Ibn Idris' Descendants: The Eastern Branch
The following is an excerpt from a book about the Sanusis, written by Abd al-Malik al-Libi, the student and companion of the great Mujahid, Ahmad al-Sharif al-Sanusi, the grandson of Muhammad ibn Ali al-Sanusi. Abd al-Malik accompanied his teacher when he left to Turkey and then to Medina and stayed with him until he died. Here is what he wrote, as quoted in a book by shaykh Saleh al-Jaafari:
"As for the sayyid Muhammad al-Qutb, he was 36 years old when his father died, and lived after that another 52 years. And sayyid Muhammad al-Qutb left only one son, and that is sayyid Ali bin Muhammad bin Ahmad. His age at the death of his grandfather, may God be pleased with him, was only 4 years as he was born in 1250 AH. Then he lived 70 years after that, which he spent in worship of Allah and in calling to Him.
He was among the akabir of the saliheen and he is the one who established the Idrisi family in Sabya in Yemen and raised its prestige and spread the tariqa of his grandfather and revived his mention in the regions and the tribes, and he brought them together and they gathered around him and followed his call (da'wa).
And he, may God have mercy on him, had three male sons, and they are: al-sayyid Muhammad bin Ali al-Idrisi who established the Idrisi emirate in Yemen, and al-sayyid Hasan bin Ali al-Idrisi, and al-sayyid Ahmad bin Ali al-Idrisi.
As for al-sayyid Ahmad, he grew up and died before marrying and left no kids.
As for al-sayyid Muhammad, he was occupied at first in seeking knowledge in Sabya then went to Mecca to seek knowledge, then moved to the Azhar where he finished his studies and obtained a great share of sciences and excelled in them. Then he went from Egypt to Jaghboub and from there to Kafra where the imam al-sayyid Muhammad al-Mahdi al-Sanusi was staying and visited him there and stayed with him for a while and took from him. Then he went back to Upper Egypt and visited his cousins the Aal of al-sayyid Abd al-Aali al-Idrisi in Zainiyya. In the year 1323 AH, he went back to his birthplace Sabya before the death of his father (Ali bin Muhammad al-Qutb), and his return was because of an urgent call from his father and from the murids and lovers of his father and the shaykhs of the tribes. After his return he stayed with his father about one year and a half then his father, may God have mercy on him, died, and he took the place of his father in calling to God and in guidance.
The Turks (Ottomans) in Jeezan and Asir and al-Hadida were jealous (of his fame and importance) and wanted to capture him and send him to Istanbul the center of the Caliphate, but the people of Tihama all together were able to stop them from doing that, and they fought the Turks until they kicked them out of that area, and they made him their leader (amir), and with that the Idrisi Emirate was established and expanded until the mountains of "Fifa" in the area of Najran, and until al-Hadida from the direction of the coast of Yemen, and until near al-Qunfudha from the direction of the emirate of Mecca and until Asir, and the Imam of Yemen and the Amir of Mecca were bothered by the Idrisi Emirate.
And sayyid Muhammad bin Ali al-Idrisi remained in his position of leadership (fil imaara) for 14 years then died in 1341 AH. And he left behind four sons and they are the saada Ali bin Muhammad, Abd al-Wahhab bin Muhammad, Abd al-Aziz bin Muhammad, and Muhammad al-Hasan bin Muhammad.
And their eldest al-sayyid Ali took the emirate after his father and stayed in it for three years until he relinquished it to his uncle al-sayyid Hasan bin Ali bin Muhammad al-Qutb.
And sayyid Ali bin Muhammad (bin Ali bin Muhammad al-Qutb) is still alive but he is ill, may God cure him, and he has a son that he named Muhammad al-Mahdi. And sayyid Muhammad al-Mahdi has progeny.
As for sayyid Abd al-Wahhab bin Muhammad, he died without any sons, only daughters. And the same with sayyid Abd al-Aziz. As for sayyid Muhammad al-Hasan bin Muhammad, he is alive and is the baraka of his brothers and has a good (salih) progeny, may God bless them.
We now return to sayyid Hasan bin Ali bin Muhammad (al-Qutb) bin Ahmad [ibn Idris], may God be pleased with him. He took the emirate after his nephew al-sayyid Ali relinquished it, and he stayed at it for seven years then the emirate faded away after matters that would take too long to explain. And al-sayyid Hasan and the entire Idrisi family in Yemen moved to Mecca and they are now living in it.
And for sayyid Hasan noble sons, they are sayyid Ahmad bin al-Hasan, sayyid Muhammad al-Sharif bin al-Hasan and sayyid Ali bin al-Hasan, and these sons have sons of their own, May God bless them.
And these are the branch of the Idirisi saada in Yemen, may God benefit [people] with them and make them a blessed tree of virtue and prosperity until the Yawm al-Deen.