Monthly Archives: January 2016

Intentions for Travelling

Advice on travelling from Habib `Ali al-Habashi (may Allah have mercy upon him and benefit us by him)

Habib `Ali says that travelling is in reality leaving behind one’s base nature to attain lofty stations in the proximity of Allah.

He then calls us to act upon the hadith of the Prophet ﷺ:

سَافِروا تَصِحُّوا سَافِروا تُرْزَقُوا

“Travel in the land, and you will be blessed with good health; travel in the land and you will be provided for.”[1]

Firstly, he says, we should intend by travelling obeying the command of the Messenger of Allah ﷺ to travel. We should then intend seeking provision – not merely material provision, but also spiritual provision – knowledge, guidance and light – which distinguishes man from animals. We should seek good health for our bodies, but more importantly we should seek to be healed from attachment to this world and other diseases of the heart.

We should also intend visiting the pious in the place to which we are travelling and seeking their blessings (barakah), for in every town there is a group of the people of truth, who protect that town; we should intend calling people to Allah (da`wah) and benefiting people with what knowledge we possess and teaching the ignorant and seeking in all of this the pleasure of Allah.

Beware of being cut off from Allah by being distracted by the adornment of the lands to which you are travelling and by seeking base pleasures as the peoples of those lands do. Be like someone who is merely passing by.

If you are deciding whether or not to do something, such as travelling, then bring the Chosen One ﷺ to your heart, consult him and then go with whatever your heart settles upon. If you find any of the pious then consult them too.


 Prayer for Travelling

Habib `Ali recommended repeating this prayer often, especially when one is travelling:

اللهُمَّ إنِّي في قَبْضَتِكَ حَيْثُما كُنْتُ فَلاحِظْني بِعَيْنِ عِنَايَتِكَ حَيْثُما كُنْتُ

“O Allah, I am in Your complete control wherever I am, so bless me with Your complete care wherever I am.”



[1] Narrated by al-Suyuti

Showing Kindness to the Ahl al-Bayt

Ḥb.`Alī bin Muḥammad al-Ḥabashi
Advice from Habib `Ali al-Habashi (may Allah have mercy upon him and benefit us by him)

Allah!  I counsel you by Allah to show kindness to the people of the household (Ahl al-Bayt) of the Messenger of Allah ﷺ. In doing this, you will attain great success, high ranks and the utmost felicity. To show kindness to them is to show kindness to their grandfather, and words cannot describe the merit of showing kindness to him ﷺ. So be someone that loves them, shows kindness to them and follows their guidance. Love them wholeheartedly and give them precedence over your own loved ones. If you see them do something which might cause you to have a bad opinion of them, then look for a good interpretation of that thing. Beware of verbally abusing them for doing so is like drinking deadly poison. To show enmity to them is to show enmity to the Messenger and to show enmity to the Messenger is to show enmity to Allah.

Commemorating the Life of Sayyidatuna Fatimah al-Zahra

On 20th Jumada al-Akhirah we commemorate the life of Sayyidatuna Fatimah (peace be upon her), the day on which she was born.

Here are some episodes on her life, presented by Habib Muhammad bin Abd al-Rahman al-Saqqaf (may Allah protect him) as part of the series, “The Perfected Women.”

The Perfected Women is a series presented by Habib bin Abd al-Rahman al-Saqqaf. He discusses the best women to have ever lived in this world, and shows how Muslim women of today can emulate them.


One Believer is a Mirror to Another

Habib `Abdullah bin Husayn bin Tahir (may Allah have mercy upon him and benefit us by him) derived four different meanings from the hadith of the Messenger of Allah (may Allah bless him and grant him peace):

المُؤْمِنُ مِرَآةُ المُؤْمِنِ

“One believer is a mirror to another.”[1]

One meaning, he said, is that the believer sees good qualities in his brother so he attempts to emulate them, or he sees bad qualities in his brother so he knows that he possesses similar qualities and attempts to eradicate them.

A second meaning is that the believer sees a fault in his brother so he tells him to remove it. He is thus like a mirror to his brother.

