Thursday 11 October 2012

Sidi Ibn Abbad ar-Rundi & The Hikam of ibn 'Ata'allah

Sidi Ibn Abbad ar-Rundi & The Hikam of ibn 'Ata'allah

Sidi Ibn Abbad ar-Rundi
The great Shadhili Sufi master of his time and Friday speaker of the al-Qarawiyyin, He is considered as the leading theologian of the 14th century Islamic world. And wrote the first commentary in Morocco of Ibn Ata 'Allah's Kitab al-Hikam.
IIbn Abbad al-Rundi or, in full Abu 'abd Allah Muhammad Ibn Abi Ishaq Ibrahim An-nafzi Al­himyari Ar-rundi (1333 -1390) was one of the leading Sufi theologians of his time who was born in Ronda , Spain . He spent most of his life in Morocco and was buried in Bab al-Futuh (south-eastern gate) cemetery in Fes . 

He is best known for his commentary on the Hikam of Ibn‘Ata’ Allah (d. 709/1309), entitled: Ghayth al-mawahib al-‘aliyyah (also known as al-Tanbih) and his two collections of letters: al-Rasa’il al-sughra and al-Rasa’il al-kubra. Which contained instruction to his followers. (see note below)

..."The true literature of the tariqa is copious, though mostly in Arabic, and consists, first and foremost, of the Hikam al-‘Ata'iyya of the second successor to Imam Abul Hasan al-Shadhili, Ibn ‘Ata' Illah (may Allah be well-pleased with them both), together with its many commentaries, among the best of which is the Sharh Ibn ‘Abbad [commentary of Ibn ‘Abbad (al-Rundi)], which Sheikh ‘Abd al-Rahman recommends for those who have not yet entered the khalwa or ‘solitary dhikr (invocation of Allah) under the sheikh’s supervision’; as well as the Iqadh al-himam fi sharh al-Hikam [The awakening of spiritual ambitions: a commentary on the Wisdoms], by Sidi Ibn ‘Ajiba, which he recommends after the khalwa, though it contains much valuable material, as he says, “ for the person at the beginning, the middle, or the end of the spiritual way.” -Shaykh Nuh Keller 

It is relatively recently, however, that Ibn ‘Abbad and his works have come to the attention of western scholars. 

Ibn 'Abbad of Ronda: Letters on the Sufi Path -(Paperback)
Writing from the small Moroccan town of Sale to friends in the capital city of fez, Ibn Abbad composed numerous letters of spiritual direction that spoke to the concrete problems of his devotees.

Ibn 'Abbad of Ronda: Letters on the Sufi Path (Paperback) by Muhammad Ibn Ibrahim Ibn 'Abbad, John Renard, Annemarie Schimmel.

As for the commentary of Hikam by Sidi Ibn Abbad ar-Rundi, I have this as a PDf, E-book
Extra notes:
What Is Beneficial Knowledge?  -

Ibn Ata’illah, the knower of Allah, stated in his Hikam:
“Beneifical knowledge is that which expands the breast with its rays, and by it the veils of the heart are lifted.”
Ibn `Abbad states in his commentary on the Hikam, entitled Ghayth al Mawahib al `Aliyyati:
“Beneficial knowledge is the knowledge of Allah, His attributes, His names, and the knowledge by which one knows how to submit to Him and act properly in regards to His favors. This is the knowledge whose rays pervade the breast… lifting from the heart its veils and dispelling all doubts and misgivings.
From the wisdom of Dawud (Allah’s blessing upon him and all our prophets) is his saying, ‘The knowledge in the breast is like the lantern in the house.’ 

Abu Muhammad `Abd al `Aziz al Mahdawi (Allah be well-pleased with him) said, ‘Beneficial knowledge is knowledge of the moment (`ilm al waqt), the clarity of the heart, ascetism (zuhd) from the world, (the knowledge) of what brings one closer to paradise and further from the fire, fear of Allah and returning (raja’) to Him due to such fear, and the pestilence (aafaat) of the heart and its purification. It is a specifically designated light (nur) that Allah places in the heart of whomever He pleases, not knowledge of the tongue that is transmitted and apprehensible by the mind.’ 

Malik ibn Anas said (Allah be well-pleased with him) said, ‘Knowledge is not the abundance of narrations. It is only a light that Allah Most High places in the hearts.’ 

