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Letter to an African Muslim by Shaykh Abdalqadir as-Sufi ad-Darqawi

80 pages Pb ( 1981 UK )  reprint Malaysia 2005

Ian Dallas / Shaykh Abdalqadir as-Sufi


In 1930 Ian Dallas was born in Scotland of a Highland family whose history dates back to 1279. Educated at Scotland's oldest school, 'Ayr Academy' (founded 1233, Royal Charter 1798), he went on to study at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art (R.A.D.A) and the University of London, where he was tutored in Elizabethan social history by Muriel St. Clare Byrne. On leaving R.A.D.A. he wrote his first play, 'A Masque of Summer', which was presented at the Glasgow Citizens' Theatre. His second play was first presented at the Pitlochry Festival Theatre, and then at R.A.D.A.'s Vanburgh Theatre with Albert Finney in the lead. This led to a BBC TV presentation with Peter Cushing and Mary Morris. Contracted to BBC TV Drama, there followed a series of plays and dramatisations. His adaptation of Conrad's 'Secret Agent' starred Sir Alan Bates, and that of O'Neill's 'Strange Interlude' starred Diane Cilento. With Constance Cox he initiated the first ever BBC TV classical series with 'Jane Eyre' and 'Vanity Fair'. His original plays on TV included 'Statue of David' with Jill Bennet and 'Light from a Star' with Isa Miranda. After this he travelled extensively in Greece, France and Italy.[1]

Entering Islam

In 1963 in Fes, Morocco, he entered Islam as Abdalqadir, witnessed by Shaykh Abdalkarim Daudi, the Imam Khatib of the Qarawiyyin Mosque, and Alal al-Fasi. He then entered the Darqawi-Tariqa as a student of Shaykh Muhammad ibn al-Habib [2], who conferred on him the title of as-Sufi. He travelled Morocco and Algeria with his Shaykh and was further instructed in Sufism by Sidi Hamud ibn al-Bashir of Blida, and Sidi Fudul al-Huwari as-Sufi of Fes.[1]


His Idhn (authorization) for the Darqawi Tariqa comes through two Shaykhs: Shaykh Muhammad ibn al-Habib of Morocco, who was his first Shaykh and who made him his Muqaddem (representative), and Shaykh Muhammad al-Fayturi Hamudah. After returning to Europe from Morocco, he was ordered to Benghazi, Libya by Shaykh al-Fayturi, who was a direct inheritor from Shaykh Mustafa al-Alawi. There he was put into Khalwa (retreat). Some time after this, Shaykh Dr. Abdalqadir as-Sufi announced his leadership of the Darqawa.

In this initial period he oversaw an important set of translations of Islamic texts for the first time in English, including Malik ibn Anas's 'al-Muwatta', Qadi Iyad's 'ash-Shifa', as well as the Diwans of his two Shaykhs and Ahmad ibn 'Ajiba's 'Basic Research'.




Shaykh Abdalqadir as-Sufi advocates adherence to the original legal school of Islam, the Amal of Ahl-ul-Madinah[3] as recorded by Malik ibn Anas, since, as discussed at length in his seminal work 'Root Islamic Education'[4], he considers this the primal formulation of Islamic society and a necessity for the re-establishment of Islam in the current age. Within this he further advocates and teaches the 'Aqidah of Ash'ari and the Tasawwuf of Imam Junayd Baghdadi.

Shaykh Dr. Abdalqadir as-Sufi has been responsible for the establishment of two mosques, the Great Mosque of Granada[5] and the Jumu'a Mosque of Cape Town.

His students are encouraged to recite the Wird[6] of Shaykh Muhammad ibn al-Habib and the instructional Qasidas from the Diwans of Shaykh Muhammad ibn al-Habib and Shaykh Muhammad al-Fayturi.


Murabitun World Movement

In the early 1980s Shaykh Abdalqadir as-Sufi founded the Murabitun Worldwide Movement, whose aim is to work towards re-establishment Islam in its totality. Primary emphasis is placed upon the pillar of Zakat (Islam's obligatory tax on standing wealth) which, as Shaykh Abdalqadir argues, has been abolished, since changed beyond recognition by the acceptance of the dominant, non-Islamic financial and political practices. He has argued that the restoration of Zakat necessitates a restoration of the authentic Shari'ah currency, the Islamic Gold Dinar and Silver Dirham, in the weights and measures used at the time of the Messenger of Allah (Peace and Blessing be upon him) and recorded by Umar Ibn al-Khatab, the second Caliphate of the Muslims. The other major condition of a correct Zakat, he argues, is the existence of personal rule, or Amirate, since Zakat is, by Qur'anic injunction and established practice, taken by the leader, not given as a voluntary sadaqa.[7]

