Photo: Shaykh Muhammad al Hafiz (left) Shaykh Idris al Iraqi (center) and Shaykh Abdul Majid (right). Al-Sayyid Muhammad al-Hafiz bin `Abdul Latif bin Salim was born in the district of Munufiyya in Egypt in c. 1897 to a family connected to the noble Ahlul Bayt (household of the Prophet). After studying the religious sciences in Cairo, Shaykh al-Hafiz traveled abroad to Syria, Tunisia, Sudan, Algeria and Morocco in the pursuit of sacred knowledge. During these blessed journeys, he gained precious diplomas (ijazahs) from some of the greatest scholars of the time from the East and the West of the Islamic world, such as Shaykh Badruddin al-Hasani of Syria, Sharif `Abdul Hayy al-Kattani and Sidi Ahmad Sukayrij of Morocco, Shaykh Alfa Hashim of Medina and Shaykh `Abdul Baqi al-Ansari of Mecca. After his period of learning, Sayyidina Muhammad al-Hafiz totally dedicated himself to the teaching of Hadith. He taught the entire multi-volume Sahih al-Bukhari more than 40 times in Egypt, and many other books of Hadith as well. It is said that he used to know them by heart. He authored many great works on Hadith, Qur’anic exegesis (tafsir), history and Sufism (tasawwuf), and made tahqiq (verification) of many original gems in the field of Hadith, which were part of his private library which also has one of the best collections of manuscripts in Egypt. For this he had copied and collected manuscripts from the most ancient libraries in Mecca, Medina, Jerusalem, Damascus, Cairo, Fez, Tunis, Sudan and other centers of Islamic learning that he had visited. Shaykh al-Hafiz also took part in the Jihad against the English in Egypt in the early 1900’s, and even Imam Hassan al-Banna, founder of the Muslim Brotherhood, used to seek his advice. In 1951, he began editing a magazine dedicated to promulgating traditional Islam, called Tariq al-Haqq (“The Path of Truth”), which was widely read throughout Egypt. He also debated and defeated the Orientalists in Cairo during his time. His renown as a scholar even reached Western literary circles, and his important biography of al-Hajj Umar Futi Tal was translated into French by the Canadian scholar Fernand Dumond in 1983. Exceeding all of this by way of distinction, however, was the fact Shaykh Muhammad al-Hafiz used to meet Sayyidina Muhammad Rasulullah in a state of wakefulness. This was clear indication of his high spiritual station (maqam) in sainthood (wilaya). He was originally involved in the honorable Khalwati, Naqshbandi, and Shadhili tariqahs, then left all of them to take the Way of Shaykh Ahmad Tijani at the hand of the Mauritanian Shaykh, Sidi Ahmad al-`Alawi al-Shinqiti. Numerous people from all walks of life took the Tijani Spiritual Path from Shaykh al-Hafiz and attained great spiritual heights. He was as famous as a Spiritual Master par excellence as he was a hadith scholar of the age, a combination extremely rare in modern times. His Tijani Zawiyah in Cairo was and remains a great center of spiritual refreshment for those who live in or visit Cairo. His books on tasawwuf and tariqa are considered gems of spiritual knowledge. (http://www.tijani.org/shaykh-muhammad-al-hafiz-al-misri/)
Allah the Exalted and Glorified proclaims:
'O children of Adam, I have given you three burdens: poverty, sickness, death. Despite the humbling power of these gifts, however, you remain bent upon your own aggrandisement.'
(Khabar 73 was transmitted by the sage Musa ibn Muhammad, along with its lineage to the Prophet, upon him be peace. It is recorded in Ibn Arabi's 'Mishkat al-Anwar')
Divine Sayings: 101 Hadith Qudsi: The Mishkat al-Anwar of Ibn 'ArabiBy Muhyiddin Ibn 'Arabi (Author), Ibn Al'Arabi (Author), Stephen Hirtenstein (Translator), Martin Notcutt (Translator)
A collection of 101 hadith sayings, this work is one of the most important and influential early collections of hadith qudsi. Falling into three categories, the first 40 sayings each have a full, unbroken chain of transmission that goes back to God through the medium of the Prophet Muhammad. The second category are sayings mostly taken from well-known written collections. The final section is drawn from similar books, with Ibn 'Arabi adding one extra hadith, orally transmitted. Comprised of a full introduction explaining the meaning of Hadith, the text stresses the importance of this tradition in Ibn 'Arabi's writing.
"Stephen Hirtenstein and Martin Notcutt have produced in Divine Sayings a beautifully translated version of Ibn 'Arabi's best known collection of Hadith, based not only on the published Arabic text but also several important manuscripts, with full scholarly apparatus." —William C. Chittick, professor, Stony Brook University
"This classic collection (and first critical edition) of 101 memorable Divine Sayings' related by the Prophet, translated in full for the first time in English, is not just an indispensable key to the teachings of Ibn 'Arabi and the wider traditions of Islamic spirituality. These short sayings are also a simple, direct, immediately accessible summary of the most universal spiritual lessons."
(James W. Morris, professor, Boston College)