He was born to pious parents in Samarra in 1914. He was raised by a family that is highly famed for piety, righteousness and interest in knowledge and good deeds. He attended small non-formal Quranic schools. He then moved on to a scholarly school run by Sheikh Ahmed Alrawi. He was awarded a license in Sharia education. Sheikh Abdulazeez has lived in a time characterized by special cultural social and political conditions. Sheikh Abdulazeez was born at the onset of World War I, a war which resulted in the British Occupation of Iraq and the end of the Ottoman Empire. This led to a nationwide armed popular uprising which saw the installation of the Hashemite Monarchy when Faisal I was installed as Iraq’s king. The sociopolitical scene remained turbulent until the coronation of Faisal II in 1953. This monarchy lasted until 1958, at which point the monarch was overthrown and a republic was proclaimed.
Sheikh Abdulazeez also lived in a time characterized by an erosion of the cultural life due to political instability especially when Iraq was under the British Administration. The new Iraqi nation-state suffered from a fragile economy in its first years, and schools were predominantly attended by the students of the rich families, politicians, insiders and those with connections to the British. These schools were mostly managed by the Iraq-based foreign missions. Despite hunger and poverty, Iraqis continued to send their children to religious non-formal schools and mosques. Over time, the number of schools increased, and eventually new universities were founded, such as Mosul University, Baghdad University, Mustansiriya University and Basrah University. Meanwhile, cultural and technological advancements continued, and man sent satellites into space. Sheikh Abdulazeez associated these events with the spiritual realities derived from the Quran and Prophetic Sunna, evidenced by Quranic Ayahs and Prophetic hadiths to make certain that Islam promotes knowledge instead of resisting it.
It is important to note that Sheuk Abdulazeez also lived in a period dominated by religious ignorance. Despite that, values of generosity had remained solid among the community full of honest and sincere people. Sheikh Abdulazeez held an important position within the local community, sharing with them the pleasing and sad days, thus guiding them to the right path.
Al-Samarrai had first wanted to move to Heet but was encouraged to settle in Fallujah, where he became a beacon of knowledge and morality. He served as a teacher and a preacher at Kadhum Basha Mosque, wrote books, and educated the local Fallujan community. The Sheikh’s dedication to the city of Fallujah contributed to the growth in student levels, and the number of students who became public servants, famous preachers, and university professors.
This abstract is an outline of a larger paper where there will be broader details about Sheikh Abdulzazeez Al-Samarra’I, covering his scholarly trips, career, his Sheikhs, students, and his publications.
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