A Poem in Honour of Sayyiduna'l Imam Qutbu'd-Da`wa wal Irshad

Al-Habib `Abdallah bin `Alawi al-Haddad

(1044-1132 A.H)

may Allah be pleased with him and spread his benefit

"O Allah! Bless us in our Yemen", our beloved Prophet prayed
So the Lord's blessings gently poured forth from His benevolent aid

Drizzling down from the heavens onto the valley of Hadramawt
Enriching its soil from which the seeds of sacred knowledge would sprout

From east to west spiritual seekers sip from its every stream
Flowing from Zanbal's garden found in the blessed town of Tarim

Each century Allah sends to the Ummah a shining jewel
Sent to preserve the religion, entrusted with its renewal

For the twelfth Islamic century, such a saintly scholar came
Al-Imam `AbdAllah bin `Alawi al Haddad was his name

The light from Allah's Messenger shone in his every word and deed
He's the quintessential Shaykh in whom you'll find everything you need

Descending from Allah's Prophet , and those likened to Noah's ark
He would steer the ship upon which those destined for safety embark

His path was that of the pious predecessors, he never strayed
From following the Companions, and Shaykhs like Imam al-Junayd

Shaykh `Abdul Qadir, the Proof of Islam Imam al-Ghazali
Imam as-Shafi`i and the Imams of the blessed Valley

Like Imam al-Muhajir and al-Habib `Umar al-`Attas
Who was the Shaykh of Imam al-Haddad and Shaykh `Ali Ba Ras

From great teachers, Imam al-Haddad received an abundant share
A blessed young sufi sage, whom they made their spiritual heir

He'd been steadfast since his childhood, reciting the Book of Allah
Given to solitude, the Prayer, and studying Sacred Law

Excelling till he became a master of its every science
A most erudite scholar, the Pillar of Religious Guidance

In him the two seas of inward and outward knowledge united
And to Allah, His Book and His Prophet's Sunnah he invited

He is the Pillar of Calling to Allah, one surpassing all
In using speech, writing and travelling on foot to make the call

A call to worship Allah with sincerity and not for show
He purified hearts from rust and with the light of faith made them glow

Scholars and laymen, and even those once spiritually blind
Shown the way by a special guide whose inner-sight was so refined

A vast ocean of knowledge and spiritual realities
He followed the Sunnah of teaching to people's capacities

So discerning, he knew the times, and taught people to understand
The methods along the Path of the Companions of the Right Hand

He gave them recitals such as his Ratib and Wird al-Latif
And writings he filled with useful advice, comprehensive yet brief

Brimming with blessings his writings are treasures that seekers cherish
Such as The Complete Summons, The Lives of Man that Wane and Perish

The Book of Assistance, his Religious Counsels of many kinds
And his poetry, Pearls for Discerning and Understanding Minds

A fountain of knowledge for students who sat at his feet and learned
In his benefit to others, it's clear he left no stone unturned

For orphans he was a beacon, for travellers an oasis
He helped the poor and widows, and paid workers beyond their wages

His masjid and home in al-Hawi had a constant stream of guests
So graciously he received them and assisted with their requests

He led mawlid celebrations and visitations that include
Maqams like that of al-Faqih al Muqaddam and Nabi Hud

His Hajj was filled with miracles, it was historic and sublime
How fortunate for those who made the Hajj with the qutb of their time!

Whose each breath was for his Lord till to his Lord his soul ascended
Blessed was his funeral and the multitudes who attended

May his teachings continue to renew our love for al-Islam
O Allah, raise the station in Paradise of the great Imam

And all of his heirs like Habib Ahmad bin Zayn al-Habashi
To Habib Ahmad Mash-hur and all linked to this great legacy!


Composed by Irshaad Ahmad Rashid
Madrasa Riyada, Toronto, Canada
Rajab 1442 A.H. / Februrary 2021 C.E.

