Biography: Habib Esa bin Abdul Kader bin Ahmad Al-Haddad

This is Zanbal

Zanbal Cemetary is the resting place of many great Ahl al-Bayt (descendants) of our Prophet Muhammad saw. But beyond being just a cemetery, Zanbal is a sanctuary for hearts seeking spiritual illumination to look to the awliya’ (saints) who are already in the hadrah (divine presence) of Allah swt. Anyone seeking calmness will find it as he walks through this blessed graveyard and it is no exaggeration that there is no other cemetery in the world, physically or spiritually, quite like Zanbal.

The Ahwal of Ahlu Zanbal

Every wali buried in Zanbal brings about a unique hal (spiritual state) in the visitor and every visitor, depending on his connection to the awliya’ resting therein, will be able to feel the change in his ahwal (spiritual states) from the moment he steps through the main gates of Zanbal and begins reciting the Prophetic supplications and Quranic verses whilst straddling towards the main saqifah (the roofed parts of the cemetery) of the key luminaries of the Ahl al-Bayt from Aal Ba’alawi (the family of Ba’alawi).

The Main Saqifah of Zanbal

It is from amongst the etiquettes of visiting Zanbal that the visitor first greets Sayyidina Al-Faqih Al-Muqaddam Muhammad bin Ali Ba’alawi in the main saqifah before moving on to visit other Ba’alawi notables. Thereafter, the visitor moves on to greet the other luminaries including Sayyidina al-Muqaddam ath-Thani al-Imam Abdul Rahman As-Seggaf, within the main saqifah, before moving to the other awliya’ elsewhere in Zanbal.

Admin’s Note: Majlis Al-Muwasolah Singapura will post on the visitation order in due course inshaAllah.

Main Saqifah

Main Saqifah wherein lies Sayyidana Al-Faqih

The Qubbah of Al-Aydarus

After concluding the greetings and salutations at the main saqifah, the visitor walks towards Qubbah Al-Aydarus (The Dome of the Family of Al-Aydarus). Henceforth, one begins to attain a sense of the famed generosity of the great Al-Aydarus luminaries oozing through one as one walks towards and then stands under Qubbah al-Aydarus. Sayyidina al-Imam Abdullah Al-Aydarus Al-Akbar (the first al-Aydarus) and Habib Ja’afar bin Ahmad Al-Aydarus, father of the late, great wali Habib Ali bin Ja’afar Al-Aydarus of Batu Pahat, Malaysia, are amongst those buried under the great dome.

Inside Qubbah Al-Aydarus

Imam Abdullah Al-Aydarus Al-Akbar

Habib Jaafar Al-Aydarus

Habib Jaafar Al-Aydarus

The Saqifah of Imam Al-Haddad

Upon concluding the customary greetings and salutations at Qubbah Al-Aydarus, as one starts peeking out through the western door of the dome, one can start to glimpse at the maqam of the great Imam, Qutbul-Irshad wa Ghawthul-Ibaad wal-Bilad, al-Habib Abdullah bin Alawi bin Muhammad Al-Haddad.

Admin’s Note: Majlis Al-Muwasolah Singapura will work towards a post on Imam Al-Haddad in due course insha Allah.

Saqifah Al-Haddad

Saqifah of Imam al-Haddad

The Plateau of States

Words do not and cannot do justice in describing the feeling Zanbal visitors go through. For this faqeer, the Zanbal experience was a plateau of states building up as this faqeer walked through the main gates of Zanbal, through the walkways to greet Sayyidina al-Faqih al-Muqaddam then through the walkways to the Qubbah Al-Aydarus. It peaked at the burial grounds of the one through whom this faqeer first knew Tarim and Hadramawt, Qutbul-Irshad wa Ghawthul-Ibaad wal-Bilad, al-Habib Abdullah bin Alawi bin Muhammad Al-Haddad, the composer and arranger of the many oft recited litanies and poems in the Nusantara and author of a range of books.


O Zanbal! The poise that beckons

The earth where liberated men hath trodden

O Zanbal! Your blessings aplenty

To your dust I am unworthy

O Zanbal! The return is sweet

This encounter, a retreat

O Zanbal! The athar of our Prophet

The salams of your Lord you are deserved

Your nobility remains, untainted, unscathed

Wa ila hadratin Nabi

Recite the Fatihah to hadrah of our Prophet Muhammad sallaAllahu alayhi wasallam.