Shaykh al-Sayyid Ahmad al-Badawi

The Shaykh al-Sayyid Ahmad al-Badawi, One of The Greatest Kutub
Hazrat Shaykh al-Sayyid Ahmad al-Badawi (Radi Allah Anhu)

The Shaykh al-Sayyid Ahmad al-Badawi(Radi Allah Anhu) was a Muslim saint and also the founder of the Badawiyyah Sufi order. He was born in Fez, Morocco in 596 AH and died in Tanta, Egypt in 675 AH. He was noted for his ascetic behavior, and was also known to perform many miracles.

Many false stories have unfortunately also been attributed to him, including by those who claim to be Sufi teachers.

According to the famous Muslim writer al-Sayyid Muhammad Murtadā al-Zabīdī (d. 1205 AH), the full genealogy of al-Sayyid Ahmad al-Badawī is Ahmad ibn ‘Alī ibn Ibrāhīm ibn Muhammad ibn Abī Bakr ibn Ismā‘īl ibn ‘Umar ibn ‘Alī ibn Uthmān ibn al-Husayn ibn Muhammad ibn Mūsā al-Ashhab ibn Yahyā ibn ‘Īsā ibn ‘Alī ibn Muhammad ibn Hasan ibn Ja‘far ibn ‘Alī al-Hādī ibn Muhammad al-Jawād ibn ‘Alī ar-Ridā ibn Mūsā al-Kāzim ibn Ja‘far al-Sādiq ibn Muhammad al-Bāqir ibn [Zain al-‘Ābidīn] ‘Alī ibn al-Husayn ibn Fāţimah, daughter of the Prophet Muhammad (sal-lal-laho-taala-alahi- wasalam), may Allah shower blessings and peace upon him and his family members.

His Life :

Al-Sayyid Ahmad al-Badawī (Radi Allah Anhu) was the youngest of the seven children of al-Sayyid ‘Alī(Radi Allah Anhu). His siblings were al-Hasan (the eldest, born in 583 AH), Muhammad, Fāţimah, Zainab, Ruqayyah, and Fiddah.

Even from a young age, al-Sayyid Ahmad(Radi Allah Anhu) was already known as al-Badawī (the bedouin) as he liked to cover his face, imitating the behaviour of the desert dwellers.

And while he was still living in Fez, al-Sayyid Ahmad al-Badawī(Radi Allah Anhu) was brought by his brother al-Sayyid al-Hasan to meet a Sufi shaykh by the name of ‘Abd al-Jalīl ibn ‘Abd al-Rahman al-Naisabūrī, who recognized the spiritual talent of the young boy and gave him initiation into the Sufi path.

In 603 AH, al-Sayyid ‘Alī heard a voice in his dream telling him to migrate to Makkah al-Mukarramah. So he took his family, including the seven year old al-Sayyid Ahmad al-Badawī, to move to Makkah al-Mukarramah. The journey took approximately four years. They stopped at several places including Cairo, which at that time was under the rule of al-Sulţān Sayfuddīn al-‘Ādil al-Ayyūbī.

When they finally reached Makkah al-Mukarramah, they were warmly welcomed by the leaders of the shurafā’ (descendants of the Prophet Muhammad, may Allah shower blessings and peace upon him and his family members).

In Makkah al-Mukarramah, al-Sayyid Ahmad al-Badawī(Radi Allah Anhu) studied and memorized the Quran. He also attended lessons on al-Hadīth and on al-Fiqh based on the madhhab (school of thought in Islamic jurispudence) of al-Imām al-Shāfi’ī (Radi Allah Anhu).

After being introduced to the world of Sufism, al-Sayyid Ahmad al-Badawī(Radi Allah Anhu) would spent a lot of his time in spiritual seclusion. One of his favourite spots was on Jabal Abī Qubais, which is located near Masjid al-Harām.

In 633 AH, in a vision, al-Sayyid Ahmad al-Badawī(Radi Allah Anhu) was spiritually visited by al-Shaykh ‘Abd al-Qādir al-Jīlanī (Radi Allah Anhu) (d. 561 AH) and al-Shaykh Ahmad al-Rifā’ī (Radi Allah Anhu) (d. 578 AH) who invited him to visit their tombs.

The next day, al-Sayyid Ahmad al-Badawī (Radi Allah Anhu) left Makkah al-Mukarramah and set out to visit the tombs of the righteous ones in Iraq, accompanied by his elder brother al-Sayyid al-Hasan(Radi Allah Anhu).

