Weekly Salat: Ya Awwal

We continue our journey through Sayyidi Habib Umar’s collection of prayers using Allah’s beautiful names.

In this collection, Habib 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 أَوَّلُ صَلِّ على عَبْدِكَ و حَبِيبِكَ سَيِّدِنا مُحَمَّدٍ النَّبِيِّ الأَوَّل في الخَلْقِ و الشَّفاعَةِ و مَرَاتِبِ السِّيادَةِ  على خَلْقِ أَجْمَعِينَ و على آلِهِ و صَحْبِهِ و سَلِّمْ تَسْلِيماً واجْعَلْنِي بِهِ في أَوَائِلِ أَهْلِ الْكَرَمِ عَلَيْكَ و الفَضْلِ مِنْكَ و أَوَائِلِ أَهْلِ اتِّبَاعِهِ فَضْلاً و إِحْسَاناً

O Allah, the First, bestow abundant prayers and peace upon Your slave and beloved, our Master the Prophet Muhammad, the first to be created and to intercede, the one given leadership over the whole of creation, and upon his Family and Companions, and by him make me among the first who receive Your generosity and bounty and among the first of his followers out of Your bounty and kindness.

Seeking Relief through the Words of the Beloved  ﷺ

In times of tribulation, the pious seek relief for the Ummah through giving charity, rectifying their own spiritual states and the states of others, seeking Allah’s forgiveness and pleading with Him. They also call upon Allah by His name, al-Latif (the Gentle). They repeat “Ya Latif” 129 or 133 times a day.

In the city of Tarim, one of the traditions is to recite the Sahih Collection of Imam al-Bukhari from beginning to end in Masjid Ba `Alawi, the most sacred of the city’s mosques. The scholars, among them, Sayyidi Habib Umar bin Hafiz, the students and ordinary people come together after sunrise and after Asr to read and listen to the words of Allah and His Messenger  ﷺand the blessed names of the narrators of the hadith. In doing so they seek Allah’s pleasure and seek relief through the Prophet ﷺ, his family and his heirs.

We hope that Allah accepts and is pleased by these efforts and in turn removes the suffering of the Ummah.

Latifiyya

Insights into Purification: Beginning wudu in the name of Allah

Extracts from lessons given by Sayyidi Habib Umar bin Hafiz (may Allah preserve him and benefit us by him) on the rulings and etiquettes of purification. Habib Umar is teaching Habib Abdullah bin Husayn Balfaqih’s “Kifayat al-Raghib” in Shafi`i fiqh.

By merely mentioning the name of Allah before any action a barrier is placed between us and the forces of darkness and evil. When our actions are safe from evil and darkness we are ready to travel the path to Allah.

The Prophet said that the person who does not mention the name of Allah when performing wudu has no wudu. Most of the scholars took this to mean that is recommended to say ‘bismillah’ when performing wudu while a few regard it as being compulsory.

It has also been narrated that if someone mentions the name of Allah when performing wudu his whole body will be purified from wrongdoings. If he does not however, only the places that water reaches will be purified.

The minimum is to say ‘bismillah.’

The most complete formula is:

بِسْمِِ اللهِ الرَّحْمَنِ الرَّحِيم. رَبِّ أَعُوذُ بِكَ مِنْ هَمَزاتِ الشَّيَاطِينِ وأَعُوذُ بِكَ رَبِّي أَنْ يَحْضُرونِ. الحَمْدُ لِله الَّذِي جَعَلَ الماءَ طَهُوراً .اللَّهُمَّ صَلِّ على سَيِّدِنا مُحَمِّدٍ وآلِهِ

‘In the Name of Allah, the Most Merciful, the Compassionate. My Lord, I seek refuge in You from the insinuations of the devils and I take refuge in You, my Lord, against their approaching me. Praise be to Allah Who made water a means of purification. O Allah, bestow prayers upon our Master Muhammad and his Family.’

A person performing wudu should only remember Allah and not speak to anyone. It has been narrated that the person performing wudu is surrounded by a dome of light, but if he speaks the dome is removed.

 

Weekly Salat: Ya Mu’akhir

We continue our journey through Sayyidi Habib Umar’s collection of prayers using Allah’s beautiful names.

In this collection, Habib 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 مُؤَخِّرُ صَلِّ على عَبْدِكَ و حَبِيبِكَ سَيِّدِنا مُحَمَّدٍ النَّبِيِّ آخِرِ النَّبِيِّينَ في البَعْثِ و على آلِهِ و صَحْبِهِ و سَلِّمْ تَسْلِيماً وأَخِّرْ بِهِ عَنِّي كُلَّ سُوْءٍ في الدَّارَيْنِ تَأْخِيرَاً

O Allah, the One who sets back who He wills, bestow abundant prayers and peace upon Your slave and beloved, our Master the Prophet Muhammad, the last Prophet to be sent, and upon his Family and Companions, and by him drive away from me all evil in the two abodes.

