Saturday, April 28, 2007

Sīdī Būzīdī Bujrāfī (1925-)

His name is al-Yazīd Bujrāfī. He was born in Banī Shikār in 1925. He memorised the Quran under the guidance of his father, who himself had memorised it by heart, was adept in the sciences of Islamic Law and led the prayer in a number of different mosques in the Reef region. His father had taken the spiritual path directly from Shaykh al-‘Alawī. At the age of 19, in the year 1943, accompanied by his father, Sīdī Bin ‘Isā, a muqaddam (representative) of the order, took al-Būzīdī to visit Muhammādī Bil-Hājj. It was from Sīdī Muhammādī Bil-Hājj that he took the litany of the ‘Alawī order.

One day, he went with a fellow disciple to visit Sīdī Muhammādī with the intention of invoking the Divine Name. After completing the discipline, Muhammādī told them both to continue their spiritual training with Moulay Sulaimān.

Moulay Sulaimān was overjoyed with his new student. One day, in 1944, in front of all his disciples, he announced, “Bear witness, my Brethren, that today this man has become my son, so venerate him.”

On another occasion, his teacher, Moulay Sulaimān, announced to his disciples that he was changing his student’s name to al-Būzīdī and told them from this day onwards not to address him as al- Yazīd. The reason he chose al-Būzīdī was because Moulay al-‘Arabī al-Darqāwī had a disciple called al-Būzīdī al-Ghumārī, and he was the one who inherited his teachings as stated by Moulay al-‘Arabi himself. Shaykh al-‘Alawī’s teacher was also called Hamū al- Būzīdī; not to mention that changing one’s name for a better has its origins in the Prophetic tradition.

From then on, he served the zāwiya in both body and spirit. He never left his teacher’s side. Moulay Sulaimān appointed him to lead the people in prayer and lead the gatherings, too. He was gifted with such a strong memory that he was able to memorise all the poems of his teacher, which totalled 214. He would memorise them and then choose a melody for each one. He was well-known for his beautiful voice.

On one occasion, Moulay Sulaimān said to Sīdī al-Būzīdī, “Strive and work hard for after 8 days Sīdī Muhammādī will pass away, and we will be establishing a new order.” And it happened just as he had predicted. The news came of Sīdī Muhammādī’s death in 1946. All of his students without exception pledged allegiance to Moulay Sulaimān. One night al-Būzīdī dreamt that his teacher said to him, “Rise and strive and I will marry you (into my family) outwardly and inwardly."

And it happened just so, for in 1947, Moulay Sulaimān married him to his daughter. Moulay Sulaimān took care of the dowry, as al-Būzīdī was much too poor to do so.

He initially worked in the army where he had a great influence on his colleagues. He was able, by the grace of God, to bring great numbers of them into the Order. They would even hold dhikr gatherings in the trenches.

In 1953, he left the army and focussed all his efforts on serving his teacher and the zāwiya after taking his permission. He spent the next two years without work but later worked as a guard for one of the companies in Isutulasi, Nādūr where his teacher’s zāwiya was. Even in his second line of work he was able to bring over fifty of the workers to the zāwiya and they entered the Order.

Now the number of disciples was too much for the size of the zāwiya, so al-Būzīdī decided that they should work on adding an extension to the building. He went around encouraging people to give donations and support for the project. He was able to get the support of a group of Spanish architects who installed water and electricity in the zāwiya. When the zāwiya was finally finished, a great gathering was held in celebration.

Moulay Sulaimān was now 80 years old and was unable to either walk or leave his house. Al-Būzīdī was now responsible for Moulay Sulaimān’s whole family. He would wait on his teacher’s wives and children as well as the affairs of the zāwiya itself, such as organising any events or travels with the brethren.

When Moulay felt his time was drawing close, he gathered his closest disciples and told them, “I will relate to you all what Moulay al-‘Arabi said in his letter wherein he spoke regarding his student al-Būzīdī, ‘No-one has served me like al-Būzīdī, and no-one has supported me financially like he has, and no-one has worked as tirelessly as he. It is my will that within this zāwiya, he shall be the one to lead the people in prayer and be the imam of the brethren. However, Moulay Sulaimān knew that envious eyes were watching al-Būzīdī. He told him, “If they leave the zāwiya to you, then you are its imam. If not, then depart and take your children and wife with you. Wherever you go you will find success.” He also asked him to take his own wife with him and his two sons Sīdī ‘Abd al-‘Azīz and Sīdī Muhammad.

In 1970, at the age of 103, Moulay Sulaimān passed on. Sīdī al-Būzīdī was to remain in the zāwiya for the next two years. Then the tribulations began, so he left, following the instruction of his teacher and established his zāwiya at Zaghanghan. The vast majority of Moulay Sulaimān’s disciples followed Sīdī al-Būzīdī, too.
It has now been 35 years since he assumed the mantle of the order.


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