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Biography of Shaykh Muhammad ibn Hamzah ar-Roomi, who was known as Ibn al-Fanari

Question: 240396

Can you give a biography of sheikh akshamsuddin the teacher of muhammad al fatih considered amongst the best scholars of his time

Praise be to Allah, and peace and blessings be upon the Messenger of Allah and his family.

His full name was Shaykh Muhammad ibn Hamzah ibn Muhammad ibn
Muhammad ar-Roomi, Shams ad-Deen al-Hanafi, who was known as Ibn al-Fanari.
He contributed to the Islamic sciences, and had good knowledge of the Arabic
language and various recitations of the Qur’an. He wrote some books on
tafseer and usool, and also had knowledge of medicine.

But he was a Sufi and was fond of Ibn ‘Arabi at-Taa’i, the
author of al-Fusoos and al-Futoohaat, which are filled with
phrases of disbelief, incarnation and pantheism. We have discussed his
biography previously in the answer to question no. 7691.

He used to teach al-Fusoos and explain it to people.

Al-Haafiz Ibn Hajar (may Allah have mercy on him) said:

He was born in Safar 751, and studied in his home town under
al-‘Allaamah ‘Ala’ ad-Deen who was known as al-Aswad, the commentator on
al-Mughni, and al-Kamaal Muhammad ibn Muhammad al-Ma‘arri, and al-Jamaal
Muhammad ibn Muhammad ibn Muhammad al-Aqsaraa’i, and others, and he strove
hard in his studies. He travelled to Egypt in 778 AH, when he was twenty
years old (sic), where he studied under Shaykh Akmal ad-Deen and others.
Then he went back to Anatolia and was appointed in charge of the judiciary
in Bursa for a while. Then he was transferred to Konya, where he settled.
When war broke out between Ibn Qarmaan and Ibn ‘Uthmaan, and Ibn Qarmaan was
defeated, Ibn ‘Uthmaan took Shaykh Shams ad-Deen with him and appointed him
in charge of the judiciary of his kingdom, and he held him in high esteem,
such that he reached the highest level in his government and became like a
vizier; he became very famous and his virtue became widely known.

He was a man of dignity and great generosity, but he may be
criticised for his fondness for Ibn al-‘Arabi and his teaching and approval
of his book al-Fusoos.

When he came to Cairo, he did not show any of that. He
performed Hajj in 822 AH, and when he returned al-Mu’ayyid summoned him, so
he entered Cairo and met with the prominent people there, and he did not
show anything of what he was accused of that is mentioned above. Some of
those who cared for him advised him not to speak of any of that, so the
prominent figures of the age met with him and discussed and debated various
issues with him, and they testified to his virtue. Then he went back to
al-Quds and visited it, then he went back to his homeland.

He had knowledge of various recitations of the Qur’an, Arabic
language, and meanings of the Qur’an, and he contributed in many fields of

Then he went for Hajj in 833 AH, via Antioch, and he returned
and died in his homeland in the month of Rajab. He had some swelling in his
eye and was about to become blind; rather it was said that he did become
blind, then Allah restored his vision to him, so he performed this
pilgrimage in gratitude to Allah for that. End quote.

Inba’ al-Ghamr bi Abna’ al-‘Amr

It was narrated that the Ottoman Sultan Muhammad Khan, the
conqueror of Constantinople, used to respect and venerate him. The author of
the book ash-Shaqaa’iq an-Nu‘maaniyyah fi ‘Ulama’ ad-Dawlah
al-‘Uthmaaniyyah (p. 140) said:

The Sultan Muhamad Khan came to the shaykh’s tent when he was
lying down, and he did not stand up for him. The Sultan Muhammad Khan kissed
the shaykh’s hand and said: I have come to you because I need something from
you. He said: What is it? He said: I want to go into seclusion (khulwah) in
your place for a few days. The Shaykh said: No. He repeated his request
several times, and he kept saying: No.

The Sultan Muhammad Khan got angry and said: One of the Turks
comes to you, and you admit him to seclusion at the first request!

The shaykh said: If you enter seclusion, you will find
pleasure that will make power and authority lose value in your eyes, and
thus the state of affairs will be in turmoil and Allah will become angry
with us. The purpose of seclusion is to achieve justice, so you have to do
such and such – and he gave advice as he saw fit. The Sultan Muhammad Khan
stood up and bade farewell, whilst the Shaykh was still lying down.

When the Sultan Muhammad Khan came out, he said to Ibn Waliy
ad-Deen: The Shaykh did not stand up for me, and he showed that he was upset
about that. Ibn Waliy ad-Deen said: The Shaykh saw in you some arrogance,
because of this conquest that could not be achieved by the greatest rulers.
The Shaykh is an educator, and he wanted thereby to ward off this arrogance
from you. End quote.

See: Bughyat ar-Ru‘aah (1/97); Shadharaat
adh-Dhahab (9/304)

He died in 834 AH, as it says in al-A‘laam by
az-Zarkali (6/110)

And Allah knows best.


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