 

Insights into Purification: Washing Your Feet

Extracts from lessons given by Sayyidi Habib Umar bin Hafiz (may Allah preserve him and benefit us by him) on the rulings and etiquettes of purification. Habib Umar is teaching Habib Abdullah bin Husayn Balfaqih’s “Kifayat al-Raghib” in Shafi`i fiqh.

It is obligatory to completely wash your feet from the tips of your toes up to and including your ankles. To ensure you have done this, you must also wash a little above your ankles, for that which is required to fulfil an obligation is in itself obligatory.

The Prophet ﷺ once saw that some of the Companions had neglected to wash their heels, so he called out at the top of his voice:

“Woe to the heels from the Fire!”

Every footstep you take is recorded: if you are walking to perform an act of obedience you will be rewarded with a good deed for every step you take, you will be raised one degree and one of your bad deeds will be wiped out.

Sayyiduna `Urwah bin Mas`ud (may Allah be pleased him) was once told that he must have his leg amputated. He was advised to take something which would dull his senses so he would not feel the pain but he refused. He said:

“I will not take something which will prevent me from reflecting upon the greatness of my Lord, even for a moment.”

Instead he entered the prayer and put out his leg for them to amputate it. Such was his presence that he did not feel anything until he finished his prayer. He said:

“O Allah, You know that since I became Muslim I have not used this leg to walk to perform any act of disobedience. O Allah, You blessed me with two legs. Now You have taken one and left me the other. All praise and thanks to You for that which You have left me with.”

If your feet are firm on the Straight Path in this life, they will be firm on the Bridge (Sirat) in the next life. It is has been said that the speed at which you pass over the Bridge is according to how quickly you reject any thought of disobedience that comes to your mind. This is because acts of disobedience are like fire, so the quicker you reject them the quicker you will pass over the Fire on the Day of Judgement.

 

Habib `Ali al-Mashhur bin Hafiz

 

His Lineage

He is al-Habib al-`Allamah `Ali al-Mashhur bin Muhammad bin Salim bin Hafiz bin `Abdullah bin Abu Bakr bin `Aydarus bin `Umar bin `Aydarus bin `Umar bin Abu Bakr bin `Aydarus bin al-Husayn bin al-Shaykh al-Fakhr Abu Bakr bin Salim bin `Abdullah bin `Abd al-Rahman bin `Abdullah bin Shaykh `Abd al-Rahman al-Saqqaf bin Shaykh Muhammad Mawla al-Dawilah, bin `Ali Mawla Darak, bin `Alawi al-Ghuyur, bin al-Faqih al-Muqaddam, Muhammad bin `Ali, bin Muhammad Sahib Mirbat, bin `Ali Khali` Qasam, bin `Alawi, bin Muhammad Sahib al-Sawma`ah, bin `Alawi, bin `Ubaydullah, bin 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 Abu Talib and Fatimah al-Zahra’, the daughter of our Master Muhammad, the Seal of the Prophets ﷺ.

His Life

Habib `Ali al-Mashhur was born in Tarim on 13th Ramadan 1358 (5th November 1939) and was brought up under the supervision of his father, Habib Muhammad, and his grandfather, Habib Salim, in an environment of knowledge, faith and action. His father named him “al-Mashhur” after his own teacher and maternal grandfather, the great scholar, Habib `Ali bin `Abd al-Rahman al-Mashhur, and he later became known to all as Habib Mashhur. It was said of Habib `Ali bin `Abd al-Rahman al-Mashhur that if a student had difficulty in understanding the books of jurisprudence, they would study under him and he would clarify everything to them. There is no doubt that Habib Mashhur inherited this ability to make difficult texts easy to understand.

Habib Mashhur began his pursuit of knowledge at the hands of his father and grandfather and also learnt from Habib `Alawi bin `Abdullah bin Shihab and Habib `Umar bin `Alawi al-Kaf. He completed his memorisation of the Qur’an in the school of Abu Murayyam and started studying at Tarim’s prestigious Ribat in 1365 (1946). His teachers there were Shaykh Mahfuz bin `Uthman, Shaykh Salim bin Sa`id Bukayyir, Shaykh `Abdullah Ba Zaghayfan, Shaykh Tawfiq bin Faraj Aman and Shaykh Salih bin `Awad Haddad. In 1375, his father directed him to spend all his time in the company of his grandfather, Habib Salim, who was in the final years of his life. Habib Mashhur spent two years taking knowledge and spiritual guidance from him.

