IZAALAT DHAMEEM KHISAAL AL-QIRD BI IKTISHAAF ANWAAR KITAAB AL-WIRD
(The Removal of the Obnoxious Traits of the Rogue Monkey by Disclosing the Illuminations of the Book of the Litany)
A Commentary Upon the Kitaab Wird Sayf al-Haqq of Shehu Uthman Dan Fodio
by Shaykh Muhammad Shareef bin Farid
This gloss composed as endnotes is an annotation and explanation of the Kitaab’l-Wird of Shehu Uthman Dan Fodio: Light of the age; the complete mujaddid of the 12th century hijra; the 11th Righteous Khalif; the Imam of the Awliyya; the Sword of Truth; and herald and forerunner of Imam al-Mahdi (alayhimaa as-salaamu); may Allah engulf him in His mercy Ameen.
This Book of Litany is the wird which the Shehu gave to anyone desiring (mureed) to be guided by his unique suluuk (spiritual methodology). Members of the Jamaat of the Shehu in the U.S.A. repeatedly requested me to compose a book clarifying the meanings and secrets of this work; and after making istikhaara, I composed this in order to benefit them and those mureeds who desire to follow the unique Path of the Shehu.
The sufi sages say:
“The person without a wird (litany) is a qird (rogue monkey).”
Thus, I have named this commentary Izaalat Dhameem Khisaal al-Qird Bi Iktishaaf Anwaar Kitaab al-Wird (The Removal of the Obnoxious Traits of the Rogue Monkey by Disclosing the Illuminations of the Book of the Litany).
My intent in writing this commentary is to clarify that the objective and intent that the Shehu had in composing this small work was in order to confirm that he had established his own unique Tareeqa within the Turuq of the Sufis.
I realize that this assertion has gone largely uncontested or even examined in academia. In its dusty halls, regional experts assert that the Shehu was a Qaadiriyya; or that he was, at most a master of the Shadhaliyya, the Khalwatiyya and the Mahmudiyya Paths as well. However, among the traditional scholars who inherit from the Shehu through lineage and knowledge, there has always been this assertion that the Shehu initiated his unique Path; and that this work, which some scholars called “Lamaa Balaghtu” (Once I Attained); is the formal declaration of that fact.
My teachers, such as Shaykh Muhammad al-Amin ibn Adam, Shaykh Muhammad Bello ibn Abdullahi, Shaykh Abu Bakr Basambu ibn Umar, Shaykh Muhammad Bello ibn Abd’r-Raaziq, Shaykh Ibrahim ibn Uthman, Shaykh Umar ibn Ahmad Zaruku and Shaykh Muhammad al-Amin Bo’yi; all attested to the fact that the Shehu not only inherited the lights and stations of the Sultan of the Awliyya, Abd’l-Qaadir al-Jaylani; but that he also inherited the lights and stations of Shaykh Ahmad ar-Rufai`, Shaykh Ibrahim ad-Dusuqi and Shaykh Ahmad al-Badawi; considered the four awtaad (pillars) of the circle of the Alwiyya.
The third Amir of Gwandu, Shaykh Ibrahim al-Khalil ibn Shaykh Abdullahi Dan Fodio, who was one of the disciples of the Shehu that had attained spiritual mastery (mushayyikha), said in his Tanbeeh al-Ghaafileen that the Shehu was the fifth element of the four components of the perfected awliyya: al-Jaylani, ar-Rufai` al-Badawi and ad-Dusuqi. Just as these four sages established unique spiritual methodologies whose schools of thought were named after them. Similarly, Shehu Uthman Dan Fodio laid the foundation for a new school in practical and theoretical sufism, constructed upon a unique methodology of spiritual discipline and developed an inimitable .launching pad for gnosis of the Absolute Being.
