Monthly Archives: November 2014

Weekly Salawat: Ya Matin

Having discussed the topic of holding fast to the Rope of Allah in Singapore, Sayyidi Habib Umar (may Allah preserve him and benefit us by him), asks Allah through His Beloved ﷺ to enable us to hold fast to that same rope.

اللَّهُمَّ يا اللهُ يا مَتِينُ صَلِّ على عَبْدِكَ و حَبِيبِكَ سَيِّدِنا مُحَمَّدٍ النَّبِيِّ صَاحِبِ الدِّينِ المتَيِن و على آلِهِ و صَحْبِهِ و سَلِّمْ تَسْلِيماً وارْزُقْنِي الاعْتِصَامَ بِالحَبْلِ المَتِينِ واجْعَلْ لي في وُصْلَتِكَ و وُصْلَتِهِ حَبْلاً مَتِيناً


Allāhumma yā Allāhu yā Matīnu ṣalli `alā `abdika wa ḥabībika sayyidinā Muḥammad an-Nabī ṣāḥibi’ddīn’l-matīn wa `alā ālihi wa ṣaḥbihi wa sallim taslīman wa’rzuqnī’l-`itiṣāma bi’l-ḥabli’l-matīn wa’j`al lī fī wuṣlatika wa wuṣlatihi ḥablan matīnā

O Allāh, O Most Firm, bestow abundant prayers and peace upon Your slave and beloved, our Master Muḥammad, the leader of the most firm religion, and upon his Family and Companions, and allow me to hold fast to the Firm Rope and make my connection to You and him the firmest of ropes.

Holding Fast to the Rope of Allah

Extracts from Sayyidi Habib `Umar’s talk at Masjid Sultan, Singapore, on November 11, 2014.

Many people in this day and age, believers and disbelievers alike fear death, illness, trials, imprisonment due to breaking the law, poverty, and so forth. Yet, when we reflect carefully upon all these fears, we would realize that each one of these fears is in the domain of Allah. No single human being dies except that his or her death has been ordained by Allah. No morsel of food and no sip of water enter anyone’s mouth except that it is by Allah’s will.

Nobody falls under the authority of a just person or a beast, except that the matter has been preordained by Allah. If He wills that a trial befalls one, then it is solely by His permission. Who then should we really fear? Everything humans fear has an appointed time and everything returns to Allah. He is the One Whom we should love and long for.

Look at the blessing of eyesight. Everyone in attendance has been blessed with the ability to see. No political party, organization, company, country, hospital created our eyesight for us. Similarly our hearing, our hearts, our digestive system, our limbs—everything is created by Allah Most High. How then could created beings forget their Creator? How can we then disobey Allah when He has blessed us with all these bounties? We were brought out of our mothers’ wombs knowing nothing and we were created so that we may show thanks and gratitude to Him.

One of the best things a man can ask Allah is for a good ending. We must beware of falling prey to the things that would take the light of faith out of our hearts, which is disrespecting Allah, His religion and the sunnah of the Prophet ﷺ, disrespecting and showing enmity to his inheritors; the scholars and those beloved to Allah.

Allah says: “Hold fast, all together, to the Rope of Allah.” The scholars mention five interpretations of the term, “rope”:

  1. The Qur’an,
  2. Being sincere with Allah
  3. The whole religion of Islam
  4. The pious and upright scholars
  5. Our Prophet Muhammad ﷺ

The fifth meaning encompasses all the previous meanings mentioned. It is through our Prophet ﷺ that we are able to reach Allah, as Allah Himself has mentioned that the Prophet ﷺ is the door to Allah. May Allah give us the ability to follow the Prophet ﷺ and his guidance.

It is the responsibility of the Muslim Ummah to understand the reality of the rope of Allah and to spread this message to the people around us.

Our Prophet ﷺ is mercy, a blessing to all creation. Allah says:

“We have not sent you but as a mercy to all the worlds.”

Our beloved Prophet ﷺ not only showed mercy to the believers, but also to those who do not believe and even to those who showed enmity to him. Look at the hadith of the moths and the fire. One meaning of the fire here is the dunya, our lower selves and our desires. Allah sent the Prophet Muhammad ﷺ to save mankind from destruction and the Hellfire. When we give preference to things other than Allah, we are essentially bringing ourselves to destruction.

