Tuesday, 20 May 2014

The Caretaker

بِسۡمِ ٱللهِ ٱلرَّحۡمَـٰنِ ٱلرَّحِيمِ

The following is adapted from Signs on the Horizons by Shaykh Michael Sugich.

“Sidi ‘Ali (q.s.) lived a rugged, hard-drinking life in lumber camps in the Atlas Mountains without a thought for salvation until an accident that nearly took his life, changed his life.  In Morocco, logs from felled trees were loaded on flat-bed trucks and held in place with thick hemp ropes or chains.  The bindings on one shipment Sidi ‘Ali (q.s.) was loading, broke and a massive log slid off the truck and crashed into his face, nearly killing him.  He was taken to a hospital in a coma, where he hovered between life and death.  He briefly emerged from the coma in darkness and silence; deaf, dumb, blind and paralyzed. In this abyss he swore that if he lived, the first thing he was going to do was to go to a mosque and embrace Islam.  Then he relapsed into a coma.

When he finally regained consciousness he had the sight of one eye, the hearing in one ear, he could speak and had regained the use of his limbs.  True to his oath, he dragged himself to a mosque near the hospital and re-entered Islam.  He then returned to the hospital to recover from his catastrophic accident, which left him disfigured and disabled.

Throughout his convalescence, he had a vivid recurrent dream.  Every night in his sleep he would find himself sitting before a shaykh in a white cloak (burnoose).  The shaykh methodically taught him a long recitation.  When he awoke he found that he could remember portions of the recitation.  This continued until he had memorised the entire litany, which lasted about 40 minutes.  When he had completed memorising the litany, the dream shaykh told him to come see him.  He said, ‘My name is Muhammad.’

When Sidi ‘Ali (q.s.) finally recovered and was released from hospital, he limped to a local mosque to start a new life as a practicing Muslim.  The first people he met there were members of a Sufi order.  He told them about his dream and recited the litany he had learned by heart.

One of the fuqara’ recognised the litany.  ‘This is the wird of Muhammad ibn al-Habib,’ he said.”


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