Makeenuddin al Asmar (مكين الدين الأسمر رضي الله عنه)
Islamic history is full with stories of holy men who led ideal life by obeying Allah’s commands, loving His Messenger (صلى الله عليه و سلم) and serving for the benefit of the Muslim Ummah. Great qualities like honesty, sincerity and humbleness they have exhibited during their life not only won hearts of public in their era but the fame and love towards them extended in many centuries after their demise.
Shaikh Makeenuddin al Asmar (رضي الله عنه) is one among such saints (Waliyullah) who is still living in hearts of people even after seven centuries. He had born in Alexandria, Egyptian port city in year 610 Hijri. His actual name is Abu Abdullah bin Mansoor al Iskandarani.
He memorized the Holy Quran in childhood itself and became an expert in Quran recitation. He studied knowledge of Quran from Shaikh Abul Qasim al Safrawi and stayed in Alexandria for some time as a Quran reciter.
He used to sew dress as a humble livelihood and at the mean time learned Sufism (knowledge of secrets of the universe to realize the creator, Allah) from Great Shaikh Abu Hasan al Shaduli (رضي الله عنه), a renowned Sufi scholar. He was with his Shaikh for forty years and fought with him in the battle of Mansoorah (battle against brutal crusader forces in city of Mansoorah, Egypt) in 645 Hijra.
He is known for many ‘Karamah’ (miraculous happening from Awliya). He had witnessed Lailatul Qadr (a blessed night in Ramadan with deeds equivalent to that of thousand months) many a time and had seen Angels descending to earth with layers of light.
Another noted Karamah is his visit to tomb of Nabi Danial (Alihissalam) (نبي دانيال عليه السلام) buried in Alexandria. He met the Prophet praying. Nabi Danial (عليه السلام) asked him to lead the prayers as he is follower of the last Messenger Muhammad (صلى الله عليه و سلم).
Shaikh Abu Hasan al Shaduli (رضي الله عنه) had told about him that ‘he is brown in complexion but has a white (clean and clear) heart’. He and another great Sufi Shaikh of his time, Abu Abbas al Mursi (رضي الله عنه) paid esteem respect to each other.
Shaikh Makeenuddin al Asmar (رضي الله عنه) passed away in Alexandria in 692 Hijri. His tomb is famous there inside Masjid of Yaqoot al Arsh (ياقوت العرش رضي الله عنه) near to tomb of Shaikh Abul Abbas Al Mursi (رضي الله عنه).
We were lucky to be there to visit these great saints who left an unfading passion in hearts of believers. Due to our busy schedule we could spend only a few hours in Alexandria. The city on the bank of Mediterranean Sea is lovely and so are the greats who lived and have been buried there!