The Tariqat of Ahlul Bait 3
By: Habib Hassan bin Mohammad Al-Attas
English translation by Radzi Sapiee
Imam Ali Zainal Abidin R.A.
Decoration for avid worshippers
Since childhood he has adorned himself with praiseworthy attributes. Utmost courtesy, knowledge and devotion were part of him. He was called Al-Sajjad, because he always prostrated to God. He was also called Zainal Abidin (decoration for avid worshippers) because he always worshipped Allah.
His good practice especially in helping the poor was often done in secret especially at night. Just like his grandfather Ali bin Abi Talib, he carried bread and flour on his shoulders to be divided to the poor and those undergoing hardship. Those who received assistance from Imam Ali Zainal Abidin often wondered who was the benefactor so willing to help them out and put food in front of their doors. The answer was only revealed after Imam Ali Zainal Abidin had died, because there was no more aid as they had received before his death. And when they washed the body of Imam Ali Zainal Abidin, they found blackish signs on his shoulders indicating he has been carrying goods of much weight.
When it comes to mingling around, he was very friendly not only to his friends but also to opponents who have been attacking him. Imam Ali Zainal Abdidin has left many massages for mankind, among it he said: "Three characters (which if present in believers would bring...) benefits: Preventing his tounge from disturbing men or gossipping about them. Busying themselves with something beneficial in the world and the hereafter, and always mourning for their sins. Beware when making friends with the dim-witted, because he can give you trouble when he wants to treat you well. The one Allah loves most among you is the one with the best practice. The most noble deed is the one most honest in value. The most secure from the punishment of Allah is the most afraid of Him. The closest to Allah is the one with the best morals. The most accepted by Allah is the one who takes care of his family needs. The most noble in the sight of Allah is the most pious."
Imam Muhammad al-Baqir
Imam Muhammad has the title Al-Baqir and nickname Abu Ja'far. His father was Ali Zainal Abidin, his mother Fatima binti Imam Hassan. Born in Medina, 1st Rajab 57 AH he died Monday 7 of Dhu al-Hijjah 114 AH.
Among descendants of Imam Hussein he was the first to also have the blood of Imam Hassan. Thus he was descended from Fatimah Az Zahra from both father and mother.
For 34 years he lived under the protection and upbringing of his father, Ali Zainal Abidin. All his life he stayed in the city of Medina and used most of the time in worship to draw himself closer to Allah while leading his people to the straight path.
On his knowledge and obesiance, let us study the words of ibn Hajar Al-Haitsami, a Sunni scholar. He said: "Imam Muhammad al-Baqir has uncovered the secrets of knowledge and wisdom and presented the principles of the spiritual path and religion. Nobody can deny his noble character, the knowledge given by Allah, the wisdom granted by Allah, and responsibility and his thankfulness for dissemination of knowledge. He is a very talented spiritual leader and it is on this basis he got the title Al-Baqir which means the expander of knowledge. He has a good heart, clean in personality and noble in character.
Among his words of wisdom: "He who hates because of Allah and loves because of Allah, then he belongs to the perfect in faith. Each servant surely has a clean heart, when he sins, a black point will appear, when he repents, it will disapper and (his heart) clean again. However, if he continues to sin, there will be a lot of black points until the heart becomes totally black. When this is the case, he will no longer want to return to goodness as said by Allah:
كلا بل ران على قلوبهم ما كانوا يكسبون
Meaning: "Never even once, but impurities in their hearts are the result of their own behavior" (Al-Muthaffifin: 14).
He also said: "A believer is brother to other believers, he would not condemn him and obstruct him from his rights, and be prejudiced against him. Make this world before you as a temporary stop which you would then leave. Or like a treasure you get in a dream and feel happy about it, but after waking up from your sleep you do not get anything. Three things which will destroy: those who thinks he has done good practice a lot, forget the sins they have committed, and impressed with their own opinions. Heaven is surrounded by obstacles, and (the things that claim) patience, and anyone who persevere in the face of resistance in the world, he will enter Paradise. Hell is surrounded by pleasures and desires, but whoever satisfies himself with pleasures and desires, he would go to hell. "
Imam Ja'afar Shadik
His name is Ja'far bin Muhammad Al-Baqir, Al-Shadik is his title. His mother's name is Fatimah. Born in Medina, Monday 17 Rabi 'al-Awwal 83 AH, he died on 23 Syawwal 148 H and was buried in Baqi `, Medina. He had a total of 10 children (seven boys, three girls). They were Ismail, Abdullah Al-Aftah, Musa Al-Kadzim, Ishak, Muhammad, Abbas, Ali, the daughters Fatima, Asma and Farwah.
