He is Muhammad ibn Muhammad ibn Qasim ibn Hasain At-Tawil Al-Maghribi Al-Maliki.
Birth and early life
The Imam was born in the year in the city of `Ein Baridah in the land of Morocco to a modest family. His first teacher was his father, Imam Muhammad ibn Qasim, who was a great Imam in the sciences of recitation of the Qur’an and other fields in the Revealed Law.
Imam Muhammad At-Tawil memorised the Qur’an while still a young boy and went on to study with another great scholar by the name of Shaikh Muhammad Al-`Arabi Al-Masari. The Imam learned from this teacher Al-Ajurumiyyah and the commentary Alfiyyah in Arabic grammar. In fiqh, the Imam concentrated on Al-Murshid ul-Mu`in, Al-Mukhtasar and At-Tuhfah.
Upon completion of these he focused his attention to inheritance and other sciences. Allah brought him success when Imam at-Tawil enrolled into the oldest university of Muslim Orthodoxy, Al-Qarawiyyin.
He next came into contact with Shaikhs Abu Bakr Jasus, Muhammad al-`Imrani Az-Zarhuni and `Abdul Karim Ad-Dawudi and studied fiqh with them and other affairs while in the area of commentary he studied with Shaikh Al-`Arabi Ash-Shami. He began his hadith studies under Shaikh `Abdul `Aziz Bil-Khait while in grammar he was tutored by Shaikh `Abdul Hadi Al-Ya`qubi Bakhubza.
Shaikh Habib al-Mahaji was his teacher in Usul ul-Fiqh and in logic and creed he was taught by Shaikh Ibn `Abdul Qadir Al-Baqali. He continued to study and completed his work in rhetoric, speech and history under Shaikhs Muhammad Al-`Imrani and `Abdul Karim Al-`Iraqi and Al-Faqih Al-Ghamri, respectively.
Knowledge and Notable Rulings
The Imam is the marja` of the land, head preacher and teacher for the Moroccans as well as North Africa. His forceful stance on issues immediately surrounding the Revealed Law has made him a hero and champion to all who love knowledge and the truth.
He categorically demonstrated that the benefits taken from banks and also the mortgages (whether they are claimed as Islamic or not) were impermissible and cannot be claimed as emergency or necessity for Muslims living in the lands of Kufr. [Source: Wa Akhiran Waqa`at il-Waqi`ah wa Abih ir-Riba: Al-Fawa’id al-Bankiyyah, pp. 34-45]
No secular court has the power to dissolve a marriage or declare one valid but rather only the maraji` can effect a faskh or dissolving. [Source: This was beautifully dealt with in his text, Shadharat udh-Dhahab: Fima Jadda fi Qaday an-Nikahi wat-Talaqi an-Nasab]
DNA tests are not definitive proof for establishing maternity or paternity unless weighed with other factors as well.[Source: Mawqaf ush-Shari`at il-Islamiyyati Man I`timad al-Khabarat at-Tibbiyyata wal-Basamat al-Warithiyyata fi Ithbat in-Nasabi wa Nafiyahu]
A Muslim woman according to Consensus is not allowed to marry any man that is not a Muslim; but there have of late been “love doctors” at work not only in the Muslim world but even among “spokesmen for Muslims in the West” who have distorted verses and made it seem as if there was a “gentleman’s disagreement” on the topic.
This Imam categorically shows the proof, history, evidence and continuous examples of Consensus on the topic. [Source: Shadharat udh-Dhahab: Fima Jadda fi Qaday an-Nikahi wat-Talaqi an-Nasab, pp. 81-123]
As the teacher of Fiqh and Usul from the University of Al-Qarawiyyin, the Imam has showed great courage in tackling some of the most thorny and controversial issues of this current time. After years of service and teaching, he died at the time of `Asr prayer on Monday 16 Jumada Al-Akhirah in the year 1436 AH. And may Allah reward him and give him the highest rewards of the Paradise.