Ahmad al-Muhajir

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Imam
Ahmad Al-Muhajir
Native name أحمد
Born Ahmad
873 CE
Basra
Died 956 (aged 82–83)
al-Husaisa, Yemen
Resting place
al-Husaisa, Yemen
Residence Yemen
Nationality arab
Ethnicity Arab
Citizenship Yemenite
Occupation Islamic scholar, teacher
Known for Forefather of
Ba 'Alawi sada
Religion Islam
Denomination Sayyid, BaAlawi
Parents Isa (father)

Ahmad al-Muhajir (Arabic: أحمد المهاجر‎, Aḥmad al-muhāǧir, Arabic pronunciation: [ɑhmɑd ɑl muhɑːdʒiɽ]; 260-345 AH or 873-956 CE)[1] also known as Al-Imam Ahmad bin Isa was an Imam Mujtahid and the progenitor of Ba 'Alawi sada group which is instrumental in spreading islam to India, Southeast Asia and Africa. He was the son of ‘Isa the son of 'Ali al-Uraidhi[2] who was the fourth son of Imam Ja'far as-Sadiq, a fifth generation descendant of Ali bin Abu Talib and Fatimah bint Muhammad, the daughter of Prophet Muhammad.

Early life[edit]

His full name is Ahmad ibn Isa Ar-Rumi ibn Muhammad An-Naqib ibn 'Ali al-Uraidhi ibn Ja'far al-Sadiq ibn Muhammad al-Baqir ibn Zayn al-Abidin ibn al-Husain ibn Ali bin Abu Talib. According to another history, he is thought to have been born in 241 Hijrah (820 CE).[3]

Imam Ahmad grew up under the supervision of his parents in an environment surrounded by scholars and living examples of prophetic character. He memorized the Qur'an and then mastered the sciences of the scared law until he reached the rank mujtahid. He also had his own hadith collection (musnad) and was held in great esteem by Imam Al-Tabari.

Migration[edit]

Al-Imam Ahmad bin Isa is called Al-Muhajir (emigrant) because he left Basra, Iraq during the Abbassid Caliphate that was headquartered in Baghdad in the year 317H (929 CE). His inner sight allowed him to witness the calamities and tribulations that would take place in Iraq. He realized the greatness of the sacred trust that he was carrying in his loins.

Ahmad bin Isa left Basra with his wife, his son, Abdullah, (who preferred to be known as Ubaidillah) and his grandsons from Ubaidillah (Jadid and Basri, both were born in Basra). With them also was Sharif Muhammad bin Sulayman, the grandfather of the Ahdal family and Sharif Ahmad al-Qudaymi, the grandfather of the Qudaymi family, and a group of 70 people. He left his other three sons Muhammad, Ali and Hussein in Iraq to take care of their wealth and property.

He first went to Madinah and Mecca, and then from Mecca to Yemen in around 319 H. He migrated at a time when there was much internal strife, bloodshed and confusion in Iraq, where a large number of the descendants of Muhammad were persecuted for political reasons by the ruling Abbasids and also because there was turmoil due to revolt against Abbasids ruling by members of the Qaramita.[4][5]

He set out for Yemen in 319 H with his party and eventually reach Hadhramaut, while Ahmad al-Qudaymi settled in northern Yemen and Sharif Muhammad bin Sulayman in Tihama on the Red Sea coast. He first settled in the village of Jubayl and then Hajrayn. Next he traveled to the village Qarat Bani Jushayr and finally settled in al-Husayyisah near Seiyun.

Later Life and Death[edit]

Imam al-Muhajir arrived in Hadhramaut at a time when an offshoot of the Kharijite sect called Ibadiyyah held political power and had widespread influence throughout the valley. He persevered in the spreading of Islamic truths until he almost single-handedly removed the Ibadi sect from Hadhramaut without ever taking up arms against them.[6]

He died in 345 H or 956 CE (another version said he died in 307 H or 924 CE) in Husayyisah, a town between Tarim and Seiyun, Hadramaut. His shrine stands on a hill and is among the first shrines that visitors to Hadramaut pay their respects to when visiting the area.[7]

The school of Thought[edit]

There is a controversy about what Madhhab followed by Ahmad bin Isa. Most ulama have opinion that he was a sunni imam. Some other Islamic scholars such as Imam Abdurrahman bin Ubaidillah al-Saqof, Habib Shaleh al-Hamid, and Sayyid Abdullah Thahir al-Haddad (brother of Habib Alawi bin Thahir al-Haddad, Mufti of Johor) and some others contend that he was a Shi'a follower.[8][9][10]

Habib Abdullah bin Thahir al-Haddad narrated: "Verily I tend to say that al-Muhajir is follower of Imamiyah, because the Shafi'i Madhhab entered Hadhramaut long after his migration".

Habib Aburrahman bin Ubaidillah al-Saqof emphasized that al-Muhajir was not Sunni Shafi'i in fiqh (jurisprudence) nor Ash'arite in aqidah (theology).[11] As Imam Ahmad bin Isa is a Mujtahid, he does not need to follow any madhhabs.

Descendants and status[edit]

At first the term Alawi is given to all descendants of Ali ibn Abi Talib, both of his al-Hasan and al-Husayn. Later, to distinguish the descent of Alwi bin Ubaidullah, the title Aal Bani Alawi is then used.

