‘Put on your clothes, you have to be at this party.’
I’m in Madinah, bunking in. I was reading a book to sleep, then this young stranger comes. It’s around 11pm.
So I said, excuse me?
‘You’re Zain right?’
By the time he completes the briefing in the car, we’re at the front door. A rich, learned man who serves people regularly was hosting a dinner party.
A good portion of them are sons (meaning descendants) of Shaykh Abu Bakr Bin-Salem, and most of them from the al-Haddar family, specifically sons, nephews, grandsons and in laws of the late, the legendary Habib Muhammad bin Abdullah al Haddar.
He was the main Shaykh and father in law to Habib Omar Bin-Hafidh.
Unlike in Tareem or largely Hadhramout, this party resembled more like that of north of Yemen, where most the attendees used to or currently live. The lush green town called Baydha is considered one of the tip ends before you cross into the Hijaaz.
Anyhow there I was thinking this was the after party. Then close to midnight dinner comes.
It’s overwhelming to see how they’ve managed to organically, naturally retain much of their culture, sense of community and self-standing. Many ‘well to do places,’ largely Westernised often look at these guys as ‘living their own world.’
Perhaps it’s true. And that’s what’s amazing about it. It’s theirs. Not someone else’s.