The Myth of Islam’s Golden Age

Catch yourself thinking wistfully about Islam’s golden age? In this brief clip, Shaykh Faraz Rabbani explains how this way of thinking can hinder us from seeing the current glories of our faith. Despite the challenges, we should not feel overwhelmed, as Allah has granted many great leaders to every generation.

Cover photo by Adrien Sifre.

Resources on Islam’s Golden Age for Seekers

Khadijah: The First Believer

The First Believer: A Pillar of Support and Strength

Khadijah was the first believer in the message that Prophet Muhammad ﷺ brought. This was a time of intense trials and tribulations for him. Her support in those early days was crucial and helped establish Islam on solid footings. Habib Muhammad al-Saqqaf presents Khadijah’s biography in this series of short lectures.
Our thanks to Fattabioni for these recordings.

Resources on Khadijah for seekers

Cover photo by Reibai

Why Do We Need Scholars When There’s Quran And Sunnah?

Quran and Sunnah?

Why do we need scholars? Why can’t we directly go to the Quran and Sunnah?  Shaykh Walead Mosaad talks about the central role of scholars in transmitting, contextualizing and teaching Islam. He gives a relevant example of the role scholars had in the preservation of the Quran.

Ever get caught out on these issues? Deepen your understanding by taking a short course with SeekersHub.

Resources for seekers:

Cover photo by Van Karsten.

Islamophobia is alive and well but are we capable of a compassionate, introspective response? Tanya Muneera Williams

WindrushOn the 22nd of June 1948 the landscape of England changed in the most unprecedented way. The arrival of the empire Windrush from Jamaica to Tilby docks in Essex has been pinpointed as one of the biggest changes in post-war British history.

It can also be said that the 500 or so passengers on board the Windrush, represented a complete rethink of what it meant to be British, and in essence it was the start of what has become known as multiculturalism.

An Era of Social Bias

My father left Jamaica and came to England in 1962 on a Spanish ship called ‘The Big Owner’, the ship docked in Southampton, and in a matter of hours my father was in the back of van on the way to Bristol, where he was met by his two brothers. This was the era of cramped housing and notorious slum landlords, this was before ‘foreigners’ could freely enter public buildings such as banks, pubs, and shops, this was the era where racial bias was an acceptable criteria in the work place, this was the era of Teddy-boys, this was the era where physical assault and verbal abuse was the norm.

Tension between minorities evident on a daily basis

Maybe this is one of the reasons why I was sickened to see the video of a black British woman, who was quite possibly of Caribbean heritage abusing a pregnant Muslim woman on the bus in a multicultural area not so far from me. A few days later, another video emerged of a young man hurling abuse at a disabled Turkish man. I should not be that surprise, because despite living in an ethnically diverse area of London, on a daily basis I see contentious interactions between mainly migrant communities, but more specifically between ‘Black British people’ and people from a Muslim background.

LondonBusRantI am often astonished how the act of sitting on a bus, or waiting in a queue can get so volatile. This was summed up perfectly when one day I was standing in rather long queue at a cash point when an East African Muslim lady who was the first person in line at the cash point, could not find her card and continued searching for it despite the queue growing longer; out of nowhere a young ‘Black British man’ maybe in his mid 20s shouted out “You can’t come to England and be a problem, now you want to take my time.”

At first the lady did not respond, but after some members of the of the queue started showing solidarity towards the man and others huffed and puffed, she swore at him and the slanging match started. Thank goodness she was able to give as good as he got, and in the end she boldly walked away, but that does not disparage the fact that an everyday event escalated in a matter of minutes and by time the incident finished, they offended each other with terms like ‘bloody refugee’ and ‘fatherless child.’ Granted these terms were said in the heat of the moment, but on some level they are indicative of wider cultural perceptions.

A deeply rooted, self-inflamed anger

Back to the bus incident, however, in the first few seconds of seeing the footage, to my shame, I thought what did the pregnant Muslim woman do or say to get the other woman so enraged, but before the first minute was over it was clear to see that the pregnant Muslim woman probably could not even speak English and even if she could, whatever issues the abusive lady had, were deeply rooted within herself, and the anger that she unleashed was self inflamed.

