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Imam `Uthman Nuri Al-Khatib

1297-1385 AH

One of the Maraji` of Sham

He is `Uthman Nuri al-Khatib ibn `Uthman al-Khatib ibn Muhammad al-Khatib.
The marja` was born in the city of Duma in the year 1297 AH and came from a
family of scholars, both his father and grandfather being judges and maraji` in
their own right. The beginning of his studies was commenced with his father,
Imam`Uthman al-Khatib, the teacher and preacher of righteousness.
After completed the elementary books of creed, fiqh and language, he made his
way to Damascus and went to a number of schools (Ar. madaris) and seminaries
(Ar. ma`ahid). He began with the tafsir collections of Imams Ibn al-Jawzi, Ibn
`Adil, Ibn Kathir and others.
In the area of hadith, he focused on the collections of Imams al-Bukhari, Muslim,
Abu Dawud, at-Tirmidhi, Ibn Majah, an-Nasaii at-Tabarani, may Allah be pleased
with all of them. In the musnad hadith collections, he focused his time on the
Musnads of Imams Ahmad ibn Hanbal and Muhammad ibn Idris ash-Shafi`ii, may
Allah be pleased with both of them.
Upon turning his attention to usul, he focused on Mukhtasar ar-Rawdah, al-
Bulbul (which is a shorter rendering of the three volume mukhtasar), al-Kawkab
ul-Munir and others including the Al-Mustasfa.
After this, the Shaikh then went back to the branches and again reviewed what
he had memorised of Al-`Umdah, Zad ul-Mustaqni` and Al-Kafi. He then built
further understanding of the literature using the works of Imam Mar`ii ibn Yusuf
al-Karmi (d. 1033 AH) as a sole reference for deriving his usul in new matters.
After perfection of this area, he was made to review his knowledge of Arabic
grammar, syntax, inheritance scholars of high rank and good character. Some ten
scholars in Damascus gave him permission to speak and teach and conferred
upon him the rank of marja` and sent him back to Duma, where his father asked
him to begin to write books and answer questions for scholars and people.
This confirmation of his status of marja` was made in the year 1324 AH and he
became part of a body of maraji` in the year 1329 AH. The revolution in Syria had
impacted on even this tiny city and the Shaikh was surprised at the changes that
had occurred while he had been away. Imam `Uthman Nuri al-Khatib knew his
work would be long and arduous.
The waves of secularism let loose on the city had been turned back by his hands
and with the assistance of many of the other able bodied maraji` in the city and
surrounding areas. Shaikh al-Khatib, while fighting this war, filled his time with
teaching, preaching, writing and answering questions from the other maraji` and
common Muslims. The Imam lived long into old age and his death was Friday 24
Sha`ban 1385 AH.
Once the people of the area, Duma and beyond, heard about his death, the
maraji`, students of knowledge and laity men and women came in their
droves to bid the Imam farewell. Imam al-Khatib has his resting place next to his