He is Al-Habib Abdul Qadir bin Ahmad bin Abdul Abdurrahman bin Ali bin Umar bin Segaf bin Muhammad whose lineage connects directly to the Prophet Muhammad صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم. He was born in the town of Sewun, Hadramaut, in the month of Jumadil Akhir 1331 H ( May 1913).
He was raised by his virtuous parents even from childhood on spiritual guidance and piety. His father, Al-Habib Ahmad bin Abdurrahman Assaggaf, was an Imam of exemplary noble character imbued with comprehensive knowledge and righteous deeds. Al-Habib Ali bin Muhammad Alhabsyi once said that Al-Habib Ahmad bin Abdul-Rahman is the Imam of Hadramaut ( Wadil Ahqof ).
His mother is Al-Syarifah Alawiyah binti Al-Habib Ahmad bin Muhammad Aljufri. She was a virtuous woman and extremely caring. When she was pregnant, she gave birth to a baby boy who was named Abdul Qadir, a sign indicated by Al-Habib Ali bin Muhammad Alhabsyi, but not long after the baby died. When Al-Syarifah Alawiyah gave birth for the second time, Al-Habib Ali again indicated that the baby be named Abdul Qadir. He said that this baby would be a noble person whose life would be dedicated purely towards serving Allah and imbued with knowledge, practices and ehsan.(deep esoteric feeling on the unseen)
Al-Habib Ahmad (father of Al-Habib Abdul Qadir) died on Saturday afternoon, 4 Muharram 1357 AH, after performing the Ashar prayer, at the age of 79. Al-Habib Abdul Qadir was then 25 year old. Syarifah Alawiyah died on 29 Rajab 1378 H ,the same date as the demise of Al-Habib Salim bin Hafidh Bin Sheikh Abubakar bin Salim.
Al-Habib Abdul Qadir bin Ahmad as-Saqqaf
Since childhood, he grew up in an environment of scholarly knowledge, high religious and moral upbringing, having being tutored by his father who had the beacon light to show by example. This had been the traditional way of upbringing for most of the Hadramaut Alawiyin families at that time Parents became role model and with dedicated parenting within the ambit of prevailing scholarly environment did produce generation of scholars of high integrity. They were not influenced by the prevailing ethos of other communities, and thus preserved the purity of religion through transmission from generation to generation.
When at an age ready to study outside the latitude of his parent’s guidance, Al-Habib Abdul Qadir continued his learning at `Ulmah Thoha, a learning cluster held in the mosque built by his grandfather Al-Habib Umar bin Thoha Assagaf at Sewun. Ulmah Thoha itself was a modest institution, founded on piety with cherish to attain Allah’s blessings. It had produced many distinct scholars during this period. It was here that together with other children, he diligently pursued in learning the rudiments of reading and writing including basic calligraphy and also other subjects which strengthened his knowledge base and acquiring skill in eloquent oral communication. Among Al Habib’s teacher was Al-Sheikh Abdullah bin Thoha Bahmed.
altFrom ‘Ulmah Thoha, Al Habib continued his learning, back under the close supervision of his father and absorbing his knowledge to the extent that there was already indication of pre-eminence. Under the direction from his father, he went to further his study at the institution Al-`Nahdhoh Ilmiyah at Sewun, headed by Al-Sheikh Ahmad Ali Al-Adib Baktsir Here, Habib Abdul Qadir began to study in depth a wide range of subjects including jurisprudence, etymology, Arabic language, grammar and literature and memorising of Al-Quran. It was at this institution which endowed comprehensive assimilation in enhancing inner-self purification (tazkiah), all embracing education including upbringing (tarbiyah) and in the ascending of personal attributes (tarqiyah). In addition Al-Habib Abdul Qadir also learned the seven varied reading of the Al-Quran (Qiroatus Sab’ah), tutored by As-Syaikh Hasan Abdullah Baraja’ who had just returned from Mecca after intensified study on the modus of reading the Al Quran (Qiroatul Qur’an).
However, the role of Al Habib’s father, Al-Habib Ahmad, as a mentor in educating and nurturing par excellence attributes is far more reaching than the studies he made at learning institutions. He did mention that within a day and night after sitting with one or two sessions with him, he would have finished learning a whole book. It was a blessing and within a short period, he had acquired an all-embracing knowledge and endowed with noble personality.
TEACHING AT AL-NAHDHOH
Al-`Nahdhoh Institution usually select outstanding student to assist in teaching. It was an intensive exercise and Al-Habib Abdul Qodir was carefully chosen and given the permission to teach. Of course, this selecting exercise was not an easy one, extremely strict but with Al-Habib’s dedication in education together with in-house par excellence teaching by his father, he stood out among his peers.
Al-Habib Abdul Qadir was also been asked by his father to conduct just general teaching at the Thoha bin Umar Ash-Shofi mosque. However, during the discourse, Al-Habib Abdul Qadir began to expound knowledge which was not previously known. The public began then to realise that Al Habib was the successor to his father as well as the custodian of the esoteric knowledge from his noble predecessor. Through his teaching study circle, he began to attract excellent students who were grateful for having found an outstanding mentor.
