Shaykh Bakri Al-Tarabishi

Shaykh Bakri Al-Tarabishi 1921-2012


Shaykh Bakri al-Ṭarabīshī was born in Damascus in 1338 AH/1921 AD to a home of learning and piety.  His father was Shaykh ʽAbd al-Majīd al-Ṭarābīshī from among the legal scholars (fuqahāʼ) of Damascus specializing in the Ḥanafī school of law.  King Fayṣal b. al-Ḥusayn selected him as a confidant after the fall of the Ottoman Empire in greater Syria in 1918.  Shaykh Bakrī memorized the Qurʼan when he was a boy of twelve years and perfected his memorization at the age of fifteen. He also worked with his father in trade.

His Memorization of the Qur’an

Shaykh Bakrī al-Ṭarabīshī memorized the Qur’an when he was twelve and learned it with tajwīd and beautiful recitation when he was fifteen.  When he was twelve years old, his father took him to the Shaykh ʽAbd al-Wahhāb Ḥāfiẓ (known as Shaykh ʽabd al-Wahhāb Debs wa Zayt due to an old family title).  He later became a student of Shaykh ʽIzz al-Dīn ʽAraqsūsī.  When he reached the age of twenty, he recited the Qur’an under Shaykh ʽAbd al-Qādir al-Ṣabbāgh who took his chain of recitation from the elder Shaykh Aḥmad Ḥulwānī.  In 1942, Shaykh Muḥammad Salīm al-Ḥulwānī certified him or gave himijāza in Qur’anic recitation in the seven canonical readings from the Shāṭibī chain of transmission.  Shaykh Muḥammad Salīm al-Ḥulwānī passed away shortly after, and Shaykh Bakrī was the last person he certified.  After this, Shaykh Bakrī al-Ṭarābishī followed up his studies by taking the ten canonical readings with Shaykh Salīm’s peer, Shaykh Muḥammad Fāʼiz al-Dayr ʽAṭānī.  Thus, Shaykh Bakrī became a Qur’anic reciter with the shortest chain of oral transmission (the least number of oral transmitters) of the Qur’an in the world.  He had only twenty-seven transmitters between himself and the Prophet (PBUH).  The last person besides him to have had an equally short chain of transmission died over thirty years ago.

His Legacy

The Shaykh did not leave behind any works in the form of writing, but he left behind “works” in the form of his many students who continued to teach the Qur’an and pass its transmission throughout the world.  Among these students are Shaykh Muḥammad Shaqrūn in the UAE, Shaykh Ḥusām Sabsabī in Kuwait, the Reciter and Shaykh Muḥammad Burkāb in Algeria, Shaykh ʽUmar Dāʽūq in Labanon, and the Reciter ʽIṣām ʽAbd al-Mawlā in Jordan.  All of them took the path of their teacher to establish programs to teach the Qur’an and pass its chain of oral transmission.  Shaykh Bakrī and his students exerted all of their energies to facilitate teaching the Book of God wherever they were.  Shaykh Muḥammad Shaqrūn established a large school and foundation for memorization and certification in Dubai.  Shaykh Ḥusām Sabsabī became a member of the Ministry of Religious Affairs in Kuwait and established a branch responsible for teaching Qur’anic recitation.  Shaykh ʽUmar Dāʽūq participates in similar projects in Lebanon.  In Algeria, Kuwait, and the UAE a certification in Qur’anic recitation became considered equivalent to a university degree.

Shaykh Bakrī al-Ṭarābīshī died on February 23, 2012 in Dubai.  May Allah have mercy on his soul and grant him the highest of Paradise. From Nur Sacred Sciences



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