Al-Madinah Al-Munawwarah, Al-Masjid An-Nabawi As-Sharif, Scholars

…’look at nothing else’…

By In

In the year 1079 AH, at the age of 35, Imam ‘Abdullah ibn ‘Alawi al-Haddad Rahmatullahi alaihi, a giant of Muslim spirituality, journeyed from Yemen for Hajj. His observations, and subsequent advices at the time are relevant for pilgrims today.

The Imam’s wisdom still radiates throughout the Islamic world through descendants and ‘Alawi masters who continue to guide and illuminate wayfarers along what can be an arduous Path to our Rabb. Mostafa al-Badawi’s rich biography of Imam al-Haddad, Sufi Sage of Arabia,

is a compelling testimony to the spiritual power and influence of the sanctified soul on the world. It is, perhaps more importantly for us, a step towards reintroducing the desperately needed path of sanctification. If there was ever a time that saints were needed, it is this time.

as stated by Shaykh Hamza Yusuf in his forward to the book.

The following passage comes as a timely reminder for us all:

There were repeated requests from the people of the two sanctuaries to remain with them. he said, “Makka is good for [only] one of three: a man totally obscure whom nobody knows and who is like the dust. That is, he cares nothing if trodden upon. A wanderer in the mountains as was Shaykh ibn al-Farid, or an ocean who is neither perturbed nor oppressed by the crowd that gathers around him, who is not distracted by them from God, and on condition that he is well steeped in the Book and sunna and their practical application. Such a man may remain in the two sanctuaries, take the goodness they offer and remain safe from their perils. As for a man of lesser stature, they will  preoccupy and weary him with worldly things and situations.
Another great ‘Alawi, Sayyid Muhammad Sheliye sent Imam al-Haddah a verbal message, instructing the messenger thus: “Tell him he is sending you his salam and advising you not to stay.” The messenger, who knew the Imam told the Sayyid, “He has no intention of doing so.” “Tell him nevertheless,” replied Sayyid Sheliye. The Imam answered him saying, “Staying is not on mind, We had never intended it to begin with because of what we saw of the behaviour of the people of the two sanctuaries.” Imam al-Haddad had never been inclined to allow infringements to go undenounced, and in the sacred land he was even less disposed to do so. HE told the people of Hijaz, “Were we to stay with you we would complain about you to the ruler because of what we observe of your condition.” And he advised the people to think well of the people of the Hijaz, and in order to be able to do so and maintain courtesy he told them, “In the two sanctuaries look at nothing except the Sacred House and the Blessed Chamber; look at nothing else.”

The beginning of the path is a powerful urge that is cast into the heart so as to disturb it and unsettle it and drive it to concentrate on God and the Last Abode and turn away from the world.

We were informed that a large group of Shaykh Mahmud Effendi’s (May Allah Ta’ala sanctify his secrets and continue raise his station) mureeds were present, Allahu ‘Alum if these brothers and sisters were from that Tariqa.

SubhanAllah, whoever they were, the Akhlaq and Adab was a joy for the heart and soul to see and be near. Their focus was a perfect example of ‘look at nothing else’ as they conducted themselves around Masjid Nabawi.

One of Imam ‘Abdullah ibn ‘Alawi al-Haddad Rahmatullahi alaihi’s sublime Du’as, from Abdulkarim Yayha’s site:

O Allah! aid, guide and grant me (tawfiq) success to refine the qualities of my soul and clarify its density; through spiritual exertion that overcomes and effaces egoistic (nafsi) frivolities and subdues desirous motives; which is adorned by constant presence with Allah, Mighty and Majestic and the quality of good manners on the carpet of lowliness, brokenness, poverty and absolute need; thus realizing slavehood and fulfilling the rights of Lordship. Indeed You have power over all things.


‘look at nothing else’

All good is from Allah Ta’ala whereas mistakes are from this humble speck. May Allah Ta’ala Bless all readers, bringing you all closer to Him and His Rasul SallAllahu alaihi wasallam.  May He accept our humble efforts and grant us the capacity to be good and do good. Ameen.


  • anisa Reply
    April 29, 2011 at 9:18 am

    assalamu alaikum,
    jazakallahu khairan, as always an excellent post , sister Nur.
    May Allah grant you more ‘Nur’ and Barakah in time.
    You chose your name for yourself or someone named you.
    There cannot be a better name for you, Mashaallah.
    please keep us always in your duas and do convey our salaams to our beloved Nabi (sal).

  • umm myaikandlittley Reply
    April 30, 2011 at 8:39 pm

    Assalamu alaikum,
    Subhanallah ,M just picked up Sufi Sage of Arabia today from the shelf even before reading this post !
    Tried to google Mahmud Effendi but nothing much came up….well nothing in English anyway ? Surely quality of Akhlaq is a sign.
    Another beautiful sky in there…..sigh,……….reminded of the breeze in Madinah during salat in the courtyard of the beloved Prophet’s mosque.May Allah swt reward you for your effort with this blog.

  • almiskenah Reply
    May 1, 2011 at 8:50 pm

    Wa ‘alaikumus Salam Wa Rahamatullahi Wa Barakatuhu,
    Dear Sister Anisa,
    Ameen thumma Ameen…hos I am dire need of Barakah in my time, so your Du’a touches deeply, JazakiLlahu khaira! I was given this my name, [of which Noor is only the first part of a Mudaf/Mudaf ilay structure for those who know grammar 🙂 ] soon after Shahadah by a Wali in Indonesia, SubhanAllah. I was told that he was well over 100 years old at the time and the journey to meet him was a script only Allah Ta’ala could have written! Actually it is a name that instills a great sense of responsibility, as do so many names we bestow upon our children, and many many times I feel an inadequacy toward the significance of the meaning. May Allah Ta’ala’s forgiveness flood us all when we need it the most, Ameen.
    Dearest umm myaikandlittley, how I love this name and all represented in it :)))
    Must be a connection with your city’s blessed visit of Habib Umar’s shining light, family members attendance, and the longing for Tarim that M turned to this enlightened book 🙂
    The breeze in the courtyard these past days around Maghrib has been exceptionally refreshing as the days nudge a very sticky 40.
    JazakiLlahu khaira for your appreciative comments.
    Wassalamu alaikum

  • fuqara Reply
    May 12, 2011 at 5:07 pm

    Salaams beloved khala!
    Pray you and your loved ones are well insha’Allah. This post sent the heart into a flutter- my heart resides between these two mubarak places. Allah!
    In need of duas as always that we are invited

    love & salams
    H &

  • almiskenah Reply
    May 16, 2011 at 7:23 pm

    Wa ‘alaikumus Salam Wa Rahmatullahi Wa Barakatuhu,
    and your visit has sent a flutter in my heart!!! Masha’Allah! Thinking of you so often of late…and making great effort in asking to ‘see’ you here soon 🙂
    Wassalamu alaikum

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