عبدالله الخليفي – Sheikh Khulaifi
Sheikh ‘Abdullah al Khulaify (Rahimahullah)
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Sheikh Abdullah bin Muhammad bin Abdullah al-Khulaifi (may Allah have mercy on him) was imam and khateeb (one who gives khutbah) of Masjidul Haraam. He was born in the city of al-Bukairiya in 1333H, and was brought up in a household full of knowledge and deen. His father was a sheikh, a great scholar and a judge in the city.
Sheikh Abdullah Khulaifi was no more than fifteen years old when he memorised the Qur’an by heart. He started his duties as an imam by being assistant to his father in a mosque in al-Bukairiya, and then he transferred to the al-Namlah mosque in the same city, where his reputation became famous amongst the boys who wanted to pray behind him.
Some of the close to the late King Faisal bin Abdul Aziz (may Allah have mercy on him) have mentioned that the king ordered for Sheikh Khulaifi to be sent for, so that he could pray with him and so that he could have him as his special imam in Ta’if. That was in the early 1360’s (Hijri). He continued as imam in the palace for a period of two years, and then in 1365H king Faisal (may Allah have mercy on his soul) ordered his appointment as imam and khateeb of Masjidul Haraam. That was the first time that Salaatul Tahajjud was performed in congregation in Masjidul Haraam, in the last part of the night in the last ten days of Ramadhan, behind one imam. He continued like that until his death in 1414H.
As for his last hours, his son Abdur-Rahman bin Abdullah al-Khulaifi tells us: “We were in the al-Radf suburb of Ta’if after salaatul Asr on Monday 28th Safar 1414H. My father appeared normal and wasn’t complaining of any illness and didn’t have any symptoms. He sent me to the nearby market to get some supplies, and when I returned I found him straining and stressed. I asked him to come to the hospital with me, or at least to go and see a doctor, but he refused, and asked me to put out a mattress for him so that he could rest a little. He rested for about half an hour, then I asked him to come home with me, which he agreed to. He stood up, performed wudhu, and then sat with me in the car. As we were on the road heading home, the straining and stress returned and he vomited a number of times. While that was happening, he was reciting his daily supplications/recitations in a very faint voice, as it seemed like he was really wanting to. All of a sudden, he stopped saying anything, his breathing became shallow, his chest started to rattle and his eyes became fixed as if in a gaze, so I took him to king Faisal’s hospital in Ta’if, where the doctors informed me that he had died in the car before arriving at the hospital, i.e. before the Maghrib adhaan. That was the time he had frequently got ready for salaat with the congregation in Masjidul Haraam.”
He adds, “The following day Tuesday 29th Safar 1414H, his funeral prayer was performed after salaatul Asr in Masjidul Haraam by the door of the ka’bah – the same place he had led the people in prayer for nearly fifty years. He was buried in the al-Adl graveyard and his funeral prayer was performed one more time for those who were not able to perform the first prayer in Masjidul Haraam. We still remember him much, especially in Ramadhan, and especially when we hear Surah an-Noor (Allaahu noorus-samaawaati wal ard) which he frequently used to recite in salaatul Maghrib in the Haram. May Allah Ta’aala have mercy on him with His vast mercy.”
Surah An Nur verse 35