The Shuyukh

A Sheik or sheik (Arabic: شيخ sheik; ; pl. شيوخ shuyūkh), of Sufism is a Sufi who is authorized to teach, initiate and guide aspiring dervishes. The sheik is vital to the path of the novice sufi, for the sheik has himself travelled the path of mysticism. Viewed as the spiritual master, the sheik, authorizes the disciple’s travels and helps the disciple along the mystical path. Islamic tradition focuses on the importance of chains and legitimization. In Sufism, sheiks are connected by a continuous spiritual chain (isnad, sanad, silsila). This chain links every previous Sufi sheik, and eventually can be traced back to the Successors, and in later times to the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) himself. From Wikipedia.

Click on the image on the right to enlarge the silsila of our Tariqa that leads back to the Prophet Muhammad (PBUH).

The shuyukh who are closely connected with our Tariqa are listed below:

Shaykh Muhammad ad-Darqawi
May Allah shower mercy on him

The Celebrated Pole of Poles, the Fabulous Support, the Marvellous Saint, the Master of Masters, Moulay al-Arabi ibn Mohammed al-Darqawi al-Idrissi al-Hassani, was one of the most influential Islamic leaders of nineteenth century North Africa. He was the founder of the Darqawiya Path, a branch of the great Shadhiliya which was itself founded by the Shaykh Sidi Abul Hassan Shadhili (d. 656/1241) in the seventh/thirteenth century.

In addition to the wide geographical extent of the Hassanid Sharifian paths of the Tijaniya, the Idrissiya, and the Kattaniya, the spiritual radiation of the Darqawiya brought about a sudden great flowering of Sufism in the Maghreb and beyond. The Darqawiya was the last-born in a venerable tree that counted on its trunk and its main branches two particularly illustrious names: that of Moulay Abdessalam ibn Mashish (d. 622/1207) and Sidi Ahmed Zarruq al-Fasi (d. 899/1484), whose way had spread greatly not only in Morocco, where it had come into being in the seventh/thirteenth century, but also in the Maghreb, in Egypt, and in the Arab East, where it quickly spread before reaching the most distant confines of the Muslim World.

Text used with kind permission from ‘Darr Al Sirr’ website. Read More Here »

Shaykh Sidi Muhammad al-Mustafa Basir
May Allah shower mercy on him

Shaykh Sidi Muhammad al-Mustafa Basir was born in 1940. He memorised the Holy Qur’an at the Zawiyah school after which he went to the school at Ibn Karim. He also studied in the Islamic Academy at Tardant, and entered the University of Ibn Yusuf at Marrakesh where, in 1962, he obtained his primary and secondary degrees. He then became a primary school teacher in Casablanca. He had a close relationship with his Shaykh, Sidi Muhammad al-Habib and sought to remain near him so he became a teacher in the Tanfarda school at Beni Ayat near to the lodge. But after an attempt on his life in 1978 which injured his foot he was forced to retire.

He then devoted himself to teaching in the Qur’anic school at his father’s Zawiyah, and authored a number of books introducing his father’s Zawiyah, its history and the virtues of its people. After his brother’s death he took over the running of the Zawiyah.

He soon undertook to expand and rebuild the mosque of the Zawiyah as well as the student and guest accommodation for both men and women. He planted trees and decorated the lodge with plants, and asked the director of the Zawiyah to open branches in other cities and places. He built a large library in the Zawiyah and furnished it with valuable books and manuscripts from all over the world.

As a Sufi Shaykh, he had many students and followers in different places including France, Italy, Germany, Belgium, Canada, Saudi Arabia, Syria, Jordan, South Africa, and elsewhere.

He was known for his great love for the Prophet Muhammad, may God’s blessings and salutation be upon him, and he wrote a book of prayers for invoking blessings and salutations on the Prophet Muhammad, may God’s blessings and salutation be upon him.

Shaykh Sidi Muhammad al-Mustafa Basir returned to his Lord in 2006 and was succeeded by his son Shaykh Ismaʿil Basir.

Text translated from ‘Al Bassiria’ website. Visit Here »

Shaykh Ebrahim Schuitema

Shaykh Ebrahim Schuitema is a Sufi Teacher from the Darqawi-Shadhiliya Tariqa and currently lives in Gauteng, South Africa. Shaykh Ebrahim received his chain of transmission in the Tariqa from the late Shaykh Mustafa Bassir of Morrocco, may Allah bless his soul.

Shaykh Ebrahim is also the founder and Leading Partner of Schuitema Associates, a business transformation consultancy that is based in South Africa and Pakistan.

