Thursday, October 15, 2009

Inspirations of Sidi Ahmad Zarruq


O son, know that apart from Shaykh Ahmad al-Alawi (the founder of Lisan al-Din in 1912) this blog also came into being due to inspirations from Sidi Ahmad Zarruq (1442-1493). It's amazing how the holy spirits are so very alive. Mere thoughts of them could inspire one to do much good. Their barakah live on.

I was moved when I learned that Ahmad Zarruq had written so much that 'it was calculated that from the time of his birth till death, he wrote half a page a day.' (Al-Kuhin). He was not only a prolific writer, a scholar and a jurist, but also an influential spiritual teacher. He was a Shadhili Sufi Sheikh, a contemporary of Muhammad al-Jazuli (author of Dala'il al-Khayrat salawat).

Qawa'id al-Tasawwuf (The Principles of Sufism) is one of Sidi Ahmad Zarruq's more prominent works. The quotations below might have been taken from the same.
Sufism is not a mere thoretical teaching to occupy man's mind like a sort of acrobatic exercise in words and arguments. The practical part of it is the vital core without which the sufi does not deserve his title at all.

The principles of our way are five:
- fear of God in private and secret,
- adherence to the sunnat in word and deed,
- contempt for mankind in prosperity and adversity,
- satisfaction with God in all things great and small and
- having recourse to God in joy and sorrow.

The attitude of the sufi is of a more special kind than that of the jurist. Whilst the jurist represents Islam and seeks out that which removes objection regarding religious practices, the sufi looks for what leads to perfection in performing them.
His attitude to faith (iman) is more special than the theologian, since the latter considers what makes belief correct, whilst the sufi seeks what makes it more certain and firm.
His attitude is more special than both the mufasir (commentator of the Quran) and the muhaddith (traditionist), since these deal with the external structure of the text, whilst the sufi looks at the inner meaning and implication it bears.
May with the barakah of all the sufi saints past and present, we are able to live and breathe their teachings both inwardly and outwardly. Ameen Allahumma Ameen.

Ahmad Zarruq's quotations are from 'The Reflections of the Mystics of Islam', compiled by ZH Sharib.
Ahmad Zarruq's Tomb Pic credit:


  1. aslamualykum

    were can you visit the grave of sayid ahmed zaruq

  2. Wa'alaikumsalam
    Respected visitor,

    I believe Sidi Ahmed Zarruq Al-Fasi's tomb is somewhere in Libya. Tripoli maybe, where he was said to have died. That's all I know. I'm sorry I cannot share more details.


  3. Assalamu alaykum

    I believe he was buried in his zawiyah in Misrata.

  4. Salaam Sidi Ahmad Zarruq is buried in Misrata at his Zawiya. Thats all I know.

  5. Alaykum as-Salam,
    Thanks for the information.