Reformist, writer, publisher and educator. Of Hadhrami descent, he was born and raised in Malaya. He belonged to the reformist group Kaum Muda (Young Faction), was cofounder of the journal Al-imam (1906–8), and founded the Jelutong Press, which published the monthly journal Al-ikhwan (1926–31) and the biweekly newspaper Saudara (1928–41) as well as his own translations and literary works. All publications were aimed at encouraging Malays to modernize their society. As headmaster of the Madrasa Masyhur Islamiah (1918–26), he strongly promoted a modern religious education with a curriculum comprising Islamic themes, Arabic, English, and modern scientific subjects.