His name and lineage:
He is the Shaykh, the Allāmah, the Muhaddith, Rabī’ ibn Hādī ibn ‘Umayr al-Madkhalī (may Allah preserve him) – from the well-known tribe “Al-Madākhilah” in the region of Jīzān in the South of Saudi Arabia.
He was born in Jirādiyah, a small village 3km west of the city of Sāmitah, which has now merged with the city. His birth took place in the end of 1351AH, and his father passed away close to one-and-a-half years after his birth, so he grew up and developed in the house of his mother (may Allah have mercy upon her). So she overlooked his upbringing and she carried out his tarbiyah (cultivation) in the best manner, and she taught him praiseworthy manners such as truthfulness and trustworthiness, she encouraged him with the prayer, enjoining it upon him, with the supervision of his uncle.
His Start in Knowledge:
When the Shaykh reached 8 years of age, he joined the circles of knowledge in the village. He learned writing and reading, and from those who taught him writing was Shaykh Shaibān Al-‘Arīshi, and also the Judge, Ahmad Ibn Muhammad Jābir Al-Madkhalī, and also he learned to write at the hands of a third person by the name of Muhammad Ibn Husain Makkī from the city of Sibyā’. He also read the Qur’an upon Ash-Shaykh Muhammad Ibn Muhammad Jābir Al-Madkhalī, just as he recited upon him Tawhīd and Tajwīd, and he also read at the Salafī School of Sāmitah City after that.
Some of those upon whom he read and the books:
The Shaykh, the ‘Ālim, and the Faqīh: Nāsir Khalūfah Tayyāsh Mubārakī (rahimahullāh) – the famous scholar from the senior students of Ash-Shaykh Al-Qar’āwi – and he (Shaykh Rabī’) studied with him the books: Al-Bulūgh Al-Marām and Nuzhatun-Nadhr of Al-Hāfidh Ibn Hajr.
Then after that he joined The Academy of Knowledge in Sāmitah, and there he studied with a number of noble scholars, and from the most well-known of them was without a doubt, Ash-Shaykh Hāfidh Ibn Ahmad Al-Hakamī – the famous scholar (rahimahullāh) – and he likewise studied with his brother; the virtuous Shaykh, Muhammad Ibn Ahmad Al-Hakamī. He also studied at the hands of the Shaykh, the ‘Allāmah, the Muhaddith, Ahmad Ibn Yahya An-Najmi (rahimahullāh), and he also studied ‘Aqīdah at the school with the Shaykh, the ‘Allāmah, Dr Muhammad Amān Ibn Alī Al-Jāmi (rahimahullāh).
Likewise, he studied Fiqh with the Shaykh, the Faqīh, Muhammad Saghīr Khamīsī (studying the book Zād Al-Mustaqni’), and other than these there are many others with whom the Shaykh studied Arabic, etiquette, eloquence, and poetry and prose. And, towards the end of 1380AH, with some determination, he graduated from the Academy of Knowledge of Sāmitah City. And in the beginning of 1381AH, he joined the Faculty of Sharī’ah in Riyādh and stayed there for a month or two – but then opened the Islamic University of Al-Madīnah An-Nabawiyyah, so he moved to Madīnah and joined the Faculty of Sharī’ah at the Islamic University, and he studied there for four years before graduating in the year 1384AH with the grade: Mumtāz (Excellent).
And from those the Shaykh studied under in the Islamic University were:
- The Eminent Shaykh, Al-‘Allāmah, The Grand Mufti of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia: ‘Abdul-‘Azīz Ibn ‘Abdullāh Ibn Bāz (rahimahullāh) and from that which he studied with him was Al-‘Aqīdah At-Tahāwiyyah.
- The Virtuous Shaykh, the ‘Allāmah, the Muhaddith, Muhammad Nāsirud-Dīn Al-Albānī (rahimahullāh) and he studied Hadīth and chains of transmission with him.
- The virtuous Shaykh, the ‘Allāmah, ‘Abdul-Muhsin Al-‘Abbād, and he studied with him Fiqh for three years at the beginning of his studies.
- The virtuous Shaykh, the ‘Allāmah, the Hāfidh, the Mufassir, the Muhaddith, the Scholar of Usūl, the grammarian, the linguist, the Faqīh, the genius, Muhammad Al-Amīn Ash-Shanqīti – famous for his book Al-Adhwa’ Al-Bayan – and he studied with him Tafsīr, and the Foundations of Fiqh, for the period of 4 years.
