Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Habib Muhammad ibn 'Alawi al-'Aydarus (1932-2011) by Shaykh AbdulKarim Yahya

Habib Muhammad ibn 'Alawi al-'Aydarus (1932-2011)

Thousands of the people of Tarim and Hadramawt came out at `Asr on Juma` for the janaza of Habib “Sa`d” Muhammad bin `Alawi al-`Aydarus, who passed away the previous day, Thursday 8th Dhu’l-Qa`dah/6thOctober 2011 at the age of 82.

Before the janaza, Habib Umar bin Hafiz and Habib Salim bin `Abdullah al-Shatiri addressed the crowd, recounting the exploits of this great Imam and calling the people to return to Allah and hold fast to the inheritance of the their predecessors.

He was then buried in the Zanbal graveyard next to the Qubbah of his ancestor, Imam `Abdullah bin Abu Bakr al-`Aydarus.

In his mawlid speech the night before Sayyidi al-Habib Umar bin Hafiz (may Allah preserve him) commemorated the life of Habib Sa`d. What follows is a summary of Habib `Umar’s words with some extra detail for clarification.

He mentioned that he was someone who had an immense connection to his predecessors (Salaf), to the Qur’an, to the mosques and to the remembrance of Allah. He had great love for Allah and His Messenger and the pious people. He had great humility and a constant desire to help and benefit others, and he possessed a big portion of the Prophetic legacy.

He returned to Tarim after four years in a socialist prison in Aden. Just as Sayyiduna Yusuf was given authority over the land of Egypt after his time in prison, Habib Sa`d was entrusted with religious authority in Tarim. He became imam of the great Masjid of Shaykh `Abd al-Rahman al-Saqqaf and remained Imam for 35 years, presiding over the Hadara which is held there twice a week. He re-opened the Qubbah of Abu Murrayam, a school for the memorisation of the Qur’an which had been established six hundred years previously but closed by the socialists. Thousands of students subsequently memorised the Qur’an at his hands.

Like his predecessors amongst the scholars of the Ba `Alawi way, he had veneration for Imam al-Ghazali’s Ihya’ `Ulum al-Din. He presided over the reading of the Ihya` every Monday in the Qubbah of Imam `Abdullah bin Abu Bakr al-`Aydarus. Just days before his death he was given copies of a new print of the Ihya` and he spent his last hours with this great work in his hand.

A big portion of his life was spent with the mushaf or masbaha (prayer beads) in his hand or bowing or in prostration. For years he would go in the second half of the night to pray in Masjid Ba `Alawi and then go to Masjid al-Saqqaf to read the Qur’an with the group before Fajr. Only illness towards the end of his life prevented him from continuing in his daily and nightly programme.

Out of his mercy and softness of his heart he began to compile small books on many subjects that he hoped would be of benefit to people. He compiled one book after another, and they spread far and wide.

His Book of Intentions was translated into English and when we were in Europe and America we were given copies to give out to people. Light would enter people’s hearts when they read such a book, because he compiled it with a pious intention.

When we look at the life of Habib Sa`d we must reflect on how we use our time and prepare for the meeting with Allah. Many people die worshipping power or fame or die in evil places or amongst heedless people. Allah give us the best of endings and make us firm on la ilaha ill’Allah.

May Allah reward him on behalf of this city, the people of Islam and the people of this time. May Allah grant him the best entry to the Barzakh and the ability to intercede for many.

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