From Shaykh Nooruddeen’s Family and Students:
If it touches your hearts to keep Shaykh Noorudeen’s Center open and alive, the lights on and the teaching of Shaykh Nooruddeen Durkee emerging and growing in his memory. Shukr-lillah. May Allah bless you and your family from us and our family.
Tributes to Shaykh Abdullah Nooruddeen Durkee
When Shaykh Nooruddeen’s family asked me if I might write a recollection of what I remembered about Shaykh Abdullah Nooruddeen Durkee, fondly known to many of us as ‘Sidi’, I could not imagine declining. Due to the quirks of life, and living far away from Charlottesville, I was not as in touch with Shaykh Nooruddeen as much I would have been a decade or so ago. But I know that in the books of history, he ought to be noted as one of the first Americans that was ever given khilāfa (a full investiture) as a Sufi shaykh; the producer of the first and hitherto only combined translation and translit- eration of the Qur’an into the English language; and responsible for the translation of some of the most significant texts of the Shadhuli tariqa (order) of tasawwuf (Sufism) into English, one of the most prominent and illustrious orders in history. After a decade or so as a young man in the 1960s, engaging in different spiritual movements of his time, a Stephen Durkee in his early 30s became Abdullah Noorud- deen Durkee in Jerusalem, embracing Islam at the Aqsa mosque in Palestine, studying with various ortho-praxic Muslim ‘ulama (scholars) in the Shadhuli tariqa at the time. He wasted no time in furthering knowledge of his new faith to his compatriots in America, founding the Islamic Sufi Center in New Mexico; and later the president of the Dar al-Is- lam Foundation, which continues to exist and operate. It was while he was in Dar al-Islam that an Egyptian scholar, Shaykh Ibrahim Muham- mad al-Battawi, who taught at the Azhar in Egypt for decades, visited Shaykh Noorud- deen. Shaykh Ibrahim was an expert in the works of Imam al-Ghazali, a faqih (jurist) with expertise in the Maliki and Shafi’i madhāhib (schools of law). But Shaykh Ibrahim was also a Shadhuli shaykh, whose direct spiritual lineage included the likes of Sidi Salama al-Radi, one of the most pre-eminent revivers of Sufism in Egypt in the 20th century, the illustrious Muhammad b. al-Habib of Morocco, the esteemed Ali al-Yashruti of Palestine, and the famed Ahmad al-Alawi of Algeria. Shaykh Nooruddeen gave Shaykh Ibrahim his baya’ (pledge), and Shaykh Ibrahim invested him as his khalifa, making Shaykh Nooruddeen possibly the first American to be a fully authorised, specifically Shadhuli Sufi shaykh in history. He moved to Egypt for 5 years to become profoundly involved in the tariqa of Sidi Abu al-Hasan al-Shadhuli.It was during that time he began work on the most prominent written works of his life, which were either related to the tariqa of the Shadhuliyya, or the translation and translit- eration of the Holy Qur’an. Shaykh Nooruddeen’s work in terms of the Qur’an and those related to the tariqa of the Shadhuliyya would be a grand testament to him; and in that he was ably aided by his wife, Hajja Noura, in all such endeavors. It’s doubtful that he might have succeededin bringing these publications to fruition, without the incredible and amazing efforts of Hajjah Noura; a lady of tremendous ability and saintly qualities, may Allah prolong her life further in health, inwardly and outwardly. May Allah bless his family, his children, his students, his loves, and all those who he has touched and changed over his incredible long life. Very early on, I remember hearing him insist: “There is no Peace, without Justice; there is no Justice, without Mercy; there is no Mercy, without Love; there is no Love, with-out Freedom.” He firmly believed in the relationship between all these precepts, and pondered on each of them separately, and together. In particular, he would often focus mercy that the Prophet Muhammad, alayhi salat wa salam, repeating the verse of the Qur’an, ‘And We did not send you (Muhammad) except as a mercy to all the worlds.’ Shaykh Nooruddeen always remained to me a man deeply committed to the path of seeking the Divine, loving the final Messenger of God, the beloved Prophetic family, and the saints of this religion. In his life, he was a majdhūb (one intensely attracted to the Divine), who worked relentlessly. When I suggested he might rest, he would often say, “I’ll rest in the grave”. And so, in his death, we ask Allah to grant him the best of rest, to forgive him his faults, to shower him with blessings, to and admit him to the company of the Righteous. .
Shaykh Dr Hisham A. Hellyer is professorial fellow at Cambridge Muslim College, mem- ber of the Council of the British Board of Scholars and Imams, senior scholar of Azzawia Institute, and senior fellow at the Royal Institute (UK) and the Carnegie Endowment (USA). A British scholar of English and Egyptian extraction, he first encountered Shaykh Abdullah Nooruddeen Durkee in 1997.
