Sheikh Ibrahim Bin Musalam: May he rest in peace

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Sheikh Ibrahim Bin Ali Bin Musalam, a dedicated dawah activist in Al-Baha, recently passed away at the age of 90. He spent his life pursuing religious education and promoting dawah activities diligently and perseveringly. He lived on a monthly salary from the Shariah Institute after graduating from the School of Shariah in which he enrolled when he was 40 years old.

Sheikh Ibrahim was born in a small village in Baljurashi Governorate, Al-Baha Region and spent his childhood in Wadi Al-Mada village whose people were illiterate because there were no teachers or mosques in the village at that time. Sheikh Ibrahim moved to Jeddah and worked for a small hotel. He joined the memorization sessions of the Holy Qur’an run by Sheikh Ahmed Barzan who also taught students how to read and write. He enrolled at Al-Tawfeeq school, founded by Sheikh Abdulaziz Lanjawee. It was said that Sheikh Ibrahim attended Al-Falah School for a few years.

Sheikh Ibrahim returned to his home village and helped residents of the village and those in nearby villages get access to education. Together with the residents of his village, they turned a deserted house into a mosque and school where he taught students how to read and write and how to memorize the Holy Qur’an. I was one of the students who attended the school run by Sheikh Ibrahim.

I was 10 years old at the time and my family lived in a mountainous village half an hour’s walk from Sheikh Ibrahim’s village. After herding sheep all day, I would attend Sheikh Ibrahim’s lessons.

However, Sheikh Ibrahim joined the private Salafist school founded by Sheikh Muhammd Jamah in Al-Jalhiya Village at Baljurashi Governorate. When King Saud visited the region, he donated money to the school and ordered that it should be run under the Ministry of Education as a public school.

I also joined the same school for a few months during which I got to know Sheikh Ibrahim better. I had to drop out and return to the village while Sheikh Ibrahim traveled to Riyadh and enrolled in the Riyadh Shariah Institute where he spent a few years studying. Then he enrolled in the Shariah School and attended the lessons of Sheikh Muhammad Bin Ibrahim, the then-Mufti of the Kingdom. He also attended the lessons of Sheikh Abdulaziz Bin Baz.

During his study at the School of Shariah, Sheikh Ibrahim was an imam of a local mosque in Riyadh. He was active in dawah and focused in his lessons on the harmful effects of smoking and on the importance of trimming the beard, not shaving it. He would argue with smokers everywhere he would see them and he would often succeed, thanks to his strong logical arguments, in convincing them to quit smoking.

After graduating from the School of Shariah, he was appointed teacher at the Northern Frontier Shariah Institute where he spent two years. Afterwards, he was appointed director of Al-Baha Shariah Institute. He did not like this position and preferred to be a teacher at Baljurashi Shariah Institute. After a short period, he joined the institute in Baljurashi where he spent his entire career teaching students.

He was active in dawah in nearby cities and villages and people liked him. Some accused him of being a hardliner in some matters. However, they all agreed that he was a dedicated dawah activist who exerted great efforts to spread the word of Allah. He retired and became the imam of a local mosque located at Souq Al-Sabt, an old market in Baljurashi.

Souq Al-Sabt is organized every Saturday. The people of Baljurashi Governorate and other areas sell and buy products every Saturday at the market.

Sheikh Ibrahim passed away a few weeks ago. A large number of people attended the funeral prayer performed at Prince Muhammad Bin Saud Mosque in Baljurashi. He was buried in his home village. May he rest in peace!

— Dr. Ali Al-Ghamdi is a former Saudi diplomat who specializes in Southeast Asian affairs. He can be reached at algham@hotmail.com


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