His work on the Islamic Gold Dinar and Silver Dirham has been expanded upon at length using the sources in the Fiqh, and formulated for modern-day application, by his student Umar Ibrahim Vadillo [8]

Dallas College

Shaykh Dr. Abdalqadir as-Sufi founded Dallas College in Cape Town in 2004 as a centre for the education of Muslim leaders.[9]





In 2001, the Universiti Sains Malaysia conferred on him an Honorary Doctorate of Literature for his life’s writings.

The books he has written over the past 30 years include:

  • The Book of Strangers, SUNY Press 1972 ISBN 0887069916
  • The Way of Muhammad,[10] an existential exposition of the pillars of Islam from the perspective of Sufism (Diwan Press, 1975, ASIN: B0000D74TC)
  • Indications From Signs, Diwan Press, June 1980, ISBN 0906512123
  • The Hundred Steps, a classic work on key steps in the path of Sufism (Portobello Press, ISBN 1874216045)
  • Qur'anic Tawhid, ISBN 9838994294
  • Letter to An African Muslim, Diwan Press, 1981, ISBN 0906512131
  • Kufr - An Islamic Critique, Diwan Press, 1982, ASIN: B0007C6U32
  • Root Islamic Education,[11] written on the school of the people of Madinah under the leadership of Imam Malik (Madina Press, June 1993, ISBN 1874216053)
  • The Return of the Khalifate, a historical work on the Ottomans, their demise and its causes and an exposition of a route to the recovery of the khalifate (Madinah Press, 1996, ISBN 1874216215)
  • The Technique of the Coup de Banque[12] on the modern age since its inception in the French Revolution. (Kutubia Mayurqa, 2000, ISBN 849305156X)
  • Sultaniyya[13] is a modern statement on leadership in Islam. Shaykh Abdalqadir surveys Islam under the chapter headings Deen, Dawla (polity), Waqf, Trade, the Sultan — personal rule — and Tasawwuf. (Madinah Press, Cape Town, 2002, OCLC: 50875888)








Some of Shaykh Abdalqadir's as-Sufi students both past and present and notable people influenced by him include:

  • Shaykh Abdalhaqq Bewley
  • Aisha Bewley[3]
  • Umar Ibrahim Vadillo
  • Dr. Yasin Dutton
  • Dr. Asadallah Yate
  • Abdalhasib Castiñeira
  • Shaykh Ali Laraki
  • Hamza Yusuf[14]
  • Shaykh Muhammad Qasbi, Imam of the Great Mosque of Granada
  • Mawlana Muhammad Wazani
  • Abdassamad Clarke
  • Ahmed Thomson
  • Anas Coburn
  • Abdelghani Melara
  • Abdullah Luongo
  • Abdus Samad Nana
  • Fazlin Khalid[15]
  • Dr Abdalbasir Ojembarrena
  • Dr Ali Azzali
  • Shaykh Murtada
  • Dr Hakim Imran Dockrat
  • Mowlana Afroz Qadri, Lucknow
  • Dr. Mohamed Dalmau
  • Mohamed Said
  • Musa Adam






Translations Undertaken By His Students

The Noble Qur'an: a New Rendering of its Meanings in English, by Abdalhaqq and Aisha Bewley (Bookwork, Norwich, UK.

The Muwatta of Imam Malik [16] translated by Aisha Bewley and Ya'qub Johnson (Bookwork, Norwich, UK, 2001.)

Ash-Shifa by Qadi Iyad (published as Muhammad – Messenger of Allah) translated by Aisha Bewley (Madinah Press, 1992.)

The Letters of Shaykh Moulay Muhammad al-Arabi al-Darqawi (published as The Darqawi Way) translated by Aisha Bewley (Diwan Press Norwich, UK, 1980.              The Foundations of Islam  by Qadi 'Iyad                                                                          The Seals Of Wisdom  by Muhyiddin ibn al-Arabi translated by Aisha Bewley             Sufis and Sufism: A Defence [19] by Shaykh 'Abdu'l-Hayy al-'Amrawi and Shaykh Abdu'l-Karim Murad translated by Aisha Bewley (Madinah Press, Cape Town 2004).

This product was added to our catalog on Friday 12 October, 2012.

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