Yusuf Sakkaki

The full name of the great scholar of Arabic language and literature Sakkaki from Kharezm is Sirajiddin Abu Yakub Yusuf ibn Abu Bakr Muhammad ibn Ali Al-Kharezmi Al-Hanafi As-Sakkaki. He was born in 555 hijri (1169 AD), and died in 626 hijri (1229 AD) in the village Kandi, Kharezm. (the book “Al-A’lam”, part 8, page 222, Zirikli)

          Sheikh Yusuf Kharezmi, also known with the nickname “Sirajiddin Sakkaki”, mentioned 12 kinds of Arabic sciences in his book “Miftahul ulum”, though he was not Arab. At the beginning of his life he was a blacksmith. He made a wonderful lock for his own workshop. His workshop with its lock cost 1 qirat (monetary unit). He presented that workshop to the king of that time. Having seen his present the king and his nobles did not reject his present and allowed him to attend their meetings. While he was still there, another man came in. The king gave his seat to him showing him respect in such way. Then Sakkaki asked with interest who he was. They said that he was a scholar. Sakkaki thought to himself: “If a person is such a scholar, then he is closer to the king in respect and honor than a person who gave the king all his wealth”. From that day he began to go to the madrasah to get knowledge. At that time he was 30.

          The teacher saw that it was difficult for Sakkaki with studies and said:

– I see it is difficult for you to get knowledge. Maybe you are past the age of education.

Then he began to teach him the matters of Imam al-Shafi’s madhhab, and he said to him:

– Our sheikh says that the skin of a dog becomes halal after processing. Repeat it! Revise it!

Sakkaki revised that phrase several times, and the next day the teacher asked Sakkaki:

– Tell me about the matter that we discussed yesterday.

Sakkaki hurried and said:

– The dog said that the sheikh’s skin becomes halal after processing.

The students sitting around started laughing. Having seen that the teacher began to teach them other sciences. So Sakkaki studied at the madrasah with difficulty for ten years. Seeing that he was not able to reach the top of the knowledge even after 10 years, he left the madrasah, deciding to live in the valleys and mountains. One day when he was sitting at the slopes of the mountain, he paid attention to the falling drops of the water. The drops were falling on a large rock, and the water carved a deep hole on it, and it was flowing through the hole. He got instructive conclusion from it. Then he returned to the madrasah for the second time with a strong conviction: “It can’t be so that my heart is harder than that stone, and my brain must not be hardened. What blocks me from getting knowledge?” As he strived to the gates of knowledge, Allah opened those gates for him. He achieved the honor and respect higher than the most respected scholars and great men of that day. May Allah reward him with the great gardens in His paradise, for the great scientific heritage he left for us.

Sakkaki wrote several books in Arabic, and the most famous of them are the books “Miftahul ulum” and “Kitabut tibyan”. These books are unique in the science of balagat (eloquent Arabic language). This book will always be in need of both Arab linguists and religious scholars. His books are an important source in the science of discussion. The most popular of his books are:

– “Miftahul ulum” is the first work of Sakkaki written in Arabic;

– “Kitabut Jamal” is the commentary to the book of Jurjani “Jamal”;

– “Kitabut tibyan” is the book where Arabic grammar rules were written in Arabic language;

– “Tilsim” was written in Persian language;

– “Risala fiy ilmil munazora” was written in Arabic language.

Ozoda Mahkamova,
Teacher of the chair of “Languages”

Translated by S.Valieva

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