Habib Abdullah bin Husayn bin Tohir

The Lineage of the Great Imam and ‘Alim

He is al-Imam al-Habib `Abdullah bin Husayn bin Tahir bin Muhammad bin Hashim bin `Abd al-Rahman bin `Abdullah bin `Abd al-Rahman bin Muhammad Maghfun bin `Abd al-Rahman bin Ahmad bin `Alawi bin Ahmad bin `Abd al-Rahman bin `Alawi `Amm al-Faqih (the uncle of Sayyidina al-Faqih al-Muqaddam) bin Muhammad Sahib Mirbat bin `Ali Khali` Qasam bin `Alawi bin Muhammad Sahib al-Sawma`ah bin `Alawi bin `Ubaydullah bin al-Imam al-Muhajir il-Allah Ahmad bin ` Isa bin Muhammad al-Naqib bin `Ali al-`Uraydi bin Ja`far al-Sadiq bin Muhammad al-Baqir bin `Ali Zayn al-`Abidin bin Husayn al-Sibt bin `Ali bin Abi Talib and Fatimah al-Zahra’ the daughter of our Master Muhammad, the Seal of the Prophets ﷺ.

madinah-2

His Birth and Upbringing

Habib `Abdullah was born in Tarim in 1191 [1]. His upbringing was distinct from the rest of his peers and he demonstrated aptitude even in his youth. As he grew up, he stood out in society as an exemplary personality and one who is rightly guided.

His Shaykhs

His teachers include Sayyid Hamid bin `Umar Al-Munfar and his son, Sayyid ‘Abd ar-Rahman and the two people of knowledge – ‘Alawi and ‘Umar, the sons of al-Habib Ahmad bin Hassan al-Haddad.

He travelled to Makkah and al-Madinah to study the religious sciences therein from al-Allamah ‘Aqil bin ‘Umar bin ‘Aqil bin Yahya, as-Sayyid ‘Ali al-Bayti, Shaykh ‘Umar bin ‘Abd ar-Rasul ‘Atar, and al-Allamah Ahmad bin ‘Alawi Jamalullayl.

His Shaykh of Futuh

The teacher was the reasons for receipt of (divine) openings from was Habib `Umar bin Seggaf as-Seggaf.

The People Who Took Knowledge from Him

The people who took knowledge from him are numerous and they include the son of his sister al-Allamah al-Sayyid ‘Abdullah bin ‘Umar bin Yahya, al-Allamah as-Sayyid ‘Abd ar-Rahman bin ‘Ali bin ‘Umar bin Seggaf as-Seggaf, al-Allamah as-Sayyid Muhammad bin Husayn bin ‘Abdullah Al-Habshi (Mufti of Makkah), al-Allamah as-Sayyid Muhsin bin ‘Alawi as-Seggaf, al-Allamah as-Sayyid Hamid bin ‘Umar as-Seggaf, ash-Shaykh ‘Abdullah bin Ahmad Ba’sawdan (the compiler of the famous Hadrah Basawdan), as-Shaykh al-Allamah ‘Abdullah bin Sa’id bin Sumair (author of the famous primer in Shafi’ Fiqh, Safinah an-Naja), al-Allamah as-Sayyid ‘Aydarus bin ‘Umar al-Habshi (the great Muhaddith of Hadramawt).

Some of the Things Mentioned about Him

His nephew, al-Sayyid ‘Abdullah bin ‘Umar bin Yahya, said, “Gathered within him are the lofty states of all (righteous) people.” [2] Whenever the people of Madinah asked al-Sayyid ‘Abdullah about his uncle, Habib ‘Abdullah, he would say to them, “‘Abdullah bin Husayn (Habib ‘Abdullah) has filled himself with the munjiyaat (good qualities) and has rid himself of the muhlikaat (destructive traits).”

It is mentioned about gatherings with Habib Abdullah, “We do not know that we were still in this Dunya until the Son of Husayn (Habib ‘Abdullah) died.”

Habib ‘Ali Al-Habshi said, “If a katib (writer) writer had been tasked to take down the deeds of the Son of Husayn (Habib ‘Abdullah), he would not be able to do so as there were too many of them to enumerate .”

His daily wird was saying “Lā ilāha ill’Allāh” 25,000 times, “Yā Allāh” 25,000 times, and 25,000 prayers upon the Prophet ﷺ.

In spite of all his great works, he saw himself as a poor, sinful slave in desperate need of the mercy of his Lord and he would say:

يا رَبِّ ما مَعْنا عَمَلْ و كَسْبُنا كُلُهْ زَلَلْ

لَكِنْ لَنا فِيكْ أَمَلْ تُحْيِي العِظَامَ الرَّامَةْ

O Lord, we have no (good) actions and all that we have earned are wrongdoings

But in You we have hope which brings decayed bones to life

ياسميع الدعاء نسألك توبة صحيحة من جميع المعاصي والفعال القبيحة قبل كشف الغطاء بين الملا والفضيحة

O the One Who Hears Du’as (Allah), we ask You for valid tawbah (repentance) from all of disobedience and dreadful works before the veils are lifted between al-Mala and al-Fadhihah i.e. before one’s shame is revealed to others.

His Manners

Habib `Abdullah held immense respect for his older brother, Habib Tahir. In their childhood, he would never allow himself to defeat him in archery contests. He would always walk behind him and, in their house he would not go up to a higher storey if Habib Tahir was below. Only after his brother’s death in 1241, did he start teaching and calling to Allah openly.

His Works

Some of the books he wrote include:

  1. Salim at-Tawfiq fi al-Fiqh
  2. Miftah al-‘Irab
  3. Al-Wasiah al-Kubra
  4. Tazkirah an-Nafs
  5. Tazkirah an-Nafs wa al-Ikhwan bi ayaati minal Quran wa al-Ahadith Sayyid Walad Adnan
  6. Rasail wa Wasoyah
  7. Faraid wa Faraid min Fathu Jamil al-‘Awaid
  8. Diwan al-Manzum 
  9. Al-Majmu’ [3]

Many in Singapore and elsewhere in the South-East Asian region would be familiar with Habib ‘Abdullah bin Husayn bin Tohir poems, Yā Arḥam al-Rāḥimīn [4] and Hadiyat as-Sadiq [5]. The former is Habib ‘Abdullah’s plea to Allah to rectify the Muslims and their leaders, and reflects the turbulent time in which he lived; it is read in many gatherings in the region and can be found in the famous Hadrah Ba’sawdan compiled by his student, ash-Shaykh ‘Abdullah bin Ahmad Ba’sawdan. The latter is often read at the end of gatherings of knowledge.

His Passing

Habib `Abdullah passed on from this world on Wednesday night, 17th of Rabi’ Thani 1272. People came out in large numbers from different cities and villages to attend his funeral whilst chanting “Yā Allāh, Yā Allāh” in congregation. He was buried beside his elder brother, Habib Tohir bin Husayn bin Tohir, in the vicinity of Maselah Al Shaykh.

May Allah have mercy upon Habib ‘Abdullah and benefit us with his knowledge. Amin.


Footnotes:
[1] c. 1777AD
[2] al-Mashra’ ar-Rawi
[3] Habib Alawi bin Shihab used to say, “The Majmu’ of Habib Abdullah bin Husayn bin Tohir is the Ihya Ulumuddin of today.”
[4] Listen to Yā Arḥam al-Rāḥimīn here
[5] Listen to Hadiyat as-Sadiq here and here (1:34mins)


References:
Muwasala.org
– http://alddaei.blogspot.in/

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