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”


Keeping the Company of the Poor

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

You must show good character to all people. Through good character you may attain the stations of the people of immense truthfulness (al-siddiqun) and ascend to the highest levels of certainty. Be the most gentle and forbearing of people. Pardon those who wrong you and give to those who refuse to give you anything. If someone treats you badly, treat them well and forgive their wrongdoings however great they are.

Show compassion to the weak and needy and keep the company of the poor. Sit in their company without seeing yourself as superior to them, but rather see yourself as the lowest among them. If you see lice on their clothing then remove them. Eat with them regardless of the place in which they are eating.

Allah’s gaze is upon them and they are the means of attaining His mercy. They possess the most precious treasure and they will have the greatest status on the Day of Judgement. On that day, they will be in Allah’s presence. So be with them in this life and you will be considered one of them and you will be resurrected with them.

It is enough of an honor for them that the Truthful One ﷺ said:

“O Allah, allow me to live as a poor person, to die as a poor person and resurrect me along with poor people.”

Reflect upon his statement:

“Resurrect me along with poor people.”

This shows you how elevated their station is.

Habib Salim bin Hafiz

الحبيب سالم بن حفيظ

His Lineage

He is al-Habib al-`Allamah al-Musnid 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 al-Darak, bin `Alawi al-Ghayur, 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 Abi Talib and Fatimah al-Zahra’, the daughter of our Master Muhammad, the Seal of the Prophets .


His Life

Habib Salim was born in in the town of Bondowoso in East Java, Indonesia, in 1288 (1871) and in 1297 his father, Habib Hafiz, travelled with him to Hadramawt. They settled in his father’s birthplace, the village of Mishtah near Tarim. It was there that Habib Salim began his study of the Qur’an. In 1304 his father took him to seek knowledge in Tarim. He came under the supervision of the Mufti of Hadramawt, Habib `Abd al-Rahman bin Muhammad al-Mashhur. He and a group of students would spend the night in Habib `Abd al-Rahman’s house. The students would then accompany Habib `Abd al-Rahman to the Masjid of Shaykh `Ali in the last third of the night where they would recite the Qur’an until Fajr. Thereafter they would read books to Habib `Abd al-Rahman until Ishraq and then return to his house. The rest of the day would be spent attending gatherings of knowledge and remembrance. After a year in Tarim, Habib Salim moved to Say’un to be with his father. He studied at the hands of the great scholars of Say’un of the time, among them Habib `Ali al-Habashi and Habib `Ubaydullah bin Muhsin al-Saqqaf. Thereafter he returned to settle in Mishtah, but made regular visits to scholars throughout the Hadramawt region.

He made a number of expeditions to the Hijaz and visited Java, India and East Africa. He took knowledge from the scholars in each place he visited and connected to their chains of transmission. The importance of the isnad or chain of transmission is reflected in the statement of Imam `Abdullah bin Mubarak: “The isnad is part of the religion and had it not been for the isnad anyone could have said whatever they wished to say.”[1] Habib Salim’s concern for preserving these chains of transmission is reflected in his work, Minhat al-Ilah. In it he mentions no less than 149 of his shaykhs in Hadramawt and elsewhere. He includes a brief biography of each shaykh and mentions the nature of his connection to him and any written ijazah he received from him.[2] We are indebted to Habib Salim for this work, and he is rightly known as a musnid for his preservation and transmission of these chains. He mentions at the forefront of his many teachers: Habib `Aydarus bin `Umar al-Habashi, Habib `Abd al-Rahman al-Mashhur and his son, Habib `Ali, Habib `Ali al-Habashi, Habib Ahmad bin Hasan al-`Attas, and Shaykh Abu Bakr bin Ahmad al-Khatib.

His time in Mishtah was spent teaching the people of the town and mediating between them in disputes. In the last part of the night he would go the Jami` Mosque. He would help the people of the town to wake up before Fajr by giving the adhan and reciting the last verses of Surat Al `Imran. He would do this at the top of his voice since it was before the time of loud speakers. He would then pray the Witr prayer and recite the Qur’an until Fajr. Some of his students would read to him after Fajr. The rest of his day would be spent in teaching and worship. Like many of his predecessors, he would read part of Imam al-Ghazali’s Ihya’ `Ulum al-Din every day and as soon as he finished the book he would start from the beginning again. At times he would begin the reading of Sahih al-Bukhari at the grave of his ancestor, Shaykh Abu Bakr bin Salim and would also complete the reading there. He lived in the days when printed books where still rare and was an expert at hand copying books. He wrote numerous copies of the Qur’an as well as other books with his own hand.

