Category Archives: Historical Pictures

Pictures of Relics, Shrines, Mosques, Islamic schools, and so forth.

A Gathering Of The Fuqara

salamu `alaykum


This is a photo of some Tijani fuqara in the city of Meknes, Morocco. Taken in the year 1911 of the Gregorian calendar (1329 hijri). Very powerful…



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Sh. Zakariyya Kandahlawi’s Library

salamu `alaykum

And I’m pretty sure this is not all of it…



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Hakimul Ummah’s Grave

salamu `alaykum

Courtesy of the Ashrafiya blog:


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The Awliya of Allah

salamu` alaykum

My eyes gaze upon them in splendid awe,

How rarely does one witness such a site,

Seeing their nur brings to light all of my flaws,

And annihilates the selfs might. (Ibn Ahmad)


(courtesy of Al Kashif)













Shuyukh of the Shadhili Darqawi Order:

Starting from left to right grouped in bunches:

1. Shaykh Ahmad `Alawi 2. al-Arif al-Shaikh Abdul Rahman al-Shaghuri 3. Shaikh Abdul Qardir Hayani (Halab) 4. al-Arif al-Shaikh Abdul QadirIsa’
5. Shaikh Ahmad al-Murad 6. Shaikh Ahmad Karasi (Halab) 7. Shaikh Bakri Hayani

1. Shaikh Bakri Hayani (again) 2. Shaikh Ahmad al-Habbal 3. Shaikh Fadil al-Kurkur 4. al-Shaikh Muhammad al-Hashimi 5. Shaikh Hazim Nayif Abu Ghazalah 6. Shaikh Muhammad al-Murad 7. Shaikh Muhammad Ali al-Murad

1. al-Shaikh al-Kurdi 2. Shaikh Nur ad-Din Azizi 3. Shaikh Sa’id Burhani
4. Shaikh Sajid Abdul Qadir (Baghdad) 5. Shaikh Salih al-Furfur 6. Shaikh Ali Abdul Rahman 7. Shaikh Abul Hasan al-Tarabulusi

1. Shaikh Sidi Azreqi 2. Shaikh Sidi Hajj Quwdir 3. Shaikh Muhammad al-Hashimi 4. Shaikh Muhammad al-Madani 5. Shaikh Muhammad Bel Hajj
6. Shaikh Sidi Muhammad Sharif

1. al-Arif Shaikh Ahmad al-Alawi 2. al-Arif Shaikh Ahmad al-Alawi 3. Shaikh Shamil al-Murad 4. Shaikh Hilal al-Yemani 5. Shaikh Sidi Sharif Oul Hasan
6. Shaikh Muhammad al-Ya’qubi 7. Shaikh Ahmad Jami


al `abd al faqir Salman Al Husayni


Filed under General, Historical Pictures, Poetry

Shaykh Shukri

salamu `alaykum

Shaykh Shukri   shshukri1.JPG

Whenever I would ask someone regarding Shaykh Shukri of Damascus the reply I would recieve almost immediately and foremost was that “He is one of the biggest awliya alive.” I do not recall a single person stating otherwise when I inquired about him. He took over from the late Shaykh Moustafa al Turkmani (Allah be well pleased with him). May Allah continue to bless us through his presence. Amin.


Salman al Husayni


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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


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The Passing of Shaykh Mustafa al Turkmani (May Allah be well-pleased with him)

Salamu `Alaykum

From Allah we come, to Him we must return

Knowledge will be lost not by its being taken out from the hearts, but by the death of the scholars, as the Prophet (Allah bless him and grant him peace) said. Weep, for we have lost one of the awliya.

Shaykh Mustafa


On the Passing of Shaykh Mustafa At-Turkmani
By Imam Zaid Shakir

I surveyed the Gates of Paradise, and found crowds at all of them; except the Gate of Humility. Hence, I entered through that gate. -Sayyid Ahmad Ar-Rifa’i Words are difficult to summon upon hearing of the death of our dear, beloved teacher Shaykh Mustafa at-Turkmani, May Allah envelop him in His Mercy. Our Shaykh possessed a combination of virtues that were difficult to find in contemporary scholars, and with his passing finding anyone who possesses those virtues will be all the more challenging.He was a jurist of distinction, being one of the most distinguished students of the great Damascene jurist Shaykh Hasan Habannakah; having served for a time on the Legislative Council of the State of Qatar. He was a memorizer of the Qur’an, being one of the elect students of the great Syrian master of recitation, Shaykh Husein al-Khattab; during his youth being called upon to lead the Tarawih prayers for a group of scholars who would gather during Ramadan in the house of Shaykh Mekki al-Kattani. He was a real Sufi, being one the honored students of Shaykh Muhammad al-Hashimi, and later the great Rifa’i master, Abdul Hakim Abdul-Basit. He was a master of the Arabic language, and memorized much of the literary and mystical poetry of the Arabs.He was also a da’i, an Islamic worker, who tirelessly served the people of southern Damascus. He served as a moving sermonizer at Jami’ Rida, in the Zahira Jadida section of the city. Before being slowed by his illness, he moved tirelessly between the mosques and homes of Midan, Zahira Qadima, Zahira Jadida, Mukhayyam Filastine, and Mukhayyam Yarmuk, the latter two areas being large Palestinian refugee camps, delivering classes and inspiring lectures, blessing newborn babies, conducting marriages, and consoling families who had lost loved ones. He was truly a man of the people.Because the Shaykh was an Islamic worker who was in touch with the common folk, he always advised me to return to America to work for Islam. In this regard, Shaykh Mustafa’s advice ran counter to that given by many of the scholars of Damascus, who would frequently argue for migration from the un-Islamic lands of the West. He would not only advise returning, but he would constantly pray for our success.

