بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم
This work has been prepared separate from the original translation for this site, the original file was scanned into an editable format and a new Pdf file was prepared, inshallah making easier to read. We have also changed the word God to Allah through out the text as this is the name He has revealed for himself, the english word is not equivalent to this name.
بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم
The Messenger of Allah, may blessings and peace be upon him and upon his family, prophesied that in every century Allah would raise up amongst his nation a man who would renew its religion. Imam ‘Abdallah al-Haddad was the renewer, or Mujaddid, of the twelfth Islamic century. He was renowned, and deservedly so, for the breadth of his knowledge and his manifest sanctity. The profundity of his influence on Muslims is reflected by the fact that his books are still in print throughout the Islamic world.
He was born in Tarim, in the hills of Hadramaut, one of the southerly regions of the Arabian peninsula, and grew up in an environment where the accent was upon piety, frugality, erudition, and an uncompromising thirst for gnosis [ma’rifa]. His lineage is traced back to the Prophet, may blessings and peace be upon him, and his family, through Imam al-Husayn. His illustrious ancestors, the ‘Alawi sadat, had for centuries produced generation after generation of great scholars, gnostics, and callers to the Straight Path.
Imam al-Haddad’s writings, if we except a few short treatises, and his volume of poetry, are mostly concerned with establishing within his readers the firmest possible foundations for faith and certainty. He recognized the signs of his times, and of the times to come, and observed how people were drawing away from religion, exhibiting a reluctance to study and a diminishing inclination to seek spiritual growth. He therefore endeavored to produce concise, clear, and un-controversial texts. His concern for brevity is manifest throughout his books, many of which are abbreviated adaptations of Imam al-Ghazali’s monumental Revival of the Religious Sciences [Ihya ‘Uliim al-Din]. Ghazali had himself been the [Mujadid] renewer of the sixth century.
Imam al-Haddad died on the eve of the seventh of Dhu’l-Qa’da, 1132 AH, having spent his life bringing people to their Lord through his oral and written teaching, and his exemplary life. He was buried in a simple grave in the cemetery at Tarim.
The present translation is one of the works which he designed as guides for Muslims who ‘earnestly desire to tread the path of the Afterlife’, and seriously follow the Sunna of the Prophet, may blessings and peace be upon him and his family.
In the original there are neither chapter numbers, titles, nor annotations. We have therefore numerated and titled every chapter, appended a glossary, and added a few notes where this seemed appropriate. Quotations from the Qur’an are based on Pickthall’s translation, and are followed by sura and verse numbers.
Whenever difficulties arose in understanding the text, or deciding between different possible interpretations, the help of sayyid Ahmad Mashhur al-Haddad was sought. Being the spiritual heir of Imam al-Haddad, he is undoubtedly the best qualified person to comment on his writings. It is entirely through their baraka and assistance that the work was brought to completion; may Allah reward them on our behalf as befits the exaltation of their spiritual rank.
Al-Madina al-Munawwara, Ramadan 1408