He is known for his immense humility. If he attended a gathering of knowledge over which someone else was presiding he would sit at the edge of the gathering and not say a word, in spite of his great knowledge. When a number of students came to Mishtah to learn from him, he asked why they were coming to him. He heard a voice informing him that it was due to the great mercy that he showed to people. He saw himself as being indebted to his students rather than his students being indebted to him.

In 1363, he set aside land to be used as a graveyard for the people of the town, which he named ‘al-Rawdah’. Prior to this, the people of Mishtah would bury their dead in Tarim or `Aynat, but Habib Salim relieved them of the hardship of doing so. He built a mosque there, dug a well and planted numerous date palms.

His Death

He died after a short illness on 29th Rajab 1378 (1959). He had already designated the place in which he wished to be buried next to the mosque he built in al-Rawdah. His son, Habib Muhammad, later extended the building to include an area where children could study the Qur’an. In 1429 (2008), Hadramawt was struck by severe flooding. Mishtah was one of the towns that suffered most damage. Many houses were destroyed, driving their inhabitants to move to Tarim. The musalla in al-Rawdah was destroyed and many of the graves around it were damaged. Habib Salim’s grave, however, remained intact and the musalla has now been beautifully rebuilt on firmer foundations, designed to resist future flooding. A ribat has now been opened there which is a branch of Dar al-Mustafa.

Habib Salim’s progeny went on to render great services to Islam: his son Habib Muhammad gave his life for the religion and Habib Muhammad’s two sons, Habib `Ali al-Mashhur and Habib `Umar, are currently continuing the work of their father and grandfather.

[1] Introduction to Sahih Muslim

[2] The ijazah is the licence or permission given by the shaykh to the student to transmit knowledge.

Habib `Abdullah bin Husayn’s Prayer for the Removal of Hardships

This is Habib `Abdullah bin Husayn bin Tahir’s prayer which has been tried and tested for the removal of hardships:

اللَّهُمَّ صَلِّ عَلَى سَيِّدِنَا مُحَمَّدٍ و عَلَى آلِ سَيِّدِنَا مُحَمَّدٍ صَلاةَ عَبْدٍ قَلَّتْ حِيلَتُهُ و رَسُولُ اللهِ وَسِيلتُهُ  وأَنْتَ لها يا إِلهي و لِكُلِّ كَرْبٍ عَظِيمٍ فَفَرِّجْ ما أَنا فيِهِ بِسِرِّ :بِسْمِ اللهِ الرَّحْمَنِ الرَّحِيم

O Allah, bestow prayers upon our Master Muhammad and upon the Family of our Master Muhammad, the prayers of a slave who has no way out and the Messenger of Allah is his only intermediary. My Lord, You are here for this and for every great calamity so remove the hardship that I am in through the secret of: ‘In the name of Allah, the Most Compassionate, the Most Merciful.’

Prayers for our Hearts and our Homes


Habib `Ali al-Habashi (may Allah have mercy upon him and benefit us by him) teaches us to ask for the attributes which should reside in our hearts and in our homes.

Sayyidi Habib Umar bin Hafiz recommends reading these prayers:

اللَّهُمَّ اجْعَلْ مُسْتَقَرَّ العِلْمِ النَّافِعِ قُلُوبَنا، ومُسْتَقَرَّ أَرْبَابِهِ دِيارَنا

اللَّهُمَّ اجْعَلْ مُسْتَقَرَّ المَعْرِفَةِ بِاللهِ قُلُوبَنا، ومُسْتَقَرَّ أَرْبَابِها دِيارَنا

اللَّهُمَّ اجْعَلْ مُسْتَقَرَّ اليَقِينِ التَّامِّ قُلُوبَنا ، و مُسْتَقَرَّ أَرْبَابِهِ دِيارَنا

اللَّهُمَّ اجْعَلْ مُسْتَقَرَّ الوَرَعِ الحَاجِزِ قُلُوبَنا ، و مُسْتَقَرَّ أَرْبَابِهِ دِيارَنا

O Allah, make our hearts places where beneficial knowledge resides and make our homes places where those who possess it reside.

