KH Muhammad Khalil bin Kiyai Haji Abdul Lathif bin Kiyai Hamim bin Kiyai Abdul Karim bin Kiyai Muharram bin Kiyai Asrar Karamah bin Kiyai Abdullah bin Sayid Sulaiman.
Sayid Sulaiman was the grandson of Syarif Hidayatullah or Sunan Gunung Jati Cirebon. Syarif Hidayatullah was the son of Sultan Umdatuddin Umdatullah Abdullah that reigned Cam (Campa). His father was Sayid Ali Nurul Alam bin Sayid Jamaluddin al-Kubra.
KH. Muhammad Kholil was born in 1235 Hijriyah or January 27th 1820in Senenan, Kemayoran village, Bangkalan, Madura, East Java. He came from ullema family and his father sent him to various moslem boarding school. In 1850s, when he was 30 years old, Kyai MUhammad Nir at Pondok Pesantren Langitan, Tuban, East Java. And afterwards moved to Pondok Pesantren Cangaan Bangil, Pasuruan, Pondok Pesantren Keboncandi. During his school time he learnt from Kyai Nur Hasan and settled in Sidogiri, 7 km from Keboncandi. Kyai Nur Hasan actually was his relative.
When the student of KH MuhammadKholol, he had memorize the holy Koran. He could read Koran in Qira’at Sab’ah (seven ways in reading Koran). In 1276 H /1859, KH Muhammad Khalil studied in Mecca , one of his guru was Syeikh Nawawi al-Bantani (also the teacher of Banten ullemas). His guru were Syeikh Utsman bin Hasan as-Dimyathi, Saiyid Ahmad bin Zaini Dahlan, Syeikh Mustafa bin Muhammad al-Afifi al-Makki, Syeikh Abdul Hamid bin Mahmud asy-Syarwani i.
When he was in Mecca, he worked to copy holy books for students. That was when the idea of writing the principle of pegon letter from Syeikh Nawawi al-Bantani, Kiyai Muhammad Khalil al-Maduri dan Syeikh Saleh as-Samarani. Pegon letter was arabic letter used in Javanese, Madurese and Sundanese language. Returning from Mecca, he was popular for his Islam knowledge.
Later, he established Pondok Pesantren at Cengkebuan village, 1 km from his place of birth. He was also involved in fighting against Dutch. He was ever jailed by Dutch as accused protecting people who fought against Dutch.
According to KH Ghozi, in 10th November battle, Mbah Kholil with other ullemas such as Bisri Syansuri, Hasyim Asy’ari, Wahab Chasbullah and Mbah Abas Buntet Cirebon. He could throw gravel or corn and it fell and exploded. He was also known to be in two place as the same time. This was revealed when he was giving speech in front of his student, and suddenly, his cloth was wet. His students were wondering why. Few months later, a fishermen came to visit Mbah Kholil and he said his gratitude as when his boat broke in the middle of ocean he was helped by him. That was the explanation why Mbah Kholil was wet on his speech. Students of Mbak Kholil that are popular are Kh Hasyim Asy’ari (the founder of Pondok-pesantren Tebuireng, Jombang, and Nahdhatul Ulama / NU), Kiyai Haji Abdul Wahhab Hasbullah (the founder of Pondok-pesantren Tambakberas, Jombang), Kiyai Haji Bisri Syansuri (the founder of Pondok-pesantren Denanyar); Kiyai Haji Ma’shum (founder of Pondok-pesantren Lasem, Rembang, father of ayahanda Kiyai Haji Ali Ma’shum), Kiyai Haji Bisri Mustofa (founder of Pondok-pesantren Rembang); and Kiyai Haji As’ad Syamsul `Arifin (the chairman of Pondok-pesantren Asembagus, Situbondo).
Kh Muhammad Khalil al-Maduri, died in 29 Ramadan 1342 or 14 May 1923.