Success stories of Palestinian achievers from all over the world

Muhammad Said al-Jamal ar-Rifa'i

Personal Info

  • Country of residence: United States
  • Gender: Male
  • Born in: 1935
  • Age: 87
  • Curriculum vitae :


Sheikh Muhammad Saeed Al-Jamal Al-Rifai, nicknamed Abu Mahmoud (born on September 8, 1935 in Tulkarm, Palestine - died on November 11, 2015 in San Francisco, USA), Palestinian Muslim scholar, former imam and preacher of Al-Aqsa Mosque, the main teacher at Al-Aqsa Mosque until his death, and reciter The Qur’an in the mosque, and he is one of the central figures in the Al-Aqsa Mosque. He was the head of the Supreme Islamic Sufi Council in Jerusalem and the Palestinian territories, the deputy mufti of Palestine, and the Mufti of Jerusalem. He is one of the most prominent Sufi figures in the twentieth and twenty-first centuries. . His lineage goes back to the Prophet Muhammad , he is fluent in both Arabic and English, and he has a large number of books.


His upbringing and life

He is Sheikh Muhammad Saeed Mahmoud Hussein Al-Jamal Al-Rifai, his lineage goes back to the Prophet Muhammad, peace be upon him, from the side of Ali bin Abi Talib bin Fatima Al-Zahra. He was born in the Fuqaha neighborhood in the old town of Tulkarm in the West Bank on September 8, 1935. He studied and memorized the Qur’an in the neighborhood. Wahi al-Fuqaha is one of the historical religious neighborhoods in Palestine, which includes the elite of religious scholars. The neighborhood was brought out by several sheikhs, including Sheikh Maree Al-Karmi, Sheikh Ahmed bin Yahya Al-Karmi, Sheikh Ali bin Mansour Al-Karmi, the scholar Sheikh Saeed Al-Karmi and many others, and in the neighborhood there is a sacred Sufi Islamic corner.


At the beginning of his life, Sheikh Al-Jamal worked as a Sharia judge in a group of cities in Palestine and Jordan, then an administrative inspector for Sharia courts in the West Bank, responsible for the judiciary in Jerusalem and head of the Court of Judges. He headed the Supreme Islamic Sufi Council in Jerusalem and the Palestinian territories for many years. After the establishment of the Palestinian National Authority in 1994, the Council was re-established and formed with the support of Palestinian President Yasser Arafat, and Sheikh Al-Jamal was assigned to head the Council along with twelve other members.


Sheikh Al-Jamal has emerged remarkably internationally, and has established a number of Islamic corners and centers in several countries, in which dozens are taught. He also contributed to the dissemination of the Islamic religion and Sufi doctrine in the United States of America. The Shadhili Sufi Order derives its teachings from Sheikh al-Jamal, and a group of Islamic centers in several countries publish the teachings of Sheikh al-Jamal for the Shadhili method, including the Sufi Shazli Center in California.


Sheikh Al-Jamal and Israel

With Sheikh Al-Jamal being the central figure in Al-Aqsa Mosque, many incidents took place between him and the Israeli government. On January 9, 1986, the Israeli politician and mayor of Jerusalem Teddy Kollek called for the trial of the sheikh and preacher of Al-Aqsa Mosque on charges of inciting against an Israeli group of Knesset members while they were in the courtyard of Al-Aqsa Mosque. To them through loudspeakers to come to Al-Aqsa Mosque and defend it.” In 1987, the Israeli police forces in Jerusalem summoned him for interrogation after he issued a fatwa calling for not selling Palestinian land and property to non-Muslims.


During the first Al-Aqsa massacre in 1990, in which 21 Palestinians were killed and dozens wounded, the Israeli government officially accused the Al-Aqsa preacher, Sheikh Al-Jamal, of inciting Muslims against the Jews on the day of the massacre in the courtyards of Al-Aqsa Mosque. The Jews will ascend to Al-Aqsa Mosque to lay the cornerstone of the Temple.” At that time, Israel arrested both Sheikh Al-Jamal and Faisal Al-Husseini. On April 2, 2001, the Israeli forces demolished an educational building and a school under construction in the town of Al-Eizariya, near the city of Jerusalem, owned by Sheikh Al-Jamal.


his posts

Sheikh Al-Jamal participated in a number of local and international Islamic conferences around the world, including the “Arab Heritage Conference for Christians and Muslims in the Holy Land” in which he delivered his opening speech on August 2, 1990, and the “World Peace Conference” in San Francisco, USA on July 2 1999, in which he delivered a speech in which he affirmed “the right of the Palestinian people to establish their independent state in Jerusalem, with its capital.”


his recordings

Sheikh Muhammad Saeed Al-Jamal Al-Rifai has a large number of audio and video recordings.



Achievements and Awards

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