Category Archives: Relationship with the Shaykh

On the Seeker Breaking his Covenant with his Shaykh

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

What things would constitute the seeker breaking the covenant with his shaykh?

These things would constitute breaking the covenant:

Being content to contravene the Sacred Law

Showing enmity or having hatred for any of the pious slaves of Allah

Having contempt for the Sacred Law or the Spiritual Path (Tariqah)

Having contempt for any of the affairs of Allah, His Messenger ﷺ or the next life

Having bad thoughts about the Shaykh which the seeker then believes to be true

If the seeker breaks his covenant with his shaykh is it possible to rectify the situation?

The seeker has no option but to return to Allah. He may rectify the situation by making tawbah as long as he is not in the throes of death and as long as the sun has not risen from the West. Cleary someone who breaks the covenant and then makes amends is not the same as someone who has not broken it in the first place.

On the Statement of Imam al-Haddad: “We will not leave them, even if they leave us.”

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

Please explain the statement of Imam al-Haddad: “We will not leave them, even if they leave us.”

The Shuyukh honour their covenants with those who are attached to them even if those people do not treat them well. As far as they are able, they continue to give good advice to them, pray for them and intercede on their behalf with Allah.


Say: ‘This is My Path’ | Wisdoms of Habib Ahmad Mashhur al-Haddad

Words of wisdom from Habib Ahmad Mashhur al-Haddad (may Allah have mercy on him and benefit us by him). 

Allah says to His Prophet  :

“Say: ‘This is my path..’”[1]

With this command Allah honours the Prophet and affirms his station. The command also contains the meaning of granting permission (ijazah). The ijazah is one of the foundations of the religion and is especially important in the science of hadith. Scholars traditionally give each other ijazah and shaykhs give their students ijazah. The ijazah is an affirmation of what is contained in the heart of the person receiving it and is a means for the pious to exchange secrets with one another.

If a Shaykh tells you to do something or gives you permission to recite a certain invocation, it means that he sees that you have the capability and the readiness to do that thing or recite that invocation. Through that permission you may receive strength and secrets from the Shaykh. For this reason it is said that only through the ijazah do the secrets of reciting the Qur’an, the adhkar or the names of Allah become manifest.

When Allah says to His Prophet: ‘Say,’ this is a command and also a sign that the Prophet is worthy and capable of fulfilling His command.

“Say: ‘This is my path: I call to Allah on clear evidence – I and whoever follows me.’”

So whoever takes that path will be with the Prophet . Anyone who calls people to Allah will be blessed with being with Allah’s Beloved . This a high station and only those who are patient and immensely fortunate will attain it.

We must, however, call to Allah with insight and on clear evidence. We cannot show arrogance or contempt to any Muslim. We cannot attack the beliefs of the Ummah of Muhammad, the Ummah to which Allah showed mercy.

The Prophet said:

“My Ummah shall not concur on misguidance.”[2]

O Allah, make us among those who convey this message and follow Your Messenger and among those who are guided by the light of Prophet-hood.


[1] Yusuf,  12:108

[2] Narrated by al-Tabarani

On Permission to Read the Books of Imam al-Ghazali

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

Do we need permission to read the books of Imam al-Ghazali?

The books of Imam al-Ghazali are extremely beneficial and are quick to rectify and illuminate the heart. It is said that the early Ba `Alawi Imams praised two things to a great extent: the books of Imam al-Ghazali and the visit of the Prophet Hud (peace be upon him). This shows that there is a general permission to read the books and there is no fear for the person reading it.


Principles Regarding Taking Bayah

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

I have taken bayah with another shaykh previously. May I still take bayah with you?

Anyone who has taken bayah with another shaykh whose tariqah is sound should remain true to that bayah as far as he is able. He should only take bayah with another shaykh with the intention of seeking blessings from that shaykh (tabarruk) as long as he has the permission of his original shaykh.

If his shaykh does not give him permission or if he wishes to move from one shaykh to another out of caprice he must not do so.

He should only leave one shaykh and take bayah with another in the following situations: if he has the permission of his original shaykh, or if his original shaykh openly contravenes the Sacred Law or the etiquettes of the Sacred Law or if something prevents him from being in contact with his shaykh.

Who was Habib `Abd al-Qadir al-Saqqaf?


Sayyidi Habib `Umar bin Hafiz (may Allah preserve him and benefit us by him) was asked,

Who was Habib `Abd al-Qadir al-Saqqaf?

Habib `Umar replied:

He was a complete and perfect heir of the Prophet ﷺ. His father and all his forefathers were representatives (khulafa’) of the Prophet and he inherited this khilafah from them.

He can be described as follows:

هم أقوام غذوا في المحبة من صغرهم

وعاشوا في مخافات و غابوا في فكرهم

They are people who were nourished with love from their infancy
They lived in fear of their Lord and were absorbed in reflection

Whenever he was wrongly treated he responded in the best of ways. Whenever people fell short in giving him his rights he overlooked it. He never found fault with anything or spoke badly about anything in his gatherings. However busy he was, he never neglected reciting and reflecting upon the Qur’an. He never fell short in striving to benefit people. He said:

“If someone comes to me in need, I cannot relax until I have done everything I can to fulfill his need.”

Imam al-Haddad summarizes the attributes of people such as Habib `Abd al-Qadir as follows:

و قد درج الأسلاف من قبل هؤلاء و همتهم نيل المكارم و الفضل
لقد رفضوا الدنيا الغرور و ما سعوا لها و الذي يأتي يبادر بالبذل
فقيرهم حر و ذو المال منفق رجاء ثواب الله في صالح السبل
لباسهم التقوى و سيماهم الحيا و قصدهم الرحمن في القول و الفعل

Our predecessors travelled the path before them and their aim was attaining merit and noble character

They rejected the deceptive dunya and never strove to attain anything of it. Whatever came to them they quickly spent.

The poor among them were free and the wealthy spent their wealth in the best of ways hoping for Allah’s reward

Taqwa was their garment and shyness was their attribute and the Most Compassionate was the One they sought in their words and deeds.

May we live according to their way.

On Taking Permission Before Reciting a New Dhikr


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

If we come across a new dhikr or dua should we take permission before reciting it?

If it is from the Sunnah there is no need to take permission. Likewise there is no need to take permission before reciting the duas and adhkar of the great Imams of the Ummah as long as the meaning is clear and they are easy to read. Besides that, permission should be sought. It is always best to consult your shaykh before taking on a new wird as he knows what is most suitable for your spiritual state.

On Seeing the Prophet ﷺ in the Form of Your Shaykh

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

Is it possible to see the Prophet in the form of your shaykh?

The Prophet ﷺcan be seen in the form of anyone who is connected to him and anyone who has any portion of his legacy. His appearance will depend upon the state of the person who sees him.

On the Role of the Shaykh in Purification of the Heart

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

What is the role of the Shaykh in purification of the heart?

The Shaykh is the most important means of removing the seeker’s blameworthy traits. The Shaykh is not someone who makes false claims or performs miracles but rather someone who is upright in his religion and has a sanad (chain of connection) in purification of the heart. If the seeker is truthful, Allah will cause him to meet a shaykh who will purify him.