He is Muhammad al-Khidr ibn Sayyidi `Abdullah ibn Maayaabaa (or Maayaabee) Al-Jakkani Ash-Shanqiti, born in the land of Shanqit (today’s Mauritania) in the year 1290 AH in a rural area of his country about 40 or more kilometres from the capital city, both of his parents were righteous, his father being a shaikh and marja` and his mother being an upright woman.
Shaikh Muhammad Al-Khidr’s first teacher after his mother was his father, Shaikh `Abdullah Maayaabaa, a righteous man and marja` in his own time. Many wonders were attributed to him and he was loosely associated with the tariqah of the Qadiriyyah; but as is the case with many of the Mauritanians, he did not associate and formalise himself with a tariqah.
As a youth, Shaikh Muhammad Al-Khidr memorised in the Qur’an in his young in the way of Nafi`, from both Warsh and Qalun. In fiqh and creed, he completed Ar-Risalah by Imam Ibn Abi Zayd Al-Qayrawani.
Although excelling and striving in his studies with his father and other shaikhs in various tribes, the Imam suffered a setback when his father, Sayyidi `Abdullah, died before his completion of the Qur’an; but with his righteousness and steadfastness and the encouragement of others, Muhammad Al-Khidr moved on with the business of learning.
Even while studying, teachers noticed the brilliance of the Imam and the Abus-Siba` married him into their tribe. Upon return to his native people, he found that the shaikhs had grown older and that his ten brothers had now grown into manhood and were scholars in their own right. These brothers include:
- Sayyidi Ahmad Ash-Shanqiti
- Muhammad Al-Karrami Ash-Shanqiti
- Muhammad Sayyidi `Aal
- Muhammad Nur ud-Din
- Muhammad As-Salik
- Muhammad Faal
- Sayyidi Muhammad
- Muhammad Taqi ud-Din
- Muhammad Al-`Aqib
- Muhammad Habibullah
The Imam had two other brothers that had excelled before these ten and they were:
- Muhammad Fadil
- Muhammad Mahmud
Before his death, the Imam, the Sage, Muhammad Al-Khidr Ash-Shanqiti wrote more than 11 books in various subjects and gave numerous rulings on topics ranging from creed, fiqh, contemporary fatawa all the way to the particulars of the Arabic language and reviving thorough study of its’ sciences by enthusiasts.
After the break of Sham, a number of fabricated states were created: Syria, Jordan Lebanon, Palestine and Israel. The Imam settled in Jordan and was declared the Chief Qadi of Jordan, in fact the first Chief Qadi since the nation’s founding. Although a position he did not accept, he was recognised as marja` due to the statements about him in Mauritania but also another meeting where this was declared again by visiting scholars from Syria.
Shaikh Muhammad Al-Khidr Ash-Shanqiti, one of the great maraji`, died in the year 1354 AH in Al-Madinah and was buried in Jannat ul-Baqi`. May Allah bless him and his brothers who taught on after him as well as his family and nobles among them.