No Announcement

"O Allah! We seek goodness from Your Knowledge and with Your Power (and Might) We seek strength, and We ask from You Your Great Blessings, because You have the Power and We do not have the power. You Know everything and I do not know, and You have knowledge of the unseen. Oh Allah! If in Your Knowledge this action (We are about to take) is better for my religion and faith, for our life and end [death], for here [in this world] and the hereafter then make it destined for us and make it easy for us and then add blessings [baraka'] in it, for us. O Allah! In Your Knowledge if this action is bad for us, bad for our religion and faith, for our life and end [death], for here [in this world] and the hereafter then turn it away from us and turn us away from it and whatever is better for us, ordain [destine] that for us and then make us satisfied with it."


عَنْ عُمَيْرِ بْنِ هَانِئٍ الْعَنْسِيِّ ، قَالَ : سَمِعْتُ عَبْدَ اللَّهِ بْنَ عُمَرَ ، يَقُولُ : كُنَّا قُعُودًا عِنْدَ رَسُولِ اللَّهِ ، فَذَكَرَ الْفِتَنَ فَأَكْثَرَ فِي ذِكْرِهَا حَتَّى ذَكَرَ فِتْنَةَ الْأَحْلَاسِ ، فَقَالَ قَائِلٌ : يَا رَسُولَ اللَّهِ وَمَا فِتْنَةُ الْأَحْلَاسِ ؟ قَالَ : ” هِيَ هَرَبٌ وَحَرْبٌ ، ثُمَّ فِتْنَةُ السَّرَّاءِ ، دَخَنُهَا مِنْ تَحْتِ قَدَمَيْ رَجُلٍ مِنْ أَهْلِ بَيْتِي يَزْعُمُ أَنَّهُ مِنِّي ، وَلَيْسَ مِنِّي ، وَإِنَّمَا أَوْلِيَائِي الْمُتَّقُونَ ، ثُمَّ يَصْطَلِحُ النَّاسُ عَلَى رَجُلٍ كَوَرِكٍ عَلَى ضِلَعٍ ، ثُمَّ فِتْنَةُ الدُّهَيْمَاءِ ، لَا تَدَعُ أَحَدًا مِنْ هَذِهِ الْأُمَّةِ إِلَّا لَطَمَتْهُ لَطْمَةً ، فَإِذَا قِيلَ : انْقَضَتْ ، تَمَادَتْ يُصْبِحُ الرَّجُلُ فِيهَا مُؤْمِنًا ، وَيُمْسِي كَافِرًا ، حَتَّى يَصِيرَ النَّاسُ إِلَى فُسْطَاطَيْنِ ، فُسْطَاطِ إِيمَانٍ لَا نِفَاقَ فِيهِ ، وَفُسْطَاطِ نِفَاقٍ لَا إِيمَانَ فِيهِ ، فَإِذَا كَانَ ذَاكُمْ فَانْتَظِرُوا الدَّجَّالَ ، مِنْ يَوْمِهِ ، أَوْ مِنْ غَدِهِ ” أبو داود

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Importance of a good shaykh by Shaykh Abd'al-Qadir al-Jilani Radi Allahu anhu

Al Ghawth al-Adham Shaykh Sayyad Abd'al-Qadir al-Jilani Radi 'Allahu anhu said: You must work hard to ensure that your hearts are not locked out of the door of His nearness. Be sensible! You are getting nowhere. You must seek the company of a Shaykh who is learned in the law [hukm] and knowledge ['ilm] of Allah (Almighty and Glorious is He), and who will show you the way toward Him. Without seeing the successful [muflih], one cannot succeed. If a person does not seek the company of scholars who put their knowledge into practice ['ulama 'ummal], he is a chicken from an egg abandoned by the rooster and the mother hen.

Seek the fellowship of those who enjoy fellowship with the Lord of Truth (Almighty and Glorious is He). What each of you should do, when the night has grown dark and people have gone to bed and their voices are silent, is get up, take an ablution [yatawadda'], perform two cycles of ritual prayer [yusalli rak'atain] and say: "O my Lord, guide me to one of Your righteous servants near to You, so that he may guide me toward You and make me familiar with Your path." The instrument [sabab] is necessary. Allah (Almighty and Glorious is He) was quite capable of guiding [His servants] to Him without the Prophets [anbiya']. Be sensible! You are getting nowhere. You must awaken from your heedless folly. As the Beloved Prophet Salla Allahu ta'ala 'alayhi wa Sallam has said: If someone relies entirely on his own subjective judgement, he will go astray. Try to find someone who will be a mirror for the face of your religion [din], just as you look in the mirror to check the appearance of your outer face, your turban and your hair. Be sensible! What is this crazy foolishness? You say, "I don't need anyone to teach me," and yet the Beloved Prophet Salla Allahu ta'ala 'alayhi wa Sallam has said: The believer is the believer's mirror [al-mu'minu mir'atu 'l-mu'min].

