Habib Noh Al-Habshi
Sayyid Noh bin Muhammad bin Ahmad bin Idrus bin Hadi bin Ahmad (Sohibul Syi’ib) bin Muhammad Al-Habsyi, better known as Habib Noh, was born in 1788AD or 1202H.
According to Sheikh Hasan Al-Khatib, the former custodian of the tomb for 44 years, Habib Noh’s parents were aboard a ship from Hadramaut, Yemen enroute from Palembang to Penang when his mother experienced labour pains amid a fierce storm. His father made a vow to Allah SWT that if the child was delivered safely, he would name him “Noh” in honour of Prophet Noh A.S.
Habib Noh’s lineage can be traced to Prophet Muhammad’s S.A.W. through the Prophet’s grandson Saiyidina Hussain R.A.
According to Habib Hasan bin Mohamad bin Salim Al-Attas of Ba’Alwi Mosque, the title Al-Habsyi came from Habib Noh’s 10th grandfather Habib Abu Bakar Al-Habsyi who lived in Ethiopia which was then known to the Arabs as Habasy or Habashah.
His father, Habib Muhammad bin Ahmad allegedly worked for the British colonial government in Penang. He was known as a pious man who helped to reduce thefts in Penang by his effort in helping the poor with food and shelter that the Governor of Penang was so pleased that he gave him a monthly stipend for his good work. His tomb is still visited by many in Penang, where he is better known as “Tuan Putih” or literally “White Master”.
Habib Muhammad Al-Habsyi was blessed with 4 children:
1. Habib Noh
2. Habib Ariffin
3. Habib Ahmad Salikin
4. Habib Zainal Abidin
Habib Noh married a Malay lady named Anchik Hamidah from Teluk Ayer Tawar, Wellesley Province, Penang. His wife passed away giving birth to their only child, Sharifah Badariyah.
Sharifah Badariyah married Syed Muhammad Bin Hasan As-Shatrie of Jelutung, Penang and their only child, Sharifah Ruqaiyah married Syed Alwi Bin Ali Aljunied from the family of the renowned Syed Ali Bin Syed Omar Aljunied of Singapore. Upon her death, Sharifah Badariah was buried near Air Tawar Mosque, Butterworth, Malaysia.
Sharifah Ruqaiyah, the only grandchild of Habib Noh, was blessed with five children: Sharifah Muznah, Sayyid Abdul Rahman, Sharifah Zaynah, Syed Abdullah and Sharifah Zubaidah.
Sharifah Ruqaiyah passed away in 1891 and it is believed that her tomb is located at Duxton Plain Park, Teo Hong Road, Singapore. Other accounts give the location of her tomb near Jelutong Mosque, Penang or at Paterson Road, Singapore.
Life in Singapore
Around 1819, Habib Noh migrated to Singapore then newly founded by Sir Thomas Stamford Raffles.
He was known to pray through the night and often at graveyards where he prayed for the souls of the dead. Often he escaped to Mount Palmer to pray and reflect in seclusion. He is well known for his compassion to the poor and the children and of his saintly miracles.
He took anything he wished from the shops even money from the money changers to give to the children and the poor. Stories abound of people seeing him in Mecca when he was not known to have left Singapore and of him miraculously healing people, particularly children through supplications and of his clairvoyant ability to foretell events and pre-empt calamity for people.
Among his well known advice to the people is not to bear grudges or ill intentions and not to allow greed to come between them.
Indeed, these miracles are favours from Allah S.W.T. for his deserving servant.
Habib Noh passed away on 26th July 1866AD 14 Rabiul Awwal 1283H on Friday according to Hijri calendar. He was 78 years old according to Gregorian Calendar, 81 accoring to Hijri calendar
Haul Habib Noh
To this day, the tradition of commemorating Habib Noh’s death continues with thousands of people, some from distant countries attending the event every year.
Lambang Terukir and its English translation The Grand Saint of Singapore are books produced locally by Ustaz Mohamad Ghouse Khan Surattee providing a very detailed biography on the life of Habib Noh Al-Habshi.
These books are available for purchase at $10 each. You may order your copy at our office or Maqam Habib Noh during opening hours.