Look at the story of the Prophet ﷺ at Ta’if. The angels guarding the two mountains were ready to destroy the people of Ta’if who had cursed and stoned him, and yet our Prophet ﷺ had hoped that from their progeny would come forth people who worship Allah and would be close to Him. Similarly, at the battle of Uhud, when the Prophet ﷺ was injured, he prevented his Companions from cursing the Quraysh and instead prayed for their guidance.

No justice is like the justice that Prophet Muhammad ﷺ showed. No country exists today that treats prisoners of war the way Prophet Muhammad ﷺ treated his prisoners and those who showed enmity to him. People today champion human rights, yet the very same people violate the rights of many people in this world. The Prophet ﷺ taught us the reality of human rights. He commanded those in charge of the prisoners of war to feed them with food that was better than what everyone else, including what the high-ranking commanders ate. This was the kindness he displayed in his dealings with disbelievers who had showed enmity to him and fought against him. There is no doubt that he treated disbelievers who were not hostile towards him with more kindness and he treated Muslims with more kindness still.

It is important that we cultivate love and mercy among ourselves and those around us, Muslims and non-Muslims. The Prophet ﷺ taught us that to break off relations with another Muslim for more than three days is impermissible and can cause one to be punished in Hell. What then can we say about those who curse other Muslims and accuse them of disbelief? One Prophetic tradition, which is sound, says that cursing and calling another Muslim a disbeliever is akin to murder. It is therefore necessary that we understand our religion well by following our scholars so that we may hold fast to the rope of Allah.

The Prophet ﷺ gave permission to the most knowledgeable of the Companions to perform ijtihad and to differ in opinion. Look at the story of Bani Quraydah. The Prophet ﷺ had command his companions not to pray unless they were with Bani Quraydah. Some of the companions prayed before reaching Bani Quraydah out of fear that the time of `Asr would run out, while the remaining companions did not pray until they reached Bani Quraydah, which was after the time of `Asr. The Prophet ﷺ said both positions were correct. These differences that occurred based on ijtihad are permitted, but it is not permissible for us to question a matter that has been decided upon by the scholars.

From here we understand the differences of the four madhahib. We see how the ulama show compassion to one another. All of the founders of the four schools are connected to the family of the Prophet ﷺ through Imam Ja’far al-Sadiq. Imam Abu Hanifa studied under Imam Ja’far al-Sadiq for two years and had said that if it weren’t for these two years, he would have perished. Imam Shafi’i received a sanad from Imam Malik, who had received his sanad from Abu Hanifa. Imam Ahmad bin Hanbal, in turn, received sanad from Imam al-Shafi’i. Hence, like a tree, the four madhahib are connected to the Ahl al-Bayt. The scholars of the Ahl al-Sunnah and Ahl al-Bayt are all connected.

May Allah Most High grant us etiquette with the scholars, and bless us with the realities of faith and steadfastness in holding onto the rope of these realities in our daily lives. May He purify our hearts and grant us steadfastness and may He allow us to give preference to Allah and His Beloved over everyone and everything else.


Courtesy of Sout Illahi, Singapore,2

On General Protection from Evil

Answered by Sayyidi Habib Umar bin Hafiz (may Allah protect him and benefit us by him).
What can I recite for general protection?

Taqwa is the foundation of all protection. Every act of worship performed with sincerity protects the one who performs it. Reciting Ayat al-Kursi has a specific effect in protecting one if it is recited after every prayer, before sleeping and when entering and leaving the house. The awrad of Shaykh Abu Bakr al-Sakran, Imam al-Nawawi and Shaykh Abu Bakr bin Salim are among the greatest litanies composed by the pious for protection.

Imam al-Muhajir

Imam al-Muhajir

His Lineage

He is al-Imam al-Muhajir il-Allah Ahmad, bin `Isa, bin Muhammad al-Naqib, bin `Ali al-`Uraydi, bin Ja`far al-Sadiq, bin Muhammad al-Baqir, bin `Ali Zayn al-`Abidin, bin Husayn al-Sibt, bin `Ali bin Abi Talib and Fatimah al-Zahra’, the daughter of our Master Muhammad, the Seal of the Prophets .

