Scholar Sheikho was born in al-Ward district in Sarouja Quarter, one of the historical districts of Damascus, in Syria which was called mini-Istanbul during the period of the Ottoman rule. He was raised in an Arab style house situated opposite the famous public al-Ward Bathhouse. This house stands there to the present day.
Scholar Sheikho was still young when his father, the merchant Ismael Sheikho, departed this world. Mohammad Saleem, the only and elder brother of Mohammad Amin, was assigned as a director of the Military School during the Ottoman rule.
At the age of twelve the boy who was to become the great scholar was enrolled at al-Rashidiya School, he then went on to complete his studies in Amber, the Royal Ottoman Faculty in Damascus. He received many certificates of praise and commendation during the Ottoman rule and then under the reign of King Faisal in Syria. There are many copies of these certificates still preserved in trustworthy hands.
During the period of the Turkish rule, he was head of many police-stations in Damascus and its dependent counties. He was a shining example to all for his unfailing attention to duty, the vitality with which he approached every task, and the high level of achievement in many varied deeds which were of great benefit to mankind.
During the French mandate he was appointed a director of the prisons of the citadel of Damascus.
When the great Syrian uprising took place against the French forces, he helped the revolutionaries in every conceivable way until they placed the seal of the revolution in his trustworthy hands. Due to his subversive activities he fell foul of the French governor of Syria resulting in an order being issued for his execution; but the Almighty God saved him. During this period he was compliant in many attempts to overthrow French rule.
He was the companion of Sheikh Amin Kuftaro for almost twenty years and following his death Scholar Sheikho followed his footsteps and became the next in succession to guide and teach the disciples of the eminent sheikh.
His assemblies were distinguished by the profound level of wisdom with which he imparted his teaching and guidance.
He took great care to draw the attention of his followers to beware of the tales of the Israelites which defame the biography of the noble persons, the Envoys of God (pth), and of anything ascribed to them which conflicts their perfection and impeccability.
In 1953, the famous coeval philosopher, Sir John Godolphin Bennett came from Britain to visit him. He remained in his company for three weeks that were filled with lengthy dialogues about the religion of Islam and its actuality.
Sir John asked Scholar Sheikho many questions about the exact definition of the ‘spirit’ and the difference between that and the ‘soul’, as well as asking for clarification about Godly Justice, a topic which he found difficult to comprehend. As a result of this visit, Sir John practised Islamic legislation and performed the prayers along with the followers of the scholar.
This visit was referred to briefly in the autobiography of Sir John Bennett in his book Witness; but after his death, a book containing special personal recollections written by Sir John was published in 1975 under the title Journeys in Islamic Countries, wherein he spoke in detail about this meeting. In this book he gave a detailed account of the personality and character of Scholar Sheikho, and of his lectures and disciples. He also mentioned the great benefits he had derived from his life-changing meeting with the scholar.