In Appreciation of the Spiritual Masterpiece Entitled

Miftahul Jannah

(Key to the Garden)

of: al-Habib Ahmad Mash-hur bin Taha al-Haddad

(may Allah spread his benefit)

All Praise is due to Allah, Lord of the worlds and Bestower of innumerable gifts and favours. He is the One, the Guide, Who sent His Noble Envoys with the word of truth; that there is none worthy of worship except Allah.

And may His choicest peace and blessings in each and every moment be upon the Seal of the Prophets and Messengers, His beloved, Sayyiduna Muhammad ibn `Abdillah, his Noble Family and Companions, and all those who follow his way until the Last Day. Amin!

Al-Hamdu Lillah, I am grateful to Allah for having guided me to share some words on the generous gift entitled 'Miftahul Jannah' (Key to the Garden). It is an explanation of the Muslim testimony of Faith: La ilaha Illallah (there is none worthy of worship except Allah).

Authored by the great summoner to Allah, and descendent of His Noble Messenger (Sallallahu `alayhi wa Alihi wa Sahbihi wa sallam); Al-Habib Ahmad Mash-hur of the Ba `Alawi Sadah, beautifully and concisely expresses the meaning of this comprehensive phrase to the heart's delight and satisfaction.

This wonderful book is a beacon of light that sets one straight on the path of Islamic Monotheism (tawhid). It is a shining example of Muslim scholarship and a historic achievement in piety for the world to behold. Indeed, Allah is Generous and gives to whom He Wills.

After planting your feet firm on the path of tawhid, al-Habib ennobles and honours us by teaching us reverence for the sacred: to respect the Qur'an, the Sunnah, the Shari`ah, the Learned, and the spiritual fraternity of Islam. He elevates you by connecting you with what Allah the Most High Himself has elevated.

Then he bestows on you a road map, and sets you on course for spiritual growth. He walks you through the significant landmarks on the wayfarer's path to Allah Most High. Here, the fruits of zikr (remembrance of Allah), reflection, purification of the heart, devotional poetry, tariqa, the connection to a Shaykh, and striving in the path of Allah are tasted and realised. Al-Hamdu Lillah with al-Habib you're in good hands!

For those of us who did not meet al-Habib, (and may we meet him in Jannah) it is an opportunity to learn about a Wali Allah (Friend of Allah). And as we read, what is it that we come to know about al-Habib? We come know that his heart is filled with Hubbullah (Love of Allah).

And in his desire to share this love with everyone, and in his desire for everyone to have the Key to the Garden of Paradise, al-Habib has left us with a treasure chest overflowing with rubies and pearls. Key to the Garden is not just any key. Acknowledged by Muslim scholars as a masterpiece, perhaps one could call it a 'master key' opening numerous doors to realisation and contentment. With it, your identity as a servant of Allah becomes clear, your protection from fitna becomes strong, and your spiritual aspirations become lofty. As we turn each page, may it unlock for us countless blessings and spiritual mysteries, Amin!

Among its many jewels, Miftahul Jannah contains:

* Tafsir al-Qur'an such as his explanation of Ayaat 24-27 from Surah Ibrahim ("And a good word is like a good tree..."),

* It contains knowledge and explanation of Hadith Sharif,

* It contains the Creed of Imam al-Haddad, the noble ancestor of al-Habib (may Allah be pleased with them both),

* It contains an explanation of the varying kinds of zikr and reflection, and their beneficial effects on the heart,

* It contains definitional `ilm such as al-Habib's explanation of the term 'mutawatir',

* It contains valuable axioms (qawa`id) and their applications such as "things become clear through their opposites",

* It contains valuable warnings and insights into the intrigues of those attempting to cause dissention in the Ummah,

* It contains teachings and admonitions for teachers, given by a true Shaykh of Shaykhs,

* And it contains a universally appealing message of love and brotherhood from a visionary whose message benefits his loving disciples who have spread far and wide.

One of the outstanding characteristics of this book is its completeness. Al-Habib uses Ayaat, Ahadith, Traditions from the Righteous Predecessors, poetry, analogies, warnings and even more to convey his message. Every line seems carefully woven together like pearls on a string.

So Mabruk! Congratulations to all those who read and benefit from this book.

May Allah subhana huwa Ta`ala keep it dear to our hearts and make us from amongst the people of La ilaha Illallah. May He raise the darajaat of al-Habib and his family in Jannah. And may He spread its benefit for generations to come until the Day of Judgement. Amin!

After more than 1400 years since he was sent as a Mercy to all the worlds, the teachings of Prophet Muhammad al Mustafa (Sallallahu `alayhi wa sallam) are still producing such great Awliya Allah like al-Habib Ahmad Mashhur and such illuminating works like Key to the Garden. This on-going benefit is a testament to the Prophet's sincere devotion to Allah, the beauty and perfection of his virtues and character, and his dedication in striving to fulfill his mission.

Therefore, let us conclude with a Salat `alar-Rasul composed by al-Habib himself:

(Bismillah-ir Rahman-ir-Rahim)
Allahumma salli wa sallim wa barik `ala Sayyidina Muhammad
Wa Durratil akwan
Al-hadiri ma`a man salla `alayhi fi kulli zamanin wa makan
Wa `ala Alihi wa Sahbihi wa Tabi`ihim bi ihsan.

(In the Name of Allah, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful)
O Allah! Bestow blessings and peace on Sayyidina Muhammad,
the beloved of the Beneficent,
and the most precious in all creation
who is present with whoever sends blessings on him in every age and place,
and on his Family and Companions and good Followers.

Wal Hamdu Lillahi Rabbil `Alamin


Irshaad Ahmad Rashid
Ramadan 1435 AH/ July 2014 CE
Toronto, Canada

Reference: Al-Habib Ahmad Mash-hur bin Taha al-Haddad, Miftah ul-Jannah (Key to the Garden), translated from the Arabic by Dr. Mostafa al-Badawi, The Quilliam Press, London, U.K, 1990.