TARIQA AL-HASHIMIYYA AL-HABIBIYYA

Bismi L-lahi R-rahmani R-rahim

 

BIOGRAPHY OF Sheikh

 Mûlay Hashem

El-belghiti

In the name of Allah the most gracious, the most merciful.

O Allah, send your peace and blessings upon our master and our prophet Mohamad and his family, a prayer that bless all our affairs.

 

The masterpiece of the successful in the life of the Sheikh Mûlay Hashem

 

By the poor to his Almighty Lord Al-Belghiti Abdulkabir, may Allah be with him in both worlds, amen.

Translated from Arabic into English by both

Aboukhalid Aissam and Zeyat Mehdi

 

Introduction

Praise be to God, the sustainer, the supreme bestower onto whomever He wants. The One Who chooses, by His knowledge and His wisdom,  from amongst His creation those He wills to be beside Him; to make them either well known and famous or, forgotten and hidden, or even put them in the status of humility, or guidance or retraction from the world of Men.

While their stations are different, the source of spiritual provision (maddad) remains the same. Happy he who was blessed by Allah’s generosity and whom Allah made encounter one of His friends (i.e. saints) and unveiled to him his (Allah’s friend) special character so that he would completely lean onto him. Verily Allah, would not guide anyone to His friends unless He had formerly bestowed onto him His protection and care.

The best of blessings and pure peace be upon our master Mohammed, the master of created things, the seal of the honorable messengers, the intercessor in the judgment day and God’s mercy to the worlds, upon his pure family, his most noble companions and all those who followed on their paths with excellence till the judgment day.

The poor servant of Almighty Allah, Abdulkabir Al-Belghiti, may Allah be with him in both worlds amen, says:

“This is a brief profile and a refined biography of our master and father, may the Allah Most High protect him. In fact, after certain disciples and friends have reiterated their requests to know about his biography, I sought his permission but he refused arguing that “there is no biography about me.” I complied with his order and conveyed his decision. Then after a long lapse of time which lasted for about seven years, I felt it was high time I should seek again his permission, which he granted me. Thus, I gathered what I had documented before from what he had told me about himself, and I asked him to complete the other events till I collected sufficient amount of information about him. My expansive gratitude to Allah Most High Who made this possible. I named this biography: “the master piece of the gainer about the biography of Mûlay[1] Hashem.”

May Allah Most High make it a sincere act seeking His sake. Amen.                

The Belghiti’s Shurafa[2]

This is a very brief glimpse about this lofty and noble Mohammadan genealogical tree.

The Alaoui Belghiti’s Shurafaa belong to their grandfather and famous pole (Kutb)[3]: Mûlay Abd Elwahed Abu Elghayt. He, may God be pleased with him, was the sole person of his time in knowledge and tassawuf. His tongue would never abate glorifying Almighty Allah. He was the manager of the zawiya of his grandfather: Mûlay Ali Shrif, may God be pleased with him. The reason for being nicknamed “Abi Alghayt”, meaning “the father of rain”, resides in the following story: there was a severe drought in their region and he was chosen for his piousness and his knowledge to lead the ‘istisqaa’ prayer (the prayer that Muslims perform to ask for rain), and as soon as he finished his supplication, the Lord relieved them with rain. He was then named after that. This incident occurred many times with him until he became famous for it and was attributed ‘Al Belghiti’ as a surname. He passed away, may God be pleased with him, in Sijilmasa and was buried there; A mausoleum was built upon him. He left six males: Yusuf the eldest, Yusuf the youngest, Abd El-Aziz, Hibatu Allah, El Arabi and Mohammed. His descendants spread in different regions: some of them were settled in Kasbah Sidi Mallouk; others in Akhnoush; some in Aghris and other places; some of them even reached Sous and some of his offspring, by order of Sultan Mûlay Abdu Rahmane Ibn Hashem, God Almighty have mercy on him, moved to Zarhoun City and settled down in a kasbah which was named after them called: “the Belghiti’s Kasbah”; others moved to the Atlas, Marrakesh, Fes and Meknes, while others immigrated to the enlightened Medina and resided there.

The palace of Shurafa

Our ancestors moved to “Wakka” in the city of Guelmima and settled down there. The palace[4] they inhabited was named after them “The Shurafa Palace”. For a long period of time, they and their families were the only ones living there until other people and families from neighboring areas settled down with them. There, a zawiya Darkawiya was established by the knowledgeable of God Almighty, Sheikh Sharif Mûlay Said El-Belghiti, may God be pleased with him. It was him who inculcated the litany to our Sheikh, Sidi Mohammed Ibn El-Habib, may God be pleased with him, as reported by the latter. It was from this palace that the grandfather of our master and father Sheikh Mûlay Hashem, the blessed Sharif and friend of Almighty Allah, Mûlay Abd Rahmane, God almighty have mercy on him, immigrated to Azrou city and settled down there till his death. 

The reason for travelling

Our master and father Sheikh, may almighty Allah protect him, stated that: “My grandfather Mûlay Abd Rahmane, God almighty has mercy on him, wanted to work in commerce and co-funded for this purpose with his brother Mûlay Slimane the necessary seed capital and set-off on his business journey to Fes. When he reached Sidi Addi, (a region near the city of Azrou) he met the knowledgeable of God Almighty, the Sheikh Sidi Tayeb Elhouari, may Allah be pleased with him, with a group of disciples who were travelling. Their spiritual state was such that it took hold of his heart and he took the “Tariqa”[5] from the Sheikh and accompanied him in his travel. He spent all his money on his Sheikh and his companions, devoted himself to him and remained at his disposal for a while.”

