“The core issue this book so movingly raises is the overriding presence that looms above all humanity, that is, the Hereafter, the ultimate and inescapable destination of all people believers and inveterate deniers alike. Imam al-Haddad, a gifted scholar, and clear-sighted spiritual sage distill's in 40 short essays throbbing reminders of what one must do in his or her short life to prepare for the awesome Standing for the Lord of all being. Toward this most noble of ends, Knowledge, and Wisdom imparts the kind of counsel-candid and sincere that can change a person’s life.”
Imam Abd Allah ibn Alawi al-Haddad was born in 1634 CE (1044 Hijri). He lived his entire life in the town of Tarim in Yemen’s Valley of Hadramawt and died there in 1720 CE (1132 Hijri). In Islamic history, he was considered one of the great Sufi sages. He was an adherent to the Ashari Sunni Creed of Faith (Aqeedah), while in Islamic jurisprudence (Fiqh), he was a Shafi'i.
He lived at Tarim in the Hadramaut valley between Yemen and Oman and is widely held to have been the ‘renewer’ of the twelfth Islamic century. A direct descendant of the Prophet, his sanctity and direct experience of God are clearly reflected in his writings, which include several books, a collection of Sufi letters, and a volume of mystical poetry. He spent most of his life in Kenya and Saudi Arabia where he taught Islamic jurisprudence and classical Sufism according to the order (tariqa) of the Ba'Alawi sayids.
In spite of being a major source of reference among the Sunni Muslims (especially among Sufis), only recently have his books began to receive attention and publication in the English-speaking world. Their appeal lies in the concise way in which the essential pillars of Islamic belief, practice, and spirituality have been streamlined and explained efficiently enough for the modern reader. Examples of such works are The Book of Assistance, The Lives of Man, and Knowledge and Wisdom.