Habib Umar bin Hafidh is a descendant of the Prophet, peace and blessings be upon him, through his grandson Imam Hussain, may Allah be pleased with him. He was born in Tarim, Hadramaut in Yemen, and raised in a household that possessed a tradition and lineage of Islamic scholarship and righteousness, his father being the famous martyr, scholar, and caller to Islam Al-Habib Muhammad bin Salim.
Having memorized the Qur’an at a very early age, Habib Umar also memorized the core texts in fiqh, hadith, Arabic Language, and other religious sciences. He studied many sciences including spirituality from his father Al-Habib Muhammad bin Salim, acquiring from him a deep love and concern for da‘wah and religious counsels in the way of Allah. He attended numerous circles of knowledge held by many traditional scholars, such as Muhammad bin Alawi bin Shihab and al-Shaikh Fadl Baa Fadl. Later, he enrolled at the Ribat of al-Bayda’, where he began to study the traditional sciences under the expert tutelage of Al-Habib Muhammad bin Abd-Allah al-Haddar, as well as under the Shafi‘i jurist and scholar Al-Habib Zain bin Sumait. Habib Umar was given permission to teach soon after.
Afterwards, he began to visit many neighboring towns and communities across Yemen and studied with the mufti of Ta‘iz, al-Habib Ibrahim bin Aqil bin Yahya, who began to show him much love and attention. He received similar treatment from his Shaikh al-Habib Muhammad al-Haddar, who gave him his daughter’s hand in marriage after being impressed by his uprightness and intelligence. Al-Habib Umar then traveled to the Hijaz and studied several books with prominent scholars, including Al-Habib Abdul Qadir bin Ahmad al-Saqqaf, Al-Habib Ahmed Mashur al-Haddad, and Al-Habib Attas al-Habashi.
Wherever Habib Umar has gone, no stone has been left unturned in his attempt to revive the love of Allah and His Messenger, peace and blessing be upon him, in the hearts of people. After returning to Tarim, he established Dar al-Mustafa, an educational institute to which students from across the world have come to study. Habib Umar currently lives in Tarim, where he oversees the development of Dar al-Mustafa and the many schools that have been set up under his management.