A third meaning is that the believer appears to his brother according to his brother’s inward state. If his heart is pure then he sees his brothers as being pure of heart like himself, and he holds a good opinion of them. If, however, his heart is sick he sees his brothers as being like him and he holds a bad opinion of them. The believer thus projects what is in his heart onto his brothers. Thus if someone sees the Prophet ﷺ in a beautiful form in a dream then this shows that the person is in a good state. If, however he does not see the Prophet ﷺ in a beautiful form then this shows that the person has some kind of deficiency.

A further meaning is that if a believer’s faith is complete, Allah manifests Himself to his heart. One of Allah’s names is ‘al-Mu’min’, meaning ‘the Faithful.’ Thus the meaning of the hadith would be: ‘the believer, or more specifically the heart of the believer is the place, or the mirror, to which Allah ‘the Faithful’ manifests himself.


[1] Narrated by Abu Daud

Reminding Believers of What was Sent with the Best of Messengers

This is a translation of a treatise by Habib `Abdullah bin Husayn bin Tahir (may Allah have mercy upon him and benefit us by him) entitled ‘Reminding Believers of What was Sent with the Best of Messengers.’ Although small in size, the treatise contains a comprehensive summary of the message which the Prophet ﷺ conveyed. Many people have tried and will try to summarise the teachings of Islam, but few have been able or will be able to do so in a way as complete and comprehensive as this great Imam, who combined inward and outward knowledge. May Allah allow us to be included in the prayer of Habib `Abdullah that ‘those who use it as a reminder or disseminate it will be people who commanded the good and forbade evil, and that they be beloved to the Best of Creation.’


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Benefits of Keeping the Company of the Pious



Advice from Habib `Abdullah bin Husayn bin Tahir (may Allah have mercy upon him and benefit us by him)

 The most beneficial means of rectifying your heart, attaining forgiveness for your sins, protecting yourself from calamities and attaining everything that you wish is keeping the company of the friends of Allah, the scholars who act on their knowledge. If you see them, they remind you of Allah. Their state lifts you and causes you to seek Allah and their speech guides you to Him. Witnessing their noble attributes encourages you to attain similar attributes. Keeping their company and looking at them is an act of worship and loving them is a cause of attaining felicity. The one who is able to keep their company should regard this as the greatest blessing. He should take advantage of it by doing so with love, veneration and a good opinion of them and complete etiquette inwardly and outwardly. He should seek to benefit from their knowledge, seek blessings from them and emulate them, for “every person is with the one that they love” and “every person follows the religion of his close companion.”

Guides of men – good tidings to the one has seen them

And kept their company even once in his life

Look at the dog of the ‘People of the Cave.’ Through keeping the company of the friends of Allah it was mentioned with them in the Qur’an, and it will enter Paradise with them.

Habib Ahmad bin Zayn al-Habashi said: “Understanding is a light which shines in the heart which is only given to those who keep the company of the pious or read their books.”

The most important thing is to have etiquette with them, for it has been said: “The one who is truly deprived is not the one who is deprived of keeping the companyof the pious, but the one who keeps their company but does not show them the correct etiquette.”

Habib `Umar bin Saqqaf al-Saqqaf (Habib `Abdullah’s shaykh) said: “The most beneficial thing for the wayfarer is to remember the lives and states of the pious, especially those who lived recently because they sought Allah at a time when people had turned away from Him and Allah gave them insight at a time when most people were blind.”

If you are unable to physically keep their company then read their books, their poetry and their biographies – for “mercy descends when the pious are mentioned.” The meaning of this, as Imam al-Ghazali says, is that mentioning them brings forth the desire to emulate them and to make up for one’s shortcomings which in turn leads to entering Paradise and meeting Allah which is the true meaning of mercy. Just as “mercy descends when the pious are mentioned,” the opposite is also true: the curse of Allah descends when corrupt people are mentioned. This is because mentioning them often causes the heart to make light of acts of disobedience. This is demonstrated in the hadith of the Prophet ﷺ : “A bad companion is like a blacksmith: if he does not burn you with his sparks you will leave with a bad odour.” Just as a person’s clothing carries a bad odour without him noticing, the heart begins to make light of acts of disobedience without the person noticing.