Imam Ja'far Shadik was the son of Muhammad al-Baqir bin Ali Zainal Abidin bin Hussein bin Ali bin Abi Talib. His life was full of knowledge and devotion to God. Since childhood up to a total of 19 years, he was under care and upbringing of his father Imam Muhammad al-Baqir. After the departure of his father and since 114 Hijri, he replaced his father's position as a leader who is also spritual and a master in all disciplines favoured by Allah and His Messenger.
He made extensive missions to every corner such that it is said he had 4000 students comprising religious scholars, lawyers and experts in other areas. Among them were Jabir Ibn Hayyan Al-Thusi, a mathematician, Hisham bin Al-Ahkam, Mu'min Thaq , a respected scholar, and many Sunni scholars, such as Sufyan Al-Tsauri, Abu Hanifa (Hanafi sect founder) and others.
Imam Ja'far Al-Shadik was born in the house of knowledge. His father Muhammad al-Baqir was the focus of scholars of his period. Muhammad al-Baqir was visited by many Hadith and Fiqh scholars. Among the notable ones were Sufyan Ats Tsauri, a Sufi master, Sufyan ibn 'Uyainah, a Hadith scholar and the Fiqh master Abu Hanifah (Prof.TM Hasbi Ash-Shiddieqy, “Pokok-pokok pegangan Imam mazhab dalam membina Hukum Islam”, literally translated as “The foundations held by Imams of Muslim sects in developing the Islamic law”, Volume II, published by Moon Star Jakarta 1974)
Among the wise words of Imam Ja'far Al-Shadik: "A form of leadership which is forbidden is the leadership of the dzalim (wrong and unjust) and its staff, whether of high level or low. It is Illegal to work under their system. Indeed, recognition of Allah is the tranquiliser from all fears, a friend when alone, light in every darkness, strength from every weakness and (medicine) for recovery from every pain. There are 4 types of judges, three are in hell, while one in heaven. Those who judged unjustly (unfair) would enter hell. Those who judged unjustly without knowledge, they are also in hell. Those who are right in judging, but do not know the truth, are also in hell. Meanwhile the ones entering heaven judge with the truth and know the truth. The rights of a Muslim to another Muslim are: convey the greetings of peace upon meeting, visit in times of illness, and mention his goodness when he is not present, and answer"yarhamkumullah" when his brother sneezes as well as meet his call, and send off his body upon death. Among themselves the believers are brothers, they are like one body, if a part of the body is inflicted by pain, then the pain will be felt throughout the whole body.
"The rights of a Muslim upon another Muslim is not to be full when his brother is in hunger, not satisfied (with water) when his brother is in thirst, and should not be dressed (in excess) while his brother is in a state of nudity. Do unto your brother what you like to be done to you. Whoever is zuhud (removed as in having no attachements) to the world, Allah will grow wisdom in his heart, and makes his tounge proficient in pronouncing it (the wisdom), also would make the faults of the world apparent, diseases and cure, and he will be removed from the natural world to the hereafter in a safe condition."
Imam Ahmad bin Isa Al Muhajir and his descendants
In the year 317 H (929 M) Al-Imam Ahmad Al-Muhajir migrated to Madinah with his wife Zainab bt Abdullah bin Hassan bin Ali Al-Uraidhi. Along with him was his son Ubaidullah with wife Banin bt Mohammed bin Isa and grandson Ismail plus 70 other family members. Meanwhile his other children Muhammad, Hassan and Ali stayed on in Iraq to protect their inherited family property. They resided in Medina for a year and the following year, 318 H they did the Hajj, pilgrimage to Mecca. At the time Mecca has just been violated by the group called Qaramithah who murdered and robbed, running away with the holy stone Hajaral Aswad.