Before they reached Umm ‘Abīdah, the resting place of al-Shaykh Ahmad al-Rifā’ī (Radi Allah Anhu), al-Sayyid al-Hasan decided to go back to Makkah al-Mukarramah for he missed his family. Al-Sayyid Ahmad al-Badawī (Radi Allah Anhu) continued his journey alone and met with many adventures including defeating the enchantress called Fāţimah near Umm ‘Abīdah.

In one of the most misquoted anecdotes, it was related that while al-Shaykh Ahmad al-Badawī (Radi Allah Anhu) was in Iraq, he was offered by al-Shaykh ‘Abd al-Qādir al-Jīlanī (Radi Allah Anhu) and al-Shaykh Ahmad al-Rifā’ī (Radi Allah Anhu) [in their spiritual forms] the keys to the spiritual kingdoms of Iraq, Yemen, India, Iconium, and all the Muslim lands in the East and the West, for the keys were in their hands.

Al-Sayyid Ahmad al-Badawī (Radi Allah Anhu) politely declined. [According to one version of the story, al-Sayyid Ahmad al-Badawī said that he would only take the keys from the hand of the Prophet Muhammad himself, may Allah shower blessings and peace upon him and his family members.]

After visiting the tombs of the pious ones in Iraq, including that of his ancestor al-Imām Mūsā al-Kāzim (Radi Allah Anhu), and receving further spiritual illumination after spending some time in meditation there, al-Sayyid Ahmad al-Badawī (Radi Allah Anhu) headed home.

Back in Makkah al-Mukarramah, al-Sayyid Ahmad al-Badawī (Radi Allah Anhu) reported to his brother al-Sayyid al-Hasan (Radi Allah Anhu) on the offer of the keys to the spiritual kingdoms by the two spiritual poles al-Shaykh ‘Abd al-Qādir al-Jīlanī (Radi Allah Anhu) and al-Shaykh Ahmad al-Rifā’ī(Radi Allah Anhu).

Al-Sayyid al-Hasan (Radi Allah Anhu) told his younger brother, “Verily, inviting people to the path of Allah is the key to goodness. What al-Shaykh ‘Abd al-Qādir al-Jīlanī (Radi Allah Anhu) and al-Shaykh Ahmad al-Rifā’ī (Radi Allah Anhu) had wanted was that you follow their path in inviting people to God. And their path is none other than following the Quran and the Sunnah. This is the true path (ţarīqah) in Islam.”

Al-Sayyid Ahmad al-Badawī (Radi Allah Anhu) concurred with and appreciated the explanation given by his elder brother al-Sayyid al-Hasan (Radi Allah Anhu).

He studied the Qur’an with the readers of the time. He possessed a courageous heart, and was called al-Badawi because of his stuttering. When the divine gifts came to him, drowning him in complete absorption in Allah, his life completely changed. He shunned the company of people; held to silence, and communicating only through gestures. (one line left out).
His state continued to grow until he became as he is known. In his sleep he saw three times someone saying, “Stand and go to place of the rising sun. If you reach there, then go to the place of the setting sun. Then travel to Tanta, for surely this is your place, O young man!” This was in Shawwal, 633 H.

He went to Iraq where he was welcomed by its Shaykhs, both living and dead. He took on the blessed Sufi Kharqa through the permission of Shaykh Bari (Radi Allah Anhu) who received it from Na‘im al-Baghdadi (Radi Allah Anhu) who in turn received it from Shaykh Ahmad al-Rafa‘I (Radi Allah Anhu), may Allah be pleased with all of them. After reaching Tanta, al-Sayyid Ahmad al-Badawī (Radi Allah Anhu) stayed at the home of a trader by the name of Rukain (also known as Ruknuddīn) ibn Shuhaiţ.

Al-Sayyid Ahmad al-Badawī (Radi Allah Anhu) was very well received in Tanta. Many people came to visit him, for they benefitted from his presence and his teachings, and also from the barākah that flowed through him. It was reported that al-Sayyid Ahmad al-Badawī (Radi Allah Anhu) once said, “The spiritual paupers (al-fuqarā’) are like the olive fruit. Among them are the great ones and among them are the small ones. For those who do not possess “oil”, I will be their “oil”. I will aid them in all their affairs and I will also help them overcome their difficulties. Not on my own efforts and strengths, but through the barākah of the Prophet, may Allah shower blessings and peace upon him and his family members.”

His Tariqa :

He took bay‘ah from Shaykh Ibn ‘Abd Allah al-Naysaburi (Radi Allah Anhu), from whom there are a chain of seven shaykhs who received bay‘a from al-Imam Dawud al-Ta’iy who received it from Habib Allah al-‘Ajami who received from the Master of the Tabi‘een, al-Hasan al-Basri, who received it from Sayyiduna ‘Ali, may Allah illumine his face, who received it from al-Mustafa, the Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace.

