Weekly Ṣalawāt: Yā Khāliq

We continue our journey through Sayyidī Ḥabīb `Umar’s collection of prayers using Allah’s beautiful names. In this collection, Ḥabīb `Umar calls upon Allah by His beautiful names one by one and then asks Him to bestow prayers upon His Beloved by those names. Finally, he asks Allah for a portion of those attributes which belong to Allah and which He has bestowed upon His Messenger ﷺ. He thus teaches us about the attributes of Allah and His Messenger ﷺ and teaches us how to seek a portion of those attributes.

اللَّهُمَّ يا اللهُ يا خَالِق صَلِّ على عَبْدِكَ و حَبِيبِكَ سَيِّدِنا مُحَمَّدٍ النَّبِيِّ أَكْرَمِ خَلْقِكَ و أَسْعَدِ مَخْلوقَاتِكَ و على آلِهِ و صَحْبِهِ و سَلِّمْ تَسْلِيماً و حَسِّنْ بِهِ خَلْقِي و خُلُقي فَضْلاً و إِحْسَاناً


Allāhumma yā Allāhu yā Khāliq ṣalli `alā `abdika wa ḥabībika sayyidinā Muḥammad akrami khalqik wa as`adi makhlūqātik wa `alā ālihi wa ṣaḥbihi wa sallim tasliman wa hassin bihi khalqī wa khuluqī faḍlan wa iḥsāna

O Allāh, O Creator, bestow abundant prayers and peace upon Your slave and beloved, our Master Muḥammad, the Prophet, the most noble and felicitous of Your creatures and upon his Family and Companions and by him beautify my outer form and my character out of Your bounty and kindness.

A Prayer for Divine Care

Sayyidi Habib `Umar bin Hafīz recommends reading the following du`a of Habib `Ali al-Habashi:

الَّلهُمَّ اجْعَلْنا مِمَّنْ رَعَتْهُمْ عَيْنُ عِنَايَتِكَ فِي جَمِيعِ الأَطْوَار

فَلَمْ يَمْنَعْهُمْ عَنْ الدُّخُولِ إلى حَضْرَتِكَ قَبِيحُ الأَوْزَار

ولَمْ يَحْجُبْهُمْ عَنْ مَوَاهِبِ فَضْلِكَ سَيِّءُ الِإصْرَار

 O Allah, make me among those who are in Your complete care in all their states, so that their wrongdoings do not prevent them from entering into Your presence and their persistent sins do not deprive them of Your bounties.


Selected Salawat: Ahabb al-Ahbab

This prayer upon the Prophet ﷺ was composed by Habib `Ali al-Habashi (may Allah have mercy upon him and benefit us by him)

اللَّهُمَّ صَلِّ وسَلِّمْ على سَيِّدِنا مُحَمَّدٍ أَحَبِّ الأَحْبَاب، الذي ذِكْرُهُ يُنَوِّرُ الأَلْباب و ما ذَكَرْنَاهُ في مَجْلِسٍ إِلَّا وطَاب


Allahumma salli wa sallim `ala sayyidina Muhammad ahabbi’l-ahbab alladhi dhikruhu yunawwiru’l-albab wa ma dhakarnahu fi majlis illa wa tab.

O Allah, bestow Your prayers and peace upon our Master Muhammad, the most beloved of all those who are beloved, the one whose remembrance illuminates the intellect. Whenever we mention him in a gathering it becomes sweet.


On Being Distracted While Making Dhikr

Answered by Sayyidi Habib Umar bin Hafiz (may Allah protect him and benefit us by him)


I find myself thinking about calling to Allah when I am making dhikr. Is this blameworthy?

You should focus on the meaning of the dhikr that you are reading. Everything has an appointed time and you should focus on the thing you are doing while you are doing it. An exception to this is an urgent issue relating to calling to Allah which needs to be addressed immediately.

On the books of Shaykh `Abd al-Qadir al-Jaylani

Answered by Sayyidi Habib Umar bin Hafiz (may Allah protect him and benefit us by him)

Do you recommend we read the books of Shaykh `Abd al-Qadir al-Jaylani?

