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THE SUFI TRADITION IN TORONTO
By: Siddiq Osman Noormuhammad
Hawl, Ziyara and 'Urs Shareef
Mawlid un Nabi celebrations and annivarsary celebrations of Prophet Ibrahim and Prophet Isma'il (peace be upon them) are well-known. More recently, the celebration of the 'Urs of the awliya (sufi saints) has gained momentum in Toronto. Muslims gather to celebrate the successful completion of the life of a waliyAllah (friend of Allah). Such a gathering is referred to as 'Urs among the Urdu speaking Muslims, and hawl or ziyara, among those who speak Arabic. Khatme Gauthiyya Shareef in honour of Muhyuddin Shaykh 'Abdul Qadir Jilani Rahmatullahi 'alaih is most popular. As well, among many such celebrations, we have the 'Urs Shareef (hawl/ziyara) of:
- Hadrat Khwaja Uthman Harwani, Hadrat Khwaja Muinuddin Chishti, Hadrat Khwaja Sabir Kalyari, and Dr. Qadeer Baig, (by the Canadian Society of Muslims in conjunction with the Sufi Study Circle of the University of Toronto);
- Khawaja 'Abdul Rahman Chohravi, Sayyid Ahmad Shah and Hadrat Tayyib Shah (by Silsila-e-'Aliyyah Qadiriyyah);
- A'la Hadrat Imam Ahmed Raza Khan and Mawlana 'Abdul 'Aleem Siddiqi al-Qadiri (by the World Islamic Mission);
- Mawlana 'Abdul Wahhab Siddiqi (by the International Muslims Organisation among the Naqshbandiyyah);
- Shaykh Uways bin Muhammad al-Barawi al-Qadiri, Shaykh al-Haaj Sufi, and Shaykh 'AbdulRahman az-Zayla'iyy (among the Qadiriyyah); and
- Al-Habib Mawlana 'Abdallah ibn 'Alawi al-Haddad, al-Habib Ahmad Mash-hur bin Taha al-Haddad, and al-Habib Imam 'Ali bin Muhammad al-Habshi (by the 'Alawiyyah);
Naf'anAllahu bihim, Aameen. May Allah, The Glorified and The Exalted make us benefit from them, Aameen.
At such gatherings of devotees, there is congregational recitation of the whole Qur'an Kareem or recitation of Surah Yaa Seen, Zikr of Allah Ta'ala, recitation of qasaaid and a talk on the life history of the waliyAllah (friend of Allah).
Al Hamdu Lillah, the sufi tradition in Toronto is in full flourish. The dua of Mawlana 'Abdul 'Aleem Siddiqi Rahmatullahi 'alaih and the juhd (spiritual exertion) of Dr. Qadeer Baig Rahmatullahi 'alaih are bearing fruit. May Allah Ta'ala lead us all to strive more in His Path, may all the shayaateen be defeated and may only the love of Allah Ta'ala, of his Beloved Prophet Muhammad Mustafa Sallallahu 'alaihi wa Sallam, of the Ahlul Bayt (his blessed Household), of the Sahaba (his companions) and of the awliya Allah (Friends of Allah) remain, Aameen, Yaa Rabbal Aalameen.
Note: This article was first published in:
Newsletter, Canadian Society of Muslims, Toronto, 1995.
The Message, World Islamic Mission, Toronto, No. 6, Rabi' ul Awwal 1416/Aug 1995.
The Islamic Times, Raza Academy, Stockport, U.K, 1995.
Acknowledgements: I am grateful to Syed Mumtaz Ali saheb for many helpful comments.