Born in Damascus on the 13th of Dhul Hijja, 1382 AH (1963 CE), Shaykh Sayyid Muhammad Abul Huda al-Yaqoubi is from a noble family of scholars.
Shaykh Muhammad’s father, Sayyid Ibrahim al-Yaqoubi, was one of the greatest scholars of The Levant in recent times. For over twenty years, Shaykh Muhammad studied over 500 works with his father, in the sciences of Qur’an, Hadith (Prophetic traditions), Fiqh (Jurisprudence), Mantiq (Logic) and many more. His father gave him full authority to narrate Hadith, to teach and to issue fatawa (legal rulings). He also received many other ijazat (licenses to teach) from the most prominent scholars of Syria such as: the Hanafi Mufti of Syria, Shaykh Muhammad Abul Yusr Abidin; the Maliki Mufti of Syria, Sayyid Makki al-Kittani; Shaykh Ali al-Boudaylimi of Tlemcen; Shaykh Salih al-Khatib; and Shaykh Abdul Aziz Uyun al-Sud.
In the summer of 1973 at the age of 11, Shaykh Muhammad started teaching a regular Qur’an and Tajwid class composed of a group of boys at the Darwishiyya Mosque in Damascus. He began giving public speeches in Ramadan after Asr prayer in the same mosque at the age of 12. At the age of 14, he made his debut as Friday speaker in the mosque known as al-Saadaat, where Sayyiduna Mu’adh ibn Jabal is buried. At the age of 17, he was appointed Friday Imam and speaker and as a teacher of the Sacred Knowledge at the age of 20. Since then, he has been teaching the Islamic sciences to students of all levels from all parts of the world. Shaykh Muhammad memorized Jawharat al-Tawhid when he was 5 years old, al-Arba’in al-Nawawiyya when he was 6, and later on, dozens of famous didactic odes and poems along with most of al-Qur’an al-Karim. He also memorized considerable parts of al-Mufaddaliyyaat and al-Hamasah of Abi Tammam.
He has travelled extensively and participated in conferences, delivered lectures and taught intensive programmes. Additionally, he has delivered Friday speeches in Lebanon, Egypt, Jordan, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, Algeria, Pakistan, Denmark, Finland, Sweden, Norway, Switzerland, Germany, France, Spain, Canada, the United States, Indonesia, Singapore, South Africa, Morocco and the UK. Over a thousand people have embraced Islam at his hands and many have repented after listening to him.
He currently resides in Damascus and is a public teacher at some of the most prestigious institutions there. He teaches Aqida (theology) at the Grand Umayyad Mosque; he holds the position of Jumu’a Khatib (Friday speaker) at the Jami’ alHasan Mosque; at the Mosque of Shaykh Muhyiddin Ibn Arabi, he teaches from al-Risalah of Imam al-Qushayri and al-Shama’il al-Muhammadiyyah of Imam alTirmidhi.
Shaykh al-Yaqoubi is notable for his role in giving important Khutbas critical of the Assad regime, early in the Syrian uprising from mosques in Damascus, and for being the first sheikh to issue a fatwa against the regime, for its violence against demonstrators and civilians. Shaykh al-Yaqoubi used to reside in Damascus and was a public teacher at some of the most prestigious institutions there. He taught Aqida (theology) at the Grand Umayyad Mosque and he held the position of Jumu’a Khatib (Friday speaker) at the Jami’ al-Hasan Mosque. Because of his position as a critic of Syrian President Bashar alAssad, Shaykh al-Yaqoubi was forced to flee the country soon after the 2011 revolution began, having called on the president to step down.
He recently signed a fatwa and letter to the leader of ISIS, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, (LetterToBaghdadi.com) affirming that it is a great sin for any Muslim to join ISIS. This letter has been co-signed by over 100 Muslim scholars. He has been an outspoken opponent of extremist groups and has called strongly for the protection of Christians, Alawites, Yazidis and other minorities.