Prepared by Abū Ibrāhīm John Starling
The shaykh, jurist, scholar, and skilled ʿAbd al-Raḥmān b. ʿAbd Allāh b. Aḥmad al-Ḥalabi al-Damishqī al-Ḥanbalī was born on 21, Jumada al-Ula, 1110H in Baʿlabak. He was raised in a house filled with knowledge; his father, grandfather and great-grandfather were all revered scholars. His older brothers Shaykh Muḥammad al-Ḥanbalī and Shaykh Aḥmad the author of al-Rawḍ al-Nadī, the explanation of Kāfī al-Mubtadī.
After he reached the age of discernment he began his study of the Qurʾān with his father completing it by the age of 10. He then began seeking knowledge with his first teacher the Shaykh ʿAwwād al-Ḥanbalī al-Nābulsī who taught him al-Ājrūmiyyah in Arabic Grammar and Akhṣar al-Mukhtaṣarāt in Fiqh. He studied with him many years gradually developing and maturing in his knowledge.
After his father passed away in 1222H he remained under the tutelage of his brother the scholar Shaykh Abu al-Muwāhib al-Ḥanbalī for 5 years learning Fiqh and Ḥadīth. He also studied with the scholar Abd al-Qadir al-Taghlibī al-Ḥanbalī, author of Nayl al-Maʾārib, for 15 years learning Ḥadīth, Fiqh, Arabic Grammar, Inheritance, and Usūl. Upon the completion of his studies he was granted a general ijāzah. He also attended the lessons of the scholar Shaykh Ismāʿil al-Ajlūnī, author of Kashf al-Khafāʾa, in Sahīh al-Bukhārī under the Nasr Dome in the Umayyad Mosque for approximately 9 years and was granted a general ijaza. Later he traveled to Ḥalab and remained there studying Hadīth, Logic, Usūl, Grammar, and Speaking. He had numerous teacher and received many accolades from them as well as ijāzas. He also possessed the shortest chain of narration to Sahīh al-Būkhārī which was a mere 10 narrators.
Although he was influenced by a sufi environment, may Allāh overlook our shortcoming and his, he was praised by many scholars, was known for seeking knowledge his entire life, and for his numerous teachers.
Al-Murādi said, “the shaykh, the scholar, the virtuous, the righteous was a faqīh, proficient in the Islamic sciences in particular the various recitations…”
Ibn Badrān said, “He was a faqīh, an expert, eloquent, a poet…”
Shaykh ʿAbd al-Hayy al-Kaṭṭābī said, “The shaykh, the scholar, the reciter, and possessor of Isnād…”
He authored numerous books including;
An abridgement of al-Jāmiʿ al-Ṣaghīr of al-Suyūtī called Nūr al-Akhyār wa Rawḍ al-Abrār fi Ḥadīth al-Nabi al-Musṭafā al-Mukhtār in which he confined to the ḥadīth transmitted by Imams Aḥmad, al-Bukhārī, and Muslim.
An explanation of the previous book entitled, Fatḥ al-Sitār wa Kashf al-Mukhtār.
A concise manual of worship entitled Bidāyat al-ʿĀbid wa Kifāyat al-Zāhid.
An explanation of the previous book entitled, Bulugh al-Qāṣid wa Jull al-Maqāṣid.
An explanation of Ibn Balbān’s Akhṣar al-Mukhtaṣarāt entitled, Kashf al-Mukhadarāt wa Riyāḍ al-Muzhirāt.
A scholarly poem abridging al-Raḥbiyyah entitled, al-Durrat al-Maḍiyah fi Ikhtisār al-Raḥbiyyah.
An explanation of the previous poem entitled al-Fawaʾid al-Marḍiyyah.
A poem entitled Naẓm al-Ājrūmiyyah.
ʿAbd al-Raḥmān al-Baʿlī remained in Ḥalab with support from numerous people until his passing in 1192H. May Allāh shower him with mercy.
Source: Kashf al-Mukhadarāt wa Riyāḍ al-Muzhirāt.