This poem was taught by Habib Umar during the Dowra [2013/1434 A.H] at Rawhah. Habib is a fountain of knowledge.
The centre-piece of the Dawrah is the Rawḥah. The word “rawḥah” linguistically is applied to an excursion at any time from midday until nightfall, as in the hadith narrated by al-Bukhārī and Muslim: “An excursion in the morning (ghadwah) or an excursion in the latter part of the day (rawḥah) in the path of Allah is better than this world and everything it contains.” The word also has a connection to the rūḥ, the spirit. The scholars of Ḥaḍramawt traditionally used the name rawḥah for the lessons they would give after ‘Aṣr in which they would focus upon teaching the sciences of the heart and reading the books of the Imams of Taṣawwuf. Imām al-Ḥaddād says in his Adāb Sulūk al-Murīd (translated as “Good Manners”): “The time following the ‘Aṣr prayer, if kept alive, has a powerful affect in attracting provision for the heart.”
In this year’s Dawrah, Ḥabīb ‘Umar bin Ḥafīẓ (may Allah preserve him and benefit us by him) continues the commentary which he began four years ago on Qūt al-Qulūb, Imām Abū Ṭālib al-Makkī’s foundational work in the science of Taṣawwuf. He will also comment on a poem by Imām Abū Bakr al-’Adanī. Using the book and the poem, Habib ‘Umar lays out the foundations which every seeker needs on the path to Allah.
He emphasises the importance of sincerity in seeking spiritual process during these lessons and often repeats that by reading the words of these great scholars we are in fact sitting in their presence. The gathering is usually rounded off with the recitation of some of the poetry of the great Imams of the Path, and then with the poetic supplication mentioned in these pages. Those attending the session then shake hands with the Shaykh and with each other, physically reinforcing the bonds that have been established during the gathering. What follows is a brief biography of Imām al-‘Adanī, followed by a rough translation of his poem.
imam al ‘adani
Imām Abū Bakr al-‘Adanī is a descendant of some of the great Bā ‘Alawī Imāms, from his father, Imām ‘Abdullāh al-‘Aydarūs, to his great-grandfather, Shaykh ‘Abd al-Raḥmān
al-Saqqāf, to the Shaykh of the Bā ‘Alawī Path, al-Faqīh al-Muqaddam. His lineage then goes back to al-Imām al-Muhājir il-Allāh Aḥmad bin ‘ Īsā, to Imām al-Ḥusayn, the son of Imām ‘Alī and Fāṭimah al-Zahrā’, the daughter of our Master Muḥammad, the Seal of the Prophets (ﷺ). He was born in Tarīm in 851 (1447). His father, Imām al-’Aydarūs, took care of his upbringing and spiritual progress, along with his uncle, Shaykh ‘Alī bin Abū Bakr al-Sakrān and Shaykh Sa’d bin ‘Alī Madḥaj. He memorised the Qur’ān and mastered the Islamic sciences while still in his youth, which led his father to appoint him as a shaykh of the inward and outward sciences at the age of 14. From then on his life was spent
teaching and calling to Allah. In 889, he took up residence in the port of Aden, built a mosque and began to teach.
Students from far and wide came to learn from him and the religious life of Aden flourished. He had great concern for the common people, especially those not on the straight path. He said: “If I see a believer who Allah has given the ability to perform that which is incumbent upon him and to avoid enormities then I am content. What
troubles me is when I see a believer who has fallen into disobedience of Allah and into the traps of the Devil, so I expend my efforts to save him.”
He was famous for his noble character and immense generosity, which led him to accumulate great debts in order to help the needy. One of his companions rebuked him for accumulating these debts, to which he retorted: “Do not come between me and my Lord, for I have only spent this money seeking His pleasure, and He has promised me that He will pay back these debts before I leave this life.” Every year he set aside money for students of knowledge and visitors and contributed to many charitable projects, such as the repair of the mosques of Tarīm and the construction of drainage channels to prevent flooding in Aden and several areas of Ḥaḍramawt.
His Dīwān of poetry and the letters are filled with wisdom and guidance. To this day, his poems are often recited in gatherings of knowledge and remembrance. He counselled people to have a good opinion of Allah, which he called “the greatest treasure” and “Allah’s greatest name,” and to have a good opinion of Allah’s slaves. He said: “The one who has a good opinion of someone will not lose out even if his opinion proves to be wrong; the one who has a bad opinion of someone will not benefit even if his opinion proves to be correct.”
He remained in Aden until his death in 914 (1508), and thus became known as “al-‘Adanī”. He was buried next to the mosque which he established. The sultan of the time erected a great dome over his grave and built a school next to the mosque, Ribāṭ al-‘Aydarūs. The Ribāṭ continues to flourish to this day, under the directorship of Ḥabīb Abū Bakr al-’Adanī bin ‘Alī al-Mashhūr (may Allah preserve him), who has also greatly revived the annual visit in Rabī’ al-Thānī.
1. Whoever does not restrain himself from his lowly caprice will taste abasement
2. If someone lowers himself, his aspiration will be low, even if he is as lofty as the full moon
3. Every wound can be treated except, my son, wounds caused by the tongue
4. Be gentle in all your affairs, for gentleness makes all things beautiful
5. It is only two things which cause the foolish person all suffering:
6. Greed and entering that which does not concern him, so beware, O man!
7. Be patient and steadfast in all your affairs, for the patient one receives assistance in the end
8. Do not go against your time for it will overcome you, but rather walk with it and time will walk with you
9. Do not be attached to your homeland; wherever your honour is – this is your place
10. True wealth can all be found in taqwā – everything other than taqwā will perish
11. Through taqwā, my son, you will attain safety in this life and the next
12. Let not you sins cause you to despair and maintain a good opinion of your Lord at all times
13. Always follow up a bad deed with a good deed and seek His assistance, for He is the source of assistance
14. Do not desire from Allah something which is unobtainable – asking Him for infallibility is madness
15. As long as you live you are destined to struggle, so let your certainty be strong and your heart firm
16. If your certainty in Him is correct then He will protect you, and whatever He wishes will be
17. If you are someone of certainty the foundation of your taṣawwuf will be firm and manifest
18. The secrets of the unseen will become clear in your heart and mere information will become visible
19. It is inappropriate to say any more after this – this is a good place to hold onto the reins
20. May Allah bestow the most complete and perfect prayers and peace upon the Prophet ﷺ.