The Passing Of Shaykh Moustafa Bassir

From Allah we come, to Him we must return…

Knowledge will not be lost by it being taken out of the hearts of people, but by the deaths of the scholars…

This is a magnificent read. May Allah grant both Shaykh Moustafa Turkmani and Shaykh Moustafa Bassir success in the next life, and may we be able to benefit from their intercession.

sidi Bassir

“We belong to Allah and unto Him we shall return. Sayyidi Muhammad al-Mustafa Basir ibn Sayyid Ibrahim ibn Sayyid Imbarak al-Basiri al-Hasani al-Maghribi al-Susi al-Muqri’ al-Maliki al-Shadhili al-Darqawi passed away in his zawiya in Bani A`yaat (Middle Atlas region of Morocco) on the night of mid-Sha`ban 1427 (night of 7-8 September 2006), at the age of 67.

He is survived by many sons and daughters and countless murids. His eldest son, Sidi Isma`il, continues to be in charge of running the affairs of the zawiya which is heavily frequented by the Fuqara and the Bearers of the Qur’an at all times of the year and which I had the honor of visiting for a month, as I described in my article “From Blessed Morocco: World of the Qur’an.”(*) During my time there, I was blessed to read with him the `Aqida part of the Risala al-Qushayriyya, Ibn Juzay’s tafsir of Surat al-Fatiha, and pages from Sayyid Ahmad Zayni Dahlan’s Mi`raj al-Wusul ila Ma`rifat Allah wal-Rasul.

When I gave Sidi Mustafa a copy of the large arabic volume of Mawlana al-Shaykh Nazim’s talks, published in Lebanon under the title Jami` al-Irshad al-Sharif, he held public readings from it in his zawiya for weeks. A year or two later, when his son-in-law drove him to Damascus, they took me with them on a memorable visit of Mawlana al-Shaykh in Cyprus, at which time the latter vested Sidi Mustafa with his jubba. The least benefit of travels around the seasoned Shuyukh of irshad is that they strip one bare of such amounts of pretense that if one were a tree one might muse whether one consists exclusively of dead bark.

Sidi Mustafa often visited Damascus on his way to Hajj or `Umra and graced the homes of those who loved him with his gracious presence – visits which left such homes in awe at his simplicity and good humor. He commanded attention and attraction wherever he went, especially for the North African students who turned his gatherings into the most special “all-sufi all-memorizers of the Qur’an” circles. Among them the noblest and most learned of them by agreement of those who met him, the adib, usuli, and sufi Shaykh Farid ibn `Azzouz al-Hasani al-Jazairi (who spent over ten years in Damascus and is now back in Algeria) bore special love for the Shaykh, who gave him ijaza in Tariqa.

I remember a visit with Sidi Mustafa to Shaykh Muhyi al-Din Ibn `Arabi’s grave in Damascus, after which men and women flocked to him for advice and help but he said to them: “The Shaykh is here so there is no need for me,” i.e. Shaykh Muhyi al-Din.

Another time, we visited the Hadra of Shaykh Mustafa al-Turkmani in Jami` al-Ward. After the Hadra, as people took their seats and tea was distributed, Shaykh Mustafa al-Turkmani gave Shaykh Muhyi al-Din Ibn `Arabi’s book of Wasaya to Sidi Mustafa and asked him extemporaneously to give the dars for him. Smile for smile, Sidi Mustafa Basir obliged. I remember the latter’s commentary on the wasiyya that we should not sleep before washing mouth and hands after eating lest we feed our shaytan: “The point is not to strengthen your shaytan but to weaken it.”

Another time, Sidi Mustafa took us to Amman, where we visited Shaykh Nuh Keller in his zawiya, who gave him his Shadhili works and led the hadra. In his last visit to Damascus he was hosted by Abu al-Nur Institute, where we visited him.

One of Sidi Mustafa’s favorite repartees in his exchanges after enquiring after the health of his friends was: “Bi-khayr, wa-fi khayr, wa-`ala khayr!” He smiled often and his friendly, unassuming manner hid from our sight, much of the time, the fact that he peered into the spiritual states of people and could diagnose their needs before they even voiced them. His family hailed from the desert and he did not care for appearances. His anger could be fierce and he reserved it, as far as I saw, for the Wahhabis, whom he called “Shalafis” and “Talafis” and for whom he had no tolerance. One time, as we travelled in the Marrakesh region we stopped to pray Maghrib in one of their mosques and one of them had the misfortune of nudging the Shaykh’s toes with his toes as
they love to do inside prayer. As we went into ruku`, the Shaykh slapped the man below the knee and he retreated.

