ALI ZAIN AL-ABIDIN AL-JIFRI
FOUNDER AND GENERAL DIRECTOR OF TABAH FOUNDATIONDEPUTY DEAN OF DAR AL-MUSTAPHA FOR ISLAMIC STUDIES
Habib Ali was born in the city of Jeddah in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia just before dawn on Friday 20thSafar 1391 AH (16th April 1971), from parents who are both descendents of Imam Hussein son of Ali, peace be upon them.
Ali Zain al-Abidin son of Abdul-Rahman son of Ali son of Muhammad son of Alawi son of Ali son of Alawi son of Ali son of Ahmed son of Alawi son of Abdul-Rahman Mawlah al-Arsha son of Muhammad son of Abdullah al-Tarisi son of Alawi al-Khawas son of Abu Bakr al-Jifri son of Muhammad son of Ali son of Muhammad son of the Ahmed son of the al-Faqih al-Muqaddam Muhammad son of Ali son of Muhammad Sahab Murbat son of Ali Khali` Qassam son of Alawi son of Muhammad son of Alawi son of Ubaidullah son of the Ahmed al-Muhajir ila Allah (trans: the one who made an exodus to the Divine presence) son of Isa son of Muhammad al-Naqib son of Ali al-Uraidhi son of Jafar al-Sadiq son of Muhammad al-Baqir son of Ali Zain al-Abidin son of Hussein (the grandson of the Messenger of God blessings & peace be upon him) son of Ali son of Abu Taleb, may God ennoble his countenance, the husband of Fatimah al-Zahra daughter of the Messenger of God blessings & peace be upon him.His noble mother is Marumah daughter of Hassan son of Alawi son of Hassan son of Alawi son of Ali al-Jifri.
He began taking knowledge from his early childhood from his first teacher, his mother’s great-aunt the scholar and knower of God Safiah daughter of Alawi son of Hassan al-Jifri, she had an immense influence on him and the direction he took in the pursuit of knowledge and spirituality.As a continuation of the authentic methodology of receiving Sacred Knowledge, and wayfaring on the spiritual path, through an unbroken chain of masters, all the way back to the Messenger of God may God Bless him & his family and give them peace, a methodology the preservation and maintenance of which, the valley of Hadramaut and the city of Tarim are renowned, this work was continued in the intellectual Milieu of the Hejaz which became a meeting point for the Scholars of the School of Hadramaut when they were exiled from the South of Yemen during Communist Rule; he received his education in the Sacred Sciences and the Science of Spiritual Wayfaring at the hands of Scholars and Spiritual Educators, among them: • The Scholar and Spiritual Educator Habib Abdul-Qadir Bin Ahmad al-Saqqaf in Jeddah. With whom he studied the Authentic Hadith Compilations of Bukhari and Muslim, as well as the Revival of the Religious Sciences of Imam Ghazali and other important texts. He continued studying directly under his teacher from the age of 10 until he was 21 years of age. • The Scholar and Spiritual Educator Habib Ahmad Mashhur Bin Taha Al-Haddad the author of many famous books. Among the books he studied under this master was: ‘The Clarification of the Secret Knowledge known to those Brought Near to the Divine Presence’. • The Scholar and Master Muhammad Bin Alawi al-Maliki al-Hasani, the Hadith Master of the Two Holy Sanctuaries. Under whom he studied Hadith Terminology, Legal Principles and the Biography of the Prophet. • The Scholar and Educator Al-Habib Attas al-Habshi. • The Scholar Habib Abu Bakr al-Mashhur al-Adani, the author of numerous works. • The Scholar Sheikh Muhammad Ba-Sheikh. • He enrolled in the College of Islamic Studies in Sana’a Yemen from 1412 AH/1991 AD, until 1414 AH/1993 AD. During this time he was given the opportunity to study directly under Habib Muhammad Bin Abdullah al-Hadaar who was in his last days, so he went to the Habib’s Centre of Learning in the City of Baeda in Yemen. It was during this phase that he began to move from theoretical studies to the work of calling to God, as he benefited greatly from the late Habib Muhammad Al-Hadaar’s methodology of living his knowledge, and making it impact his reality. • During that phase the link between him and the Great Scholar & Educator Habib Omar Bin Muhammad Bin Salem Bin Hafiz, (who was one of the foremost people in Habib Muhammad Al-Hadaar’s Centre of Learning) was strengthened He later went to the City of Sheher to be with him. • He settled in Tarim in the Companionship of Habib Omar Bin Mohammed Bin Hafiz from 1993 to 2003.
