Category Archives: Biographies

Seek Forgiveness and Confound the Devil!

Habib Muhammad al-Haddar reminds us of the greatness of seeking forgiveness and how this confounds the Devil.

The Prophet ﷺ said: “The one who keeps seeking forgiveness is not regarded as a persistent sinner even if he were to return to the same sin seventy times a day.”[1]

All praise belongs to Allah for the blessing of seeking forgiveness (istighfar). Even if you were to keep committing a sin seventy times but you sought forgiveness, your Lord is All-Forgiving. The main thing is you seek forgiveness with your tongue and your heart. If the Devil tries to outdo you by sending you astray, outdo him by seeking forgiveness more. Continue reading

Imam al-Haddad on Steadfastness

In this short poem, Imam al-Haddad counsels us to be people of sabr (steadfastness or patience). He extols the virtues of steadfastness, gives glad tidings to those who possess this trait and points to its connection to other lofty spiritual stations. He reminds us of the nature of tribulations and their connection to the divine decree. Finally, he calls upon us to emulate the steadfastness of the pious who have gone before and their master, the Prophet Muhammad ﷺ

Habib Umar bin Hafiz is explaining the poem line by line at the beginning of his daily Rawha sessions as part of this year’s Dowra

Download the poem with translation here

 

Photo credit: thanks to Zach Reiner for sharing their work on Unsplash.

Habib Ahmad, as described by Shaykh Abdal Hakim Murad

Shaykh Abdal Hakim Murad describes Habib Ahmad Mashhur al-Haddad:

Habib Ahmad Mashhur al-Haddad was widely acknowledged as among the leading scholars and spiritual masters of the twentieth century. He was born in a town in Hadramawt, in southern Arabia. At an early age he committed the Quran to memory and spent most of his time in the relentless pursuit of the various branches of religious knowledge. He dedicated his life to teaching and spreading the word of Islam. He died in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia in 1995. Continue reading

Selected Salawat: Seeking to be at One With the Messenger ﷺ

Habib Ali al-Habashi (may Allah have mercy upon him and allow us to benefit from him) teaches us to use this prayer to seek the pleasure of Allah and His Messenger ﷺ and to ask that our actions and intentions be so connected to the Prophet that they are at one with him. Sayyidi Habib Umar bin Hafiz placed this prayer in his Hadrah Badriyyah.

اللَّهُمَّ صَلِّ وسَلِّمْ على سَيِّدِنا مُحَمَّدٍ ، صَلاةً تُرْضِيكَ وتُرْضِيهِ ، وتَنْطَوِي بِها أَعْمَالي ونِيَّاتي وحَرَكَاتي وسَكَناتي فِيه

Allahumma salli wa sallim `ala sayyidina Muhammad salatan turdika wa turdihi wa tantawi biha a`mali wa niyyaati wa harakaati wa sakanaati fih

O Allah, bestow Your prayers and peace upon our Master Muhammad, prayers which allow us to attain Your pleasure and his and cause my actions, intentions, movements and stillness to be enveloped in him.

The Legacy of Habib Muhammad bin Hafiz

Habib Umar bin Hafiz (may Allah protect him and benefit us by him) reflects on the legacy of his father, Habib Muhammad.

On a Friday, on the 29th of Dhu’l-Hijjah in 1392 (1973) I went out with my father to the Friday prayer. I came back from the prayer with only his scarf. He had disappeared.

But in reality who disappeared? Those who abducted him or him?

Do you not see him? Do you not see what he left behind? Do you not see his dawah?

His blessed body disappeared and he attained the honour of martyrdom in the path of his Lord.

But what remains is his legacy, his memory, his dawah, his concern, his words, what he built and what he gave.

He is a member of this ummah whose blood is connected to the blood spilt by Hamzah, the Lion of Allah and His Messenger. Hamzah did not disappear. Hamzah reached the pinnacle of honour and nobility. He is the ‘Master of all the Martyrs’ in Allah’s sight (may Allah be pleased with him). After him came the martyrdom of al-Husayn which we remember in Muharram.

The Scholar Who Worked as a Waiter

One of our teachers was Habib Muhammad bin Alawi al-Attas, a scholar and a true worshipper. He was known as ‘al-Zabidi’ because he spent some years studying with the scholars of Zabid (once a great centre of knowledge in Yemen). During his time there he chose to work as a waiter in a restaurant, not because he needed the money, but in order to refine his lower self (nafs): running round taking people’s orders, bring this, do this..

