Encounter: Ibn Idris and Ibrahim al-Rashid

Shaykh Ibrahim al-Rashid wrote of how he came to know his shaykh, the sayyid Ahmad ibn Idris, in a treatise he called: The Necklace of Precious Pearls on Some of the Karamaat of our Master the sayyid Ahmad ibn Idris (may Allah Most High sanctify his secret, his light, his resting place, and his grave, and may He shower His Ridwan upon his soul).
He says,
“I was in our home land, seeking ilm at the hands of my father the judge Salih al-Rashid. An older brother of mine came to tell our father of a vision that he had. This brother had a wife that had passed away in those days. He said: ‘I saw her in the dream, so I asked her: What did Allah do with you, after you went to Him?
She said: He (most high and sublime) brought us and all the dead together in front of Him and said to us: “You were present in the age of My slave Ahmad ibn Idris, and so We have forgiven you all for his sake.”
This is what I heard from my brother, and he said it to me in the gathering of the lesson in front of our father, while we were in the Sudan. And sayyidi Ahmad ibn Idris (may Allah be pleased with him) was in the Yemen, and we had not yet taken the path from him, nor seen him. But we had only heard of him, and knowledge of his great rank had reached us. And after that, Allah brought us together with him, and we took the path from him, and sat in his presence. In his lesson, he (may Allah be pleased with him) said that Allah (most high and sublime) gives some of the People of Allah the people of their age because of their intercession with Him. So I remembered the story of my brother’s wife and told it to the Teacher (may Allah be pleased with him). I said to him that she and the dead who were with her were forgiven by Allah because of their presence in his age. And  I asked him: Is this true? He said: Yes.”
Shaykh Ibrahim al-Rashid wrote in the same book that among his shaykh’s karamaat is that before he joined his shaykh he was going to the pilgrimage in Mecca, and shaykh Ahmad ibn Idris was in Yemen. He says,
“After I had completed the pilgrimage, I became violently ill so that I was unable to stand up to do anything. Because of this circumstance I was afraid of death, so I implored Allah Most High that He grant me a perfect shaykh who could provide me with the special knowledge (ma’rifa) of Allah and His Messenger (may Allah bless him and grant him peace) so that I would at least die in the state of perfect ma’rifa. I asked him this, through the rank of sayyidi Ahmad ibn Idris (may Allah be pleased with him). No sooner had I closed my eyes in sleep than I saw sayyidi Ahmad ibn Idris (may Allah be pleased with him) coming towards me while I was lying in bed.”
The shaykh went on to recount the long account of the vision and how the shaykh cured him, and how he woke up with the strength to move about freely.
But he says: “After some days I became seriously ill (again) and again I made tawassul by the shaykh. Then I saw him in my sleep in a great tent in a high place, alone in his tent. So I greeted him, and he said to me: Sit!
So I sat in front of him. He said to me: ‘Are you afraid of death?’ I replied: ‘Yes!’ He then took a piece of paper and wrote down two lines: ‘You will not die until you have reached eighty years of age’, and the second line said: ‘You will not die until you have become of the greatest of those who possess the knowledge of Allah (most high).’ Then he gave me the paper saying, ‘Read it!” So I read it and I praised Allah (most high) for this.
Then I remembered that I had never before seen the Prophet (may Allah bless him and grant him peace) and I told the Teacher this. ‘He said: Sit! I shall show him to you!’”
Shaykh Ibrahim al-Rashid recounted the long vision of how he was shown sayyidna Ali ibn Abi Talib, then sayyidna Uthman ibn Affan, then sayyidna Umar ibn al-Khattab, then sayyidna Abu Bakr as-Siddiq, then sayyidna Rasul Allah (may Allah bless him and grant him peace) and his Ahl al-Bayt.

He then continues,
“After the completion of the pilgrimage, I travelled to the Yemen and joined the teacher, may Allah be pleased with him, in the blessed town of Sabya in the the Yemen in the beginning of the year 1248.
On the first night of arrival there and before I had been initiated into the Path, he treated me as a guest. As soon as I had closed my eyes, there swept over me a torrent from a mighty light that submerged and took possession of me; I could not escape it, being destroyed by the strength of the lights thronging about me. Then I woke and my body was in turmoil.
On the second day, we took the Path from him and we understood that this shaykh was an extraordinary thing. Then, after we had taken the Path from him and had been initiated, he said to us:
“The Path I teach is this: there exists no Path by which the aspirant can make progress towards his goal save that Path beyond which there is nothing save Allah, {And that the final end is unto thy Lord} (53:42) – rather, you should only be with Allah.”
Praise be to Allah, we thus received from him that spiritual assistance whose expression is beyond expression and which is a confirmation of that statement of the Prophet (may Allah bless him and grant him peace) in a Hadith Qudsi: “I have prepared for My faithful slaves that which the eye has not seen nor the ear heard and which has not entered into the heart of any being.” ”
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Taken from:
1) Al-Rashid, Ibrahim, Iqd ad-Durr an-Nafees fee Ba’d Karaamaat sayyidna wa mawlaana as-sayyid Ahmad ibn Idris.
Edited and published by Shaykh Saleh al-Ja’fari, may Allah be pleased with him, in his book: A’taar Azhaar Aghsaan Hadheerat at-Taqdees. Cairo: Daar Jawaami’ al-Kalim.
2) R.S. O’Fahey, Enigmatic Saint: Ahmad ibn Idris and the Idrisi Tradition, with some changes.

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