Yes, the Shaykh was one of the greatest knowers of Allah as well as being one of the descendants of the Prophet ﷺ. He has benefited people throughout the world. One of his best known works is al-Futuhat al-Rabbaniyyah, which is a collection of transcripts of his speeches. It has a good effect upon the reader and brings about purification and illumination. Another work of his, al-Ghunyah, is also beneficial but a few parts which are not his work have been added to it.

Weekly Ṣalawāt: Yā Mutakabbir


اللَّهُمَّ يا اللهُ يا مُتَكَبِّر صَلِّ على عَبْدِكَ و حَبِيبِكَ سَيِّدِنا مُحَمَّدٍ النَّبِيِّ أَعْظَمِ الخَلْقِ تَوَاضُعَاً لَكَ و على آلِهِ و صَحْبِهِ و سَلِّمْ تَسْلِيماً و نَقِّنِي بِهِ عَنْ شَوَائِبِ الكِبْرِ و ارْزُقْني تَوَاضُعَاً عَظِيماً


Allāhumma yā Allāhu yā Mutakabbir ṣalli `alā `abdika wa ḥabībika sayyidinā Muḥammad a`ẓami‘l-khalqi tawāḍuan laka wa `alā ālihi wa ṣaḥbihi wa sallim tasliman wa naqqinī bihi `an shawā’ibi’l-kibri w’arzuqnī tawāḍuan `aẓīma

O Allāh, O Justly Proud, bestow abundant prayers and peace upon Your slave and beloved, our Master Muḥammad, the one who has humbled himself to you the most and upon his Family and Companions and by him purify me from the contamination of arrogance and bless me with immense humility.

The above is a prayer upon the Prophet ﷺ composed by Sayyidī al-Ḥabīb `Umar bin Ḥafīẓ. The weekly salat has no set number and has not been prescribed by one of our teachers. We started sending out these salawat out of a desire to share some of these beautiful formulas with those that we love. Try to read it once at least upon first seeing it and then read it as many times as you are able. The more salawat you read, the more gifts you will receive. It should not take priority over any other adhkar you have been given by your teachers. The best time to read it is on Thursday night and Friday since the Messenger of Allah ﷺ encouraged us to bestow abundant prayers upon him at these times. It can of course, be read at any time and in any place.

Imam al-`Adani


On the 13th of Rabī` Thānī, we commemorate the life of Imam Abū Bakr al-`Adanī. This was the date on which he entered the Yemeni port of Aden and began to transform the city. To this day, the people of Aden continue to celebrate this day.

His Lineage

He is Imām Abū Bakr al-`Adanī bin Imām `Abdullāh al-`Aydarūs bin Shaykh Abū Bakr al-Sakrān bin Shaykh `Abd al-Raḥmān al-Saqqāf bin Shaykh Muḥammad Mawlā al-Dawīlah, bin `Alī Mawlā al-Darak, bin `Alawī al-Ghayūr, bin al-Faqīh al-Muqaddam Muḥammad, bin `Alī, bin Muḥammad Ṣāḥib Mirbāṭ, bin `Alī Khāli` Qasam, bin `Alawī, bin Muḥammad Ṣāḥib al-Ṣawma`ah, bin `Alawī, bin `Ubaydullāh, bin al-Imām al-Muhājir il-Allāh Aḥmad, bin ` Īsā, bin Muḥammad al-Naqīb, bin `Ali al-`Urayī, bin Ja`far al-Ṣādiq, bin Muḥammad al-Bāqir, bin `Ali Zayn al-`Ābidīn, bin Ḥusayn al-Sibṭ, bin `Alī bin Abī Ṭālib and Fāṭimah al-Zahrā’, the daughter of our Master Muḥammad, the Seal of the Prophets .

His mother was al-Sayyidah al-Waliyyah `Ā’ishah bint Shaykh `Umar al-Miḥḍār.

His Life

He was born in Tarīm in 851 (1447). His father said before his birth: “I have been given good tidings of a child who will be amongst the elect of Allah, who will receive special care from Allah (`ināyah) and who will possess noble character.” His father took care of his upbringing and spiritual progress, along with his uncle, Shaykh `Alī bin Abū Bakr al-Sakrān and Shaykh Sa`d bin `Alī Madḥaj. He memorised the Qur’ān and mastered the Islamic sciences while still in his youth, leading his father to appoint him as a shaykh of the inward and outward sciences at the age of 14. From then on his life was spent teaching and calling to Allah.

