Imam Yusuf an-Nabhani (q.s.): Poet of the Beloved

بِسۡمِ ٱللهِ ٱلرَّحۡمَـٰنِ ٱلرَّحِيمِ

The following is taken from “The Righteous Life and Blessed Works of the Poet of the Holy Prophet (s.a.w.)”, by the pious erudite Imam Yusuf an-Nabhani (q.s.).  It was translated by Shaykh Gibril Haddad, from Sa`adatu ad-Darayni fî asw-Swalati ‘ala Sayyidi al-Kawnayn, “The Bliss of the Two Abodes in the Invocation of Blessings on the Master of the Two Universes.”  It may be found in Poet of the Beloved (s.a.w.).

“I am the slave of the Master of Prophets,
And my fealty to him has no beginning.
I am slave to his slave, and to his slave’s slave,
And so forth endlessly!
I do not cease to approach the door,
Of his good pleasure among the novices.
I proclaim to all the science of his high attributes,
And sing this science among the poets.
Perhaps he will tell me, ‘You are the Salman of my allegiance,
The Hasan of my excellent homage!’
Yes, I would sacrifice my soul for the dust of his sanctuary!
His favour should be that he accept my sacrifice.
He has triumphed who ascribes himself to Him –
Not that He needs such following.
For He is not in need of creation at all,
While they all need Him without exception.
He belongs to Allah alone, Whose pure servant he is,
As His Attributes and Names have Made Manifest.
And every single favour in creation comes from Allah to him,
and from him to everything else.”

The following is taken from Imam al-Qadhi Yusuf an-Nabhani (q.s.) by Shaykh Gibril Haddad.

Imam an-Nabhani (q.s.) wrote, of himself, in his first published book, ash-Sharaf al-Mu’abbad li ‘Ali Muhammad, in Asbab at-Ta'lîf li al-`Abdi ad-Dha`îf, and in Jami` Karamat al-Awliya’, in 1891, “I am the faqir, Yusuf ibn Isma`il ibn Yusuf ibn Isma’il ibn Muhammad Naswir ad-Din an-Nabhani.  We go back to the Banu Nabhan, an Arab desert folk who settled of old in the town of Ijzim, North of the Holy sites in the land of Palestine, presently part of the district of Haifa in ‘Akka province, of Beirut.  I was born in Ijzim in 1265 / 1849 approximately.

I read the Qur’an with my Master and father, the righteous shaykh and meticulous memoriser of the Book of Allah, Shaykh Isma’il an-Nabhani who is now past eighty, in full possession of his senses, of strong build and excellent health, and who spends most of his time in works of obedience.  My father's daily devotion in every twenty-four hours was one third of the Qur’an, then he would complete the Qur’an three times every week.  The praise for this belongs to Allah!”

Say: “In the Bounty of Allah and in His Mercy ― in that let them rejoice”: that is better than the (wealth) they hoard. (Surah Yunus:58)

“Then he sent me - Allah Save him and Thank him on my behalf! - to Cairo for study.  I entered the Mosque of al-Azhar the day of as-Sabt in early Muharram of the year 1283,” this was the 16th May 1866, “and resided there until Rajab 1289,” in October 1872.  He continued, “During that time, I learnt all that Allah Destined for me to learn of the sciences of the shari’ah and its preparatory disciplines at the hands of the accomplished teachers and major established masters of the time, any one of whom, if he were found in a place, would be the leader of its people to the gardens of Paradise and would meet their requirements in all of the sciences - the spoken and the rational.

One of them, or rather their peerless leader was the accomplished, erudite teacher, the refuge of meticulous understanding, the Shaykh of all Shuyukh, Teacher of all Teachers, Sayyidi ash-Shaykh Ibrahim as-Saqqaf ash-Shafi’i, who died in 1298 aged around ninety years.  He spent his entire blessed long life reading lessons until most of the ‘ulama of our time became his students, either directly, or through an intermediary.  I attended his classes – Allah have Mercy on him! - for three years and read with him the two commentaries - at-Tahrir and al-Manhaj - of Shaykh al-Islam Zakariyyah al-Answari together with their marginalia by ash-Sharqawi and al-Bujayrimi respectively.  Also among my teachers is the venerable erudite scholar, Sayyidi ash-Shaykh as-Sayyid Muhammad as-Damanhuri ash-Shafi’i, who died in 1286 aged around ninety years.  Also, the erudite scholar Sayyidi ash-Shaykh Ibrahim az-Zurru al-Khalili ash-Shafi’i, who died in 1287 aged around seventy.  Also, the erudite scholar Sayyidi ash-Shaykh Ahmad al-Ajhuri ad-Darir al-Shafi’i, who died in 1293 aged around sixty.  Also, the erudite scholar Sayyidi ash-Shaykh Hasan al-‘Adawi al-Maliki, who died in 1298 aged around eighty.  Also, the erudite scholar Sayyidi ash-Shaykh as-Sayyid ‘Abd al-Hadi Naja al-Abyari, who died in 1305 aged just over seventy years.  Also, Shaykh Shams ad-Din Muhammad al-Anbabi ash-Shafi’i, the Master of al-Azhar Mosque, who died in 1313.  Also, Shaykh ‘Abd ar-Rahman ash-Sharbini ash-Shafi`i, the Master of al-Azhar Mosque, who died in 1326.  Also, Shaykh ‘Abd al-Qadir ar-Rafi’i al-Hanafi at-Tarabulsi, the Master of the Damascenes’ Porch,” known better as Ruwaq ash-Shawamm, “in al-Azhar Mosque, who died in 1323.  Also, Shaykh Yusuf al-Barqawi al-Hanbali, the Master of the Hanbalis’ Porch in al-Azhar Mosque.”

After he graduated and returned home to Ijzim, he said, “I began to hold a number of religious courses in ‘Akka and my home town of Ijzim.  Then I travelled frequently to Beirut, then Damascus where I met the eminent ‘ulama.  Chief among them was the Jurist of Damascus at the time, our Master the erudite Imam, as-Sayyid ash-Sharif Mahmud Effendi Hamzah - Allah have Mercy on him! - with whom I read the beginning of al-Bukhari’s Swahih., after which he gave me a general certificate comprising the rest of the Swahih. as well as all his other narrations and his own works.  He wrote this long certificate in his superb style and handsome handwriting.

I left Constantinople, the first time, for Iraq.  I went to the district of Kawi Swanjaq, in the province of Mosul.  Then I returned to Constantinople.  I left it a second time in 1300 when I was appointed head judge of al-Jaza’ court in al-Ladhiqiyyah on the Syro-Palestinian sea-shore.  After living there for five years the Dawla - Allah Grant her victory! - transferred me to the head judgeship of the court of al-Qudus ash-Sharif.  This took place through those at whose hands Allah Decreed goodness for me, without request nor prior knowledge on my part.  Then, after less than a year - eight months to be precise - they promoted me, without request nor prior knowledge on my part, to the chief judgeship of the Beirut Court of Justice.  This was in 1305 / 1888.”

After Imam an-Nabhani (q.s.) retired, he turned entirely to writing and worshipping.  He travelled to al-Madina al-Munawwarah and lived in the Noble Neighbourhood for a while.  Then he returned to Beirut where he passed on to the mercy of His Lord in the beginning of the month of Ramadhan 1350 AH / 1932 CE.


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