Mahmud Afandi al-Almali was born in 1225 Hijri in Almalo village, formerly part of Dagestan. Now Almalo is located in the territory of the Republic of Azerbaijan.
He worked as a clerk in Ilisu village. In his youth, he was brought up by Sheikh Yunus Afandi Lalali. Hashim Yashmani granted him the permission to follow up the murids and the title of ustaz-murshid.
Mahmud Afandi was a deeply erudite scientist, thinker, smart and charming person. He was constantly under the spiritual influence of the Prophet al-Khidr (peace be upon him), the Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him), as well as Imams Rabbani, Abdul Qadir Gilani, Muhammad Naqshbandi, Muhammad Masum.
Mahmud Afandi addressed his murids in his will saying: “Rely on the Almighty in all your affairs and issues, follow the instructions of the preceding, more righteous ulama, critically analyze your soul’s desires and actions, follow the Sunnah, do not waste a single moment, be merciful to people, and do not harm anyone. Try to remember Allah both secretly and vocally, do not be deceived by the coming blessings of this life, and guide the repentant on the right path. Always remember Allah, stay away from bid’ah, bad deeds such as gossip, slander, dirty thoughts, and looking at women who are forbidden to you”. Without denying the importance of providing for one’s daily bread and family, Mahmud Afandi (may his name be sanctified) wrote that it is difficult for someone who loves this mortal world to dispose of hypocrisy.