His Life

He was born in al-Basrah, Iraq, around 273 (886). He grew up under the supervision of his parents in an environment surrounded by scholars and living examples of prophetic character. He memorised the Qur’an and then mastered the sciences of the Sacred Law.

He had vast wealth and influence in Iraq but busied himself with the acquisition of knowledge, with worship and with calling people to Allah. He could easily have attained political power but he knew the danger this entailed to his religion, and when his brother attained a position of leadership, he continued to admonish him until he left it. His inner sight allowed him to witness the calamities and tribulations that would take place in Iraq, and he realised the greatness of the sacred trust that he was carrying in his loins. Thus he emigrated, following the commandment of his Lord: So flee to Allah,1 and following his grandfather, the Messenger of Allah , in his command to leave places of tribulation. It was for this emigration that he became known as al-Muhajir il-Allah, the one who emigrates to Allah.

He left al-Basrah in 317 with his wife, his son, `Abdullah (who out of his humility preferred to be known as `Ubaydullah or “the small servant of Allah”), and `Ubaydullah’s sons, Jadid, Basri, and `Alawi. With them also was Sharif Muhammad bin Sulayman, the grandfather of the Ahdal family and Sharif Ahmad al-Qudaymi, the grandfather of the Qudaymi family, and a group of 70 people. His son Muhammad remained in Iraq to take care of their property and wealth. The Imam went firstly to al-Madinah, where he stayed with his relatives for an entire year. In the same year, members of the Qaramitah sect entered Makkah and slaughtered many of the pilgrims who were preparing to go to `Arafat and stole the Black Stone, which was only returned 20 years later. Imam al-Muhajir performed hajj in 318 and touched the place where the Stone once was. After this, he set out for Yemen with his party. Sharif Ahmad al-Qudaymi settled in northern Yemen and Sharif Muhammad bin Sulayman in Tihamah on the Red Sea coast, but Imam al-Muhajir continued on until he reached the valley of Hadramawt. He first settled in the village of Jubayl, and then al-Hajrayn, where he built a house, which still stands to this day. Next he travelled to the village Qarat Bani Jushayr, and he finally settled in al-Husayyisah near Say’un.

He relied completely upon Allah regarding his choice for the emigration and only chose Hadramawt as the abode of his offspring by His command and the permission of His Messenger .

Imam al-Muhajir arrived in Hadramawt at a time when an offshoot of the Kharijite sect, called the Ibadiyyah, held political power and had widespread influence throughout the Valley. His calm demeanour, Prophetic character and powerful oration convinced many of the falsehood of the Ibadi beliefs. He persevered in the spreading of truth until he almost single-handedly removed the Ibadi sect from the Valley without, according to most accounts, ever taking up arms against them. Many people repented at his hands, returning to true adherence to the Prophetic way. From his time onwards, the vast majority of the people of Hadramawt adhered to his methodology: the Shafi`i School in jurisprudence and the Ash`ari School in tenets of faith. Because of his emigration and efforts in calling people to Allah, his offspring and followers became safe from innovation and false beliefs, and this paved the way for the religion to flourish in Hadramawt and then to be spread to the corners of the earth. It was the progeny of Imam Ahmad bin `Isa who brought Islam to millions of people in India, the islands of the Indian Ocean, South East Asia and East Africa and credit for this must be attributed to the Imam and his hijrah to Hadramawt.

It has been said that the migration of the Prophet was from Makkah to al-Madinah, and the migration of his offspring was from al-Basrah to Hadramawt. One of the knowers of Allah saw the Prophet and asked him: “Are you pleased with the migration of al-Muhajir Ahmad bin `Isa to Hadramawt?” The Prophet said to him, “I am pleased with everything Ahmad bin `Isa is pleased with.”

