Hazrat Syed Nuh bin Syed Mohammed bin Syed Ahmed Al Habshi (RA), populary known as Habib Nuh, was born around 1788 on a Ship enroute to Penang from Palembang,Sumatra. He belonged to holy lineage of Hazrat Mohammed (PBUH) His father Syed Mohammed bin Syed Ahmed, a pious person who reformed thieves and provided shelter and means of livelihood, was serving in the British colonial government in Penang. He has four children and all of them were known to be pious, Hazrat Habib Nuh was the elder one. Habib Nuh’s (RA) 10th grandfather, Habib Abu Bakar Al Habashi, was bestowed the title Al Habashi as he stayed in Ethopia for about 20 years.
Habib Nuh (RA) married Malay lady, Anchik Hamidah from Teluk Ayer Tawar, Penang. They were blessed with one child, Sharifah Badariyah. She was married to Syed Mohammed bin Hasan As-Shatrie of Jelutung,Penang. They were blessed with daughter Sharifah Ruqaiyah, who was married to Syed Alwi bin Ali Aljunied, from the family if renowned Syed Ali bin Syed Omar Aljunied of Singapore.
Hazrat Habib Nuh’s daughter Sharifah Badriyah is buried in the area near Air Tawar Mosque, Butterworth, Malaysia.
Around 1819, Habib Salim bin Abdullah Ba Sumayr, invited Habib Nuh (RA) to move to Singapore. Habib Nuh (RA) resided in Singapore for 47 years and frequently visited Johore and other states in Malay Peninsula. As per some sources, Hazrat Habib Nuh stayed in a village near Sultan Mosque in today’s Arab street of Singapore.
He was always compassionate towards poor and orphans and children accompanied him wherever he went. He distributed food and money to poor and needy and often visited
sick and ailing and cured them. Whatever he received as gifts and offerings were always distributed and he never kept anything for himself.
He frequently gave talks advising community to practice ihsan, defend weak, destitutes and the children.
Hazrat Habib Nuh (RA), performed khalwat atop Mount Palmer (Current place of Mazar), which was a thick jungle facing the sea. Haji Mohammed Salleh, a close friend of Saint had intended to construct a small structure to facilitate Saints spiritual practices but the saint passed away before its completion.
Hazrat Habib united with divinity on 14 Rabiulawwal 1283 (Friday 27 July 1866) at the age of 78. Thousands of people from Singapore and nearby islands paid last respects. Initial preparations were made to bury the saint in Muslim cemetery, when people lifted the coffin, it was too heavy and didn’t move and later some pious person in the crowd announced that the saint mentioned that he wished to be buried in the place where he observed khilwat st the peak of Mount Palmer. And when the people lifted saints’s coffin towards Mount Plamer it was effortless to lift the coffin.
Hazrat Habib Nuh’s Maqam is on 37 Palmer Road, Singapore and is a 5 min walk from Tanjong Pagar MRT station (Walking route Map Link)
May his character and teachings be the role model for all! Amen
There are innumerable miracles ascribed to the Grand Saint of Singapore, the most authentic are mentioned below:
- Disappeared and reappeared Instantaneously: One of his miracles was that he could disappear from one place, appear at another instantaneously, he was arrested by British, as they wanted to curtail his influence over the area. He was seen outside while he was imprisoned and this act moved few high ranking officials to embrace Islam.
- Horse knelt and didn’t Move :Once, Sir John Crawfurd, was riding his horse when he caught sight of Habib Nuh walking few yards away, he intended to startle the saint by stopping his horse in front of him. But Crawfurd, though a experienced horse man was thrown off his horse as the it knelt down suddenly and didn’t stand again until Crawfurd apologized Hazrat Habib Nuh.
- Japanese Bombed the Tomb : In World War – II, as related by Sheikh Hasn Al Khatib, the late custodian of the maqam. Japanese fighter plane released a huge bomb directly above the roof of the tomb. The surrounding buildings were destroyed while the front door of the tomb was shattered. Habib Al Khair suffred minor injuries. Not a trace of jack fruit tree besides the main door was to be seen. However, it was Allah’s Will that the tomb itself was left undamaged.
- The Bulldozers that could not Move : The Palmer road was marked for expansion and as per the plan the Maqam and Mosque were marked for relocation to elsewhere . While the appeals by Maqam committee were deliberated by government the contractors had stationed bulldozers in preparation of demolition, strangely the bulldozers engines didn’t start and the contractors brought new ones and they too wouldn’t move. The plan was later amended leaving the holy sites in tact.
- The Project later faced several hurdles and the chief of project, a Chinese, prayed at the Maqam and requested the saint for his divine intervention. After this point the project was a smooth sail.
Teachings and Practices
- Help the poor and needy – Distribute food and money among them
- Practice ihsan
- Observe Khilwat to obtain nearness to Allah.
Sufi Saints Dargahs in Singapore
- Maulana Abdur Rahman d. 1822
- Al Imam Al Faqih Haji Abdul Jalil, buried in Golden Landmark, Arab Steet, Singapore 
- Al Arif Billah Khwaja Mohammed Saleh buried at Jami’Chulia Mosque, Mosque Road, China Town, Singapore 
- As Shafie Al Quaurawani d. 1837
- As Sheikh Daud Al Ishtakhari d. 1839
- Al Habib As Syed Omar bin Aljunied buried on Jalan Kubur in 1852, later re-buried at Omar Kampung Melaka Mosque, at Keng Cheow Street in the Singapore River Planning Area.
- As Sheykh Yusuf Al Basri d. 1852
- Sheikh Sulaiman Al Kazaruni d 1855
- As Sheikh Abdur Rahman Al Ajjuri d 1860
- Al Habib As Syed Abdur Rahman bin Salim Al Habsyi d 1867 buried besides the tomb of Habib Nuh (RA)
- Sharifah Ruqaiyah, the only grandchild of Habib Nuh (RA)is interred at Duxton Plain Park, Teo Hong Road, Singapore.