Episodes From the Lives of the Auliyaa – Part One

1. THE PURPOSE OF ANECDOTES

Someone asked Hadhrat Abul Qaasim Junaid (rahmatullahi alayh): “Hadhrat, what benefit do the Mureedeen derive from the stories of the Auliyah?” He said: “Stories (of the Auliyah) are one of the armies of Allah. The hearts of the Mureedeen derive strength and peace from these anecdotes.” The questioner asked for proof of this claim. Hadhrat Junaid said: “Allah Ta`ala says in the Qur`aan:

“Every episode which We narrate to you from the stories of the Messengers, We strengthen therewith your heart.”

2. THE EFFECT OF WA`AZ

Shaikh Saalih Aarif-e-Kabeer Abu Sulaimaan Daaraani (rahmatullahi alayh) narrated: “I attended a wa`az (lecture). The talk of the lecturer had an effect on my heart. However, the effect disappeared as soon as the lecture ended. I attended his bayaan (lecture) a second time. The effect of his talk lingered with me even on the road, but disappeared when I reached home. After attending his wa`az a third time, the effect endured even after I had reached home. I then destroyed all objects of sin I had and took to the Path of Allah.”

[One should repeatedly sit in the company of the pious. The Naseehat of the Sheikh will ultimately establish a lasting effect, provided that one is a sincere seeker of the Haqq – Truth].

3. RAHMAT

When episodes of the Auliyaa are narrated, Rahmat from Allah Ta`ala descends on the gathering.

4. LOVE FOR THE AULIYAA

According to Shaikh Aarif Abu Turaab Bakhshni (rahmatullahi alayh) when the heart of a man turns away from Allah Ta`ala in consequence of his addiction to disobedience and transgression, he makes the Auliyaa a target for criticism. He denies and ridicules them. (This is a sign of Allah’s curse on such a person).

Shaikh Aarif Abul Fawaaris Shah Bin Shujaa Kirmaani (rahmatullahi alayh) said that there is no Ibaadat better than love for the Auliyaa of Allah Ta`ala. Love for the Auliyaa is a sign of love for Allah Ta`ala. (This is based on the Hadith: “Good Suhbat (i.e. companionship of the Auliyaa) is better than good deeds.”)

5. ANIMOSITY FOR THE AULIYAA

Hadhrat Abu Hurairah (radhiallahu anhu) narrated that Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) said: “Verily, Allah Ta`ala said: “He who harbours animosity for My Wali, I give him notice of war.”

6. THE ABDAAL

Hadhrat Anas Bin Maalik (radhiallahu anhu) narrated that Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) said that there are 40 Abdaal in his Ummat. Twenty two of them are in Shaam (Syria) and 18 are in Iraq. When one of them dies, Allah Ta`ala appoints someone to fill the vacancy. When Qiyaamah is nearby, they will all die.

(Abdaal – this is a class of Auliyaa whose identities are secret. They execute a variety of duties imposed on them by Allah Ta`ala).

7. SOME SPECIAL AULIYAA

Hadhrat Mas`ood (radhiallahu anhu) narrates that Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) said: “There are three hundred servants of Allah, whose hearts are like the heart of Aadam (alayhis salaam); forty have hearts like the heart of Ibraheem (alayhis salaam); seven have hearts like the heart of Izraeel (alayhis salaam); five have hearts like the heart of Jibraeel (alayhis salaam); three have hearts like the heart of Meekaeel (alayhis salaam); and one has the heart like the heart of Israafeel (alayhis salaam). When the one dies, Allah Ta`ala appoints one of the group of three to take his place; when one of the group of three dies, Allah Ta`ala appoints one from the group of five to take his place; when one from the group of five dies, Allah Ta`ala appoints one from the group of seven to take his place; when one from the group of seven dies, Allah Ta`ala appoints one from the group of forty to take his place; when one from the group of forty dies, Allah Ta`ala appoints one from the group of three hundred to take his place; when one of the group of three hundred dies, a man from the rank and file of mankind is ennobled (With Imaan and Taqwa) and appointed. Allah Ta`ala removes calamities from the Ummah of Muhammad (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) by virtue of the blessedness of these Auliyaa.”

The one servant mentioned in this Hadith is called the Qutub or Ghaus. Among the Auliyaa his rank and position are like the centre of a circle. He is the pivot.