When the believer's faith is sound, he comes to be a mirror for all creatures. They behold their religious faces [wujuh adyanihim] reflected in the mirror of his speech, every time they see him and get close to him. What is this craziness? Not a moment goes by without your begging Allah (Almighty and Glorious is He) to provide you with more than you already have to eat, to drink, and to wear, with more sexual opportunities and more income. These are not things that could increase or decrease, even if you were to be joined in your plea by every supplicant whose prayers are answered [da 'in mujab].

Supplication [da 'wa] will neither increase one's sustenance by so much as an atom, nor reduce it by an atom. This is a foregone conclusion [mafrugh minhu]. You must devote your attention to doing what you have been commanded to do, and to avoiding what you have been forbidden to do. You should not worry about that which is bound to come your way, because He guarantees that it will come to you. Allotted shares [aqsam] arrive at their appointed times, whether they be sweet or bitter, whether you like them or dislike them.

The people [of the Way] attain to a condition in which they no longer have any prayer of supplication [du'a] or request [su'al] to make. They do not beg [in their prayers] to gain advantages, nor to get rid of disadvantages. Their supplication comes to be a matter concerning their hearts, sometimes for their own sake and sometimes for the sake of all creatures, so they utter the prayer of supplication without conscious premeditation [fi ghaiba].
"O '' Allah, endow us with good behaviour in Your company under all circumstances!
[When the believer's faith is sound], fasting [sawm], prayer [salat], remembrance [dhikr] and all acts of obedience [ta 'at] become second nature to him, mingled with his flesh and blood. Then he receives protection from Allah (Almighty and Glorious is He) under all circumstances. The restraint of the law [hukm] does not desert him, not for an instant, while he is on this course. The law comes to be like the vessel in which he sits, as he travels over the ocean of the power [qudra] of his Lord (Almighty and Glorious is He). He goes on traveling over it until he arrives at the shore of the hereafter, at the shore of the ocean of grace and the hand of nearness. Thus he is sometimes in the company of creatures and at certain times in the company of the Creator. His work and toil are with creatures, while his relaxation is with the Creator.
From Shaykh 'Abd al-Qadir al-Jilani, "The Sublime Revelation (Al-Fath ar-Rabbani)," translated by Muhtar Holland (Al-Baz Publishing, Houston, 1992), p. 426-8.
On the authority of Abu Hurayrah r.a., who said that Prophet Muhammad S.A.W. said: Allah SWT said:

Whosoever shows enmity to someone devoted to Me, I shall be at war with him. My servant draws not near to Me with anything more loved by Me than the religious duties I have enjoined upon him, and My servant continues to draw near to Me with supererogatory works so that I shall love him. When I love him I am his hearing with which he hears, his seeing with which he sees, his hand with which he strikes and his foot with which he walks. Were he to ask [something] of Me, I would surely give it to him, and were he to ask Me for refuge, I would surely grant him it. I do not hesitate about anything as much as I hesitate about [seizing] the soul of My faithful servant: he hates death and I hate hurting him. (It was related by al-Bukhari)

“Allah! There is no God save Him, the Alive, the Eternal. Neither slumber nor sleep overtaketh Him. Unto Him belongeth whatsoever is in the heavens and whatsoever is in the earth. Who is he that intercedeth with Him save by His leave? He knoweth that which is in front of them and that which is behind them, while they encompass nothing of His knowledge save what He will. His throne includeth the heavens and the earth, and He is never weary of preserving them. He is the Sublime, the Tremendous.”

Friday, February 22, 2008


Original Source

What is the "Best Martial Arts" for Self-Defense?
- by Wayne Muromoto

A while ago, someone emailed me asking my opinion about the best martial arts to study in terms of self-defense.

Stupidly, I was my usual facetious self in answering that question, until the person gave me the reason why he queried me. He, a young, healthy male, had been robbed. In the course of the crime, he had been assaulted and found himself unable to protect himself from bodily harm. The physical injuries were minor, but the experience shook him to his psychological core. To have your sense of self, of destiny, and control taken over by a criminal is surely one of the worst feelings you can have, and in a sense, this young man might have had a sense of being violated similar to the trauma suffered by sexual assault and rape victims.

One way this young man thought he could rebuild his sense of self-confidence was through becoming trained in a martial art that would enable him to fend off such an attack in the future. Once I realized the seriousness that underlined his question, I tried to reply to him in the way that I am writing now: Basically, I told him, in all honesty, no martial art is a foolproof method against being hurt in a robbery or crime, if the assailant is unarmed, or with a knife, or especially a gun. You can slip on a banana peel, miss a block, or be in the wrong place in the wrong time and get clobbered. Or worse, your life could be in danger if you resist.

Then again, there are instances when compliance or resistance don't really matter one way or another; the attacker is just bent on doing you harm one way or another, and, unable to escape, you just have to figure a way out of your predicament using whatever means are at your disposal, including martial arts. With that caveat, I told him that martial arts can give you a better sense of awareness and physical ability to possibly deal with an attack, but it's no panacea.

Now, although I practice martial arts, what I then informed him was my own, honest opinion, and I had nothing to gain or lose because he lived thousands of miles away from me and I wasn't looking to recruit him for my school, or for any particular martial arts school. If my following opinions rile anyone, then just take it as it is; simply my own opinion, and there are, I'm sure, many more opinions coming from all quarters.