When he attained maturity in Tariqa, his Sheikh ordered him to go to Azrou, gave him permission to teach the Tariqa’s litany and asked him to build a zawiya there. He, God almighty have mercy on him, obeyed his Sheikh’s order and his zawiya was the first Darquawi zawiya in the region. It became the destination of disciples where Allah’s glorification was elevated morning and evening, hearts and souls were revived, bodies and souls were shaken for love and longing to the Almighty Allah.

Our master Abd Rahmane, may God be pleased with him, was enjoying solitude, keeping away from means of fame, renouncing worldly pleasures, his intention was asceticism. He was a symbol of generosity, did not distinguish himself from his brothers and did not save anything to the next day. His tongue did not subside from praising Almighty Allah. He educated his family before educating his companions on these honorable qualities and unique behaviors.

His Sheikh Sidi Tayeb Elhouari took the Tariqa from Sheikh Sidi Mohammed Elarbi Mdaghri, from Sheikh Sidi Ahmed El-Badwi Zwiten, from Sheikh Mûlay Al-Arbi Darkawi, may God be pleased with them all.

His burial at the mosque

The day preceding his death, God almighty have mercy on him, he informed some of his family and companions that he would be buried at the mosque. When the news reached some of his opponents and disclaimers, they swore that this wouldn’t happen. Yet, the divine power decreed a heavy snowstorm that night which blocked the roads to the cemetery. When the people gathered the next morning to perform the funeral prayer, they could not find a way to bury him as they were surrounded by snow. The notables of the city suggested to bury him temporarily in the mosque till the road clears up before transporting and reburying his body in the cemetery. Thus, the clairvoyance of this pious servant was realized, and he is until today buried in the mosque, a blessing to him from Almighty Allah.

An inherited will

When Mûlay Abd Rahmane, God almighty have mercy on him, got sick, and felt his hour near, he instructed his son, Mûlay Abd El-Kabir, God Almighty have mercy on him, to maintain the weekly assembly of remembrance and the celebration of the birth of the prophet. The latter did the same with his son, our master and father Sheikh Mûlay Hashem, may Allah protect him, who in turn did the same with me. I ask Allah Most High success, Amen.

The grandfather, Mûlay Abd El-kabir,

God almighty have mercy on him

My grandfather, Mûlay Abd El-kabir, may God have mercy on him, was born approximately in 1889, at Shurafa’s palace in “Wakka”. He grew up there and memorized the wholly Quran. When his father took him to Azrou, he learnt some major texts by heart, took a bit of knowledge and worked in commerce. He was quite successful in his business and became one of the notables of the city. He, God almighty have mercy on him, was seeking licit in his earnings, insisting on that and did not accept any suspicious income, thus Allah blessed, fortified his commerce and granted him fast response for his supplications till he became well known among people for this gift. Our master the Sheikh stated: “Whenever he prayed for someone, about goodness or else, he/she would get it for sure. I witnessed this either among his family, or among his friends or others. The news about this is well known, current and clearly stated among the residents of the city.”

He, may Allah protect him, also stated: “His most prayer for me was, may Allah make you one of the great Gnostics of Allah and may render you one of the special people of your time. Almighty Allah undoubtedly realized that through His bounty and favor, to Him are all thanks and gratitude.”

He, may Allah have mercy on him, was solemn in appearance; overwhelmed with prestige; spending money for the sake of Allah without reserve, secretly and publicly. He enjoyed sitting with the poor people and persisting on getting up at night. His tongue did not subside from praising almighty Allah. He was serious in all his affairs; a highly determined person. He had an old “Djellaba” filled with patches; he sometimes wore it in the city, especially at the “souk” (market place), where he had his shops, intending to purify himself with that, as my father the Sheikh, may Allah protect him, used to tell me.

Despite his social status and his financial abilities, he did not bring up his children on a wealthy life, rather; he brought them up seriously and hardly, ordering them to work and strive to improve themselves, never indulgent with that. He was mostly preoccupied with their prayers, stressing a lot on that. He educated them on high morals and attributes.

The reason behind his contact with Sheikh Sidi Mohammed Ibn El-Habib, may Allah have mercy on him

As it has already been stated, my grandfather, God almighty have mercy on him, grew up among the “Fukara[6] at his father’s zawiya. In this spiritual atmosphere, he absorbed the love of both the Tariqa and the gatherings of remembrance of God.

After his father passed away, may God almighty have mercy on him, years passed and my grandfather, may God have mercy on him, started searching for someone who would take his hand to the way of Almighty Allah, till the destiny took him to Fes city. There, he met a pious man. He asked him if there was an educating Sheikh, he replied yes and referred him to Sheikh Sidi Mohammed Ibn El-Habib and showed him his zawiya at “Kasbat Nawar”. My grandfather, God almighty have mercy on him, headed for it directly. Once he reached the zawiya, he asked for permission to meet the Sheikh and was given permission.

When the grandfather, may God almighty have mercy on him, met Sheikh Sidi Mohammed Ibn El-Habib, may God be pleased with him, he asked him: “Are you a Sheikh who received permission from Allah and His messenger, or are you like the other Sheikhs of this time?”, he referred to those claimers to the status of a Sheikh, while the truthful ones can be found in all times and all places. Sheikh Sidi Mohammed Ibn El-Habib, may God be pleased with him, replied: “I am indeed a Sheikh authorized by Allah and His messenger and if I lie to you, I shall have an evil ending.”

My grandfather then, reached out his hand to the Sheikh and asked to lead him to almighty Allah; the Sheikh shook hand with him and taught him the litany. This was in 1924.  My grandfather then, returned to Azrou, informed his family and companions that he met an educating Sheikh, took from him and started introducing the Sheikh and the Tariqa there. Once a good number of disciples, who were willing to take Tariqa, were gathered, he travelled with them to visit Sheikh Mohamed Ibn El-Habib and they took from him. The Sheikh made my grandfather ‘Muqadam’[7] responsible upon them. He asked the Sheikh to honor them by a visit to Azrou and insisted on him. The Sheikh accepted and arranged a meeting for that.