From here, Ahmad decided to move to Hadharamaut. They headed to Yemen through Aljubail at the valley of Dai’an and stopped at the village of Al-Hajrain where he bought a house and a piece of orchard for palm dates. This property was then given to his follower called Syawih. They stayed temporarily in the village of Bani Jusyair before continuing and eventually settled at the village of Husaisah.
At that time, the sect called the Kharijites of the Ibadhiah group have influenced the people in Oman, Yemen and Hadharamaut.The Ibadhiah hated the Ahlul Bait, family of the Prophet and used their own interpretions in Shari'ah matters, practice of religion.
Al-Imam Ahmad Al-Muhajir tried to pull them to the right path through dialogues but failed. Finally, the residents of Jubail from Wadi Dau'an and the Imam’s own entourage combined shoulder to shoulder to fight and beat the Ibadhiah. Thus Kharijite thoughts were eliminated and the Syafi'i school of thought began to widespread.
Ahmad Al-Imam Al-Muhajir is a Sunni-oriented Syafi'i mujtahid (leading exponent).He died in Husaisah in 345 H (959 M). Among his descendants born in Hadharamaut was Imam Alwi bin Ubaidullah bin Ahmad bin Isa. It is from Imam Alwi that the Sadah (Prophet’s descendants) in Hadhramaut came to be called the Aali (family of) Baalawi following the way of the people of Hadhramaut in recording their lineage through their grandfathers. It is from this big family that the Aulias or saints of Allah and prominent scholars brough the light of Islam to the whole of Southeast Asia and East Africa.
Tariqat of Al-BaAlawi (Alawiyah)
In the book Khulasah al-Madad al-Nabawi fi Al-BaAlawi Aurad written by Al-Habib Umar bin Salim bin Hafiz al-Husaini (Hadhramaut: Maktabah Tareem al-Haditsah, second printing, in 1425 H/2004 M) it is explained: "In terms of language Tariqat means road or way. In the world of Tasawwuf, the Tariqat must be experienced by a Murid (a term meaning student in Tariqat) to cleanse his heart to become closer to Allah. In the effort to clean the heart, a Murid is required to multiply their rituals and remembrance, especially those that is Sunnah or Nawafil, recommended."
In principle, any Tariqat still sheltering under the guidance of the Quran and the Sunnah of the Prophet (peace be upon him) is something encouraged by Islam. In one Hadith Qudsi narrated by Imam Bukhari from Abu Hurairah, Allah says which means: "Those who oppose my Wali (friends), thus I (Allah) allows to fight against those people (the ones opposing). And my servant is always approaching Me, with practices other than that I’ve made a must for him. My servant continously makes himself closer with the practices of the Sunnah (Nawafil) until I love him. When I love him, so I become the 'ears' which he uses to listen, and I become the 'eyes' which he uses to see, and I am the "hands" he uses to mobilise (things), and (I am) the 'legs' he uses to run. If my servant asks from Me, I will grant, if he seeks refuge in me, I will protect him."
The Tariqat of Al-BaAlawi Tariqat is one of the Tariqats of Ahlul Bait. The Tariqat’s founder was Al-Sayyid Al-Faqih Muhammad bin Ali BaAlawi Muqaddam Alhusaini. This Tariqat is carried out with practice from generation to generation. Like other Tariqats of Ahlul Bait, this Tariqat is based upon the Quran and Sunnah of the Prophet (peace be upon him), its foundations lies in submission to Allah Almighty following what is commanded by Allah and His Messenger. In other words a servant must continue to struggle to face their own desires and continue to draw himself closer to Allah. After a time, the servant will be shown the road to victory.
The Al-BaAlawi Tariqah is a Tariqat of the Ahlus Sunnah wal Jamaah (following the way of majority). It holds fast to the Quran and Sunnah of Rasulullah SAW along with the practices of the Salafus Saleh, the pios early generation of Muslims. Its outer aspect is as explained by Imam Ghazali in his books such as 'Bidayah al-Hidayah, Ihya Ulumuddin and Minhaj al-Abidin, namely about knowledge which fits with the true Manhaj (way). Its inner aspect is like that described by followers of Syadziliyyah (another Ahlul Bait Tariqat), achiving the truth and purity of Tauhid, unity of God.