His Death

Imam al-Muhajir passed away in 345 (956), after rendering a great service to the religion and was buried in al-Husayyisah. His grandson Imam `Alawi, the son of `Ubaydullah, was the first to be given that name, and he is the ancestor of all the `Alawi Sayyids who became known as the ‘Ba `Alawi’ or ‘Bani `Alawi’, the sons of `Alawi.

The greatest of the Ba `Alawi scholars would often visit the grave of Imam al-Muhajir, among them Shaykh `Abd al-Rahman al-Saqqaf and Imam `Abdullah al-`Aydarus. Habib `Abdullah bin `Umar bin Yahya said: “I only smelled the beautiful scents that I smelled in the presence of our Master Muhammad at the grave of our Master, al-Muhajir il-Allah, Ahmad bin `Isa.” He also said about him that: “He is the best of those in the Valley, the most knowledgeable, the greatest in righteous works, the strongest in intellect, and the closest to the Prophet .”

1Al-Dhariat, 51:50


Weekly Salawat: Ya Qawi

In this prayer, Sayyidi Habib Umar (may Allah preserve him and benefit us by him) shows how much we need to seek Allah’s strength and assistance in all our affairs.

اللَّهُمَّ يا اللهُ يا قَوِيُّ صَلِّ على عَبْدِكَ و حَبِيبِكَ سَيِّدِنا مُحَمَّدٍ النَّبِيِّ القَوَيِّ بِكَ و على آلِهِ و صَحْبِهِ و سَلِّمْ تَسْلِيماً وقَوِ لِي بِهِ الإِيمانَ و اليَقِينَ و أَمَدَّني بِقَوَّةٍ مِنْ قُوَّتِكَ في جَميعِ قُوَايَ الظَّاهِرَةِ و البَاطِنَةِ في كُلِّ شَأْنٍ و حِينٍ و ارْحَمْ بِهِ ضَعْفِي و كُنْ لي مُعِيناً

Allāhumma yā Allāhu yā Qawiyyu ṣalli `alā `abdika wa ḥabībika sayyidinā Muḥammad an-Nabī al-qawiyy bika wa `alā ālihi wa ṣaḥbihi wa sallim taslīman wa qawi lī bihi’l-īmān wa’l-yaqīn wa amaddanī bi quwwatin min quwwatik fī jamī`i quwāya’l-ẓāhirati wa’l-bāṭinati fī kulli sha’nin wa ḥīnin w’ar-ḥam bihi ḍa`fī wa kun lī mu`īnā

O Allāh, O Most Powerful, bestow abundant prayers and peace upon Your slave and beloved, our Master Muḥammad, the Prophet who through You is powerful, and upon his Family and Companions, and by him strengthen my faith and certainty and assist me with Your power in all my inward and outward capacities in every affair and at all times, and through him show mercy to me in my weakness and be my supporter.

On Differentiating Between Wisdom and Caprice

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

How can I differentiate between when I act out of wisdom and when I act following the caprice (hawa) of the lower self?

Caprice and wisdom are in opposition to each other. Someone driven by his caprice rushes to gratify the desires of his lower self in a state of heedlessness of Allah. Someone who acts out of wisdom, on the other hand, rushes to seek that which pleases Allah and His Messenger ﷺ, and this is hard for his lower self. He experiences tranquillity, especially when he remembers Allah, and increases in humility and abasement in front of Allah.

On Avoiding Those Who Do Not Benefit Us Without Driving Them Away From Islam

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


How do we avoid keeping company with people who do not benefit us without driving them away from Islam?

You must avoid the wrong that they do while showing them good character and giving them good advice and kind words when the opportunity arises. If they are doing something which is forbidden do not partake in it but do not be harsh to them when they are not doing so. Continue to ask Allah to rectify them and guide them. Keep in mind that they may be guided and then intercede for you on the Day of Judgement. The bounty of Allah cannot be limited.

On the Role of the Shaykh in Purification of the Heart

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

What is the role of the Shaykh in purification of the heart?

The Shaykh is the most important means of removing the seeker’s blameworthy traits. The Shaykh is not someone who makes false claims or performs miracles but rather someone who is upright in his religion and has a sanad (chain of connection) in purification of the heart. If the seeker is truthful, Allah will cause him to meet a shaykh who will purify him.