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The hawl of Sayyiduna’l Imam al-Habib ‘AbdAllah bin ‘Alawi al-Haddad (Naf‘anAllahu bih) (1044-1132 A.H.) was held in Masjid Imdad, Toronto on Saturday 10 Dhu’l Qa‘dah 1416 A.H. /1996 from Salat al-‘Asr to Salat al-‘Isha. This is an annual gathering to celebrate his achievements in promoting piety.  Imam al-Haddad (Naf‘anAllahu bih) left his earthly existence on 7 Dhu’l Qa‘dah, hence the hawl on the following week-end, that is on 10 Dhu’l Qa‘dah.

After the congregational recitation of Surah al-Fatiha and Surah YaaSeen, Sayyid ‘Ali Qullatain from Zanzibar led the recitation of the hawl from the kitab titled Azkaar wa’l-Awraad compiled by Muhyiddin bin ‘AbdulRahman bin Muhammad Zanzibari. This was followed by the recitation of the Ratib compiled by Mawlana al-Haddad (Naf‘anAllahu bih) and Tawassul ‘Alawiyya composed by as-Sayyid Muhammad bin Zayn bin Sumayt, (Naf‘anAllahu bih). The Imam of the masjid, Haji Shameer Khan as well as Shaykh ‘Umar al-Qaadiri al-Barawi, and janab Syed Mumtaz Ali saheb recited du‘a. In attendance was elder janab Luqman Hakim saheb, a muhibb (loving disciple) of al-Habib Ahmad Mash-hur bin Taha al-Haddad (Naf‘anAllahu bih) (1325-1416 A.H), who used to be with him in Uganda.

There are three ways of calling people to Allah (Subhanahu wa Ta‘ala): by speaking, writing and going places on foot.  The talk of the day centered on explaining that Imam al-Haddad (Naf‘an Allahu bih) of Tarim excelled in all three fields, being one of the greatest luminaries in Tariqa al-‘Alawiyya, a spiritual path leading to Allah (Subhanahu wa Ta‘ala), shown by the Saadat Bani ‘Alawi, direct descendants of the Holy Prophet (Sallallahu ‘alayhi wa Sallam).

These days, computerized indexes of the Holy Qur’an are available. If you wish to find the verses of the Holy Qur’an on a particular subject, you just reference that index.  Well, Imam al-Haddad (Naf‘anAllahu bih) did not require such an index. He was himself a living index, not only of the Qur’an Karim but of the Hadith Sharif (Sayings) of the Holy Prophet (Sallallahu ‘alayhi was Sallam) as well. You open any chapter of his book Ad-Da‘wat-u’t-Taammah, for example, and you will find explained many verses of the Holy Qur’an on a particular topic as well as innumerable relevant Hadith Sharif and the Sayings of the Awliya Allah (Friends of Allah).

Participants were then introduced to the Diwan of Imam al-Haddad, a 350 page compendium of his 150 religious poems (qasaaid) in Arabic with its sharh (explanation). Shaykh Muhammad Abu Bakr Ba Shuaib of England first brought this Diwan to Toronto last year. Qasaaid in this Diwan have been arranged in alphabetical order. Qasaaid whose couplets end and rhyme in the letter hamza are called Hamziyya and these come first (as hamza is pronounced the same as the first letter alif), followed by qasaaid whose couplets end and rhyme in the letter Ba, and so on.  Hence the Diwan is a hurufiyya, that is, it is in alphabetical order, proving yet again that there is nothing to beat Muslim scholarship.  It has qasaaid in praise of Allah (Subhanahu wa Ta‘ala); in praise of the Holy Prophet (Sallallahu ‘alayhi wa Sallam); the Ahl-u’l-Bayt and the Sahaba (Rady Allahu ‘Anhum); the Awliya Allah (Rahmatullahi ‘alayhim ajma‘in); on Ihya ‘Ulum ad-Deen of Imam al-Ghazali (Naf‘anAllahu bih); on good moral character, and many other similar topics.

The flyer for the occasion was beautifully bordered by the names of ten books in Arabic authored by Imam al-Haddad (Naf‘anAllahu bih).

One of his celebrated pieces of writing is “Aqidatul Islam” (Tenets of Muslim Faith). It has been translated into English by Dr. Mostafa al-Badawi of Madina as well as by Shaykh Mohamed Mlamali Adam of U.K, and into Urdu by janab Sayyid Abdul Mun‘im Nazir. Now for the first time, its Somali translation has been done by Shaykh Ahmad Dualle of Toronto who was congratulated for achieving this honour. All these translations were published by Iqra Islamic Publications ( and printed by Syed Iqbal sahib of Delight Printing. All the zakirin who were present received this booklet. Al-Hamdu Lillah (All Praise is for Allah).

Another memorable feature of the program was the distribution of Hadiyya Mawlana al-Haddad or the gifts of Mawlana al-Haddad (Naf‘anAllahu bih). These comprised of teen (figs), zaytun (olives) and musk, as these are mentioned in the Qur’an; as well as his “Aqidatul Islam”. These gifts were presented to zikr group leaders in Tariqa al-Qaadiriyya, al-‘Alawiyya, Chishtiyya and Naqshbandiyya who were present. 

Dr. Ebrahim Kreps, a disciple of al-Habib Ahmad Mash-hur bin Taha al-Haddad (Naf‘anAllahu bih), and a zikr group leader in Tariqa al-‘Alawiyya in Montreal, also addressed the gathering.
News was received of the passing ahead that same day of elder bibi Fatma Dar of Kenya, a disciple in Tariqa al-‘Alawiyya, who was the right hand of elder mama ‘Aisha Khamisa and who spent her life together with her in the cause of Islam. A du‘a was offered for her forgiveness. May Allah (Subhanahu wa Ta‘ala) raise her darajaat (spiritual stature) even higher, Aamin.
The program was brought to a close with Salams (greetings of peace) in standing ovation to the Holy Prophet (Sallallahu  ‘alayhi wa Sallam). 

May Allah (Subhanahu wa Ta‘ala) give us the hidaya (guidance) to follow in the footsteps of the Awliya Allah like Mawlana al-Haddad (Naf‘anAllahu bih) who conveyed and lived the true teachings of Nurin-min-Nurillah, Rahmatulli’l ‘Alamin Muhammad-ur-Rasulullah (Sallallahu ‘alayhi was Sallam), Aamin Yaa Rabbal ‘Alamin.

Siddiq Osman Noormuhammad.
Dhu’l Hijjah, 1416 / April 1996.

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