- Shaykh Sālih Al-‘Irāqī with whom the Shaykh studied ‘Aqīdah.
- The Shaykh, the Muhaddith, ‘Abdul-Ghaffār Hasan Al-Hindī with whom the Shaykh studied the Sciences of Hadīth and Terminologies (i.e. Mustalah).
And after his graduation he worked as a teacher in the Ma’had of the Islamic University for a period, then he embarked after that upon Higher Education and continued his studies before attaining his “Masters Certificate” in the area of Hadith at the Makkah branch of the King ‘Abdul-Azīz University in 1397AH with his famous thesis: “Between the Two Imāms: Muslim and Ad-Daruqutni.” In 1400AH he completed his PhD Doctorate at the same university, attaining the grade “Mumtāz (Excellent)”, with his checking of “An-Nukat ‘Ala Kitab Ibn Salah” – the book of Al-Hāfidh Ibn Hajr (rahimahullāh). Thereafter he returned to the University of Madīnah to teach in the Faculty of Noble Hadith, where he taught Hadith and its various Sciences, and he likewise presided over the (Higher Education) Department of Sunnah many times. He then attained the rank of “Professor” – may Allah preserve him upon health and safety and good actions.
His Characteristics and Mannerisms:
The Shaykh (may Allah preserve him) excels in abundant humility with his brothers, students, those who travel to visit him, and his visitors. Likewise, he is humble as regards his home, his clothes, and his vehicle – he does not like luxury in any of that. He also is constant in advice, he is good-natured, and the one who sits with him does not become bored whilst conversing with him. His sittings are taken up with the reading of Hadīth and Sunnah, and with an abundant warning from innovations and their people, such that the one who sees him and does not know him or associate with him, imagines that nothing occupies him except this. He loves the Salafi students of knowledge, and he honours them and treats them with goodness, and he tries to fulfil their needs to the best ability of himself and his wealth, and his house is always open to the students of knowledge such that there is not a day when he eats his breakfast, his lunch, or his dinner alone – and he looks after his students and cares for them. He is from the callers who are zealous over the Book and the Sunnah and the Creed of the Salaf, and he is filled with protective jealousy and intense concern over the Sunnah and the Salafī ‘Aqīdah. Few are seen like him in this time and he is from the defenders in this time of ours of the Manhaj of the Pious Predecessors – in the night and in the day, in secret and in public – for Allah’s sake – regardless of that which comes to him from the blame of the blamers.
There are many of these (and all praise is due to Allah), and the Shaykh (may Allah preserve him) has hammered on doors – so long as there was a need for that – in specific refutation of the People of innovation and desires of this time, wherein those who make mischief are many and the righteous ones are few. Here are some of his authorship:
- “Bainal-Imāmain Muslim Wad-Daruqutnī” – “Between the Two Imams: Muslim and Ad-Dar Qutni.” And this was one large volume which was the thesis of his Magistrates degree.
- “An-Nukat ‘Ala Kitāb Ibn Salāh” – “Points Upon the Book of Ibn Salāh.” Published in 2 volumes and it was his PhD thesis.
- “Manhajul-Anbiyā’ Fid-Da’wah IlAllāh Fīhī Al-Hikmah Wal-‘Aql” – “The Methodology of the Prophets in Calling to Allāh: In it was Wisdom and Intellect”
- “Manhaj Ahlus-Sunnah Fī Naqd Ar-Rijāl Wal-Kutub Wat–Tawā’if” – “The Methodology of The People of Sunnah in Criticism of Men, Books, and Groups.”
- “Kashf Mawqif Al-Ghazālī Min As-Sunnah Wa-Ahlihā” – “Exposing Ghazālī’s Position Regarding the Sunnah and Its People.”
- “Makānatu Ahlil-Hadīth” – “The Position of the People of Hadīth”
- “Manhaj Al-Imām Muslim Fī Tartībi Sahīhihī” – “Al-Imām Muslim’s Method in Ordering his Sahīh.”
- “Adhwā’ Islāmiyyah ‘Alā ‘Aqīdah Sayyid Qutb wa Fikarihī” – “The Illumination of Islām Regarding the Creed of Sayyid Qutb and his Ideas.”
