Grand Shaykh Ibrahim Al- Battawi A Life Truly Spent Entirely For Allah

Shaykh Batawi

Thoughts on the 2nd Urs (anniversary of passing away) of Shaykh Ibrahim on 14 Rajab 1430 H

Grand Shaykh Ibrahim Al- Battawi

A Life Truly Spent Entirely For Allah

 

Shaykh 'Ibrahim Muhammad al-Battawi 'Abu Dhikri

1924 - 2009 ~ 1342 - 1430

Bismillah ir-Rahman ir-Rahim

Praise belongs eternally to Allah, the One, the Irresistible Conquerer.

May blessings and peace perpetually shower our ultimate Beloved, the jewel of creation SayyidinaMuhammad, as well as his household and progeny and companions...

"Indeed - the Friends (Awliya) of Allah, no fear is upon them, nor do they grieve" (Q10:62)

It's with great heaviness that i'm sharing this recent news that a few hours ago, this 14th day of the holy month of Rajab, our grandshaykh passed away into the Mercy and Pleasure of Allah Most High and His Loving Care, due to liver complications in the hospital... inna lillahi wa inna ilayhi raji'un!

If a number of you have not heard of him, it is because he chose to live a life based on the principle of hiding and erasing yourself to instead show a reflection of Allah's Attributes, and indeed anyone who came into contact with the gentle tranquility and effacing humility of his being knew that he was one of those that Allah chose to guard under His veils of jealousy. His entire life - from when he was conscious of his surroundings until his passing away at an age exceeding 80 years - was truly spent entirely for Allah. He was a man of gentle compassion, of piercing knowledge, of impeccable character, of deep contemplation, of generous hands to the point of being brave with his generosity,

of genuine care and concern for those under his training and for the Muslims in general, fierce against falsehood and unbridled lust for the Dunya, preferring the simple and elegant over the extravagant and vulgar, and one who was fully pleased and content with Allah being Allah.

I personally learned so much from him, and there is still so much that I wanted to ask him and gain from him. We plan (I planned on spending a month in Egypt this Ramadan to be with him), and Allah plans, and it is my hope from Allah that I will still benefit from him and maintain my connection with him after his passing.

I remember his face becoming lit up when I asked him privately how I could obtain the vision of the Prophet (alayhi salat wa salam), and him then going into the Burdah of Imam Busayri. I remember spending the night with him in the same room, and him seeing the blanket off of me tucking me inside the blanket, as a true grandfather would, and then later that night praying tahajjud and reading Qur'an with him. I remember him correcting my mistakes and focusing me on the fundamentals when I wanted to delve into the higher details. I remember him praying over the young girl who was having an asthma attack, and she immediately becoming better under his blessed hand. I remember him teaching me to never say or claim anything unless I knew 100% that it was the truth, and not waste my words guessing or estimating... because he loved the truth and upholding the truth and giving victory to the truth. I remember the many times when he called me "my son" and "my beloved", when I was worried and had little hope in myself, and his confirmation being all the fuel I needed.

His last words of teaching and advice to me was "Realize that there is NO distance when it comes to the Ruh (soul)", when I told him I felt I had to physically be next to the graves of the righteous to feel their presence. He was a hafiz of the Qur'an, as well as numerous ahadith; he was a master in the fiqh of the Maliki and Shafi'i madhhabs; he was a master in the arabic language, and admired universally for his unique ability to always choose the right exact word, and for his subtle supplications (du'aa) to his Lord; as well as being a gifted trainer and uplifter of souls, shortening the way for them to be with Allah in a pure state.

He loved orphans, and said many times that no one can build a sound connection with Allah while ignoring the orphans; like the Prophet alayhi salat wa salam, he was always looking out for new opportunities to make du'a for someone; he preferred that people know Allah more than knowing him, because "Allah is greater and more everlasting" as the Qur'an says, and because of this his whole being and demeanor was subtle and limpid. When he one time saw my large moroccan style Tasbih, he showed me his tiny unnoticeable tasbih.

He never extended his feet, even when he sat alone, because he never felt himself absent from Allah's vision. He slept very little during the night, and regularly spent his nightsreciting Qur'an and having intimate conversation with Allah, even into his old age.

