Sidi Shaykh Muhammad Sa‘id al-Jamal ar-Rifa‘i ash-Shadhuli, the Guide of the peace, the mercy, and the love to the way of Allah through the Sufi path a guide of the Shadhdhuliyyah Tariqah, founded by as-Shaykh Ali Abu-l-Hasan as-Shadhili in Egypt in the thirteenth century. The Shaykh is a descendent of the Prophet Muhammad, may Allah’s peace and blessings be upon him, through his ancestor, Shaykh Ahmad ar-Rifa‘i. He was born in Tulkum in the Holy Land in 1935. He is the spiritual inheritor through the Shadhili line from his Guide and Master, Shaykh ‘Abdu-r-Rahman Abu-r-Risah of Halab in the land of Syria, and is one who has kept Sufism alive and at work as an institution and a school of thought and spiritual knowledge. In 1997 he restored the 1000 year old Sufi Council that served in the Holy Land. He is the Head of this Council in Jerusalem and the Holy Land and has been a teacher and central figure at the Masjid al-Aqsa or the Dome of the Rock for many years.
The Shaykh has been living on the Mount of Olives in the Holy City of Jerusalem since the year 1959. The teaching from his spirit is very deep and for all those who have a heart and who listen with this heart. His teaching sheds an entirely new light on the reality of Sufism and the significance of carrying this message to everyone in this time.
For many years the Shaykh has been a teacher at the sacred sanctuary of al-Aqsa in Jerusalem, which is linked for all Muslims to the Holy House in Mecca in the tradition of the Night Journey (al-Mi‘raj) of the Prophet Muhammad from the Ka‘ba in Mecca to the al-Aqsa Mosque and from there to the heavens. He is well known to many people both in Palestine and in other countries in the world. Not only is he a teacher and counselor for all those who come to be at al-Aqsa, but he is also its custodian, for through his hand and leadership in these times this Sacred Precinct has been preserved, in the face of many efforts to destroy it, as a place of prayer for the Muslim people who come from all over the world to visit the Holy City of Jerusalem and to take the blessing of the praying in this Mosque. The Shaykh has students and followers in the Holy Land as well as in America and Europe, but it has only been since 1993 that the order came to his heart to travel to visit other countries. At the same time the order came from Allah for him to give teachings to all those in every part of the world who are sincerely seeking for the truth of their existence, the meaning of their life, and to heal their wounds. Up until then, the teaching had been reserved only for study in his Zawiyah in Jerusalem.
Shaykh Muhammad Sa‘id al-Jamal is a distinguished person of international stature. For forty years he has lived in the Holy City of Jerusalem and has worked consistently with great patience to keep the peace between the people there.
He began his career at a very young age as an uncompromising man of God, who had no fear of anyone but God, and because of this took a stand facing governments any time they tried to overlook God in their actions or disrespected people’s right to worship God. Being a judge of the courts, he was a government employee, at the same time that he gave weekly sermons in al-Aqsa mosque in Jerusalem. He has been the spiritual counselor to the people of the Holy Land and to all those who have visited over the past forty years and has given his life as a sacrifice to this work.
He makes monthly journeys all over the Holy Land to help the poor and to make sure that everyone has food and clothing. There are always lines of people at his home and at his office because they know that they can find real help from him.
The Shaykh opened a Sufi Center in an old building on the road to Jericho which holds the Prophet Moses’ tomb, may the peace and blessings of God be with him. This center became the head of the Sufi operations of aid. It has also been used to rehabilitate drug users and dealers.
In 1994 he made his first visit to America and has continued to be invited here each year to give seminars and teachings at schools and centers across the United States. The Shaykh is not a teacher for a few following a spiritual path but opens his heart to help everyone from any country or nationality and he has helped people from all over the world. The real beloved of God works for all those who are suffering and who need food and clothes in all this world. He is a leader who helps to keep peace no matter what the cost and who serves humanity without prejudice.
(Biographical information courtesy of Sidi Muhammad Press)