O Allah, make our hearts places where knowledge of Allah resides and make our homes places where those who possess it reside.

O Allah, make our hearts places where absolute certainty resides and make our homes places where those who possess it reside.

O Allah, make our hearts places where complete scrupulousness resides and make our homes places where those who possess it reside.

Habib Ali al-Habashi


His Lineage

He is al-Imam al-Habib `Ali bin Muhammad bin Husayn bin `Abdullah bin Shaykh bin `Abdullah bin Muhammad bin Husayn bin Ahmad Sahib al-Shi`b bin Muhammad bin `Alawi bin Abu Bakr al-Habashi bin `Ali bin Ahmad bin Muhammad “Asad Allah” bin Hasan al-Turabi bin `Ali 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 Abi Talib and Fatimah al-Zahra’, the daughter of our Master Muhammad, the Seal of the Prophets .

His mother was the knower of Allah and caller to Him, Sayyidah `Alawiyyah bint Husayn al-Jifri.

His Life

Habib `Ali was born in the town of Qasam, North East of Tarim, in 1259 (1843) at a time when his father, Habib Muhammad, was calling to Allah in the area at the order of his shaykh, Habib `Abdullah bin Husayn bin Tahir. It was Habib `Abdullah who named him `Ali. In 1266, Habib Muhammad moved to Makkah, where he became the Mufti of the Shafi`i school. Habib `Ali remained with his mother in Qasam where he excelled in the study of the Qur’an and the sciences of the Sacred Law until 1271, when they moved to Say’un. There he studied at the hands of Habib `Abd al-Rahman bin `Ali al-Saqqaf and Habib Muhsin bin `Alawi al-Saqqaf and others. He would also attend the gatherings of the great Imams, Habib Hasan bin Salih al-Bahr and Habib `Aydarus bin `Umar al-Habashi. In 1276, he travelled to Makkah and spent two years in the company of his father taking as much as he could from his knowledge and adab. He also took from Shaykh al-Islam, Sayyid Ahmad Zayni Dahlan and other great scholars of the time.

He returned to Say’un in 1278, where he started teaching while still seeking knowledge at the hands of the scholars of the region. It was at this time that he was united with the shaykh at whose hand his greatest opening came, the Qutb Habib Abu Bakr bin `Abdullah al-`Attas. Habib `Ali spent around two years in Habib Abu Bakr’s company and said: “If I was given the choice between the bliss of Paradise and sitting in the presence of Habib Abu Bakr, I would choose sitting in his presence.” Habib Abu Bakr informed Habib `Ali that he would be like a magnet that pulled people’s hearts to Allah.

Habib `Ali then broadened his call to Allah, and Allah placed love for him in people’s hearts. He said: “I do not see a net more effective in capturing immense gifts and divine knowledge than calling to Allah.” Out of his sincerity, if he stood up to give a public speech, people would cry before he even opened his mouth. The mercy that he had for creation was such that he would not sleep before making tawbah on behalf of the whole Ummah and asking Allah to guide the scholars, teach the ignorant and pardon the wrong-doers. He said: “My hope in Allah is that He will not punish a single person who lives in my time, and this is not a great thing for Allah.” His great companion on the path, Habib Ahmad bin Hasan al-`Attas said of Habib `Ali: “Was he someone who prayed a lot or did not sleep at night or made an immense amount of dhikr? No. Rather, he loved his Lord and his Prophet Muhammad and his predecessors, so they brought him to them and ordered him to speak with their tongue and to call to Allah as the direct deputy of the Prophet.”

Along with his concern for the spiritual nourishment of the people, he also arranged financial support for numerous poor households. He had a great concern for students of knowledge and spent his wealth supporting them and his time educating them. In 1296, he built a Ribat or school in Say’un for students of knowledge, the first of its kind in Hadramawt. Students came from far and wide to study and live in the Ribat, which produced a large number of scholars and callers to Allah. A few years later, Habib `Ali built a mosque, Masjid al-Riyad, as an extension of the Ribat.