His State :

He was a big Qutb, he could cause his murids to grow in ma’rifa by just looking at them. If he gave one of his murids a special look he would raise him to the Maqam of al-Shuhud. He used to fast continually for forty days, then break his fast. In most of his states he would stare upward to the sky with eyes of burning coal, shouting continuously.

His Attributes :

He was called the one with the two veils, for he always wore two veils. He was tall with thick legs, full arms, and a big face. His complection was between white and brown.

His Noble Sayings :

Sayyid Ahmad al-Badawi (may Allah be pleased with him) said:
The fuqarā are like olives, among them are the big and small, and he who has no oil; and I am his oil. Meaning, whoever is truthful (şādiq) in his poverty, pure as the oil, living according to the Book and the Sunnah, then I am his help in all matters, providing for his needs in this world and the next—not by my power and strength but by the barakah of the Prophet (Allah bless him and grant him peace).

O Abd al-‘Al, beware of love of this world, for it corrupts the righteous deed as vinegar corrupts honey. Know, ‘Abd al-‘Al, that Allah said: “Surely Allah is with those who possess taqwa and those who do good” (16:128).

‘Abd al-‘Al, be concerned with the orphan, cloth the naked, feed the hungry, honor the stranger and the guest, perhaps then you will be among those whom Allah accepts.

‘Abd al-‘Al, you must do dhikr abundantly, and beware of being among those who are heedless of Allah the High. Know that every raka‘ah at night is better than a thousand in the day.
The best of you in character is he who has the most belief in Allah the High. Evil character corrupts good deeds like vinegar corrupts honey.

‘Abd al-‘Al, this way of ours is built upon the Book, the Sunnah, şidq, purity, loyalty, bearing injustice against oneself, and fulfilling the promise.

Shaykh ‘Abd al-‘Al said: While serving the Shaykh for forty years I never saw him distracted from the worship of Allah for an instant. One day I asked him about the reality of poverty in the way of the sacred law (al-faqr al-shar‘ī) and he said: According to ‘Ali ibn Abi Talib (may Allah be pleased with him) the faqīr (in Allah) has the following 12 signs: (1) he is an ‘arif bi llah (i.e., having direct knowledge of Allah); (2) he is obedient to Allah’s commands; (3) he holds to the Sunnah of the Prophet (Allah bless him and grant him peace); (4) he is always pure; (5) in every situation he is pleased with Allah; (6) he is certain of what is with Allah; (7) he is despairing of what is in the hands of mankind; (8) he bears [patiently] with hardships; (9) he hastens to fulfill Allah’s command; (10) he shows compassion for mankind; (11) he is humble before people; (12) he knows that Shaytan is his enemy according to what Allah the High says: “Surely, the Shaytan is your enemy, so take him for an enemy” (35:6).

Then Shaykh ‘Abd al-‘Al asked him about reflection, tawbah, dhikr, love of Allah (wajd), şabr, zuhd, īmān, and his shaykh and teacher, Ahmad al-Badawi, answered him in such a way that it quenched the fire of rancor, comforted the ill, and demonstrated Allah’s knowledge (of all things). These words, known to the nobles of knowledge and the Sufis, were found scattered about, but the Sayyid revealed their reality, exposing them with purity and clarity. He said the following about the above mentioned technical terms:

Reflection (tafkīr): Reflection upon Allah’s creatures and His creating not upon His essence, for surely thinking cannot encompass Him.

Tawbah: Its reality is regret for wrongs committed, abandonment of disobedience, asking for Allah’s forgiveness with the tongue, resolve not to return to the disobedience, and purity of heart. This is the tawbat al-naşuĥ (sincere tawbah) to which Allah orders us in His Mighty Book: “O you who believe, turn in repentance to Allah a sincere turning” (66:8).

Dhikr: The reality of dhikr is that it is with the heart not by the tongue only. Dhikr with the tongue without the heart is shallow. Remember Allah with a heart that is present and beware of being distracted (ghaflah) from Allah, for surely it causes the heart to become hard.

Wajd: Wajd is when the dhikr of the Real, la ilaha illa hu, increases so that a light is cast into the heart from Allah’s presence, until the skin thrills, and there is longing for the Beloved, la ilaha illa hu. The murīd clings to wajd and attaches himself entirely to Allah. When the wajd increases and he becomes distracted in passionate love so that it becomes excessive, then the murīd reaches the high rank of spiritual elevation.

