Category Archives: al-Ahsa

Sublime Mawlid from al-Ahsa



[Firstly welcome to the new site! One of the main reasons for moving was the lack of facilities on the old blog to post audio’s such as these, please be patient with us as we try to figure out how to use all these new features.]

Please find an audio for a wonderful series of Qasaid sung, and poetry read by Sayyid Ibrahim al-Khalifah and his students.  The track ends with one of the students reciting poetry calling upon the Best of Creation (Allah bless him and give him peace) with Sayyid Ibrahim occasionally being heard in the background aswell.

The audio begins with Sayyid Ibrahim himself reciting  a truely sublime qasida, a rough translation of its chorus would be something along the lines of  ‘God send your blessings upon the light which manifested in the month of Rabi al-Awwal…’

Sayyid Ibrahim then moves on to read some poetry after which his students mainly sing some qasida’s which maybe familiar to some of you.   Please click on the link below to listen.


Cool Breeze from al-Ahsa

Some Pictures from al-Ahsa (Hofuf)

Salam, I had some of these pictures from al-Ahsa from a while back which I didn’t have a chance to add, they are not too different from the ones I posted earlier, but for the sake of completion I thought I would put them up. I also have a few surviving brief video’s, the other valuable ones were deleted by family members, along with some other multi volume books and precious documents which I can no longer find at home!
Top: An old doorway in the al-Koot area
Middle: Narrow street/alleyway in al-Koot
Bottom: The hanafi masjid in al-Koot run by the al-Mulla family

Sh. Muhammad al-Mulla

Salam, just a short while ago I received this picture of Sh. Muhammad al-Mulla. Some information regarding the Sheikh is mentioned elsewhere on this blog (in a number of posts). Summarizing briefly, he studied in al-Ahsa with its scholars, and then travelled to the Hijaz where he graduated from the Madrassa al-Sawlatiyyah. I would like to add here that from amongst the scholars he studied with the following maybe mentioned:

In al-Ahsa:

1- His father Sh. Abu Bakr bin Abdullah al-Mulla, with whom he studied Fiqh, Tafsir and Hadith

2- Sh. Abd al-Aziz bin Salih al-Ulji, with whom he studied Arabic and related sciences

3- Sh. Abd al-Aziz al-Akkas, with whom he studied Fiqh and Usul

4- Sh. Abd al-Latif al-Jafari and other scholars

In the Hijaz:

1- Sh. Sayyid Abbas bin Abd al-Aziz al-Maliki

2- Sh. Abd al-Sattar al-Dehlawi al-Siddiqi

3- Sh. Saeed al-Yamani

4- Sh. Abu Hafs Umar bin Abi Bakr Ba Junaid al-Makki

5- Sh. Muhammad al-Khidr al-Shinqiti

6- Sh. Khalifah bin Hamd bin Nabhan

7- Sh. Abdullah Niyazi

8- Sh. Abd al-Baqi al-Ansari al-Ayyubi al-Luknawi

9-Sh. Muhammad bin Habibullah al-Shinqiti

10- Sh. Isa Rawwas

11- Sh. Hussein Abd al-Ghani

12- Sh. Muhammad Ali bin Hussein al-Maliki

13- Sh. Abu Hafs Umar bin Hamdan al-Mahrasi

14- Sh. Abd al-Qadir bin Tawfiq al-Shibli al-Madani

15- Sh. al-Sharif Muhammad Abd al-Hayy al-Kattani

16- Sh. Muhammad al-Arabi al-Tabbani al-Husseini


Till relatively recently al-Ahsa was a centre of learning for the Persian Gulf region, students would come from nearby Gulf countries and sometimes further to study there. An insight into this lies in the range of backgrounds of the Sheikhs students:

His students from al-Ahsa:

1- Sh. Muhammad bin Abdullah Abu Bakr al-Mulla

2- Sh. Ahmad bin Abdullah Abu Bakr al-Mulla

3- Sh. Abdullah bin Muhammad Abu Bakr al-Mulla

4- Sh. Abd al-Latif bin Abdullah al-Arfaj

5- Sh. Abd al-Latif bin Muhammad al-Nuaim

6- Sh. Abdullah bin Salih al-Mulhim

7- Sh. Abd al-Aziz bin Yahya al-Yahya

8- Sh. Muhammad bin Abd al-Rahman al-Khatib

9- Sh. Abdullah al-Umair

10- Sh. Ibrahim bin Muhammad al-Buraikan

11- Sh. Ibrahim bin Abdullah al-Khalifah

12- Sh. Yahya bin Muhammad al-Mulla

His Students from Kuwait:

1- Sh. Ahmad al-Ghanam

2- Sh. Khalil al-Farisi

His Students from Bahrain:

