He is the caller to Allah, the erudite scholar, al-Habib Umar the son of Muhammad, bin Salim, bin Hafiz, bin Abdullah, bin Abu Bakr, bin Aidarus, bin Umar, bin Aidarus, bin Umar, bin Abu Bakr, bin Aidarus, bin Husain, bin Shaykh Abu Bakr, bin Salim, bin Abdullah, bin Abdul-Rahman, bin Abdullah, bin al-Shaykh Abdul-Rahman al-Saqqaf, bin Muhammad Mawla al-Dawilah, bin Ali, bin Alawi, bin Al-Faqih al-Muqaddam Muhammad, bin Ali, bin Muhammad Sahib al-Mirbat, bin Ali, bin Alawi, bin Muhammad Sahib al-Sawma’a, bin Alawi, bin Ubaydullah, bin al-Imam al-Muhajir il-Allah (the Migrant to Allah) Ahmad, bin Isa, bin Muhammad al-Naqib, bin Ali al-Uraydi, bin Ja’far as-Sadiq, bin Muhammad al-Baqir, bin Ali Zain al-Abidin, bin Husain as-Sibt, bin Ali, bin Abu Talib and Fatima al-Zahra, the daughter of our Liegelord, Muhammad, the Seal of the Prophets (Peace and blessings be upon him).
He was born in Tarim, Hadramaut in the Republic of Yemen, prior to Fajr on Monday, the 4th of Muharram, 1383 AH, which corresponds to the 27th of May, 1963. He grew up in Tarim. He memorized the Magnificent Quran and was reared in a pious fashion, in the care of his father, in an environment of knowledge, faith and virtuous character.
His Study of the Islamic Sciences
From an early age he studied the sciences of the pure Sacred Law including: the Qur’an, Prophetic Tradition (Hadith), Jurisprudence (Fiqh), Creed (Tawhid), foundations of Sacred Law (Usul al-Fiqh), the various disciplines of the Arabic language, and the knowledge of Spiritual travel from the scholars of Hadramaut. Among the greatest of them was his father, al-Habib Muhammad bin Salim, the Mufti of Tarim, as well as virtuous, gnostic scholars such as: al-Habib Muhammad bin Alawi bin Shihab al-Din, al-Habib Ahmad bin Ali Ibn al-Shaykh Abu Bakr, al-Habib Abdullah bin Shaykh al-Aidarus, the historian and eminent scholar, al-Habib Abdullah bin Hasan Bil-Faqih, the historian and linguist, al-Habib Umar bin Alawi al-Kaf, al-Habib Ahmad bin Hasan al-Haddad, Habib Umar’s older brother, Habib Ali al-Mashhur, al-Habib Salim bin Abdullah al-Shatiri, the Shaykh and Mufti Fadl bin Abdul-Rahman Ba Fadl, and Shaykh Tawfiq Aman. He began to teach and invite to Allah when he was 15 years old, while continuing to study and receive lessons.
His Migration to al-Bayda
When the situation became difficult due to the Communist Regime that existed in South Yemen at that time, Habib Umar migrated to the city of al-Bayda in North Yemen (not under Communist government), at the beginning of Safar 1402 AH (December 1981). There he persevered in study and invitation to Allah. He resided in the Ribat of al-Bayda and took knowledge from the Imam, the Gnostic, al-Habib Muhammad bin Abdullah al-Haddar and the erudite scholar al-Habib Zain bin Ibrahim Bin Sumayt. He was avid in establishing lessons and assemblies of knowledge. He would often travel in order to call to Allah in the various localities of al-Bayda, al-Hudaydah and Ta`izz. He used to frequently visit Ta`izz in order to take knowledge from the erudite scholar, the Hadith narrator al-Habib Ibrahim bin Umar bin Aqil.
His Repeated Visits to the two Noble Sacred Precincts of Mecca and Medina
He began to frequent the two Sacred Precincts from the month of Rajab 1402 AH (April 1982) onwards. There he learned from the Imam, the Gnostic, the Caller to Allah, al-Habib Abdul-Qadir bin Ahmad Al-Saqqaf and the Gnostic, the Caller to Allah, al-Habib Ahmad Mashhur bin Tahir al-Haddad, and the Gnostic, the erudite scholar, al-Habib Abu Bakr al-Attas bin Abdullah al-Habshi. He took license to narrate from the chains of transmission in Hadith and in other sciences from the narrator of connected chains, Shaykh Muhammad Yasin al-Faddani and the erudite scholar, the conveyer of Hadith of the two Sanctuaries, the noble descendant of the Prophet, Muhammad bin Alawi al-Maliki, as well as other scholars.