The first line of self-defense, even before being physically trained, is self-awareness. In this, I include being aware of one's own limitations as well as being aware of one's surroundings. If a dark alley seems suspiciously like a great place to ambush someone, then don't go down it if it's late at night and you're walking through it alone. Take a slightly longer route home. So know your own limitations, and avoid the possible places or situations where you could get caught. Old martial artists would call this "winning by not fighting." You maneuver yourself out of a combative situation before it even happens. In a similar manner, if you don't want a fight, then don't go into a bar known for its brawls acting and looking for a fight. Know yourself, know the others. Again, in knowing oneself, don't dress or act the part of a victim. Walk erect but not proud, aware of your surroundings, and put away your Rolex watch and fancy gold chain necklace. Be "normal," i.e., don't act overconfident, but don't act like you're scared of your own shadow.

Don't rely on externals to protect you. What I mean is, don't pack a Saturday Night Special when you decide to go to that raunchy bar on the other side of town. In some places it's illegal to carry a concealed weapon. And in the worst case, it gives you a sense of false confidence. Just don't go to that bar, period. Don't place your hopes on having a pistol in your drawer at home, or carrying a knife or baseball bat in your car, or a can of Mace on your key chain, or a stun gun in your purse. While Mace or a stun gun may help, there's no iron-clad guarantee that you can reach for it in your purse in time to protect yourself. Remember there are limitations to any weapon at hand, and be aware of the local law regarding carrying such weapons on your body and the damage you can inflict in a given situation.

I'm not advocating or denouncing gun control laws here; that's another matter entirely.What I'm talking about doesn't deal with guns as a means of self-defense. I don't want to go there because that's another humongous controversy.

That said, sometimes all your best intentions come to nothing; you try to avoid danger zones, you try to not exude fear or false bravado, and still the bad guys try to rob you. The advice I hear from local police officers is the advice I prefer. If a robber wants your money, give it to him.

Getting involved in a struggle over money is not worth risking your life. There are too many variables so that even as a trained martial artist, you may not survive unscathed. In terms of rape, sexual assault or physical assault, I would refer you to discussions with your local police as to what is the safest, most reasonable responses. I'm a martial arts instructor (a mediocre one at that); not a specialist in counseling rape victims, and I don't pretend to be one.

However, I'm sure that avoiding fighting with a criminal is usually best because you never know what other variables may put you in danger. The assailant could have friends lurking around the corner, for example. Or he could have a knife or gun that you missed seeing. Or he could just be bigger and meaner and stronger than you.

So what about the times when, as this young man noted, that you try to avoid difficult situations, but you nevertheless are attacked. Even though you give the criminal your money and try to avoid conflict by backing off, the attacker still assaults you and you have to fight for your life? Then, I said, you fight as if it's a matter of sheer basic survival. You use whatever you can, whether it's martial art, a two by four, whatever.

So he pressed me. What martial art is the best, then? In that situation I said, it's not so much the style of martial arts in itself, but how much you train and how well that martial arts fits you.

In most instances, assaults require a rapid response. You don't have time to think, "Okay, he's coming in with an overhead strike. I can use either an age-uke block and punch combination, or I could step to the right side, deflect the strike, and kick. . .or. . ." The attack comes quickly, and you must respond reflexively, without the luxury of thinking up a fancy defense. Whether it's judo, karatedo, aikido, or whatever, you need to train long enough so that your response is quick, simple and reflexive.

So if you take up any form of martial arts as a means of self-defense, then you have to focus on the basics, repeating the methods over and over again until they are a natural, reflexive part of you, so that as soon as you see an overhand attack, for example, you can react quickly, without hesitation or thinking, without intellectualizing what you're doing or letting the fear/flight emotional response render you frozen in your tracks.

Repetitive training will help. But mental training also helps a great deal. Martial arts practice is wonderful in that it puts you in a physical situation that challenges both your body, mind and emotion to maintain calmness and deliberateness in the middle of physical mayhem. It's a very good fit for training for self-defense, but not a complete fit, because when all is said and done, a real self-defense situation is still different from martial arts. But the martial arts can prepare you somewhat for it.

To paraphrase one combat veteran, "five minutes of real combat is worth months of basic training." In other words, nothing can prepare you completely for a real self-defense situation. Nothing. Proper training, however, will at least have you ready and more prepared compared to someone who has had no training at all. That is why soldiers are drilled repeatedly for combat; once in combat their reactions have to be reflexive, and the only way to develop that short of throwing them into real battle and letting the rate of natural attrition decide who has natural survival skills is to train the soldiers, over and over again, until such simple and complex tasks under duress become second nature.

Self-defense training's end goals is just that: physical self-defense. There's nothing wrong with that, but that is its limit. Martial arts has a myriad of goals: mental and physical health, self-confidence, spiritual training, learning body dynamics, and thus self-defense is but one of various goals of martial arts. That said, therefore, ten-step self-defense courses for women, etc., have obvious limitations and I am ambivalent about the worthiness of many of those courses. They may give some basic physical tools and techniques to people, they may bolster self-confidence, and within those limited parameters they may serve a purpose and be somewhat adequate.

