Ba 'Alawiyya

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This article is about the sufi order. For the Ba'Alawi family, see Ba'Alawi sadah.

The Ba'Alawi tariqa (Arabic: طريقة آل باعلوي‎), also known as the Tariqa Alawiyya is a Sufi order centered in Hadhramawt, Yemen, but now spread across the Indian Ocean rim along with the Hadhrami diaspora. The order is closely tied to the Ba'Alawi sadah family.

It was founded by al-Faqih Muqaddam As-Sayyid Muhammad bin Ali Ba'Alawi al-Husaini, who died in the year 653 AH (1232 CE). He received his ijazah from Abu Madyan in Morocco via two of his students.[1] Abu Madyan was a student of Abdul Qadir Jilani, as well as one of the shaikhs in the Shadhiliya tariqa chain of spiritual transmitters from Muhammad. The members of this Sufi way are mainly sayyids whose ancestors hail from the valley of Hadramaut, in the southern part of Yemen, although it is not limited to them.[citation needed]

The chain of ijazah of spiritual Sufi transmission from al-Faqih Muqaddam Sayyid Muhammad traces back to the Islamic prophet Muhammad via his cousin Ali and from him, his son Husain.[citation needed]

Early beginnings[edit]

The name Ba'Alawi itself is a Hadhrami contraction of the terms Bani 'Alawi or the Clan of 'Alawi.

In the early 4th Century Hijri at 318 H, Sayyid Ahmad al-Muhaajir bin Isa ar-Rumi bin Muhammad al-Naqib bin Ali al-Uraidhi ibn Ja'far al-Sadiq migrated from Basrah, Iraq first to Mecca and Medina, and then to Hadhramout, to avoid the chaos then prevalent in the Abbassid Caliphate, where descendants of Muhammad were continuously being suspected of arson and revolt against the caliph. Most descendants of Muhammad known as sayyids enjoyed much followings due to their steep knowledge in Islam and its teachings, both esoteric and exoteric. Although such personalities may not have political ambitions, having huge followings means that they always attract the suspicions of the caliphate.

The name 'Alawi refers to the grandson of Sayyid Ahmad al-Muhajir, who was the first descendant of Husain, Muhammad's grandson, to be born in Hadramaut and the first to bear such a name.

Thus all the 'Alawi sayyids of Hadramaut are his progeny, and his descendants has since spread far and wide to the Arabian Peninsula, India especially in northern states of Surat and Ahmadebad and along the Malabar Coasts, North and West Coast of Africa, India, and the countries of the Malay Archipelago spreading Sunni Islam of the Shafii school and the Ba'Alawi Tariqah brand of Sufism.

Tarim, Hadhramaut[edit]

For about 800 years, the city of Tarim in Hadhramaut has been the centre of learning in Islamic jurisprudence or fiqh, notably of the Shafi Sunni school. The masters or early predecessors of the Ba'Alawi Tariqa are also mainly buried in the grounds of Tarim and thus up to this day, their shrines form part of the necessary destinations for visitors to Hadramaut. Today, two popular institutions for the study of Islam are Rubaat Tarim and the relatively new Dar al-Mustafa, the latter under the leadership of Habib Umar bin Hafiz.[citation needed]




  • Dostal, Walter, Saints of Hadramawt. In Walter Dostal and Wolfgang Kraus, editors, Shattering Tradition: Custom, Law and the Individual in the Muslim Mediterranean, 233-253. New York: I.B. Tauris, 2005
  • Ba` Ba' | The Definitive Resource for Islam and the Alawiyyen Ancestry

See also[edit]

External links[edit]