- “Matā’in Sayyid Qutb fī As-hābi Rasūlillāh SallAllāhu Alaihi wa Sallam” – “The Slanders of Sayyid Qutb Upon the Companions of the Messenger of Allāh (H).”
- “Al-Hadd Al-Fāsil Bainal-Haqq Wal-Bātil” – “The Distinct Seperation Between Truth and Falsehood,” which was part of critical dialogue between him and Bakr Abū Zaid
- “Jamā’ah Wāhidah Lā Jamā’āt; Wa Sīrat Wāhid Lā ‘Asharāt” – “One Jamā’ah – Not Many Jamā’ahs; and One Path – Not Tens of Paths,” which was part of a critical dialogue with ‘Abdur-Rahmān ‘Abdul-Khāliq.
And the Shaykh has many other books other than the ones we have mentioned here, and our brother Khālid Ibn Dhahwī Adh-Dhafīrī has gathered their names and a brief synopsis of each of them in his book “Thabt Mu’allafāt Ash-Shaykh Rabī’ Ibn Hādī Al-Madkhalī”, and you can find this on the website of Shaykh Rabī’.
And we ask Allāh, the Most High, to preserve him to complete this goodly mission, and that he gives him success to attain that which Allāh loves and is pleased with, for indeed Allāh is the Guardian of that, and is All-Able over it.
The above was translated and adapted by Abdullāh Ibn Abdul-Wāhid Alam (From the biography of the Shaykh found on rabee.net)
Praise of the Scholars for Shaikh Rabī’ Ibn Hādī Al-Madkhalī:
1. The Praise of the Noble Faqīh, al-‘Allāmah, Shaikhul-Islām, ‘Abdul-‘Azīz Ibn Bāz (rahimahullāh)
Shaikh Abdullāh al-Ahmarī said: I asked our Shaikh Ibn Bāz (rahimahullāh) over fourteen years ago, “O our Shaikh! Shaikh Rabī’ criticises so-and-so and so-and-so and he criticises the callers.” So Shaikh Ibn Bāz responded:
“Fear Allāh! The man is an Imām in the Sunnah!” 
On an occasion Shaikh Rabī’ delivered a lecture to the students of Shaikhul-Islām Ibn Bāz (rahimahullāh), entitled Holding Fast to the Salafi Manhaj. After the lecture, Shaikh Ibn Bāz himself delivered a short lecture beginning by saying :
“We have just heard this blessed and excellent lecture from the Noble Shaikh Rabī’ bin Hādī al-Madkhalī in the subject of holding fast to the Book and the Sunnah and warning from opposing them – and a warning from the causes of division, differing and fanaticism towards following of desires. So the Shaikh has done well, and has excelled in virtue and has benefitted [the people], so may Allāh reward him with good and multiply his reward.”
2. The Praise of the Noble Shaikh, al-‘Allāmah, al-Muhaddith, Muhammad Nāsir ad-Deen al-Albānī (rahimahullāh)
Shaikh al-Albānī (rahimahullāh) said:
“In summary I say: The flag-bearer today in this era in the field of Al-Jarh wat-Ta’dīl in truth is our brother Doctor Rabī’ – and those who refute him, do not do so upon based upon knowledge, ever!..” 
3. The Praise of the Noble Shaikh, al-‘Allāmah, al-Faqīh, Muhammad bin Sālih al-‘Uthaimīn (rahimahullāh)
Shaikh Ibn ‘Uthaimīn (rahimahullāh) stated:
“Indeed we praise Allāh, free is He from all imperfections, the Most High, that He makes it easy for our brother, the Doctor, Rabī’ bin Hādī al-Madkhalī to visit this region, [so that] the one to whom certain matters are not apparent may come to know that our brother, may Allāh grant us and him success, is upon Salafiyyah, the way of the Salaf. And I do not mean here that Salafiyyah is a hizb (partisan group) which is set up to oppose the Muslims outside of it, but I mean by Salafiyyah, that he (i.e. Shaikh Rabī’) is upon the path of the Salaf in his methodology. Especially in the field of actualising Tawheed (Monotheism) and throwing aside what opposes it. And all of us know that Tawheed is the basis for which Allāh sent the Messengers, upon them be peace and prayers. The visit of our brother, Shaikh Rabī’ bin Hādī to this region, our city, Unaizah, no doubt will have a good effect and it will also become clear to many of the people what used to be hidden from them due to the scare-mongering and rumour-mongering and also letting loose the tongues [of discord]. And how numerous are those who are remorseful about what they said concerning the scholars, when it becomes clear to them that they (the scholars) are upon the truth.”