Not that it needs to be said, but for the sake of clarity, what happened was totally wrong, and as the abusive woman has handed herself to the police, she will no doubt see the repercussion of her wrong doings.

The antagonist is our sister in humanity

Someone asked me if it is difficult for me to see the wrongs of the ‘black woman’ being black myself, I was mystified by the logic because the school of thought that I am from is that we have to be self analytical, we have to be able to critique ourselves, our actions and inactions in order to develop and grow in a healthy way. Although it may be shocking to some, I see the antagonist as my sister, my sister in humanity and my sister in ethnicity, so as my sister I want better for her, I want her to learn that her actions are not the type of action that can be tolerated in this society, and want her to know that in short, her attitude stinks.

Descendants of immigrants become aggressors to new immigrants

Being that she is only a little older than me, the likelihood is, like me she is a second generation immigrant to this country; the hardships that my father and many others like him endured during the Windrush era and the lasting consequences of their efforts would absolutely be in vain if 50 years down the line we as their children become the aggressors to immigrants who too are seeking a better life.

Racist, derogatory responses on Muslim social media

Another interesting thing this incident bought up, which sickens me equally if not more, is the sheer amount of racism that is festering deep in the crevice of some believing people’s hearts. This is not a new phenomena, many people have been speaking about it for years, and have been told “it’s dying out”, “it’s not really racism, it’s just cultural differences”, “you have an inferiority complex”, “you are causing divisions in the Ummah” or “oh you are one of those black Muslims.”

Poetic Pilgrimage with Tanya Muneera Williams (right) and Sukina Douglas (left)

Poetic Pilgrimage with Tanya Muneera Williams (right) and Sukina Douglas (left)

But after seeing the comments to the video of the bus incident, no one can deny the sickness that in many cases is not hidden that deep beneath the surface. Some of the comments used terms like “Nigger”, which was justified by someone else saying it was only used for the ‘black women’ in question not anyone else. Another person actually said “had it not been for Islam you would all be slaves,” in reference to those from the African diaspora.

No place for racism

I feel foolish having to point out the obvious, but there is no place for racism in Islam. The conversion experience of Malcolm X attracted many converts from the African Disaspora to the Deen – particularly his experience of men of all colour treating each other equally. For many, part of the conversion process is trying to separate seemingly racist encounters with people of Muslim backgrounds, from the words of God and the practices of the Prophet Muhammed, peace be upon him, and it was his practice to rid racism wherever he saw it. So this should be our Sunnah, up there with men wearing beards, or fasting on a Monday and Thursday.

If the words “An Arab has no superiority over a non Arab nor a non Arab has any superiority over an Arab” and “A white has no superiority over a black nor a black has any superiority over white except by piety and good action” is not enough for us, then let us then reflect on the actions of the Prophet, peace be upon him, and how he welcomed black people into his family in the case of his adopted son Zaid b Harithah, or how he honoured and respected his Black mother by breast milk, Barakah Bint Tha’labah. We can also reflect on how Allah has honoured Bilal by allowing our Rasool, peace be upon him, to hear Bilal’s footsteps and call to prayer ahead of him in the heavens.

Allah has said in Quran 49:13 “O Mankind, We created you from a single pair of a male and a female and made you into nations and tribes, that you may know each other. Verily the most honoured of you in the sight of God is he who is the most righteous of you.”

Racism is not befitting to a believer, and as the reality of Islamophobia has dawned on us and we are now making strategies to tackle it, so should the reality of racism dawn on us so we can make strategies to tackle it and fulfil a sunnah.

The community’s lack of acknowledgement

These are comments and attitudes that don’t belong in Islam, and are not befitting for those who believe in the Prophet Muhammed (peace be upon him). It is not so much the racism that bothers me, it is our community’s lack of acknowledgement of it, which will naturally lead to inactivity toward changing it, which leaves me thinking how are we as a Muslim community in Britain going to develop and grow in a healthy way?