In 1377 (1957) Habib Mashhur was sent by his father to the city of al-Shihr to study at the hands of Habib `Abdullah bin `Abd al-Rahman Ibn Shaykh Abu Bakr bin Salim. He remained there for about a year and then returned to Tarim and joined al-Ma`had al-Fiqhi where he studied and taught until 1382 (1962). He then went to the Daw`an Valley South of Hadramawt to teach and call to Allah. Many people benefited from his knowledge in the region and he opened a number of schools. He remained in Daw`an for around thirteen years.

During this period he visited Tarim at intervals, and travelled to the Hijaz in 1386 (1966) to perform Hajj and visit the Messenger of Allah ﷺ. While there he took knowledge from the prominent scholars of the Two Sanctuaries, including Shaykh Muhammad al-`Arabi al-Tabbani, Sayyid `Alawi bin `Abbas al-Maliki, Sayyid Muhammad Amin Kutbi and Shaikh Hasan al-Mashat.

In 1387 (1967), a socialist regime came to power in South Yemen which attempted to eradicate Islam from society. Scholars were persecuted and religious institutions were forcibly closed. In 1392 (1973), the regime abducted and killed Habib Muhammad bin Salim, who they perceived as a threat. In 1395 (1975) Habib Mashhur returned to settle in Tarim, and was one of the few scholars who steadfastly remained in the city, despite the fact that the regime’s oppression was at its worst. He took the place of his father in both his private and public affairs. The socialist authorities had put a stop to many of the religious activities that had been running for hundreds of the years in Tarim, but Habib Mashhur gradually reinstated them.

Since the year he arrived back in Tarim he has been the imam of the main Jami` Mosque. He played a big role in preserving important manuscripts which had been taken by the socialists from religious schools and scholars’ houses. He arranged them and placed them in the Jami` Mosque’s library, after the mosque had been refurbished.

He presides over the genealogical tree of the families descended from the Prophet ﷺ in Hadramawt. The tree was first drawn up by Habib `Abd al-Rahman bin Muhammad al-Mashhur.

After the socialist regime fell in 1410 (1990) and North and South Yemen reunited, he took part in the re-opening of the Ribat and also taught there. He worked with his brother, Habib `Umar, in establishing Dar al-Mustafa, which was opened in 1414 (1994). He remains a director and teacher of advanced students there to this day. He also taught at the Ahqaf University Shar`iah College for four years until the first batch of students graduated. Since 1421 (2000), he has been the chairman of the Tarim Fatwa Council. He holds a number of regular lessons in the Jami` Mosque and Dar al-Faqih al-Muqaddam and some students come to learn from him in his house. He presides over several weekly gatherings of remembrance and he leads the group visit to the Zanbal Graveyard on Friday. He has a special concern for women’s education and holds special weekly lessons for them. He also sends out groups of teachers and callers to Allah to the villages and towns of the region to teach the people and remind them of their duties.

In spite of his vast knowledge, Habib Mashhur is extremely humble and is greatly loved by his students and the people of Tarim. Even in his public lectures, he prefers to speak in the dialect of Tarim. This was the way of his predecessors, who were not interested in rhetoric and high language, but rather desired to be understood by all. Although now in his eighties, his routine is that of a young man. While honouring his teaching commitments, he is always to be seen attending wedding feasts and leading the funeral prayer. In his uprightness he is like a rock and through him the religion of the people of Tarim remains firm.

May Allah protect him, bless him with long life and allow us to benefit from him.

Weekly Salat: Ya Muqaddim

We continue our journey through Sayyidi Habib Umar’s collection of prayers using Allah’s beautiful names.

In this collection, Habib 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 مُقَدِّمُ صَلِّ على عَبْدِكَ و حَبِيبِكَ سَيِّدِنا مُحَمَّدٍ النَّبِيِّ المُقَدَّمِ و على آلِهِ و صَحْبِهِ و سَلِّمْ تَسْلِيماً وقَدِّمْنِي بِهِ في مَرَاتِبِ العُبُودِيِّةِ و الطَّاعَةِ لَكَ تَقْدِيماً

O Allah, the One who gives precedence to some over others, bestow abundant prayers and peace upon Your slave and beloved, our Master Muhammad, the Prophet who has been given absolute precedence, and upon his Family and Companions, and by him give me precedence in the stations of servitude and obedience to You.