Sidi Hajj Ali Harazim (may ALLAH be pleased with him) was the perfect wali who has been attained knowledge (Marifa), the great caliph endowed with the elevated station (Maqam), the gatherer of knowledge and secrets, at the highest summit of superior degrees, sun of joy that illuminated the horizon of superior degrees, unequalled by any.

He was among those who had attained perfect knowledge and sainthood. He detained high rank with Seyyidina Sheikh Ahmed Tidjani (may ALLAH sanctify his precious secret) who held him in high esteem. Seyyidina Ahmed Tidjani (may ALLAH sanctify his precious secret) spoke of his high rank to his companions to such an extent that he was envied by all, both near and far.

Of him, Seyyidina (may ALLAH sanctify his precious secret) used to say: “Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) said to me: “He holds with you the rank that Abu Bakr holds with me.””

The following words are among those that the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) said to Seyyidina Ahmed Tidjani (may ALLAH sanctify his precious secret): “O Ahmed! Seek advice from your servant and beloved, the highly reputed Ali Harazim, for he holds with you the rank that Harun held with Musa.” ALLAH is The Greatest, The Most Glorious, The Highest; I have no better advice for you concerning him than this. May peace be upon you.””

The circumstances and causes that lead Sidi Hajj Ali Harazim (may ALLAH be pleased with him) to join Seyyidina Ahmed Tidjani (may ALLAH sanctify his precious secret) are as follows: when Seyyidina (may ALLAH sanctify his precious secret) left Tlemcen in 1191 in order to pay a pious visit to Mulay Idriss (may ALLAH be pleased with him) in Fes, he met Sidi Ali Harazim (may ALLAH be pleased with him) in Oujda. They did not know each other prior to this.

Seyyidina Ahmed Tidjani (may ALLAH sanctify his precious secret) revealed through unveiling (Mukachafa) the vision concerning him that Sidi Hajj Ali Harazim (may ALLAH be pleased with him) had had several years before and had forgotten. When in fact he remembered it and realized that Seyyidina Ahmed Tidjani (may ALLAH sanctify his precious secret) was telling the truth, he knew with certainty that ALLAH had really shown him reality through this vision.

Seyyidina Ahmed Tidjani (may ALLAH sanctify his precious secret) said to him:“Fear not that I have over-exerted myself looking for you, for this meeting is all that I desired, praise be to ALLAH for that.”

Then Sidi Hajj Ali Harazim (may ALLAH be pleased with him) said: “I praised ALLAH and gave thanks to him. Now that Seyyidina Ahmed Tidjani (may ALLAH sanctify his precious secret) had assured me of this, I knew that ALLAH had granted me a great blessing and that Seyyidina Ahmed Tidjani (may ALLAH sanctify his precious secret) would be my guardian and that he would take care of my situation.”

They went to Fes together, and having reached there, they stayed a while to visit the tomb of Sidi Mulay Idriss (may ALLAH be pleased with him). Seyyidina Ahmed Tidjani (may ALLAH sanctify his precious secret) gave him the transmission of the Khalwatiyya path and taught him some of the knowledge and secrets of the Sunnah that ALLAH had revealed to him.

When Seyyidina Ahmed Tidjani (may ALLAH sanctify his precious secret) decided to return to Tlemcen, Sidi Hajj Ali Harazim (may ALLAH be pleased with him) wanted to join him, but Seyyidina advised him to go to a different region that ALLAH would choose for him. Having bid him farewell, Seyyidina said: “Hold firm onto the covenant and the love (Mahaba) until you attain spiritual opening (Fath).”

Sidi Hajj Ali Harazim (may ALLAH be pleased with him) was the Caliph of Seyyidina Ahmed Tidjani (may ALLAH sanctify his precious secret) during his lifetime. This conversation, which occurred during their very first encounter demonstrates the perfect specificity of this companion and the care that ALLAH (The Glorified, The Exalted) took of him.

He had many virtues. Seyyidina Ahmed Tidjani (may ALLAH sanctify his precious secret) had informed him that the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) loved him in a special way, a love that surpassed even the love of a father for his children. Speaking about him, Seyyidina Ahmed Tidjani (may ALLAH sanctify his precious secret) also said: “Whatever the Caliph said, I also said.”