But it is my experience that without constant and lengthy training in mental and physical methodologies, it is really hard to inculcate the rapid response reflexes needed in a real self-defense situation. I'm not saying such focused short workshops are entirely useless; I'm sure they serve some purpose, but as they are often structured, I don't think the benefits are as great as they are often touted, or as they could be if the whole situation was further studied by specialists in the field over a longer period of time.

Such short workshops may give a brief introduction to some simple safety and self-defense "tips," but students should always be forewarned that it will not turn them into a Jackie Chan overnight.

Nor should any of the aerobic-martial arts instructors give students a false sense that they can "kick butt" after doing aerobics-based martial arts, such as Tae Bo or kickboxing aerobics. I'm sure Tae Bo and the other spin offs are a great workout, and it will slim down and tone students, but unless it's augmented with traditional martial arts training, that emphasizes focus, power punching, proper balance for striking a real physical object, reaction drills and so on, aerobics-based martial arts' primary focus is on body fitness and toning, NOT self-defense. Ditto aerobic kickboxing. You may look great in a Spandex outfit, but it doesn't mean you can really kick butt in the street.

But if instructors in those courses are honest, they will admit to the limitations, as well as the possible benefits, of such courses. If so, then I have no quarrels with them.

For example (and here I know I'm going to get clobbered by some advocates), in some self-defense workshops a favorite practice is to have a guy dressed up in protective padding from top to bottom "assault" a student. The student fights back with punches, kicks and all the methods he/she learned in the few weeks' worth of training that the class offered. All other things being equal, that's not a bad exercise. But it's not a be-all and end-all.

You usually don't get attacked by someone in such padded gear unless you're on a football field carrying a football. Attackers will come in all shapes, sizes, assortments and numbers. They will come at you unarmed, armed with bladed weapons, and/or with guns. Heck, you could even be attacked by someone trying to run you over with an SUV in an instance of road rage.

So I concluded by telling the young man that self-defense courses may be good for a quick dose of self-confidence, and possibly some simple techniques that may or may not work. But it's not the be-all and end-all of everything; it's a quickie stop gap band aid for people who don't have the time to invest in long-term martial arts. And quickie stop gaps can't guarentee you anything permanent or long-lasting.

Thus, if he really was serious, he should take up martial arts, but realize that he should accept whatever martial arts he studies as having more than the limited goal of self-defense. He should realize that everything goes hand in hand; learning the mental and physical discipline, the body dynamics, the basics, all will tie in to his need to learn self-defense, by giving him a firm foundation that will accumulate over the years, like compounded interest in a bank account.

And like compounded interest, there's no quick road to profit. You just have to keep training and training, until the martial arts becomes a part of you. But which martial art is the best, he reitereated. I replied (getting into my dumb-jokes mode again), heck, even learning baseball is great. If you learn how to swing a bat and throw a baseball, then you can swing a stick or throw things at the guy. Or run like heck away from the attack.

Maybe he would enjoy the grappling and free-for-all randori of judo. Or he might prefer the clean and intricate techniques of aikido, or the punching and kicking of karate. Or he may opt to do something like Tae Kwon Do or Chinese Kung Fu, or Filipino Escrima, or Western style boxing. What mattered was that he find something he could stick with and study for years and years. I'm real open about that. I don't think my own martial arts is the best for everyone. He had to find something that would best fit his character and tastes.

I close with a true anecdote, relayed to me by a student of an aikido sensei long since passed away. One day, the sensei came into the dojo with a torn T-shirt. As everyone changed to their training gi, the student said, "Sensei, what happened to your shirt?"

The sensei said that a petty thief had accosted him in the street just before he went to the dojo and tried to rob him.

"What happened?" the student asked.

"I have to study aikido more..." the sensei said. "He tried to grab my shoulder and pull my wallet from my pocket, so I grabbed him and threw him, and he tore my T-shirt when I threw him. The punk was so surprised he got up and ran away. Oh, but I have to study aikido more..."

"Oh, but sensei, that's great. I mean, you threw the guy!" his student said.

"No, you don't understand. I threw him, but it was with a seoi nage (over-the-shoulder judo throw). That's not aikido. I have to study aikido more."

The sensei had studied judo as a young boy for years before he devoted himself to aikido. When faced with an immediate situation, his most basic reflexes kicked in and rather than react in an aikido fashion, he reverted back to the imprinting he received as a child. That is what disturbed the sensei; he realized he hadn't truly integrated aikido into his gut level reflexes as he had done with judo. And this is a sensei who had studied aikido for decades.

So the moral of the story, I guess, is that true self-defense is based on long term training, over and over again. Like a lot of things in life, there really is no quick, short term solution that lasts very long. You simply train. What is the best martial arts for self-defense? One that you have trained in for years and years and years.