Inna Lillah wa Inna Ilayhi Raji’oon.To Allah Ta’ala we all belong, and to Him we all shall return. With a heart filled with sorrow, deep sadness, and grief, yet full in Iman in Allah’s decree and its wisdom, our beloved, brother, friend, and teacher; Shaykh Abdullah Nooruddeen Durkee has passed on returning to His Loving and Merciful Creator. Words are disappearing and cannot be found, especially that Sidi Abdullah Nooruddeen was so close to our heart and to that of many around the US and the world.His Zawiyah in Charlottesville, Va was a place where the poor received help, the hungry got some food, the student learned, the orphans received love and care, the seekers got their answers, and people sought refuge in for hope, love, learning, good company, and smiles. When i first met him he struck me as a giant in Tasawuff and with him meeting some of the recent giants such as Sidi Shaykh Abd al-Halim Mahmood, the Shadhili master and the Grand Shaykh of Al-Azhar, Sidi Shaykh Salamah al-Radi, Sidi Shaykh Salih al-Ja’fari, and many others, such as his Shaykh Ibrahim al-Battawi, I felt that I was in the right company, may Allah Ta’ala bless them all and grant them the company of the Proph- ets and pious. Now, Sidi Nooruddeen also joins that chain of scholars and servants insha’Allah. The departure of his Shaykh, Shaykh Ibrahim al-Battawi has impacted him a lot, but he kept the mission and vision, and vowed to remain on the footsteps until his last breath. Sidi Nooruddeen was among the first to translate the whole Qur’an with transliteration, and produced many publications about the Shadhili school of Tasawuff, which will forever be a treasure to have, may Allah Ta’ala grant him the best of rewards for all his struggle, efforts and works. It is personally very painful to hear of Sidi Nooruddeen’s departure, and one is truly lost for words. Because he has been through a lot in life, his wisdom evolved and eventually made him like a star you look up every now and then for guidance when lost. And there are fewer and fewer stars in the vast dark skies....This is yet another tremendous loss for the US and West in general. Sidi Nooruddeen is impossible to be replaced. The balance and beauty that he left will forever remain with us, and we will be forever grateful that Allah Ta’ala facilitated for us to spend years with his presence and wisdom. Our heartfelt condolences to his family; Hajjah Noura, and their children as well as to Hajjah Amr and their children. To all his students, murids, lovers, and truly all the Muslim world and all humanity. With the world losing many who have a track record in working grass roots, struggling, helping, guiding, learning, teaching, working hard (and thus making mistakes in the process) and providing hope, one can only be more concerned and pleading to Allah Almighty Loving Creator for help for all. Sidi Abdullah Nooruddeen Durkee motto he embraced from Mawlana Moinuddin Chisti; love for all and malice towards none, will always be the motto we share, endear, and up- hold. His last text message to me he said: “ You pray for me, and I’ll pray for you. That’s what makes the world go round”. Please join me in making Du’a and giving Sadaqah (no matter how little) on behalf of this beautiful and illuminated soul...I will never forget his loving smile, warm welcomes, and gracious Nafs. So long Ya Sidi, so long friend..., the mountain will always be green with you there, and the line of the school will never end, and the doors will never close. May we be forgiven for our shortcomings with you, and may He reunite you with all the Prophets and Saints you loved so much. May The All-Loving Creator of all forgive you, bless you for all the good service and sacrifices you made, and shower you with His Love and Mercies.. Al-Fatihah..
Shaykh Dr. Muhammad bin Yahya al-Ninowy is the Founder and director of Madina Insti- tute, an Islamic seminary in Atlanta, Georgia, with campuses in South Africa, the United Kingdom, Norway, Sudan, and Malaysia. He is considered to be a Muhaddith; a scholar of Hadith sciences. He has been a pioneer working on grass root levels to bring back Unconditional compassion and love as the central themes of religion and has beenthe forerunner promoting non-violence among all people and religions worldwide. Dr. Muhammad bin Yahya al-Ninowy also holds a bachelor’s degree in microbiology from the University of Illinois, and a doctor of medicine degree.
The Islamic Study Center is in Charlottesville, VA, very near the University of Virginia. At the Center we have various activities for children, adults, new Muslims, students at the University, and students of Shaykh Nooruddeen Durkee
• School: Our after-school program runs four days a week for children of refugees and others as well. They do their homework with mentoring/tutoring from University MSA students who volunteer their time to teach all the secular subjects of maths and language needed for those kids to adjust and succeed in the American system. They also make at least one salat in jammat, perfecting their wudƒu and adab as well as learning the words of the prayer. (Many of them have a very vague notion of what they are doing and these lessons are invaluable). They all study Qur’an, one on one or in small groups, learning to read the Arabic and to recite.
• Sunday Evening Meetings and other Events: Meeting of students and visitors with for salat, conversation (subhah), dinner, Qur’an recitation and dhikr. These meetings are the ‘backbone’ of the center, when knowledge and teachings are transmitted both individually and collectively.