• 1426 AH/2005 – present: General Director of Tabah Foundation.• 1424 AH/2003 – present: Member of the Board of Director of Dar Al-Mustapha for Islamic Studies in Tarim. • 1428 AH/ 2007 – present: Active member of The Royal Aal al-Bayt Foundation for Islamic Thought in Amman, Jordan. • 1428 AH/ 2007 – Present: Secretary General to the Board of Trustees for the Al Mahabbah Awards. • 1424 AH/ 2003 – Present: Member of the Board of Trustees of the European Academy for Islamic Culture and Science in Brussels, Belgium. • 1418 AH/1997 – Present: Visiting Lecturer (summer program) at Dar Al-Mustapha for Islamic Studies in Tarim.
- Founding the Tabah Foundation – an organization whose remit is “the renewal of contemporary Islamic discourse to fit the needs humanity” through its three divisions: Research, Projects, and Media.
- Producing a Media Package for a unique lecture entitled ‘So that the Religion Does not Become a Game’ which dealt with some of the crisis and tribulations of the contemporary world which are a direct result of people taking advantage of religions for their own limited ambitions, the lecture was both an analysis and a clarification.
- Contributed to the formulation of the Open Letter to Pope Benedict XVI after his offensive lecture regarding Islam and the Prophet May God Bless him & Give him Peace, he was also one of 38 scholars who were signatories to the letter which was lofty and intellectual in its manner in the context of constructive dialogue.
- Contributed in managing the historical project on “A Common Word” a document signed by 138 Muslims Scholars, scholars representing different sects and schools of thought as well as countries. This document was sent to Christian Leaders the world over, and received a huge and positive reaction from the Christian side.
- Contributed to the formulation of the ‘Declaration by Muslim Religious Leaders’ issued by 42 scholars and Islamic Authorities of whom he was a member and which was in reply to the offensive Cartoons by a Danish Newspaper.
- Founding the ‘Guidance Media’ Company and Magazine in the UK.
- Founding the Board of Trustees for the ‘European Academy for Islamic Culture and Science’ in Brussels, Belgium.
- Founding the ‘Noor Centre for the Preservation/Renovation, Documentation and Editing of Manuscripts’ in Tarim, Yemen.
- Supervising the founding of Schools and Centre of Learning within and outside Yemen for the propagation of an authentic methodology for the dissemination of knowledge, education and spiritual training.
He has given classes for teaching, guidance, advice, in order to awaken people to their responsibilities, and to call people to God in many countries, he began in 1412 AH/1991 AD in the towns and villages of Yemen. He started his overseas journeys in 1414 AH/1993 AD which still continue to this day, and which have included the following countries:
- Arab Countries: UAE, Jordan, Bahrain, Saudi Arabia, Sudan, Syria, Oman, Qatar, Kuwait, Lebanon, Libya, Egypt, Morocco, Mauritania, the Comoros Islands, and Djibouti.
- Asian Countries: Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore, India, Bangladesh, and Sri Lanka.
- African Countries: Kenya, and Tanzania.
- European Countries: Great Britain, Germany, France, Belgium, Holland, Ireland, Denmark, Bosnia & Herzegovina, and Turkey.
- USA: 3 trips the first of which was in 1419 AH/1998 AD, the second was in1422 AH/2001 AD, and the third of which was in 1423 AH/2002 AD, in addition to which he also visited Canada.