1- Sh. Yusuf al-Siddiqi

2- Sh. Abdullah al-Fadalah

3- Sh. Abdullah bin Huzaim

4- Sh. Isa bin Muhammad bin Isa bin Rashid

His Students from Qatar:

1- Sh. Abdullah bin Ibrahim al-Ansari

2- Sh. Abdullah al-Mutawwa

His Students from Oman:

1- Sh. Sayf al-Sabiri

2- Sh. Ali bin Sulaiman al-Buraiki

His Students from Yemen:

1- Sh. Muhammad al-Yafi’i

2- Sh. Sultan al-Mamari

His Students from Iran/Persia:

1- Sh. Abdullah Rafi’

2- Sh. Ibrahim al-Farisi

His Students from Pakistan:

1- Sh. Muhammad Afdal Mumtaz al-Lahori

2- Sh. Yaqub al-Balushi

3- Sh. Muhammad Amin

His Student from Bangladesh:

1- Sh. Jafar Ahmad al-Bengali

His Student from Palestine:

1-Sh. Abd al-Salam Abu Shakhaidam

May Allah (the Exalted) have mercy/protect all those mentioned in this post

The Siege of Masjid al-Jawatha

Salam. We mentioned in a previous post the masjid of ‘Jawatha’ in al-Ahsa which was where the second Juma of Islam was performed. There occurred another incident with regards to this masjid which is of note and bears testimony to the virtue of the people of al-Ahsa who resided there at the time.

Imam Ahmad reports in Fadail al-Sahabah (1510) and Abd al-Razzaq in his Musannaf (11/52) that:

“After the Messenger of Allah (Allah bless Him and give Him peace) had passed away, the Arabs apostated except for three masjids: The Masjid al-Haram, Masjid of Madinah and Bahrain.”

It is mentioned the works of history that after the passing away of the Prophet (Allah bless Him and give Him peace) many of the Arabs left the muslim faith (apostated), such that only these three communities in Makka, Madinah and Bahrain remained. A short period after the passing away of the Prophet (Allah bless Him and give Him peace) the ruler of Bahrain al-Mundhir bin Sawaya al-Abdi died, after which a group from the people of Bahrain left the muslim faith and only the masjid of Jawatha remained faithful. The Arabs who had returned to idol worship decided to surround this community of Muslims and placed an embargo preventing supplies reaching them. Severe hunger ensued and one of the muslims in Jawatha composed a poem whilst besieged and experiencing great suffering, he said:

If only a Messenger would reach Abu Bakr
And all of the people of Madinah
Do you not wish to help a noble group
Sitting in Jawatha surrounded?
It is as if their blood is in every street
Like the rays of the sun envelops the ones looking
We have placed our reliance on ‘al-Rahman’ for indeed
We have found patience is for those who place their trust (In Allah)

Ibn Kathir mentions in al-Bidayah wa al-Nihayah (6/720) that one of their nobles: al-Jarud bin al-Mualla, who was from those who had migrated to the Messenger of Allah (Allah bless Him and give Him peace) gathered them together and addressed them saying:

O people of Abd al-Qais, I will ask you regarding a matter, answer me if you know it, but do not reply if you do not.
They said: Ask
He said: Do you know that Allah sent Prophets before Muhammad?
They said: Yes
He said: Do you know this or did you see this?
They replied: We know this
He said: What happened to them?
They replied: They passed away
He said: Indeed Muhammad (Allah bless Him and give Him peace) has passed away just as they have passed away, and I bear witness that there is no god except Allah, and the Muhammad is the Messenger of Allah
They said: We also bear witness that there is no god except Allah, and the Muhammad is the Messenger of Allah. You are the best of us and our master.

They remained firm on their Islam and left the rest of the people as they were.

Sh. Abdullah al-Mulla (Allah have mercy on him)

Salam. I listed in a previous post some of the names of the scholars from the hanafi family of al-Ahsa known as ‘al-Mulla’. One of their well known members passed away in January of this year, may Allah have mercy on him. In the list of scholars mentioned elsewhere on this blog, I briefly wrote the following:
16- Sh. Abdullah bin Abd al-Rahman al-Mulla: Born in the year 1330, he took from the scholars of al-Ahsa, then studied in India at Dar al-Ulum Deoband. After graduating from Dar al-Ulum Deoband he taught at the al-Amiriyah madrassa in al-Ahsa. He also opened a bookshop named ‘Maktaba al-Tawun al-Thaqafi.
Unfortunately when I was in al-Ahsa last year I was unable to meet him due to his being in a comatose state, it seems he had been ill for some time. He passed away aged approximately 98 years old. May Allah (the Exalted) protect all of our scholars and give them a long life such that we can benefit from them. A picture of the Sheikh can be found above

The Best of the People of the East

Salam. In addition to the narration from al-Bukhari regarding the virtue of the people and area of al-Ahsa, I thought I might add another narration regarding the praise for this area and the tribe (Bani Abd al-Qais) which inhabited it and established the second Juma of Islam as mentioned in our previous post.

