Ba’Fadl and al-Khātib
During the talk, one slide was on these two family names. I wanted to give emphasis as Tareem is largely known for the Habaib (singular: Habib), the scholars who are descendants of the Prophet Muhammad (pbuh). But it is not known to many that before they came, there were other established scholarly Muslims.
*This post is based on the talk I did in Malaysia and Singapore, as with all other posts in this specific photo album. The talk was called Seeking Islam: Why I’m Still in Yemen. See album description for more info.
Significantly among them, are those known as the Masyaikh (mashaa-aykh). They are descendants of the Companions of the Prophet Muhammad (pbuh), and they too have had a large role in making Tareem as we know it today and the past.
It is said that in the smallest/least known of the Masyaikh families, in its lineage, holds forty scholars of Mufti level. In one class I sit in where we read biographies, it is said to be 300 (see al-Ghurar by al-Khered, around the chapter on Imam al-Muhajir Ahmad bin Isa).
The Ba’Fadl and al-Khātib families are the two most known families from among the Masyaikh, known to be masters in fiqh (jurisprudence). The famous Habaib/Habibs you know living today and in recent times, all have had teachers from at least one of these two families.
There’s a lot more digging I’ve to go into regarding this area of history of the Ba’Alawi tradition and I’ll share some in the few slides to come as well as more when I find out new info. But before I leave I will share about one of the few very known al-Khātib’s of today.
The man in the picture is Shaykh Omar bin Hussein al-Khātib, whom I actually consulted in Tareem before I started The Zain Gallery. Months later I happen to sit in a session in Singapore specifically for the youth. As he finished eating the late night snacks offered by the host, he did something interesting.
I’m not sure if it is connected to jurisprudence or not, but he said, ‘we al-Khātibs are known to be economical.’ He tore the tissue paper in two. Used one half and the other placing it back on the tray, before smiling at us and then making his way out.
When they asked him for a group photo, he said ‘well of course yes, it’s mandatory as we’re in Java (Hadhramis refer to the Malay world as a whole as Java, but not as much in recent times). He said, ‘there are two and one thing about the people of Java.’
‘First, they have uncontestable humility. Second, they generously smile and joke in their regular conversation. And the extra one thing (referring to modern phenomena), is that photo is a must.’
**In the Comment box below I will share some links about him and his famous uncle, also Shaykh Omar, that moved from Tareem to Singapore and served the people very well. Pic by Majlis Muwasolah.