Habib Ali al-Jifri

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Habib Ali Al-Jifri
Native name الحبيب علي زين العابدين الجفري
Born (1971-04-16) April 16, 1971 (age 44)[1]
Jeddah, Saudi Arabia
Residence Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates
Ethnicity Arab
Occupation Islamic scholar, academic, author
Organization Tabah Foundation
Home town Hadhramaut, Yemen
Title Shaykh
Religion Islam

Habib Ali Zain al-`Abideen al-Jifri (Arabic: الحبيب علي زين العابدين الجفري‎; born April 16, 1971[1]) is an Islamic scholar and spiritual educator from Hadhramaut, Yemen. He is the founder of Tabah Foundation,[2][3] a research institute based in Abu Dhabi, UAE.[4]

Early life[edit]

Habib Ali Zain al-Abidin al-Jifri was born in the city of Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, on 16 April 1971[5] (20th Safar 1391 AH) to parents who hail from the Hadramawt valley in Yemen. His ancestral roots return to the city of Tarim. Al-Jifri is a direct descendant of the Islamic prophet, Muhammad, through his grandson Hussein.[6]

Education & Training[edit]

Al-Jifri began his pursuit of knowledge in his early childhood. His first teacher was his mother's great aunt, Safiyya b. Hasan al-Jifri, a scholar of the Islamic sciences and spiritual educator. At the age of nine he was introduced to Habib Abdul-Qadir al-Saqqaf. Al-Jifri went on to spend over ten years in his company and studied many renowned works, including various hadith collections and the Ihya of Imam al-Ghazali (Revival of the Religious Sciences).[7][better source needed] Having learnt both the outward, theoretical knowledges and the inward, spiritual sciences at the hands of Habib Abdul-Qadir, Al-Jifri spent a further ten years in the company of Habib Umar bin Hafiz, starting with him in the Northern Yemeni city of Bayda where he spent time at the school of the erudite scholar Habib Muhammad al-Haddar. Al-Jifri returned to the ancient city of Tarim with Habib Umar in the mid-90s and assisted him in the establishment of the Dar al-Mustafa seminary for Islamic Studies.[citation needed]


Al-Jifri is the founder of the Tabah Foundation in Abu Dhabi, UAE. He is a member of the board of Dar al-Mustafa Islamic University in Tarim, Yemen.

He is a member of the Royal Aal al-Bayt Institute for Islamic Thought in Jordan, and is also affiliated with various other international Islamic organizations.

He has strong connections with many centers and academies involved with international dialogue in religions and civilizations, including the Center for Faith and Culture at Yale University in the United States. He is also a contributor to A Common Word Between Us and You, an Islamic-Christian dialogue. He received the annual award of the Eugen Biser Foundation in Germany for the year 2008 for his contribution to Islamic-Christian dialogue.

Al-Jifri has lectured across the world and continues to be invited by officials and communities alike to address audiences and provide consultation and advice on many of the key issues involving religion and Muslims today. Al-Jifri's work focuses on critical issues of concern and is often focused within the realms of spiritual development, interfaith and cross-cultural dialogue, modernity and religion, preventing extremism of all types, and ethics and morality.

More recently, Al-Jifri has been an extensive commentator on the intellectual and thought-based shifts taking place in the Arab region with particular focus on younger generations. Over the last three years he has had a successful television program, Amantu-billah, in which he engages in dialogue and discussion with a host of guests coming from different intellectual, political, philosophical and religious persuasions. His writings and contributions on the broad topic of Islam in the modern world have received critical acclaim and acquired wide readership.

Among the regions and countries he has visited:
· Africa: Kenya, Tanzania
· Americas: United States, Canada
· Asias: Malaysia, Singapore, Indonesia, India, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka
· Europe: Britain, France, Germany, Denmark, Belgium, Holland, Ireland, Bosnia & Herzegovina, Turkey
· Middle East: Gulf Countries, Syria, Egypt, Jordan, Yemen, Morocco, Algeria, Sudan, Oman, Lebanon, Mauritania, Comros Island, Djibouti

Awards and recognition[edit]

In 2009, Al-Jifri was listed 34th in the world’s 500 most influential Muslims by Georgetown University’s The Prince Al-Waleed Bin Talaal Center for Muslim-Christian Understanding and Royal Islamic Strategic Studies Centre of Jordan.[8]

He was a recipient of the Eugen Biser award in 2008 for his contribution to the document A Common Word Between Us and You.[9]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b Pierret, Thomas. Religion and State in Syria: The Sunni Ulama from Coup to Revolution. p. 127. ISBN 1107026415. 
  2. ^ Gerhard Böwering, Patricia Crone, Mahan Mirza, The Princeton Encyclopedia of Islamic Political Thought, p 600. ISBN 0691134847
  3. ^ http://www.tabahfoundation.org/en/
  4. ^ Philip Lewis, Young, British and Muslim (Continuum 2007), p 76.
  5. ^ Thomas Pierret, Religion and State in Syria: The Sunni Ulama from Coup to Revolution, p 127. ISBN 1107026415
  6. ^ Yvonne Y Haddad, Educating the Muslims of America, p. 151. ISBN 0199705127
  7. ^ http://www.alhabibali.com/biography/ln/en
  8. ^ http://themuslim500.com/profile/habib-ali-zain-al-abideen-al-jifri
  9. ^ Joseph Nnabugwu, Analyzing A Common Word Between Us Muslims and You Christians: A Critical Discourse Analysis, p 101. ISBN 1462853072

External links[edit]