Then Shaikh Ibn ‘Uthaimīn was asked: “There is a question concerning the books of Shaikh Rabī’? (i.e what is your opinion concerning them?)” So the Shaikh (rahimahullāh) responded:
“It is apparently clear that this question is not in need of my answer. And just as Imām Ahmad was asked about Ishāq bin Rāhooyah (died 238AH) and he replied, ‘Someone like me is asked about Ishāq?! Rather, Ishāq is to be asked about me.’ And I spoke at the beginning of my speech about that which I know about Shaikh Rabī’, may Allāh grant him success, and what I mentioned has never ceased to be what I hold about him in my soul, up until this time. And his arrival here and his words that have reached me, then no doubt, they are such that they will increase a person in his love for him and in his supplication for him.” 
4. The Praise of the Noble Shaikh, al-‘Allāmah, al-Muhaddith, Muqbil bin Hādī al-Wādi’ī (rahimahullāh)
Shaikh Muqbil (rahimahullāh) stated:
“I advise you to ask Shaikh Rabī’ bin Hādī, may Allāh preserve him. A great deal of his life has passed with [dealing with] al-Ikhwān al-Muslimīn. He is the most knowledge person concerning them and their realities, and the true nature of the Jama’āt (misguided groups). I do not ask from you that you blindly follow Shaikh Rabī’, but that you should benefit from his knowledge. I do not say to you: Seek fatāwā from Mahmūd al-Haddād, nor from Farīd Mālik – rather seek fatāwā from a righteous man (i.e. Shaikh Rabī’), a scholar from the noble scholars – one who has made considerable inroads [in exposing] al-Ikhwān al-Muslimīn.” 
He (rahimahullāh) also said:
“From the most insightful of people concerning the [misguided] groups and their taints in this era is the brother, Shaikh Rabī’ bin Hādī, may Allāh preserve him. Whomever he declares to be a hizbī, then it will be unveiled [and made clear] for you after some days that he is indeed a hizbī. So remember this..” 
When Shaikh Muqbil al-Wādi’ī (rahimahullāh) was asked regarding the speech of Shaikh Rabī’ al-Madkhalī against ahlul-Bid‘ah, he responded:
“[Even] if I am disparaged by Rabī’, then take his speech!” 
5. The Praise of the Noble Shaikh, al-‘Allāmah, al-Muhaddith, al-Faqeeh, Ahmad bin Yahyah an-Najmī (rahimahullāh)
Shaikh Ahmad an-Najmī (rahimahullāh) stated regarding Shaikh Rabī’:
“He is a Shaikh from ahlus-Sunnah, from those who propagate the Sunnah and wage war against innovations. He is man who is a carrier of the Sunnah, from those who defend the Sunnah and Tawhīd. Whoever hates him, indeed hates the Sunnah and whoever flees from him, flees from the Sunnah.” 
6. The Praise of the Noble Shaikh, al-‘Allāmah, al-Faqīh, ‘Ubaid bin Abdillāh al-Jābirī (hafidhahullāh)
Shaikh ‘Ubaid, may Allāh preserve him, was asked: “What is your opinion concerning the one who says: Shaikh Rabī’ attacks the shaikhs, the scholars and the callers to Islām?” Shaikh ‘Ubaid responded:
“Shaikh Rabī’ is a standard-bearer, strong, elevated – a flag-bearer of the Sunnah. The great scholars and Imāms have born witness for him, commended him and praised him. So it is not befitting that the likes of me are asked concerning him, may Allāh preserve him. However since now I have been asked, then I am compelled to answer.