Habib `Abdullah bin Husayn bin Tahir

Screen Shot 2014-02-16 at 11.00.24 AM

His Lineage

He is al-Imam al-Habib `Abdullah bin Husayn bin Tahir bin Muhammad bin Hashim bin `Abd al-Rahman bin `Abdullah bin `Abd al-Rahman bin Muhammad Maghfun bin `Abd al-Rahman bin Ahmad bin `Alawi bin Ahmad bin `Abd al-Rahman bin `Alawi `Amm al-Faqih (uncle of al-Faqih al-Muqaddam), 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 Abi Talib and Fatimah al-Zahra’, the daughter of our Master Muhammad, the Seal of the Prophets .

His Life

Habib `Abdullah was born in Tarim in 1191 (1777). He received the upbringing that was customary in Tarim founded upon learning the Noble Qur’an and gaining a strong foundation in the sciences of the Sacred Law. His greatest teachers were his older brother, the great Imam, Habib Tahir, Imam `Abd al-Rahman Sahib al-Butayhah, Habib Hamid bin `Umar Hamid and Habib `Abdullah bin Abu Bakr Mawla `Aidid. The shaykh from whom he received his opening was Habib `Umar bin Saqqaf al-Saqqaf. He also spent a period of time in Makkah and al-Madinah learning from the scholars of the Two Sanctuaries.

Due to political strife in Tarim, he moved with his father and brother and their families to the nearby town of al-Masilah in 1210. The tribal chief who owned the land there saw in a dream the full moon falling and landing in his land. He thus gave them the land for nothing. Upon it they built a house and a mosque. With their arrival, al-Masilah was transformed from a backwater to a place of knowledge and spiritual nurturing.

Habib `Abdullah held immense respect for his older brother, Habib Tahir. In their childhood, he would never allow himself to defeat him in archery contests. He would always walk behind him and, in their house he would not go up to a higher storey if Habib Tahir was below. Only after his brother’s death in 1241, did he start teaching and calling to Allah openly.

He would not allow an instant to go by unused. Someone once gave him a (recently invented) pocket watch and asked him some time later whether he had benefited from it. He replied that he had used it for a time and then it had stopped. The man told him that the watch had to be wound up every day. Habib `Abdullah asked him, “Did you give me the watch in order for me to save time or waste time? Where can I find the time to wind it up?” Even the time he spent eating was used to increase in knowledge: his brother would eat and he would read to him and then he would eat and his brother would read. Just before Ramadan he would gather his household together and say to them: “All my time is full and I am unable to perform more acts of worship than I am already performing. Who will sell me some of their time?”

His daily wird was “La ilaha ill’Allah” 25,000 times, “Ya Allah” 25,000 times and 25,000 prayers upon the Prophet . He would recite 10 Juz’ of the Qur’an in his prayers at night and 8 Juz’ in the Duha (midmorning) prayer.

He would make ghusl and use perfume for every compulsory prayer. He spent as much of his time as possible in the mosque, about which he said:

وَ في المساجِدِ سِرٌّ ما جَلَسْتُ بِها

إِلاّ تَعَجَّبْتُ مِمَّنْ يَسْكُنُ الدُّورا

In mosques there is such a secret that whenever I sit in them, I marvel at those who spend their time in their houses.

He authored a number of treatises on different elements of the religion, one of which is Sulam al-Tawfīq, a primary text covering all compulsory knowledge. He also composed a Diwan of poetry which is contained, along with all the treatises, in his Majmu`. He used his poetry as a means to call people to Allah and, for that reason, made it as easy as possible for the common people to understand. His Hadiyat al-Sadiq comprehensively covers what every person needs on their path to Allah.

He studied, taught and lived by Imam al-Ghazali’s Ihya’ `Ulum al-Din to such an extent that his nephew, Habib `Abdullah bin `Umar bin Yahya, said of him: “He purified himself of all destructive traits and attained all praiseworthy traits which save one from destruction. His attributes are those that are contained in the Ihya and more.” Habib `Abdullah said of the Ihya: “Whoever desires to be upright on the Straight Path, to perfect their following of the Noble Prophet, to come to Allah with a sound heart, to attain noble character and to attain everlasting bliss then they must act according to what is contained in Ihya’ `Ulum al-Din.”