A polarised public discourse

Every day, “Muslim terrorist”, “sex grooming gangs”, “refugees”, “halal meat”, “Shariah law”, “Islamic State”, and whatever other negative connotations that can be conjured up are fed to us through the media. We are in the era of political parties increasingly leaning towards the right, the era of comments like “multiculturalism has failed” and “Muslims are not integrating”. Coupled with tensions between communities means that unfortunately, appalling incidents like the one we witnessed on the bus are liable to be on the increase before they decrease. A perfect example of this is another clip which recently came out, which shows a mix heritage young man acting aggressively towards an older Turkish man, again on a London bus. After his tirade, the perpetrator threw the elderly man’s zimmerframe off the bus. The direct physical threat was made clear and explicit. What was sad to see is in both this clip and the one involving the pregnant Muslim woman is that no one on either bus intervened.

Injustice to ourselves

As Muslims we keep faith, point out injustices and continue to showcase the beauty of our path, but what maybe a greater task is looking at our own short comings, pointing out when we have done an injustice to ourselves, for the sake of preserving this beautiful path.

My prayers are with the pregnant sister who was the victim of the attack, may you give birth to an awliya. My prayers are with us all.

By Tanya Muneera Williams

Tanya Muneera Williams or Muneera Pilgrim, is a Bristol born, London based, rapper, poet and cultural commentator. She is one half of the hip-hop and spoken word duo Poetic Pilgrimage. She facilitates workshops, gives seminars and performs around England and Europe and has toured South Africa, Morocco and The United States. Muneera has facilitated a series of participant led, poetry performance courses in Sudan where she lived as a teacher and performer, she conducts engagement workshops in schools and performs and hosts around England. She is currently studying for her MA in Islamic studies where she is focusing on the Caribbean contribution to Islam, migration, gender and race. Using her talent, skills and passion Muneera colourfully etches a space of dialogue that can be accessed regardless of cultural, religious or gender boundaries. Rooted in spirituality, she uses communication for edification and change.

 

Resources for Seekers:

Our Condition Today: the Disease and the Remedy
Advice from Habib ‘Umar: How to defend the Prophet
Hadiths on the “Bad Traits” of Black People
Letter to the West: we just have to learn to live together
Race To The Top
Would it Be Wrong To Avoid Interracial Marriages For Cultural Considerations?
Dealing With Those Who Harass Muslims“Sound societies come from sound hearts”

Allah’s Mercy and the Mercy Showed by People

Khawarij Ideology, ISIS Savagery

Humble-I-Khawarij“As ISIS continues its murder and violence across the provinces it controls and seeks to control, and as it continues to plague the conscience of the great majority of Muslims around the world, what’s worth recalling is that we’ve seen this before in history with the sect called the Khawarij (anglicised to Kharijites). So before tackling ISIS, let’s look at their forerunners; the Kharajites, to whom their pedigree can be traced…”

Read the rest of this article by scholar Abu Aaliyah Surkheel Sharif on his blog, The Humble I.

 

Resources for Seekers:

VIDEO: Shaykh Faraz Rabbani on How Islam Spread in the Blessed Land of South Africa

Shaykh Faraz SouthAfrica2015-zikrattheattic-5Rabbani and the SeekersHub team have just returned from the SpreadLight tour of South Africa. Here he gives an excellent and concise summary of how Islam came to and spread in this blessed land.

For more content from this tour, explore the SeekersHub website.

On the Passing of Shaykh Dr. Wahba al-Zuhayli

A tribute to Shaykh Dr. Wahba al-Zuhayli (above) from Imam Zaid Shakir

During my time in Damascus, I lived in many different neighborhoods: Zahira Qadima, Mukhayyam Yarmuk, Saha Shahbandar, Muhajireen, Suq al-Jumu’ah and Khurshid. Like a desert nomad in search of greener pastures, I was ever in search of a cheaper rent.

My year in Saha Shahbandar was certainly challenging from one perspective. We lived in a one room Mulhaq (add-on) on the top of the roof of an apartment block. Our landlord was a retired Syrian army general. A committed secularist, he was amazed and astonished that an American who was not born into a Muslim family would actually become a Muslim.