His Move to the City of Al-Shihr
In the year 1413 AH (1992), he moved to the city of al-Shihr, in the province of Hadramaut where he taught in the Ribat of al-Shihr for Islamic Studies, following its reopening after having been dispossessed during the Communist Regime. He resided there for a period of time, summoning to Allah and teaching. Many students from various regions of Yemen and parts of South- East Asia sought knowledge from him. He lived, prior to his move to al-Shihr, for a period of approximately a year and a half in the Sultanate of Oman, inviting to Allah, teaching, and reminding people about the way of al-Mustafa (peace and blessings be upon him).
His Move to the City of Tarim
He then moved from al-Shihr to Tarim, where he settled and received a number of students from various parts of the world. Dar al-Mustafa for Traditional Islamic Studies was founded in 1414 AH (1994). It is based on three objectives: the first being learning the sciences of the Sacred Law and related sciences from those who are apt to impart them with connected chains of transmission; the second purifying the soul and refining one’s character and the third conveying beneficial knowledge and calling to Allah, Mighty and Majestic. The official opening of the Dar al-Mustafa site took place on Tuesday, the 29th of Dhu’l-Hijjah, 1417 AH, corresponding to the 6th of May, 1997. Students and visitors continue to flock to it from all around the world. Graduates of Dar al-Mustafa have opened numerous centers of learning and invitation to Allah in a number of countries.
Habib Umar has an intense concern to raise religious consciousness in the City of Tarim. He has established many gatherings, the most important of which is the weekly Monday gathering, which is conducted in the town square of Tarim and is attended by hundreds of the city’s inhabitants. He also has made countless visits to the various regions of Yemen and has conducted many lectures in Yemeni universities, institutes and organisations.
Habib Umar has made numerous journeys summoning to Allah and spreading knowledge of the Sacred Law to various lands, including the Gulf States, Syria, Lebanon, Jordan, Egypt, Morocco, Algeria, Sudan, Mali, Kenya, Tanzania, South Africa, the Comoros Islands, India, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore, Brunei, Australia, Britain, France, Germany, Holland, Belgium, Denmark, Sweden and Spain. He has connected to the chains of transmission of the scholars of these regions. He has also participated in many Islamic conferences.
His Writings and Publications
Habib Umar has many audio and visual publications as well as writings. Among his works are (the books which have been translated into English are underlined, others are in the process of being translated):
- Two collections of hadith: Selections from Shifa al-Saqim (al-Mukhtar min Shifa al-Saqim) and The Light of Faith From the Speech of the Beloved of al-Rahman (Nur al-Iman min Kalam Habib al-Rahman)
- Aid to Those Seeking the Pleasure of the Creator Through the Clarification of Noble Character (Is’af Talibi Rida al-Khallaq bi Bayan MaKaram al-Akhlaq)
- Advice to Students (Tawjihat al-Tullab)
- Our Traits (Khuluquna)
- Forthpourings of Favor from the Mercy of the Giver of Favors (Fa’idat al-mann min Rahamat Wahhab al-Minan)
- Directing the Intelligent to the Contentment of the Beneficent (Tawjih al-Nabih li-Mardat Barih)
- The Glorious Treasure (al-Dhakira al-Musharrafa)
- The Summary of Prophetic Aid, a book of invocations (Khuslasa al-Maddad al-Nabawi fil-Adhkar)
- Two mawlids, celebrating the life of the Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings be upon him): The Shimmering Light Mentioning the Birth of the Interceding Prophet (al-Diya al-Lami’ fi Dhikr Mawlid al-Nabi al-Shafi’) and The Pure Drink Mentioning the Life of the Fullest of Moons (al-Sharab al-Tuhur fi Dhikri Sirati Badri al-Budur)
- The Forthpouring of Spiritual Aid, a Compellation of Sermons (Fayd al-Imdad)
- The Preacher’s Refinement (Thaqafat al- Khatib)
- A collection of poetry
Habib Umar has also conducted many programs to raise religious consciousness as well as numerous lessons and interviews on a number of satellite channels. He continues to teach, call to Allah, and expend his utmost in doing so. May Allah give him His enabling Grace, pardon him, give him His gentleness, and accept from him his endeavours, and likewise all Muslims.