Saturday, February 9, 2008

Syaikh al-Habib 'Umar bin Hafiz


He is al-Habib ‘Umar the son of Muhammad the son of Salim the son of Hafiz the son of Abd-Allah the son of Abi Bakr the son of ‘Aidarous the son of al-Hussain the son of al-Shaikh Abi Bakr the son of Salim the son of ‘Abd-Allah the son of ‘Abd-al-Rahman the son of ‘Abd-Allah the son of al-Shaikh ‘Abd-al-Rahman al-Saqqaf the son of Muhammad Maula al-Daweela the son of ‘Ali the son of ‘Alawi the son of al-Faqih al-Muqaddam Muhammad the son of ‘Ali the son of Muhammad Sahib al-Mirbat the son of ‘Ali Khali‘ Qasam the son of ‘Alawi the son of Muhammad the son of ‘Alawi the son of ‘Ubaidallah the son of al-Imam al-Muhajir to Allah Ahmad the son of ‘Isa the son of Muhammad the son of ‘Ali al-‘Uraidi the son of Ja'far al-Sadiq the son of Muhammad al-Baqir the son of ‘Ali Zain al-‘Abidin the son of Hussain the grandson, the son of both ‘Ali the son of Abu Talib and of Fatimah al-Zahra the daughter of the Prophet Muhammad S.A.W.

Left to right: Habib Umar and Habib Ali

He was born in Tarim, Hadramaut one of the ancient cities of Yemen that became known far and wide due to the abundance of scholars and pious people that it has produced over the centuries. He was raised in a household that possessed a tradition of Islamic scholarship as well as righteousness with his father being the famous martyr, the Erudite, the Preacher, Muhammad bin Salim bin Hafiz bin Shaikh Abu Bakr bin Salim. His father was one of the scholars of Islam that dedicated their lives to the spread of Islam and the teaching of the Sacred Law and the lofty teachings of Islam. He was tragically abducted by communist forces and presumed dead, may Allah have mercy upon him. Likewise his grandfathers al-Habib Salim bin Hafiz and al-Habib Hafiz bin Abd-Allah were scholars who were highly respected by the scholars of their day. Allah prepared appropriate conditions for al-Habib ‘Umar in terms of both his connection with the people of knowledge and piety from within his very household as well as the environment and society in which he was raised.

Having memorised the Qur’an at a very early age he also memorised the core texts in fiqh, hadith, Arabic Language and other religious sciences thereby adhering to the circles of knowledge that were held by many traditional scholars such as Muhammad bin ‘Alawi bin Shihab and al-Shaikh Fadl Baa Fadl and other scholars who taught at the famous Ribat of Tarim. Naturally he studied many sciences including the spiritual sciences from his father the martyr al-Habib Muhammad bin Salim acquiring from him a deep love and concern for da'wah and religious counsels in the way of Allah. His father paid a lot of attention to the young ‘Umar with him constantly being at the side of his father in circles of knowledge and dhikr. Tragically al-Habib ‘Umar accompanied his father to the Jum‘ah prayer from which he has abducted by the communist forces, with the young ‘Umar returning home alone with his fathers shawl, with his father never to be seen again. Thus the young ‘Umar began to assume the responsibility of continuing the work done by his father in the field of Da‘wah it was as if his fathers shawl was a banner which he had given to his youngest child before being martyred. Thus, with the banner held aloft he began, vigourously, the arduous journey of exhorting the people, arranging conferences and da‘wah. His vigourous attempt at continuing the work of his father began to bear fruits. Classes were being held for the young and the old in local mosques where opportunities to memorise the Qur’an and to study the traditional sciences were being offered. He indeed had grasped the Book firmly it being evident that he had been given something special from Allah despite his young age. This however began to cause great concern for his safety with it eventually culminating in him being sent to the city of al-Bayda’ which is situated in the then North Yemen away from the grasp of those who may wish to inflict harm on the young sayyid. There began another important phase in his development. Enrolled at the Ribat of al-Bayda’ he began to study the traditional sciences under the expert tutelage of the great al-Habib Muhammad bin ‘Abd-Allah al-Haddar, may Allah have mercy upon him, as well as under the Shafi‘i jurist and scholar al-Habib Zain bin Sumait, may Allah preserve him. His promise was confirmed when he was appointed as a teacher soon after. Likewise he continued his exhausting efforts in the field of Da‘wah. This time the scene was to be al-Bayda’ and her neighbouring towns and villages. No stone was left unturned in his attempt to revive the love of Allah and His r Messenger in the hearts of the people. Classes were established, lectures were held people were counseled. His work which deprived him of much sleep and rest began to have a major impact on all those that came in contact with it, especially the youth who previously had been resolved to a empty and shallow life but now had undergone internal transformations to the point that life now had a purpose, they were proud of their new found Islamic identity wearing the cloaks of Islam and beginning to focus their attention on acquiring the noble traits of the Messenger of Allah r. Thus a large group of people from those he had influenced began to gather round him assist him in his da‘wah efforts and teaching commitments in various cities and towns in Northern Yemen. Within this period he began to visit many neighbouring towns and communities across Yemen from the northern city of Ta'iz in order to take knowledge from the mufti of Ta‘iz al-Habib Ibrahim bin Aqil bin Yahya who began to show him much love and attention likewise he received similar treatment from his Shaikh al-Habib Muhammad al-Haddar to the extent that he gave him his daughters hand in marriage after having noticed in him the lofty traits of uprightness and intelligence.

