-HABIB ABU BAKR ‘AL ATTAS’ IBN ABDULLAH AL HABSHI
NOBLE DESENDANT OF RASULLULAH صلى الله عليه وآله وسل
He is Al Habib Abu Bakr “Alattas bin Abdullah bin Alwi bin Zain bin Abdullah bin Zain bin Alwi bin Muhammad bin Ali bin Muhammad bin Alwi bin Abu Bakar Al Habshi. He was born in the town of Hottah, Hadramaut in the year of Zulkaedah 1327 H (1909 M).
Al Habib was generally and widely known as Habib Attas and the pseudonym was given by Al Imam Al Habib Abdullah bin Alwi Al Habshi. It was a strange phenomenon and the mystery began to unfold itself later in his life. Al Habib Attas was a great scholar and pursued an exemplary way of life following the footstep of Rasullulah صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم .He was living under the harsh repression of the then communist rule in Hadramaut. The regime would kill scholars who spread the message of Allah, an example in which, the Mufti, Al Habib Mohammad bin Salim bin Hafiz Bensheikh Abu Bakar was kidnapped after his khutbah sermon at the Masjid Jame’ Terim. That was the last time anyone seeing him alive. Al Habib Attas was included in the ‘hit’ list. Alhamdullilah, he was informed of the treacherous plan and was advised to leave within 24 hours. He managed to rally round his family to escape to Jeddah via the airport at Aden. The land route journey had many military barriers to search for Al Habib Al Attas. Fortunately, his passport was endorsed under his real name Abu Bakar Al Habshi and the family was allowed to pass through and it’s only when the plane had crossed the international zone that they realised that Al Habib had given them the slip.
سُبْحَانَ اللهِ وَاَلْحَمْدُللهِ وَلآ إِلهَ إِلاَّ اللهُ وَاللهُ أَكْبَرُولآحَوْلَ وَلاَ قُوَّةَ اِلاَّ بِاللهِ
Al Habib was raised and nurtured by his own virtuous father Al Habib Abdullah. When his father passed away in the year 1342 hijrah, his dedicated upbringing was taken care of by his elder brother Al Habib Hussin. Even at an early age, Al Habib had already memorised and able to comprehend a large portion of the Holy Quran. He attended incessantly the cluster of learning circles and with deep erudition on religious books; he was able to extract the encompassing esoteric meanings. Speech that came out from his mouth was enlightenment like the illumination of light emanating from jewellery.
His brother passed away in the year 1369 hijrah, after which he became reclusive, devoted totally to worshipping of Allah in an atmosphere of total serene tranquillity and also to recapitulate the beneficial books on the way of the righteous predecessors (salafussalihin).
However, this state of affairs did not last as he was overtaken by the need to migrate to Mekah in order to escape from the tyranny imposed by the Communist regime.
Al Habib’s was constantly occupied and his time was apportioned primarily for worshiping and devout supplication, remembrance, righteous deeds and in providing counselling and guidance.to others. Without fail, every night he would start his vigil prayer and other act of supplications at two o’clock (in another narration at one o’clock), took a bath and started his ibadah and zikir until sunrise after which he would have a light breakfast and sleep.
At ten o’clock in the morning, he would then start to pray the dhuha prayer. It had been narrated that he would read ten chapters juzu’ of the Al Quran during the dhuha prayer. He would then continue his supplication until the afternoon zohor prayer time followed by praying the four rakaat qabliah. He would read surah Yasin in each of these rakaat. After praying the four rakaat ba’diah, he would have his lunch and took a rest. At four o’clock in the afternoon and after praying the four rakaat qabliah asar, he would seek Allah’s forgiveness seventy times; he would then pray the asar prayer followed by further supplications. He would then guide the transcendent study circle of majlis ta’alim until maghrib time when he would lead the prayer with his murids, followed by the sunnah prayer of muakad and awabin. He would only read the ratib Al Haddad after completing the isha’ prayer and its ba’diah,. At ten o’clock he would have his dinner and would sleep, waking up at two am to start his routine ibadah till sunrise.