• Community Service: The Center acts as a conduit for zakat and sadaqa sent from many places and delivered anonymously to needy families. It is also a source of information and literature to Muslim prisoners who write from all over the US, and for non-Muslims who have questions about Islam. Visitors are welcome on Sundays; those who want to know more about Islam, Muslims wanting clarification and assistance in their lives, foreign guests passing through the university, and also the occasional joyful wedding ceremony.
• Library: We maintain an extensive library of books on Islam and related fields which is open and available for those who wish to do research and study. We accept books donated by individuals which help build up the collection.
• Online Bookstore: the99books.net, a collection of selected works by Sḫaykḫ A. Nooruddeen Durkee. The collection includes over ninety books and booklets written, edited, translated and transliterated by Sḫaykḫ Nooruddeen, may Allāh sanctify his secret. The books in the collection are made available electronically for public benefit, fī sabīli’Llāh. You can access them by clicking on the book covers or the links directly below them. We encourage you to use iBooks, Kindle or other e-reader app for the best experience of reading pdf files on your devices. We request you not to print or publish the works without a permission.
يقع مركز الدراسة الإسلامي في مدينة شارلوتزفيل بولاية فيرجينيا على مقربة شديدة من جامعة فيرجينيا. تنعقد في المركز أنشطة كثيرة للأطفال والكبار والمسلمين الجدد وطلاب الجامعة وطلاب الشيخ نورالدين دوركي.
- المدرسة: ينعقد برنامج ما بعد اليوم الدراسي أربعة أيام أسبوعيا لأبناء اللاجئين وغيرهم. يقومون بواجباتهم المنزلية تحت إشراف طلاب جامعيين من رابطة الطلاب المسلمين الذين يتطوعون من أجل تدريس المواد العلمانية كالرياضيات واللغات التي يحتاجها الأطفال من أجل التكيف والنجاح في النظام الأمريكي. ويؤدون صلاة واحدة على الأقل في جماعة ويتقنون كيفية الوضوء ويتعلمون الأدب وألفاظ الصلاة. (كثيرون منهم تكون معرفتهم بهذه الأمور محدودة مما يجعل هذه الدروس بالغة الأهمية.) ويدرسون القرآن إما كل بمفرده أو في مجموعات صغيرة حيث يتعلمون قراءة اللغة العربية والتلاوة.
- اجتماعات مساء الأحد والفعاليات الأخرى: يجتمع الطلاب والزوار من أجل الصلاة والحديث معا (الصحبة) ووجبة العشاء وتلاوة القرآن والذكر. هذه اللقاءات هي حجر الأساس في المركز وهي التي تسمح بنقل العلم والتعاليم بين الأفراد والمجموعات.
- خدمة المجتمع: يعمل المركز كحلقة وصل لتوصيل أموال الزكاة والصدقة التي تأتي من أنحاء كثيرة إلى الأسر المحتاجة إليها. ويعمل المركز كذلك كمصدر للمعلومات والمراجع للسجناء المسلمين الذين يراسلون المركز من كل أنحاء الولايات المتحدة ولغير المسلمين الذين يطرحون أسئلة حول الإسلام. ويُفتح البابُ للزوار كل يوم أحد، لمن يريد معرفة المزيد عن الإسلام، وللمسلمين الراغبين في توضيح أو مساعدة في حياتهم، ولزوار الجامعة، وبين الحين والآخر لعقد مراسم الزواج السعيدة.
- المكتبة: لدينا مكتبة مليئة بالكتب المتعلقة بالإسلام والمجالات ذات الصلة وهي مفتوحة لمن يرغب في البحث والدراسة. ونقبل التبرع بالكتب بما يساعد في زيادة ثراء المكتبة.
- موقع شبكي لبيع الكتب: موقع the99books.net يحتوي على مجموعة منتقاة من أعمال الشيخ نورالدين دوركي. تشمل المجموعة أكثر من 90 كتاب وكتيّب من تأليف وترجمة وتحرير الشيخ نورالدين، قدّس الله سره، وهي متاحة إليكترونيا ليستفيد منها الجميع، طلبا لوجه الله. يمكن الوصول إليها بالضغط على غلاف الكتاب أو على الرابط الموجود أسفل الغلاف مباشرة. ونقترح عليكم استخدام iBooks أو Kindle أو غيرهما من تطبيقات قراءة الكتب الإليكترونية من أجل أفضل تجربة ممكنة أثناء قراءتكم هذه الملفات الصادرة بصيغة PDF. ونطلب منكم إذا سمحتم ألا تقوموا بطباعة أو نشر هذه الأعمال بدون إذن مسبق.
من أسرة الشيخ نورالدين وطلابه:
إذا كان مما يثلج صدوركم أن يبقى مركز الشيخ نورالدين مفتوحا وحيا، وأن تبقى الأنوار مضاءة وتعاليم الشيخ تنتشر وتنمو إحياء لذكراه، فنرجو منكم التبرع من خلال والحمد لله. ندعو الله أن يبارك فيكم وفي أسركم.