He will be missed for all of the above, as well as for many other deeper spiritual aspects of his being, spiritual aspects which even many Muslims would find confusing and distant, being unfortunately so tied up with the material world while being unfamiliar with the matters of the soul. I ask Allah to rest his graceful soul firmly on the carpet of His Presence and Nearness, and I also ask each of you to recite a "Fatiha" on his behalf, and feed an orphan in his name.

al-Fatiha!

Ibrahim Hakim Al Shaghouri

We are taught that no one truly knew the Prophet (‘alayhi salat wa salam) as he could be known, because they had not reached his rank - and that only one of his rank could truly know him. Yet, we are taught that those who knew him best were the Companions, Allah be well pleased with them. We are likewise reminded that no one knew the Companions as they truly were, for the same reason, but that the next generation knew them best.

How incredible it is, therefore, to speak of the teacher, the shaykh, the 'alim, the lover of Allah and His Prophet - for truly, we were not of his rank, in order to really know him.

He was Shaykh Ibrahim Muhammad al-Battawi Abu-Dhikri. His ancestors, from the sadah of the Prophet Muhammad,‘alayhi salat wa salam, came to Egypt from the Maghreb in the time of Salah al-Din al-Ayyubi. The intention behind their hijrah to Egypt was restore ‘ilm according to Ahl al-Sunnah wa-l-Jamma' in that land which had lost much of it, due to the rule of the Fatimids.

He was a contemporary of Shaykh Abdal-Halim Mahmud, the great mujaddid of the 20th century in Egypt , and Shaykh al-Azhar. Shaykh Ibrahim was himself an Azhari, in a time when Azhar was not being assaulted by so many quarters. Like his Moroccan ancestors, he was a Maliki ‘alim, but he taught the works of Imam Abu Hamid al-Ghazali for some 25 years in the Azhar, as Professor in the Department of Speculative Theology and Philosophy in the Azhar, and became fully acquainted with the madhhab of Imam al-Shafi'i. Like any scholar of worth in the Azhar, he also had familiarity with other madhhabs, particularly the Hanafi school.

As an Azhari of the time, he was, of course, an adherent to the Ash'ari approach in speculative theology. These markers set him apart as a true adherent to the turath of Sunni Islam - and he never failed to be an example of that tradition.

But the way in which we knew him was not in this academic of fashions - but in his role as a shaykh in the tariqah of Imam Abu-l-Hasan al-Shadhuli. Verily, he may have taught the works of Imam Abu Hamid al-Ghazali, the Imam of the Sufis on the path of muraqabah, or ‘those who worship Allah even if they did not see Him, for they know He Sees them'. But that was for the external practice of Islam - for Shaykh Ibrahim al-Battawi, Allah be well pleased with him, was a man of jadhb, of ‘attraction', and followed inwardly the way of the Imam of the Sufis on the path of jadhb, of those who ‘worshipped Allah as though they saw Him'.

It was to this path Shaykh Ibrahim dedicated himself for most of his long life, in the service of his Lord. Shaykh Ibrahim was first a disciple of the great mujaddid of the Sufi ways in Egypt , Sidi Salama al-Radi - the shaykh of the Hamdiyyah-Shadhuliyyah tariqah. That noble shaykh was an inheritor of Imam Abu-l-Hasan al-Shadhuli. Most recognise the line as going through Sidi Abu-l-Abbas al-Mursi, who was Imam al-Shadhuli's sole successor, and then through Ibn Ata'illah al-Iskandari, the author of the famous ‘Hikam' - but they often neglect that while Sidi Ibn Ata'illah was the transmitter of the ‘written teachings' of the tariqah, there was another successor of Sidi Abu-l-Abbas. Sidi Yaqut al-Arsh was the transmitter of the ‘oral teachings', which have not been written down, and are passed only from shaykh to student by word of mouth.

I remember going to the many bookstores around the Azhar masjid in Cairo, trying to find anything written by Sidi Yaqut, or written on him, and being told quite bluntly - there is nothing we have, and it is well known there is practically nothing written about this great lover of the Divine. It was through this rare line that Sidi Salama is known in particular for inheriting. Sidi Salama, may Allah be well pleased with him, named Shaykh Ibrahim as ‘Shaykh al-Effendi' and instructed him to take care of the non-Egyptian Muslims who came through Egypt. Shaykh Ibrahim was in his 20s at the time.

