The Legacy of al-Muhaddith al-Akbar Shaykh Badr al-Din al-Hasani: 1850-1935
One of his students related,“He would often ask us upon completion of his prayers, ‘Do you hear the reply of the Messenger of God (PBUH) during the tashahhud (recited during the sitting of the ritual prayer) when you say, ‘al-salāmu ʿalayka ayyuha al-nabiyyu wa raḥmatullahi wa barakātuhu?’ I used to ask, ‘And is there anybody who hears such a thing?’ He would respond, ‘There are people for whom if they lost their presence of heart with the Messenger of God (PBUH) for one moment, they would perish.’”
Few people have had an impact on 20th Century Muslim society as Shaykh Badr al-Dīn al-Ḥasanī. In the Levant in particular, he was unparalleled in his stature among the people of sacred knowledge and came to be considered a reviver of Islam (mujaddid) during his era. He was a man sought by poor peasants and powerful leaders alike, and to each he gave their rightful due with humility and justice. His gatherings used to be flooded with students seeking to carry on the tradition of sacred learning as well as those simple souls who desired nothing more than acquiring the blessing of being in his noble presence. It is reported that when he would pass by, people would peer out of their windows to catch a glimpse of him. Despite his esteemed rank in the eyes of people, Shaykh Badr al-Dīn remained humble and dedicated to the service of the Muslim community until the final days of his life.