known of his early personal history. Records of his life began in the
early 1900s when religious pilgrims travelling through the jungles of
Sri Lanka first
caught glimpse of a holy man. They were overwhelmed by the depth of
divine knowledge that he imparted. Sometime later a pilgrim invited him
to a nearby village, and with that began his public life as a teacher of
Sri Lanka, people
from all religious and ethnic traditions would listen to his public
discourses. Many consulted him on how to conduct life's affairs,
including public figures, politicians, the poor, and the learned.
Bawa Muhaiyaddeen accepted an invitation to visit the
Here, once again, people from all religious, social and ethnic
backgrounds would join to hear him speak. Across the United States,
Canada and England, he won recognition from religious scholars,
journalists, educators and world leaders. The United Nation's Assistant
Secretary General, Robert Muller, asked for Bawa Muhaiyaddeen's guidance
on behalf of all mankind.
turned to him for clarification during the hostage crisis in 1980.
Thousands more were touched by his wise words when interviewed in
Psychology Today, the Harvard Divinity Bulletin, the Philadelphia
Inquirer, and the Pittsburgh Press. Wherever he went, he tirelessly
answered the many personal and mystical questions that people brought to
him until his death on December 8th, 1986.
years, M. R. Bawa Muhaiyaddeen authored over twenty books and the
founded recorded thousands of hours of audio and video discourses.
The Bawa Muhaiyaddeen Fellowship
now serves as a thriving community dedicated to studying and
disseminating the vast treasury of his teachings.
Muhaiyaddeen literally means 'the giver of life to the true belief.' And
indeed Bawa Muhaiyaddeen did spend his life awakening and strengthening
faith in God within people's hearts. Though he was an unlettered man, he
was able to guide and inspire people from all walks of life.
scholars and leaders from the
communities considered him a saint.
Muhammad Raheem Bawa Muhaiyaddeen was a revered
Sufi saint from
the island of
Sri Lanka who
shared his knowledge and experience with people of every race and
religion and from all parts of the world. He belonged to the
Qadri order of
sufism. He first came to the United States in 1971 and established
The Bawa Muhaiyaddeen Fellowship
of North America in Philadelphia. Since then branches have spread
throughout the United States and Canada, as well as in Sri Lanka,
Australia and the UK.
Muhammad Raheem Bawa Muhaiyaddeen, may God be
pleased with him, was a man of extraordinary wisdom and compassion. For
over seventy years he selflessly shared his knowledge and experience
with people of every race and religion, and from all walks of life.
Born well before the turn of the century, Bawa Muhaiyaddeen spent his
early years traveling throughout the Middle East and India, examining
the world’s religions and a myriad of spiritual practices. Our record of
his life begins around 1914, when pilgrims traveling through the jungles
of SriLanka first encountered him. Awed by the depth of his wisdom, they
asked him to come to their village to be their teacher. Some time later
he did so, there by beginning a life of public service – feeding,
healing, and uplifting the lives of all who came to him.
The name Muhaiyaddeen literally means ‘the giver of life to true and
pure faith in God’ , and indeed Bawa Muhaiyaddeen did devote himself
tirelessly to awakening faith within people’s hearts. As a sufi, he had
that special gift of distilling and revealing the essential truth
contained within all religions – the oneness of God. Thus, whenever he
spoke, Buddhists, Hindus, Muslims, Jews, and Christians would sit
together for hours listening to his wisdom.
In 1971 he was invited to come to the United states, to Philadelphia,
the ‘ The City of Brotherly Love’ . There , also, learned and unlearned,
young and old responded to his message of unity. The next fifteen years
proved to be a time of maximum outreach. Speaking in person on
university campuses, in churches, meetinghouses, and private homes, as
well as on numerous radio and television programs, he reached audiences
around the globe, from the United States and Canada to England and Sri
Lanka . He was interviewed by Time Magazine, Psychology Today, Harvard
Divinity Bulletin, The Philadelphia Inquirer, and numerous other
publications. Over twenty books of his discourses and songs were
published, as well as scores of audio and video cassettes.
The year 1996 marks the twenty- fifth anniversary of the arrival of Bawa
Muhaiyaddeen in the United States and of the formation of the Bawa
Muhaiyaddeen Fellowship. It also marks the tenth anniversary of his
passing (December 8, 1986)
Clearly, it is time to reflect – how far have we progressed and how much
more have we yet to accomplish, as an individual, as a group, as God’s
funny family? So much grace was poured upon us – have we kept that
spring flowing, has the pond remained clear for all to partake?
In the following songs and discourses, Bawa Muhaiyaddeen explains the
true meaning of fellowship. He both extols and scolds our efforts,
urging us forward, closer to that ideal.
We can only pray that his intention be fulfilled, that each of us
achieves the heights which he aspired for us, and that together as a
fellowship we do justice to his mission and message. May God help us.
The prayers you perform, the
duties you do, the charity and love you give is equal to just one drop.
But if you use that one drop, continue to do your duty, and keep digging
within, then the spring of Allah's grace and His qualities will flow in
People with wisdom know that
it is important to correct their own mistakes, while people without
wisdom find it necessary to point out the mistakes of others. People
with strong faith know that it is important to clear their own hearts,
while those with unsteady faith seek to find fault in the hearts and
prayers of others. This becomes a habit in their lives. But those who
pray to Allah with faith, determination, and certitude know that the
most important thing in life is to surrender their hearts to Allah.