Sayyidina Saleem Abu Musallam

Location: Abu Muslim – Markaz Abu Hamad

He is Abu Muslim Saleem bin Yusuf Abu Yaqub al-Hamadani al-Iraqi whose lineage goes back to Imam al-Husayn grandson of the Emissary of Godﷺ. He was born (may God be pleased with him) in the year 531 AH in the city of Hamadan in Iran. As for his father, Imam Yusuf, he embarked upon Baghdad and committed himself to her scholars becoming skilled in the fields of the Usul al-Fiqh (Fundamentals of Jurisprudence) and Hadeeth. He (may God be pleased with him) kept good records of all that he experienced in journal entries in the hopes of his understanding reaching the level of proper application when the time presented itself. After this phase he dedicated himself to Sufism in the areas of spiritual discipline and sojourning until he became a symbol among the scholars of Sufism in his time.

Shaykh Saleem had a paternal uncle named Mansour who was proficient in the school of Imam al-Shafi’i (may God pleased with him) and relocated to Egypt near the end of the 5th century AH and settled there. He became so well known for his knowledge and good character that Salahudeen al-Ayubee (conqueror of Jerusalem) made him the Imam of Friday sermons in the Masjid al-Kabeer i.e. the Large Mosque also known as the Mosque of Amr ibn al-A’as. When the Sayyid Mansour passed away his son Ibraheem replaced him and it was he who wrote to his cousin Saleem Abu Musallam to visit Egypt and convinced him of its appealing circumstances.

During the process of Abu Musallam’s Istikhara (seeking providence from regarding specific circumstances or a decision) about his cousin Ibraheem’s offer, he had a vision that surprised and scared him out of his bed. He was specifically shocked since it had to do with his own country of Hamadan. He saw in the year 609 AH, a vision of a fire ignited in the direction of the east stretching all the way to Hamadan, Iraq, the Levant, and finally to the Holy mount of Tur in Egypt where it was extinguished. When he woke up he relayed this vision to his family and relatives and they told him: The meaning of this dream is that a godless nation will attack the countries where you saw the fire burning and therefore will destroy all crops and livestock causing corruption in the lands. Because of his good reputation in the minds of his family and countrymen they obeyed his call for emigration. They took his council in the hopes of avoiding the foretold disaster that was later actualized in the Mongol invasions.

The Shaykh prepared for departure and with him were hundreds of his relatives and supporters. From among this caravan were seventy-five men of knowledge all of them relocated to Egypt and spread out in all its corners.

The Shaykh Abu Musallam arrived in Egypt in the year 610 AH and was hosted by his cousin Ibraheem in the city of Cairo for a week’s time. Afterward he and a large number of his relatives turned toward al-Sharqeyya where he took to solitude in a place called Bahteet later to be known as Kafr Abu Musallam (the town of Abu Musallam).

During the time frame that Shaykh Abu Musallam relocated to Egypt, the Crusaders were still relentlessly conducting naval attacks in the north coast time and again. Shaykh Abu Musallam nevertheless considered this war to be his own and took up arms to defend his new country. The Shaykh’s strong credibility gave him the power to rally the local men for the obligation of war against the enemies of God and country. He departed his village leading large groups from his family and followers to the battlefield, constantly reminding them about the good news of paradise for anyone who died a martyr. His encouragement led to heroic spectacles and sacrifices during this historical battle. Today we find many graves and tombs of his family and followers who died in the areas of Bilqas, al-Mansoura and al-Sinaniya and others were martyred in the battles of Damietta and al-Mansoura. He lived such an upstanding life until he was separated from this world to return to his Lord. He was buried in the place were he first took to seclusion in Sharqeyya in the year 645 AH.

His influence was so widespread that (may God be pleased with him) that kings and officials would visit and invite him on many occasions. He was known to be on good terms with Najmudeen Ayyub aka the “Pious King” who used to pay him visits and be graced with his hospitality. Many times the king presented him with wealth and luxuries but the Shaykh Abu Musallam refused due to his good character and dignity. When Abu Musallam passed away, the Pious King’s fidelity toward him had him build a dome above his grave that later became a mosque.