It was not soon after that he set out on the arduous journey to perform the prescribed pilgrimage to Makka and to visit the Prophet r in Madina. During his trip to the Hijaz he was blessed with the opportunity to study several books of their most prominent scholars especially those of al-Habib 'Abdul Qadir bin Ahmad al-Saqqaf who saw in the young ‘Umar a youthful vigor full with of the love of Allah and his Messenger r totally absorbed in the spread of knowledge and righteousness amongst mankind such that he became endeared to al-Habib Abdul Qadir one of his greatest teachers. Likewise he was blessed to have received knowledge and guidance from the other two pillars of righteousness in the Hijaz al-Habib Ahmed Mashur al-Haddad and al-Habib 'Attas al-Habashi.

Thus the name al-Habib Umar bin Hafiz began to spread far and wide in the land especially due to his unrelenting effort in establishing the call to Islam and reviving its traditionally based teachings this mass popularity did not in any way detract from his academic endeavors on the contrary it provided him with an additional source from which high aspirations could be maintained. No time was wasted, every moment was filled with the remembrance of Allah in its multiple manifestations and in its differing situations and locations. His overt concern with the spiritual development of especially those who kept his company was to become one of his most distinguishing traits one for which his name would spread even as far as the New World.

The land of Oman would be the next phase in the move towards fifteenth century renewal. After responding positively to the invitation of a group of Muslims who possessed a deep desire to benefit from his teachings he left the land of his birth and was not to return for several years. Seeds of erudition and piety were sewn as well in the eastern Yemeni town of Shihr, his first stop on his return to Hadramaut Yemen. There his teachings began to crystalise in the development of the Ribat al-Mustafa. This would be a major turning point for and it could signal in more ways than one the completion of the theoretical aspect of this work and the bringing forth of tangible realities that would embody the prophetic teachings.

The return to Tarim would signal a metamorphosis of all those years he had spent in learning, teaching, in the development of others spiritually in the establishment of the call and enjoining the right and forbidding the wrong. Dar-al-Mustafa would be his gift to the world and to it the world was summoned. In what would seem such a short time the people of Tarim would witness the convergence of students from lands far and wide upon a city that was on the verge of being forgotten whilst under the rule of communist infidels. Students from Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore, The Comorus Islands, Tanzania, Kenya, Egypt, Great Britain, Pakistan, United states and Canada as well as other Arab states and countries would be under the watchful eye of Habib Umar. They would become agents in what is now becoming an authentic attempt at reviving traditional Islam in the fifteenth century after the flight. The rise of similar Islamic institutions in Yemen and abroad under the management of al-Habib Umar would again be a major impatice in the spread of Knowledge and good behavior and provide the common people with opportunities that they had previously been deprived of.

Habib ‘Umar currently lives in Tarim Yemen where he oversees the development of Dar al-Mustafa and the many schools that have been set up under his management. He still maintains an active role in the propagation of the religion of Islam such that he may spend most of the year traveling all over the world in pursuit of such noble activities.

This information, courtesy of the Ibn Abbas Institute, is correct as of 15 December 2002. Visit Habib 'Umar website.

Al-Allamah Syaikh Al-Habib 'Umar bin Hafiz dijadualkan akan melawat Malaysia dari 10-17 Februari, 2008.

Al-Allamah Syaikh Al-Habib 'Umar bin Hafiz is scheduled to visit Malaysia from 10-17 February, 2008

Friday, February 8, 2008



Partial Translation of Sunan Abu-Dawud, Book 28:
Medicine (Kitab Al-Tibb)
Book 28, Number 3846:

Narrated Usamah ibn Sharik:

I came to the Prophet (peace_be_upon_him) and his Companions were sitting as if they had birds on their heads. I saluted and sat down. The desert Arabs then came from here and there. They asked: Apostle of Allah, should we make use of medical treatment? He replied: Make use of medical treatment, for Allah has not made a disease without appointing a remedy for it, with the exception of one disease, namely old age.

Book 28, Number 3847:

Narrated Umm al-Mundhar bint Qays al-Ansariyyah:

The Apostle of Allah (peace_be_upon_him) came to visit me, accompanied by Ali who was convalescing. We had some ripe dates hung up. The Apostle of Allah (peace_be_upon_him) got up and began to eat from them.

Ali also got up to eat, but the Apostle of Allah (peace_be_upon_him) said repeatedly to Ali: Stop, Ali, for you are convalescing, and Ali stopped.

She said: I then prepared some barley and beer-root and brought it. The Apostle of Allah (peace_be_upon_him) then said: Take some of this, Ali, for it will be more beneficial for you. AbuDawud said: The narrator Harun said: al-Adawiyyah (i.e. Umm al-Mundhar).

Book 28, Number 3848:

Narrated AbuHurayrah:

The Prophet (peace_be_upon_him) said: The best medical treatment you apply is cupping.