The Sheikh, may God be pleased with him, came to Azrou and found that my grandfather, some Fukara as well as some notables were at his reception. He was the guest of my grandfather. A great number of people came to meet the Sheikh, after having heard a lot about him from my grandfather; it was a blessing night, a gift and spiritual breeze from Almighty Allah indeed; after the session of remembrance, the Sheikh gave a lesson which affected the hearts of the visitors and made them eager to know Allah and to pursue the sufi path. A group of attendees took the Tariqa from the Sheikh and this is how it spread in that area.

My grandfather, may Allah have mercy on his soul, rebuilt his father’s zawiya and vivified it so that it became again filled with worshipers of Almighty Allah and became their destination. The light of remembrance and reminding spread in the hearts of the people as they gathered daily in the zawiya, their numbers and the spiritual provision increased by the blessing of the spiritual transmission. Another zawiya opened in Ben Smim (a region near Azrou) and the number of male and female disciples increased, to the extent that a specific day was reserved for women in which they recited their litanies. This is how the Tariqa spread in the whole region and benefaction overwhelmed those areas.

For the zawiya to be financially independent and to cover its expenses, my grandfather, God almighty have mercy on him, endowed it with some of his shops.

Whenever my grandfather would go to his Sheikh’s ‘mussem[8], he would take a cow, enough tea and sugar. The Sheikh would reserve a house for my grandfather, who would personally supervise the distribution of the provisions.

The yearly ‘mussem’ used to be held on the seventh day of the anniversary of the birth of the wholly prophet. On the eighth day, my grandfather used to organize a night for ‘fukara’ in his house in Meknes that was attended by the Sheikh and the ‘muqadams’ of the Tariqa, and also those who attended the mussem. This was his habit till his death, God almighty have mercy on him.

His death, God almighty have mercy on him

The grandfather, God almighty have mercy on him, fell sick in his last days and could hardly walk, this prevented him from attending the weekly gatherings held every Thursday at the zawiya. He then started to hold the gathering for the remembrance of God every Friday after Al-Asr prayer at his house in Meknes, where he settled in his last days. On a Friday, while he was sitting in his courtyard remembering Allah as usual, he got silent, his family taught he went asleep due to his tiredness and kept moving silently so as not to wake him up. At the same time, Sheikh Sidi Mohammed Ibn El-Habib, may God be pleased with him, was in his zawiya talking with some of his disciples. Suddenly, he stopped and told them that Mûlay Abd El-kabir just passed away in his house and that his family went by and did not pay attention to him. He sent someone to the house of my grandfather to inform them and found that the Sheikh was right. This was an evident karama (supernatural aptitudes or events) of the Sheikh and a proof about the strong spiritual connection between them. This was in 1971, may God have mercy on him.

Our master the father Sheikh,

may God protect him

He is the Gnostic of Almighty Allah, the one guiding to Him through his state and his speech, the noble by his two family connections, the isthmus of the two seas, the exemplar for the seekers, the conclusion of the Gnostics, the one whom Allah has singled out to be near His divine presence, made him a guide by His permission, endowed him with the highest vestments of sainthood and covered him with the noblest secrets of protection until his sun raised and his specificity appeared, he then gained the status of the kutb, a favor from Allah without suspicion, the one with high morals and virtuous states, Abu Mohammed Mûlay Hashem Ibn Abd-Elkebir El-Belghiti El-Alaoui by his noble ancestry, Chadili Derkaoui by his brotherhood and his affiliation, Al-Mohammadi emanation and beverage.

Signs and glad tidings prior to his birth

His birth was preceded by numerous indications and signs predicting the importance of this blessed newborn well known among family members. I will suffice myself with what he told me himself based on the account of one of his maternal aunts who said: ”I saw in my dream someone telling me: there was a Sheikh, meaning Sidi Mohammed El-Arbi El-Mdaghri, may God have mercy on him, and there is now a Sheikh, meaning Sidi Mohammed Ibn El-Habib, may God have mercy on him, and there will be a Sheikh, meaning this new born.”    

His birth and his upbringing

Our master the father Sheikh, may Allah protect him, was born in 1940 in Azrou city and grew up there. His father was Mûlay Abd-Elkebir Ibn Mûlay Abd-Rahmmane; his mother was the honorable lady Lala Saidia, the daughter of the saint of Almighty Allah Sidi Kacem El-Hilali, known by Abi Al-Adyaf relative to his generosity, God almighty have mercy on them all.

Sidi Kacem El-Hilali, may God have mercy on him, was virtuous and religious, known for his righteousness; he worked in commerce, was serious, hardworking and faithfully serving the people of Allah, loving them, avoiding idle talk, he did not intrude himself in others’ businesses and used to make lot of remembrance of Almighty Allah.

He took the Tariqa Darkawiya Chadiliya from Sheikh Sidi Belhaj, who used to live in the suburbs of Khemissat, who took it from Sheikh Sidi Mohammed Ibn El-Arbi Mdaghri from Sheikh Sidi Mohammed Badwi Zwiten, from Sheikh Mûlay Arbi Darkawi, may God be pleased with them all. Then, after the death of his Sheikh, he accompanied the Gnostic of Allah Sidi Mohammed El-Hlou, who was the first Sheikh of our Sheikh, Sidi Mohammed Ibn El-Habib, may God be pleased with them all.

Our master and father Sheikh, may God protect him, grew up in the arms of his parents on high morals and honorable deeds. He is the only son amongst all his siblings from his mother and she was the only one to give birth among her sisters and her brother. He, may God protect him, was therefore the only child in his family from the mother’s side, which is why he was at the center of their interests, attentions and concerns.