So it came to pass that Shaykh Ibrahim became the shaykh of many Muslims from all corners of the earth, who had come to Egypt to study at the Azhar. He inherited the tariqah not only through Sidi Salama, but also from the noble Darqawi master, Shaykh Ahmad al-‘Alawi, who in some way or another is the shaykh of so many Sufi masters of the 20th century; the great inheritor of the Badawi way, Sidi Muhammad ibn al-Habib; and the great Sidi Ali Nur al-Din al-Yashruti, may Allah be well pleased with them all.

One should also keep in mind - Shaykh Ibrahim was a professor in what is well known to be the most difficult department at the Azhar. Shaykh Abdal Halim Mahmud, the great Shaykh al-Azhar and a contemporary of Shaykh Ibrahim, had graduated himself from that department. Every year, he would identify a few students who appeared to be attracted to certain principles, and would teach them privately at the small zawiyah that was housed a few minutes down from the Azhar mosque in Old Cairo. Here, he would focus on transmitting the knowledge of classical books of the Islamic canon in the traditional manner, where the student would recite, and he would clarify the meanings of the words as time went on.

In that zawiyah, the hadrah might be held - although in recent years, that zawiyah became less common as a meeting place, as he focused on the second zawiyah in Heliopolis, which was also a mosque in one of the new suburbs of Cairo. There, he had also built a hostel for students, as well as a clinic for taking care of the sick; such was the model he followed when building mosques all around Cairo and further.

His students were literally from all around the world. They did not come to him out of a note of his fame, for he stuck very strictly to the doctrine of transparency of the Shadhuliyyah - what a great Shaykh of that way described as ‘More glow... and less show.' And certainly, Shaykh Ibrahim was glowing. It was out of respect for this teaching in particular, that I shy away from personally identifying myself when speaking of this way - for truly the way is far more important than this incredibly imperfect example of an aspirant.

When one drank tea after attending his hadrah, which was always sublime, peaceful and somber, yet powerful and elegant, one could chat to Indonesians, Turks, Russians, Britons, Pakistanis, Americans, and those of other nations. It was in this way that his teachings reached Korea and Singapore , England and America . Not all of those who attended the hadrah would be his murids - they could be from other tariqahs, and his murids were also able to attend other tariqah's gatherings. Not that he had that many all at once - in fact, he usually had only a small number at any one time, whom he would focus upon. Once he was satisfied they had the tools to live as true conscious Muslims inwardly and outwardly in this world of temptation, he would permit himself to take on more students to focus upon, leaving the rest to work on their nafs with the tools he had provided them with.

He lived incredibly simply, but he was wealthy inside - and indeed, much of his external lack of wealth was due to the amount of money he constantly gave to his poorer students and others. He often gave the khutbah in the mosque of Sidi Ibn Ata'illah, his ancestral teacher in one of the lines that he inherited the Shadhuli tariqah from. He often visited the cities of Makkah and Madinah, for a long time doing it on a yearly basis.

He was always easy to access. I myself took many people to see him - men and women, young and old, and he was always generous with his time to meet people. He was stern when it came to infringements against the religion, but he was sweet with any person who came to see him. It was my pleasure and my honour to be able to hold his tea, or to help him in any way - for one could not help but see him as someone latif and sweet.

His way was simple. He called for attachment to the shari'ah, and abhorred any suggestion that success in tasawuf could be reached outside the realm of the shari'ah and the tradition of this religion of Islam. He reminded his students to pay attention to their dreams, which the Prophet himself, ‘alayhi salat wa salam, described as a part of prophecy. He turned their attention to the orisons of Imam Abu-l-Hasan al-Shadhuli, certain in the value of these collections of du'as and ayat from the Qur'an. He insisted they spend a portion of their day studying the disciplines of the shari'ah, and reading from the book of Allah.

And finally, clearly and without any doubt, he said that one of the conditions of his way was to guide people to the truth of Islam through love, and he emphasised ‘love' very strongly. He specifically warned against taking any price or profit in dunya for this work; this work is for Allah, and for Allah alone, with absolute sincerity.