The Sayyids from the family of Bā 'Alawi sada of Yemen trace their descent to Ahmad al-Muhajir thru his grandson, Alwi "Shahib Samal" ibn Ubaidillah.[12] Some of the Nine Saints of Java or Wali Sanga in Indonesia in some traditions are claimed to be descendants of him as well.[13] Alwi son of Ubaidillah or also known as Alwi al-Awwal (The first Alwi) was the first of his descendants to be born in Yemen (one version says he was born in al-Husaisa, another version says he was born in Sumul)[14] The word in Ba 'Alawi sada is a strict Hadhrami term meaning the descendants of.[15].

Currently, descendants of Imam Ahmad through Alwi ibn Ubaidillah spread out mostly in Yemen, Africa, Southeast Asian countries (Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore, Thailand and Philippines) and India. Some of the prominent descendants of Imam Ahmad are Imam Muhammad al-Faqih al-Muqaddam in 13th century, Imam Abdullah ibn Alawi al-Haddad in 17th century, Haidar Abu Bakr al-Attas (former prime minister of Yemen), Sayyid Abu Bakr Al-Aidarus (saint) in 15th of Tarim, Azmatkhan in India, Sayyid Abdullah Al-Aidarus, Sunan Ampel, Raden Saleh, Ali Alatas, Alwi Shihab, Habib Munzir Al-Musawa (all in Indonesia), and Habib Umar bin Hafiz of Tarim in 21st century.

Imam Ahmad Al-Muhajir is an Imam Mujtahid, which means he is regarded as a primary source for rulings on religious matters.

See also[edit]

Tomb of Ahmad al-Muhajir

References[edit]

Footnotes[edit]

  1. ^ Abdullah bin Muhammad Bakutsair. Rihlah al-Asywaq al-Qawiyah. p. 34. 
  2. ^ Morton, Shafiq. "A History of Wahabi Desecrations in the Holy Land of al-Hijaz". Notebooks from Makkah & Madinah: A modern journey to Islam’s two Holy Cities. Archived from the original on 12 August 2008. Retrieved 2008-09-20. 
  3. ^ Sayyid Ali bin Hasan al-Attas. al-Qirtas fi Manaqib al-Attas. 
  4. ^ "Persecution of the Shia by the Abbasid kings". Retrieved January 12, 2014. 
  5. ^ Abu’l-Faraj Ali ibn al-Husayn al-Isfahani. Maqatil at-Talibiyyin (hardcover) (print). Lebanon: Dar al-Fajr. p. 366. 
  6. ^ Amin Buxton (2012). Imams of The Valley. Western Cape, South Africa: Dar al-Turath al-Islami. 
  7. ^ "Ali al". Habeebsab. Retrieved 6 August 2012. 
  8. ^ Abdurrahman bin Ubaidillah al-Saqof. Nasim Hajir fi ta’kid qauli ‘an madzhab Al Imam Al Muhajir. 
  9. ^ Muhammad bin Ahmad As Syatiri. Adwar Tarikh Hadramaut 1. p. /56. 
  10. ^ Shaleh al-Hamid. Tarikh Hadramaut 1. pp. 323–325. 
  11. ^ Shaleh al-Hamid. Op.cit 1. p. 325. 
  12. ^ Ho, Engseng (2006). The Graves of Tarim: Genealogy and Mobility across the Indian Ocean. University of California Press. ISBN 0-520-24453-2. 
  13. ^ van den Berg, Lodewijk Willem Christiaan, 1886. ''Le Hadhramout et les colonies arabes dans l'archipel Indien. Impr. du gouvernement, Batavia.
  14. ^ "Alwi Bin Ubaidillah". Benmashoor. July 11, 2014. 
  15. ^ "ALWI-UBAIDILLAH-12". Retrieved July 12, 2014. 

Bibliography[edit]

al-Attas, Syed Hassan bin Muhammad. Umar bin Abd al-Rahman. Singapore. 
Freitag,Ulrike (2003). Indian Ocean Migrants and State Formation in Hadhramaut: Reforming the Homeland. BRILL. ISBN 978-9004128507. 
Ho, Engseng (2006). The Graves of Tarim: Genealogy and Mobility across the Indian Ocean. University of California Press. ISBN 0-520-24453-2. 
Berg, Lodewijk Willem Christiaan van den (1886). Le Hadhramout et les colonies arabes dans l'archipel Indien. Batavia: Imprimerie du gouvernement. 
Muhammad Bakutsair, Abdullah. Rihlah al-Asywaq al-Qawiyah. 
Al-Aththas, Abdullah bin Alwi. Al ‘Ilm An-Nibras. 
Al-Masyhur, Abubakar al-Adeni Bin Ali. الابنية الفكريه. 
Al-Syatri, Muhammad Bin Ahmad. أدوار تاريخ حضرموت. 
Al-Sagof, Abdurrahman bin Ubaidillah. Nasîm Hajir fi Ta’kid Qauli ‘an madzhab Al Imam Al Muhajir. 
Al-Bijani, Muhammad bin Salim. Al-Asy’ah al-Anwar 2. 
Al-Syathiri, Muhammad bin Ahmad. Sirat As-Salaf min Bani Alawy Al Husainiyin. 
Shahab, Muhammad Dhiya, Abdullah b. Nuh. Al-Imâm Al-Muhâjir. Beirut. 

External links[edit]

  • Ba`alawi.com Ba'alawi.com | The Definitive Resource for Islam and the Alawiyyen Ancestry.