Thursday, September 20, 2007

Sîdî Muhammad b. Qaddûr

He was a descendant of the Prophet, may God bless him and grant him peace, from the family of Wukîl. His grave is still to be found in Mount Karkar, which lies underneath a great dome. By the side of his tomb lies a sweet spring. Inside the dome still resides his rosary, which bears 1000 beads, and his giant lance, with which he hunted wild beasts.

He studied reading and writing in his youth by frequenting a scholar on Mount Qal‘iyya in Nador. The teacher would write him his portion of Qurân, leaving a
space at the bottom of his slate upon which he would write the divine name of God: ‘Allah’. He was instructed, on finishing his portion of Qurân, to close his eyes and invoke the Divine Name. He continued to do so, regularly repeating the Name after finishing each of his daily portions, until one day a powerful state overtook him and he fell to the ground unconscious. When his teacher came to check on him, he
found him lying still on the floor. Believing him to be dead, he fled the village fearing for his life. Once the boy had regained consciousness, he was in a
distant state and not all together himself.

He remained in this state for some time. He wandered into Algeria, where he met a man of God, who said to him:‘Were it not for your ancestor Muhammad, I would
not have wasted a word speaking to you. Your need is with the spiritual pole, Muhammad b. ‘Abd al-Qâdir al-Bâsha who resides in the region of al-Khurûb.’ The
boy headed off earnestly to meet the Master and dedicate his services to him.

After a time, some of his master’s relatives began to despise the boy and grow jealous of him. The master ordered the boy to leave, so he went to the bottom of
the mountain, where he hid in the day, at night, he bringing fodder for the master’s animals. He remained like this for some time. There were times when hunger overcame him so that he was forced to eat snails to stop the hunger pangs. One night one of the master’s relatives spotted him moving amongst the animals, so they reported him,
believing him to be a thief. The master began to look out for the thief at night, but when he saw who a figure moving around outside he called out to him: ‘Who is it?’ He replied: ‘It is I, Bin Qaddûr.’ He invited him to come out and sit with him. Whilst they were speaking, a maid came up to them and reported that the vessel they used to make bread with was missing. When Sîdî bin Qaddûr heard this, he ran off to the market in search of one,and with which he returned, carrying it on his back all the way to his master’s house, a great distance. When his Master found him, he asked him where he had located the vessel. He told him that he had brought it from the marketplace at Qal‘iyyah. His master stood back astonished. The boy grew even dearer to his teacher from then on.

He remained in the service of his master until he was told to go to his homeland to spread the teachings of the path. ‘Be honourable and generous but also be on guard against your fellow family members, who will be envious.’ And so it happened that his family plotted to kill him. Whilst he was far off from the village on a mountain side, a man appeared before him bearing a knife, wanting to kill him. Sîdî bin Qaddûr began to admonish him and told him to fear God, but it was to no avail, so Sîdî bin Qaddûr was forced to shoot him with his rifle, killing him. Immediately, he ran home gathered his family and fled with them to a mountain called ‘the Spring of Zûrâ’. There he dug two caves in the earth, one for his family and one for his
students. There he lived with his family and disciples.

His reputation soon spread far and wide amongst the neighbouring tribes. One day a tribe called Banî Bûhyâ, who had previously pledged allegiance to him, came to visit him. They took him to their homeland at night on Mount Karkar. He ordered them to leave him there, and it was on this mountain that his zâwiya was built. It was also here that he issued people the invocation of the Divine Name and spread his teachings
until he finally passed away.


Sîdî Bû ‘Azzâ al-Mahhâjî

His name is Abu ‘Abdullâh Bû ‘Azzâ al-Tilimsânî al-Mahhâjî from the tribe of Mahhâja, who originate from a region outside of Tilimsân, Algeria. He had two
zâwiyas: one in Oujda in Morocco, the other in Tilimsân. He took from Moulay al-‘Arabî al-Darqâwî. He was a man of a high spiritual station. It was related
that one day he was sitting with a scholar of law when a man came asking about a very complex issue. The scholar gave his answer, quoting what he had memorised
from the book of Khalîl (a traditional Maliki book of law). Once the scholar had finished his answer, Abû ‘Azzâ sat up and said, “I don’t think that to be the
correct answer. Go back and review the issue in the commentaries of Khalîl.” (This he said even though Abû ‘Azzâ had never touched a book of law.) On reviewing
the commentaries, the scholar found to his astonishment that the matter was just as Abû ‘Azzâ had said.

He would always surpass the scholars in discussion and leave them speechless if they sat with him. He would say, “If the angels were to descend from the
heavens, I would be able to converse with them.” At first he was a man of silence, until one day his teacher ordered him to speak. From that day, he would talk of things that would confound the intellects of the people.

He passed away on Friday 15th (in the middle of Rabî’ al-Awwal) September 1277. He was buried in the Ramîla District of Fez just in front of the mosque of Sîdî Bû Madyan.