His Life (English)
Shaikh Ahmed er-Rifai
was born in Hasen Region of Vasit in Iraq on Thursday. (1119-1182) This day was in the first half of Recep of lunar months. When he was seven years old, his father Seyyid Sultan Ali died in Baghdad. After that his uncle Seyyid Mansur er-Rabbani el-Betaihi took under his protection and educated him.
Ahmed er-Rifai's family comes from Huseyin, the son of Ali, at the side of his mother. On the other hand, at the side of his father, his lineage which goes to prophet Muhammad is like that: master of the community, husband of Fatima who is the base of Imams, a relative of the prophet, Ali; Imam of Muslims, the chief of the mumins (believers in islam) who tried and liked with several troubles and calamities, the martyr of Kerbela, Huseyin; el-Imam Ali Zeyn ül Abidin; el-Imam Muhammed el-Bakir; el-Imam Cafer es-Sadik; el-Imam Musa el-Kazim; el-Imam Ibrahim el-Mürteza; es-Seyyid ikinci Musa; es-Seyyid Ahmed; es-Seyyid Hüseyin; es-Seyyid el-Hasen; es-Seyyid Muhammed eb-ul-Kaasim; es-Seyyid el-Mehdi; es-Seyyid eb-ul Mekarim el-Hasen; es-Seyyid Ali; es-Seyyid Ahmed; es-Seyyid Hazim; es-Seyyid Sabit; es-Seyyid Yahya; es-Seyyid Ebul-Hasen Aliyy-ür-Rifai; es-Seyyid Ahmed er-Rifai.
He learned Quran from Shaikh Abd üs-Semi el-Hurbuni in Hasen, birth place of him. He committed to memory whole Quran when he was seven. At the same year after death of his father, his uncle Mansur el-Betaihi transferred him and his family to Dikla region. His uncle send him to Ebul Fadl Ali el-Vasiti who is an expertin the canon law of Islam, a commentator on the Quran, a preacher and big
On the other hand, when he was attending dzhikr meetings of his uncle Shaikh Mansur er-Rabbani, he was also attending the courses of his other uncle Shaikh Ebubekir who was the sultan of scientists and the big scientist of his era. He memorized the book " Tenbih" that is interested with Fikih (Muslim canonical jurisprudence) of Safi which belongs to Imam Ebu Ishak Sirazi. And he had written an explanation about the book (this explanation was lost in Mogul invasion)
He spent his all time with learning religious knowledge. Allah had given him what a beautiful knowledge, eventually even his teachers and people who teach him respect had learned the essence respect in the presence of him.
When he was twenty, Ebu Fadl Ali who was the Shaikh of Vasit province and his teacher gave him a "Sehadetname" (writings of evidences) including canonical law and order of dervishes sciences, gave him a nickname that was the father of external and interior sciences, and also dressed him a his own dervish's cloak. His teachers and his Shaikhs agreed about the greatness of his rank and the superiority of his worth.
He stayed in Nehr-i Dikla for a short time and after that he came back his father's public guest-house for travelers at Hasen and then he became very famous. When he was twenty-eight, his uncle Shaikh Mansur bequeathed him to manage the dervish lodge and Caliphs after his dead. He also commanded him to live in dervish lodge of Shaikh Yahya en-Neccari who is his grandfather from his mother side. He sits enlightenment possession and starts his preaches in this dervish lodge. His uncle died in the year of the bequeathing. When he was thirty-five, the number of his murids was over seven-hundred-thousands.
He wasn't abstaining from teaching Sunnah of Prophet Muhammad and the details of the Quran to public and he always said that the trade of wise man is to show the way goes to Allah and to direct hearts towards Allah.
He give courses of hadith, canonical jurisprudence, religious precepts and commentary on the Quran in everyday except for Monday and Thursday. He was sitting his enlightenment possession pulpit at the afternoon on Monday and Thursday and preached targeting intellectuals and also public. People lose their minds, intelligence was stupefied, hearts were submitted to him because of the deepness and influence of his words. After Prophet Muhammad, companions and disciples of the prophet and twelve Imams there was no any other person who speaks very well like him.
