Mawlana ‘Abd al-‘Alim asw-Swiddiq (q.s.)

بِسۡمِ ٱللهِ ٱلرَّحۡمَـٰنِ ٱلرَّحِيمِ

The following is adapted from an article by Brother Khalid Ajmain.

Mawlana ‘Abd al-‘Alim asw-Swiddiq (q.s.) was one of the scholars who always came to Singapore.  He travelled around the world promoting Islam, peace and love of humanity.  He also built one of the mosques Singapore, Masjid Abdul Aleem Siddique, at Lorong K, Telok Kurau.  Mawlana ‘Abd al-‘Alim asw-Swiddiqi (q.s.) was born in the Blessed month of Ramadhan, on the 03rd April, 1892; 15th Ramadhan 1310; in Meerut, India.  He was raised in a family that was pious.  He was a direct descendant of Abu Bakr asw-Swiddiq (r.a.), the first caliph of Islam.

From a young age, his father, Shaykh Muhammad ‘Abd al-Hakim (r.a.) and his mother were his inspiration and source of guidance and education in the teachings of Islam.  He was an exceptionally intelligent child and possessed an intellectual capacity beyond his years.  He committed the Holy Qur’an to memory when he was only 4 years old.  He also had remarkable oratory skill and at the age of 9, he delivered his first public speech at the Jamma Mosque of Meerut, mesmerising the audience with his eloquence.

He had a remarkable love and thirst for knowledge. At the age of 16, he graduated with a degree and distinction in Islamic Theology.  He then pursued non-theological studies in modern sciences and law.  He also acquired advanced knowledge in Qur’anic sciences, ahadits, taswawwuf and Islamic jurisprudence of the four main madzahib.  His teachers included Shaykh Ahmad ash-Shams (r.a.) of Morocco, Shaykh as-Sannuwsi (q.s.) of Libya, Mawlana ‘Abd al-Bari (r.a.) of Faranghi Mahal and Mawlana Ahmad Mukhtar asw-Swiddiq (r.a.), his brother.  He achieved great Islamic theological and spiritual development under the guidance of Mawlana Ahmad Ridha Khan (q.s.), a revered Islamic scholar and a great Sufi master.

Mawlana ‘Abd al-‘Alim asw-Swiddiq (q.s.) travelled continuously for 40 years to all parts of the globe until his labours of love for the spiritual reform and enlightenment of humanity covered a major part of the world.  The countries he visited include the Hejaz, Singapore, Malaysia, Indonesia, Thailand, Burma, Vietnam, Ceylon, China, Japan, Philippines, Mauritius, Madagascar, South Africa, Kenya, Tanzania, Belgium, Egypt, Syria, Palestine, Jordan, Iraq, France, England, West Indies, Guyana, Trinidad & Tobago, Suriname, the United States of America and Canada.

He was a great writer, poet, orator and scholar of Islam and modern sciences, and was renowned the world over for his spiritual guidance and promulgation of the message of hope and peace.  His contribution to literary and academic discourses was also astounding.  In 1935, in Mombassa, Kenya, Mawlana ‘Abd al-‘Alim asw-Swiddiq (q.s.) met with the famous European intellectual, Sir George Bernard Shaw, and they enjoyed a wonderful exchange of thoughts in which Sir George Bernard Shaw called Mawlana ‘Abd al-‘Alim asw-Swiddiq (q.s.), a “learned sage”.  He delivered hundreds of lectures and also found time to write several Islamic books and poetry in Urdu and English.

He came to Singapore in 1930 to spread the message and beauty of Islam.  He laboured intensively in the cause of Islam and delivered numerous lectures in Singapore and attracted many people to Islam.  He pioneered the establishment of the All Malaya Muslim Missionary Society, now known as Jamiyah, in 1932.  He also pioneered the establishment of the Inter-Religious Organisation (IRO) to foster greater understanding between the faiths and to promote the spirit and message of peace amongst the people of Singapore.

In the IRO’s inauguration ceremony, on the 18th March, 1949 at Victoria Memorial Hall, Mawlana ‘Abd al-‘Alim asw-Swiddiq (q.s.) gave an inspiring speech, in which he said, “As far as the common evils and accepted moral principles were concerned, no religion could have any difference, and in the spirit of tolerance and sympathy and the desire to establish peace, all of them were as one.  The task of the religious leaders was to let the followers of each and every religion know the teachings of other religions, so that a spirit of fellowship could work together to spread the accepted moral principles and to fight the common evils.”

Mawlana ‘Abd al-‘Alim asw-Swiddiq (q.s.) worked with single-minded devotion for the cause of Islam and humanity.  Hundreds of thousands of people belonging to diverse races and nationalities in Asia, Africa, Europe and America received spiritual blessings through his dynamic and refulgent personality.  Numerous mosques, Islamic missionary societies, schools, hospitals, libraries, infirmaries, orphanages and Islamic periodicals sprang up in the wake of his immortal missionary work.

Mawlana ‘Abd al-‘Alim asw-Swiddiq (q.s.) was an extraordinary exponent who personify in a distinguished manner the causes he cherish and uphold, and his labours for the cause form a landmark in human history.  His noble soul soared beyond the limitations of territory and race.  The most distinctive aspect of his personality was the spiritual magnetism that he radiated which captivated the minds and hearts of all who crossed his path.

On the 22nd August, 1954; 22nd Dzu al-Hijjah, at the age of 63, after a last visit to the grave of the beloved Prophet Muhammad (s.a.w.), Mawlana ‘Abd al-‘Alim asw-Swiddiq (q.s.)passed away.  His body rests at Jannat al-Baqi’ in Madinah.  May Allah (s.w.t.) Bless him and be Well Pleased with His servant, Mawlana ‘Abd al-‘Alim asw-Swiddiq (q.s.).


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