Category Archives: The Ba`Alawi Way

Books which clarify the Path

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


Which books would you recommend reading to gain an understanding of the Path?


The books of Imam al-Ghazali, Imam al-Nawawi, and Imam al-Haddad are good for acquainting newcomers with the Path. The Path is to act on what is in those books and to combine between strengthening one’s faith and performing pious deeds. ‘The Book of Assistance’ by Imam al-Haddad, for example, practically defines the Path.

The definitions of the Tariqah which can be found in the early prints of the Khulasah are sufficient. If someone is looking for more detail they can read Habib Zayn bin Ibrahim bin Sumayt’s book, al-Manhaj al-Sawi or the introduction of Habib `Aydarus bin `Umar al-Habashi’s `Iqd al-Yawaqit al-Jawhariyyah.



Suggested Readings on the Biographies of the Prophetic Household

Answered by Sayyidi al-Ḥabīb `Umar bin Hafīẓ (may Allāh preserve him and benefit us by him).

Can you recommend books compiled by the masters of the Bā `Alawī Path on the biographies of the Ahl al-Bayt (the Prophetic Household)?

You can read al-Mashra` al-Rawī, Ghurar al-Bahā’ al-Ḍawī and Sharḥ al-`Ayniyyah by Imam Aḥmad bin Zayn al-Ḥabashī. These are some of the books that contain biographies of many of the Imams of the pure Ahl al-Bayt of the Bā `Alawī that have been published. These books and similar books (some of which have not yet been published) may be read.

Studying history in general and the accounts of the pious specifically teaches you many lessons and has the effect of rectifying the heart and filling it with love for and attachment to the friends of Allāh and a loathing for those whom He loathes. All of this brings one closer to Allāh.

How is the Ba `Alawi Path inwardly Shadhili and outwardly Ghazalian?

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

What is meant by the statement that the Ba `Alawi path is inwardly Shadhili and outwardly Ghazalian?

Most spiritual paths have a foundation that is either Shadhili or Ghazalian. Both the Ghazali and Shadhili paths are founded upon spiritual striving (mujahadah) but the Ghazalian method begins by focusing on the external aspect and then works towards the internal whereas the Shadhili method begins internally. Both methods agree that obligatory actions must be performed, prohibited actions must be avoided and supererogatory actions should be performed in abundance, but the Shadhili method does not place great emphasis on outward actions. Mujahadah according to the Shadhili method focuses on attaining constant presence of heart with Allah, awareness of His bounty and showing gratitude to Him. The Ghazalian method emphasises seeking knowledge and acting upon it thereby attaining constant presence and the station of gratitude.

It is possible to combine the two methodologies and this is manifested in the Ba Alawi path. This is achieved by being aware of Allah’s blessings, showing gratitude to Him and seeking to be present with Him from the outset while at the same time seeking knowledge and performing outward actions.

Thus the outward aspect of the Ba `Alawi path is to seek knowledge and act upon it and striving outwardly which then has an impact upon the inward. At the same time the inner aspect of the path from the outset is based upon witnessing Allah’s blessings, being present with Him and showing gratitude to Him.

Since the Ba Alawi masters combined the principles of both paths, their path was described as being inwardly Shadhili and outwardly Ghazalian.

On Strengthening the Ties of Brotherhood between People on the Path

Answered by Sayyidi al-Ḥabīb `Umar bin Hafīẓ (may Allāh preserve him and benefit us by him).

How can we strengthen the ties of brotherhood between those who have taken this spiritual path?

We can do this by reminding those who have taken this spiritual path that they are travelling companions, and that those travelling together on the same path must be united. They are all the children of the same chain of connection and this dictates that they be brothers and sisters to each other. We also need to remind them that the ṭarīqah is founded upon spreading harmony and brotherhood throughout the whole Ummah so this brotherhood should be even stronger between those affiliated to the ṭarīqah. So let us apply these things and then spread them.

On the First Steps in Taking the Path

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

I wish to take this path. What are the first steps I should take?

Take the following steps:

  • Try to pay the five prayers in congregation

  • Read a portion of the Qur’an every day even if it is a small amount

  • Read what you can of the adhkar in the Khulasah

  • Read ‘The Book of Assistance’ of Imam al-Haddad and try your utmost to act on what you read

  • If there are people in your locality that are teaching beneficial knowledge and they have a sound methodology then try to attend their lessons

  • If there are people calling to Allah then try to work with them

  • Follow our talks and lessons on the internet

  • Wait for an opportunity to take the covenant (`ahd) and thereby enter the ṭarīqah (either by physically meeting the shaykh or online)