Shaykh Ibrahim al-Battawi was taken from us in this world on the 14th of Rajab, 1430 hijri, surrounded by his family in Cairo . We may never see the likes of him again, but as he reminded one of his students, ‘in the realm of the spirit (ruh), distance means nothing.' Wa-l-hamdulillah.

al-faqir as-shadhuli

The Ummah Mourns The Passing Away Of The Pole of Our Time And The Ocean Of Knowledge Shaykh Ibrahim Al Battawy In Cairo Egypt

Bismillahir Rahmanir Rahim

It is with great sadness and grief we are reporting the passing away of Shaykh Ibrahim Muhammad Al Battawy Abu Dhikri, the Grand Shaykh of Battawy Shadhdhuli tariqa in Egypt and a retired professor of Islamic Philosophy from Al-Azhar University where he taught for more than 25 years. inna lillahi wa inna ilayhi raji'un!

Shaykh Battawy was in his late eighties. He passed away in Cairo on Wednesday July 8 after a brief liver illness for which he was hospitalized. The sad news of his passing away was relayed to us by his Khalifa in North America and Patron Adviser of ISRA Shaykh Nooruddeen Durkee.His funeral was scheduled to take place today (July 9) in Cairo, Egypt.

In an statement released today Sayyid Zayn Al Abedin founder of ISRA said, "The Muslim Ummah has lost an ocean of knowledge and spirituality. In him the streams ofshar'iah, tariqa, Ma' arifah and Haqiqah had merged together to form an ocean of immense vastness. He was a great proponent of a tasawwuf based Sunni Islam which he believed was the heritage of the Prophet for the ummah. He was the embodiment of the Prophetic sunnah and akhlaq (comportment). He was a great scholar and teacher specializing in the teaching of of Imam Ghazali's Ihya Uloom Id - Deen. He was a prolific

author of many books and articles and an inspiring speaker."

"ISRA was blessed to have his love, blessings and recognition of its work. He visited the US twice at ISRA's invitation. He addressed an ISRA convention in 2002 and again returned to conduct the memorable ISRA retreat in Columbia, SC named as Imam Ghazali Retreat during the Christmas break in 2005 .In short he was an ummah in himself. For the scholars he was the ocean of knowledge for the people of Ihsaan he was the pole of our time and for the ummah he was the replica of the Prophetic Seerah, full of love and mercy".

"On an personal level he was a fatherly figure who gave his love and blessings to me and my family and inspired me to work relentlessly for the promotion of a refreshing vision of Islam based on Islaam, Imaan and Ihsaan. Today our hearts and souls are praying for him asking Allah (swt) to grant him the closest place to Himself in His abode of mercy and compassion and heal the hearts and souls of loved ones he left behind. aameen !"

Allahumma Salli 'Ala Sayyidina Muhammadin Wa 'Ala Aali Sayyidina Muhammadin Wa Barik wa Sallim"

About Shaykh Ibrahim Al-Battawy: Shaykh Ibrahim El-Batawy is a Shaykh of Shadhdhuli Battawiy tariqa in Egypt.Upon the advise of his Shaykh he started teaching Islam to the foreignors. He fulfilled his duty in the course of his twenty five year tenure at Al-Azhar University, where his main focus was on teaching of Islamic philosophy, specifically the Ihya 'Ulumu-d-Din of Imam al-Ghazali. His students came from all over the world. After attending Azhar classes they will go to the nearby Zawiyah of the Shaykh, where he instructed them in the Shari'ah based Tasawwuf understanding of the Qur'an, Sunnah and all other Islamic sciences. Shaykh Ibrahim is in his eighties (may Allah give him good health), is now retired, but continues teaching from the Zawiyah on Azhar St. as well as from a new Masjid and Zawiyah he has constructed in the Heliopolis area of Misr Gadeed on the desert outskirts of Cairo.

Sidi Zayn al-Abdin

Tribute

We are taught that no one truly knew the Prophet (‘alayhi salat wa salam) as he could be known, because they had not reached his rank – and that only one of his rank could truly know him. Yet, we are taught that those who knew him best were the Companions, Allah be well pleased with them. We are likewise reminded that no one knew the Companions as they truly were, for the same reason, but that the next generation knew them best.

How incredible it is, therefore, to speak of the teacher, the shaykh, the ‘alim, the lover of Allah and His Prophet – for truly, we were not of his rank, in order to really know him. He was Shaykh Ibrahim Muhammad al-Battawi Abu-Dhikri. His ancestors, from the sadah of the Prophet Muhammad, ‘alayhi salat wa salam, through his grandson Hassan, ‘radi Allahu anhu, came to Egypt from the Maghreb in the time of Salah al-Din al-Ayyubi. The intention behind their hijrah to Egypt was restore ‘ilm according to Ahl al-Sunnah wa-l-Jamma’ in that land which had lost much of it, due to the rule of the Fatimids.