His genealogy

He is Mûlay Hachem Ibn Abd-Elkebir, Ibn Abd-Rahmmane, Ibn Ali, Ibn El-Hassan, Ibn Mohammed, Ibn Hashem, Ibn Ahmed, Ibn Abi-Alghayt, Ibn Youssef, Ibn Mohammed, Ibn Youssef, Ibn El-Kotb Sidi Abd-Elwahed Abu-Alghayt, Ibn Abi-Eljamal Youssef, Ibn Mûlay Ali Shrif, Ibn El-Hassan, Ibn Mohammed, Ibn El-Hassan Dakhil, Ibn El-Kacem, Ibn Mohammed, Ibn Abi El-Kacem, Ibn Mohammed, Ibn El-Hassan, Ibn Abibakr, Ibn Ali, Ibn El-Hassan, Ibn Ahmed, Ibn Ismail, Ibn El-Kacem, Ibn Sidi Mohammed Nafs Zakiya, Ibn Abdallah El-Kamel, Ibn El-Hasan Moutanna, Ibn El-Hassan Sibt, Ibn El-Imam Ali and our lady Fatima Zahrae, the daughter of our master Sayidina Mohammed the messenger of Allah, peace be upon him and his family.

His studies

Our father and master the Sheikh, may God protect him, stated:

”I started memorizing the wholly Quran by heart at the hand of the blessed noble man, Mûlay Abdslame El-Bouhammadi, may God have mercy on him. He was the husband of my elder sister.

At an early age, my father, may God have mercy on him, used to wake me up for Al-Fajr prayer and ordered me to go to the fqih’s[9] house, since we lived near each other. After that, I joined the school and used to go to the Quranic school to memorize the Quran right after Al-Fajr prayer, before going to the school at the start of the classes,  in the evening on my way back home, I would visit again the fqih (to continue my Quran memorization). This is how I combined between the Quranic School and the public one. Since the distance between the Quranic School and the public one was long enough, my mother gave me a rosary and told me to fill my time on my way to school by extoling and taught me to say: glory and thanks are to God the Magnificent and prayers upon the prophet, peace be upon him. She was, may God have mercy on her, quite insisting on me to preserve my prayers since my childhood. Shortly after I joined school, she passed away, may God have mercy on her.”

When he finished the primary school he, may God protect him, joined a place known at that time as “The Berber Secondary School” in Azrou, which concentrated most of the sons of the city’s notables and where the majority of teachers were foreigners. He got his intermediate high school degree there.

His moving to Meknes

He moved, may God protect him, to Meknes to finish his studies in 1952 and chose to specialize in the Islamic sciences. He performed another full recitation of the holy Quran as per the Warsh from Nafia recitation method under the supervision of the blessed fqih Sidi Mohammed Slimani, may god have mercy on him.

He also joined the scientific chairs at the great mosque. He learnt some major texts from different arts and embraced sciences from his honorable Sheikhs, God have mercy on them.

He studied the sciences of Arabic language: syntax, grammar, rhetoric…from the nobl fqih, the respectable Mûlay Abdellah Shbihi known as “Asila”, and the fqih Sidi Abdelaziz. He also studied jurisprudence from Ibn Ashir, the letter of Abi Zayd Kayrawani, the Sheikh Khalil and a part from Mouwata’ from both the fqih Sidi Mohammed Zarhouni, fqih Arayshi and fqih El-Basri. He also studied the science of Quran interpretation from fqih Baaj. Also, he accompanied the two great scholars: Sidi Mohammed known as Sidi Jaddi and Sidi Mohammed Ibn El-Khayat and studied with them the ‘Shamael’[10], the Prophet’s biography, Imam Malik’s ‘Muwata’, Sheikh Khalil, parts of Sahih El-Boukhari and other major and fundamental texts.

He, may God protect him, claims that: “the fqih Sidi Mohamed known as Sidi Jaddi, may God have mercy on him, was serious in all his affairs, overwhelmed with prestige and dignity, talked a little, somewhat inclined to loneliness. He did not interfere in people’s matters. As soon as he finished his lessons, he immediately left his seat; did not chatter neither with students nor with others. For Sidi Mohammed Belkhayat, may God have mercy on him, he undoubtedly was one of the friends (saints) of Almighty Allah with high morals, extremely humble and polite, he had an appearance of saint person, was highly interested to teach his students, was always doing his utmost and did not hesitate to guide them. All those who studied with him were enlightened in science and knowledge. He, may God have mercy on him, told me that when he saw a young man and wished him to be a student of science, he wuld soon see him sitting in the his class. This undoubtedly was one of his graces.”

Our Sheikh the father, may God protect him, also stated: “when I came to Meknes to finish my studies, I dwelt at my grandfather’s house, Sidi Kacem El-Hilali, may God have mercy on him, which my father, may God have mercy on him, bought from the heirs. I also had a room at the boarding school but at night, I would sleep at home. Those were memorable days filled with studies, hard work and competition in seeking knowledge. I also attended the lessons of our Sheikh Sidi Mohammed Ibn El-Habib, may God be pleased with him, which he lectured at the Zitouna mosque, especially in jurisprudence and Quran interpretation, the explanation of the ‘Hikam Ata-iya’ (Aphorisms of Ibn Attaa Allah Al Sakandari) and also the Ramadan classes at his zawiya. The first time I attended his class with other students, I wondered if the Sheikh has remembered me; and when he finished his class, I went to greet him and to kiss his hands and when I bent down, he took my hands and told me: you are Mûlay Hashem, son of Mûlay Abdelbebir; he smiled, may God be pleased with him, as a response to my inner question”.

Also he, may God protect him, maintained the attendance of the weekly gatherings at the zawiya and the various celebrations done there. Thus, God combined to him these two things: the seeking of science and the engagement in the path of the brotherhood under the supervision of his Sheikh Sidi Mohammed Ibn El-Habib, may God be pleased with him.