Referring to one of his greatest blessing, Seyyidina   (may ALLAH sanctify his precious secret) said: “Nothing will come from me if not trough the intermediary of Sidi Hajj Ali Harazim.”

Certain people endowed with insight as well as all those people and companions who had tasted the secret of the Tariqa said that belief in this was valid as much during his lifetime as after his death.
Consequently, it may be thought that the continuous help of Seyyidina (may ALLAH sanctify his precious secret), whether in general or in particular, may only be received through the intermediary of Sidi Ali Harazim (may ALLAH be pleased with him) and that the latter represents Seyyidina (may ALLAH sanctify his precious secret) in both the visible and invisible worlds, after his death.
However, there is no reason why he should not be replaced in his role. ALLAH only knows. We should have full faith in both of them and know that we can only benefit by taking into consideration both the first invisible intermediary (Seyyidina) and the second, or any other who would take his place, having been appointed by Seyyidina (may ALLAH sanctify his precious secret). The grace of ALLAH (The Glorified, The Exalted) is immense and He alone knows.

His particularity is also illustrated by his meeting with the companion of the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) and judge (Qadi): Abu Muhammad Chamharuche (may ALLAH be pleased with him), a king among the Djins. With the permission of Seyyidina (may ALLAH sanctify his precious secret), the latter gave him the oral transmission of Hizbu Saifi as was customary among the elite of the companions.

His participation in the drafting of the renowned and noble Djawahiru-l-Ma’ani, of which the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) said: “This book is mine and it is I who composed it”, shows that singularity which shows his important station.

Indeed, two months after having settled in Fes, city protected by ALLAH (The Glorified, The Exalted), obeying the Prophet’s order (peace and blessings be upon him), Seyyidina (may ALLAH sanctify his precious secret) instructed his most intimate disciple, Sidi Hajj Ali Harazim (may ALLAH be pleased with him), to bring together and compose Djawahiru-l-Ma’ani, organize its chapters, clarify certain subjects, establish the structure.

Previously, Seyyidina Ahmed Tidjani (may ALLAH sanctify his precious secret) had instructed him to tear into pieces all of the remarkable and sunni texts that had been gathered, resulting from the majestic states (hal) that he experienced at that time, and which were the consequences of his elevated aspirations and sincerity towards ALLAH (The Glorified, The Exalted).

At that time, despite the surprise of the elite among the companions and those who follow them, and their insistence that he reconsider the situation, Sidi Hajj Ali Harazim (may ALLAH be pleased with him) obeyed the order of Seyyidina Ahmed Tidjani (may ALLAH sanctify his precious secret). 

He left only a few notes at the homes of certain companions and when he was authorized to recompose the book, he made good use of his notes in many chapters of the book.

In Fes, at the beginning of the month of Sha’ban, Sidi Hajj Ali Harazim (may ALLAH be pleased with him) began drafting the book: compiling and organizing, composing the subjects and the chapters. The book was completed one year later, in the middle of the holy month of Dhul Qada, during Seyyidina’s lifetime, may ALLAH sanctify his precious secret and bestow clouds of Approval upon him.

When his work was finished, he took it to Seyyidina Ahmed Tidjani (may ALLAH sanctify his precious secret) in the Mosque of Diwan. Seyyidina (may ALLAH sanctify his precious secret) approved everything it contained and certified it from beginning to end with his blessed hand. By the grace of ALLAH (The Glorified, The Exalted), the book was met, all over the land, in all countries  with joy and happiness and recognition for its fame and great reputation.

Concerning this noble book, the brothers were told, inciting them to read it: “O beloved brethren, you should always read this book because it will ensure that he who reads it diligently, by the grace of The Sovereign Bestower, and through sincere love, will reach the Ma’rifa (Knowledge) of the Master of the masters. He will also perceive the most beautiful truths and the rarest subtleties and fine details, and to attain the divine Presence through all its doors. Whosoever exerts himself with regards to this book would lose his head if ever he lost it. As for he who does not read it properly, he only has himself to blame.”

