Extracts from the lecture of Habib Abu Bakr Al-Adni bin Ali Al-Masyhur at the Annual Gathering of Remembrance of Imam Abdullah bin Alawi Al-Haddad held in 2015 at Sultan Salahuddin Abdul Aziz Shah Mosque in Shah Alam
Habib Abu Bakr began by praising Allah, and sending blessings and peace upon The Messenger ﷺ, his family and companions, and Imam Abdullah the son of Alawi Al-Haddad.
He said, “We are present on a beautiful, majestic night that puts forth to us the beauties of humanity and the universe, the virtues of peace, the symbols of tranquility, and the exemplary characters of those who thread the path of The Messenger ﷺ.
There are scholars in every era whom we can learn from… so why do we celebrate scholars who have passed on centuries ago?
Objectives of Annual Gatherings of Remembrance (Hawl)
It is to remind us of great people who had left us, like Imam Al-Haddad, so that we may take after them – in educating our children, our women, and our community peacefully, with the best of etiquette.
There are two key objectives of attending this Hawl:
- To take blessings from those near to Allah. To seek knowledge from the chosen friends of Allah and from the pious. Allah sends his mercy upon those in remembrance of pious people; and
- To introduce prominent people from the previous generations to the people of today so the young men and women of this generation will have a strong link to the ways of the pious people of Hadramawt: its culture; its spirituality (tasawwuf) and the methodology (manhaj) of Ash-Sha’irah (in the science of aqidah).
We face formidable challenges which threaten the integrity of the people who profess iman and they need to be reminded of such examples in this era of constant change. We need to remember the exemplary characters of people who are determined to keep to their promise to Allah. We must study their history, how they managed their time, their litanies, and so forth so that we become renewed in our understanding towards honourable people like Imam Al-Haddad.
Imam Al-Haddad and His Da’wah
Imam Al-Haddad was a descendant of The Messenger ﷺ. He possessed secret knowledge of Allah and renewed the calling of our Prophet ﷺ, with had a sound chain of transmission in calling the people to Allah (sanad of da’wah) back to his grandfather, Prophet Muhammad ﷺ. His ancestor, Imam Ahmad bin Isa Al-Muhajir ilaAllah had migrated from Iraq to Hadramawt, bringing with him the message (risalah) of peace to the region. Another of his ancestors, Ali Al-Uraidhi, had also been a reviver of this message of peace in the blessed city of Madinah and had studied with Imam Ali Zainal Abidin who had inherited this knowledge from Sayyidina Hassan and Sayyidina Hussein, and other companions of The Messenger ﷺ. This chain is found in verses of poetry (i.e. poetry praising past scholars) recited earlier and speaks of the origins of his teachings and his teachers, Imam Ali Zainal Abidin, Imam Muhammad Al-Baqir, and others. It is an unbroken chain of transmission. Imam al-Haddad himself said, “I learned from my teachers who were given guidance and were always hand in hand with Al-Quran.”
Key Principles in the Teachings of Imam Al-Haddad
The 5 key principles of the spiritual teachings of Imam Al-Haddad are:
- Knowledge (ilm)
- Practice (amal)
- Sincerity (ikhlas)
- Reverential fear of Allah (khauf)
- Scrupulousness (wara’)
I call upon all present to diligently read the books of Imam Al-Haddad. His teachings teach us to guard our tongues, to not slander others, and to avoid being involved in defamation which may lead to bloodshed. His lifestyle is preserved through his books, other recorded works, and his poetry – symbolic of the message of peace he stands for. Therefore, it is not surprising that people call Imam Al-Haddad the renewer (mujaddid) of the religion of the 13th century (hijriyyah). Further to this, be firm upon the recitation of the prophetic litanies compiled by Imam Al-Haddad, the Subtle Invocations (Wiridul Latif), and make it a daily practice. The legacies of Imam Al-Haddad are well suited to the fulfillment of the rights of Allah and mankind alike till this very day.
The School of Hadramawt
The path of Imam Al-Haddad, The School of Hadramaut or The Methodology of Bani Alawi, benefits humanity. It is an inherited path that brings peace in every situation. We need to understand this in this era of tribulations. Is the calling a call for fighting or hostility amongst each other? Or is it a call to overthrow the government of a country? Imam Al-Haddad’s writings reflects peace and beauty, and has shaped (the Islam practiced in) countries like Malaysia, Indonesia, Africa and Sri Lanka. The teachings of Hadrami scholars encompasses the concepts of peace and compassion. In facing the tribulations of the end of times, avoid being involved with people who bring defamation, bloodshed and falsehood. Rather, be with the people of truth in the cause of Allah – people who teach us the meaning of tranquility and peace. Refer to its key concepts (qawaid) in resolving economic, faith (iman), social, and other conflicts. When faced with conflicts – remember and fear Allah. We were never taught to bear weapons nor to kill each other. It is obligatory upon us to review and reflect deeply upon the teachings of Imam Al-Haddad. The concept of Imam Al-Haddad’s teachings is based on the fundamentals of compassion and is not about animosity or killing.
Habib Abu Bakr’s Parting Word
I wish to extend in this mosque, in our assembly, the single most important task we have – to reconcile humanity and to band the people towards Allah.
In the age of social media, what is being taught in schools today violates decorum manners (adab). The media delivers messages with a propaganda to steer lives, resulting in confusion amongst the young men and women of this era of tribulations. Much of the information found in social media contradicts adab so reflect on yourselves and seek to review information with and acquire knowledge from a teacher with a sound chain of transmission. Seeking and acquiring knowledge in a proper manner from scholars with a sound chain of transmission develops our relationship with Allah, and purifies our hearts and souls, and will result in being educated with goodness.”
Watch event (Habib’s speech begins at 1:08h):