One of the marji` of Sham
He is Mahmud ibn Muhammad As-Sayyid Al-Hanbali Ash-Shadhili ad-Dumi. Born in the year 1303 AH in the hamlet of Duma, he took extensive knowledge in the beginning from his father who was also a marja`, Muhammad As-Sayyid Ad-Dumi.
Imam Mahmud completed his memorisation of the Qur’an under the tutelage of his father before moving on to study mathematics and inheritance under the marja` of the time, Imam Mustafa Ash-Shatti.
Upon completion of this work, he went on to study Hadith and Narrator history with Shaikh Badr ud-Din Al-Hasani along with evening classes with Shaikh Hussain Ash-Shash. He went for another Qur’an authorisation and attained it with Shaikh Hussain Al-Masri, who granted permission for Hafs from `Asim. After this he received other authorisations.
He made hajj some three or more times in his life and met many scholars there and took authorisations for teaching from them. After this, he moved to Damascus and learned from some of its’ most outstanding Imams, such as Muhammad Al-Hashimi, Abul Khair Al-Maidani, Muhammad Salih Farfur and others.
Upon completion, he was declared marja` and headed back to Duma to teach his people. He formed a tight group of students around him for learning. The books covered include Manar us-Sabil, Nail ul-Maarib, along with its’ text Dalil ut-Talib and the other primer, Zad ul-Mustaqni`.
The students developed a great love for their teacher, so much so that they memorised many books from him. One of those present was the future marja`, Imam Salih ash-Shami. Other students include the two sons of Imam Mahmud As-Sayyid, Imams Hashim and `Abdullah.
Others who stood out were Abduh `Abdul Majid, Hamdi At-Tabbakh, Muhammad Mufid As-Sa`ati and others. In his lifetime, he was visited by countless scholars and given authorisations along with acceptance from them as they attended his gatherings.
After a long life of teaching and serving the people, the Imam died in the year 1369 AH while at home and was buried in the city of Duma in the main cemetery. It was said by many that he was the head of the saints of his time. His memory still shines brightly today.