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Sīdī ʿAbd al-Raḥman was born on Sunday 19th Muḥarram 972 I.E. in al-Qaṣr al-Kabīr1. His father died when he was still being weaned from his mother. He was raised in the home of his elder brother Sīdī Yusūf. He entered the Qurʾānic School with his cousin Abū alʿAbbās Aḥmad and they both studied the basics of Islamic Law and Grammar at an early age alongside their memorisation of the Holy Quran. In 968 I.E., his brother Sīdī Yusūf sent both boys to Fez to study under the scholars of their time. They both benefited hugely from their time there. Sīdī ʿAbd al-Raḥman never left the side of a scholar named al-Qaṣṣār until he was given a general permission to teach all the sciences he had studied under him. His teacher used to speak of him highly. He also studied many disciplines with his elder brother Sīdī Yusūf such as Qurʾānic exegesis, Prophetic Traditions and Sufism. Sīdī Yusūf opened up his brother’s soul to the inner realties and connected him to his Lord. After he had tasted the fruits of the path, he gave up his time to the study of Sufism alone. He was a true erudite having mastered grammar, language, jurisprudence and its principles, theology, logic and much more. He was known to say, “When reading the book of Bukhārī, Muslim or Muwaṭṭaʾ, I have no need to refer to any other source but Qādī ʿIyāḍ’s ‘Mashāriq al-Anwār’ (a book used to clarify vague and rare words in hadīth literature). As far as the meaning of any of the prophetic traditions, I have need of no-one.” He spent all his time in Fez teaching the exegesis of Quran and the sound books of prophetic traditions. Muḥammad b. ʿAbd Allāh would read aloud the book in his lessons. Then after he had passed away, his brother’s grandson ʿAbd al-Qādir al-Fāsī2 took over the responsibility. He produced many beneficial works such as his commentary on Jalālayn, Bukhārī, Sanūsiyyah, al-Mukhtaṣar of Khalīl, Dalāʾil al-Khayrāt, al-Ḥizb al-Kabīr of Imām ashShādhilī, and Sūrah al-Fātiḥah. When he was young he met Sīdī ʿAbd al-Raḥmān al-Majdūb and he sat him on his thigh and fed him a piece of meat. He also took from Sidī Riḍwān al-Jinwī.3 He was the one to inherit the teachings of his brother as testified to by Sīdī Muḥammad b. ʿAbd Allāh. He
A city in the central-north of Morocco still present today ʿAbd al-Qādir al-Fāsī (d. 1091) One of the greatest scholars of his time. Born and raised in al-Qaṣr al-Kabir, he studied Qurʾān, Arabic, Law and the Science of Prophetic Tradition with his father at a very young age. Later on he moved to Fez and stayed in the Madrasha Miṣbāḥiyyah facing the Qarawiyyīn where he was to study for years to come with some of the greatest scholars of his time such as the famed ʿAbd al-Wāḥid ibn ʿĀshir. After his studies he set off to return back to his home city but soon on the road he was robbed by thieves. When he returned, his uncle told him that this was a sign that he should stay in Fez. From then on, students from all over Morocco would come to sit at his feet and take from his knowledge. He was a man of great abstinence. He refused to accept the gifts of people and he made his living writing out copies of Saḥiḥ al-Bukhārī and selling them to the people. He took the order from his great uncle ʿAbd arRaḥmān but when he passed away he took from his successor Muḥammad b. ʿAbd Allāh. He is most wellknown for his answers to various questions related to Islamic Law (al-Asʾilah aṣ-Ṣughrā wa al-Kubrā) He is buried in the zāwiyah and mosque where he used to teach in the Raṣīf District of Fez.
was called ‘the Junayd’ of his time by other scholars. He was the first to establish the recitation of Quran after the Subḥ and Maghrib prayers on 29th Ramaḍān 1015 I.E. in the mosque adjacent to his house in the Qalqaliyyīn District. Then in 1017 I.E., his zāwiyah was built where Sīdī ʿAbd al-Qādir is buried today, which the Sultan Moulay Ishmāʿīl later had restored and extended. One day a man stood up in his presence whilst he was relating stories of the righteous and said, “Sīdī, where are they today?” He replied back, “O my boy, here I am, one of them. God all-mighty said: …and you see them looking towards you yet they do not see4” Some of his sayings: “If some of our mysteries were shown to creation, there would not be enough room for them in these lands and the earth would become confined by the on pour of the Divine knowledge.” “The Faqīr is like musk; the more you try to cover him up the more fragrance he produces.” “I see the Prophet a wake and in my sleep.” “Between here and Tunisia there is no one like us.” His teacher Sīdī Yusūf said about him: “If it weren’t for the fact that he had his spiritual mentors (behind him) he would be of those who urinates down his legs (i.e. he wouldn’t be able to control himself due to the powerful states that would come to him)” He passed away on a Wednesday night, the 17th of Rabīʿ al-Awwal 1036 I.E. at the age of sixty-four. He is buried in front of the door of his brother’s shrine.
Sīdī Riḍwān al-Jinwī (d. 991 I.E.) He is originally from Jinwah, Spain. His father, who was a Christian, accepted Islām and then migrated to Morocco. There he married a Jewish woman who had converted to Islām. He used to say, “I came from …between filth and blood, pure milk, sweet to drinkers (Qurʾān: 16/66).” He was born in Fez and memorized the Book of God and studied knowledge in both Fez and Marrakesh. He kept the company of Sīdī ʿAbd Allāh al-Ghazwānī (the successor to Sīdī Tubbāʿ, who was the successor to Imām al-Jazūlī) in Fez. When his teacher moved to Marrakesh he yearned to be by his side and so moved when he was old enough to be with him. After his teacher’s death he took from his successor Sīdī Muḥammad aṭ-Ṭālib, Sīdī Aḥmad Zarrūq, Sīdī Muḥammad ash-Shuṭaybī from the region of Banī Zarwāl, and Sīdī Muḥammad b. ʿAlī al-Kharūbī from Algeria. After taking from these masters, he took up the mantle of teaching disciples himself. He was known for his incessant weeping. One of his teacher’s of the Islamic sciences used to call him ‘Riḍwān the Weeper’. He is buried in the graveyard outside the Gate al-Futūḥ where there is a shrine over his grave. 4 Qurʾān: 7/197