During the holidays, he would return to his father in Azrou city and learn the basics of trade. His father would task him with different things to prepare him to become responsible and to gain experience to enable him in his future life. When he finished his studies and obtained his degrees and certificates from his Sheikhs, he wanted to travel to Egypt to finish his studies, however this did not happen.

Travelling abroad

In 1958, he, May God protect him, travelled to France and intended to return soon to his family. Yet, the predestination of God took him to a long European journey where he visited a number of countries during 9 years. He said, may God protect him: “I did not have any intention to settle down in Europe, this is why I always used to travel among cities and countries, working whenever I needed money; when I earned enough, I headed to another destination and so on. Although many job opportunities were offered to me, among which a position in the Moroccan consulate in France and an official job in Germany and others, yet I was not tempted to stay there. I remained in France for two years and few months, then Belgium and Holland for some weeks. Then, I went to Germany and spent four years there. It was the longest period which I spent in a country. There, I joined an academy and studied German language. I also worked in trade for some time, then to Sweden via Denmark where I spent a year. I enrolled in an university in Stockholm, then to Finland where I stayed for little over eight months. Then, coming back to Germany and France, then to Switzerland where I stayed for one month. Also, I visited Italy, Tunisia, Libya then Egypt where I stayed for three months.

I then applied for a visa to enter Hijaz and while they temporized, I went to Sudan for about a month, before Allah Almighty paved the way to it and I entered Hijaz”.

At the Hijaz

Our father the master Sheikh, may God protect him, has stated: “when I returned to Saudi Arabian embassy in Egypt and asked for a visa to get to Hejaz, they temporized for a long time and claimed that my passport was about to finish. I informed them that I just wanted to do Umrah. After a long debate, they agreed to grant me a visa for three days to perform Umrah quickly and then leave. I accepted and headed towards Jeddah and in the same day, I reached Makkah and performed the Umrah rituals. From there, I went to Medina to visit the Prophet, peace be upon him; my intention was to leave Hejaz on the third day as agreed.”

In Medina

Our master, the father Sheikh told: “when I reached Medina, I headed directly towards the Prophet’s mosque and visited the Rawdah (the area between the Prophet’s house and the Mihrab: the imam’s prayer position). Then, I went to a place known at that time The Moroccans Quarters; a kind of houses and rooms endowed at an early time by Moroccans to those neighboring Medina. I did not go to the hotel, since I intended to sleep only that night and to leave in the morning. The manager gave me a shared room with another person who disliked having me share the same room, and seemed unsatisfied. I slept in a corner of the room without bed, while he slept on the other side.

During that night, Allah blessed me and rewarded me to see our Master Mohammed, peace be upon him. I saw our Master Mohammed, peace be upon him, in the state in which he was at his time and he, peace be upon him, ordered me not to leave Medina. I replied: oh, messenger of Allah I don’t have a visa. He showed me a number of people and told me, all those don’t have a visa and he firmly instructed me to obey the order.

When we woke up for Al-Fajr prayer, the man sharing the room with me came and asked me if I was a noble man, in other words, if I was a member of the family of the prophet; I replied: yes. He then carried on: “I apologize to you and I ask for your forgiveness since I saw the prophet, peace be upon him, yesterday and told me that my son came to you and you did do your job of hospitality.” So, he went straight ahead and bought me a bed and everything needed.

Our master the father Sheikh stayed in Medina from Rajab till the season for pilgrimage arrived; he headed towards Makkah, performed the rituals of pilgrimage and came back to Morocco.

During the time when my father, may God protect him, was outside the country, the messages between him and his family were uninterrupted; he was continuously informing them about his where about, his news and novelties.

His return to Morocco

In 1967, he, may God protect him, returned to Morocco and settled down in Meknes. His father’s happiness about his return was indescribable. He also decided to settle down in Meknes definitely. As soon as our master the Sheikh father arrived, he went to the zawiya of Sheikh Sidi Mohammed Ibn El-Habib, may God be pleased with him, he renewed the vows with him and remained to his servitude and kept his company. He used to go to his shop in the mornings and in the evenings, he would devote himself to the zawiya with vitality and seriousness. He was a blaze of enthusiasm, as I was told by one of the great old Fukara, namely Sidi Abd Elhay Soussi, that he saved no effort and was always attending to the affairs of zawiya and the Fukara.

The Master’s gaze on the disciple

He, may God protect him, was quite insisting to be near his Sheikh to serve him whether in his zawiya or when they were travelling. He was spending from his own money, time and efforts, silently and faithfully without expecting any favor, position or any specific return, despite those who denied his efforts, or criticized him, or plotted against him. So much has been said to him and about him; yet, he did not pay attention to anybody:  whoever knows his goal, finds the obstacles on his path easy.

He remained in this state of dedication and hard work for a long time until one day the Sheikh, may God be pleased with him, called onto him and ordered him to come up to his private room. Our master and father the Sheikh recounted that meeting: “when I entered, he asked me to approach near him and made me sit on his bed, took my hand in his hands and bended his head whispering something I did not grasp, then raised his head and looked straight at me and what a look was! It was filled with all of the benedictions.” He, may God protect him, continued “since that day all the doors were opened for me”, to indicate the spiritual openings, blessing and favor that he gained as an illustration of our Sheikh’s poem:

How many way farers have we looked upon,

who then rose to the station of those who navigate the seas.

The will of Sidi Mohammed Ibn Elhabib,

may God be pleased with him

A month prior to his death, our Sheikh Sidi Mohammed Ibn El-Habib, may God be pleased with him, wrote his will in the presence of two public notary witnesses and some fukara (I have a copy of it) which can be summarized as follows: he requested that his zawiya, his library and one third of his house to be endowed to the Fukara, that he must be buried in the place where he is buried currently and that Mûlay Sharif Belghiti, the then muqadam of Khenifra, is to be the manager of the zawiya after him.