DEMISE OF HIS FATHER
Al-Habib Ahmad bin Abdul-Rahman died in 1357 H, when Al- Habib Abdul Qadir was only 25 year old. All the Alawiyyin and Masheikh recognised and acknowledged that he is the rightful successor to his father, after having seen his identical virtue and rectitude. Hence, he continued all the work his father was doing and spent the greater part of his time in learning and teaching and fulfilling all other obligations. He had always a smiley countenance for all the persons he met and happy to extend warm hospitality for his guests and ever ready to help the destitute within his means. This poise was described in the book “At-Takhlis Asy-Syafi”.His house is an open house, where all guests were received warmly irrespective of their social status. He also maintained close affinity with all his kinship.
His high moral disposition became the focal influence drawing many to seek and acquire knowledge. Wherever he taught, it was always to a packed audience and his discourse was extraordinarily alluring and touching the heart.
Despite his tight schedule, Al Habib managed to sit with the elders, the scholars and the educationists to discuss especially on matter pertaining to knowledge and other issues and at the same time maintain a close, warm and affectionate rapport with them.
At home, he had a complete library with all the books that were read in front of his father. During his father’s time, when Al-Habib Ahmad came to know or see a book which is not in the library, he would ask Al-Habib Abdul Qadir, to read and copy the manuscript and then preserve in the library. Like his father during his younger days, Al-Habib Abdul Qadir also loved to read literary books and became proficient in the art of poetry.
EMIGRATION FROM HADRAMAUT
At this juncture, the Government of South Yemen began to adopt oppressive political dogma of eliminating the noble traditionalist learning of divine revelation and began to be repressive on the scholars. Notable person of influence was directed to report to the police twice daily, in the morning and the evening. There were a number of scholars being assassinated. , and as a result many of them had to migrate from Hadramaut. This exodus included Al-Habib Abdul Qadir, whose primordial role was to safe the sanctity of religion.
With the assistance of a person close to the regime, he received permission to migrate to Aden in 1393 H (1973). At Aden, his arrival was eagerly and ardently received by the community but he stayed for a month only. He was fully occupied with delivering religious discourse and attended the varied community functions.
With Allah’s blessing, he then set forth travelling to Singapore where he was warmly greeted by many people especially the Alawiyin, among them Al-Habib Muhammad bin Salim Al-Attas and Al Syed Ali Ridho Assaggaf. Various functions were held to rejoice his arrival and every house where the gathering took place was unduly overflowing with guests. They came to take blessings and knowledge from him.
From Singapore, Al Habib continued his journey to Indonesia before returning to his place of residence in Hijaz. His effort to spread religion and knowledge took him to far places with sojourns in Lebanon, Syria, Egypt, Nairobi, Kenya, Comoros and Tanzania. At Hijaz, he sustained the incessant learning circles majlis ta’lim at Mekah, Medina and Jeddah.
Al-Habib Abdul Qadir acquired knowledge from many teachers. Every time he visited a place, he would take the opportunity to seek knowledge from the resident scholars and also from righteous persons.
Al-Habib Ahmad bin Abdurrahman Assaggaf (his father),
Al-Habib Umar bin Hamid bin Umar Assaggaf,
Al-Habib Umar bin Ahmad bin Abdul Qodir Assaggaf,
Al-Habib bin Sheikh Abdul Bari Al-Aidrus,
Al-Habib Muhammad bin Hadi Assaggaf,
Al-Habib Sholeh bin Muhsin Alhamid (Tanggul)
Al-Habib Ja’far bin Ahmad Al-Aidrus,
Al-Habib Muhammad bin Abdullah Alhaddar,
Al-Habib Zein bin Ibrahim bin Sumaith,
Al-Habib Salim bin Abdullah bin Umar asy-Syathiry,
Al-Habib Abubakar Al-’Adany bin Ali Al-famous,
Al-Sayyid Muhammad bin Alwi al-Maliki
Al-Habib Abubakar bin Hasan Al-Atthas
HIS MAGNANIMOUS CHARACTER
Apart from being a distinguished learned person, Al-Habib Abdul Qadir was also recognised as having exemplary personality traits endowed with piety, humbleness towards Allah and with par excellence moral disposition immediately creates loving compassion with individuals. His far reaching width and depth in knowledge coupled with innate piety and wisdom in its delivery inadvertently made him revered and loved. In brief, he inherited the noble character of his forefather Sayidina Rasullulah صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم
Al-Habib Abdul Qadir passed away at dawn, on Sunday 19 Rabi Thani 1431 (4 April 2010 M) at the age of 100. His life had been in complete service to Allah in all its total manifestation. He was buried at Ma’la, at Mekah Al Mukarammah.
اللهم انشرنفحات الرضوان عليه وإمدنا بالأسرار التي أودعتهالديه
. اللهم صل وسلم على جده النبي الأمين سيدنا محمد وعلى آله وصحبه أجمعين
الفاتحة إلى حضرة النبي محمد صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم وإلى روح سيدنا الحبيب عبد القادر بن أحمد السقاف وأصوله وفروعه وتلامذته والمنتسبين إليه أجمعين، أن الله يعلي درجاتهم في الجنة ويكثر من مثوباتهم ويضاعف حسناتهم ويحفظنا بجاههم وينفعنابهم ويعيد علينا من بركاتهم وأسرارهم وأنوارهم وعلومهم ونفحاتهم في الدين والدنيا والآخرة