The challenge of rooftop living manifested itself during the summer months. During that season, it was so hot on that roof that it was difficult to move from about 11:00am until around 5:00pm. On most days, I would leave around 1:30pm to attend class at the Dawah College at Abu Noor, hence, my wife was left to sweat it out alone. Mercifully, after 5:00pm, the gentle, refreshing breeze was a most welcome visitor. When I was home at that time, I would leave the door and windows open to make sure she did not pass us by.

Another delightful gift that made one forget the sweltering midday sun was the evening dance of the swallows as they darted to and fro gobbling up the seemingly invisible insects that constituted the staple of their diet. Starting about an hour before Maghrib, their rapid dips and ascensions, swoops, turns and incredible acceleration were mesmerizing. Additionally, one of our neighbors was a pigeon trainer and during the evening we would marvel as he stood on a nearby rooftop energetically sending out the flag signals, which called his dutiful troops home.

It was during this year that I got to know Dr. Wahba Zuhayli. Our neighborhood mosque was the beautiful Jami al-Kuwaiti, also known as Jami ‘Uthman. Dr. Zuhayli’s house was about one hundred meters north of the mosque and he frequently prayed his Fajr (morning) prayer there. Oftentimes, I would join a group of students for ask Dr. Zuhayli questions as we escorted him back to his house. Occasionally, if the brief walk provided insufficient time for answers, Dr. Zuhayli would invite us into his study to carry on the “dars.” Those walks reminded me of the Prophet’s, peace upon him, pedagogical method. He did not have Halaqas or formal lessons, per se. Being in his presence was the ultimate classroom.

Since becoming familiar with Dr. al-Zuhayli’s writings, especially his monumental works, al-Fiqh al-Islami wa Adillatuhu (Islamic Jurisprudence and Its Proofs) and al-Tafsir al-Munir (The Illuminating Commentary), I have maintained that Dr. Zuhayli was a living proof against those who argue that the likes of Abu Faraj Ibn al-Jawzi, Imam Nawawi, Imam Suyuti and the many other prolific authors of this Ummah could not have possibly penned all of the works attributed to them. What then do they say concerning Dr. Zuhayli, who within his lifetime has written enough volumes to fill several library shelves?

Yesterday evening, like so many others over the course of the past year, this great giant passed on. May Allah bless him and reward him immensely for the rich literary heritage he has vouchsafed us. May enough of us join his as the scholarly heirs of the Prophets, peace upon them, helping to keep the great heritage of our Ummah – knowledge – alive in the world.

Commemorating The Battle of Badr

The date of the Battle of Badr falls on the 17th day of Ramadan, in the Islamic calendar. It is one of the most important historical events for Muslims.

Why is Badr significant? Shaykh Amer Jamil explains from the site of the battle

The power of faith, lessons from the battle of Badr by Shaykh Ibrahim Osi-Efa

Dua Nasiri (text and alternate audio). This highly potent du’a by the renowned Shaykh Muhammad Ibn Nasir, was recited across Morocco and inspired resistance to the French occupation. So powerful was it that the French President had to issue an order banning its recitation from the mosques.

Photo credit: UmmSqueaky.

Imam Al-Husayn: Light in the Prophetic Household by Shaykh Ahmed Saad Al-Azhari

For the original article: Click here
[Who are Ahlul Bayt?]
Yahya b. Mu‘adh Ar-Razi once visited Al-‘Alawi Al-‘Umari who asked him: What do you say about us Ahlul-Bayt[i]? He replied: What can I say about plants watered by the water of revelation, clay mixed with the water of Divine Message? Nothing will emanate from them except the musk of guidance and the amber of righteousness.[ii]
This is exactly what we expect when we read or write about any member of the blessed Ahlul-Bayt or the family of the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him). 
Even the term Ahlul-Bayt which literally means; ‘the household’ or ‘the family’ and can thus refer to any family; it has become uniquely referring to them when used in this absolute and general form indicating that they are ‘the family’ or ‘the household’. 

Just like their leader or father, the Best of Creation is the Prophet, they are the Family. 