IImam Junayd (Allah be well-pleased with him) said, ‘Knowledge is that by which you know your Lord…’ 

This statement (of Ibn Ata’illah) is a clear summarization that gathers within it the objectives of the knowledge of the Sufis, which is knowing (ma`arifa) Allah and acting in the best of ways with regards to His favors. This is the knowledge which is recommended for a person to submerge himself in -without one masking himself from it, slightly or abundantly.”  (Ghayth al Mawahib, Pg: 211 Ed: Dar al Khayr, 2003) 

Sidi Ibn Abbad ar-Rundi (d. 792/1377)
IIt was more than half a century after the death of Abul Hassan Shadhili (d. 656/1241) before the influence of Egyptian Shadhilism was felt in Morocco . In the year 745/1344, one Sidi Abu Uthman al-Hassani, a Shadhili Sufi and sharif who had studied in Egypt , was reported to be in attendance at the court of Sultan Abul Hassan al-Marini. This person was a disciple of Sidi Abdellah ibn Dawud Shadhili, whose father, Sidi Dawud ibn Omar al-Bakhili (d. 733/1318), have been a prominent disciple of Sidi Ahmed Ibn Ata'Allah Sakandari (d. 709/1294). Another disciple of Dawud al-Bakhili, Sidi Mohammed Wafa (d. 765/1350), was the grandfather of the author of Shajarat al-irshad

The doctrines of Egyptian Shadhilism appear to have first entered Morocco through the influence of the Andalusian Sufi Sidi Ibn Abbad ar-Rundi. This noted ascetic served as the imam of the Al-Qarawiyyine mosque in Fez and wrote the first commentary in Morocco of Ibn Ata'Allah's Kitab al-Hikam. Three of Ibn Ata'Allah's works could be found in Morocco by the middle of the fourteenth century. These works were introduced to Ibn Abbad by his teacher in Ronda, Sidi Ibrahim Shandarukh. This Andalusian Sufi and jurist served as imam of the congregational mosque of Ronda between the years 750-1/1335-6 and ended his days in the Moroccan city of Salé . 

Student of Sidi Ahmed ibn Achir of Salé (d. 764/1349) and of the Fasite sharif Moulay Abd an-Nur al-Amrani (b. 685/1286), Sidi Ibn Abbad ar-Rundi's Kitab ar-Rasa’il al-kubra (the Major Collection of the Letters) remains still the third most important Shadhili work after Kitab al-Lata'if al minan fi manaqib Abi al-Abbas al-Mursi wa Shaykhihi Abi al-Hassan (The subtle blessings in the saintly lives of Abu al-Abbas al-Mursi and his master Abu Abul Hassan Shadhili) by the Egyptian Sidi Ibn Ata’Allah of Alexandria (d. 709/1287) and Durrat al-Asrar wa Tuhafat al-Abrar (The Pearl of the Secrets and the Treasure of the Righteous) by the Tunisian Sidi Ibn Mohammed ibn Abul Qasim al-Himyari Ibn as-Sabbagh (fl. 720/1305). A contemporary Sufi of Ibn Abbad writes on him:
IIn Fez I met the saintly scholar Abu Abdellah Mohammed ibn Ibrahim ar-Rundi, whose father before him had been a famous preacher. The son Abu Abdellah is distinguished by his composure, his asceticism, and his righteousness. He is the author of the verse: 'He attains no nobility who has not first weighted the clay of this earth with eternity.' I met him on the prophet's birthday in the Sultan's palace [at Fez ], where he had been invited to hear the spiritual singing (sama'a). He manifestly did not welcome this. I have never at any other time seen him at any gathering, and whoever might wish to speak with him was obliged to see him alone. Once, I requested him to pray for me. He blushed and was embarrassed,  but agreed nevertheless. The only luxury he permitted himself was perfumed oils and incense. He did his own housework he was unmarried and had no servant. At home he wore a patchwork garment, but when he went out he covered it with a green or a white robe. His disciples were all from the best and most gifted from the community… Today he is the imam and preacher in the Al Qarawiyyine mosque at Fez . 
Shaykh Sidi Abu Masoud al-Harras recalls, "I was reciting the Quran aloud in the courtyard of the Al-Qarawiyyine mosque as the muezzins were making the call for the night prayer. Suddenly I saw Ibn Abbad, in a sitting position, fly over the door of his house, across the courtyard of the mosque, and disappear into the hall that surrounds the atrium. I went to have a look, and I found him praying close to the mihrab." Sidi Ahmed Zarruq (d. 899/1484)said of Ibn Abbad that, "The substance (zubda) of his teachings are found in the letters [The Lesser and Greater Collections] and his commentary on the Hikam." Sidi Mohammed ibn Jaafar Kattani (d. 1345/1930) writes on Ibn Abbad in Salwat al-anfas, "He had something about him that won the hearts of children. They swarmed around him, as soon as they saw him, in order to kiss his hand. But kings too sought to gain his friendship... He studied in Ronda, Fez and Tlemcen and in Salé he was the disciples of the Andalusian master  Sidi Ahmed ibn Achir (d. 764/1349). From there he travelled to Tangier where he met the Sufi Sidi Abu Marwan Abdelmalik, who was perhaps the 'unlettered man' of whom Ibn Abbad said that he alone had been able to open his inward eye." 