He was a contemporary and warm friend of the Egyptian Shaykh Muhammad Metawali al-Sha’rawi and Imam al-Akbar al-Shaykh Abdal-Halim Mahmud, the great mujaddid of the 20th century in Egypt. The former is well known as one of the most famous da’is of the 20th century, and the latter as the Shaykh al-Azhar, who was himself a Shadhuli shaykh, and delivered tasawuf in a particular way to a society that desperately needed it after colonialism. Shaykh Ibrahim al-Battawi was also a close associate of Shaykh al-Sayyid Muhammad bin al-Alawi al-Maliki, the great muhaddith of Mecca, and a Sufi shaykh of great prominence.

Shaykh Ibrahim was a teacher of the Azhar, in a time when Azhar was not being assaulted by so many quarters. Like his Moroccan ancestors, he was a Maliki ‘alim, but he taught the works of Imam Abu Hamid al-Ghazali for some 25 years in the Azhar, as Professor in the Department of Speculative Theology and Philosophy (‘aqidah wa-l-falsafah) in the Azhar, and became fully acquainted with the madhhab of Imam al-Shafi’i. Like any scholar of worth in the Azhar, he also had familiarity with other madhhabs, particularly the Hanafi school.

Like all who bore witness to Azhar’s tradition, he was, of course, an adherent to the Ash’ari approach in speculative theology. These markers set him apart as a true adherent to the turath of Sunni Islam – and he never failed to be an example of that tradition.

But the way in which we knew him was not in this academic of fashions – but in his role as a shaykh in the tariqah of Imam Abu-l-Hasan al-Shadhuli. Verily, he may have taught the works of Imam Abu Hamid al-Ghazali, the Imam of the Sufis on the path of muraqabah, or those who ‘worship Allah even if they did not see Him, for they know He Sees them’. But that was for the external practice of Islam – for Shaykh Ibrahim al-Battawi, Allah be well pleased with him, was a man of jadhb, of ‘attraction’, and followed inwardly the way of the Imam of the Sufis on the path of jadhb, of those who ‘worshipped Allah as though they saw Him’.

That Imam of the Sufis on the path of jadhb was Imam Abu-l-Hasan al-Shadhuli, and it was to this path Shaykh Ibrahim dedicated himself for most of his long life, in the service of his Lord. Shaykh Ibrahim was first a disciple of the great mujaddid of the Sufi ways in Egypt, Sidi Salama al-Radi – the shaykh of the Hamdiyyah-Shadhuliyyah tariqah. Most recognise the line as going through Sidi Abu-l-Abbas al-Mursi, who was Imam al-Shadhuli’s sole successor, and then through Ibn Ata’illah al-Iskandari, the author of the famous ‘Hikam’ – but they often neglect that while Sidi Ibn Ata’illah was the transmitter of the ‘written teachings’ of the tariqah, there was another successor of Sidi Abu-l-Abbas. Sidi Yaqut al-Arsh was the transmitter of the ‘oral teachings’, which have not been written down, and are passed only from shaykh to student by word of mouth.

I remember going to the many bookstores around the Azhar masjid in Cairo, trying to find anything written by Sidi Yaqut, or written on him, and being told quite bluntly – there is nothing we have, and it is well known there is very little written about this great lover of the Divine.

It was through this rare line that Sidi Salama is known in particular for inheriting. Sidi Salama al-Radi, may Allah be well pleased with him, was the one who authorised Shaykh Ibrahim al-Battawi as a shaykh in the Shadhuliyyah, named him as ‘Shaykh al-Effendi’ and instructed him to take care of the non-Egyptian Muslims who came through Egypt.

Shaykh Ibrahim was in his 20s at the time. So, it came to pass that Shaykh Ibrahim became the shaykh of many Muslims from all corners of the earth, who had come to Egypt to study at the Azhar.

One should also keep in mind – Shaykh Ibrahim was a professor in what is well known to be the most difficult department at the Azhar. Every year, he would identify a few students who appeared to be attracted to certain principles, and would teach them privately at the small zawiyah that was housed a few minutes down from the Azhar mosque in Old Cairo. Here, he would focus on transmitting the knowledge of classical books of the Islamic canon in the traditional manner, where the student would recite, and he would clarify the meanings of the words as time went on.

