I wonder what these people think friendship with God is.
That God who created the heavens, who created the earth, who made the universe appear-
is His friendship gained so easily that you come in and sit before Him, you talk and you listen?
Do you fancy this is a soup kitchen?
You come in and you drink it down?
Then you just leave?
- Shams Tabrizi
Shaykh Ahmad al-Badawi (d. 675 AH
in Tanta, Egypt).
He is one of the four awliya known as The Four Qutbs:
Shaykh Abdul Qadir al-Jilani and Shaykh Ahmad al-Rifa'i from Iraq and
Shaykh Ahmad al-Badawi and shaykh Ibrahim al-Dusuqi from Egypt.
Shaykh Ahmad al-Badawi is known as Abu al-Fityaan (father of the men of
futuwwa or spiritual chivalry), al-Qutb al-Mulaththam (the veiled
spiritual pole), because he covered his face, and Shaykh al-Arab (The Shaykh of the Arabs). The shaykh was born in
Morocco, and then moved with his family as a child to Mecca where he
became Mecca's greatest knight and horseman. He was commanded to move to
Tanta in Egypt, and his spiritual upbringing was at the hands of the
Messenger of God (salla Allahu alayhi wa alihi wa sallam). He is the
most famous wali in Egypt, and his mawlid celebration usually attracts
about two million people. Countless Egyptians have the first name of
"Sayyid" or "al-Sayyid," named after him, and this name was not known in
Egypt as a first name before him.
His most famous miracle is
when he, sitting in his room, took out Muslim captives from the prisons
of the Crusaders hundreds of miles away. Shaykh Salih al-Ja'fari wrote
قد جاء آصف بالعجاب لقومه * إقرأ كتاب الله أين الناكر والسيد البدوي جاء بأعجب * وله من الله المليك مفاخر
Asif brought the most amazing thing for his people, read the Book of Allah, how can anyone deny it? And al-Sayyid al-Badawi brought that which is even more amazing, and Allah has honoured him with countless glories
Perhaps his greatest miracle is when he visited the Messenger of Allah
(salla Allahu alayhi wa alihi wa sallam) in Madina. Standing there he
addressed his grandfather saying,
إن قيل زرتم بما رجعتم * يا أكرم الخـــلق ما نقول
If they say to me, you went and visited, what did you come back with in
benefit? O most generous of all creation, what do we say in return?
He heard the blessed voice of the Messenger of God coming out of the chamber, replying,
قولوا رجعـنا بكـل خير * و أجتمع الفرع و الأصول
Say: We have come back with every goodness, and the branch has met and connected with its origin
Among his great lovers were the Mujaddid (the scholar who renewed the
faith) of the 7th Century, Ibn Daqiq al-'Id, and the great Mamluk Sultan
Baybars, the defeater of the Mongol hords.
Among his titles is also the Shaykh of the Awliya. This can be gained from the following vision related by shaykh Salih,
One night shaykh Salih saw a meeting of the souls of the awliya under
the dome of imam al-Husayn- they were deciding whether or not shaykh
Salih should be moved to Medina as he always wished. Shaykh al-Badawi
said in a loud authoritative voice: “I AM THE SHAYKH OF THE AWLIYA! I
say that shaykh Salih stays here with us in Egypt. But he will go every
year on Hajj and to visit his grandfather, salla Allahu alayhi wa
When Shaykh Salih al-Ja'fari graduated from the Azhar,
his allowance as a student had ended. He hadn't saved any money because
he would give all his money away to fellow students in need. One night
he sat at the rooftop of the dorms, crying, unable to sleep from the
pains of starvation. He was wondering whether to go back to his home in
Sudan or to stay in Egypt. He had no job yet. As he sat there, crying,
and praying to God for an answer, shaykh al-Badawi appeared to him. He
sat next to him, put his hand on his shoulder, and wiped away the tears
from his face. He said to shaykh Salih, "What saddens you, and what are
you thinking about?"
Shaykh Salih replied, "It is as you see."
Shaykh al-Badawi said, "Do not be sad. Allah will expand the matter of sustenance for you, but do not forget your brothers."
Then the shaykh left.
This left the young shaykh Salih wondering, "Will I have any brothers (i.e. murids)?"
Soon, the shaykh found a job at the Azhar mosque, and began to live
inside it, and people began flocking to him, and he would give them
lessons and recite his poetry with them. The people increased and
increased, and it became a regular gathering, and then people began
taking shaykh Salih as their spiritual guide, with the authorisation of
shaykh Ahmad ibn Idris.
"This was all by the blessing of of sayyidi Ahmad al-Badawi's supplication for me" says shaykh Salih.
"I said, 'O God, you have millions of awliya, why was it sayyidi
al-Badawi who asked about me in particular and came to comfort me?
Because he asked for me, I will visit him twice a year, once before Hajj
and once after Hajj.'
I used to have special meetings with
him, but these are secrets and I cannot speak of them. One day I visited
him and met him in his blessed garden of Paradise (i.e. his maqam). He
answered my question and said,
'O shaykh Salih, we are family
in both lineage and origin, and I am most happy about you! You have a
rank with Allah that no one knows but Him!'
I say this, speaking about Allah's favours upon me, not to boast."
May Allah ta'ala be pleased with Shaykh Ahmad al-Badawi and all the
awliya of Allah and reward them and benefit us by our love of them and
by their knowledge and wise counsel and teachings.