This work, Kitaab al-Wird, sometimes called Wird Sayf al-Haqq, basically discusses two major spiritual openings (futuuh) and unveilings (mukaashif) that occurred in two time periods in the Shehu’s life: the first at the age of thirty-six and the second at the age of forty and some months.
The first spiritual opening heightened his physical body and enhanced his natural abilities. It was then that he first discovered the wird (litany) that was transcribed in a kind of nano-script with the Pen of the Divine decree on his fifth rib on his right side. The second spiritual opening gave him arrival, designation, being given the Sword of Truth, being named the Imam al-Awliyya (the Leader of Sages); and it was then that he was instructed to disseminate the wird that he previously saw transcribed in his body. Both spiritual unveilings involved the wird or litany.
Both spiritual openings occurred for the Shehu as a result of abundant and prolonged periods of sending blessings and peace upon the Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace. Both, his son, Sultan Muhammad Bello and his son-n-law Waziri Uthman Gidadu ibn Muhammad Layma narrated the accounts of these openings and described them as the same kinds of spiritual unveilings which the founders of new Sufi spiritual orders experienced; such as Shaykh Ahmad ibn Idris of the Idrisiyya, Shaykh Muhammad Uthman al-Murghani of the Mirghaniyya, Shaykh Ahmad at-Tijani of the Tijaniyya, Shaykh Muhammad al-Mahdi as-Sunusi of the Sunusiyya and Shaykh Ahmadu Bamba of the Muridiyya.
Shehu Uthman Dan Fodio, accomplished the same achievements that these awliyya did, but in addition; Allah ta`ala granted him success in establishing a sovereign social order where he was able to implement his ideas of social transformation (tajdeed). Allah willing, this annotation and commentary, will bring out the evidences which corroborate the assertion that the Shehu was the founder of a specific Tareeqa and the initiator of a unique methodology in this ancient spiritual path (suluuk).
Not only is this Kitaab’l-Wird the most concise means of drawing near to Allah ta`ala, but this succinct work is also a key (miftaah) to all the sciences obligatory for the responsible servant to know and act upon. This can only be understood by shinning the light of Quranic exegesis upon these verses which clarify the sciences of the religion in detail.
Allah willing, this annotation and commentary will do just that. Whoever memorizes these verses and understands their exegesis will comprehend the individual obligations in general; and will thus be an `alim (basic scholar).
Thus, the Kitaab’l-Wird of Shehu Uthman Dan Fodio, is not only a litany to be recited in order to attain spiritual openings, but it is also a source book for `aqeeda (beliefs/IMAN), fiqh (jurisprudence/ISLAM) and tasawwuf (spiritual purification/IHSAN).
Because the Shehu made this text available to the general public is proof that he wanted it to be taken as a general litany for the Umma of Muhammad, (may Allah be merciful to them with an all-encompassing mercy). It is with this intention and objective that we, at the Sankore Institute of Islamic-African Studies International (SIIASI – www.siiasi.org), present this work, with the hope that whoever comes across this work will take it as their litany and be connected to the one African sage who said that his tajdeed (social transformation) and jihaad (spiritual and military struggle) will not cease until it reaches the Coming Man, Imam al-Mahdi.
I read this work, the Kitaab al-Wird more times than I can count with at least four different African scholars; but my main teacher with whom I received idhn for this work was my teacher, Shaykh Muhammad al-Amin ibn Adam; who received it from his father Shaykh Adam Kari
angha ibn Muhammad Tukur; who received it from Shaykh Musa al-Muhajir; who received it from Shaykh Ali Dinba ibn Abi Bakr Mallami; who received it from its author, Amir’l-Mu’mineen, Sayf al-Haqq, Imam al-Awliyya, Nur az-Zamaan, and Mujaddid ad-Deen – SHEHU UTHMAN DAN FODIO; may Allah taala engulf all of them in His mercy and benefit us by means of their baraka. May Allah show you and I the truth as truth and help us to follow it and show us falsehood as falsehood and help us to avoid it.