A follower of al-Alawiyyah Tariqat could not be detected by clothing or particular practice. The Tariqat does not emphasise on uniform clothing or specific wirid (Islamic incantations). The practices and behavior of its followers is as practiced and performed by the Prophet and his companions. In addition to worship of Allah, they are also concerned about finding daily maintenance, taking care of family and community.
Sayidina Ali bin Abi Talib kw, for example, has his own Wirids obtained from the Prophet which he practiced every day. But he also found time to make a living, have time with family, have time to fight for the cause of Islam.
Habib Abdul Qadir bin Ahmad bin Abdul-Rahman al-Saqqaf was once asked about Tariqat al-Alawiyah. He answered at length in Singapore in a writing dated 7th Ramadan 1395 (31st September 1975). Among others Habib Abdul Qadir said: "The previous generation of pious people were concerned with the education of their children using their way or Tariqat. Their Tariqat holds fast to the Book (the Qur'an) and Sunnah of Rasulullah. First of all they were shown and taught morals and manners of Prophet Muhammad. Then asked to follow the Prophet's attributes, such as attributes of patience, kindness, accepting all challenges with courage, holding one’s temper, be gentle, using the easy way allowed in matters and businesses carried out, not look too much to the beauty of the life of the world, distant from the nature of severing ties, likes to help, make visits, ask about business and things, helping as much as one could afford, carry responsibility towards both parents, and obey them completely despite having to go through difficulties, preserve the rights of neighbors , and perform their rights, attending ceremonies whether in love or grief such as sending the dead, protecting rights on the street, not look at women who are not Mahram (allowed in Islam such as closest family members), not looking at houses which is not theirs (out of envy or greed), greeting everyone familiar or not, pray for and seek forgiveness from Allah for all Muslims, carry out obligations towards wives by giving them their rights, while preserving and educating morals and interactions with other family members, concerned about education of children, male and female, taking seriously matters about prayers, morality, and socialising of children with good people."
One thing in Tariqat al-Alawiyah is to always be in the state of abolution, if nullified (by actions which nullify the state such as urinating), then a follower would take abolution again. That is often the case. Often not making the obligatory prayers except in congregation at the mosque, except if there are difficulties. Also do the Witir prayer after Isyaq or end of the night, for those who are capable of getting up before Subuh, at least 3 ra’kaat (cycles). Do the Duha prayer after the sun rises and offer at least 2 cycles and the perfect way is 8 cycles. Also do not leave reading the Quran as wirid as much as a Juz (1/30th of the whole book) or more or less of it (every day). Those who do not know how to read the Quran should recite whatever they know from the Surah (verses) of Wadhuha until the end, and take abolution before bedtime.
Ratib al-Attas or Ratib al-Haddad (collections of verses and Islamic incantations) should be recited before sleep. Anyone who knows the simple version of Al-Haddad wirid should read it every day. Also always take care and practice the formulas of remembrance and wirid taught by the Prophet Muhammad SAW.
Among the habit of those practicing Tariqat al-Alawiyah is not to curse, talk behind other people’s back and make complains. They are not accustomed to swear in vain or talk about something which is not needed or make chit-chats. Never interfere in the public’s problem unless to improve, teach or delight. If there is no reasonable need for their presence, they will not attend.
One of al-Alawiyah Tariqat practice is never getting involved in doubtful things and unjustness. Be careful in mixing, especially against fraudelent people and those who like to twist tales. Do not like touching the dignity of others, or take other people's wealth without right. Fear Allah and keep away from things that could damage or tarnish their characters. Always seek the pleasure of Allah, doing what is asked and leaving what is forbidden. If they heard people saying things which could offend their feeling and things that should not be voiced they are quick to forgive. But when the limits set by Allah are trangressed they will be angry, and continue to warn of things which are illegal.They prevent cruelty of the unjust by giving reminders to them. If they do not do this themselves, the matter is brought to the authorities to be acted against for the sake of preventing unjustness against Muslims.
Their time is always filled either with education, exchanging views among friends, teaching, guiding, studying the Quran or doing prayers. If sitting with family and children, they are friendly, jovial, teaching with gentleness. Whoever did good they return with kindness. If unable to repay, they will delight the heart by praying for them (those who did good). "