In his youth he would worship by night in the valleys outside Tarīm, along with his cousin, Shaykh `Abd al-Raḥmān bin `Alī. They would both read a third of the Qur’ān in prayer and then return to Tarīm before Fajr. Imām al-`Adanī went for twenty years without sleeping.

He requested his father’s permission to travel in search of knowledge, but first his father wished to test him. He told him to go to the market place and bring back someone who was worse than him. Imām al-`Adanī followed his father’s instructions, but whenever he saw someone who outwardly did not seem to be upright he asked himself: ‘How can I judge his inner state?’ It was then that he came across a dog. He was sure that he was better than the dog and he decided to take it with him. Then a thought came to him: ‘If I cross the Ṣirāṭ and enter Paradise I am better than this dog, but if I fall into the Hell Fire, then this dog is better than me.’ He thus left the dog and returned to his father, having found no-one that was worse than him. His father was content that he had passed the test and allowed him to travel.

On his return from his second ḥajj, the scholars of the city of Aden heard that he was nearby and resolved to come to meet him. Instead he informed them that he would come to visit them. Thousands of people came to greet him as he entered Aden on 13th Rabī` al-Thānī 889. He said: “It is my intention to take all these people to Allah.”

The people of Aden continue to celebrate the day of his arrival in the city to this day.

He took up residence in Aden, built a mosque and began to teach. Students from far and wide came to learn from him and the religious life of Aden flourished. He had great concern for the common people, especially those not on the straight path. He said: “If I see a believer who Allah has given the ability to perform that which is incumbent upon him and to avoid enormities, then I am content. What troubles me is when I see a believer who has fallen into disobedience of Allah and into the traps of the Devil, so I expend my efforts to save him.” Knowing that the night is the time when most acts of disobedience are committed, he would gather the people together every night to remember Allah. The gathering would continue until Fajr, at which point he would lead the people in prayer and then give them a day’s wages and tell them to go home and sleep. Their souls thus became accustomed to obeying Allah, and they had no time to disobey Him.

He was famous for his noble character and immense generosity, which led him to accumulate great debts in order to help the needy. One of his companions rebuked him for accumulating these debts, to which he retorted: “Do not come between me and my Lord, for I have only spent this money seeking His pleasure, and He has promised me that He will pay back these debts before I leave this life.” Every year he set aside money for students of knowledge and visitors and contributed to many charitable projects, such as the repair of the mosques of Tarīm and the construction of drainage channels to prevent flooding in Aden and several areas of Ḥaḍramawt.

His Dīwān of poetry and the letters are filled with wisdom and guidance. To this day, his poems are often recited in gatherings of knowledge and remembrance. He counselled people to have a good opinion of Allah, which he called ‘the greatest treasure’ and ‘Allah’s greatest name,’ and to have a good opinion of Allah’s slaves. He said: “The one who has a good opinion of someone will not lose out even if his opinion proves to be wrong; the one who has a bad opinion of someone will not benefit even if his opinion proves to be correct.” He gave the following counsels: “Anyone who does not prevent himself from following his caprice will experience abasement;” “two things cause the foolish person the most trouble: greed and getting involved in that which does not concern him.”

He said: “You must visit the awliyā’ and come to know them. Your intention must be correct and your belief must be firm, for the spiritual and physical realms are linked just like the spirit and the body are linked. No blessings come from the spiritual realm except by means of movement in the physical realm. The evidence for this is in Allah saying to Maryam: Shake towards yourself the trunk of the palm tree1 and saying to Mūsā: Strike the sea with your staff.2 Allah thus made the shaking and the movement of the staff in the physical realm a cause for the receiving of blessings from the spiritual realm.”