He said of himself: “I never committed an act which is disliked (makruh), nor did I even consider doing such a thing.”

His student, Habib `Ali al-Habashi, said of him: “He was similar in appearance to the Prophet . If I were to read the Shama’il of the Messenger of Allah in his presence, I would have witnessed those attributes in him.” Habib `Ali also described him as having received complete and perfect inheritance from the Best of Creation .

His love for worship did not prevent him from involving himself in the affairs of the community. He took care of the poor and needy and supported his brother Habib Tahir in the struggle against the oppressive Yafi` tribesmen that controlled Tarim. He also lent his support to the Kathiri State, which many of the scholars hoped would bring justice and rectification to Hadramawt. His great poem Ya Arham al-Rahimin is a plea to Allah to rectify the Muslims and their leaders and reflects the turbulent time in which he lived. It continues to be read in many gatherings and can be found in the famous Hadrah compiled by Habib `Abdullah’s student, Shaykh `Abdullah bin Ahmad Ba Sawdan.

In spite of all his great works, he saw himself as merely a poor, sinful slave in desperate need of the mercy of his Lord.

إِحْســــانُنا مَســـاوي وَصِـــدْقُنا دَعَـاوي

Our so-called goodness is a catalogue of wrongdoings And our truthfulness is a false claim

يا رَبِّ ما مَعْنا عَمَلْ و كَسْبُنا كُلُهْ زَلَلْ

لَكِنْ لَنا فِيكْ أَمَلْ تُحْيِي العِظَامَ الرَّامَةْ

My Lord we have no (good) actions and all that we have earned are wrongdoings

But in You we have hope which brings decayed bones to life.

His constant plea was for Allah to bless him with a good ending:

يَالله بِهَا يَالله بِهَا يَالله بِحُسْنِ الْخَاتِمَة

Thus, it was no surprise that death came to him while he was in the best of states on 17th Rabi` al-Thani 1272 (1855).

His hawl, or annual commemoration of his passing, in al-Masilah is attended by many on the morning of 17th Rabi` al-Thani. It was on this occasion in 1400 that Habib Muhammad bin `Alawi bin Shihab delivered his final speech. Upon finishing he said, “O Allah bless us with tawfiq1” and sat down and breathed his last breath. He died, as he had lived, calling to Allah and His Messenger ﷺ.

We end this brief biography with the final verses of Habib `Abdullah’s poem Hadiyat al-Sadiq, which are often sung at the end of the gatherings of knowledge:

يَا رَبَّنَــا اعْتَرَفْنَـا بِأَنَّنَـا اقْتَرَفْنَـا

وَأَنَّنَـا أَسْـرَفْنَـا عَلَى لَظَـى أَشْـرَفْنَا

فَتُـبْ عَلَيْنَـا تَوْبَـهْ تَغْـسِلُ كُـلَّ حَوْبَـهْ

وَاسْتُرْ لَنَـا العَـوْرَاتِ وَآمِـنِ الرَّوْعَـاتِ

وَاغْفِـرْ لِوَالِـدِينَا رَبِّ و َ مَوْلُودِينَــا

وَالأَهْـلِ وَالإِخْـوَانِ وَسَــائِرِ الْخِــلاَّنِ

وَكُـلِّ ذِي مَحَبَّـهْ أَوْجِيْــرَةٍ أَوْ صُـحْبَهْ

وَالْمُـسْلِمِينَ أَجْمَـعْ آمِــينَ رَبِّ اِسْمَـعْ

فَضَلاً وَجُـودًا مَنَّـا لا بِاكْتِـسَابٍ مِنَّـا

بِالْمُـصْطَفَى الرَّسُـولِ نَحْظَى بِكُـلِّ سُـولِ

صَلَّى وَسَـلَّمْ رَبِّـى عَلَيْـهِ عَـدَّ الْحَـبِّ

وَآلِـهِ وَالـصَّحْبِ عِدَادَ طَشِّ الـسُّحْبِ

وَالْحَمْـدُ لِلإِلَــهِ فِي البِدْئِ وَالتَنَـاهِي


O Lord, we admit that we have committed sins

And that we have exceeded the bounds

(Such that) we are on the brink of a blazing fire

So turn to us with a repentance

That washes away every wrongdoing

And conceal our faults

And calm our fears

And forgive our parents and our children

And our family, our brothers and all our friends

And all those we love and our neighbors and companions

And all the Muslims

Amin! O Lord, hear our petition!

