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Friday, May 21, 2010

Al-Habib `Abd al-Qadir al-Saqqaf - (Marhoom)

The Passing of a Great Scholar, Caller, and Saint

Al-Habib `Abd al-Qadir bin Ahmad bin `Abd al-Rahman al-Saqqaf was born in Seiyun, Hadramawt in 1331. The great Imam, al-Habib `Ali bin Muhammad al-Habshi, in the final years of his life, named him and gave good tidings of the future that was awaiting this child. He was given the best of upbringings by his father, the great scholar and caller to Allah, al-Habib Ahmad. He memorized the Qur’an in his early years and began the pursuit of knowledge at the hands of his father and the Mufti of Hadramawt, al-Habib `Abd al-Rahman bin `Ubaydullah al-Saqqaf, as well as al-Habib Muhammad bin Hadi al-Saqqaf. Amongst his teachers were the Imams of his time, al-Habib `Alawi bin `Abdullah Bin Shihab, al-Habib Ja`far bin Ahmad al-`Aydarus and al-Habib `Abdullah bin `Umar al-Shatiri.He began teaching publicly in Seiyun at a young age and students of knowledge flocked to benefit from him. However, when the Socialist regime in South Yemen began persecuting scholars he left Yemen in 1393, going first to Singapore and then Indonesia. He then headed to the Hijaz, where he was to settle in Jeddah. He established gatherings of knowledge and remembrance in his house in Jeddah attended by numerous scholars and visitors.

He made trips to various countries calling to Allah and visiting the scholars and Muslims in those places. Amongst the places he visited were Syria, Lebanon, Egypt, Iraq, the United Arab Emirates, Oman, the Comoros Islands (where he visited al-Habib `Umar bin Ahmad bin Sumayt in the company of al-Habib Ahmad Mashur al-Haddad) and East Africa. He visited North Yemen and returned to visit Hadramawt after the unification of North and South Yemen but did not resettle there.

He was loved by all those that came into contact with him. He had immense concern for every member of this Umma, regardless of their race or rank and he would stop at nothing to attend to people’s needs and deal with their requests. Countless people benefitted from his knowledge and from his gatherings, which were gatherings of connection to Allah, His Messenger and the Imams of this deen.

When al-Sayyid Salim bin Abdullah al-Hamid requested counsel from Habib `Abd al-Qadir he wrote the following:

After praising Allah and sending blessings upon the Messenger of Allah he advised him to hold fast to taqwa of Allah. He said that the people of taqwa are of varying levels and taqwa itself has no end, since it is in reality a divine outpouring which people receive according to the readiness of their hearts. Those who have attained these stations are with the people with their physical bodies but with Allah with their hearts and souls.
So be avid, my brother, to reach these realms in which you witness the greatness of Allah’s signs. This is to be achieved through inward and outward purity and protecting one’s limbs from committing acts of disobedience. If the slave uses his limbs in the service of his Lord, Allah will protect him from Shaytan: truly you (Iblis) have no power over My slaves.

Fulfil the rights of your parents, your relatives, your spouse, your children, your neighbours and all the people of la ilaha ill’Allah. Observe the prayer, for in the prayer you give greetings to all the pious slaves of Allah. Thus whoever neglects the prayer neglects the rights of all the people of la ilaha ill’Allah. Perform the sunnas and the adhkar pertaining to the prayer, because every pious action entails a specific reward and a specific divine gift and connection. Whoever pleases his lord through serving Him, seeks to draw close to Him by obeying His commands and realises that he is a slave whose role it is to stand at the door, Allah will enshroud him with the cloak of His love and bring him close until “I become the hearing with which he hears, the vision with which he sees…”

Seek constantly the descent of Allah’s mercy through calling upon Him in a state of brokenness and lowliness, as nothing is more conducive to bringing forth His mercy than the slave’s recognition of His own weakness, and Allah is more merciful to His slaves than a mother is to her child.

You are required to fulfil the rights of Allah and the rights of His slaves and this is only possible firstly by seeking the assistance of Allah and secondly by organising your time so that you give every individual his or her right. Fulfil the rights of the people of la ilaha ill’Allah by attending funerals, visiting the sick and assisting the helpless. Treat them in the best possible way, as you would love to be treated, because mercy entails mercy and “those who show mercy are shown mercy by the All-Merciful.”


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