Shaykh Muhammad al-Yaqoubi (Syria)
Sheikh Muhammad Yaqoubi descends from a scholarly family whose lineage goes back to the Prophet, salla Allahu 'alayhi sallam, through his grandson Sayyiduna al-Hasan, radiya Allahu 'anhu. Shaykh Muhammad was born in Damascus on the 13th of DhulHijja in 1382 H. As a little boy, he crawled in the Grand Omayyad Mosque and the Darwishiyya Mosque, where his father was an instructor for 40 years, and sat in the laps of some of the greatest scholars. Since he was four-years-old, Shaykh Muhammad accompanied his father in all of his visits, gatherings, and classes, both public and private, as well as at home and outside. His father took care of him and was both his teacher and spiritual master. Under his tutelage, Shaykh Muhammad followed a solid traditional curriculum since the age of four, studying, step-by-step, the major classical works on the various disciplines of the Shari'ah as well as the instrumental disciplines. Shaykh Muhammad dutifully studied with his father over 500 books in the course of 20 years, some of them from cover-to-cover and others in portions; some are multi-volumes, and others are small concise works.
Some of the books Shaykh Muhammad studied under his father are as follows: most of the six books of Hadith, al-Muwatta of Yahya al- Laythi, most of al-Muwatta of Imam Muhammad with Sharh al-Laknawi, most of al-Muwaafaqaat of ash-Shaatibi, the first volume and other sections (of the five volumes) of al-Hashiya of Ibn 'Abideen, Ihya 'Ulum ad-Deen, al-Hidaya of al-Marghinani, Mughni al-Labeeb of Ibn Hisham, Parts of Kitab Seebawayhi, Miyar al-Ilm of al-Ghazali, several volumes of Sharh Sahih Muslim of an-Nawawi, several volumes of Irshad as-Saari of al-Qastallaani, half of Madarik at-Taweel of an-Nasafi, Hashiyat as-Saawi on Tafseer al-Jalaalayn, three volumes of Mu'jam Maqaayiis al-Lugha of Ibn Faaris, al-Bayaan wat-Tabyeen of al-Jaahiz, several volumes of Wafayaat al-Ayaan of Ibn Khallikaan, and Tabaqat ash-Shafi'iyya al-Kubraa of Ibn as-Subki, Maqamaat al-Hariri. In fact, Shaykh Muhammad wrote a thabat (detailed list) of the names of the books he studied under his father entitled, The Concealed Pearls. This book is a testament to his father's labor of love and of the expenditure of his energy in passing on his knowledge and experience to his children, a rarity in our modern times.
Throughout the years of his study, Shaykh Muhammad went through spiritual training in the Sufi path under his father, who was a great Waliy and Murshid known for his righteousness and asceticism. Shaykh Muhammad studied the major works of Tasawwuf under him, accompanied him, and was his servant, the bearer of his shoes, which he considers the key to the opening he received. The company of his father exposed him to a wealth of light, wisdom, and knowledge, an experience that was far beyond what one may attain from books or from occasional meetings with teachers.