So his eminence, al-Imām, the father, the great Scholar, al-Atharī, the Jurist, Shaikh ‘Abdul-‘Azīz bin Bāz (rahimahullāh) commended him. Al-Imām, al-Faqīh (the Jurist), al-Mujtahid, al-‘Allāmah Shaikh Muhammad bin ‘Uthaimīn (rahimahullāh) commended him. Al-Imām, the Scholar of hadīth of this era without dispute, Nāsirud-Deen al-Albānī (rahimahullāh) commended him and and described him by saying that he is the carrier of the banner of al-Jarh and at-Ta’dīl in this age. And the banner that Shaikh Rabī’ raises high is his Jihād for ahlus-Sunnah and his defense of the Sunnah and its people – and this is a thorn in the chests of the innovators till this day, and all praise is for Allāh – the banner has not become lowly, or become soft and weak, nor has it relapsed. So with this it will become clear to you that this statement that was encompassed in the question emanates from two types of people. [Firstly] a group that has no insight, knowledge or expertise regarding what takes place around them – this one merely utters what is said to him. As for the other group, they are the heads of this misguided, deviant ideology that opposes the Sunnah – Shaikh Rabī’ splits them open! Their throats are choked. That which Shaikh Rabī’, may Allāh preserve him, has written has choked their throats – his refutation upon the Qutubees and other than them; from that which he has written regarding Sayyid Qutb – his exposition of Qutb’s deviations, ignorance and misguidance – and that which he has clarified of the truth for one who seeks the truth. So do not be surprised or shocked by what they say [regarding Shaikh Rabī’]. Indeed Shaikh Rabī’ never ever criticises a caller to Allāh who is upon sure-sighted knowledge, and he is not harmed by him in the least. Rather Shaikh Rabī’ is alongside his brothers and his children from the Muslims in general, and the students of knowledge in particular, he guides them, advises them and keeps them upon the right way – he teaches and removes doubts for the one who is presented with them. This is what is known to me regarding him up until now, may Allāh preserve him.” 
FOOTNOTES: See An-Naqulāt as-Salafiyyah fir-Radd ‘alat-Tā’ifatil-Haddādiyyah, (51).  See Majmū’ Kutb wa Rasā’il wa Fatāwā Shaikh Rabī’ bin Hādī al-Madkhalī, vol. 1, p. 501.  Al-Jarh and at-Ta’dīl is the science of “Disparagement and Praise” of individuals and sects for the purpose of preservation and protection of the Religion from corrupt sayings, false ascriptions and alien doctrines. It involves distinguishing the people from those whom knowledge and narration can be accepted and from those whom it cannot, and if not, why not. Imām Muslim Ibn al-Hajjāj (died 261AH, rahimahullaah), the author of the well-known sahīh Muslim stated in the beginning of this book:
“Chapter: The obligation of narrating from the trustworthy and abandoning the liars – and warning from telling lies upon Allāh’s Messenger (salallaahu ‘alaihi wassallam).”
Then he went on to write:
“You should know, may Allāh grant you success, that it is obligatory upon everyone to know the difference between the authentic and weak reports – and between the trustworthy narrators and accused narrators – not to narrate any report except if it’s authenticity is known and the honesty of the narrators established. And to avoid those reports that are carried by those who have been accused and those are obstinate and stubborn upon innovations.”
He then narrated from Ibn Seereen (rahimahullaah):
“Indeed, this knowledge is Religion, so look [and investigate] from whom you are taking your Religion.” (no. 26).
He further narrated from Ibn Sīrīn (rahimahullaah):
“They used not to ask concerning the chain of narration, but when the tribulations struck, they would ask: Name us your men! So they would look towards ahlus-Sunnah and take their reports – and they would look towards ahlul-Bid‘ah and not take their reports.” (No. 27).
So the science of al-Jarh and at-Ta’dīl stretches back to the time of Prophethood and it is established in the Religion as a means of preservation and protection from the imprecise, the liars, the untrustworthy, the forgers and the innovators. May Allāh reward the Imāms of this noble science. This audio recording of this statement and the previous one with English translation can be found at www.themadkhalis.com.  See Fadā’ih wa Nasā’ih of Shaikh Muqbil, (p. 126).  Cassette: al-As’ilah as-Sunniyyah li ‘Allāmah ad-Diyār al-Yamaniyyah – questions from the young men of Tā’if.  Narrated by Abul-Hasan ar-Ramlī from Shaikh Muqbil in his second article in refutation of ‘Alī al-Halabī.  See al-Fatāwā al-Jaliyyah (1/30).  See Siyānatus-Salafī min Waswasati wa Talbisāt ‘Alī al-Halabī of Shaikh (p.327).