelah under the name "Fatawa wa Rasail Samahah Ash-Shaykh AbdurRazaq Afifi"
The Shaykh started to become weak in 1411 as he was affected since two years of prostate and was treated in hospital King Khalid in 1407, he improved a little bit but the illness persisted and he passed away on Thursday 25/3/1415. His student Shaykh AbdulAziz ibn Abdillah Aal Shaykh lead his funeral prayer in Jami Al-Imam Turki ibn Abdillah, Al-Jami Al-Kabeer in Riyadh, after Jumuah on 26/3/1415 and buried in the cemetery of Al-Awd in Riyad.
Shaykh Abdullah ibn Hafiz Al-Hakami said: “Though his death was after he passed 90 years, despite consecutive illnesses that affected him in the last years of his life, he had full senses with his great age, correct perception and his knowledge was not altered”
Source: "Ittihad An-Nubala bi Siyar Al-Ullama" of sh Rashid ibn Uthman Az-Zahrani ans others.