Out of Your grace, Your generosity and Your favor

Not because of our own actions

Through the Messenger, the Chosen One

Bless us with all we ask for

My Lord, bestow peace and blessings upon him

To the number of every grain

And upon his Family and Companions

As much as rain falls from the clouds

And all thanks and praise be to Allah

In the beginning and the end.

1Enabling grace”


Verses of Poetry to Recite in Times of Hardship


Sayyidi Habib Umar bin Hafiz recommends repeating these verses of poetry especially in times of difficulty. They are recited before and after Fajr in Dar al-Mustafa and after Isha. He composed them in Madinah al-Munawwarah on 29th Rabi’ al Awwal 1437 :

يَاعُمْدَتِي ياعُدَّتِي يامُنْقِذِي مِنْ شِدَّتِي

You are my reliance, You are my support, You are my saviour from all hardship

وَجَّهْتُ لَكَ وِجْهَتِي عَجِّلْ بِغَوْثِي ياعَظِيمْ

I turn my whole being to You – rush to My Aid, O Most Great!

وَسَخِّرِ الْأَسْبَابَا وَذَلِّـلِ الصِّعَابَا

Make easy the means for all good and remove all difficulties

وَافْتَحْ لَنَا الْأَبْوَابَا بِالنَّصْرِ مِنْكَ ياكَرِيمْ

And open for us all doors with Your support, O Most Generous

وَرُدَّ كَيْدَ الْكَائِدِ وَكُلَّ طَاغٍ مَارِدِ

And foil the plot of every schemer and rebellious tyrant

(وَحَاسِدٍ مُعَانِدِ بِحَقِّ سِرْ (طسم

And every envious and stubborn enemy, by the right and secret of “Ta Sin Mim”

(“Ta Sin Mim” are the letters which appear at the begin of Surat Al-Shu’ara and Surat Al-Qasas)

Thanks to


Habib Muhammad al-Haddar

His Lineage

He is al-Habib al-`Allamah Muhammad bin `Abdullah “al-Haddar” bin Shaykh bin Ahmad bin Muhsin bin `Ali bin Salih bin Muhammad bin Salih bin Ahmad 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 al-Darak, bin `Alawi al-Ghayur, bin al-Faqih al-Muqaddam Muḥammad, bin `Ali, bin Muḥammad 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 Abi Talib and Fatimah al-Zahra’, the daughter of our Master Muhammad, the Seal of the Prophets .

His Life

Habib Muhammad was born in the village of `Azzah near the city of al-Bayda’ in the North of Yemen in the year 1340 (1921). His great, great grandfather Sayyid Muhsin had left Hadramawt and settled in al-Bayda’ around the beginning of the 13th Hijri century. He was given the best of upbringings by his father, who had devoted him to the service of Allah while he was still in his mother’s womb. His father hoped that Allah would in turn make him a scholar. His mother was Nur bint `Abdullah Ba Sahi, an extremely pious woman known for her worship and charity. She would spend from dawn to dusk in her kitchen cooking for the hungry, especially at the time of famine in Yemen during the Second World War. In his childhood, Habib Muhammad learnt the Qur’an and the foundational Islamic sciences from his father and the scholars of al-Bayda’. In one of the last nights of Ramadan while in the mosque, he witnessed a brilliant light. When he informed his father of this, he said to him: “Perhaps it is Laylat al-Qadr, so ask Allah to make you one of the scholars that act according to their knowledge.”

