Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Retreat(Khalwa)room of Imam Muhammad al Jazuli

Sidi Muhammad ibn Sulayman al-Jazuli al-Simlali (died 1465) was of the Berber tribe of the Jazulah who lived in the Sus area which is in Morocco between the Atlantic Ocean and the Atlas Mountains. He is especially famous for compiling the Dala'il al-Khayrat, an extremely popular Muslim prayer book and he is known by many Moroccans as one the seven saints of Marrakesh.

He studied locally and then went to the Madrasat As-Saffarîn in Fez where his room is still pointed out to visitors today. In Fes he memorized texts in the Maliki Madhab such as Ibn al-Hajib’s Mukhtasr al-Far’i and Sahnun’s Al-Mudawwana al-Kubra. He also met the famous jurist and mystic Sidi Ahmad Zarruq. After settling a tribal feud he left the area and spent the next forty years in Makkah, Medina and Jerusalem. After his long journey, he returned to Fez where he completed the prayer book Dala'il al-Khayrat.

He was initiated into the Shadhili Tariqa by a descendant of Moulay Abu Abdallah Mohammed Amghar the sheikh of the Banu Amghar. He spent fourteen years in Khalwa (seclusion)in the room shown above. His litany was 114,000 ‘basmalah's’ everday and three complete recitals of the Dalail Khayrat and a quarter of the Quran. He did this everyday and night for fourteen years. Shaykh Ahmad Baba al-Massufi al-Timbukti said that when he came out people made tawbah just by seeing him.

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