In the Name of Allah, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful

al-Habib Ahmad Mashhur al-Haddad's Spiritual Masterpiece:

(Key to the Garden)

May Allah have mercy on him and spread his benefit, Amin!

In praise of the book Key to the Garden
(And) What he said makes us seek God's Pardon
And refuge from that which makes hearts harden
La ilaha Illallah

It's author is the Murshid al-Kaamil
Who taught by living the Prophetic example
He quoted Imam al-Busiri's Mantle!
La ilaha Illallah

His graceful writing is clear and concise
It contains all sorts of good advice
So take hold! The key to Paradise!
La ilaha Illallah

It has the `ilm of a scholarly teacher
The wisdom of an accomplished preacher
And Love of Allah is its dominant feature!
La ilaha Illallah

His himma: to help the world succeed
So he displayed the Ahlul Sunnah creed
Uniting us under the flag of tawhid
La ilaha Illallah

To demonstrate the correct belief
He brings you, from the coral reef
Qur'an and the Prophet's Hadith Sharif
La ilaha Illallah

`Alayhis-salatu wassalam
And he cites those with the title Imam
Like Imam al-Ghazali: the Proof of Islam
La ilaha Illallah

For the sacred, he teaches us respect
About tahlil and its effect
And how to attain to God's elect
La ilaha Illallah

He gives us warnings of blasphemies
Unravels the denier's fallacies
And exposes shaytan's strategies
La ilaha Illallah

His superb use of analogies
His reflecting on realities,
From anatomies to the galaxies
La ilaha Illallah

When you read the descriptions of the Spiritual Guide
Sadness and sorrows will subside
And your heart is left joyfully satisfied
La ilaha Illallah

It has knowledge for readers, aspiring seekers
And still even more for the spiritual leaders
So we see al-Habib is a teacher of teachers!
La ilaha Illallah

A skillful physician in the way he describes
The types of adhkaar, he precisely prescribes
The cures for the soul - so a sick heart revives
La ilaha Illallah

His final chapter is sublime and unique:
A Shaykh of Tariq who was given tahqiq
Fixes his flag on the mountain's peak
La ilaha Illallah

He takes you - but gently under his wing
With chapters arranged like pearls on a string
Flowing like water from the purest spring
La ilaha Illallah

The pure spring of Nabiyyul Karim
Who strove to make God's Name supreme
For the Ummah, increase our esteem ya Rahim!
La ilaha Illallah

And bestow success upon Your `ibad
For the sake of the Prophet and Qutbul Irshad
And their descendent Ahmad Mashhur al-Haddad
La ilaha Illallah

Who showed pious restrictions, courageous convictions
A gnostic's descriptions, a lover's depictions
And full of concern for the Ummah's afflictions
La ilaha Illallah

We thank Allah, and if we endeavoured
To count His favours, they could never be measured!
For a loving shepherd, how your counsels are treasured!
La ilaha Illallah

In our times they have filled the need
So chant tahlil on every bead!
And may the Lord increase his reward for this deed,
La ilaha Illallah!

His testament to the Testimony
Salat and Salam on the one who strove solely
For Allah: all Praise to the One and Only
La ilaha Illallah

Irshaad Ahmad Rashid
March 2014
Toronto, Canada


(And) What he said a tribute to Imam al-Haddad's poem in praise of Imam al-Ghazzali's book Ihya `Ulumud-Din (Revival of the Islamic Sciences) in which he says `Wa ma qalahu awwahuna wa munibuna' (And what he said makes us lamentful and penitent)

La ilaha Illallah there is none worthy of worship except Allah

Murshid al Kaamil Accomplished Guide (to Allah) i.e. Al Habib Ahmad Mashur al-Haddad

Imam al-Busiri's Mantle a 160 verse poem in praise of Prophet Muhammad (may Allah bless him and grant him peace) composed by the great Sufi Shaykh Imam Sharafuddin Muhammad al-Busiri (may Allah bestow His mercy upon him) d. 695 A.H. (1296 C.E.)

Good advice in Arabic 'nasiha'

Take hold! a tribute to Shaykh Mohamed Mlamali Adam (may Allah protect him) who after introducing Key to the Garden wrote: "So here's the Key. Take hold of it with might."