His thirst for knowledge then led him to attempt to travel to Tarim at the age of seventeen. After travelling by sailboat from Aden to al-Mukalla’, he was unable to go any further due to political strife and thus returned home. Not deterred, he then travelled by land. His father accompanied him on the first leg of the journey. When the time came for them to part company his father faced the qiblah with tears in his eyes and said: “O Allah, people are sending their children to America and other places to earn them money and I am sending him to learn, so give him an opening and make him one of the scholars that act according to their knowledge.” In spite of almost dying of thirst on a mountain path between Say’un and Tarim, Habib Muhammad finally arrived safely in Tarim, and headed straight for its famous Ribat, where he was met by Habib `Abdullah bin `Umar al-Shatiri.

Habib Muhammad spent the next four years in the Ribat in the pursuit of knowledge. His efforts were immense. He would prepare for each lesson by reading the subject material at least eighteen times and would only sleep around two hours in the day and night. So engaged was he in his studies that he did not once enter the room of the student in the room next door to him and did not open letters that were sent to him from al-Bayda’. Habib `Abdullah recognized his ability and gave him special attention and responsibility, leaving the Ribat in his hands when he left Tarim. He studied at the hands of, among others, Habib `Alawi bin `Abdullah bin Shihab, Habib Ja`far bin Ahmad al-`Aydarus and Shaykh Mahfuz bin Salim al-Zubaydi. After the death of Habib `Abdullah in 1361 (1941), Habib Muhammad returned home, his heart full with desire to spread his knowledge and guide people to the path of Allah. In 1362 (1942), he established a school in his birthplace, `Azzah. He would also go out to the people, travelling from village to village reminding people of their duties. He would address the crowds that gathered for the weekly market in the city of al-Bayda’ and played an important role in resolving tribal conflicts.

He was briefly imprisoned by the British in Aden, although he had not committed any crime. When Habib `Alawi bin Shihab was informed of his imprisonment he was happy as he considered it a sign of prophetic inheritance. He had previously been concerned that Habib Muhammad had met much success in calling people to Allah and had not been tested by a misfortune such as this.

He travelled on foot to perform hajj in 1365 (1945). On his return, he spent some time in Ta`izz studying at the hands of Habib Ibrahim bin `Aqil bin Yahya. In 1375 (1955) he performed hajj for the second time and from that year on, he would make hajj almost every year – while, at the same time, taking knowledge from the scholars of the Hijaz, among them Sayyid `Alawi bin `Abbas al-Maliki.

In 1370 (1950), he travelled to Somalia and was made Imam of Masjid Mirwas in Mogadishu. He remained there for a year and a half, during which time Habib Ahmad Mashhur al-Haddad visited him. He taught constantly and oversaw the establishment of a ribat in the town of Baidoa.

Many years before, Habib `Abdullah bin `Umar al-Shatiri had told Habib Muhammad that he would establish his own ribat in the city of al-Bayda’, and he strove to make this a reality. He sought financial support in Aden and Ethiopia, and preliminary construction was completed in 1380 (1960). Many people saw the Messenger of Allah in their dreams giving good tidings of the success of the Ribat. Someone saw him planting his blessed foot in the Ribat saying: “This will remain as long as my Ummah remains.” Habib Muhammad was in need of a teacher so he requested that Habib Muhammad bin Salim bin Hafiz send someone from Tarim. Habib Muhammad selected Habib Zayn bin Ibrahim bin Sumayt, who became the Ribat’s greatest teacher and remained in al-Bayda’ for around twenty years. In 1402 (1981), Habib `Umar bin Muhammad bin Salim bin Hafiz left a troubled Hadramawt and came to al-Bayda’. He spent ten years taking knowledge from Habib Muhammad, who married his daughter to him. Habib `Umar also taught in the Ribat and expended great efforts calling the people of the region to Allah and His Messenger . All of this was the best preparation for his return to Hadramawt after the fall of the socialist regime and his eventual establishment of his own ribat, Dar al-Mustafa.