The death of our Sheikh Sidi Mohammed Ibn El-Habib,

may God be pleased with him

When our Sheikh Sidi Mohammed Ibn El-Habib, may God be pleased with him, decided to perform the pilgrimage in 1972, our father and Sheikh, may God protect him, decided to accompany him, but one of his aunt asked to go with them. As she was an old woman, he advised her: ”you won’t be able to go to the pilgrimage via land, the road will be long and exhausting for you. Besides, I want to accompany my Sheikh via land.” Yet, she insisted a lot and when he noticed that, he didn’t want to prevent her from performing the pilgrimage and chose to travel with her by plane hoping to meet our Sheikh there. When the pilgrimage period started, the Fukara gathered in Makkah waiting for their Sheikh but received instead the dreadful news that the Sheikh passed away, may God have mercy on him, in Algeria. Despite being heartsick out of their deep sadness, they carried out their pilgrimage in a state of bewilderment before returning to Morocco.

The gathering of the fukara after the death of the Sheikh

Some Moqadams of the Tariqa gathered and especially the companions of the Sheikh, God have mercy on him, to discuss the affairs of the Tariqa and the relevant decisions to be taken, especially that the Sheikh did not assign his successor. However, they did not reach an agreement, since there were different views and opinions. The only thing that was agreed upon was that things should remain unchanged according to the will. As for the issue of spiritual leadership of the brotherhood, it remained obscure and unclear.

Clarification

It has never been proved that our Sheikh Sidi Mohammed Ibn El-Habib, may God be pleased with him, bequeathed the leadership of the brotherhood after him to one of his disciples to be in the position of a master, neither in a written nor in an oral way. And the information that has been circulating among some disciples is that when the Sheikh, may God have mercy on him, was sick someone visited him (this person is unknown) and when he saw him in that situation, he thought that the Sheikh was about to die so he asked him who would be his successor, the Sheikh would have told him that he did not see anybody at that time and if anything, the successor should be Sidi Mohammed Ibn El-Korshi.

If this matter was known among the Fukara and they did not abide by it, then they would be opposing the will of their Sheikh and his indication!? And where is the narrator of this story? Why didn’t he announce it when the Fukara gathered Sheikh’s death?

If, by any chance, he had concealed this, then he would have betrayed the trust. If it had been true, the issue would have been settled once for all and there would not have been any divergence of views or positions among the great Fukara.

Also I don’t think that this would be unknown to the closest companions of the Sheikh; they were highly estimated and admired among the Fukara, and they would all have been delighted to unite around a specific person.

As for Sheikh Sidi Mohammed Bel-Korshi, may God have mercy on him, who was supposed to be agreed upon, it is widely known that he disappeared for a period of time after the death of the Sheikh, may God have mercy on him, and no one knew his whereabouts until he showed up three months later justifying his absence by the fact that he feared the Fukara would agree to appoint him and oblige him to take the mastery of the brotherhood; he stayed in his zawiya in the Sahara and never returned to Meknes until his death, may God have mercy on him.

The judgment of the fukara

As it is known, having a living educating master (Sheikh) in a Tariqa is a must and since the Moqadams and the notables of the Tariqa did not agree on a specific person, the Fukara gathered around those who they believed were fit from amongst the companions of the Sheikh, may God have mercy on him, based on what they knew of their states and behaviors, what they sensed in terms of their blessings and what Almighty Allah may have revealed to them about their specificities, although no one had ever claimed the status of Sheikh or anything of that sort.

In this perspective, some of the people of the Sahara and others took Sheikh Sidi Mohammed Bel-Korshi, may God have mercy on him, as their master. Some people from Fes and others took Sidi Fadoul El-Houari, may God have mercy on him, as their master. Some people from Meknes and others took Mûlay Hashem El-Balghiti as their master.

Three big main groups emerged, under the name of one Tariqa and no disagreement ever occurred about this issue neither between the masters (Sheikhs) nor between the Fukara, except between those who were partial, out of ignorance, to a specific person. Partiality was completely unacceptable; as for the three masters, they shared great love, respect and esteem among each other’s, they used to visit each others and show one another utmost respect and high morals, as I have witnessed myself.

The state of the tariqa after the founder Sheikh

The Tariqa witnessed a sort of apathy after the death of the founding Sheikh Sidi Mohammed Ibn El-Habibi, may God be pleased with him, especially that the communication between its branches was weak. Some individuals however remained in touch through private visits. Nonetheless, that situation had negative results on the coordination between the different branches of the Tariqa and on the spread of the Tariqa. Things went into stagnation or we could even say into lethargy despite some individual efforts made to keep the flame of the Tariqa going. Yet, the lack of communication made these efforts fruitless.

The will of assignment

In 1977, when illness overwhelmed Mûlay Sharif, may God have mercy on him, who was responsible for the affairs of the zawiya according to the will of Sheikh Sidi Mohammed Ibn El-Habib, may God be pleased with him, he asked for our father the Sheikh, may God protect him and wrote him a judicial testament to manage the affairs of zawiya in his life as well as after his death. When asked why he did not hand it down to one of his sons, he replied that Sheikh Sidi Mohammed Ibn El-Habib was the one who recommended him to do so, and ordered him to make the will for Mûlay Hashem El-Balghiti. Our Sheikh the father, took this responsibility of managing the affairs of the zawiya since then.

The arduous task

As soon as the news of the appointment of our master the Sheikh and father, may God protect him, as the person in charge of managing the zawiya spread, jealousy raged in some, to the extent that their main occupation became plotting against him and showing him hostility through the spreading of lies and allegations in a strive to abort his mission and discredit him.