Patience (şabr): It is pleasure with the hukm (ruling) of Allah and submission to His command. It is when man rejoices in misfortune just as he rejoices in good fortune. Allah says: “And give good news to the patient, who when a misfortune befalls them, say: surely we are Allah’s and to Him we surely return” (2: 155-156).

Zuhd: Zuhd is opposing the nafs by leaving worldly desires; and leaving the seven doors of the permitted in the fear that one may fall into the prohibited.

Īmān: Īmān is the most precious thing; he who has the most belief (īmān) has the most taqwa. When the character (akhlāq) of the murīd is good, his īmān increases; the best of you in character is he who has the most belief in Allah.

When imparting counsel to his khalifah, ‘Abd al-‘Al, Shaykh al-Badawi said: Don’t rejoice over the misfortune of any of Allah’s creatures or utter words that slander or defame. Never harm someone who has harmed you. Show concern for someone who has wronged you. Do good to whoever has done you evil and give to whoever has withheld from you. Do you know who is the true, patient faqīr? I said: Please, continue to give me what is beneficial. Shaykh al-Badawi (Radi Allah Anhu) continued: He is the one who when he gives he doesn’t ask to be thanked. And when the patient man losses his patience because of Allah’s hukm (ruling; i.e., He causes events to occur that break the faqīr’s patience), he acts according to the Book and the Sunnah.
The following words transmitted by Sayyid al-Bakri are the ultimate expression of the secret of Shaykh al-Badawi’s (Radi Allah Anhu) great spiritual nature: He who has no knowledge (‘ilm) will have no worth (qīmah) in this world or the next. He who has no forbearance (ĥilm) will find no benefit in knowledge. He who is without generosity (sakhā’) will have no portion of his wealth. He who has no sympathy and concern (shafaqah) for mankind will find no intercessor to plead his case (shifā‘ah) before Allah. He who has no patience (şabr) will obtain no success and goodness in his affairs. He who has no taqwa (godfearingness) has no station (manzilah) with Allah. And he who is deprived of these six qualities has no place in the Garden (Jinnah).

His Nearness to Allah :