He would often make the following invocation in his gatherings:

اللَّهُمَّ ارْزُقْنَا

مِنَ العُقُولِ أَوْفَرَهَا ، وَمِنَ الأَذْهَانِ أَصْفَاهَا ،

وَمِنَ الأَعْمَالِ أَزْكَاهَا، وَمِنَ الأخْلاقِ أَطْيَبَهَا ،

وَمِنَ الأَرْزَاقِ أَجْزَلَهَا ، وَمِنَ العَافِيَةِ أَكْمَلَهَا ،

وَمِنَ الدُّنْيَا خَيْرَهَا، وَمِنْ الآخِرَةِ نَعِيمَهَا

“O Allah, bless us with the most expansive of intellects, the purest of minds, the purest of actions, the best of character, the most plentiful provision, complete well-being, the best of this life and the blessings of the afterlife.”

His Death

He remained in Aden until his death in 914 (1508). He was buried next to the mosque which he established. The sultan of the time erected a great dome over his grave and built a school next to the mosque, Ribāṭ al-`Aydarūs. The Ribāṭ continues to flourish to this day, under the directorship of Ḥabīb Abū Bakr al-`Adanī bin `Alī al-Mashhūr (may Allah preserve him), who has also greatly revived the annual visit in Rabī` al-Thānī.

1 Maryam, 19:2

2 Al-Shu`arā’, 26:63

The Fruits of Gatherings of Knowledge

Advice from Habib Muhammad al-Haddar (may Allah have mercy upon him and benefit us by him). 

Knowledge without action is like a tree without any fruit. If you learn things and then do not act upon them they are a proof against you. The words which you hear are recorded by everything – even your body.

The verses of the Qur’an will say:

“I am the verse which you heard!”

Believers thus intend to act upon everything they hear. They say:

 “We hear and we obey!”

And ask for enabling grace (tawfīq). They prepare themselves to receive Allah’s gifts (nafahat). These gifts come to you without any effort. The gatherings of knowledge contain great gifts from Allah.

O Allah, do not deprive of us the good You possess due to the evil we possess.

Preparing for the Grave

Advice from Habib Muhammad al-Haddar (may Allah have mercy on him and benefit us by him). 

Make your grave the most important thing, for the day on which you are placed in your grave is the hardest day, the day on which you are most in need. For this reason some scholars were of the opinion that it is obligatory to seek refuge in Allah from the punishment of the grave in every prayer. Among them was Imam Ta’us al-San`ani, the student of Sayyiduna `Abdullah Ibn `Abbas. One day he asked his son if he had sought refuge from the punishment of the grave in his prayer. When his son said no, he told him to repeat his prayer. The Prophet himself sought refuge from it, so why do we not do so? He taught us to say: 

اللَّهُمَّ إِنِّي أَعُوذُ بِكَ مِنْ عَذَابِ جَهَنَّمَ و مِنْ عَذَابِ القَبْرِ و مِنْ شَرِّ فِتْنَةِ المَحْيا و المَمَات و مِنْ شَرِّ فِتْنَةِ المَسِيحِ الدَّجَّال

O Allah, I seek refuge in You from the punishment of the Hell Fire, the punishment of the grave, the tribulations of life and death and the tribulation of al-Masih al-Dajjal.

الشاطري الهدار السقاف

[Image: from right to left – Habib Abd al-Qadir al-Saqqaf, Habib Hasan al-Shatiri and Habib Muhammad al-Haddar]

The Ummah’s Golden Calf

Advice from Habib Muhammad al-Haddar (may Allah have mercy upon him and benefit us by him). 

Look at how the businessmen in Makkah and Jeddah have mastered their trade. They plaster their advertisements everywhere! If only these billboards clarified the rites of the Hajj and the etiquettes of entering Makkah! These advertisements are proof of their love of material things.

Truly the Messenger of Allah ﷺ told the truth! One day he recounted to his Companions the story of the people of Musa who, after being saved from Fir`awn, began worshipping the golden calf. The Companions were astounded that after receiving these signs these people lowered themselves to such a level. The Prophet told them not to be surprised.

He told them:

“Every nation has its (golden) calf, and the calf of my nation is gold and silver.”

They will worship material things, all their ambitions will be focused on attaining material things and they will travel and attain qualifications for worldly gain.

To Allah we belong and to Him we will return!

[We wonder what Habib Muhammad would have said if he had seen the state of Makkah today!]