The Light of the Principles

20tafa4The Diya’l-Qawaa`id of Shaykh Abdullahi ibn Fuduye` is one of the greatest text composed on the science of tasawwuf. I realize that this is a verbose statement, but that is the REALITY. The name of the text itself posits it alongside another text which has held the same status with the People of Allah for centuries. Here I speak of the Qawaa`id ‘t-Tasawwuf of the great spiritual master Shaykh Ahmad Zaruuq al-Burnusi, may Allah ennoble his secret.

The Qawaa`id of Shaykh Zaruuq was NOT a ‘shadhiliyya’ text. It transcended the Shadhaliyya Tareeqa or any other of the spiritual brotherhoods, and brought the Umma back to the primal tasawwuf of Imam Junayd al-Baghdadi, when tasawwuf was a reality without a name; and not a name without reality. No one who has the slightest connection with the Path of the People of Tasawwuf can be taken seriously if he has never perused the Qawaa`id of Shaykh Ahmad Zaruuq.

“Similarly, Shaykh Abdullahi ibn Fuduye`, who was a MASTER of the Qaadiri, the Shadhili, the Mahmudi and Khalwati Paths composed a text which transcended the formal machinations of spiritual brotherhood,s and posited the Umma AGAIN safely in the arms of Imam Junayd al-Baghdadi, who was the Imam of the People of the Path, by unanimous agreement.

He called the text Diya’l-Qawaa`id Wa Nashr’l-Fawaa’id Li’l-Ahl ‘l-Maqaasid (The Light of the Principles and Diffusion of Benefits to the People of Firm Intention). He named it Diya’l-Qawaa`id in order to indicate its connection with the Qawaa`id of Shaykh Ahmad Zaruuq. This text by Shaykh Abdullahi ibn Fuduye` is an elaboration on the primal spiritual Path as it was practiced by the Early Community of Islam.”

Shaykh Abdullahi divided the text into sixteen sections:
[1] On the Rules of the Principles of the People of Allah
[2] On Avoiding Slander
[3] On Seclusion, Persistence in Purification and the Benefits of Hunger
[4] On Asterity and Seeking Daily Provision
[5] On Exalting the Sanctity of the People of Allah
[6] On the Proper Courtesies with People
[7] On the Agonies of Death and Wishing for Death
[8] On the Methodology of Attaining Spiritual Good
[9] On Some Narratives of the Righteous
[10] On Visiting the Awliyya Alive or Dead
[11] On Supplication and Its Courtesies
[12] On the Merits of Sending Blessings Upon the Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace
[13] On the Teachings of the Jurists Regarding Sending Blessings Upon the Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace
[14] On the Legal Proofs for Following the Awliyya of Allah in Their Methods of Remembrance of Allah and Supplications
[15] On What are the Objectives in Sending Blessings Upon the Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace
[16] On the Courtesies of Sending Blessings Upon the Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace.

It is obvious that the majority of the sections of this blessed book deal with sending blessings upon our master Muhammad, may Allah bless him and grant him peace. This is important because this was the key methodology of the spiritual master of Shaykh Abdullahi, that is, his blood brother, Shehu Uthman ibn Fuduye`.

It is also the unanimous agreement of the People of Allah, that the sending of blessings upon the Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace takes the place of the spiritual guide when a person fails to find one, or if his spiritual guide is deficient in the prerequisites that necessitate him fulfilling his duties.

This is extremely important because it lifts the veil from the charlatanism which has emerged in these times of ours around the person of  the Shaykh, the pir or spiritual guide. Shaykh Abdullahi corroborates in the Diya’l- Qawaa`id that the REAL spiritual guide is our Master Muhammad, may Allah bless him and grant him peace.

This is a reality which has been repeated on the tongues of all the great fixed stars among the People of Allah, such as Shaykh Junayd al-Baghdadi, Shaykh Abd’l-Qaadir al-Jaylani, Shaykh’l-Akbar Ibn `Arabi, Shaykh Abdu’l-Hassan as-Shadhili, Shaykh Ahmad ibn Idris and many others.

“Shaykh Abdullahi ibn Fuduye` composed the Diya’l-Qawaa`id on Sunday the 22nd of Sha`baan in 1243 A.H. [24 Feb. 1828], at the age of 64, merely a year and a half before his death on Wednesday, the 1st of Muharram 1245 A.H. [August 3 1829].

So this text was his last word on the fundamental science of tasawwuf and spiritual openings. One could say, and some in Gwandu have said it, that this text establishes that Shaykh Abdullahi had systematized the unique spiritual Path established by his brother Shehu Uthman ibn Fuduye`.

When we juxtapose this blessed text with his Wird’l-Adhkaar wa’’d-Da`awaat (the Litany of Remembrances and Supplications), which was the wird which he composed on Thursday, the 25 of Jumad ‘l-Ulaa in 1244 and held to for seven months and seven days until his death, we see that Shaykh Abdullahi’s spiritual Path was constructed solely upon the Book of Allah and the Sunna of His Messenger.”

The Sankore` Institute of Islamic-African Studies International is honored to present this seminal text Diya’l-Qawaa`id as an introduction to the primal spiritual Path established and adhered to by the earliest communities of Islam, and revived by one of Africa’s foremost scholars, statesmen, military strategists and nation builders – the most erudite spiritual master of the Bilad as-Sudan SHAYKH ABDULLAHI IBN FUDUYE`, may Allah ennoble his secret.

Shaykh Muhammad Shareef

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