Sheikh Ahmed Amin al-Antaki and his brother Muhammad Mar’i al-Antaki

Al-Antaki brothers, were Syrian Sunni Shafi’is born in French-occupied Syrian Antakya who abandoned Sunnism in favour of  Shia Islam. Ahmed Amin al-Antaki and his brother Muhammad Mar’i al-Antaki, studied for years at al-Azhar University under many prominent Sunni “scholars”. After returning to Syria from Egypt, their sermons and lectures gained such a popularity that Sheikh al-Antaki was offered a position of a qadi, Islamic judge, in the city of Hijaz by Abdulaziz ibn Saud. After travelling to “Saudi” Arabia and learning about Wahhabi beliefs, he turned down the offer and returned back to Syria where he became the highest religious authority in the city of Halab (Aleppo), being appointed to such high position by Sheikh Saed Areif, who was the head of the Islamic Council at the time.

 

After studying Shafi’ism further, he found many inconsistencies as well as deviant beliefs in the sect (refer to his book “The way I became Shia”). At the same time, reluctantly he started reading orthodox Islamic books, such as “al-Murājaʿāt (Arabic: المراجعات)” known as “The Right Path”, and “Abu Horayra” by Al-Sayyid ‘Abd al-Husayn al-Sharaf al-Din al-Musawi al-‘Amili, among many finding ridiculousness of religion by Abu Hurayra’s narrations such as that Prophet Musa (as) hit the face of the angel of death, made him and his brother accept Shia Islam. After their conversions, Sheikh Ahmed wrote a book “The way I became Shia”, where he outlines the exact procedure of how and why he converted. In the 1960’s, Sheikh Mohammed Mora’i al-Antaki also wrote an extensive apologetic book called “Why I chose the Shia school of thought”.