Hazrat Sayed Ahmed Al Badawi(Radi Allah Anhu) was drawing near to Allah until he reached the door of divine presence and said ” O Allah please open the door for me” He was not getting an answer until he met some one by the grace of Allah, He saw that person on the street, an ordinary person, who looked at him and said “O Ahmad” He did not even call him “Shaikh Ahmad” to give him due respect. He said “O Ahmad” you need the key to Allah Divine Presence? I have that key. If u want it, come to me and i will give to u.
Many people among us , because they are proud of themselves refuse to accept facts and truth, although they know, as a matter of fact, that this is the right path. They are not accepting because of their ego say “NO” so Ahmad ego said to him, ” How are u going to accept something from him? Dont accept the key from him accept Allah.So he said brother i dont take the key from u or any one else except the key maker. Who are u ? you are nothing.
Then he kept striving to reach the divine presence until he heard a voice saying to him, ” O Ahmad”, this life is the life of cause an effect, I will not give the key to u. My will is that the key to my door, for u is with that person so go and get it from him, Now the matter was selected he had heard it from Allah and has accepted.
Now he had to find that guide, but that guide had disappeared. He had left him for six months the guide was secretly observing Ahmad’s heart seeing him search for him to and fro and pray to Allah day and night “O Allah send that person back to me” That person finally removed his viel he had been there all the time revealing himself and Ahmad saw him last. so the guide removed the veil and appeared to Hazrat Sayed Ahmed Al Badawi(Radi Allah Anhu) . Hazrat Sayed Ahmed Al Badawi(Radi Allah Anhu) said “O My Shaikh! I found u. “He did not find him but the guide had removed the viel, it was he who was unabel to notice him.and Hazrat Sayed Ahmed Al Badawi(Radi Allah Anhu) said oh y shaikh i accept u as a guide, the guide replied if u accept me as a guide now u have to submit and surrender give over your will to me completely. you cannot have a will beside my will. You have built your knowledhe on a cliff. With a breath from the wind of ego , it is going to collapse. I have to first build for you a firm foundation. so , look into my eyes. Hazrat Sayed Ahmed Al Badawi(Radi Allah Anhu) look into the guide eyes and the guide immediately removed all the knowledge that Hazrat Sayed Ahmed Al Badawi(Radi Allah Anhu) has learned through books. “Through Books” means there are many things written which comes out fro the ego of authors. So he pulled out that knowledge from Hazrat Sayed Ahmed Al Badawi(Radi Allah Anhu) heart and disappeard. He left him for another six month not knowing even how to say, Bismillahi ‘r-Rahmani ‘r-Rahim,” and not knowing how to prounce the holy name Allah.
Everyone in the city now began mocking Hazrat Sayed Ahmed Al Badawi(Radi Allah Anhu) who had become insane after having been a great scholar. they thought that he was mentally ill because there understanding was limited. All they could see that he was following some one who was making him crazy, but Hazrat Sayed Ahmed Al Badawi(Radi Allah Anhu) knew that he heard the voice of Allah saying” your key is with that one. “No one can make him crazy-he was only after that person with all his focus.
If Hazrat Sayed Ahmed Al Badawi(Radi Allah Anhu) had accepted from the begening, when that one came to him by Allah wills, he would not have passed through this test at that time. why make yourself pass through a test? When u find the truth, the correct guide, accept him immediately! dont play games with ur ego. So the guide left him for another six months, then appeared to him another time. In those six months Hazrat Sayed Ahmed Al Badawi(Radi Allah Anhu) had been searchin for him again. when he finally apperead again, Hazrat Sayed Ahmed Al Badawi(Radi Allah Anhu) saw him and said ” O my shaikh, i found u another time! ” At that time the guide looked into his eyes and through them transferred from his heart to Hazrat Sayed Ahmed Al Badawi(Radi Allah Anhu) heart, internal Knowledge-the knowledge of the book and its secrets – giving, giving , giving untul light was coming from Hazrat Sayed Ahmed Al Badawi(Radi Allah Anhu) eyes, so much that anyone who looked into his eyes would die. After that he began to wear a veil(burqa). At that time he was abel to enter into divine Presence, and he recived that key he had been seekin so long.
Ahmad al-Badawi (Radi Allah Anhu) was one of the great awliya’ and was the Khalifa to Shaikh Baree (Radi Allah Anhu), who was one of the superiors of tasawwuf and the Khalifa to ‘Ali ibn Nuaym al-Baghdadi (Radi Allah Anhu), who was a great wali educated by Ahmad ar-Rifai (Radi Allah Anhu), a possessor of karamat and a Sharif. Ahmad al-Badawi (Radi Allah Anhu), who was a Sharif, too, passed away in Egypt in 675 A.H. Hundreds of thousands of Muslims have attained faid by visiting his tomb in Tanta every year, and nothing incongruous with Islam has happened during the visits. [Mir’at al-Madina, p.1049.] As to Hazrat Sayed ‘Abd al-Qadir al-Geilani (Radi Allah Anhu) and Hazrat Muhyiddin ibn al-‘Arabi (Radi Allah Anhu), their high status has been comprehended and explained in hundreds of books only by Islamic scholars who were talented like them. Al-Imam ar-Rabbani’s (rahimah-Allahu ta’ala) work Maktubat is full of eulogy and praise for these great walis. And great scholar ‘Abd al-Ghani an-Nabulusi (rahimah-Allahu ta’ala) wrote about their high honor in detail in Al-Hadiqa.

After the death of al-Sayyid Ahmad al-Badawī(Radi Allah Anhu) in Tanta, his followers came to visit his tomb regularly. Today, three special annual festivals are celebrated in his honour, the centre of which are held at the mosque bearing his name. The largest of these festivals is very popular and is attended by up to three million people from all walks of life in Egypt [and some parts of Sudan].

During his life time he has also visited many places through out the world and has also visited India and the neighbouring countries, there is chilla mubarak of this great Saint in Worli Sea face, Mumbai, India, one of the most expensive area of Mumbai, but when you reach at the chilla mubarak you will hardly feel like you are in mumbai. This place is full of greenery and is situated at a small hill there are all together 7 Mazar-e-Akdas at the same place from which one is the chilla mubarak of Hazrat Sayed Ahmed Al-Badwi (Radi Allah Anhu) and rest are the mazar Sharif of the Saints who came along with him.
If you stay in India then you have to visit this place to see how blessed this place is by the rehmat of Allah, If you want to know any thing more fell free to ask me my email id is

Auliya Naksh Kudrat Pe Lakho Salam, Panjatan Ki Sayadat Pe lakho Salam,
Fazle Rehma Se Azmat Nabi Ki jo Sikhi, Is Mujadid KiJidad Pe Lakho Salam,
Qadri,Nakshbandi Wa Chishti Gulon Ki, Karam Pash Nighat Pe Lakho Salam,
Jise Biwi Zohra Banaye Hai Beta, Fazle Rehma Ki Nisbat Pe Lakho Salam.

Ya Fazle Rehma Karam Sarkar.

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