What was very unfortunate was the contribution of some of Sheikh Sidi Mohammed Ibn El-Habib’s wives, one of them used to consider herself to be the most deserving in handling the zawiya and was encouraged by some who applauded her actions and idea as a result of their aversion to our Sheikh and father, may God protect him. They did not leave any way leading to his defamation and opposition, except that they tried it.

He, may God protect him, faced this with determination, patience, forgiveness and wisdom. He did not confront them nor did he reply to them, due to his appreciation of the responsibility he was carrying. Yet, they considered this was as a sign of weakness which encouraged them to double their efforts and their actions against him.

Whenever he, may God protect him, tried to rectify things, they opposed and circumvent it as if their inner sight was blinded from the truth and follow it. What made the matter worse was the failing position taken by some muqadams regarding that situation, since whenever our father the Sheikh talked to them about this, their argument was that the wives of the Sheikh, may God be pleased with him, were in the position of their mothers and hence they could not say anything to them despite their mistakes and their tendency to ignore what was right.

This did not prevent him to perform his duties, rather his dedication grew stronger as well as his determination to pursue in his path. He carried on spending his own money on the zawiya and left to them whatever was endowed to it. He devoted himself, his time and his money for the zawiya to continue performing its original mission and to keep the Tariqa cohesive and united, and these efforts are known to both the private and the general public.

He kept enduring and dealing with these difficulties and struggle for a long time, till he was about to write a will to transfer the management of the zawiya to someone else. In that same night, he saw his Sheikh Sidi Mohammed Ibn El-Habib in his dream who ordered him to remain steady and adhere to the zawiya. So, he respected his Sheikh’s instruction and  remained in charge of the weekly gathering, supervision of the annual museum, the travels of the Fukara, the spread of the Tariqa and the interactions with other sufi tariqas; he also printed the Sheikh’s Diwan of after it had almost disappeared and distributed it for free to all branches of the Tariqa. As for the zawiya, he renovated and restored it.

His time as master of the brotherhood

In the early nineties, signs and good omen started to appear indicating to our father the Sheikh, may God protect him, the permission to take the lead to educate and guide; however, he was inclined to keep it secret. I have stated earlier that some of the disciples from Meknes and others were gathered around him and took him as their Sheikh after the death of the founder master, since they have seen signs and morals which predict that he was the successor of the Sheikh and one of his heirs; however, that remained on a limited scale till Almighty Allah wanted to show his importance, reveal his privacy and spread his mane among his creatures.

He, Almighty Allah prepared the causes, opened hearts and doors leading to his announcement till he became known for the private and the public.

And what appeared from the state and the biography of our master and father the Sheikh, may God protect him, the proofs gathered about the completion of his specificity, his high status in the knowledge of his Lord, the ‘karamat’ (supernatural aptitudes or events) and extrasensory clairvoyance that happened between him and his disciples, also the dreams of some of truthful people, the announcements made by a number of saints about him, the effect of his state before his speech upon his companions and disciples, the guidance of people on his hands, many other revelations and some implicit indications from him proved one thing: that he was given the obvious permission to educate and guide. Yet, he was not threatened to announce himself as it happened to his Sheikh; the circumstances can prove this.

The official announcement

Thanks to the efforts made by our father and Sheikh, may God protect him, to spread the Tariqa, many people joined it from different social background, especially the youth who played a major role in opening new branches. And a request was always recurring during the gatherings and the meetings of the Fuqara: it was the official announcement of the Sheikh of the Tariqa.

And in 1997, the representatives of the branches who took the Tariqa from Sheikh Mûlay Hashem gathered in the house of ‘muqadam’ Sidi Haj Abdelkebir Mottaqi, may God have mercy on him, in Casablanca, and the  official announcement was made that Sheikh Mûlay Hashem Elbelghiti is the actual Sheikh of Tariqa. The Fukara returned to their regions announcing the news after agreeing to meet at the annual ‘mussem’ at our master the father and Sheikh’s house in Meknes. A number of people came to renew the vow with him. Thus, a new era of Tariqa began.

His service to the Tariqa

His role and service to the Tariqa, may God protect him, is known to everyone as he attained a great and famous position among people, to the extent that he became a symbol as I already mentioned. So this was and is still his state, he devoted his life to this, never getting bored or tired. Almighty Allah gifted him with high spirits, divine support and beautiful patience, he put himself, his money and his family at the service of the Tariqa for the sake of Almighty Allah and always repeated that it him being a servant of the Tariqa is a grace from God.

Despite the jealousy of the jealous, the resentment of resentful, the denial of the deniers, the plotting of the plotters, the blaming of the blamers, he did not pay attention to all of this, directed his heart to his Lord and sufficed himself with Him. The Lord elected, gifted and awarded him and their mischievous actions just made him more dedicated in his service and he kept repeating: “if you want to know your place with God, look at where He put you in”.

He worked hard to make his Sheikh’s zawiya as a zawiya of dhikr and school for science and talked with the Head of Meknes Scientific Council at to revive the scientific lessons at zawiya and assign a permanent imam and he accepted willingly. Our father and Sheikh then, may God protect him, then started the necessary procedures, the news was heard, the disciples were delighted. Yet, those with sick hearts along with one of the Sheikh’s wives pushed by jealousy, opposed this strongly fearing that the credit of this favor would go to our father the Sheikh, so they did everything possible to spoil this project and managed to destroy this good initiative.

He used also to supervise the organization of the annual mussem in his Sheikh’s zawiya, to buy everything needed without waiting for any donation from anybody or for any help. He would personally manage every small and big thing during the mussems’ days, you would always find him sitting with Fukara, prioritizing his brothers over himself, this was always his habit.