The above-mentioned combination of gifts is rare in today’s world, and by possessing them Shaykh Mustafa was in an elect class of scholars. In addition to these qualities, our Shaykh also possessed the very highest standard of Islamic etiquette. I was blessed to keep the company of the Shaykh for the better part of five years, studying a wide array of classical Islamic texts with him, and trying my best to attend as many of his public lessons, and private gatherings as I could manage. During that time and in various situations, the Shaykh never once raised his voice. He never spoke ill of anyone. I never saw him argue or dispute with anyone. When confronted with an opinion on an issue related to the Divine Law that differed from his own, he would merely nod his head to express his disagreement, not seeking to exalt his own opinion.

Having mentioned all of these virtues possessed by Shaykh Mustafa, I can nonetheless confidently say that they were all surpassed by his deep humility. I feel anyone who knew the Shaykh would agree and I will relate some personal experiences I had with the Shaykh to illustrate this point.

Upon our arrival in Damascus, Shaykh Mustafa agreed to teach our group of Western students the very basics of tajwid and jurisprudence. We were all neophytes and he patiently endured our ignorance, our bad manners with him, and the terrible overcooked tea we would offer him. He would walk to my house after Fajr to deliver these lessons, oftentimes on cold, damp winter mornings, seeking to avoid the suspicion of the secret police.

At the private gatherings he would host at his family’s rural property, situated in the hills outside of Damascus, he would directly participate in preparing the food, serving the guests, and cleaning up both before and afterwards. He would not allow anyone to take the broom from his hands. Many are the scholars who will reference the Prophet, peace upon him, participating in digging the ditch before the Battle of the Trench. However, few are those who will take the broom, mop, vacuum cleaner, toilet bowl brush, or a shovel and “dig their own ditches.” He was one of those elect few.

During the almost five years of attending the circle of Shaykh Mustafa at Jami’ Ghazwati Badr, next to his house in Zahira Qadima, he would never sit on the raised platform designated for teaching out of respect for the Imam of the Masjid, the noted elderly scholar, Shaykh Muhammad al-Farrah. Even after the passing of the Imam, Shaykh Mustafa refused to sit on the raised platform.

During the illness of Shaykh Abdr-Rahman ash-Shaghouri, May Allah shower his Mercy upon him, Shaykh Mustafa was called upon to assumed the duties that ailing master was no longer capable of performing. However, he refused to do so, as long as Shaykh Abdur-Rahman remained alive, out of his respect for the status of the Shaykh. Others of lesser station would have rushed to assume the Shaykh’s indispensable, yet weighty duties. However, Shaykh Mustafa was held back by his etiquette with Shaykh Abdur-Rahman, and his fear of Allah.

Shaykh Mustafa’s humility led many people in Damascus to overlook his greatness as a scholar. This is especially true because almost twenty of his most productive years were spent in Qatar. However, the scholars knew his rank, and the mention of his name would bring praise and adoration from the likes of Dr. Said Ramadan al-Buti, a classmate during their youth at Shaykh Hasan Habannakah’s school, Ma’had at-Tawjih. I have heard one of the learned people of Damascus say, “If you want to see one of the Tabi’een, look at Shaykh Mustafa at-Turkmani.”

In recent times, the skies have shaded few Muslims of the stature of our departed Shaykh. Today, like us, the skies are weeping. However, we must soon dry our eyes and get on with the work Shaykh Mustafa and the other scholars of this Ummah have bequeathed unto us. To help us in that work, we should seek strength through the following advice I received from Shaykh Mustafa during one of my last visits to Damascus. When I asked him what does he advise to help us get through the challenging and even threatening times facing Muslims in the West, he responded, “Frequent recitation of the Qur’an, and abundant Salawat on the Prophet, peace and blessings of Allah upon him.”

May Allah accept Shaykh Mustafa into the ranks of the righteous, and may his life and example be an inspiration for us all.

Your Brother in Islam,

Imam Zaid Shakir



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