(2/3/1938 – 4/1/2003)
64 years of age
A well-known and respected ulama, Ustaz Syed Abdillah was born on Wednesday, 2 March 1938 (29 Zulhijjah 1356) in Singapore.He received his education at Madrasah Aljunied Al-Islamiah. Ustaz Syed Isa Semait, who was his contemporary, told this webmaster that Ustaz Syed Abdillah was a very intelligent student, who got promoted to a special class after the normal four years of secondary education. There were five students in his graduating cohort. Among them were Ustaz Abu Bakar Hashim and Ust Syed Isa Semait, the Mufti of Singapore. Unfortunately for Ustaz Syed Abdillah, due to lack of money, he could not afford to go overseas for his higher education.
Ustaz Syed Abdillah’s command of the Arabic language gained admiration from his peers and even though he was born in Singapore, native Yemenites were always impressed with his command of colloquial and classical Arabic, as though he had been born and raised in Yemen. This is due to the fact that after school hours, he helped out his uncle’s textile shop, where the only spoken language was colloquial Yemeni Arabic.
Ustaz Syed Abdillah applied for and obtained a position as a teacher with the Ministry of Education and in the early 1980s, he was tasked by the Ministry to set up the curriculum and write the textbook for Islamic Religious Knowledge. In that period this was set as a school subject, and was one of the components of Religious Studies introduced by the Ministry for the upper levels of secondary schools.
Later, Ustaz Syed Abdillah worked at the Islamic Religious Council of Singapore (Muis) until 1997, and in 1999, he was appointed as President of the Singapore Religious Teachers and Scholars Association (Pergas). In 2000, he was appointed as Principle of Madrasah Aljunied Al-Islamiah for one year. He was also one of the longest serving members of the Muis Fatwa Council, from the early 1970s to his death.
A prolific writer, Ustaz Syed Abdillah authored, co-authored and translated many books and wrote numerous articles and Friday sermons. Among his published works are the following:
- Asas Agama Islam: Pelajaran Tauhid & Fikah (Book 1 – 6)
- Asas Agama Islam: Pelajaran Akhlak & Sirah (Book 1 – 6)
- Al Asas Fil Loghatil Arabiah (Book 1 – 6)
- Hari Ini Dan Esok
- Sejarah Nabi hingga kerajaan Abbasiyah
- Ajarkan Anak-Anakmu Cintakan Rasulullah (s.a.w.)
- Jalan Yang Dekat – Bagi Pengikut Jalan Rujuk Kepada Tuhan
- Anugerah Tuhan – Dalam perkara kewajipan hamba kepada Tuhan
- Anda Bertanya Saya Menjawab
- Doa Dan Wirid
- Pelita Al-Quran, Juz 30
- Pelita Al-Quran, Al Baqarah
- Pelitan Al-Quran, Al-Imran & An-Nisaa
He died on Saturday, 4 January 2003 / 1 Zulqaedah 1423, at the age of 65.
May Allah bless his soul.