- His origins
Sidi Muhammad El ‘Arbi was the son of Muhammad, who was son of Muhammad Sa-ih, himself son of Muhammad, who was son of Dawud, son of Muhammad, who was son of Abdelqadir, himself son of the Pole Sidi Muhammad Sharqi El ‘Umar El Faruqi, and his ancestry goes back to the second rightly guided Caliph, our Master Abu-l-Hafs ‘Umar ibn El Khattab (may ALLAH be pleased with him). His father Sidi Muhammad was among the hardworking scholars and virtuous Saints of elevated rank among the people of the town of Meknes.
- His birth and childhood
He was born at the dawn of Eid el Ad-ha in the year 1229 of the hegira (1813 ad) in their home which was opposite the great mosque of the city of Meknes. His birth brought joy, happiness, gladness and satisfaction to his parents because his aging father was, until then, without male issue. He had humbly begged ALLAH, Glorified and Exalted, to grant him a pious child who would delight him and to this end, he tried everything that people advised him, including both material and spiritual remedies. Thus, he used to visit the Saints, both dead and alive, invoking ALLAH, without losing heart, through their intermediary in order to obtain this gift.
So, when he had reached the age of seventy-five years old, ALLAH granted his request and gave him a child, as he had done for his Prophet Zakariya (peace be upon him). He named the child Muhammad el ‘Arbi, after two virtuous Awliya (plural of Wali, i.e. Saint) who had announced the coming birth: Sidi Muhammed ‘Arbi ibn Mu’ti ibn Salih Charqi and Sidi Muhammad ‘Arbi El Wazzani (may ALLAH be pleased with them). Sidi Muhammad el ‘Arbi was born twenty years old before his father returned to ALLAH. During these years, his father gave him all attention and affection and the best of educations, careful to provide him with teaching and instruction in keeping with the high rank of his origins. Thus, this sublime being grew up in a virtuous environment, bathed in faith, knowledge, virtue and love for the Messenger of ALLAH (peace and blessings be upon him), his pure family and the virtuous saints.