In order to eliminate any doubt regarding the nobility of this extraordinary book, it is enough to know that its composition came from the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) and that it was ennobled, enhanced, distinguished and increased in worth due to the greatness of Seyyidina’s degree (may ALLAH sanctify his precious secret). As for he who wishes to realize the splendour of its rank and worth, for this he must attain the pinnacle of his effort.
Whoever reads it and examines its content in depth will know for certain that the sublime and perfect qualities of Seyyidina Ahmed Tidjani (may ALLAH sanctify his precious secret) surpassed those of all others. Nobody can contradict this, even in his absence, except those among the heedless who have been forbidden access to his baraka and his benevolence because their minds are full of hesitation and doubt.

Sidi 'Ali Harazim (May Allah be pleased with him), by the Master of creation, attested to the status of Seyyidina Ahmed Tidjani (May Allah sanctify his precious secret), which is evidence of his particular love and his exceptional sincerity.

The writing of Djawahiru-l-Ma’ani is a miracle that bears witness to its particularity given that Sidi Hajj Ali Harazim (may ALLAH be pleased with him) had no mastery of the methods employed in literary writing.

One of the baraka of this marvelous book is the large number of people who joined this Tariqa of the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) having read it or even only having leafed through it.

I often used to hear one of Seyyidina Ahmed Tidjani’s companions- an honourable scholar, illustrious and noble holder of secrets- say: “It has been certified that this book will guarantee protection, great material wealth, joy and improvement of character in the place where it is kept, only an imbecile or a rebel would deny or underestimate this.

Another resplendent blessing of his book lies in the fact that, having instructed Seyyidina Ahmed Tidjani (may ALLAH sanctify his precious secret) to compose this book, the Master of Existence (peace and blessings be upon him) advised him to keep it safe in order that all the Awliya (Saints) to come may benefit from it.

Sidi Hajj Ali Harazim (may ALLAH be pleased with him) is also the author of an epistle entitled “Rissalat el Fadl wal Imtinan…” Here is a short extract that benefits and blesses:
« Know that the spiritual opening and access to ALLAH and the station of Knowledge will only be given by ALLAH through the intermediary of people who have received specific authorization (Iznu l khass) just as a specific authorization was necessary for the prophetic message. If there is no specific authorization, there will be neither spiritual opening nor access from ALLAH, there will be only exhaustion.
A person who wishes to get connected simply by reading Sufi books and who wishes to journey towards ALLAH, quoting them, extracting from them, associating with them and relating only to them, will only reap fatigue and he will receive nothing from ALLAH.  
By “access” we mean reaching the Presence of Knowledge and particularities. As for the rewards, they will be granted according to his sincerity. The beginning of uprightness in obedience, and diligence in obedience, as well as adoration, can only be correct and be a source of success through the Knowledge. He who is deprived of the Knowledge is deprived of all benefit and all good.
Then you should know that seven things are needed in order for adoration to be valid:
- Intention
- Instruction
- Knowledge
- Law
- Truth
- Sunna
- Sheikh.”

Sidi Hajj Ali Harazim (may ALLAH be pleased with him) also wrote: “My brother, I warn you against finding the access slow, even after having remained on the path for some time. This is the cause that prevents you from attaining The One for whom you hope. Even if you travelled for a time equal to one thousand times the duration of this world and only obtain an atom’s worth from ALLAH, know that what you have achieved is greater than all the traveling that you have done to obtain it even if you manage only to achieve endurance in your servitude, this is a great blessing for you. I request ALLAH to grant you the keys of wisdom and to be Gracious and Merciful towards us.”

When the great opening (Fath) was given to Sidi Hajj Ali Harazim (may ALLAH be pleased with him), Seyyidina Ahmed Tidjani (may ALLAH sanctify his precious secret) ordered him to leave the country and travel as he had already instructed every person who had attained this spiritual station.