Habib Muhammad was staunch in his opposition to the socialist government that came into power in South Yemen in 1387 (1967) which led to his imprisonment in al-Mukalla’ on a visit to Hadramawt in 1390 (1970). But this did not prevent him from calling to Allah and, in his time there, the prison was transformed. The five prayers were established in congregation and Habib Muhammad delivered lectures and lessons to the inmates. Due in part to the intercession of Habib `Abd al-Qadir al-Saqqaf and Habib Ja`far al-`Aydarus, he was eventually released and he returned to al-Bayda’. He thanked them for their efforts and warned the scholars of Tarim and Say’un of the danger of remaining in Hadramawt.

In 1395 (1974), he went to the Comoros Islands to visit Habib `Umar bin Sumayt and then to Kenya to visit Habib Ahmad Mashhur al-Haddad. Habib Muhammad had established a close bond with Habib `Abd al-Qadir al-Saqqaf and they travelled together to Iraq and Syria in 1396 (1975). Habib `Abd al-Qadir al-Saqqaf also twice visited al-Bayda’ and Habib Muhammad’s Ribat. Habib Muhammad had great respect for the Tabligh movement and, in 1402 (1981), he headed to Pakistan, Bangladesh, Thailand and Malaysia to visit the movement’s scholars and attend their gatherings.

From the time he rose for the night prayer, his waking moments were filled with the remembrance of Allah. He would complete the recitation of the Qur’an every week. He would teach daily from books such as Sahih al-Bukhari, Ihya’ `Ulum al-Din, Qadi `Iyad’s al-Shifa and Minhaj al-Talibin of Imam al-Nawawi. He never left the congregational prayer from his childhood to his old age. He would sit daily to resolve people’s problems and receive their questions. Due to his immense legal knowledge, he was appointed mufti of the province of al-Bayda’.

He compiled a number of collections of adhkar to be read during the day and night (al-Fawa’id al-Ithna `Ashar, Nashi’at al-Layl) and on journeys (Jawahir al-Jawahir). The many adhkar that are read today in Dar al-Mustafa are merely a selection of some of his daily awrad. He also compiled collections of adhkar and supplications for Ramadan (al-Nafahat al-Ramadaniyyah) and for hajj (Miftah al-Hajj). He wrote a treatise on the attainment of noble character (`Ajalat al-Sibaq), a treatise on the performance of hajj (Risalat al-Hajj al-Mabrur) and compiled a selection of hadith entitled Shifa al-Saqim. Through his numerous poems, many written in colloquial Arabic, he called people to fulfill their duties towards Allah and warned them against disobeying Him.

Habib Muhammad suffered for many years from serious illness and towards the end of his life he moved to Makkah, where the climate suited his condition. He would travel regularly to visit his grandfather, the Messenger of Allah , where he would stand for hours in front of the Blessed Chamber. He would also go often to Jeddah to attend the gatherings of Habib `Abd al-Qadir al-Saqqaf  and would likewise attend the gatherings of Habib Abu Bakr al-`Attas al-Habashi in Makkah. His son said of him that he did not waste a moment of his life. Due to his incapacity as death approached, he had one of his relatives make tayammum for him. His last words were the words he would repeat frequently throughout his life:

لا إِلَهَ إِلاّ الله أَفْنِي بِها عُمْري

لا إِلَهَ إِلاّ الله أَدْخُل بِها قَبْري

لا إِلَهَ إِلاّ الله أَخْلو بِها وَحْدي

لا إِلَهَ إِلاّ الله أَلْقى بِها رَبِّي

la ilaha ill’Allah – with it I end my life

la ilaha ill’Allah – with it I enter my grave

la ilaha ill’Allah – with it alone I isolate myself

la ilaha ill’Allah – with it I meet my Lord1

He then fell into prostration and his soul departed from his body. It was the 8th Rabi` al-Thani 1418 (1997). As his body was carried to its resting place in the Ma`la Cemetery, Makkah was filled with the loud recitation of la ilaha ill’Allah, a fitting end to a man who had said: “Our flesh and blood is infused with la ilaha ill’Allah.” He was buried in the proximity of his mother, the Mother of the Believers, al-Sayyidah Khadijah al-Kubra and Habib Ahmad Mashhur al-Haddad. May Allah continue to benefit us by him and may his memory live on.

