Visions of Reality

Commentary on the Hizb al-Bahr of Imam Shadhili

Shaykh Ahmad Zarruq, Khalid Williams (tr.)




Hizb al-Bahr (Litany of the Sea), a unique litany made of Quranic verses and supplications, is a powerful invocation read by multitudes throughout the Muslim world, it was taught by the Prophet s.a.w. to Sidi Abul Hasan al-Shadhili - the renowned Wali’Allah (“Friend of Allah”) whilst travelling to Hajj.


On the litany, the Shaykh Abul Hassan al-Shadhili said, “By Allah, I did not utter it except as it came from the Holy Prophet, from whose instruction I learned it. ‘Guard it; the Holy Prophet s.a.w said to me, ‘for it contains the greatest name of Allah. It is not recited in any place without security reigning there. If it had been with the inhabitants of Baghdad, the Tatars would not have taken the city.”


“Whoever recites it every day at sunrise, Allah hears his prayer, relieves his distress, raises his standing among people, expands his breast with knowledge of divine oneness, facilitates his concerns, lifts his hardship, keeps from him the evil of man and jinn, and protects him from the harm of mishaps of the night and day.” 


This is Ahmad Zarruq’s classic work in explaining this invocation.