We visited him in his home in Huraydah at the end of his life with a group of scholars: among them Habib Mashhur bin Hafiz, Habib Umar bin Alawi al-Kaf, Habib Abdullah bin Muhammad bin Shihab and Habib Salim al-Shatiri. 

He said: “Last night someone saw the Prophet ﷺ in this very room.”

May Allah have mercy upon him – a scholar who knew the importance of refining the nafs.

Habib Umar bin Hafiz (may Allah protect him and benefit us by him) during his commentary on Ihya Ulum al-Din, Dar al-Mustafa, 28th Dhu’l-Qa’dah 1440.

Selected Salawat: Prayers Which Bring Life to My Soul

 

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 ، صَلاةً تَحْيَا بِها رُوحِي و تَنْشَطُ بِها جَوارِحي و يَقْوَى بِها قَلْبِي و يَسْرِي سِرُّها في أَوْلادِي و أَهْلِي و أَصْحَابي و أَكونُ بِها سَعِيداً مَسْعوداً

Allahumma salli wa sallim `ala sayyidina Muhammad salatan tahya biha ruhi wa tanshatu biha jawarihi wa yaqwa biha qalbi wa yasri sirruha fi awladi wa ahli wa ashabi wa akunu biha sa`idan mas’uda

 

O Allah, bestow Your prayers and peace upon our Master Muhammad, prayers which bring life to my soul, energy to my body and strength to my heart. May the secret of these prayers reach my children, my family and my companions and by them may I attain absolute felicity.

Understanding Commands and Prohibitions

Habib Ali al-Habashi (may Allah have mercy upon him and benefit us by him) discusses the meanings and implications of commands and prohibitions.

The commands which are found in the Qur’an and the Sunnah can be divided into that which is obligatory (wajib) and that which is recommended (mustahabb). That which is obligatory must be performed. Not performing it entails a punishment, while performing it entails a great reward and leads to the pleasure of the Lord. Performing acts which are recommended is a path which leads to the pleasure of the Lord and entering into the sphere of those who have drawn close to Allah, act with complete sincerity and love Him. Those who are wholeheartedly seeking Allah do not differentiate between actions which are obligatory and those which are recommended because all their efforts are expended doing that which draws them close to Allah and gains His pleasure.

Every act of obedience draws the servant to his Lord if he gives it its due, performs it as it should be performed, performs it is with a pious intention and desires only the pleasure of Allah in doing it. The purity of the servant’s actions and intentions is according to the purity of his heart.

Prohibitions can also be divided into two categories. The first is that which is forbidden (haram). Doing this entails a punishment and leads to the displeasure of the Lord. The second is that which is disliked (makruh). Leaving it entails a reward. Avoiding that which is prohibited is a huge obstacle which requires great strength and effort because what is at stake is being cut off from Allah. The more a person performs actions that are forbidden the further he is distanced from Allah.

The Messenger of Allah (Allah bless him and grant him peace) was asked: “If someone has illicit sexual relations is he a believer while he is doing so?”

“No,” he replied.

“If someone steals is he a believer while he is doing so?”

“No.”

This hadith implies that committing acts of disobedience causes the slave to be cut off from Allah. Thus the believer should be extremely careful to avoid that which may lead to his destruction, and extremely steadfast in this battle. If Allah knows that he is sincere, He will assist him with His own strength, and defend him from the scheming of his enemy and his troops. The slave must flee to his Lord in every situation.

Your Words Are Like Fruit

Imam al-Haddad (may Allah have mercy upon him and benefit us by him) explains that your speech is a reflection of your inner state.

“Your words are the fruit which you produce. So observe them: are they foul or are they good? What you find is what you are, for they are a part of you. A pure container only pours out that which is pure; and the opposite is true. Likewise, a good palm tree, or any tree, produces good fruit; and a foul tree produces foul fruit. ‘Every container gives of what it is contained within it.’ Allah the Exalted says: The good land produces abundant vegetation by the will of its Lord, whereas the foul land hardly produces anything (7:58).”

Source: Tathbit al-Fu’ad, Vol 1, p.27