Here we present a short biography of our Shaykh, it is not the aim to produce an exhaustive piece of literature, rather, this is merely a brief overview of the Shaykh’s life.
Pir Muhammad Saqib bin Iqbal Shāmi (Hafizahullah) was born in Azad Kashmir in a well respected family frequently visited by Sufis and religious personalities. From an early age he showed fervour in following the Qur’an and Sunnah by spending time in seclusion reciting the Holy Book practising dhikrullah (remembrance of Allah), preaching about prayer and respect, relating the stories of the Prophets (upon them be peace) to his contemporaries, and being preoccupied with cleanliness and eating moderately. At a tender age he also enjoyed the company of Islamic mystics and often spent his time with Pir Walayat Hussain Shah, and Sufi Muhammad Shafi (ra), noted and respected members of the Kashmiri community. The latter, Sufi Muhammad Shafi (ra), was most notorious for his spirituality, often falling into wajd or spiritual ecstasy. Sufi Muhammad Shafee (ra)’s older brother Sufi Ghulam Nabi (ra) is resting peacefully in Jannat ul baqi, for which he prayed all his life and told his followers before he travelled for Hajj that he will not return to Pakistan because he will be buried in Madina al Munawwarah after his Hajj.
Pir Saqib Shāmi Sahib’s older brother Musharraf Iqbal passed away before Pir Sahibs birth. After the burial ceremony the grief-stricken mother was visited by Sufi Ghulam Nabi (ra), who encouraged and advised her that she should exercise patience for she was to witness a greater return for her unforgettable loss in the form of a son who will be a ALLAH WALA (from the people of Allah). Consequently within the short space of a year the mother was visited in her dream by Sufi Ghulam Nabi (ra) after his demise in Madina al Munawwarah, indicating to the glad tidings of the birth of her son and said “he will be a shining star”. The family was rewarded with the birth of a boy who was named Saqib which means a shining star.
After a childhood spent in rural Kashmir, his family migrated to England, where Pir Sahib started private studies in the Islamic Sciences. Wishing to further his studies he returned to Pakistan and completed Hifz (Memorisation of the Qur’an) in little more than eleven months. He then completed a one year Tajweed and Qiraat course in Jamia tul Furqan Rawalpindi.
At the age of 14 he returned to England and immediately placed himself under the guidance and tutelage of one of the most eminent scholars to have reached these shores, namely Sheikh Rasool Baksh Sa’idi. Pir Sahib began his Dars-e-Nizami course or Islamic Scholars Course.
After a period of study Pir Sahib read BA Law at Staffordshire University. On completion of the Dars-e-Nizami course he decided to further his Islamic studies abroad and chose Damascus, Syria. Whilst in Syria, Pir Sahib studied in Jamia Abu Noor and Jamia Fath al Islami in Takhassus fil Fiqh (specialisation in Islamic jurisprudence) where he benefited from some of the greatest scholars of Syria namely Shaykh Ramadhan al Booti, Shaykh Wali al Deen Farfoor and Shaykh Mustafa al Bugha. He also studied privately under great scholars in the region, most notably Sheikh Samir an-Nass and Shaykh Ussama Murad.
After the completion of his studies in Damascus Pir Sahib immediately set out to teach the sciences of Shari’ah (Islamic Law) in England. Many of the students who studied under him during this period benefited from him greatly and further pursued their studies in Syria and other places in the Arab world and also studied with Shaykh Rasool Bakhsh Saeedi and Mufti Yaar Muhammad. They are also teaching the sciences of Shari’ah in Birmingham.
In March 2003, Pir Muhammad Saqib Shāmi founded Kanz ul Huda after observing a need. He established the organisation on the classical sciences of Islam and tasawwuf (Islamic mysticism), and has since led many educational and social projects bringing long overdue change to communities in the UK and abroad. His expertise and experience in these fields has also led to significant recognition from local, national and international organisations, and he has been invited to become a standing member of advisory boards for these organisations. In his role as a member of the ‘Global Civility’ board of scholars after the cartoons debacle, his was one of the leading voices calling for reason and understanding. Pir Sahib is also leader of Tehreek-e-Ahle-Sunnat Britannia, responsible for organising a range of various activities and programmes for the Muslim community in the UK.
Pir Muhammad Saqib frequently delivers lectures in various cities of Pakistan and leads Umrah pilgrimage tours to Saudi Arabia for his students and there he is known to spend most of his time in Al-Madina al Munawwarah. It is in Al-Madina al Munawwarah where Pir Sahib initially met his Murshid, Baihaqee-e- Waqt Hazrat Allama Pir Mufti Manzur Ahmad Faizi (ra), and after pledging his allegiance he received Ijaza (permission) in the Chistiyya Faiziyya Sufi discipline. Pir Sahib also holds Ijazaat in the Qadri, Naqshbandi, Owaisi and Sabri Sufi disciplines from Shaykh Abdul Hakeem Sharf Qadri (ra), Shaykh Faidh Ahmad Uwaisi (Hafizahullah) and Shaykh Muhammad Ismaeel Ahmad Al Qadri (Hafizahullah).
At present Pir Muhammad Saqib Shāmi (Hafizahullah) is residing in his hometown of Birmingham, England where he is teaching the religious sciences daily through Kanz ul Huda and also holds weekly and monthly spiritual gatherings. His lectures are occasionally broadcast by Unity TV, QTV and DM digital on satellite TV networks and are available on DVD. Pir Sahib also frequently travels to Paris where he delivers lectures and holds monthly spiritual gatherings, as part of the expansion of Kanz ul Huda.