Rafea Muhammad Rafea

The Egyptian Society for Spiritual and Cultural Research



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Rafea Muhammad Rafea’s life was meaningful and inspiring. It is difficult to indicate all its aspects and dimensions, but it is important to show the wonderful workings of God’s plan for our guide.

Master Rafea passes through different phases during his earthly life, yet he was the same person with the same values, whether he was involved in the political life, a head of a family, an employee in he government, a leader of a Sufi order, or a pioneer for a spiritual call. As a nationalist, Rafea was in his self-image, serving a noble cause. Later as a Sufi, he realized that he had found his real mission in life.

Never did he put his personal interests among his priorities. Many people who happened to be in close relationship with him would blame him for that because sometimes this attitude may also harm him or harm others whom he considered part of himself.

Love was the endeavor of his decisions, not the emotional love. It is a kind of love that makes him contain the whole world within his heart, feel responsible about humankind as a whole. Out of that feeling, he introduced Islam as he lived it to his small circle, believing that a day will come when it will be introduced to the whole world.

He was convinced that humankind needs to correct their views to themselves and to understand what it means to be a human.

For him, fulfilling the meaning of being human is never an ending process. When a human being achieve the meaning of being humane, he would fulfill God’s purpose of his creation. For him, Prophet Muhammad is the one that symbolizes that completeness. He felt so attached, graced by the blessing of the prophet that he would transcend time and place and see him alive, feel him within his heart.

Master Rafea wrote an autobiography (has not been published yet) and he choose for its title: "Islam as perceived and lived in the life of a Muslim".

These few words would point out to the message that his life represents.

From his early youth, he felt that he has a cause to which he would devote himself. The consistent aspect of his life through its phases revolved around devoting himself completely to what he thought was serving a good cause. That was done to the extent that others took advantage of him; politicians, relatives, acquaintances… etc. All painful shocks would not deter him from his way. He kept the same spirit, but develop constantly deeper and broader outlooks to life.

The journey of Rafea Muhammad Rafea on earth began by his birth on May 13, 1903. He passed away on July 24, 1970. His message is still alive through his son Ahmed Abdel Wahed, known to his family as Ali.

The coming of Rafea to the earth was not without preparation. Aisha El-Sharief (the mother) and Muhammad Rafea (the father) came from good origins. Both were Prophet Muhammad descendants.
Master Rafea’ Father was a great merchant from Tahta, known for his noble character and honesty. He was a descendent of the prophet through a Sufi called Siddi Abu’l-Kassem. There is still a mosque in Tahata, named after him.

When the Master was just 20 days’ old, he could focus on his mother’s face. Rafea was a distinguished child, bright, sensitive and peaceful. The mother noticed that there was something special about that boy, so she treated him delicately.

Rafea choose "law" for his undergraduate study. He felt at such an early that he had a cause to defend. Although he was a distinguished student, he did not want to involve himself in the academic sphere and wanted to go straightforward to struggle in life.

Egypt was passing through a very critical period of its history. He found himself in the middle of a national movement where Sa’ad Zaghloul was a heroic figure of the famous 1919 revolution.

He felt obliged to support that movement which represented the Egyptians’ struggle for independence. He considered that struggle as part of defending all humanity against occupied troops that considered Egyptians subordinate. He thought at that time that to share in the liberation movement of his country is a sublime goal that he should work for.

Rafea became known to the top leaders and they gave him a lot of responsibilities; he won their trust and confidence. Suddenly he realized sadly that he was not serving a cause but people who sought power for themselves, using patriotic slogans and using him as well.

Rafea withdrew from the public life and started a governmental career. He decided to settle down. As a young man, he chose  a young lady from amongst his relatives as his wife . She was a descendant of the well known pioneer in Egypt, Refa’a El-Tahtawi, and also and more important, a descendant of Prophet Muhammad.

His pre marriage withdrawal from politics did not remove him from then well established social circle. He was only working independently and not committing himself to any political party. Even his wedding party represented his wide political relations, where Ministers and high level executive civil servants attended. The most famous singer at that time Muhammad Abdel-Wehab celebrated that event.