Book 28, Number 3849:

Narrated Salmah:

the maid-servant of the Apostle of Allah (peace_be_upon_him), said: No one complained to the Apostle of Allah (peace_be_upon_him) of a headache but he told him to get himself cupped, or of a pain in his legs but he told him to dye them with henna.

Book 28, Number 3850:

Narrated AbuKabshah al-Ansari:

The Apostle of Allah (peace_be_upon_him) used to have himself cupped on the top of his head and between his shoulders, and that he used to say: If anyone pours out any of his blood, he will not suffer if he applies no medical treatment for anything.

Book 28, Number 3851:

Narrated Anas ibn Malik:

The Prophet (peace_be_upon_him) had himself cupped three times in the veins at the sides of the neck and on the shoulder. Ma'mar said: I got myself cupped, and I lost my memory so much so that I was instructed Surat al-Fatihah by others in my prayer. He had himself cupped at the top of his head.

Book 28, Number 3852:

Narrated AbuHurayrah:

The Prophet (peace_be_upon_him) said: If anyone has himself cupped on the 17th, 19th and 21st it will be a remedy for every disease.

Book 28, Number 3853:

Narrated Kabshah daughter of AbuBakrah:

(the narrator other than Musa said that Kayyisah daughter of AbuBakrah) She said that her father used to forbid his family to have themselves cupped on a Tuesday, and used to assert on the authority of the Apostle of Allah (peace_be_upon_him) that Tuesday is the day of blood in which there is an hour when it does not stop.

Book 28, Number 3854:

Narrated Jabir ibn Abdullah:

The Apostle of Allah (peace_be_upon_him) had himself cupped above the thigh for a contusion from which he suffered.

Book 28, Number 3855:

Narrated Jabir ibn Abdullah:

The Prophet (peace_be_upon_him) sent a physician to Ubayy (ibn Ka'b), and he cut his vein.

Book 28, Number 3856:

Narrated Imran ibn Husayn:

The Prophet (peace_be_upon_him) forbade to cauterise; we cauterised but they (cauterisation) did not benefit us, nor proved useful for us.

Book 28, Number 3859:

Narrated Jabir ibn Abdullah:

The Apostle of Allah (peace_be_upon_him) was asked about a charm for one who is possessed (nashrah). He replied: It pertains to the work of the devil.

Book 28, Number 3860:

Narrated Abdullah ibn Amr ibn al-'As:

I heard the Apostle of Allah (peace_be_upon_him) say: If I drink an antidote, or tie an amulet, or compose poetry, I am the type who does not care what he does.

Book 28, Number 3861:

Narrated AbuHurayrah:

The Apostle of Allah (peace_be_upon_him) prohibited unclean medicine.

Book 28, Number 3862:

Narrated AbdurRahman ibn Uthman:

When a physician consulted the Prophet (peace_be_upon_him) about putting frogs in medicine, he forbade him to kill them.

Book 28, Number 3864:

Narrated Tariq ibn Suwayd or Suwayd ibn Tariq:

Wa'il said: Tariq ibn Suwayd or Suwayd ibn Tariq asked the Prophet (peace_be_upon_him) about wine, but he forbade it. He again asked him, but he forbade him. He said to him: Prophet of Allah, it is a medicine. The Prophet (peace_be_upon_him) said: No it is a disease.

Book 28, Number 3865:

Narrated AbudDarda:

The Prophet (peace_be_upon_him) said: Allah has sent down both the disease and the cure, and He has appointed a cure for every disease, so treat yourselves medically, but use nothing unlawful.

Book 28, Number 3866:

Narrated Sa'd:

I suffered from an illness. The Apostle of Allah (peace_be_upon_him) came to pay a visit to me. He put his hands between my nipples and I felt its coolness at my heart. He said: You are a man suffering from heart sickness. Go to al-Harith ibn Kaladah, brother of Thaqif. He is a man who gives medical treatment. He should take seven ajwah dates of Medina and grind them with their kernels, and then put them into your mouth.

Book 28, Number 3869:

Narrated Abdullah ibn Abbas:

The Prophet (peace_be_upon_him) said: Wear your white garments, for they are among your best garments, and shroud your dead in them. Among the best types of collyrium you use is antimony (ithmid): it clears the vision and makes the hair sprout.

Book 28, Number 3871:

Narrated Aisha, Ummul Mu'minin:

The man casting evil would be commanded to perform ablution, and then the man affected was washed with it.

Book 28, Number 3872:

Narrated Asma', daughter of Yazid ibn as-Sakan,:

I heard the Apostle of Allah (peace_be_upon_him) as saying: Do not kill your children secretly, for the milk, with which a child is suckled while his mother is pregnant, overtakes the horseman and throws him from his horse.

Book 28, Number 3874:

Narrated Abdullah ibn Mas'ud:

Zaynab, the wife of Abdullah ibn Mas'ud, told that Abdullah said: I heard the Apostle of Allah (peace_be_upon_him) saying: spells, charms and love-potions are polytheism.