In that zawiyah, the hadrah might be held – although in recent years, that zawiyah became less common as a meeting place, as he focused on the second zawiyah in Heliopolis, which was also a mosque in one of the new suburbs of Cairo. There, he had also built a hostel for students, as well as a clinic for taking care of the sick; such was the model he followed when building mosques all around Cairo and further.

His students were literally from all around the world. They did not come to him out of a note of his fame, for he stuck very strictly to the doctrine of transparency of the Shadhuliyyah – what a great Shaykh of that way described as ‘More glow… and less show.’ And certainly, Shaykh Ibrahim was glowing. It was out of respect for this teaching in particular, that I shy away from personally identifying myself when speaking of this way – for truly the way is far more important than this incredibly imperfect example of an aspirant.

When one drank tea after attending his hadrah, which was always sublime, peaceful and somber, yet powerful and elegant, one could chat to Indonesians, Turks, Russians, Britons, Pakistanis, Americans, and those of other nations. It was in this way that his teachings reached Korea and Singapore, England and America. Not all of those who attended the hadrah would be his murids – they could be from other tariqahs, and his murids were also able to attend other tariqah’s gatherings. Not that he had that many all at once – in fact, he usually had only a small number at any one time, whom he would focus upon. Once he was satisfied they had the tools to live as true conscious Muslims inwardly and outwardly in this world of temptation, he would permit himself to take on more students to focus upon, leaving the rest to work on their nafs with the tools he had provided them with.

He lived incredibly simply, but he was wealthy inside – and indeed, much of his external lack of wealth was due to the amount of money he constantly gave to his poorer students and others. He often gave the khutbah in the mosque of Sidi Ibn Ata’illah, his ancestral teacher in one of the lines that he inherited the Shadhuli tariqah from. He often visited the cities of Makkah and Madinah, for a long time doing it on a yearly basis.

He was always easy to access. I myself took many people to see him – men and women, young and old, and he was always generous with his time to meet people. He was stern when it came to infringements against the religion, but he was sweet with any person who came to see him. It was my pleasure and my honour to be able to hold his tea, or to help him in any way – for one could not help but see him as someone latif and sweet.

His way was simple. He called for attachment to the shari’ah, and living according to it in one’s life, abhorring any suggestion that success in tasawuf could be reached outside the realm of the shari’ah and the tradition of this religion of Islam. He clearly said, without any doubt, that one of the conditions of his way was to guide people to the truth of Islam through love, and he emphasised ‘love’ very strongly. He specifically warned against taking any price or profit in dunya for this work; this work is for Allah, and for Allah alone, with absolute sincerity. Shaykh Ibrahim was very transparent on his belief that all actions should be solely for Allah, with ikhlas and not for any profit in this dunya.

He insisted his students spend a portion of their day studying the disciplines of the deen, and thus increase in ‘ilm, whether in sirah, tarikh, fiqh, tafsir, ahadith or other texts on tasawuf. Important to his method was that the student also set aside reading from the book of Allah, so as to ‘feel the meaning in (one’s) blood, (so) that it flows to your cells.’ He reminded his students to pay attention to their dreams, which the Prophet himself, ‘alayhi salat wa salam, described as a part of prophecy. He turned their attention to the orisons of Imam Abu-l-Hasan al-Shadhuli, certain in the value of these collections of du’as and ayat from the Qur’an, describing them as ‘necessary’ and ‘light’ from the Prophet, ‘alayhi salat wa salam.

Shaykh Ibrahim al-Battawi was taken from us in this world on the 14th of Rajab, 1430 hijri, surrounded by his family in Cairo, on the same day that Sayyidah Zainab, the granddaughter of the Prophet, ‘alayhi salat wa salam, passed on some 1368 years before, also in Cairo. It was also on the night of the hadrah, that serene and subtle gathering in the remembrance of Allah that he revived for so many who did not know of it before.