IIbn Abbad appears to have played an axial role between Tunisian and Egyptian Shadhili Orders. He was a student of Moulay Abd an-Nur al-Amrani, student of Sidi Abul Abbas Ahmed al-Jami of Tunis , on the one hand and the person who popularized the works of Ibn Ata’Allah in Fez on the other. Thus Ibn Abbad became the figure who best exemplified Shadhiliteachings in both its traditions. He was also an important transmitter of the Shadhili litanies in Fez . Sidi Mohammed ibn Abderrahman al-Fasi (d. 1134/1719) in his Fahrasa mentions a narrative chain of Hizb al-Kabir of Shadhili that connects Ibn Abbad to the textual tradition of Imam Shadhili through Sidi Abd an-Nur al-Amrani, Abul Abbas al-Jami, Mohammed ibn Sultan (d. 700/1301). He was also credited for the transmission of Hizb al-Bahr (Litany of the Sea) which he narrated from an Egyptian Sufi named Sidi Sirajuddin Damanhuri, who had learned it from Sidi Sharafuddin Mohammed ibn Abul Hassan, one of the sons of Abul Hassan Shadhili. 

IIt is related that, as he approached death, he laid his head on the lap of one of his disciples, and began to recite the Throne Verse from the Quran. When he reached the words 'the Living, the Eternal', he continued repeating 'O God! O Living! O Eternal!' Thereupon one of those present addressed him by name and recited the continuation of the verse; but he went on with his invocation. Shortly before he passed on he was heard reciting the verse: 'the friends are leaving me, but they will return when I leave them.'  Before his death he bequeathed a sum of money which he had buried at the head of his bed. He directed that with it a piece of land should be bought, the revenue from which was to be used for the upkeep of the Al Qarawiyyine mosque. When the sum of money was counted—it came to eight hundred and ten gold mithqal—it was discovered that it was the exact amount that he had received in salary during his twenty-five years as imam and preacher.
 Ibn Abbad of Ronda  by Abdel Hadi Honerkamp from

Ibn ‘Abbad (732/1332 – 792/1390) was a Sufi mentor who lived in what has been called the “Classical Period” of Sufism, generally considered to be between 1200 and 1500 CE. He has always been held in high esteem within the circles of Muslim scholars, and early hagiographic sources describe him as a Maliki jurist and an early exemplar of the Shadhili Sufi order (
tariqah). He epitomized the highest ideals and aspirations of his community and became, in the words of Miguel Asin Palacios, “the director of conscience of his times.” 

 He is best known for his commentary on the Hikam of Ibn‘Ata’ Allah (d. 709/1309), entitled: Ghayth al-mawahib al-‘aliyyah-(also known as al-Tanbih) and his two collections of letters: al-Rasa’il al-sughra and al-Rasa’il al-kubra.
IIt is relatively recently, however, that Ibn ‘Abbad and his works have come to the attention of western scholars. His legacy includes his collected personal correspondence in which he responded to those who, like himself, sought to live a religious life founded on self-effacement, correct comportment, and an intimate knowledge of God (marifah). 

IIbn ‘Abbad’s letters are imbued with an intimate portrayal of conscience, best exemplified in his Major Collection of Letters (al-Rasa’il al-kubra). 

These letters to Yahya al-Sarraj, a faqih and muhaddith who was well respected among the fuqaha’ of Fes , testify to the fundamental principles, attitudes, and conduct of Islamic spirituality. They also illuminate the framework behind the principle themes of the teacher–disciple relationship and shed light on the complementary nature of the two poles of the Shadhiliyyah Sufi order: conformity to the law on the one hand and correct inner attitudes (adab) on the other. In short, the letters provide us with clear and coherent criteria for both the theoretical and practical aspects of the “process of transformation” that lies at the heart of Islamic spiritual education…
As for the letters here is a link

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