The Islamic Religious Leader Omar Mohammed Ben Hafid: A Biography [Archives:2000/09/Culture]
The Yemeni Hadarems have played a very essential role in spreading Islam in different spheres of the whole globe, especially in East Asia and Africa. They are distinguished for their manners and techniques to preach Islam which are well-recorded in history. For they always play the key role model in preaching and practicing what they preach. The Hadramout school has become an synonymous with Islamic approach for preaching a way of life.
During the centuries that have elapsed one can certainly see the influence of this school that has expanded in geographic terms, taken roots, and its members increased in number. One of the most distinguished and outstanding figures of this school is the Islamic religious leader Omar Mohammed Ben Hafid.
He was born on May 27, 1963 and is endowed with many talents and faculties which have been devoted to preaching religious canons on the basis of his virtuous forerunners. He has dedicated himself to applying all the apt and convenient means to disseminate his mission among the people. His strong mastery of the art of oration as well as his spontaneous way of speaking and dealing with others bestows on him another advantage that makes him bring together a large number of supporters. He is also very modest, well behaved and possesses high morals. He also has a good command of philology, linguistics, Hadith. He learned the Holy Qura’an by heart at an early age.
The scholar was brought up in a scientific and literary environment in Tarim, Hadramout. His father, Mohammed Salem Ben Hafid, was the scholar of Gahbath. He used to hold highly scientific status and was a famous preacher, poet and historian. He was kidnapped during the early 1970s by the socialists who used to rule the South at that time.
Mr. Omar travelled to Al-Baida’a in 1982 where he joined the mufti (someone who officially explains Muslim law) Mohammed Abdullah Al-Hada’ar. He stayed there for ten years and devoted himself to acquiring and teaching sciences at Al-Rebat.
After the unification in 1992, he went back to Hadramout and settled at first in Al-Sheher Town where he re-established Al-Rebat Mostaffa Institute before he went back to his home town Tarim and established Al-Mostafa House for Islamic Studies. He chose the date of kidnapping of his mother “May 6, 1997- 29.12. 1417 as the date of inaugurating it.”
He also re-established scientific institutes for teaching Islamic sciences and philology in specific. Such institutes were re-opened in East of Tarim, Kaidoon at Wadi Dawa’an, and Al-Ormah the West of Sayoon, Al-Hasi to the East of Al-Shaher and Rebaten at Al-Mokala.
The scholar Omar Ben Hafid is a well-travelled man aiming at preaching Islam and spreading his sciences either inside or outside Yemen. He has visited the two Holy places many times. He also visited the UAE, Oman, Egypt, Jordan, Syria, Indonesia, India, Pakistan, Malaysia, Bangladesh, Kenya, Tanzania and Comoro Islands. He has managed to convince many people of sending their children to study the principles of the Islamic mission in Al-Mostafa House in Tarim. The scholar is the father of three sons and six girls.
1) Poetical Works in four volumes.
2) “Al-Thakhirah Al-Mosharefa” meaning the “Honorable Asset of What a Muslim Has to Do.”3) Sharh Mandomat Al-Sanad of Imam meaning the “Explanation of the Verification Set of the Imam Ibrahim Ben Akil.”
4) Mokhtar of The Prophet Hadith.
5) Noor Al-Iman of Habib Al-Rahman.
6) Al-Deya’a Al-Lama’a Bedekr Mawled Al-Nabi Al-Shafa’a
Al-Mostafa House for Islamic Studies:
It consists of a national school for teaching primary, secondary as well as secondary education. The house is licensed by the Ministry of Education. Teaching in the House continues for four years after the secondary school just like Al-Azhar University. The first batch which graduated from the House was in 1998 and their number was 30; three of whom were Yemenis while the rest were from Indonesia. During the current year, 2000, the number of those studying in the House stands at 585 of whom 328 students from abroad while the rest are from Yemen governorates including Sana’a, Dhamar and Haga.
Every year in summer the House opens teaching courses for various education stages where at least 1500 students join in. In the Institute there is a complex of modern buildings that is located at Edid district, South-West of Tarim. It consists of two floors containing 44 rooms and two big dining halls besides the education building that includes 8 classes and a mosque of two floors that can accommodate 2500 worshippers. There is also a big library containing 10,000 books, a swimming pool, water tanks, clinic, and other facilities as well.
The house holds contemporary courses of half a year, a year and two years duration and most of those students who attend such courses come from foreign countries.
The following chart is a display of the country-wise break up of foreigners studying in the House during the year 2000:
Country No. of students
Saudi Arabia 20
Comoro Islands 10
There are also students from UAE, Bahrain, Jordan, Somalia, Uganda, Democratic Republic of Congo, Thailand, Italy and Russia.