Imam Hasan, the son of Imam Abdullah bin Alawi al-Haddad was
a seeker, a person of piety and a scholar who acted according to his knowledge.
Imam al-Haddad, however, was waiting for him to reach higher levels. He said:
“When that son of mine performs hajj something will be ingrained in him which was
not in him before.”
So he went to perform hajj and implemented all the sunnahs,
exerted great caution and effort until the hajj had its effect upon him. Then
he returned to Hadramawt and became a paragon of renunciation of worldly things
They told him that part of his house was falling and it
needed to be repaired (houses in Hadramawt are built from mud bricks and
require regular repair) but he replied that he did not need that part of the
house and life was short.
He focused on teaching and preparing for the next life until one half of the house caved in. He said: “The other half of the house is sufficient.” He carried on in this way until only one room of the house was left standing. When people criticised him, he replied with a verse of poetry:
يقولون بيتك بيت صغير كأن نسجته لك العنكبوت
فقلت المقام قليل به وهذا كثير على من يموت
They say your house is so small it could have been woven by
I say to them I will not live long in it and it is plenty
big enough for someone who is sure to die
This is the exact opposite of what hajj does to some people.
They go to hajj and they have some humility but they return with more desire
and concern for worldly things. This would be a sign that their hajj has not
been accepted and we seek Allah’s refuge from that.
The whole purpose of hajj is to draw us closer to Allah, the
King, the Living and that we see things as they truly are.
Habib Umar bin Hafiz (may Allah protect him and benefit us
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.
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?
body disappeared and he attained the honour of martyrdom in the path of his
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.
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.
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.
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?”
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.
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).”
Habib `Abdullah bin Husayn bin Tahir (may Allah have mercy upon him and benefit us by him) gives a metaphor for guidance.
“Felicity, guidance and all good attributes are like seeds planted in the heart of the believer. Those that call people to Allah and remind them of Allah and their reminders are like rain. People’s hearts are like the soil. Reminders are directed to the hearts like rain falls upon the soil. If Allah has decreed that it is time for someone to return to Him, the heart will react and submit and follow guidance, just like when rain falls upon fertile soil in which seeds have been planted it yields a good harvest.
Conversely, if the call is directed to hearts which possess no good qualities, it will be like rain falling upon rocky ground. If the call is directed to hearts filled with blameworthy qualities which are destined for wretchedness, they will respond by stubbornly rejecting the call and mocking the callers. This is like rain falling on earth filled with thorn trees. The more the rain falls, the more these trees grow and the more harmful they are. The only way to deal with them is to uproot them and burn them.”
Habib Umar then described meeting Habib Muhammad al-Haddar in his Ribat in al-Bayda. Still a teenager, Habib Umar had left the oppression of South Yemen and was planning to seek knowledge in the Hijaz. Habib Umar was yearning to visit the Prophet ﷺ and spend time in those blessed places, but Habib Muhammad assured him that the spirit of the Prophet was with him in al-Bayda. Habib Umar duly spent the next ten years in al-Bayda and made visits to Makkah and Madinah. Habib Muhammad had already reached the hearts of the people in the region of al-Bayda, and this is where Habib Umar began teaching and calling to Allah.
Habib Umar said, almost holding back his tears: “We are unable to repay him in any way. We are unable to repay his mercy, his kindness, his compassion, his noble character, his teaching, his guidance, his gaze and his love. But Allah will take it upon Himself to reward him on our behalf the best of rewards, and to reward his family, his children, those who love him and the people of his town.”
Dar al-Mustafa, 8th Rabi al-Thani 1440 / 15th December 2018
Shaykh ‘Abd al-Rahman bin Abdullah Ba ‘Abbad hails from a tribe which has long been known for knowledge and piety in Hadramawt. The Ba ‘Abbad tribe traces its lineage to Sayyiduna `Uthman bin `Affan (may Allah be pleased with him).
His first teacher was his father, Shaykh Abdullah, who later directed him to Habib Umar bin Hafiz to complete his spiritual instruction. His in depth legal training came at the hands of Habib Abd al-Qadir bin Salim Rawsh al-Saqqaf, Mufti of Hadramawat. He also took knowledge from Habib ‘Abd al-Qadir bin Ahmad al-Saqqaf and the other great scholars of his time.
Although still young in years, many people benefited from his wisdom and witnessed his beautiful character both in his home town of al-Ghurfah and in Yemen, the Middle East and South East Asia.
He contributed significantly to the renewal of traditional Islam in Hadramawt and students came from far and wide to study in the institute which he established and directed, Ribat al-Is’ad, in his hometown, al-Ghurfah.
Those who attended the annual visit to the Prophet Hud (peace be upon him) will remember his powerful speeches in the mosque established by his illustrious ancestors, Masjid Ba ‘Abbad. He was always a voice of reason and moderation and helped to maintain unity among the tribes of Hadramawt. He expended all his efforts to prevent bloodshed during the current conflict in Yemen.
Shaykh ‘Abd al-Rahman was killed in a car crash in Oman on 12th Muharram 1440 / 22nd September 2018. May Allah raise his station and the station of Hasan bin Muhammad Ba ‘Abbad, who died alongside him, and bless their loved ones with patience and contentment. His loss comes after the loss of his younger brother, Shaykh Muhammad, also a promising young scholar, in recent years. May Allah enable his youngest brother, Shaykh Ma’ruf to continue to carry the banner of the Prophetic legacy.
As the year 1439 came to a close, the Ummah lost one of its great men, Habib Abbas bin Muhammad bin Ali al-Saqqaf, the most senior of the Ba Alawi scholars in Singapore.
Habib Abbas was born in Singapore in 1923. He studied the Islamic sciences with the principal scholars of the city, including two great jurists: Shaykh Umar bin Abdullah al-Khatib and Qadi al-Shihr Habib Shaykh bin Abdullah al-Habashi. He then taught at a variety of places around Singapore.
The great caller to Allah, Habib Abd al-Qadir al-Saqqaf, indicated that Habib Abbas should establish gatherings of knowledge in his house and it duly became a focal point where the scholars and students of Singapore would gather.
The most frequented and well known of these gatherings was on Saturday morning in which the mawlid of Habib Ali al-Habashi, Simt al-Durar, was recited and a lesson in tasawwuf would be delivered. Any scholar visiting Singapore would make a point of visiting Habib Abbas. He passed away on 29th Dhu’l-Hijjah 1439, 10th September 2018.
Let us heed his oft-given advice: always be humble, show respect to your elders and show respect to all, regardless of whether they rich or poor, beggars or government ministers.
May Allah raise Habib Abbas to the highest of stations and allow his legacy to live on.