Abu al-Fadl 'Iyad
(d. 544 H. in Marakesh)

Biographical note on Sheikh
Abu al-Fadl al-Qadi 'Iyad
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Among the great Moroccan
influential advocates of the cult of the Holy Prophet (peace and blessing be upon him) is the Patron Saint of Marrakech Sidi al-Qadi Abul Fadl Iyyad ibn Musa al-Yahsubi al-Sabti al-Maghribi (d. 544/1129), the premier Hadith scholar of the late Almoravid period and qadi al-jama'a of the cities of Granada and Sabta ("current occupied Ceuta, may Allah turn it to Dar al-Islam). A famous adage, of whom it was said, "Were it not for Iyyad Morocco would not have been mentioned," the Qadi's most famous work, Kitab Shifa bita'rif huquq al-Mustapha (The Antidote in knowing the rights of the Chosen Prophet), is a tradition based treatise that promotes the veneration of the Chieftain of the Universe, the Reason of Existence, the Seal of Prophethood and Messengership, Sidna Mohammed ibn Abdellah (peace and blessing be upon him) as the universal archetype of humanity. Al-Qadi Iyyad portrays the Holy Prophet (peace and blessing be upon him) as a mortal man who was blessed with superhuman qualities. Although he acknowledges that the Holy Prophet (peace and blessing be upon him) had human limitations, he restricts these to the Prophet's outward or bodily aspects alone. With respect to his inner qualities, the Prophet had more in common with the divine than with other of his species. This is proven of Qadi Iyyad by the Prophet's enjoyment of divine protection and his freedom from major sins and weaknesses. For al-Qadi Iyyad, Holy Prophet's al-qudwa al-'hasana (beautiful example) is a paradigm for religious and nonreligious behaviour alike. Thus the Prophet's actions exemplifies the best of human undertakings: "the best manner of living, the most efficacious teaching, the most useful knowledge, and the finest of personal attributes". Since many of these qualities pertain to the prophet's inborn nature and cannot be duplicated by other human beings, al-Qadi Iyyad urges his readers to instead immolate Sidna Mohammed's acquired virtues, such as his generosity, forebearness, bravery, good fellowship, moral standards, justice, asceticism, and God-consciousness.

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The maqam of Sheikh
Abu al-Fadl 'Iyad
in Marakesh

© Damas Cultural Society
Latest aupdate: 2008-11-29