Category Archives: Relationship with the Shaykh

Times with Habib Muhammad al-Haddar: Reminiscing


In an emotional talk, Habib Umar bin Hafiz reminisced about time spent with his shaykh and mentor, Habib Muhammad al-Haddar. He recalled as a young child seeing him in the company of his father, the shahid Habib Muhammad bin Salim bin Hafiz.

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.

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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


Original video:

Imam al-Haddad Rebukes One of His Students

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We are blessed to have a large number of letters which Imam al-Haddad wrote to his students. Each letter contains many lessons for us and paints a picture of the methods the Imam used in nurturing his students and guiding them along the path.

In this letter, Imam al-Haddad issues a strong rebuke to one of his students. Before even addressing him personally, he eloquently reminds him of the worthlessness of this life and warns him against being attached to anything worldly. He asks Allah to rectify his heart and bless him with contentment. Then comes the rebuke: the Imam says that it is as if none of the time they spent together has had any effect on him and uses a Quranic verse and one of the aphorisms of Imam Ibn Ataillah to make his point. Finally he warns him against backbiting, which can be done with the pen just as it can be done with the tongue. In spite of the rebuke, the Imam remains compassionate and tells him that he loves him and is praying for him.

بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم


My people, this worldly life is only temporary enjoyment, and indeed, the Hereafter – that is the everlasting abode.

All praise be to Allah, Who made love of this world and coveting it one of the clearest signs that a person’s heart has become hard and has been plunged into an ocean of darkness in which the raging winds of grief blow against it and the waves of anxiety break upon it from all sides.

Transcendent is the One Who gave no rest and respite to those who avidly seek this worldly life. If only instead of giving them respite, He prevented calamities from befalling them.

May Allah’s prayers and peace be upon our master Muhammad and his Family and Companions at all times.

From the one in most need of Allah the All Powerful, Abdullah bin Alawi al-Haddad al-Alawi al-Husayni, to the one who he loves him for Allah’s sake, the one who is connected to the people of Allah: Ali bin Umar Uqbah. May Allah give him relief through contentment with the bitterness of Allah’s decree. May Allah sever his attachment to this ephemeral contemptible world and allow his heart to focus on the next life which is far greater and more enduring. Amin.

Salam alaykum wa rahmatullah wa barakatuh,

Be certain, my beloved brother, that we have received your letter but we did not take any comfort from it other than from the praise of Allah which it contained and your greetings.

I am astonished: it is as if you do not know how Allah described this world in His Book and on the tongue of His Messenger!

I really wonder what effect those gatherings had upon you, gatherings that were filled with priceless pieces of wisdom. Was your heart not softened by them? Did your mind not find tranquility in them? It is as if you have no heart and no mind! If you had them they would have benefited:

Do you think that most of them hear or understand? They are only like cattle; rather, they are further astray.

Everything that has happened to you or will happen is as one of them said: “Whoever does not turn himself to Allah due to the gentle manifestations of His kindness, will be dragged to Him with the fetters of severe trials.”

I have no preference in whether you travel or not. Had you not gone against our teachings, you would not have experienced what you are now experiencing.

Never write to us again mentioning something bad about a fellow Muslim. Do you not know that the most disliked of people to us are those who backbite others?

Do not send a letter without a seal.

We are praying for you.


Mukatabat, Vol 1, Letter 72

On Maintaining a Daily Connection to Your Shaykh

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Answered by Sayyidi Habib Umar bin Hafiz (may Allah protect him and benefit us by him) 

What are the best means of connecting to your shaykh on a daily basis?

Reading the shaykh’s books, reciting the adhkar he has given you, attaching and focusing the heart upon the shaykh and calling people to Allah are all means of connection. All of these means are virtuous and whatever thing focuses the heart on Allah more is best for each individual.

The Shaykh and the Murid

The Shaykh and the Murid

‘The Shaykh and the Murid’ gives a unique insight into the life of one of the heroes of our times, Habib Mundhir al-Musawa, may Allah have mercy upon him. In his short life, Habib Mundhir had a huge impact on thousands, if not millions of people and was a cause of many people returning to Allah.

The film is interspersed with footage of Majelis Rasulullah, the intense gathering which he established in Jakarta, Indonesia. It includes an interview with him shortly before his death. With genuine humility, he describes his early days seeking knowledge and then his first steps in calling to Allah. He talks about the key to his success, his immense attachment to his shaykh, Habib Umar bin Hafiz.

There are many lessons we can learn from the life of Habib Mundhir and it is hoped that this film helps us to do that.



The Best Dua the Seeker Can Make for his Shaykh

Answered by Sayyidi Habib Umar bin Hafiz (may Allah protect him and benefit us by him)

What is the best dua that the seeker can make for his shaykh?

The seeker should ask:

  • that his shaykh be a source of pleasure for the Prophet ﷺ
  • that his shaykh be pleased by what the Prophet ﷺ gives him, his companions, the people of his time and the Ummah
  • that his shaykh be raised to the highest station of khilafah (representation) of the Prophet ﷺ
  • that his shaykh be engaged in that which is most beloved to the Prophet ﷺ – it is more fitting that they please Allah and His Messenger if they are truly believers.[1]

[1] Al-Tawbah, 9:62

On Making Tawassul by Your Shaykh

Answered by Sayyidi Habib Umar bin Hafiz (may Allah protect him and benefit us by him)

How can someone make tawassul by their shaykh in times of difficulty?

You do this by asking Allah by the status (‘jah’ or ‘haqq’) of the shaykh as the Prophet ﷺ taught us:

اللَّهُمَّ إِنِّي أَسْأَلُكَ و أَتَوَجَّهُ إِلَيْكَ بِنَبِيِّكَ مُحَمَّدٍ

Allāhumma inni as’aluka wa atawajjawahu ilayka bi nabiyyika Muhammad

O Allah, I ask You and I turn to You through Your Prophet Muhammad..

Criteria for Benefiting from Other Shuyukh


Answered by Sayyidi Habib Umar bin Hafiz (may Allah protect him and benefit us by him)

There is a shaykh in our area. Can we benefit from him?

He must be someone of truthfulness (sidq) and taqwa. A sign of his truthfulness is that he praises the pious scholars of the Ummah and does not attack any of them. His taqwa can be gauged by looking at his dealings with women and with electronic devices.

Will the Student be with his Shaykh in Paradise?

Answered by Sayyidi Habib Umar bin Hafiz (may Allah protect him and benefit us by him)

Will the Student be with his Shaykh in Paradise?

The members of a family who lived in faith and obedience to Allah in this life will be reunited in Paradise. Allah says: “those who believe and are followed in faith by their descendants – We cause their descendants to join them.” [1]

Likewise, if the shaykh and the student both honour the covenant which is between them, they will be united in Paradise. According to the truthfulness of their love and their attachment, the one who is in a lower station will be raised to the station of the one who is higher.

Brotherhood for Allah’s sake is greater than blood brotherhood. The relationship between the shaykh and the student is like the relationship between father and child, but it is greater since through that relationship the student receives knowledge and light. The first relationship is spiritual, whereas the second is merely physical.

[1] Al-Tur, 52:21


How Does a Seeker Study his Shaykh?

Answered by Sayyidi Habib Umar bin Hafiz (may Allah protect him and benefit us by him)

How does a seeker study his Shaykh?

The seeker studies his shaykh by reflecting upon his states and what they signify and upon the directions that he gives (isharat), his wayfaring and his Prophetic inheritance. He then seeks to benefit from this and become illuminated by it.