Habib `Ali is best known for his immense connection to the Messenger of Allah . On one of his visits to him in al-Madinah, the Prophet gave him the good tidings that his actions and the actions of his companions had found acceptance with Allah.

He established an annual gathering of mawlid in Say’un on the last Thursday of the month of Rabi` al-Awwal which up to 40,000 people attended, all of whom Habib `Ali provided with food and accommodation. The mawlid of Imam al-Dayba`i was recited in the gathering until in, 1327, Habib `Ali composed his masterpiece, Simt al-Durur, which he described as a “gift to those of later generations, for in it is an exposition on the state of the Prophet .” The fame and popularity of Simt al-Durur rapidly spread and it continues to be one of the most popular and widely read of all the mawlid compositions. In 1328, Habib Salih bin `Alawi Jamal al-Layl wrote to Habib `Ali, his shaykh, informing him of the impact Simt al-Durur was having in East Africa. On the island of Lamu Habib Salih built his own Masjid al-Riyad, and gathered great numbers of people to read the mawlid on the last Thursday of Rabi` al-Awwal, a gathering which continues to grow to this day.

Habib `Ali’s poetry, which reached six volumes, likewise found acceptance throughout the Muslim world. His collected prayers upon the Prophet are also evidence of his love and connection to him. One of his well-known prayers is:

اللَّهُمَّ صَلِّ وَسَلِّمْ عَلَى سَيِّدِنَا مُحَمَّدٍ مِفْتَاحِ بَابِ رَحْمَةِ اللَّهِ، عَدَدَ مَا فِي عِلْمِ اللَّهِ، صَلاةً وَسَلامًا

دائِمَيْنِ بِدَوَامِ مُلْكِ اللَّهِ، وَعَلَى آلِهِ وَصَحْبِهِ

“O Allah, bestow prayers and peace upon our Master Muhammad, the key to the door of the mercy of Allah, to the extent of the knowledge of Allah, which continue eternally as the dominion of Allah continues eternally, and upon his Family and Companions.”

His speech was recorded by his students, among them his grandson, Habib `Umar Mawla Khaylah, whose compilation reached ten volumes.

His Death

He died in Say’un on 20th Rabi` al-Thani 1333 (1915). A great dome was erected over his grave to accommodate visitors and gatherings of knowledge and remembrance which continue to this day. His hawl, or annual commemoration of his passing, is a great event in the calendar of Hadramawt and thousands come to connect to and remember this great Imam. A similar hawl takes place in Solo in Java where a number of his progeny are buried. He left behind a number of children, the most celebrated being his son, Habib Muhammad, who succeeded him, and his daughter, Hababah Khadijah, one of the most pious women of her day.

Dealing with Unpleasant Things

 Habib `Abdullah bin Husayn bin Tahir (may Allah have mercy on him and benefit us by him) wrote the following piece of advice to help people deal with the oppression and turmoil that was taking place in Hadramawt at the time. His advice remains relevant to the times in which we are living.

It is rare in this time to find peace of mind and comfort. Worries, concerns and distractions are numerous. A person must be content and tranquil in the face of these things. He must surrender (to Allah’s decree) and not be dissatisfied. He must not seek to rid himself of these things through his own strength and efforts, for this will merely lead to other worries and concerns greater than the ones he had before doing so. This is due to his bad etiquette with his Lord, since he wished to bring about something which Allah did not wish to come about.

Our Master, Habib `Abdullah bin `Alawi al-Haddad (may Allah have mercy upon him) said:

و إذا الحوادث أظلمت و تنكرت فاسكن و إياك و التحرك و الحذر

‘When events cause darkness and confusion, be still and beware of moving.’

When things change and become confusing and worrying, it is only appropriate that the slave remains quiet and tranquil and maintains etiquette with Allah.

He should not move outwardly by seeking to drown his sorrows in worldly distractions and he should not move inwardly by disapproving of Allah and His decree with his heart or his tongue.

