Sheikh Ahmad Muhammad Saad Ash-Shafi’ie Al-Azhari Al-Hasani was born into a family of scholars whose lineage goes back to the Prophet (salla Allahu alayh wa sallam) through Sayyidna Al-Hasan ibn Ali (radia Allahu anhu) in the northern Egyptian governorate of Monofiyyah, in the Nile Delta. Many great scholars of Islam have come from this governorate including people like Shaykh Al-Islam Ibrahim Al-Bayjouri, Imam Tajuddin As-Subki and Taqiyuddin As-Subki, Shaykh Al-Islam Ash-Shanawani and many others. As the custom of the family was to memorise Qur’an at an early age, Sheikh Saad completed the memorisation of the Holy Qur’an at the age of ten at the hands of his father and studied basic Arabic and Islamic sciences with focus on Arabic grammar and balaghah(rhetoric) before enrolling into Al-Azhar system of schools where he spent almost 17 years of his life graduating with a B.A. Honours in Islamic Studies in English. Shaykh Saad delivered his first Khutbah at the age of 15, led his first prayer at the age of 13 and since then, he has been involved in Da’wa work and spreading traditional knowledge of Islam. Sheikh Saad toured the world as an Imam, speaker and lecturer; he visited Canada, USA, Germany, Malaysia, Sweden and settled in the UK as the Imam of North London Central Mosque.
Alongside with his academic studies, Sheikh Saad studied traditional Islamic sciences at the hands of senior scholars and specialists in Egypt, the most notable of whom is the Grand Mufti of Egypt Sheikh Ali Gom’ah. He memorised Riyad As-Saliheen of Imam An-Nawawi at the age of 15 andAl-alfiyyah of Ibn Malik at the age of 13 and committed to memory thousands of lines of poems and other poetry and prose mutun (texts) including Al-Jazariyyah, At-Tuhfah in Tajweed, Ash-Shatibiyyah in Qira’aat. Sheikh Saad also focused on Qira’aat and, by the grace of Allah, Sheikh Saad got Ijazah in the narrations of Hafs and Shubah from Asim, Warsh and Qaloon from Nafi’ and Khalaf and Khallad from Hamzah in addition to many other Tajweed texts.
Sheikh Saad holds one of the highest chains nowadays for his peers, there is 29 people between the Prophet (PBUH) and him. Amongst the Shyukh of Sheikh Saad in Qira’at are: Shaykh Dr. Ayman Suwaid of Damascus,Shaykh Mu’adh Safwat, Shaykh Ali An-Nahhas, Shaykh Shibl Matar, Shaykh Abdel-Basit Hashim, Shaykh Abdel-Fattah Madkour (the last living student of Shaykh Ali Ad-Dabba’ and the colleague of Shaykh Al-Husari) all of Egypt.
Shaykh Saad has also got Ijazahs in the books of hadith, the musalsalat, Shafi’ie Fiqh and all books of Tafsir, Tasawwuf, Shama’il and biographies from various Shyukh. Among his Shuyukh are: the Grand Mufti of Egypt Imam Shaykh Ali Gom’ah, Shaykh Ahmed Ali As-Surti of India, Shaykh Usamah As-Sayyid Al-Azhari of Egypt, Shaykh Muhammad Abdel-Ba’ith Al-Kittani (the muhaddith of Alexandria), Habib Ali Al-Jifri, Shaykh Muhammad Sadiq Al-Alawi, As-Sayyed Yusuf Ar-Rifa’ie, Habib Muhammad Sa’ied Al-Beidh, Shaykh Muhammad Qasim Al-Washali of Yemen, Shaykh Salman An-Nadawi of India, Shaykh Subhi As-Samurra’ie of Iraq and many others.
Shaykh Saad loves poetry and writes it frequently mainly in Arabic and sometimes in English. Shaykh Saad is the founder and director of the UK-based Ihsan Institite for Arabic and Islamic Studies. He lives in London and teaches Shafi’ie Fiqh, Tasawwuf, Usul Al-Fiqh, `Aqeedah, `Ulum Al-Quran, Tajweed accross the UK and travels the world lecturing and teaching. He is a father of three boys.