It was related that one day Seyyidina Ahmed Tidjani (may ALLAH sanctify his precious secret) said: “If ALLAH grants the opening (Fath) to any of my companions and if any of them live the country where I am, they must leave for fear that troubles would befall them.”
Some of his companions asked him: “Does this (order) come from you?”
Seyyidina (may ALLAH sanctify his precious secret) answered: « It comes from ALLAH, without any will on my part.” Then, he added: “The fear only concerns he who I have been ordered to travel and to educate people. Any other has nothing to fear from me.”

This was the reason for Sidi Ali Harazim’s departure to the Hijaz where he remained until he died. Seyyidina Ahmed Tidjani (may ALLAH sanctify his precious secret) instructed him to begin teaching some of his companions who were in Egypt as soon as he arrived.

Seyyidina (may ALLAH sanctify his precious secret) also informed Sidi Hajj Ali Harazim (may ALLAH be pleased with him) that he would reach a great degree and considerable station on the condition that he went to visit the noble tomb of the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him). Sidi Hajj Ali Harazim (may ALLAH be pleased with him) desired this so intensely that he nearly lost his mind.

Before he reached the Prophet’s tomb (peace and blessings be upon him), he recited some important names that Seyyidina Ahmed Tidjani (may ALLAH sanctify his precious secret) taught him specifying that they should only be recited before the tomb of the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him).

So he saw what he saw and he fainted. His travelling companions thought that he was dead and buried him alive in Badr, in 1218 of the Hegira. After this event, Seyyidina Ahmed Tidjani (may ALLAH sanctify his precious secret) declared: “If they had not buried him, they would have heard knowledge and secrets from him that they could never have conceived and that they could never have found in any text.”

Sidi Hajj Abdelwahab ibn El Ahmar (may ALLAH be pleased with him) was among those who accompanied him on this journey. He recounted: “When Sidi Harazim recited the Supreme Name of ALLAH which Seyyidina Ahmed Tidjani had taught him on the condition that he only would read it before the Sherif Tomb (of the noble Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him)), his life force left him and his body collapsed. So I gave him some milk to drink which he exuded just as he had drunk it. ”

Among all those that Sidi Hajj Ali Harazim (may ALLAH be pleased with him) met on his journey, was the famous knower, Sheikh El Islam from Tunisia, Sidi Ibrahim Riyahi (may ALLAH be pleased with him) to whom he gave the transmission of the Tariqa. The latter, impressed by the holy man, wrote a poem praising his numerous qualities.

When the poem was recited to him, Sidi Hajj Ali Harazim (may ALLAH be pleased with him) was in a state that cannot be described. He cried profusely, and after the reading he requested a leaf of paper and a pen and, in front of the people sitting with him, he wrote the following: “Our Master the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) says to you: “I request ALLAH to reward you. You have my entire love and that of ALLAH. You are on the right path. You have full approval. I hereby declare for you knowledge, secrets and joy. Peace be upon you.””

When Sidi Hajj Ali Harazim (may ALLAH be pleased with him) arrived in Tunisia, following the instruction that he had received from the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him), he married a Sherifa (a descendant of the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him)) before he went to Fes. Later on, his situation forced to divorce her.

Reportedly, on this matter, before he left, the noble caliph Sidi Hajj Ali Harazim (may ALLAH be pleased with him) had told someone closed to him all that the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) had announced in detail concerning this Sherifa including her name and that of her father. When he reached Tunisia, he found everything as the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) had informed him.

Later on, when this person learnt of the divorce, he was disturbed and surprised because the order for this marriage had come from the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him), and when he was unoccupied, he was assailed by satanic whispering about that matter.

One day, he came over to sit with Seyyidina Ahmed Tidjani (may ALLAH sanctify his precious secret). They were alone together and spoke for some time until his heart became tender and his body was appeased. He felt no more pain.
Then the thought of this matter crossed his mind and his purity was disturbed. Seyyidina (may ALLAH sanctify his precious secret) looked at him and nodded, saying: “She was not performing the prayers”, and nothing more. Then I knew that this had been approved by the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him).

Thus concludes this brief glimpse of the life of the noble Caliph Sidi Hajj 'Ali Harazim Berada (may ALLAH be pleased with him).

Research and translation by the Zawiya Tidjaniya El Kubra of Europe