Our master and father Sheikh, may God protect him, remained at the service of his Sheikh’s zawiya, though some of those who have the Tariqa and the zawiya at heart advised him to abandon them since they made their choice and they were a lost case. Some also insisted on him to take an independent zawiya but he refused and continued to endure a lot of harm from their part for the sake of keeping the unity of the Fukara and zawiya.

During that time, his house, may God protect him, remained always open to everyone with no exception throughout the whole year, even to those who opposed him or talked mischievously about him, or showed him love while hiding hate. He never closed his door on the face of anybody, helping them materially and morally. If some of his companions or his family blamed him for this, he would repeat: “you had a good model in the messenger of God.”

The zawiya of Sheikh Mûlay Hashem Elbelghiti

When Almighty Allah wanted him to have his own zawiya, He prepared reasons and opened doors as the harm of some Fukara and others who live in the house of Sheikh Sidi Mohammed Ibn Elhabib, may God be pleased with him, grew strong.   

 A pious man then came to him and advised him it was high time to take his house as zawiya. Our master and Sheikh replied: “I don’t want to be the cause of division.” The pious man told him: “it’s a must, either you like it or not. Your time has come.” Our master the father Sheikh, may God protect him, replied: “I don’t need this and I don’t aspire to take the lead thanks Allah, and I was not threatened as was our Sheikh”. Again that man told him: ”By God your holiness shall appear despite your will.” Our master and father the Sheikh then said: “There is no power, but from God almighty” and kept silent.

Only a few days later, a number of Fukara moved to the house of our master the father Sheikh, may God protect him, and adopted it as a zawiya gathering there every week for lessons and remembrance of God. It became known as zawiya and referred to as: “Mûlay Hashem’s zawiya”.

Thus, it became the place for invocation of God and where the annual mussem celebrating the birth of our Prophet. It became the major destination for the Fukara from all over the world, known to everyone. When our master the father Sheikh, may God protect him, saw this reality occurring despite having no interference in it, he told me: “My mother, God have mercy on her, used to tell me may Allah render your house a zawiya and whoever comes would drink. Allah almighty realized that.”

Some of his states and his biography

Our master and father Sheikh, may God protect him, adheres to Sharia, follows Sunnah in all his states, glorifies saints and righteous men, respects scholars and men of knowledge, likes loneliness and hates taking the lead in gatherings (unless he is forced to do so), he is little talkative, easy going, extremely kind, always smiling and making his guests and disciples at ease. If asked about his attitude, he says: ”our source is derived from beauty”, he values high morals, he is always serving his guests himself, never putting himself forward, having favorable opinion of people, generous, hospitable and spending his money for the sake of Allah and has strange and extraordinary experiences in relation to this. He always asks about his companions, praying for them secretly, travelling a lot to the gatherings of remembrance of God, enjoying the interaction with Fukara wherever they are, visiting them, accepting their invitations, postponing his own affairs for the sake of that, visiting them wherever the circumstanced allow for it, comforting them morally and materially, guiding, advising them politely and humbly and calls to Allah Almighty with wisdom and good advice.

Allah Almighty has enlightened the Tariqa at his hands, it has attained some European countries, America and some Asian countries where he has muqadams there.

 All this was thanks to the blessing of the permission, its secret and the realization of good omen about him. And that he is one of the special people of his time since his Lord has raised him to the position of servant and bestowed on him the rank of the beloved ones, had him drink of the most sublime beverage of taste and kindness, bestowed him with the subtlety of sciences and of knowledge. He then prepared him to guide to Him and He showed people his special rank.

So, the disciples who were since the pre-creation realm fortunate enough have gathered around him and that is by the grace of God, which He bestows on whomever He wills.   

Conclusion

So far, this is what I have been able to collect about the biography of our master and father the Sheikh, may God protect him and may God prolong his life in His obedience and satisfaction. He permitted me to write and publish it but there were things I have been ordered to hide.

Hence, no one would ever say that I wrote this biography because I love and admire my father, thousand times no! This is a way to talk about the blessings of the Lord so that we can ask for more.

I ask almighty Allah a good end.

Ended on Thursday the 9th Rabi’a Al-Awal 1441 Hijri/ November 7th 2019   

DONE BY THE GRACE OF ALLAH

………………………………. 

[1] This is has been transliterated from Moroccan Arabic, according to the French spelling in use in morocco, his name is written “Mûlay Hashem” (in classical Arabic, Mûlây) is a term of honor and in Morocco before the names of men of sharifian descent, i.e. those related to the prophet Muhammad

[2] Shurafa: plural of Sharif: the title of a person who traces his/her descent from the noble prophet Muhammad .

[3] Kutb: literaly ‘pole’, a title characterizing the highest station reached by a Sufi saint, it is said that there could exist only one Kutb at any given point of time

[4] Palace: literal translation from Arabic: Kasr: a multi-dwelling fortified building typical of the south of Morocco hosting several families usually forming a clan or part of the same tribe.

[5] Tariqa: literaly ‘way or path’; in the sufi context, means a particular spirituel teaching that disciples follow in order to progress spiritually to get closer to Almighty God

[6] Fukara / fakir: literaly « the poor(s) », a term, in the Moroccan sufi context, that refers to the disciple(s) of a Tariq who gather in a Zawiya to recite litanies and discuss issues related to sufism.

[7] Muqadam: literaly : ‘the one who precedes’ ; in the context of sufi tariqa, means the deputy of a Sheikh who is responsible for the affairs of a Tariqa in a particular city or region

[8] Yearly celebration where disciples of a Tariqa gather in the company of their Sheikh usually

[9] Fqih: literaly : knowledgeable man, used to refer to Quranic school teacher

[10] Shamael : a classic book by Imam Tirmidhi – collection of hadiths describing the physical appearance of our Prophet and Master saidouna Mohamed Peace Be Upon Him