On the first day after his marriage, Rafea felt a new birth, he wrote in his memoir that he understood that his wife had a spiritual role in this transformation. Since then he started observing his prayers while before, he was not so committed to perform the prayers on regular base. He abruptly cut himself off his social commitments and had a great desire to meditate and evaluate the meaning of life.

He experienced at that time strong spiritual visions, which he noted in his personal memoirs. He also received what Sufi called ism el-jalala which is the way of utring the name of Allah by heart. This practice is taught by a Sufi Master. It is not a technical or methodological practice, it is considered a gift from God through the Sheikh. He was given that through a strong vision where he found a piece of diamond on gold similar to the well known jewelry that molded in a special way to read "in the name of the God the most gracious and most merciful", in Arabic letters, coming towards him from heaven and penetrating into his heart, he woke up, finding his heart calling the name of Allah. He kept shivering and sweating for a while and later he went into a deep sleep. In the morning he was surprised to find a fragrant scent emanating from his hand and it remained as so for several days. Since then, whenever he sat for meditation or prayer, his heart started calling the name of Allah spontaneously in the same way that he experienced during his vision.

Learning through visions became a common practice for him, that seemed at that time natural.

He was eager to read about religions, and he found himself attracted to Sufis’. He found out that he reached similar conclusions innately and that there were others who shared with him a similar approach to life. He realized that a seeker needs guidance and companionship in the long and arduous marsh towards the truth. He became occupied with the necessity of finding a "teacher" , a sheikh or a "Guru" (using the Indian term).

He searched for a Sufi Master (Sheikh) in the many Sufi orders. Then he sought affiliation with the Khalily order and was very much welcomed by the Sheikh of that order. Soon after he placed his hand in that of the Khalily Sheikh, the visions that were by then very frequent, stopped occurring. He did not mind that very much because then he thought he found a teacher, there was not need for those visions. He looked forward to learn and to understand, but he was not completely satisfied. Soon afterwards, he found that the Sheikh was greatly preoccupied with foretelling the future. That caused him great revulsion, but he kept his anger in check. It was so till one day the Sheikh asked him to tell what he thought of him (the sheikh), Rafea found himself in a state of rage, not a single good word came to his mind at that moment. He decided then to leave that order, for he was completely sure that it was not the right path for him.

During that time, he was introduced to a man from the Shazzliyya order. That man was so hard on himself, trying to abandon all the worldly enjoyments and taking the Sufi path very seriously. Rafea would had never thought that that man would be the one whom he sought company with. That man who was called Muhammad Abdel Wahid told Rafea that he would find the one he had been searching for in such a month and in such a day. Rafea was amazed of that man’s prophecy but he did not give it much attention. Not to forget that although he experienced what might be called super natural phenomenon, he had great appreciation to the mind as gift from God. For him reasoning was the way to understand the messages from God through visions or through events in life.

Abdel Wahid did not attract him at the beginning. He was an illiterate, simple man who used to move from one place to another. He had friends, rather then disciples.

On the mentioned date, Rafea received the news of the death of a humble Sufi man who behaved in a peculiar way and known to have blessing power (barka), called sheikh Farraj. When Rafea learned about his death, he immediately remembered a vision ( a Clairvoyance sort of experience) in the presence of that Sufi man. In that vision, Sheik Abdel- Wahid appeared on the wall which used as a screen in front of Master Rafea. He realized that Abdel-Wahid was the anticipated companion. He asked for him, went to the café that he used to go to and showed him that he was ready to be his disciple. Abdel-Wahid told him that he had another arrangement for their relationship that should be told in private. They went together to Rafea’ Home. There he told him "I am not your teacher, you are the son of the prophet and I know that your spiritual level is unattainable" . " I know also that I am not from the people whose destiny would be paradise, I knew through my vision that I would go to Hell. Now that I met you, you are my savior. Let us take the oath that whoever is saved will help the other and save him" .

Rafea’ s respect to that man increased greatly, he was almost sure that he was the one that he was looking for. In Rafea’ s mind, a person who had the courage to speak about himself with such a modest way and who sought God’s Mercy, would deserve respect and appreciation.

