Shaykh Abdur-Rahman ibn Yusuf Mangera is a British Muslim scholar educated in both the Islamic and Western traditions. He memorised the Qur’an by heart and graduated from the Darul Uloom seminary Bury, UK, and later earned a specialized licence to issue fatwa (legal responses) at Mazahir ‘Ulum Saharanpur, India. He earned his BA from the University of Johannesburg and completed his MA and PhD in Islamic Studies from the School of Oriental and African Studies in London. He holds an honorary fellowship at the Cambridge Muslim College and at The Royal Aal al-Bayt Institute for Islamic Thought, Amman, Jordan. Shaykh Abdur-Rahman has the unique experience of serving as an imam in Muslim communities on both sides of the Atlantic, eight years in Southern California and over five in the great city of London—and his continued work as an international speaker and lecturer enables him to address and offer pertinent advice on current challenges that face Muslims in the West. He is the founder of Whitethread Institute, a post-graduate insititute for Islamic scholars. He is an avid traveller and continues to teach hadith and work on scholarly publications through White Thread Press (www.whitethreadpress.com). Many of his lectures are available on www.zamzamacademy.com and his courses through Rayyan Institute (www.rayyaninstitute.com).
(updated June 2017)
Dr. Mufti Abdur-Rahman ibn Yusuf Mangera has been studying the traditional Islamic sciences and writing scholarly works for most of his life. He completed the bulk of his studies at Darul Uloom Bury, North England, where he memorized the Qur’an by age fifteen and thereafter went on to complete a rigorous, six-year Shari‘a program. He graduated from this program with authentic certifications (ijaza) in numerous Islamic disciplines, including Arabic, Islamic jurisprudence, and hadith (with particular emphasis on the six authentic books of hadith (Sihah Sitta) and the Muwattas of Imam Malik and Imam Muhammad). His teachers at Darul Uloom Bury included Shaykh Yusuf Motala and other students of Shaykh al-Hadith Mawlana Muhammad Zakariyya Kandhlawi (may Allah have mercy on him).
After graduating, the Shaykh traveled to South Africa, where he attended Madrasah Zakariyyah part-time to gain specialized training in answering legal questions (ifta’) under Mufti Rada al-Haq. While in South Africa, he also completed a B.A. with honors in Islamic studies at Rand Afrikaans University, Johannesburg, under Professor Abdur-Rahman Doi, PhD.
He then traveled to Syria, where he received a second certification in Qur’anic recitation and memorization, this time from Shaykh ‘Abd al-Razzaq al-Halabi, who possessed a short, unbroken chain of transmission (sanad) to the Messenger of Allah (Allah bless him and give him peace) in this subject. He also received a certification from Shaykh Adib Kallas after reading Mulla ‘Ali al-Qari’s Sharh al-Fiqh al-Akbar and attending lectures on other classical texts of Islamic creed (‘aqida).
He spent the following year in Mazahir Uloom, Saharanpur, India, where he received formal authorization to issue fatwa (legal responses), which required a close study of part or all of a number of classical jurisprudential texts, including, among others, Ibn Nujaym’s Al-Ashbah wa ’l-Naza’ir and ‘Allama Haskafi’s Al-Durr al-Mukhtar (along with its commentary, Radd al-Muhtar, by ‘Allama Ibn ‘Abidin al-Shami). During this time, Mufti Abdur-Rahman also attended classes on the principles of hadith (usul al-hadith), studying ‘Allama Lakhnawi’s Al-Raf‘ wa ’l-Takmil fi ’l-Jarh wa ’l-Ta’dil and parts of Imam Suyuti’s Tadrib al-Rawi.
The shaykh acquired additional certifications in hadith from such great scholars as Shaykh Muhaddith Habib al-Rahman al-A‘zami (through his student Shaykh Mufti Zayn al-‘Abidin), Shaykh Abu ’l-Hasan ‘Ali Nadwi, Shaykh Muhammad al-‘Awwama, and Shaykh Yunus Jawnpuri. May Allah continue to bless those of his teachers who are still alive and have mercy on those who have passed on to the next life.
After studies abroad, the Shaykh spent eight years as Imam of the mosque in Santa Barbara California and then returned to the UK and spent over five years as Imam at a mosque in London.
Also, after returning to the UK, the Shaykh completed his MA and PhD in Islamic Studies from the School of Oriental and African Studies in London. In 2013 he was awarded an honorary fellowship at the Cambridge Muslim College and in 2016 at The Royal Aal al-Bayt Institute for Islamic Thought in Amman, Jordan.
The Shaykh has been selected for inclusion in The Muslim 500: The Most Influential Muslims in the World 2017 edition. The Muslim 500: The World’s Most Influential Muslims is an annual compilation published by The Royal Islamic Strategic Studies Institute and is affiliated with the Royal Aal al-Bayt Institute for Islamic Thought headquartered in Amman, Jordan.
He is honoured to teach parts of Sahih al-Bukhari and Sahih Muslim at Imam Zakariyya Academy in London, along with books of the Ifta Specialisation Program at Whitethread Institute, while he continues to work on scholarly publications through White Thread Press (www.whitethredpress.com). Some of his fatwas and lectures can be found at www.zamzamacademy.com.
To date, Mufti Abdur-Rahman has written
(1) Fiqh al-Imam: Key Proofs in Hanafi Fiqh (1996),
(2) Provisions for the Seekers (2005), a translation and commentary of the Arabic work Zad al-Talibin, a small collection of short hadiths compiled by Mawlana ‘Ashiq Ilahi from ‘Allama Tabrizi’s Mishkat al-Masabih,
(3) Prayers for Forgiveness: Seeking Spiritual Enlightenment through Sincere Supplication (2004), a translation of Al-Istighfarat al-Munqidha min al-Nar, a collection of seventy prayers for forgiveness transmitted from Hasan al-Basri,
(4) Imam Abu Hanifa’s Al-Fiqh al-Akbar Explained (2007), a translation of Al-Fiqh al-Akbar along with Abu ’l-Muntaha al-Maghnisawi’s commentary and selections from ‘Ali al-Qari’s commentary, including Abu Hanifa’s Kitab al-Wasiyya,
(5) Salat & Salam: In Praise of Allah’s Most Beloved (2007), a manual of blessings and peace upon the Prophet Muhammad (Allah bless him and give him peace),
(6) Co-authored Reflections of Pearls (2005),
(7) Revised, edited and annotated the translation of Imam Ghazali’s Beginning of Guidance (Bidayat al-Hidaya) (2010),
(8) Revised and edited Shaykh Abu’l-Hasan Ali al-Nadwi’s Saviours of Islamic Spirit (Vol. 1) (2015),
(9) Edited and illuminated Mulla ‘Ali al-Qari’s collection of prophetic prayers Al-Hizb al-A’zam (The Supreme Daily Remembrance) (2015).