The Superabundance of the Commendable and the Reinforcement of the Yet-More Commendable: Poetry Collection


This diwan, Al-Faydh al- Muhammadi wa-al-Madad al-Ahmadi wa Huwa Diwan (The superabundance of the commendable and the reinforcement of the yet-more commendable: Poetry collection), is a book of poems, mostly in praise of the Prophet Muhammad or in supplication of his blessing and assistance. Some of the verses vary from this theme, for example, poetic prayers addressing Ahmad al-Rifa’i, founder of the famous Sufi order of which the author, Abū al-Hudá al-Ṣayyādī, was a prominent (and controversial) leader. Abu al-Huda was a prolific writer who rose from humble origins in rural Syria to become teacher and advisor to Sultan Abdülhamid II. He was a religious figure of great importance, and a power broker whose influence at the Ottoman court was unrivaled. He was responsible for the appointment to high office of many contemporaries, specifically Ahmad Izzat al-Abid (1851−1924), a Syrian adviser to the sultan. Abū al-Hudá’s presence as an Arab at the imperial court involved him in Ottoman-Islamic politics, causing his decisions to be felt in many parts of the empire. He was associated with major figures of the Islamic reform movement, such as Mahmud Shukri al-‘Alusi (1856−1924) in Iraq and Muhammad ‘Abdu (1849−1905) in Egypt. Leadership of the Rifa’iyah Sufis caused rival orders to try to undermine his religious claims and court position. History has not been kind to Abū al-Hudá. His rapid rise to power, key patronage position, and the ambiguities of his writings led him to be termed an obscurantist, reactionary, and fraud. It seems ironic that one of the sultan’s favored links to his Arab subjects should be, until today, widely ignored in Arab historiography. An indefatigable writer and publicist, he is credited with more than 200 works. The poems in this collection are, for the most part, short. Couplets and short verses are interspersed with longer poems. Many verses were written on special occasions, such as the post-Ramadan feast, or composed to commemorate an event.

Date Created

Subject Date

Publication Information

al-Jawa’ib Press, Constantinople


Title in Original Language

الفيض المحمدي والمدد الأحمدي : وهو ديوان

Type of Item

Physical Description

207 pages ; 22 centimeters


  1. Ágoston, Gábor, and Bruce Alan Masters, editors, Encyclopedia of the Ottoman Empire (New York: Facts on File, 2009).
  2. Commins, David, Historical Dictionary of Syria (Lanham, Maryland: Scarecrow, 1996).
  3. Eich, Thomas. “Quest for a Phantom: Investigating Abu l-Huda al-Sayyadi,” in ISIM Newsletter 7, number 1 (2001).

Last updated: August 8, 2014