Ahlul-Bayt have always been the guides of this community since the demise of the Prophet (peace be upon him); they are the rope to salvation and the ship that delivers the ummah to safety. 
Jabir b. ‘Abdillah narrated, 

“I saw the Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings be upon him) at the back of his camel Al-Qaswa’ on the day of ‘Arafah in his Hajj and heard him saying: ‘O People! I will leave after me things which if you attach yourself with, you will never go astray; the Book of Allah and my close family who are my household.”[iii]

Imam ‘Abdullah b. ‘Alawi Al-Haddad describes Ahlul-Bayt in his famous diwan[iv] as:

[They are] a ship to salvation when,
You are fearful of the floods of evil
So, gain safety by taking it and do not stay behind
And seek the help of God in all affairs

[Virtues of Imam Al-Husayn]
One of the blessed pillars of the household is one of the two grandsons of the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him); that is Imam Al-Husayn son of ‘Ali b. Abi Talib and As-Sayyidah Fatima daughter of the Prophet (peace and blessings upon him). 
Imam Al-Husayn was born in Sha‘ba in the fourth year after the Hijrah and on his seventh day, the Prophet (Peace and blessings be upon him) gave an amount of silver equal to the weight of his hair as a charity and asked to see him saying: Show me my son. 
It was the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) who gave him his name and it seems that because of this he was very similar to the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) in his features. He was of great nobility, immense devotion and worship and remarkable character.
Imam Al-Husayn witnessed in his lifetime his grandfather spreading his light on mankind and guiding them to Allah, standing up for truth and helping the oppressed. He also witnessed his father’s bravery and nobility. It was his father who slept in the bed of the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) on the night of Hijrah and stood up to fight ‘Amr b. Wudd the icon of bravery and the exemplary knight of Arabs at that time. 
He also saw his mother, the mistress of all women of mankind Fatimah Az-Zahra (peace be upon her)[v] standing beside her husband and serving her family in absolute humbleness while she was the daughter of the Messenger of Allah (peace and blessing be upon him). This filled the heart of Imam Al-Husayn with all these noble qualities of bravery, standing up for justice and against oppression and oppressors.
When the days of trouble came later on in his life, Imam Al-Husayn had to bury his father who was assassinated by one of the kharijites and later on had to bury his older brother Imam Al-Hasan who was poisoned by the enemies of Ahlul-Bayt; by people whose main focus was power and, in their march towards it, they did not care even about the family of their Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him). 
Imam Al-Hasan was poisoned although he gave up the position of caliphate in order to reunite the ummah that was scattered by political differences. He gave up the position he deserved for a better position that is to protect the ummah and unite the hearts of Muslims; this sense of sacrifice was but a way of following the example of his grandfather and his father.
However, things got worse when Yazid b. Mu‘awiyyah became the caliph and evil shone on the whole ummah. Imam Al-Husayn who was trying to avoid all the troubles received messages from the people of Kuffa city giving him their pledge of allegiance and asking him to travel to them to become the caliph.  Sending his cousin Muslim b. ‘Aqil b. Abi Talib to them, Imam Al-Husayn wanted to make sure that their invitation is genuine and their messages are true. 
Muslim b. ‘Aqil who left to Kuffa was betrayed by its people and left along with thirty people only who even diminished to no one to be arrested by the newly appointed governor of Kuffa ‘Ubaydillah b. Ziyad. After being promised that he will not be killed and realising that the promise is fake, Muslim cried and said: By Allah, I am not crying for myself; rather, crying for my family who are coming to join me; crying for the family of Al-Hasan and Al-Husayn.[vi]
While Muslim b. ‘Aqil was killed in Kuffa, Imam Al-Hussayn, who received another group of invitations and assurance to come to Kuffa, was on his way with just above eighty individuals. Upon his arrival to the land of Iraq and meeting some army leaders sent to him by Ibn Ziyad, Imam Al-Husayn offered them three options; either to allow him to go to Yazid and speak to him face to face or to let him go back to where he came from or to let him move to the borders and spend the rest of his life guarding the Muslim lands. ‘Ubaydullah b. Ziyad refused the three offers and insisted on fighting him.
[The passing of Imam Al Husayn]
The tragic killing of Imam Al-Husayn (peace be upon him) shows not only the ugly face of his murders, the plots prepared for the family of the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) but also unveils the bravery of the men and the women of Ahlul-Bayt. On the verge of the death which was even seen in a dream by ‘Abdullah ibn ‘Abbas who saw the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) carrying a bottle full of blood and saying: I am picking up the blood of Al-Husayn, the Imam (peace be upon him) said:

