(1910 – April 1989)
Syed Shaikh al-Habshi was born at Hawta, Hadramaut, Yemen in 1910. He received the traditional education at Rubat, Tarim, under the tutelage of some of the most prominent ulama such as Habib Mohamed bin Salim bin Hafiz (father of the reknown Habib Umar bin Hafiz) and Habib Abdullah bin Umar Al-Shateri.
Before his travels which brought him to Central Africa, Johore and Singapore, he served as a judge at Hadramaut for several years. When he was in Johore, he took up a teaching position.
Syed Shaikh arrived in Singapore sometime in 1948/1949. He taught Arabic classes every Sunday, and had discussion circles with other ulama every Tuesday, reading and discussing books written by prominent scholars of the past. Throughout 1950s and 60s, he taught most of the children in the Alkaff and Bin Talib households.
Syed Shaikh was a very learned man in Islamic Jurisprudence, Arabic Poetry and other fields. His contemporaries, among others, were Habib Hussain Al-Habshi (the imam of Masjid Al Abdul Razak), Habib Ahmad Mashoor Al-Haddad whome he assisted in Central Africa, Habib Abdul Kader Alsagoff, Syeikh Umar Al-Khatib who was his best friend in Singapore.
Among those who studied under him were Habib Hassan Alattas of Masjid Ba’alawi, Ustaz Syed Umar Al-Shateri (former Mufti of Adelaide, Australia) and Dr Imran Yusoff (son of the 1st President of Singapore).
He had two wives, Sa’adiah bte Isa Al-Habshi and Sharifah Aisha bte Abdul Rahman Alsagoff.
Syed Shaikh passed away peacefully at the age of 79 in Singapore and left behind 8 children: Abdullah, Abdul Rahman, Ni’mah, Asmah, Fareed, Fareedah, Aneesah and Anis.
May Allah bless his soul.
(Source: Syed Anis Al-Habshi, son of Syed Shaikh Al-Habshi )