I am not with the capable, nor the exemplary
I am with my brothers, who like me are destitute,
morally exhausted
sick of it all, our own mediocrity
and the endless treadmill of anxiety
of how we appear.
To dismiss us would be a loss.
Under this mud of anonymity lies a secret
that permits all things to stand out
and all things are magnificent,

More Material by Shaykh Ebrahim »

Shaykh Muhammad Harun Riedinger – Abu Faydan Faridi

Shaykh Abu Faydan Faridi, alias Muhammad Harun Riedinger was born in a Christian family in Ansbach, a small town in Bavaria, Germany on September 27, 1947. He passed is infancy and early childhood in the house of his Grandfather, a church minister of profound spirituality, who was very fond of him and gave him much attention. After his school education in Munich he trained as a sailor and traveled extensively.

Returning home for further education, he found it difficult to adapt to the stereotypical, progressively materialistic outlook of Western society, and not being able to identify with any career it had to offer, he gave up any further scholastic pursuits. In his mid-twenties he discovered art as a satisfactory way of self-expression, and in its pursuance he encountered a different, ‘magical’ reality, which seemed to defy the laws and limitations of time and space.
It became a matter of existential necessity for him to explore this fascinating discovery, and at the age of 27 he left everything behind and set out on a journey to India in search of a Master in Yoga and dance. On the journey to the East, however he had a profound spiritual experience at the shrine of the great saint Mevlana Jalaluddin Rumi in Turkey, which eventually made him change his plans and he accepted Islam in Pakistan in 1975 instead.

Shortly after that he was guided to the threshold of an eminent shaykh of the Chishtiyyah Sufi order, Hadrat Shahidullah Faridi – may Allah sanctify his secret and fill his grave with light − who initiated him into Sufi Path of Divine Love and Gnosis. During this time he also attended classes of formal Islamic studies at a seminary for two years. Shortly before his departure from this world his master committed him into the spiritual care of the great saint Baba Fariduddin Ganj-e-Shakar – may Allah be pleased with him.

At the shrine of the same, a year after his master had passed on, he received an invitation to go to Madinah, the city of the Prophet – Allahs Blessings and peace abound with him – where, after performing the pilgrimage in Makkah, he was granted to stay for nine months.
From 1980 to 1983 he lived in fellowship with a Muslim community in England, who followed the teachings of the distinguished Moroccan Shaykh Muhammad Ibn al Habib of the Shadhili-Darqawi order – may Allah sanctify his secret – where he had his first encounter with this order. Subsequently he spent one and a half years in Egypt, where he benefitted from the company of several scholars and men of knowledge before returning to Pakistan in 1985, where he finally settled and got married to a niece of his shaykh’s widow, who bore him a son and a daughter. Under the continued spiritual guidance of Baba Fariduddin Ganj-e-Shakar he eventually completed the basic stage of the spiritual journey in 2008.

On a journey to Morocco in 2011, where he traveled to visit the shrines of Mawlai Abd as-Salam Ibn Mashishi and Shaykh Muhammad Ibn al Habib, he had an intense encounter with Shaykh Ebrahim Schuitema of the Shadhili-Darqawi tariqah, who subsequently offered him the ‘Idhn of Shaykh’ (authorization of a Sufi master) of the order. A few months later on a subsequent visit of Shaykh Ebrahim to Pakistan, he accepted this offer on the day of Mi’raj, which incidentally was also the day on which Shaykh Abu Faydan had taken the hand of his shaykh Hadrat Shahidullah Faridi 37 years earlier. When he accepted this office, he was 63 years old, the same age at which his shaykh had left this world.

He lived in Karachi, counseling and teaching a growing circle of seekers and devotees until he left this phenomenal reality on 27th Shawwal 1438 hijri (July 22, 2017) to join his Beloved Maker.  Those who witnessed his departure from this world remarked that it was an occasion of sublime beauty and joy. In his passing he showed how an ‘abd submits everything to his Master.  May Allah sanctify his secret.

Note: the Shaykh wrote a fascinating and illuminating account of his journey which can be read here.

See Material by Shaykh Harun »

Shaykha Shahbano Aliani

Shaykha Shahbano Aliani was a Sufi Teacher from the Darqawi-Shadhiliya Tariqa who resided in Karachi, Pakistan. Shaykha Shahbano received her chain of transmission from Shaykh Ebrahim Schuitema of South Africa, may Allah bless him and raise him higher.

Shaykha Shahbano passed away in February 2019 after a courageous struggle with debilitating illness.

I Give Up

i give up all my names
all my claims
all plans and pursuits
and ploys and games

i give up all my dreams
and fantasies
and all other escapes
and illusions such as these

i give up my ideas
of what and how
all questions of why
not that, not now

i give up everything
i’ve ever desired
to be successful or useful
to be good or admired

the wish for pleasure
for ease in strife
the wish for death
and even for life

i give up my effort
my trying to do
because all that’s done
is done by You

i give up everything
i surrender, i submit
i can’t do or be anything
unless You want it

25th January 2015

More Material by Shaykha Shahbano »