He would end his gatherings and prayers in the last portion of the night with these words:

وَامْنُنْ إِلَهِي بِالقَبُولِ لأعْمَالِنَا وَالدَّعَوَات ،

نَدْخُل مَعَ طَهَ وَآلِه فِي الصُّفُوفِ الأَوَّلات ،

مَعَهُمْ وَفِيهِمْ دَائِماً فِي الدَّارِ ذِه وَالآخِرَات ،

وَاغْفِرْ لِنَاظِمِهَا وَلِلْقَارِينَ هُمْ وَالقَارِيَات ،

وَمَنْ سَمِعهَا أَوْ نَشَرهَا وَكَاتِبِينَ وَكَاتِبَات ،

وَارْحَمْ وَوَفِّقْ أُمَّةَ أَحْمَد وَاهْدِ وَاصْلِحْ لِلنِّيِّات ،

عَلَيْهِ صَلَّى اللَّهُ وَسَلَّمَ عَدَّ ذَرِّ الكَائِنَات ،

وَآلِه وَكُلّ الأَنْبِيَاء وَالصَّالِحِينَ وَالصَّالِحَات ،

فِي كُلِّ لَحْظَةٍ أَبَدًا عَلَى عِدَادِ اللَّحَظَات ،

وَالحَمْدُ لِلَّهِ كَمَا يُحِبُّ عَدَّ النّعمَات ،

My Lord grant our actions and supplications acceptance

Let us enter (paradise) along with Taha and his Family in the first row

Let us be with them always in this abode and in the next

Forgive the poet and those reading this poem, male and female

And anyone that hears it and spreads it and those that write it male and female

Have mercy and grant grace to the Ummah of Ahmad, guide its members and rectify our intentions

May peace and blessings be upon him, the number of atoms in creation

And upon his Family and all the Prophets and the pious men and women

In every instant, forevermore, the sum of all innumerable moments

And all praise belongs to Allah, equal to His infinite grace and bounty, as He loves to be praised.

  1. From the `Aqidah of Shaykh Ali bin Abu Bakr al-Sakran

All Good is Contained in Two Rakats

Al Habib Muhammad Bin Abdullah Al Haddar

Habib Muhammad al-Haddar (may Allah have mercy upon him and benefit us by him) alerts us to the significance of every prayer we pray.

All you have to do is to pray two rakats, for in them Allah has combined all good things. Firstly in doing so you visit Allah, for when the Prophet ﷺ visited his Lord on the Night of the Mi`raj he addressed Him by saying:

التَّحيِّاتُ المبُارَكاتُ الصَّلواتُ الطَّيِّبَاتُ لِلَّه


‘Greetings, blessings and the best of prayers to Allah.’ If you say this you will be given the reward of making Hajj.

Secondly you visit your Prophet for you say:

السَّلامُ عَلَيْكَ أَيُّها النَّبِيُّ و رَحْمَةُ اللهِ و بَركاتُه


‘Peace be upon you, O Prophet and the mercy and blessings of Allah.’ Think of how much good you gain when you visit the Prophet.

Then you say:

السَّلامُ عَلَيْنا و على عِبادِ اللهِ الصَّالِحين


‘Peace be upon us and upon all of Allah’s pious slaves.’ This is what the Prophet said when Allah greeted him. He wished to include all pious people. These words reach every single pious person in the heavens and earth, those who are alive and those who are dead, and every single one of them will respond to your greeting. There is, however, a group of them who do not return your greeting because they are completely absorbed with the worship of their Lord and witnessing Him, so Allah responds on their behalf. One of the scholars said: “If only none of them responded so that Allah Himself would respond on behalf of all them, for nothing is greater than that.”

Then you finish by giving greetings of salam to those on your right, firstly the recording angel and then all the pious people in the heavens and the earth. Then you give greetings to those on your left, firstly the recording angel and then all the pious people in the heavens and the earth. Allah then records for you good deeds according to the number of pious people. All of this is in two rakats! If your heart and mind are present you will gain so much!

So all praise is due to Allah for the blessing of Islam, the blessing of following the Messenger, and the blessing of being members of his Ummah. We should rejoice for the good which Allah has prepared for us and this rejoicing is only complete when we die upon la ilaha ill’Allah.