Before presenting some information about Shaikh Mahmoud Rankousi and his life, May Allah have mercy on him, an important comment must be made about his impact on my life and on the lives on most of those who got to know him.
The Islamic nation abounds, walhamdu lillaah, with righteous scholars that have been outstandingly good models for their students and aquaintances, and I have known quite a few and respect them deeply. When I reflect about Shaikh Mahmoud, I find features that make him belong in a very special class.
The more I got to know him, and the more I got to knowing Islam, I kept seeing how EVERY action of his was derived from the Quran or the Sunnah, and if no text was available from these sources, he would be acting according to some "weak" hadeeth. This "real life" example of the Sunnah had a singular feature about it: It had a simplicity and "beauty" that forced on me, time after time, a feeling of deep acceptance and tranquility. The way he "lived" the Sunnah clarified its beauty and validity more than can ever be explained in books. Furthermore, I used to ask him frequently about subjects of controversy or hardship, and each time he would answer, I would be surprised to realize the same feeling of deep acceptance inside me, and find myself thinking: If the Prophet salla Llaahu `alaihi wa sallam was present today, and was asked about this, he would undeniably have given this answer.
Sheikh Mahmoud Biography :
Shaikh Mahmoud Rankousi was born in 1329 Hi, 1910 AD, in Rankous, a village 45 km North West of Damascus. His family descended from the tribe of al Ansaar: the "supporters" who supported the Prophet salla Llaahu `alaihi wa sallam and his companions who migrated from Maccah to Madeenah ("al Muhaajireen"). He once told us that one of his righteous ancestors had an unusual ability to "perceive" by touching, so he was called "Ba`youn" (the person with eyes), which became his family name. Shaikh Mahmoud's mother died when he was 2 years of age. His youth was exceptionally protected by Allaah Ta`aala from what otherwise would be considered normal straying or mistakes. His father, Shaikh Qasim Ba`youn was a righteous man. He took special care of his son, and enlisted him in the Quranic memorization class. Shaikh Mahmoud memorized the Quran when he was 5 years old.