The Shaykh, encyclopaedic scholar, Muhammad Salim al-Masuti – Hanafi in his madh-hab, Khalwati in is tariqah, born in Damascus and resided in al-‘Uqayb – was known as the ‘Shaykh of Reliance on Allah’ in the Syro-Levantine region. The story which occurred with Shaykh Muhammad Amin Suwaid demonstrates his noble stature – Shaykh Suwaid was returning from Istanbul (the seat of Khilafah at the time).
He happened to pass by one of the awliya’, known for the integrity of his state, and one of the people who secluded themselves in the mountains of Istanbul. Once Shaykh Suwaid had climbed up the mountain and reached the wali, a lengthy conversation took place.
Shaykh Suwaid asked the wali about Shaykh Salim al-Masuti. The wali replied: “yes, he is my brother.” Shaykh Suwaid asked: “How is his state amongst you [i.e. the awliya’]?” The wali replied: “Shaykh Salim was given a portion of reliance on Allah such that were it to be distributed between everyone in Sham/everyone on earth, it would have sufficed each and every one of them.”
Shaykh Suwaid asked the wali about Shaykh Badruddin , who replied: “That is a man which none knows his true status besides Allah.” He would not turn away a seeker or a needy one, he would favour the poor over his own people and family, seeking the Countenance of Allah.
Coupled with that, he was a pioneer in the field of knowledge, and sought after by students and spiritual aspirants alike. He would read the difficult books, explaining them and making them easy for the students. He was from the scholars who acted upon their knowledge – he would rise every morning for his morning litany and he would be punctual in acting on the Sunnah. He was obeyed in his place of residence, as well as the Levantine region in general. Numerous scholars of Sham read books under him, though he produced his own students.
The one who benefitted most from him was Shaykh Muhammad Abu ‘l-Khayr al-Maydani, the head of the society of ‘Ulama in the Levantine region. An extensive and enjoyable biography has been reproduced in the book “History of the Damascene scholars of the 14th Century”, which no student of knowledge can afford to miss. May Allah have mercy on him, and his shaykhs, and the scholars of the Muslims; may He raise us with them in the ‘Illiyyin. Amin.
Text Provided by Seeker of the Sacred Knowledge and Translation by Sidi Suleiman