The Shazziliyya order started to work strongly and its circle was growing rapidly. Sheikh Abdel-Wahid came to live permanently in Rafea’s house in Helwan ( one of Cairo’s suburbs). People who joined the order felt family together and Rafea was always pointing to the Sheikh Abdel Wahid as the head of the order. On the other hand, Sheikh Abdel- Wahid was from his side telling the disciples that it was Rafea who was the real spiritual power. Among other things that sheikh Abdel Wahid was mentioning that he had believed that the resurgence of the order will come in the hand of a descendent from the prophet and that was Rafea. The last sheikh of the order whose name was El-Akkad had not mentioned his successor as other sufi shiekhs would normally do. That was because the right one for that responsibility was yet to come. Here, he was. This young man Rafea Muhammad Rafea.

Days went by and the call for the Islam was getting stronger. Till one day when one of the disciples invited Rafea to attend a seance in a spiritual circle where the guide was Master Silver Birch and the healing spirit was Master Eagle. Two spirits took the name and the astral body of two Red Indians. They both declared that they had several lives on earth and they chose among them the Indian Lives. Master Silver Birch was known in an English Circle. His guidance was published in English books and most of them were translated to Arabic.

Rafea attended several seances before he knew that Master Silver Birch wanted him to lead spiritualism and its mission as assigned by the Spirit guide. Rafea learnt later that Master Silver Birch had told his group that a Sufi man will come and took the lead. The members of that circle were searching for that man. They met other Sufi leaders but Master Silver birch had told them that the expected one was still to come. The spirit guide welcome Master Rafea to the circle and gave him the assignment.

Another phase in Rafea’ s life had started. He found that Master Silver Birch mission is that of all religions and is what he himself was calling for before he joined that circle. In other words, he found no contradictions between Islam and the guidance of Silver Birch. The language of the spiritual call would be the one that can remove the barriers between east and west, and the false hard lines that are put between religions.

Unfortunately, sheikh Abdel-Wahid did not like that new approach. Before then, though he was the one to show appreciation and respect to Master Rafea, he had started to experience his spiritual power over Master Rafea who was peaceful and loving and had not doubt whatsoever that sheikh Abdel Wahid loved him. Master Rafea would never thought of who more powerful spiritually. He was thankful to God that he found his message and that he was doing his best to fulfill it. He was serving without awaiting any rewards. He understood always that those who listened and responded to his call gave him the chance to receive more knowledge from (Allah) God. He thought that he was for them and he owed them thanks.

With that spirit, Master Rafea was open to the guidance of Master Silver Birch. The spirit guide said "I am not here in this circle to guide but to call for Rafea’ s guidance and to support this call".

That statement and others made sheikh Abdel-Wahid furious. The time came when he started his fight against Master Rafea from behind. The hidden war would not stand in the dark for ever, and Sheikh Abdel- Whahid separated and isolated himself from Master Rafea group.


Despite the painful experience, Master Rafea continued his message with Master Silver Birch, giving aural teachings and deliver Friday’ speeches. Some of his talks were collected and printed to be distributed in his circle. He left also two books that were published. One of them was translated by two of his daughters and published in English, that is "Memoirs of Khabridis". It is written in a form of a fiction that anticipated the manifestation of the spiritual message on earth. The other book was about a sheikh and his disciples who came from different parts of the world and each chose a subject to deal with and gave the other his insight around that subject. The book is called "From the Revelation of Yathrib". Yathrib is the town where the prophets migrated to, established a Muslims’ society in, and his honored body was buried there.

The title of the book is very inspiring. One can think of so many related connotations.

After the absence of the earthly body of Rafea Muhammad Rafea, Master Silver Birch continued the call for the spiritual message. He made clear that the Spiritual Islamic call is still going on and that Master Ali Rafea is the one that would take responsibility of that call. The spirit guide did not leave the circle unless he was sure that his message was understood at least for those who were previously following the journey with Master Rafea. By the passing away of the medium Muhammad Eid Gharib, known as Abu-Sri’I, the direct communication with the Master was over. We believe that he still approaches the circle through an indirect means.

New comers are always joining the journey with Rafea Muhammad Rafea and his son. The journey is still going on and it will be going on.

N.B: Aliaa Redah Rafea who wrote that part of the home page depended mainly on her father private autobiography.