An early Sumatran religious teacher who was attached to the al-Mashhur school in Penang was Shaykh Muhammad Tahir Jalaluddin al-Azhari.
BIOGRAPHY: SHAYKH MUHAMMAD TAHIR JALALUDDIN AL-AZHARI
He was born in 1869, near Bukit Tinggi in Sumatra. In 1881 (aged 12), he went to study in Makkah for 12 years (1881-93) and came to Penang. In 1897 (aged 28), he went to Egypt to study astronomy (Ilmu Falaq) at al-Azhar University for three years (1897-99). Upon completing his degree, he returned to Penang, Malaya in 1899 (aged 30).
Shaykh Muhammad Tahir Jalaluddin, together with Sheikh Mohamed Salim al-Kalili, Haji Abbas Mohamed Tahar and Syed Shaykh al-Hady, founded the magazine Majalah al-Imam on 23 July 1906. Later, he contributed writings to Syed Shaykh al-Hady’s magazine al-Ikhwan (1926) and initially weekly and later biweekly newspaper Saudara (29 September 1928).
A photograph of the young Shaykh Muhammad Tahir (undated) was probably taken in 1893 or 1899.
|Shaykh Muhammad Tahir circa 1893-99, aged 24-30.|
Shaykh Muhammad Tahir Jalaluddin was photographed in Singapore on 13 October 1956, less than two weeks (13 days) before he passed away, at age 87.
|Shaykh Muhammad Tahir on 13 October 1956, aged 87.|
Both photographs appear in Alijah Gordon’s book, The Real Cry of Syed Shaykh al-Hady (1999:172). His son is Tun Tan Sri Datuk Dr Haji Mohd Hamdan Sheikh Tahir.
BIOGRAPHY: TUN TAN SRI DATUK DR HAJI MOHD HAMDAN BIN SHEIKH TAHIR
He was born in Penang (b.27 April 1921–d.21 January 2005). He was the second Vice-Chancellor of USM (1976–82), and the USM medical library was named in his honour. He was also the 6th Yang di-Pertua Negeri Pulau Pinang (1 May 1989-1 May 2001), who succeeded Tun Dr Awang Hassan, an early Malay doctor.