Sayyidina Abu al-Mawahib

Location: His Masjid and tomb are at al-Tunsy

Muhammad Abu al-Mawahib al-Shadhili (may God be pleased with him) lived in the ninth century AH and was from the chosen people of God whom lived a pious life. He was endowed with eloquence through the teachings of Sayyid ‘Ali bin Wafa and became notorious for his divine poetry. He lived near the Azhar mosque and was seen often secluding himself on the rooftop of his house. He produced a book on the sociological principles of society, which testifies to the author’s subtlety and insight in the human nature. He was a pious model of the Islamic teachings which he would instruct about to whomever came to visit him. It was said that nobody left his presence except that they came out with a wealth of knowledge.

From his sayings are:

“If you wish to migrate the people of bad character then migrate them before your bad character migrates them.”

“As the Gnostic’s station increases with God, his station decreases among the people. Like a star is seen small not because it is small [in reality] but because of the limitation of the eye.”

“If you wish to open a treasure while heading towards the King then be cautious not to be distracted by it on the way. Do not become distracted by anything but the King since he should be your goal. After all, he will endow you with the secret knowledge of how to use it. If he does not give you this knowledge then it is because he wants you to be beside Him which is better than the secret knowledge alone, since the King needs not expend any energy to utilize the secret knowledge.”

In one of his commentaries on Ibn Arabi he says:

“The aim of ritual ablution is to purify the heart from filth in the realm of meanings. The water of the unseen world is the nectar of pure monotheism. If that is not available, then purify with the earth of borhan (divine proof). Pray Fajr since this prayer breaks the darkness of the night into the day of perceivable realities. Do not delay it until your last opportunity since the real benefit is for the one who understands the true reality of time. Fajr is the prayer of the Gnostics and the Gnostics are always in tune with the rulings of Allah as they are in a state of directly witnessing Him.”

He also said:

“Allah swore that no men of Ego will enter His presence.”

“Do not seek the created things since they were made for you and you were made for your Lord. If you do, the relationship will be reversed but if you seek your Lord then the creation will seek you and serve you.”

He once saw in his sleep the Prophet Muhammadﷺ advising him to recite “I seek refuge in God from the accursed Satan five times, and in the name of God the most beneficent the most merciful five times, then ask “O God, by the right of Muhammad show me his face now.””

He saw the Prophetﷺ another time in his sleep and Abu al-Muwahib said:

“My Master Muhammad, Emissary of God do not take me away from my worldly life” So heﷺ replied: “we are not taking you until you drink from al-Kawthar lake since you are in the habit of reading the chapter of al-Kawthar and sending your prayers upon me. The reward for your prayers [upon me] is that I have sent prayers on you and I am saving for you a taste of al-Kawthar Lake.” Then heﷺ said, “[S]ay I ask forgiveness from Allah, the Great, the One who no other is worthy of worship besides, the ever-living, the self-existent and I repent to Him. I ask for His repentance and forgiveness for he is the repentant the merciful.””

He also said (may God be pleased with him) “whomsoever wishes to see the Prophetﷺ, then he must increase in his focused remembrance of him night and day. He must do this with love and in the presence of the saints otherwise he will not see himﷺ. This is because these saints are the chosen people of God and God gets angry when they get angry.”

He said:

“If you increase the intentions of an action, the significance of the action multiplies despite it being just one act. For example, the one who prays with the intentions of an obligatory prayer, reviving the Sunnah of congregational worship, propagating the image of Islam and increasing the number of members praying has achieved this reality. There can be many levels of reward for just one action.”

He said:

“I added to the common sayings in the circles of divine remembrance which was: “al-Hamdulillah, istaghfirallah, wala hawla wala quwata illa billah” a verse from the Qur’an “mashallah la quwata illa billah.” All people enjoy the continuity of blessings and this saying does just that. This was what Imam Malik (may God be pleased with him) would say before sitting or standing. He even wrote it on his door arguing that the garden of a man is his home and Allah said in the Chapter of al-Kahf (the cave), which relates, the parable of the two men and their gardens where which one man says to the other:

“And if I enter your garden I say Mashallah La Quwata illa billah.”

So if the person says this before entering his home then his garden would be sound.”