O life! What an unpleasant friend!
How often at day beginning and at its end,
Many friends and noble men are killed,
And you never accept a substitute for them,
Yet, all affairs belong to the Mighty One.
And every human has to tread this path one day

Seventeen men of the family of the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) were killed with Al-Husayn (peace be upon him) amongst whom was his first son ‘Ali. His sister Sayyida Zaynab (peace be upon her) stood up in absolute bravery against Yazid after the death of her brother Imam Al-Husayn and protected her other nephew ‘Ali known as Zayn Al-‘Abidin (peace be upon him).
After all these many years which witnessed even many more killings of members of Ahlul-Bayt like Mowlay Idris the founder of Fez and Muḥammad b. ‘Abdillah known as An-Nafs Az-Zakiyyah[vii], Ahlul-Bayt continued to guide the ummah and lead it back to its Lord.
They continued the path of knowledge and righteousness bearing in mind that it is their responsibility to look after people whether they are in the position of physical and political leadership or not; spiritual leadership is greater than anything else.
The ummah continues to learn and benefit from Ahlul-Bayt who were described by their grandfather (peace and blessings be upon him) as the companions of the Qur’an; they are inseparable from the book of guidance and truth because they are the bearers of guidance and truth.
May Allah bless the soul of Imam Al-Husayn and allow us to benefit from his example.


[i] Prophet’s Family
[ii] Al-Itḥāf bi Ḥubbil Ashrāf by Shaykhul-Islam ‘Abdullah Ash-Shabrawi (1091 – 1175 AH)
[iii] At-Tirmidhi; Chapter on the Merits of Ahlul-Bayt
[iv] Collection of poems
[v] Imam Al-Bukhari always mentions the statement ‘peace be upon him/her’ next to the names of Imam ‘Ali, Sayyidah Fatimah, Imam Al-Ḥasan and Imam Al-Ḥusayn
[vi] Maqātil Aṭ-Ṭalibiyyīn by Abil-Faraj Al-Aṣfahāni
[vii] Literally means ‘the pure soul’
Relevant Resources:
Check out Ihsan Institute and their programmes: Click here
YouTube Video of Shaykh Ahmed: Embracing our Chosen Land
YouTube of His Quran Recitation: Tahajjud Recitation
The Rights of the Companions and the Family of The Prophet – Dr Umar Faruq Abd-Allah

