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What Some of The Mashaayikh and The Muhibbeen say about

Sayyidunal Imam Qutb u'l Irshad
Al-Habib 'Abdallah Ibn 'Alawi al-Haddad
Rady Allahu 'Anhu

Based on the Qur'an and Sunnah

Imam al-Haddad's purpose in The Lives is to remind Muslims of the fact of death and the Judgement, but it is also written to help us remind ourselves. It is not simply a list of the delights and suffering which lie beyond death, or a moralizing condemnation of sin. It is far more intelligent, and far more human.

Imam al-Haddad was a teacher, who was visited everyday by students, and ordinary people from every walk of life. He knew their problems, both the outward ones and those of the soul. In particular he knew about the qalb (the 'heart'), which, as the Qur'an tells us, is an instrument of perception granted man by Allah:

He it is who created you, and gave you ears and eyes and hearts. (67:23)

He knew that a man might know every detail about the next life, and yet remain in a stage of forgetfulness and distraction, because his qalb has hardened. In speaking of the Hereafter, the Imam chooses the material which is best calculated to awaken the heart, and fill it with the purifying fear of Allah, and hope for His mercy. The works of Imam al-Haddad share in a trait of al-Ghazali's writings in that one cannot read them casually. To open any page, even at random, is to have the attention caught and the heart engaged.

In these pages the reader will not find the colorful and exotic stories of the Hereafter common in many other works. There is poetry, but it is there for its effect on the soul, not because it elucidates some rare point of grammar. There is no trace of egotism or opinion. All the Imam does is to deploy the devastating Qur'anic and authentic hadith texts which serve the aim of his book In short, this is Islamic scholarship at its most rigorous and effective.

By: Abdal Hakiim Murad
London, 1411

Source: Imam 'Abdallah ibn 'Alawi al-Haddad, The Lives of Man, part of the "Editor's Preface", p. ix-x, The Quilliam Press, London, 1411/1991

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