Notes Amongst the many inspirations for writing this poem, is The Sufi Sage of Arabia by Shaykh Dr. Mostafa al-Badawi, as well as content on which was also very helpful in writing the poem's accompanying notes.

O Allah bless us in our Yemen - On the authority of Hadrat Ibn `Umar that the Messenger of Allah said, "O Allah bless us in our Sham! O Allah bless us in our Yemen!" They said, `And in our Najd?' He said, "O Allah bless us in our Sham! O Allah bless us in our Yemen!" They said, `And in our Najd?' He said, "Earthquakes are there, and tribulations are there, with it" Or he said, "From it, the horn of the Satan comes out." [At-Tirmidhi]

Our beloved Prophet - i.e. Sayyidina Muhammad

Rain & the Seeds of Sacred Knowledge - It is said that Sayyidina Abu Bakr as-Siddiq made a special supplication for the city of Tarim: that it be preserved until the end of time, that water be available in abundance for this desert land, and that scholars come forth from it like shoots after the rain.

Zanbal - the blessed cemetary in Tarim, Yemen and the resting place of Imam al-Haddad

The Ummah - the worldwide Muslim community

Renewal - In Arabic, "Tajdid". Hadrat Abu Hurayra reported that the Holy Prophet said, "Verily Allah will raise for this ummah at the beginning of every 100 years one who will renew its religion for it." [Abu Dawud]

Allah's Messenger - i.e. Sayyidina Muhammad

The Quintessential Shaykh - Shaykh Mohamed Mlamali Adam has mentioned that Imam al-Haddad is the quintessential shaykh - here we learn how to befittingly describe Imam al-Haddad .

Descending - Imam al-Haddad is a descendant of Imam al-Husayn whose noble parents are Imam `Ali ibn Abi Talib and as-Sayyida Fatima az-Zahra the beloved daughter of the Holy Prophet Sayyidina Muhammad .

Allah's Prophet - i.e. Sayyidina Muhammad

Those likened to Noah's Ark - i.e. The Ahlu'l Bayt (the Holy Prophet's blessed Household). Hadrat Abu Dharr while holding the door of the Ka`ba, said that he had heard the Prophet say, "My Family among you are like Noah's ark. He who sails on it will be safe, but he who holds back from it will perish." (Ahmad)

Pious Predecessors - In Arabic, "As-Salaf as-Salih" . Early Muslims, or the first three generations of Muslims.

The Companions i.e. the Companions of the Holy Prophet Muhammad

Imam al-Junayd - Al-Junayd ibn Muhammad ibn al-Junayd, Abu'l-Qasim al-Baghdadi (passed ahead 298 A.H.), one of the most well-known early Muslim saints.

Shaykh `Abdul Qadir - Ghawth al-A`zam Muhyiddin Shaykh `Abdul Qadir al-Jilani (470-561 A.H), the most well-known wali (saint) in Islamic history.

The Proof of Islam - in Arabic, "Hujjatu'l Islam", the title of Imam al-Ghazali

Imam al-Ghazali - Imam Abu Hamid ibn Muhammad ibn Muhammad ibn Muhammad al-Ghazali (450-505 A.H). He is one of the greatest Islamic scholars in history and is the author of the 40 volume masterpiece Ihya' `Ulum ad-Din (The Revival of the Religious Sciences) as well as other important books.

Imam ash-Shafi`i - Abu `Abdillah Muhammad ibn Idris al-Shafi`i (150-204 A.H.). One of the Four Mujtahid Imams of Sunni Muslim Sacred Law who are Imam Abu Hanifa, Imam Malik, Imam ash-Shafi`i and Imam Ahmad bin Hanbal . The four schools of Sunni Muslim Sacred Law are respectively named after them.

The Blessed Valley i.e. the valley of Hadramawt in Yemen

Imam al-Muhajir - Imam al-Muhajir il-Allah Ahmad bin `Isa (passed ahead 345 A.H.) who migrated from Iraq (and ultimately) to Yemen moving his family and future descendants (the Bani `Alawi) away from bid`a (heretical innovation) and fitna (instigation). Muhajir il-Allah in Arabic means "one who migrates for the sake of Allah".

