Path to Light
Diwans of Shaykh Muhammad ibn al-Habib

of al-Haydariyah al-Shadhiliyah

Compiled by
Shaykh Fadhlalla Haeri

Shaykh Fadhlalla Haeri




There are a number of prescriptions for the wayfarer that will help him or her on the journey towards the Higher.  The most important is the companionship of like-minded people and singing the praise of the Creator.  If the diwan is approached and sung properly the wayfarer will discover a wide variety of tonics to suit every ill.  The effect of people’s gathering with sincere intention combined with the specific use of sound polishes the heart of the seeker, freeing it to reflect the spark of divine light that is already there. 

From time immemorial there has been spiritual singing and reciters of God’s glory.  Since the time of the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him and his family) songs have also been sung in his praise, exalting and dwelling upon his qualities and virtues as a reminder to everyone. 

Numerous Sufi masters have written couplets and diwans for different purposes, some to deepen the seeker’s awareness, some to strengthen their resolve along the path of discipline.  In his diwan Shaykh Muhammad Ibn al-Habib, the Qutb of his time, has combined acceptance of heart-rending joy which is the fruit of total dependence and reliance on Allah.  Within ten or twenty couplets, many of his odes give a complete manual for the journey, for they are replete with instructions.

Transformation in the circle of remembrance (dhikr) is brought about by sincerity and the power inherent in gathering together.  The diwan offers us information as well as transformation.  It offers us a great deal of worldly strength and a great deal of inner strength.  It is a constant reminder. 

These songs can be sung collectively or individually.  Singing the purpose of life – to come to know the Life-Giver – then becomes a part of our lives.  The purpose of the diwan is to absorb it until you find that the song is singing in you.  The singer and song unite.  This is a prelude to the taste of universal union of the Creator when He joins the subtle unseen world with the seen, beyond this world.

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In the Name of Allah, the Beneficent, the Merciful.  Praise belongs to Allah, the Lord of the worlds.  May peace and prayers be showered upon the Master of the Messengers and his household and guided companions.  Allah, the Sublime says: “Indeed through the remembrance of Allah the hearts become tranquil.”  I ask Allah that you be of those whose hearts are tranquil and of those who have arrived and attained the knowledge of Allah and connected themselves to His mercy which is without end. 

Allah has bestowed His generosity and munificence upon us by granting us access to enlightenment through the teachings and guidance of the Seal of the Prophets and his vicegerent Ali ibn Abi Talib and those who followed him in righteousness especially our Shadhili Shaykhs.  I specifically mention Shaykh Muhammad ibn al-Habib, may the mercy of Allah be upon him; they  are the forerunners and we are their followers. 

I present this wird to whomsoever desires access to the treasures of the Hereafter.  There is no power and no strength except through Allah, the Magnificent.  There is no victor except Him.  There is no presence except His.  There is nothing and none sought after besides Him.  There is no beloved except Him. 

Oh He Oh He Oh He
who there is no he
except He

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