Brief Introduction of Hazrat Sheikh Syed Ahmed Kabir Rifai

Hazrat Data Ganj Bakhsh Ali HajveriHazrat Sheikh Syed Ahmed Kabir Rifai was a Sufi Religious teacher born in Hasten, Wasit Province, Iraq. He was known for living a humble lifestyle despite his great wealth. His example was the foundation for the modern Rifai Sufi Order.

When Sheikh Ahmed Kabir Rifai was seven years old, his father Sultan Ali died in Baghdad. From then on his maternal uncle Mansur ar-Rabbani el-Betaihi took him into his care and educated him.

Hazrat Sheikh Ahmad ar-Rifai learned the Quran from Sheikh Abd as-Semi el-Hurbuni in Hasen, where he was born, and by the age of seven he had committed it all to memory. (The title Sheikh before a name indicates a sufi teacher.) That same year, after Hazrat Sheikh Ahmad ar-Rifai’s father died, his maternal uncle Mansoor el-Betaihi moved with his family to the region of Dikla. There he sent his nephew to Ebul Fadl Ali el-Vasiti, who was an expert in the canon law of Islam, a commentator on the Quran, and a great preacher.

In addition to attending the zikr (dhikr) meetings of his uncle, Sheikh Mansoor ar-Rabbani, Ahmad ar-Rifai also attended the courses of his other uncle, Sheikh Ebubekir, who was a great scientist of his era and the sultan of scientists. He eventually memorized the book Tenbih, which deals with the fikih (Muslim canonical jurisprudence) of Safi according to Imam Ebu Ishak Sirazi, and wrote an explanation about the book.

He occupied all his time with acquiring religious knowledge. Eventually even his own teachers and the people who taught him respect learned the essence of respect when they were in his presence.

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