Posted by: seekerofthesacred | November 29, 2009

Answering to the Command of Allah and His Messenger Sallallahu Alayhi wa Sallam and the tradition of the Habaib


This is just a small anectode I thought I would share from the Book of Assistance lessons with Shaykh Abdul Aziz Ahmed.

The context was when the Shaykh was explaining the introduction of the Book of Assistance of Imam al-Haddad, where the Shaykh (Habib `Abdullah al-Haddad) mentions:

Imam al-Haddad was explaining the tradition of seeking advice from those who have the aptitude. It is this Imtithal al-Amr which is the greatest thing that one can do. It refers to answering the call of Allah and his Messenger Sallallahu `Alayhi wa Sallam. He mentioned that when the Imam mentions that it was a brother from the Family of the Prophet Sallallahu `Alayhi wa Sallam (Saadah) , he was talking about the tradition of learning and teaching of the noble family, not the superficial things asscoiated with the path, such as the clothes, shawls and other such secondery matters. This sincere method of learning and teaching the tradition as transmitted from Sayyiduna Muhammad, the Messenger of Allah Sallallahu `Alayh wa Sallam has been preserved, generation to generation, until our times. This is necessarily accompanied by acting upon it, which is a result of sincerity connected to the seeking of the knowledge itself. There have been many methods of teaching the prophetic tradition (Sunnah an-Nabawiyyah), and one such way is writing letters of sincere advice. This is exactly what the Book of Assistance is, as Imam al-Haddad is fulfilling the command to teach of a “sincere Sayyid treading the path of felicity”.

Shaykh `Abd al-`Aziz was talking about one of the teachers of al-Habib ‘Umar, al-Habib al-Haddar. He used to teach on the balcony of the Ribat for hours on end. The reason was that he knew that if he fell asleep, he would fall to his death. This illustrates the Himmah (Lofty Aspirations) we should have with Knowledge. This is the “Sabil as-Sa’adah” or “path of felicity” which Imam al-Haddad talks about in the Introduction to the Book of Assistance. This is a menifestation of the sinecirty of those who had truly mastered the path of knowledge and action, the people of Ma`rifah.

Another anectode that was taught was of how Allah aided Habib ‘Attas al-Habshi from the Communists in Yemen at the time. His real name was Abu Bakr which was on his passport though no one knew him by that. As he was on the plane fleing to Jeddah, the communists forced the plane down in order to capture Habib. They were searching for Habib `Attas whereas on his passport it said Abu Bakr and they left the plane alone! When Habib `Attas was in Jeddah, his stuedents in Tarim wished for his advice and Habib `Attas wrote them a treatise. This is simillar to the method that Imam al-Haddad used to impart the knowledge via the Book of Assistance which was also a letter of advice.

Many of the other scholars were targetted by the communist regime of South Yemen at the time, including Habib `Umar Bin Hafiz. His older brother and Shaykh, Habib `Ali al-Mashhur felt that his younger brother, Habib Umar would be next after their father was murdered. Habib left Tarim to the North. The communists ended up comming for him but it was too late as Habib had left! Habib `Umar was also implementing the command of Allah and his Messenger Sallallah `Alayh wa Sallam (Imtithal al-Amr, talked about earlier), when he returned to Tarim after studying with Habib al-Haddar in North Yemen, and in the Hijaz with Habib `Abdul Qadir, Habib Ahmed and Habib `Attas, and set up Dar al-Mustafa as a centre of `Ilm, Suluk and Da`wah. It is this sincere tradition of learning, acting and teaching the Qur’an and the Sunnah as understood by the majoirty of scholars, the Ahl as-Sunnah wa al-Jama`ah and preserved through the scholars and in this case the progeny of Sayyidina al-Muhajir ila Allah Ahmad Bin `Isa who fled `Iraq due to the various Fitan (such as Shi`ism, which is based on absurd premises, the persecution of the rulers, which the Imam was also faced with in Madinah and Makkah etc), to Hadramawt and found a people who were receptive to the Din yet not well-versed in sound knowledge, and they established a system of learning, implementing and teaching.

May Allah bless all our `Ulama al-`Amilun, those who act upon the knowledge and spread it for the benefit of the people. May Allah make us amongst them, Allahumma Amin.

Keep me in your Duas,


[If anyone can get hold of Habib `Attas’s letter of advice, please share it with us here 🙂 ]



  1. […] Al-Habib Attas al-Habshi Anecdote […]

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