Sufi Sage of Arabia


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  • ISBN: 9781887752657

Foreword by Shaykh Hamza Yusuf

Part of the Fons Vitae Imam al-Haddad Spiritual Masters series, which includes The Book of Assistance, Gifts for the Seeker and The Lives of Man.

This unique biography of the saint Imam Abdallah al-Haddad takes readers into the fascinating world and spiritual life of 17th-and early 18th-century Yemen. The life of this great spiritual master-whose teachings and personal example continue to influence lives around the world-is examined, from his early attraction to Sufi poetry and visit to the tomb of the prophet Hud - to his rise as a Sufi master and his Hajj journey to Mecca. The biographical facts of al-Haddad's life are interspersed with his spiritual teachings, including his take on the nine stages of certainty, the five investitures of taqwa, the stages of gnosis, and supernatural events. Sufi practitioners, historians, and anthropologists will come to a deeper understanding of this timeless and enduring tradition with this fascinating record of a seminal Sufi master's life and death.

Mostafa al-Badawi is a disciple in the Sufi order of Imam al-Haddad. He is the author of the Fons Vitae Imam al-Haddad Spiritual Masters series. Imam Abdallah al-Haddad was a Sufi master in Yemen in the 17th and 18th century.

Table of Contents
Foreword by Shaykh Hamza Yusuf Preface

Chapter 1 Tarim
The descendants of the Prophet reach South Yemen - spread of the Sunni Shafi'i school - civil strife in Hadramawt - Tarim becomes the capital of the Sayyids - the Haddad clan acquire their name - birth of the Imam.

Chapter 2 The Young Seeker
Memorizing the Quran - Beginnings on the Sufi path - The Imam's childhood companions - the Imam's masters - the Khirqa or Sufi investiture - influences from the unseen - relationship with Shaykh Abdal-Qadir al-Jilani.

Chapter 3 Stations and States
The dense veils, ailments of the heart - the nine stations of certainty: repentance, fear and hope, patience and gratitude, detachment and reliance, love and contentment.

Chapter 4 Structuring Time
Ghazali on time - invocations and other devotions - teaching sessions - visiting the tomb of Prophet Hud - social activities and family affairs.

Chapter 5 The Sufi
What is Sufism? Who is the Sufi? Union and separation - the five investitures of taqwa - the different aspects of the Sufi.

Chapter 6 The Saint
What is sanctity? The Imam's behavior toward his guests - fluctuation of spiritual states between majesty and beauty - Divine protection of saints - the baraka of the Imam - powerlessness before Divine omnipotence - the lights of sanctity - dealings with the jinn.

Chapter 7 The Gnostic
What is gnosis? Stages of gnosis: from perception of created beings, to that of the Divine acts, attributes, and essence - certainty: knowledge, eye, and truth of certainty - unveiling -contemplation - ascension.

Chapter 8 The Spiritual Master
Who is the spiritual master? Functions of the master - the two methods, that of the Drawn Near and that of the People of the Right Hand - spiritual transmission - protection of the disciple by the master - circumspection - reticence to reveal the secrets of the unseen - attitude toward ibn 'Arabi and ibn al-Farid - dangers of the path - influence of the Imam in other countries.

Chapter 9 The Scholar
Different kinds of Islamic sciences - breadth of the Imam's knowledge - jurisprudence, which school? - teaching activities - the Pole of Guidance - meticulous following of the sunna - definition of personal teaching role - the Imam's books.

Chapter 10 Doctrinal Position
Following Imam al-Shafi'i in matters of sacred law and Ash'ari in matters of tawhid - the creed of Imam al-Haddad - the question of predestination - points of divergence with the Shi'a.

Chapter 11 Social Influence
Definition of the role of religious and political authorities - the Imam's opinion on the main factors of instability in Muslim society - degeneration of the times - the Imam sets an example for virtuous social behavior.

Chapter 12 The Pole
Who is the Pole? The Circle of Sainthood - attributes of the Pole - recognition by the other saints of the Imam's supremacy.

Chapter 13 The Hajj Journey
Predictions concerning the pilgrimage of the Imam - tyranny of the governor - traveling to the Hajj - Shaykh Husayn's hospitality - rites of the pilgrimage - karamat in Makka - visit to Madina - return to Makka - spiritual openings.

Chapter 14 Supernatural Events
What is a karama? -The Imam's view on such happenings - examples of supernatural events.

Chapter 15 The Last Days
The Imam's prediction of the time of his own death - the first signs of illness - receiving visitors during his terminal illness- investiture of his disciple - death of the Imam - the funeral - supernatural events following his death.

Chapter 16 The Succession
The Imam's son al-Hasan and grandson Ahmad - Habib Tahir ibn 'Umar al-Haddad and his descendants - Habib Ahmad Mashhur al-Haddad - successors from other Ba-'Alawi clans.