Has delivered a number of lectures of concern to humanity at large throughout the world including:
- Lecture at Santa Clara University.
- Lecture at San Diego University.
- Lecture at the University of Miami.
- Lecture at the University of Southern California USC in L.A.
- Lecture at S.O.A.S in London.
- Two Lectures at the Wembley Conference Centre in London.
- A number of lectures as part of the Radical Middle Way Project in different parts of the UK.
- A presentation at the House of Lords in London.
- Nearly 300 lectures and series of sessions on cassettes, CDs, and DVDs.
Participated in the following:
- Conference on A Common Word in London and Cambridge 12-15 October 2008.
- Conference on A Common Word at Yale University in conjunction with Princeton and Georgetown Universities 24-31 July 2008.
- Conference of the Global Centre for Renewal and Guidance held in Nouakchott, Mauritania March 2008.
- Conference on the Middle Way in Amman, Jordan 2007.
- Conference of Judges in Amman, Jordan 2007.
- Conference of the Love of the Quran, Dead Sea, Jordan 2007.
- 11th annual Conference on ‘Dialogue and Understanding’ in Paris, France 1427 AH/2006.
- 7th annual forum entitled ‘the Quran a Doctrine and Way of Life’ in Frankfurt, Germany 1426 AH/2005.
- Conference on Guidance, in Sana, Yemen 2004.
- Participated in ‘Symposium on Islamic Unity’ in Damascus 1425 AH/2004.
- Participated in ‘the Forum for the Callers to Islam’ in Beirut 1425 AH/2004.
- Participated in the Conference on ‘the Guidance of the Prophet’ in Abu Dhabi 1425 AH/ 2004.
- Participated in the Conference on ‘Unity for the Sake of Peace’ in Sri Lanka 1424 AH/2003.
- Participated in ‘the Forum on Minority Culture from a Western and Islamic Perspective – Understanding and Practice’ in Paris, France 1424 AH/2003.
- Symposium for Muslim Scholars in Tarim, Yemen 2002.
- Conference on ‘the Etiquettes of Disagreement’ in Sri Lanka 1422 AH/2001
• Program entitled ‘the Spiritual Aspirant’ on the Mihwar Channel (Spirituality) 30 parts.• Program entitled ‘Al-Mizan’ on Iqra, (Thought) over 100 produced. • Program entitled ‘the Way to God’ on Dream 2 (Spirituality) 43 produced. • Program entitled ‘Intellectual Dialogue’ on Dream 2 and on Aqariya (Thought) 30 parts. • Program entitled ‘the Friday Meeting’ on Dream 2 (Thought) 6 produced. • Program entitled ‘Alive in our Hearts’ on Dream 2 (Biography of the Prophet and Description of his outward form and character). • Program entitled ‘Journey of Faith’ on Mihwar (Spirituality). • Program entitled ‘the World View of Islam’ with Dr. Ahmad Omar Hashem on the 1st Egyptian Channel and on Mihwar (Thought) 14 parts. • Program entitled ‘they Love Him (i.e. God) and He Loves them’ with Sheikh Ali Abu Hasan on the Risalah Channel (Spirituality). • Program entitled ‘For the sake of His (i.e. God’s) Love’ on Emirates channel (Spirituality and the Jurisprudence of Alms) 30 parts. • Program entitled ‘Gathering of Mustapha’ on the Yemeni Channel (an Analytical study of the Prophet Muhammad’s Biography) 30 parts. • Various Debates Programs: (‘Lights’ on Al-Arabia, Shariah and Life on Jazeera, ‘Hot Topic of Debate’ on Abu Dhabi TV, Cairo Today on Al-Yawm Orbit, ‘On Air’ on Safwa Orbit), and ‘Reminder’ on the Emirates Channel. • Program on the Virtues and Characteristics of the Prophet Muhammad on the Iqra Channel. • Program on the Biography of the Prophet Mohammed on the Dubai Channel 6 parts. • Program entitled ‘Insinuations/Whispers’ on the Qatar Channel.