[It is also narrated with a chain from one of the recent ‘giants’ of al-Ahsa scholarship: Sh. Abd al-Rahman bin Abi Bakr al-Mulla who studied in al-Ahsa and in the Hijaz, passing away aged nearly 100 (Allah have mercy on him). The isnad is mentioned at the end of the post.]

Imam al-Bayhaqi narrates in Dalail al-Nubuwwah (5/327) that:

Whilst the Prophet (Allah bless Him and give Him peace) was talking to his companions He said to them: A group of riders will appear here who are the best of the people of the east. Umar stood up and went in their direction and met thirteen riders. He said : who are you? They replied: from Bani Abd al-Qais. He said: What has brought you to this land? Is it for trade? They replied: No
He said: Indeed the Prophet just mentioned good regarding you, he then walked with them until they came to the Prophet (Allah bless Him and give Him peace).
Umar said to them: this is the person who you are looking for
The group (of riders) jumped off their mounts, amongst them were those that walked, those that ran, and those that sprinted until they reached the Prophet (Allah bless Him and give Him peace), they took His hand and kissed it.

The Isnad stretching back to Imam al-Bayhaqi:
-Sh. Abd al-Rahman bin Abi Bakr al-Mulla (d.1421) narrates
-from the Musnid of the world in his time: Sh. Abd al-Hayy al-Kattani (d.1382)
-from Sh. Badr al-Din Abdullah bin Darwesh al-Rikabi al-Sukri (d.1329)
-from Sh. Wajihuddin Abd al-Rahman al-Kuzbari (d.1262)
-from Sh. Zayn al-Din Mustafa al-Ayyubi al-Ansari al-Rahmati (d.1205)
-from Sh. Abd al-Ghani al-Nabulsi (d.1143)
-from Sh. Najm al-Din al-Ghazzi (d.1061)
-from Sh. Badr al-Din al-Amiri al-Ghazzi (d.984)
-from Sh. Zakariyyah bin Muhammad al-Ansari (d.926)
-from al-Hafidh Ahmad bin Hajar al-Asqalani (d.852)
-from Sh. Siraj al-Din al-Bulqini (d.805)
-from Sh. Abul Hajjaj al-Mizzi (d.743)
-from Sh. Muhammad al-Muafiri
-from Sh. Abul Qasim Ibn al-Harastani
-from Sh. Muhammad bin al-Fadl al-Furawi (d.530)
-from Imam Abu Bakr al-Bayhaqi (d.458)

A Virtue of al-Ahsa

Much has been mentioned regarding the unfortunate disappearance of historical sites of religious significance in Saudia Arabia. One such place which still remains (in some form atleast) is the masjid where the second Juma of Islam was performed. The place is called ‘Jawatha’ and it is located in the area of al-Ahsa in Saudia Arabia, a relatively short distance from the city of Hofuf (also referred to as al-Ahsa by locals).

The significance of this place is that for a period of time in the history of this blessed ummah, the Juma prayer was only being offered in the Madina the Illuminated and the Masjid al-Jawatha, and nowhere else. Unfortunately not having access to a car during my travels in Saudi I was unable to visit this blessed place. May Allah (the Exalted) facilitate its visitation. Please find the hadith reference for this in Sahih al-Bukhari and a picture of its current condition:

[Note: At the time of the Prophet (Allah bless Him and give Him peace) the area of al-Ahsa was referred to as ‘Bahrain’, a common misconception to be avoided for those reading hadith literature who may think reference is being made to the small island which currently bears this name.]

No. 850 – Narrated Ibn ‘Abbas:
The first Jumua prayer which was offered after a Jumua prayer offered at the mosque of Allah’s Messenger (Allah bless Him and give Him peace) took place in the mosque of the tribe of ‘Abdul Qais at Jawatha in Bahrain.

A Shattered Glass

I made reference in a previous post to meeting in al-Ahsa the sons of Sh. Muhammad Awwamah. I had met them first at the home of one of the historians from the al-Mulla family (may Allah give us the tawfiq to record what occurred there).
Some of us had moved on to the home of Sh. Yahya al-Mulla to read some fiqh with him, during the course of the lesson the Sheikh received a call to say that the visitors from Madinah were on their way.

They entered, greeted the Sheikh and asked him if they could record some of the answers to their questions, what followed was Sh. Yahya mentioning in response to his visitors request the history of the Hanafi school in al-Ahsa, going on to reluctantly grant (due to his not feeling worthy) his guests request for an Ijaza to narrate from him.