I asked: Why do you say this? I swear by Allah, when my eye was discharging I used to go to so-and-so, the Jew, who applied a spell to me. When he applied the spell to me, it calmed down. Abdullah said:

That was just the work of the Devil who was picking it with his hand, and when he uttered the spell on it, he desisted. All you need to do is to say as the Apostle of Allah (peace_be_upon_him) used to say: Remove the harm, O Lord of men, and heal. Thou art the Healer. There is no remedy but Thine which leaves no disease behind.

Book 28, Number 3875:

Narrated Imran ibn Husayn:

The Prophet (peace_be_upon_him) said: No spell is to be used except for the evil eye or a scorpion sting.

Book 28, Number 3876:

Narrated Thabit ibn Qays ibn Shammas:

The Apostle of Allah (peace_be_upon_him) entered upon Thabit ibn Qays. The version of Ahmad (ibn Salih) has: When he was ill He (the Prophet) said: Remove the harm, O Lord of men, from Thabit ibn Qays ibn Shammas. He then took some dust of Bathan, and put it in a bowel, and then mixed it with water and blew in it, and poured it on him.

Book 28, Number 3878:

Narrated Ash-Shifa', daughter of Abdullah,:

The Apostle of Allah (peace_be_upon_him) entered when I was with Hafsah, and he said to me: Why do you not teach this one the spell for skin eruptions as you taught her writing.

Book 28, Number 3879:

Narrated Sahl ibn Hunayf:

I passed by a river. I entered it and took a bath in it. When I came out, I had fever. The Apostle of Allah (peace_be_upon_him) was informed about it. He said: Ask AbuThabit to seek refuge in Allah from that I asked: O my Lord, will the spell be useful? He replied: No, the spell is to be used except for the evil eye or a snake bite or a scorpion sting.

Book 28, Number 3883:

Narrated AbudDarda':

I heard the Apostle of Allah (peace_be_upon_him) say: If any of you is suffering from anything or his brother is suffering, he should say: Our Lord is Allah Who is in the heaven, holy is Thy name, Thy command reigns supreme in the heaven and the earth, as Thy mercy in the heaven, make Thy mercy in the earth; forgive us our sins, and our errors; Thou art the Lord of good men; send down mercy from Thy mercy, and remedy, and remedy from Thy remedy on this pain so that it is healed up.

Book 28, Number 3884:

Narrated Abdullah ibn Amr ibn al-'As:

The Apostle of Allah (peace_be_upon_him) sued to teach them the following words in the case of alarm: I seek refuge in Allah's perfect words from His anger, the evil of His servants, the evil suggestions of the devils and their presence. Abdullah ibn Amr used to teach them to those of his children who had reached puberty, and he wrote them down (on some material) and hung on the child who had not reached puberty.

Book 28, Number 3887:

Narrated Alaqah ibn Sahar at-Tamimi:

Alaqah came to the Apostle of Allah (may peace be upon him) and embraced Islam. He then came back from him and passed some people who had a lunatic fettered in chains.

His people said: We are told that your companion has brought some good. Have you something with which you can cure him? I then recited Surat al-Fatihah and he was cured. They gave me one hundred sheep. I then came to the Apostle of Allah (peace_be_upon_him) and informed him of it.

He asked: Is it only this? The narrator, Musaddad, said in his other version: Did you say anything other than this? I said: No. He said: Take it, for by my life, some accept if for a worthless chain, but you have done so for a genuine one.

Book 28, Number 3889:

Narrated AbuSalih Zakwan as-Samman:

A man from Aslam tribe said: I was sitting with the Apostle of Allah (peace_be_upon_him). A man from among his Companions came and said: Apostle of Allah! I have been stung last night, and I could not sleep till morning. He asked: What was that? He replied: A scorpion.

He said: Oh, had you said in the evening: "I take refuge in the perfect words of Allah from the evil of what He created," nothing would have harmed you, Allah willing.

Book 28, Number 3890:

Narrated AbuHurayrah:

A man who was stung by a scorpion was brought to the Prophet (peace_be_upon_him). He said: Had he said the word: "I seek refuge in the perfect words of Allah from the evil of what He created, "he would not have been stung, or he said, "It would not have harmed him."

Book 28, Number 3892:

Narrated Alaqah ibn Sahar at-Tamimi:

We proceeded from the Apostle of Allah (peace_be_upon_him) and came to a clan of the Arabs.

They said: We have been told that you have brought what is good from this man. Have you any medicine or a charm, for we have a lunatic in chains?

We said: Yes. Then they brought a lunatic in chains. He said: I recited Surat al-Fatihah over him for three days, morning and evening. Whenever I finished it, I would collect my saliva and spit it out, and he seemed as if he were set free from a bond. He said: They gave me some payment, but I said: No, not until I ask the Apostle of Allah (peace_be_upon_him).

He (the Prophet) said: Accept it, for, by my life, some accept it for a worthless charm, but you have done so for a genuine one.

Book 28, Number 3894:

Narrated Aisha, Ummul Mu'minin:

My mother intended to make me fat to send me to the (house of) the Apostle of Allah (peace_be_upon_him). But nothing which he desired benefited me till she gave me cucumber with fresh dates to eat. Then I became fat as good (as she desired).