Rather, he should look at the thing which is displeasing to him. If it is something which has come about at the hands of people, such as robbery, terror, or harm, he must condemn it with his heart and his tongue, and use his hand to change it if he is able to do so (as is mentioned in the books of jurisprudence).

At the same time, he must be content with it and accept it from the perspective that it has come about by Allah’s will. He must seek forgiveness in abundance, plead with Allah in a state of neediness and brokenness (for the harm to be removed) and repent to Allah from all wrongdoings.

If it is something which has not come about at the hands of people such as illness or a natural disaster then his only option is to be content with it and accept it. He must also seek forgiveness and pray to Allah as we mentioned and also show mercy and love to people.

O Allah, save us from Your tribulations, be gentle to us in Your decree and give us that which You have given to Your chosen slaves in well-being and safety, for You have power over all things. May prayers and peace be upon our Master Muhammad and his Family and Companions. All praise belongs to Allah, Lord of the Worlds.

Receiving Everything from the Messenger of Allah ﷺ

In this awesome prayer, Habib Ali al-Habashi teaches us to ask to receive directly from the Messenger of Allah ﷺ everything which we need for the path: that which relates to knowledge, intention, focus, the physical and the spiritual.

اللَّهُمَّ صَلِّ وَسَلِّمْ عَلَى سَيِّدِنَا مُحَمَّدٍ ، بِاللِّسَانِ الْجَامِعَة  في الْـحَضْرَةِ الْوَاسِعَة ، صَلَاةً تَـمُدُّ بِهَا جِسْمِيْ مِنْ جِسْمِه ، وَقَلْبِي مِنْ قَلْبِه ، وَرُوحِي مِنْ رُوحِه ، وَسِرِّي مِنْ سِرِّه ، وَعِلْمِي مِنْ عِلْمِه ، وعَمَلِي من عَمَلِه ، وخُلُقِي من خُلُقِه ، ونِيَّتِي من نِيَّتِه ، ووِجْهَتِي من وِجْهَتِه ، وقَصْدِي من قَصْدِه ، وتَعُودُ بَرَكاتُها عليَّ وعلى أَوْلادِي ، وَعَلَى أَصْحَابي ، وعلى أَهْلِ عَصْرِي ، يا نُور يا نُور ، اجْعَلْني نُوراً بِحقِّ النُّور

Allahumma salli wa sallim `ala sayyidina Muhammadin bi’l-lisani’l-jami`ati fī’l-hadrati’l-wasi`ati salatan tamuddu biha jismi min jismihi wa qalbi min qalbihi wa ruhi min ruhihi wa sirri min sirrihi wa `ilmi min `ilmihi wa `amali min `amalihi wa khuluqi min khuluqihi wa niyyati min niyyatihi wa wijhati min wijhatihi wa qasdi min qasdihi wa ta`udu barakatuha `alayya wa `ala awladi wa `ala ashabi wa `ala ahli `asri ya Nur ya Nur ij`alni nuran bihaqqi’n-Nur

O Allah, bestow prayers and peace with a tongue all-embracing, in the limitless divine presence upon our Master Muhammad, through which my body attains assistance from his body, my heart from his heart, my soul from his soul, my secret from his secret, my knowledge from his knowledge, my action from his action, my character from his character, my intention from his intention, my heart’s focus from his heart’s focus, my direct aspiration from his direct aspiration. May I attain the blessings of these prayers, along with my children, my companions and the people of my time. O Light, O Light, make me light by virtue of the light.

Salat of Habib Muhammad bin Aydarus al-Habashi

muhammad bin idrus

This salat was composed by Habib Muhammad bin Aydarus al-Habashi, may Allah have mercy upon him. Habib Muhammad was born in al-Hawtah, Hadramawt, but he later moved to Indonesia and died in Surabaya in 1337 (1919 CE). He was one of the closest students of Habib Ali al-Habashi, and he is responsible for compiling Habib Ali’s salawat in the book, Majma` al-Lata’if al-`Arshiyah.


