Shaikh Shahul Hamid

October 12, 2010

Born on 20 Shawwal 1271 AH, the ardent missionary and knower of Allah, Shaikh Shahul Hamid, known by the Arabic and Tamil epithets Sahibu-l Jalwah and Jalwat Nayagam (ஜல்வத் நாயகம்) respectively, was the younger son of Imamu-l ‘Arus Sayyid Muhammad ibn Ahmad Lebbai (மாப்பிள்ளை லெப்பை ஆலிம்), may Allah be well pleased with him.

His mother was the virtuous and chaste fourth daughter of Tayka Sahib ‘Abdul Qadir al-Kirkari, Sarah Umma, may Allah be well pleased with her. She was the inspiration for many of Imamu-l ‘Arus’ works most notably the Hadiyyah Sharifah or Hadiya Malai (ஹதியா மாலை).

His Name

At birth, he was initially named Ahmad Mustafa. He was later renamed Shahul Hamid after the Saint of Nagore in fulfillment of a vow Imamu-l ‘Arus had made at the sacred sepulchre in Nagore.

His Education

Like his elder brother, Sahibu-l Khalwah ‘Abdul Qadir (Khalwat Nayagam ஃகல்வத் நாயகம்), he memorised the Noble Qur’an when he was just nine years old.

His blessed father was his main teacher from whom he learnt the Islamic sacred sciences. He rose to the level of Mufti whose religious edicts have stood the test of time.

His Family

He married two ladies one after another and was blessed with two saintly sons from his elder wife: Haj ‘Abdu-l Qayyūm ‘Ālim and Shaikh Taika Aḥmad ‘Abdu-l Qādir ‘Ālim (may Allah have mercy on them both).

His Worldly Endeavours

He ran the well-known metals-supply agency known as “Tayka Kadai” which was established by his father in the town of Madurai. He was also responsible for a warehouse in the town of Kilakkarai.

Such was his success in the worldly domain that by the time he was 35 years old, he had bought the village of Kattakulam and served as the Zamindar.

His Other-Worldly Pursuits

Besides being a successful businessman, he was a scholar and saint who was esteemed as a gnostic. He was blessed with the honour of leading the Salatu-l Janaza or funeral prayers for his much revered father.

Being the designated deputy of his father in the spiritual domain, he took over and strengthened the various Tariqatu-l Arusiyyatu-l Qadiriyyah institutions and served as the spiritual guide for many.

His laudable services in Sri Lanka include the setting up of various institutions, Madrasas, mosques, and Takiyyas in Maligawatte, Hambantota, and other towns.

His Travels & Passing

In keeping with the family’s long and glorious tradition, he was very active in missionary work both in India and abroad. He passed away in 1339 AH whilst on Hajj pilgrimage at a village called Bahra near Jeddah. His body was brought to Makkatu-l Mukarramah and buried in Jannatu-l Mu’alla.

He was laid to rest in between the graves of our mother and beloved wife of our Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace), Lady Khadijah (Allah be well pleased with her) and the great Shafi’i jurist, Imam Ibn Hajar Al-Haytami (Allah be well pleased with him).

The following lines are from an elegy on him by Shaikh ‘Abdu-r Rahman ibn Miran Lebbai Maraikayar of Sri Lanka:

dhâba-l fu’âdu likarbi sharri ‘azâ’imi
wa hujûmi muhzini bâli kulli munâdimi
mudh ja’a na’yu-l lawdha ‘iyyu-l fâhimi
Shâhi-l Hamîdi-l Kirkariyyi-l ‘Âlimi
ذاب الفؤاد لكرب شر عظائم
وهجوم محزن بال كل منادم
مذ جء نعي اللوذ عي الفاهم
شاه الحميد الكركري العالم
fî Jannati-l Ma’lâ ghadhâ nuzûluhu
bi-Jannati-l Firdawsi tâba hulûluhu
Anâkha fî finâ’i hâ dhalûluhu
Shâhi-l Hamîdi-l Kirkariyyi-l ‘Âlimi
 فى جنة المعلى غدا نزوله
بحنة الفردوس طاب حلوله
أناخ فى فناء ها ذلوله
شاه الحميد الكركري العالم

His Unique Habit

From his unique habits was the writing of poems invoking Allah’s blessings on villages and towns where he rendered religious services. His poems are of a high standard and eloquence. The following is one such poem composed at Dickwella, one of the Muslim centres in Sarandib (modern day Sri Lanka):

Yâ Rabbi ihfaz kulla muslimînâ
fî Dikkuwallâ min shurûri-d dînâ
يا ربّ إحفظ كلّ مسلمينا
فى دكّولّى من شرور الدينا
wa jamî’i âfâti-d dunâ wa-l ukhrâ
wa irdahum awjib lahum ghufrânâ
وجميع أفات الدّنا والأخرى
وإرضهم أو جب لهم غفرانا
wa bârikan rahîmu fî amwâlihim
wa wuldihim wa hirfihim rahmânâ
وباركن رحيم فى أموالهم
وولدهم وحرفهم رحمانا
a’mârahum tawwil wa akhlis ‘amalahum
li-wajhika-l karîmi yâ mannânâ
أعمارهم طول وأخلص عملهم
لوجهك الكريم يا منّانا
wa wassi’an arzâqahum halâlâ
wa arghidan ma’âshahum dayyânâ
ووسّعن أرزاقهم حلالا
وأرغدن معاشهم ديّانا
wa tahhiran qulûbahum mina-r riyâ
wa min siwâka wa-l hawâ sultânâ
وطهرن قلوبهم من الريا
ومن سواك والهوى سلطانا
bi-jâhi sayyidinâ Muhammadini-n Nabii
wa-l ghawthi Muhyiddîni yâ burhânâ
بجاه سيدنا محمد النبى
والغوث محي الدين يا برهانا
wa bi-barakati-d du’â li-‘âlimin ‘aruus
Sayyid Muhammadini-l walî subhânâ
وببركت الدعا لعالم عروس
سيد محمد الولى سبحانا
wa-qbal du’â Shâha-l Hamîdi wa-ihmihi
wa-hfazhu kulla sâ’atin ahyânâ
واقبل دعا شاه الحميد وإحمه
واحفظه كل ساعة احيانا

May Allah be well pleased with Sahibu-l Jalwah Shahu-l Hamid ibn Sayyid Muhammad ibn Ahmad Lebbai al-Kirkari al-Siddiqi and sanctify his secret. May Allah bless us and fulfill all our legitimate needs for his sake. Bi sirri-l Fatiha.

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