The senior Shuyukh of da`wa and irshad are never coy about asserting the superiority of Ahl al-Haqq to other schools which they rightly view as the offshoots of modernity and misguidance dressed up as religion. It can never be said of them that they are “neither sufi nor wahhabi” as this would be identical with saying they are “neither guided nor misguided” and is confusion dressed up as moderation. Their successors, on the other hand, are a different story.Another son of Sidi Mustafa, Sidi `Abd al-Mughith, whom I met in Damascus and to whom I owe the honor of meeting his father, authored a large volume entitled al-Nazr al-Yasir min Manaqib Zawiyat Al al-Basir fil-Sahra’ wa-Sous wa-Bani A`yat bil-Maghrib (“A Glimpse at the Merits of the Zawiya of the Basir House in the Desert, Sous, and Bani A`yat in Morocco”). He also authored a brief history of the Shadhiliyya and a biography of Imam al-Jazuli accompanied by a new edition of Dala’il al-Khayrat.

I was told, years after first meeting the Shaykh, the story behind his heavy limp and scarred leg. In his early days, a deranged man showed up gun in hand in the school in which Sidi Mustafa was teaching. People took to their heels but Sidi Mustafa did not budge. The man faced him and said: ‘Who will protect you from me?’ Sidi Mustafa replied: ‘Between you and me there is Allah.’ The man then shot Sidi Mustafa and kept shooting until the gun was empty but by the grace of Allah, Sidi Mustafa survived and was graced with four wives and the successorship of his father in directing the zawiyas of the Darqawiyya-Basiriyya.

May Allah grant him the highest abode in Paradise next to his forefather, our liege-lord the Messenger of Allah, upon him and his House blessings and peace.”

GF Haddad

The zawiya of Shaykh Ibrahim Bassir in Morocco:

Ibrahim Bassir


Filed under Biography, General, Historical Pictures

12 responses to “The Passing Of Shaykh Moustafa Bassir

  1. Abdul Nabi

    why have you not posted the full article Shaykh Gibril wrote! I know the Shaykh didn’t like your Najdi cousins but why take it out!?!

  2. Inna lillahi wa inna ilaihe raji’oon

  3. Salamu `Alaykum

    My reason for removing that specific portion was mainly due to the fact that many of those who visit my blog, not associated with tasawwuf, may be turned off by such a statement. This will possibly lead them to thinking ill of the great shaykh in question and to consider the Sufis as people obsessed with Salafis and Salafism. Whether we wish to believe it or not, not everyone is a sufi, not everyone is a salafi, but there are people in between who do not ascribe themselves to any group who cringe at these constant attacks that are made. People can be called to the religion by SHOWING them the religion, not simply (and only) by refuting those who have gone against it. The latter is sometimes needed but not the default approach.

    People present information based on the audience they are targeting. This is not “hiding” the truth but merely presenting things that are more likely to attract them to the path of Ahly Sunnah.

    If i had intended to make it out as if what I posted was the whole article I would not have placed […] in the body, which signifies that some of the text is missing.

    I know very well who you are and my nasiha to you would be to stop seeing everything in a sectarian subcontinental mindsight, or for that matter as a Wahabi-Sufi war. Some thrive on it, most definitely, but maybe we should keep sight of the path lest we are blinded by the distractions of the dunya and throw ourselves into ruin.

    Out of deference to Shaykh Gibril, whom I love dearly, I will give up my own opinion and follow him in quoting the whole thing. After all, he is the inheritor of the Prophet (Allah bless him and grant him peace), not me.


  4. HI

    Could you please let us know when the sunniforum site will start?

    waiting anxiously

  5. Is Sh. Gibril’s style like the style of the ulmah of Deobund?

  6. Mohammed Azam

    Were these two great scholars considered as Awliya?

  7. Hanif

    MashaAllah your intention were great to omit that paragraph. JazakAllah. However, the fact that some people are extremely obsessed with slafis & ‘their cousins’ remains a fact.

    For me they are a paradox. Sufis?

    Sufis have no other occupation than being busy with Haqq!

    As Moulana Rumi ra says; “had they recognised the True Friend they won’t be busy wrangling with enemy.”

  8. Salamu `Alaykum

    Br. Googlistani: I dont know.

    Br. Muhammed Azam: Yes, Insha’Allah. They were major Imams of tasawwuf and their maqam was something we yearn to achieve.

    Sidi Hanif: Barakallah feek for the kind words. I wholeheartedly agree with you. Although the mashaikh have the right to counter such deviations, and even be harsh in their countering, the layperson should realize his place and stick to it. Failing to realize ones place is a sure recipe for spiritual disaster.


  9. basair

    Please, will you kindly enlighten me how should I, a lay person respond to his lay neighboring fellow Muslim brother in salah who is adamant to jam his foot with mine believing it is Sunnah to do so. JazakAllah!

  10. Salamu `Alaykum

    If he is someone who seems open to being corrected then you may advise him as to the fiqh position on this issue, namely that none of the four schools consider “foot jamming” to be the sunna and, secondly, it is offensive to annoy someone who is praying.

    However, if you fear fitna or believe that he is not likely to listen, then my personal practice is to take it with patience and not stand next to him the next time I pray :).


  11. enjoy us there, ur the most welcome. A moroccan forum 100 active

  12. enjoy us there, ur the most welcome. A moroccan forum 100 active

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