When he sat his pulpit to give lecture, a crowded was gathering including superior scientists, preachers, spiritual teachers and the public. When he began to speak, the knowledge was gushing from his language like gushing sea. Wise men were enraptured in the presence of his beautiful and influential words and his wide knowledge. The denying and obstinate people were tongue-tied in the presence of powerfulness of evidences. Literary men take their shares from his superior expression, scientists from his skills and talents, philosophers from his deep and wise speaking.
There is an information in the book which is called “Sevad ul-Ayneyn” of Imam Rafii. The writer says that; Shaikh Salih Yusuf Ebu Zekeriya el-Askalani, who was a great expert in the canon law of Islam, had told me that; “I had gone to Ummi Abide to visit Shaikh Ahmed er-Rifai. There were people more than one hundred thousands around the guesthouse, some people were managers, scientists, shaikhs and the other public. He gave a dinner to all of them and was very friendly to everyone. He started to preach in the afternoon of a Thursday. Preachers of Vasit province, a religious community from doctors of Muslim theology of Iraq and the important people of the province were in the preach meeting. One group of them asked for science of commentary on the Koran, the other group asked for subjects interested with record of sayings of the Prophet Muhammad, the other group asked for Muslim canonical jurisprudence, another group asked for the disagreement between the different religious opinion, and the other groups asked too many questions about different sections of science. He answered more than two hundred questions, and he hadn’t got any anger when he was answering questions. I became embarrassed because of insensitiveness of people asking questions, and I stand up and said them that; “Is this not enough for you? He will answer all questions about the written sciences, not facing any difficulty, with the permission of Allah.” Because of my words he smiled and said to me that; “Ebu Zekeriya allow them to ask before lose me. Certainly world is a house of to become absent. Allah changes whole situations every time.” All public cried because of his answer. The meeting was confused, worried sounds were heart. Forty thousands people became students of him with the spiritual effect of his talk.
Ahmad Rifai's talks, his moves, his behaviors and his every breath were for Allah. He had got always a smiling face and he was modest, good-tempered, enduring suffering, very patient. He didn’t become cross with anyone and didn’t want any help for his own personality. On the contrary, he loves for Allah, and anger for Allah. He doesn’t rebuke somebody who behave that he doesn’t like. He doesn’t see his family and himself superior to other people. Even he said about this subject that; “According to our opinion for Allah, everybody is equal to each other, it doesn’t matter they are close relative or unknown people for us.”
He used to want from people protect themselves overusing the things that neither recommended nor forbidden by religious law like that overeating and oversleeping. He used to recommend doing worship during the nights. He also used to recommend being far away from people who doesn’t know their limit, behave in excessive manner, see themselves superior to others and dispute each other.
He used to do his service by himself, repair his shoes, carry the firewood prepared for him to the house of people who are sick, orphan, fallen and without relations or friends.
He used to turn shoes of blinds, and also take away them to the place that they want to go. He respect to old people and recommend respecting them. He always used to say the words of our Prophet Muhammad; “Whoever respect to an old Muslim person, Allah assign people who respect to them when they are old.”
He used to go to house of leprous and bedridden people, wash their clothes, bring their meal, sit and eat with them, and want them to pray for him. When he heard a patient in his city in a far city, he used to visit them. He also cure the wounded animals, and he said that; “To compass the creatures of Allah is one of the reasons that human being close to Allah.”
He used to behave very merciful to orphans, cry for poor people, grow merry their joy, behave them with modesty, see himself like one of them and say in meetings that; “ If whole craft owner is count and every craft owner passes in groups, I prefer to become a poor in the groups of poor.”
Great people of his era said that; “The most important reasons of reaching his great place is his great mercy to all creatures and his looking self down to himself.”
He used to respect to wise and experts in the canon law of Islam and want from everybody to respect them and say like that; “Wises are the leader and fundamentals of the community.”
He had withdrawn from world. He didn’t store any commodity at anytime. Although he had a big wealth, he didn’t wear to clothes at the same time neither in the summer nor in the winter. His movable and immovable property was much more than property of governors and famous rich men. He used to distribute the revenue of his real estate to dervishes and people who come to dervish convent. He didn’t left any commodity to his children