He leaves behind 5 sons, 2 daughters, a wife, many khulafa’ and many more murids in the way of the tariqah. A week after his passing, some of the Egyptian brethren came together, and pledged that his long-time friend and khalifah, Dr Mo’ataz El-Marzouky would be the shaykh of the Cairo zawiyah. In this sense, he fills the void left in terms of continuing the majalis of the Cairo zawiyah, but never would anyone be able to replace Shaykh Ibrahim, the Sufi ‘alim who exemplified Egyptian tasawuf in the 20th century.

Shaykh Ibrahim’s khulafa were all over the world, and their work continues, growing out of the care he had for them, and the concern he had for their future. Upon his passing, it became clear that his teaching, though sprung from the same seed, would germinate and mature into remarkably unique trees in different climates: so was his intention, I think.

The last book he read before he passed on (or rather, had read to him, for at that point he was already quite weak) was a collection of the awrad of his tariqah that was compiled by one of his foreign students. Up until his last few minutes of life, he was praising his Lord, continuously saying ‘al-hamdulillah’; his last words were ‘wa ‘alaykum al-salam wa rahmutullah wa barakatuh’: “And upon you be peace, and the mercy of God, and His grace.”

We may never see the likes of him again, but as he reminded one of his students, ‘in the realm of the spirit (ruh), distance means nothing.’

Wa-l-hamdulillah.

al-faqir al-shadhuli

Tribute

Praise to Allah Ta'ala who elevated His Awliya, made them the inheretors of His Beloved Prophet, sallallahu alayhi wa aalihi wa sallam, and commanded the creation to love them. He, subhanahu wa Ta'ala, also humiliated their enemies, commanded His creation to dislike them and warned from being close to them, for the wrath of Allah Ta'ala is ever pouring on the Munafiqin, and His Mercies are always showering the Muttaqin. May the best Salah and Salam be on the Imam of Muttaqin, the Guide of Murshidin, and Noor of the universes, Sayyidina wa Mawlana Muhammad -sallallahu alayhi wa aalihi wa sallam-, and may Allah be pleased with his honorable companions till the day of Deen.

In every century, Allah Ta'ala facilitate some of His creation to bear the flagship of guidance of the Ummah, to revive the truths that Islam came with, and to renew the pledges true believers owe to Allah Ta'ala, His Prophet -sallallahu alayhi wa aalihi wa sallam-, His deen, and to spread Good, Mercy and Kindness in the Worlds. Yet, the Wisdom of Allah ta'ala showed us through out history that such figures, though are at the highest of levels in ilm and spirituality, whose love is a way to Paradise, and whose hate leads to definitive humiliation, but kept them as hidden pearls in the oceans of

spirituality, and at the bottom of the seas of true knowledge. Therefore, only those whom Allah Ta'ala gave Tawfiq to, were able to dive, and as they did, the closer they got, the more intense and radiant the Noor of reality became.

Among those who revived the love of Rasoolullah-sallallahu alayhi wa aalihi wa sallam, in the hearts of the Ummah, reminded us with the struggles of Ahlul Bayt to renew the Deen and preserve it, is Sayyidi Al-Allama Al-Muhaddith As-Sufi Ibrahim Battawi Ash-Shathili, the Shaykh of the Battawi branch of the Shathili Tariqah, may Allah shower him with His Mercies, and enable us to benefit from him even after his bodily passing away to the next world.

Shaykh Ibrahim (radiya'Allahu anhu) was an example of embodied piety, a walking reference of Hadith, an ocean of all kinds of knowledges, yet with a distinguished humility and humbleness that is almost unmatched. Whereever he went, he left a mark in the hearts of the believers, that was more like a seed for a beautiful flower, which blossomed only to grow more in the Love of Allah Ta'ala, His Prophet -sallallahu alayhi wa aalihi wa sallam-, and his Awliya.

While Allah Ta'ala willed that Sayyidina Shaykh Ibrahim passes away to be close to Him, yet his image, his words, his wisdom, his piety, and his example, remain very much alive and vivid in our hearts, minds and soul.

I pray to Allah Ta'ala, invoking the Wasila of our Beloved Rasool, sallallahu alayhi wa aalihi wa sallam, to grant Sayyidi Shaykh Ibrahim the highest of ranks in Jannah, next to the one he so much loved, talked about, and lived with; the Master of the Messengers Sayyidina Muhammad and His honorable purified household, may the best of Salat and Salam be on them all.

Sh. Muhammaad bin Yahya an-Ninowy

Courtesy: www.greenmountainschool.org



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