(His tomb is found in al-Mashayekh Mosque in Qaitbey)
He is the imam, jurist, hadith scholar, and poet—a descendant of the pious predecessors. He is the son of the Azhari scholar and great sheikh Ibrahim al-Khalil, the author of the book al-Marja’. His maternal grandfather was Sheikh Mahmud Abu ‘Alyan who was one of the students of the greatest Maliki sheikh of his time.
Mohammed Zaki Ibrahim was born in 1906 CE in the district of Bula` Abu al-‘Ula.
It is worthy to mention the story of how Sheikh Mohammed Zaki Ibrahim acquired his al-‘alalmiyya certificate from al-Azhar in his own words. He said,
“On the day of our exams, we (the students and the members of the examining committee) would offer the dawn prayer in al-Husayn Mosque. Afterwards, we would attend the lecture of Sheikh al-Samaluti which was also attended by scholars considering that they were themselves the sheikh’s students. Later, we would offer the duha (mid-morning) prayer in al-Azhar Mosque and then the students would proceed to several rooms in al-Riwaq al-Abbassi where the exams were held. Each student would enter a room carrying papers and books from which he would be examined. The head of the examining committee was Sheikh Abdul Majeed al-Labban, may Allah be pleased be him. [When it was my turn], I remained before the examining committee until the call to al-‘asr (late mid-afternoon) prayer at which time the exam ended with the Shafi’i invocations on the Prophet:
“O Allah! Send Your best prayers, equivalent to the number of Your knowledge, upon the happiest of creatures, our master Mohammed, and upon his Companions. And send the assistance of Your words whenever Your servants remember You and the heedless neglect to mention You. “
An exam that ended with this invocation signaled the student’s success and his earning of the al-Alamiyya al-Azhariyya certificate.
Seeking knowledge, Sheikh Mohammed Zaki Ibrahim drew upon the cultures of both the East and the West. He learned and mastered the English, French, German and Persian languages.
In addition to the education he received in the sciences of fiqh (jurisprudence), tafsir (Qur`anic exegesis), and hadith (Prophetic narrations), which he received at al-Azhar he also learned the science of hadith (riwaya and diraya) under the hadith scholars. He therefore became a narrator of hadith, through both written and oral teachings.
He left behind a great scholarly treasure (almost 100 books and treatises in religious sciences). He also left hundreds of researches and religious edicts, articles, speeches, and lectures, the most important of which are:
Abjadiyat al-Tassawuf al-Islami Fima Huwa Lahu wa ma Huwa Alayhi bayn A’da`ahu wa Ad’iya`ahu.
Usul al-Wusul: Adillatu Aham Ma’alem al-Sufiyya al-Haqqati min Sarih al-Kitab wa Sahih al-Sunna.
Fawatih al-Mafatih: al-Du’a` wa Shurutuhu wa Adabuhu wa Ahkamuhu.
Ahl al-Qibla Kuluhum Muwahadun in which he demonstrated that all Muslims proclaim the Oneness of Allah and that their mosques are those of monotheism. He maintained that there is no Muslim associates partners with Allah even if they are at times disobedient.
Hukm al-‘Amal bil Hadith al-Da’if: This book is about the permissibility of acting upon weak hadiths dealing with virtue with certain conditions mandated by hadith scholars.
Qadiyyat al-Imam al-Mahdy: This book asserts with rational and transmitted proofs that al-Mahdy is a real person whose time has not yet come.
Diwan al-Baqaya: A book of Sufi poetry as well as a great book on contemporary sociology.
Ismat al-Nabi wa Njat Abawayh was ‘Ammahu (Abu Taleb).
He died in 1998 C.E.