Al-Habib `Umar al-`Attas - Al-Habib `Umar ibn `Abd al-Rahman al-`Attas (992-1072 A.H.). A great Muslim wali (saint) who compiled the Ratib al-`Attas (which is a compilation of recommended additional optional sequenced invocations/recitations). He was one of the main teachers of Imam al-Haddad .

Shaykh `Ali Ba Ras - Shaykh `Ali bin `AbdAllah Ba Ras , one of the disciples of al-Habib `Umar al-Attas and one of the commentators of the Ratib al-`Attas.

Spiritual Heir - Imam al-Haddad received the khirqa (cloth or article of clothing symbolizing investiture) from various Shaykhs such as al-Habib `Umar al-`Attas and al-Habib Muhammad ibn `Alawi as-Saqqaf .

The Book of Allah - i.e. the Holy Qur'an

Sacred Law - in Arabic, "Shari`ah". It is the Sacred Law of Islam which is based on the Holy Qur'an and the Sunnah of the Holy Prophet Sayyidina Muhammad .

The Pillar of Religious Guidance - in Arabic "Qutbu'l Irshad", one of the titles of Imam al-Haddad

Inward Knowledge - e.g. knowledge of the heart, soul and more . . .

Outward Knowledge - e.g. knowledge of the Muslim Sacred Law

Sunnah - The sayings, actions and tacit approvals of the Holy Prophet Sayyidina Muhammad

The Pillar of Calling to Allah - in Arabic "Qutbu'd-Da`wa", one of the titles of
Imam al-Haddad

Sincerity - in Arabic, "ikhlas"

For show - Ostentation in Arabic is "Riya" and is a minor form of shirk (associating partners with Allah ).

Rust and Glow - In Arabic, "Haddad" means "ironsmith". It has been said that similarly to an ironsmith who smelts iron to remove its rust and who makes it glow in the furnace, Imam al-Haddad purifies hearts and makes them glow and shine with the light of iman (faith).

Inner-sight - In Arabic, "basira". As a child, Imam al-Haddad experienced the permanent loss of his physical eyesight. Allah blessed him with great inner-sight.

Ocean - in Arabic, "Bahr"

The Path of the People of the Right Hand - in Arabic, "Tariqatu'l As-habu'l Yamin". This Way to Allah is distinguished from the Way to Allah called the Path of Those Drawn Near (Tariqatu'l Muqarrabin).

Hajj - The Pilgrimage to Makkah al-Mukarramah. The Hajj is one of the five pillars of Islam.

Qutb - Spiritual Axis, Pillar or Pole around which everything revolves, the highest rank of a saint.

Mawlid - Mawlidu'n-Nabi is the joyful celebration of the blessed birth of Prophet Sayyidina Muhammad

Visitation - In Arabic, "ziyara". In this context it means to visit a blessed grave.

Maqam - In Arabic, "station". In this context, it means a blessed grave.

Al-Faqih al-Muqaddam - "the jurist and one whose grave is given precedence" that is Shaykh Muhammad bin `Ali (574-653 A.H.) who is the Qutb of the `Alawiyya spiritual path (tariqa) leading to Allah .

Sayyidina Nabi Hud - One of the great Prophets sent by Allah . The blessed maqam of Sayyidina Nabi Hud is in Hadramawt, Yemen.

Habib Ahmad bin Zayn al-Habashi - 1069-1145 A.H. A great Shaykh and one of the most notable students of Imam al-Haddad . He is well-known for his commentary on Imam al-Haddad's `Ayniyyah poem.

Habib Ahmad Mash-hur - Al-Habib Ahmad Mash-hur bin Taha al-Haddad 1325-1416 A.H. A descendant of Imam al-Haddad . He spread Islam in East Africa and was one of the greatest Shaykhs of the 20th century C.E.