`Ilm Sacred Knowledge i.e. it is seen that Al-Habib is an `alim

Accomplished Preacher ad-Da'i al-Kaamil

Himma aspiration

Ahlul Sunnah i.e. Ahlul Sunnah wal Jama'ah, those who follow the way of life of the beloved Prophet Muhammad (may Allah bless him and grant him peace) and of his beloved Companions (may Allah be pleased with them all); also known as Sunni Muslims

Tawhid Absolute Oneness of Allah, Islamic Monotheism

Qur'an: Allah's final revelation to mankind revealed to the Prophet Muhammad (may Allah bless him and grant him peace)

Hadith Sharif the Noble Sayings of Prophet Muhammad (may Allah bless him and grant him peace) sometimes defined as his acts, sayings and tacit approvals.

`Alayhis-salatu wassalam on him, may there be peace and blessing (from Allah)

Imam Leader (in Arabic)

The Proof of Islam Hujjatul Islam: epithet of the great scholar Imam Abu Hamid Muhammad ibn Muhammad ibn Muhammad al-Ghazali (may Allah spread his benefit). d. 505 A.H. (1111 C.E.)

Tahlil the recitation of `La ilaha Illallah' (there is none worthy of worship except Allah)

Shaytan Arabic for `Satan'

Teacher of Teachers Shaykhul Mashaaikh

Adhkaar plural of zikr which is the “remembrance” of Allah – here referring to particular recitals

A Shaykh of Tariq An acknowledged guide of a tariqa (sufi order), Al-Habib was a Sufi Shaykh of the Ba `Alawi tariqa

Tahqiq spiritual realization

Nabiyyul Karim the Generous Prophet (i.e. Prophet Muhammad may Allah bless him and grant him peace), karim is one of the blessed names of the Prophet Muhammad (may Allah bless him and grant him peace) as mentioned in the Qur'an: 69:40

Ya Rahim O The Merciful (i.e. Allah)

`Ibad servants, worshippers

The Prophet i.e. Prophet Muhammad may Allah bless him and grant him peace

Qutbul Irshad The Pillar of Spiritual Guidance, Imam `Abdallah ibn `Alawi al-Haddad

Pious restrictions i.e. Al-Habib is a Muttaqi (one who has taqwa or reverential awe of Almighty Allah) and so he respects and follows the Shari'ah (the Muslim Sacred Law).

Courageous Convictions i.e. Al-Habib has tawakkul (complete trust in Allah) and one who has certainty (yaqin)

Gnostic i.e. Al-Habib is an `Arif Billah (Knower of Allah)

Lover i.e. Al-Habib is a Muhibb (one who loves Allah and Hi Messenger (Prophet Muhammad may Allah bless him and grant him peace)

Full of concern this reminds us of the Ayah (verse) from the Holy Qur'an where Allah (the Most High) says about Prophet Muhammad (may Allah bless him and grant him peace), "There has come to you (O people) a Messenger from among yourselves; extremely grievous to him is your suffering; full of concern for you is he, and for the believers, full of pity and compassion..." (Qur'an 9:128)

Ummah the community as identified by its religion, law, and morality; refers especially to the world-wide community of Muslims

Could never be measured reference to a verse in the Qur'an where Allah (The Most High) says, “And He giveth you of all that ye ask for. But if ye count the favours of Allah, never will ye be able to number them. Verily, man is given up to injustice and ingratitude.” (Qur'an:14:34)

Increase his reward The Prophet Muhammad (may Allah bless him and grant him peace) said, `When a man dies, his good deeds come to an end except three: ongoing charity, beneficial knowledge and righteous offspring who pray for him.” (Muslim) Allah in His Infinite Grace and Mercy multiplies the merit/reward of His servant's good deeds as He pleases.

Testimony i.e. Kalima Shahada (The Muslim Testimony of Faith) which is to bear witness that there is none worthy of worship except Allah and that Muhammad is his Messenger (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him).

The one who worked solely for Allah i.e. Prophet Muhammad (may Allah bless him and grant him peace)

Salat and Salam Blessings and Peace (in Arabic)