Then as a final question the visitors asked the Sh. Yahya to relate to them the story that they heard about the broken glass.

Sh. Yahya expressed surprise at their knowledge of this and mentioned that he actually met the person who witnessed the event.

The Story
Sh. Yahya’s father Sh. Muhammad al-Mulla was known for his piety and people would often come to him so that he may recite and blow on water for them to drink. However due to his teaching commitments and lack of time, Sh. Muhammad al-Mulla would recite ‘Bismillah’ or the Fatiha (I cant recall exactly which of the two it was, but I think it was the former) and blow into a cup of water. A lady came to the Sh. Muhammad and asked him to recite and blow, which due to his busy schedule he quickly did, however the lady was not satisfied and requested the Sheikh to recite and blow properly. Sh. Muhammad paused, agreed to her request, recited (Bismillah or Fatiha) and then blew into the cup which to everyone’s amazement shattered to pieces.Sh. Yahya having recounted the story, found that one of his visitors had duly stood up and had asked him to recite and blow into his cup of tea that had been poured for him.

Sh. Yahya’s expression was: ‘Come on..! you must be joking’ mainly because the visitors were looking for a repeat of this extraordinary feat from the son.
After finally agreeing he recited and blew into the cup…..Wassalam


Al-Ahsa to India: Sheikh Abu Bakr al-Mulla

Salam, I found the following biography of the author of ‘It-haf al-Talib’, namely Sheikh Abu Bakr al-Mulla al-Ahsai. The interesting thing about it is that it was published in India quite some time ago, and reminded me of some of the links between the people of al-Ahsa and the Indian Subcontinent.
The first time that we met Sayyid Ibrahim al-Khalifah, an elderly Saudi man came into the room, Sayyid Ibrahim told me that he could speak Urdu/Hindi, I smiled back politely not expecting much, to my surprise the elderly gentleman proceeded to speak very clear and grammatically correct urdu/hindi. Puzzled I asked where he had learnt it, and he replied that he lived in India with his father who traded there, he spent a number of years living in Bombay, and was sent back home to al-Ahsa at the outbreak of the second world war!
I met other al-Ahsa people who mentioned their family members who were buried in India due to their passing away whilst working there, this was all before the Saudi ‘Industrial Revolution’ which turned the flow of workers in the opposite direction.
As for the hanafis, then one of the Scholars of the al-Mulla family whom I’m not sure if is still alive (he was in a comatose state when I was in al-Ahsa last year), namely Sheikh Abdullah bin Abd al-Rahman al-Mulla. He was born in the year 1330 (nearly 100 years ago), he studied with the scholars of al-Ahsa, then proceeded to study in India at Dar al-Ulum Deoband. It is said that his certification from Dar al-Ulum Deoband makes him the first Saudi to gain a university degree.
Sheikh Yahya al-Mulla’s father, Sheikh Muhammad al-Mulla had some students from the indo-pak subcontinent. Once when I was with Sheikh Yahya he went to his room and returned with an urdu translation of the short text by Sheikh Abu Bakr al-Mulla entitled ‘Wasilah al-Talab’. He added that a student of his father who had returned back to pakistan had translated it, I didnt note down the Sheikhs name, but I was told that he had passed away.
I also discovered that one of the fastest growing tariqahs in pakistan, namely the Idrisi’s, whose Sheikh resides in Pakistan itself was the murid of Sheikh Muhammad al-Mulla.
These are some brief comments, and are by no means exhaustive, the picture below is of the cover of the biography of Sheikh Abu Bakr al-Mulla published in India.

Sayyid Ibrahim al-Khalifah al-Hasani al-Shafi

I found this old picture of Sayyid Ibrahim al-Khalifah who is a Shafi Scholar and respected for his attention to the sciences of hadith. I visited him twice in al-Ahsa, once at his masjid opposite the fort pictured elsewhere on this blog.
The second time was in the basement of his home where he was reading Sahih al-Bukhari with his students. He began the lesson by reading hadith for quite some time, and then went round each student asking them to read several hadith each, alhumdulilah I was honoured to be able to read to him when my turn came.
After the dars I asked him for Ijazah which he kindly gave me, unfortunately I do not have his thabat at hand to scan, however it should be noted that he narrates from over 70 different Shuyukh.
He has studied the Shafi madhab with the scholars of al-Ahsa, is known for his abilities as a Munshid and has a number of students, some of them quite young who study with him and look up to him as a father figure.
It is not difficult to see why as the Sheikh is one of the most friendliest scholars I have met, and one quickly feels at ease around him.
May Allah swt keep him in good health and enable us to benefit from him further.
NOTE: The picture above was taken some time ago