اللَّهُمَّ صَلِّ و سَلِّمْ على سَيِّدِنا مُحَمَّدٍ و على آلِ سَيِّدِنا مُحَمَّدٍ

عَدَدَ النِّعَمِ الَّتي أَفَضْتَها على قَلْبِ سَيِّدِنا مُحَمَّدٍ و على قُلُوبِ آلِ سَيِّدِنا مُحَمَّدٍ

صَلاةً تُرْضِيكَ و تُرْضِي سَيِّدَنا مُحَمَّداً و تُرْضِي آلَ سَيِّدِنا مُحَمَّدٍ

و تُقَرِّبُنا بِها إِلَيْكَ و إلى سَيِّدِنا مُحَمَّدٍ و آلِ سَيِّدِنا مُحَمَّدٍ

حتَّى نَلْقَاكَ و أَنْتَ رَاضٍ عَنَّا يا أَرْحَمَ الرَّاحِمين

O Allah, bestow prayers and peace upon our Master Muhammad and upon the family of our Master Muhammad to the number of the blessings which You have poured into the heart of our Master Muhammad and into the hearts of the family of our Master Muhammad. May these prayers please You, please our Master Muhammad and please the family of our Master Muhammad, and may they bring us close to You, to our Master Muhammad and to the family of our Master Muhammad so that You are pleased with us when we meet You, O Most Merciful.

Attaining Allah’s Love


Habib Ahmad bin Sumayt

By Habib Ahmad bin Abu Bakr, the father of Habib Umar bin Sumayt (may Allah have mercy on them and sanctify their secret)

It is inconceivable that Allah’s love be in any way similar to human love, which may be defined as tenderness in the heart. Some scholars say Allah’s love is expressed in His actions such as showing His favour and bounty to His slave, or showing His slave special care by protecting him and drawing him close.

As for the slave’s love for Allah, it is expressed initially in his submission to Him, in his seeking Allah’s pleasure and in avoiding all that displeases Him. At a higher stage it is a lofty station that words cannot express, the product of the purification of the soul from all worldly attachments. Someone who has reached this stage is unable to part with his Beloved and finds comfort in constant remembrance of Him.

The means of attaining this love are numerous. Here are some of them:

  • Reflecting upon Allah’s generosity in bestowing His blessings upon His slave, forgiving his wrongdoings and enabling him to do good works.
  • Not relying upon one’s actions, and witnessing one’s shortcomings.
  • Striving to perform compulsory and supererogatory actions to the best of one’s ability in accordance with the Sunnah until one attains the proximity mentioned in the hadith qudsi – “My slave continues to draw close to Me by performing supererogatory actions until I love him.”
  • Remembering Allah and standing in prayer in the pre-dawn in a state of neediness, seeking the gifts that Allah bestows at such a time. The hadith tells us that Allah has “breezes” which He sends at blessed times and that we should expose ourselves to those breezes, at whatever time they may blow.
  • Making abundant supplication, manifesting one’s neediness, in obedience to Allah’s command: Call upon Me and I will surely answer you.[1] As the hadith says: “Supplication (du`a) is the essence of worship,” since the person calling upon Allah has given up hope in all other than Him. He thus realises the oneness of Allah and attains true sincerity, which together are the greatest form of worship.

Allah is displeased if you do not ask Him

Whereas the small child of Adam becomes angry when you ask him

  • Attempting to imitate the lovers of Allah and their states by, amongst other things, reading their works.
  • Keeping a good opinion of Allah, which is a noble station and one of the stations of certainty (yaqin). The elect have a good opinion of Allah due to their knowledge of His  sublime attributes, whereas the ordinary believers have a good opinion due to the blessings they receive from Him. If the believer is unable to reach the rank of the elect then he should witness the blessings that Allah bestows upon him, and trust that Allah will benefit him and deflect harm from him while being extremely hopeful that Allah will accept his actions and forgive his wrongdoings. The believer should have an especially good opinion of Allah at the time of death, since the Prophet said ﷺ: “Let none of you die except having the best opinion of Allah.” Allah says in the hadith qudsi: “I am as my slave believes Me to be, so let him believe what he wishes.
  • Taking oneself to account and repenting from all wrongdoings since repentance (tawbah) is the first station of the path to Allah. The seeker should seek much forgiveness from Allah and weep over the time that he has wasted.
  • Being constantly aware of Allah in all states.


[1] Ghafir 40.60