Being from the People of the Right by Habib Ahmad Mashhur al-Haddad

[Biography of the Noble Habib]
Al Habib Ahmad Mashhur bin Taha Al-Haddad, was one of the most powerful Alawi influences in East Africa and is generally considered to have been the “Renewer” of Islam in those parts. He was born in the town of Qaydun, one of the towns of Hadhramawt, in the year of 1325 H (1907). He was raised up in the bosom of ‘ilm and taqwa and righteousness by his mother, the virtuous and saintly Safiyya, daughter of the great Imam Taher ibn Umar al-Haddad, from whom she received her instruction in the Quran and religious sciences.
Being from the People of the RightHis early education was taken over by another two great masters of the house of Al-Haddad, Habib Abdallah and Habib Alawi, the two brothers who founded the Ribat of Qaydun, the school of religious sciences where Habib Ahmad was soon to become, at an early age, a teacher. Then he joined the Ribat at Tarim and studied under the firmly established Master as well as its ulama’.
Knowledge in Islam must be supported by unbroken chains of transmission to the Prophet, may God’s blessings and peace be upon him. Those who receive one or more sciences or part thereof from a master and are considered by him worthy, receive the ijaza, the authorisation to transmit it, in their turn, to others. Habib Ahmad, as has always been the Alawi custom, sought to receive the ijaza from as numerous master as was possible. Habib Ahmad learned from dozens of shaykhs in Hadramawt, the Hijaz, Indonesia and East Africa. As for the Shaykh under whose tutelage he attained his spiritual unveiling, he was al-Imam ar-Rabbani Ahmad bin Muhsin al-Haddar.
He travelled to Indonesia to add to his sum of knowledge and supplement his heart-to-heart and soul-to-soul corpus of ma’arif from the firmly established Masters who were there. He also went there for the purpose of trade so that he may thereby gird his integrity. However, his stay there did not last long.
In the early 1350’s H (1931) he settled in Mombasa, the major seaport of Kenya. In addition to his business affairs, he held study circles in mosques as well as at his own home. By the grace of Allah, he climbed up the African firmament as a luminary amongst its luminaries, a leader, a guide, a reconciler, a religious and social eminence. People gathered around him and turned up in large numbers to listen to his distinguished darsas. He was the ultimate authority to whom people turned in matters of religion and Shari’a. He extinguished a lot of innovations and quickened to life a lot of Sunnas.
He took innumerable trips to the villages in the Kenyan bush, calling the tribes to Islam. His fame spread across all of East Africa and he was soon to become known simply as “Habib”.
In 1375 H (1955). he moved to Kampala in Uganda where he was to stay for 13 years. Eventually, he gave up commerce and devoted himself exclusively to teaching and calling people to Allah. Many African youths benefited and graduated from his school and went on to become Qadis, teachers and caller-unto-Allah. He himself also went into the bushes and forests that he may call people unto Allah – he travelled to Uganda, Congo, Tanzania and to other East African countries, as a caller unto Allah, as a guide. He succeeded in building many mosques and schools. Countless idol worshippers and Christians embraced Islam at his hands.
Habib Ahmad’s work in Kenya and Uganda led to a massive increase in the number of Muslims. He was a tireless teacher and all those who wanted knowledge, baraka, advice, or comfort flocked to his house.  Arabs, Indians and Africans in their thousands came to him and benefited from his knowledge and the light radiating from his presence and also from his du’a.
Being from the People of the RightHabib Ahmad Mashhur was amongst servants of Allah who singled themselves to exclusively serve Allah, preserve the awrad and the Sunna and the supererogatory prayers. He would not fail to rise for tahajjud, both when at home and away; he walked in the footsteps of his ancestors, he was their very replica in their conduct a living exemplar of how the Prophet’s Sunna is to be lived. Every movement, every word, every smile immediately evoked the radiant presence of the Prophet (Peace be upon him). None looked at him without remembering God. His awesome dignity imposed courtesy on his visitors and excluded frivolity, yet his gentle, gracious manners and equal respect for everyone soothed their hearts and made them forget their trouble and experience the serenity and joy of being accepted by one so close to God and His Messenger.
Then towards the end of his life, he took to commuting between Africa and the two Sacred Places. When old age overwhelmed him and his strength weakened he resided in Jeddah amongst his people and children.  He was an open house for guests of all walks of life because in him they found the righteous murshid and a sincere guide and an erudite scholar. They partook from him the aroma of ma’arifah and sainthood and divine secrets. He continued with his virtuous works until the decisive writ came down to meet him and he journeyed to meet the Ever-Living, the Self-Sustaining.
Al-Habib Ahmad Mashur Al Haddad passed away on Wednesday 14 Rajab 1416 (7 December 1995 ) at the age of 87. His life had been in complete service to Allah in all its total manifestation.  He was buried at Ma’la, at Makkah Al Mukarammah.
[Key to the Garden]
Habib Ahmad also authored many books, one of his most notable works is ‘Key to the Garden’.
An excerpt from the book:
Being from the People of the Right“God alone, and none other, is the true Deity, the Necessary Existent, who is Creator, Producer, Fashioner, Provider, Giver of life and death, and Wise Disposer; who has perfected everything He has created, and excelled in everything which He has made; who directs all things with ultimate precision, and has determined everything He has decreed. He alone is the true God, Pre-existent and Eternal, worthy of inward and external worship, exalted above all blemish, who possesses the most exalted attributes and the most beautiful names. His are might and majesty none shares in His essence, attributes or actions. There is no other God than He.”
The book can be purchased here: Key to the Garden
[Relevant resources]
The Effects of Various Dhikr – Habib Ahmad Mashhur al-Haddad
Rare Video of Habib Ahmad Mashur al-Haddad Reciting the Testification of Faith (tahlil) – YouTube