In his guiding of the study circle of the majlis ta’alim, the approach was different. Unlike most majalis where the reading of the book kitab was done on a cursory level passing from one reader to another, Al Habib would ask the reciter to continuously repeat the text until its message was fully understood and enter the heart as if Rasullulah صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم was conversing personally with him.
The living tradition of Hadramut has always been the practise of seeking knowledge and ijazah from Mashaeikh. The following are his mashaeikhs
Al Habib Hussin bin Abdullah Al Habshi
Al Habib Alwi bin Abdullah Al Habshi
Al Habib Abdullah bin Idrus Al Idrus
Al Habib Abdullah bin Umar Alshatrie
Al Habib Abdul Bari bin Sheikh Al Idrus
Al Habib Ahmad bin Abdul Rahman Al Saggaf
Al Habib Ahmad bin Mohsin Al Hedhar
Al Habib Ali bin Abdul Rahman Al Habshi
Al Habib Muhammad bin Ali Al Habshi
Al Habib Muhammad bin Salim Asree
Al Habib Muhammad bin Hadi Al Saggaf
Al Habib Alwi bin Abdullah Benshahab
Al Habib Omar bin Ahmad Bensmeth
Al Habib Hassan bin Muhammad Bilfagih
Sheikh Mahfuz bin Osman
Sheikh Salim Said Bakayir
Al Habib wonderful personality embodied the essence of virtue as elucidated in the Ba’Alawi manuscript entitled “Al-Ilmu Nabras fi Tanbih ‘ala Manhaj Al Akyas inscribed by Habib Abdullah bin Alwee bin Hassan Al Attas describing it as-:
“someone who followed meticulously the life and practises of his noble predecessors in knowledge and endeavour, having pure heart free, from any negative attributes, reverently devoted and wholeheartedly live up to righteous deed, keeping in company with those with good character and keeping away from those with decadent disposition, dislike prominence and fame, avoiding festivity, self blaming on personal inadequacies, imbued with eminent nobleness, piety, renunciation, gentle, leaving those with animosity aside and fully engrossed on matters pertaining to the hereafter.
Al Habib also had also written six treaties including “Al Tazkir Al Mustaffa”
In remembering Al Habib Attas, it suffices tc conclude on the credence of the citation of Al Habib Abdul Qadir bin Ahmad As Saggaf who regarded him as someone who was endowed with the secrets of the company of salaful arifin and distinguished him as “Saidi Al-arif billah”
Al Habib Abu Bakar Attas passed away on 28 Rejab 1416 H (21 December 1995 M) His life had been in complete service to Allah in all its total manifestation. He was buried at Ma'la, at Mekah Al Mukarammah.
اللهم انشرنفحات الرضوان عليه وإمدنا بالأسرار التي أودعتهالديه
. اللهم صل وسلم على جده النبي الأمين سيدنا محمد وعلى آله وصحبه أجمعين
الفاتحة إلى حضرة النبي محمد صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم وإلى روح سيدنا الحبيب ابي بكرالعطاس بن عبدالله بن علوي الحبشي وأصوله وفروعه وتلامذته والمنتسبين إليه أجمعين، أن الله يعلي درجاتهم في الجنة ويكثر من مثوباتهم ويضاعف حسناتهم ويحفظنا بجاههم وينفعنابهم ويعيد علينا من بركاتهم وأسرارهم وأنوارهم وعلومهم ونفحاتهم في الدين والدنيا والآخرة - الفاتحة
 A pious scholar who follows and practices the way of the Holy Prophet s.a.w.
For more detailed definition of Mashaeikh, refer to ‘Key to the Garden’ by
Habib Ahmad Mashhur Al-Haddad, Quillium Press Ltd, England