8. THE QUALITIES OF THE ABDAAL

Abu Darda (radhiallahu anhu) said that the rank bestowed to the Abdaal is not on account of their Salaat, Saum and external display of character, but is by virtue of their pure Taqwa, beautiful intentions, rectitude of their hearts and their love and mercy for all Muslims. Allah Ta`ala has ennobled them with His Knowledge and has bestowed special ranks of His Proximity to them.

They never abuse nor speak ill of anyone. They do not tantalize those who are inferior to them nor despise them. They bear no envy to those superior to them. They excel in virtue. Their disposition is most amiable and they are the most generous. Their hearts hasten towards goodness and they quickly attain the loftiest spiritual heights. This group is the army of Allah and they are the ones who attain success.

9. THE MOST INTELLIGENT

Baraa Bin Aazib (radhiallahu anhu) narrated that Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) said that Allah Ta`ala will award the highest places in Jannat to certain of His servants who were the most intelligent. The Sahaabah enquired: “How did they become the most intelligent?” Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) said:

“Their whole attention and all their efforts are directed towards Allah Ta`ala. The objective of all their efforts is Allah’s Pleasure. They have completely lost interest in the world, in its futility, in its pleasures and comforts. The world is contemptible to them. They choose to bear the temporary hardships of the world; hence they will gain the everlasting comfort (of the Aakhirah).”

The criterion of intelligence by Allah is Taqwa.

10. THE COMPLAINT OF THE FUQARAA

Hadhrat Anas Bin Maalik (radhiallahu anhu) narrates that once the Fuqaraa sent a representative to Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam). He said to Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam): “I am the delegate of the fuqaraa.” Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) said: “I regard as my friends those whose delegate you are.”

The delegate said: “The fuqaraa say that all goodness has been acquisitioned by the wealthy, while we are deprived. In fact, the wealthy have gained Jannat. They perform Hajj while we lack the means for it. They give Sadaqah, while we are unable. They free slaves while we lack this ability. When they are sick, they transform their wealth into a treasure (by means of charity).”

Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) said:

“Inform them that those among you who are patient and have the niyyat of attaining thawaab, for them are three such ranks which are not for the wealthy. The first rank: In Jannat will be some mansions of red Yaqoot (a precious stone of Jannat) which will be situated at extremely lofty heights. The people of Jannat will look at these mansions in the same way as the people of the earth look at the stars. Besides a Nabi; a Shaheed and a Mu`min Faqeer, no one will enter.

The second rank: The fuqaraa will enter Jannat 500 years before the wealthy.

The third rank: When a faqeer recites with sincerity:

[Arabic words to be inserted]

he gains such thawaab which the wealthy will not acquire even if they spend 10 000 Dirhams (in the Path of Allah). This is the superiority of the faqeer over the wealthy in all deeds of virtue.”

When the delegate informed the fuqaraa of this message, they exclaimed in ecstasy: “O Allah! We are pleased! We are pleased!”

11. ASSOCIATION WITH THE FUQARAA

According to Hasan Basri (rahmatullahi alayhi), Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam said: “Have a greater awareness of the fuqaraa and be kind to them because there is a great treasure for them.”

When the Sahaabah asked about their treasure, Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) said:

“On the Day of Qiyaamah it will be said to them; search for those who had given you a piece of bread or who had given you a garment or who had given you water to drink, and take them into Jannat.”

Hasan Basri (rahmatullahi alayhi) narrated that Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) said:

“On the Day of Qiyaamah, the faqeer will be ushered into Allah’s presence. He will plead with Allah as a person pleads with another person. Allah Ta`ala will say:

‘By My Splendour and Grandeur! I did not keep the world away from you because you were contemptible to Me. I did so because I had treasured wonderful bounties for you. These rows (of people) that are in front of you – go into them and take hold of anyone’s hand who had given you something to eat or drink or wear. Then do with them as you wish.’

At that time the condition of the people will be such that they will be immersed in perspiration until their mouths. The faqeer, on hearing this command will enter into the rows and search for the people (who had fed him). He will hold them by the hand and take them into Jannat.”

12. THOSE WHOSE SHARE IS THE AAKHIRAH

It is narrated that Allah Ta`ala revealed to Hadhrat Moosa (alayhi salaam): “O Moosa! There are some of My servants, if they ask of Me the entire Jannat, I will give it to them, and if they ask Me for anything from this world, I will not give it to them, not because they are contemptible to Me, but because I desire to store up the treasures of My bounties for them in the Aakhirah. I save them from the world like a shepherd protects his flock from a wolf.” [The world, Rasulullah -sallallahu alayhi wasallam – said, is carrion]

Ibn Umar (radhiallahu anhu) narrated that Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) said that everything has a key. The key of Jannat is to love the true and patient Fuqaraa and Masaakeen. On the Day of Qiyaamah, they will be the companions of Allah Ta`ala.

Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) supplicated: “O Allah! Keep me alive as a Miskeen; let me die a Miskeen and raise me up (in Qiyaamah) in the assembly of the Masaakeen.”

This supplication of Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) is more than ample confirmation for the lofty rank and importance of the Fuqaraa and the Masaakeen. In his dua, Nabi-e-Kareem (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) did not ask for the Masaakeen to be raised up in his assembly. Rather, he supplicated to be resurrected in their group. This form of his du`aa significantly highlights the rank of the Fuqaraa.

13. NOOR OF THE HEART

Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) said that when noor enters the heart, the (spiritual) breast of man expands. When the Sahaabah asked for a sign of this noor, Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) said: “Such a person flees from this abode of deception. He turns his attention to the abode of the Aakhirah and he makes preparations for it before the arrival of maut.”

Thus, a man who has lost interest and desire in this world, has acquired this noor.

14. THE POOR AND THE WEALTHY

Hadhrat Abu Darda (radhiallahu anhu) said: “The wealthy eat and we (the Fuqaraa) also eat. They wear garments and so do we. Neither do they derive benefit from the excess wealth (which they hoard) nor do we gain any benefit (from their excess wealth). On the Day of Qiyaamah, an account will be demanded from them of this wealth, but not from us. Our wealthy brethren have not acted justly. While they love us (or claim so) for Allah’s Sake, they do not include us in their wealth. Such a day will dawn when they will wish that on earth they had been Fuqaraa, while we will not wish that we should have been wealthy.”

15. DU`AA IN DISTRESS

A man came to a Sheikh and said: “Hadhrat, make dua for me. My wife and children have distressed me considerably.”

The Sheikh said: “When your family pesters you and complain, make du`aa. At that time your du`aa is closer to acceptance than my du`aa.”

16. THE WEALTHY ARE IN NEED

A wealthy man presented a gift of 500 dirhams (silver coins) to Hadhrat Junaid Baghdaadi (rahmatullahi alayh) requesting him to distribute it to the Fuqaraa. Hadhrat Junaid asked: “Do you have more wealth?”

When the man said, “Yes”, Hadhrat Junaid said: “Do you desire more wealth than what you have?” The man said: “Yes”, Hadhrat Junaid said: “Then take these dirhams. You are in greater need than us (Fuqaraa).” Hadhrat Junaid thus returned the money to him and did not accept it.

17. IBRAHEEM BIN AD`HAM REFUSES A GIFT

When a man presented 10 000 dirhams to Hadhrat Ibraheem Bin Ad`ham (rahmatullahi alayh), he refused acceptance and commented: “You desire that my name be struck from the roll of Fuqaraa by giving me these dirhams?”

18. TRUE PEACE

Hadhrat Ibraheem Bin Ad`ham (rahmatullahi alayh) said: “The people of the world searched for peace in the world, but failed to find it. If they became aware of the kingdom we own, they will kill one another with swords (to gain it).”

19. THE ZAAHID IS KING

Hadhrat Zunnun Misri (rahmatullahi alayh) said that the Zaahid is the king of the Aakhirah. A Zaahid is a Faqeer who has renounced the world.

Sheikh Kabeer Abu Madyan Shaheer (radhiallahu anhu) said that there are two kinds of kingdoms – the kingdom of geographical territory and the kingdom of the hearts of mankind. The Zaahid is the king of the hearts of men.

20. FAQR (POVERTY / HUNGER)

Sheikh Kabeer Aarif Abu Abdullah Qarshi (rahmatullahi alayh) describing true Faqr (i.e. poverty and hunger for Allah’s Sake), said that this hunger is accompanied by pain and pleasure. In this pain and pleasure is the yearning (for Allah Ta`ala).

21. AN ATTITUDE OF DIVINE LOVE

Hadhrat Baayazid Bustaami (rahmatullahi alayh)said that among the Auliyaa of Allah Ta`ala there are such servants, who, if they are denied the Vision of Allah in Jannat, will seek refuge and protection from Jannat just as people seek protection from Jahannum.

22. THE AARIF’S GAZE

According to Hadhrat Abu Uthmaan Maghribi (rahmatullahi alayh), by virtue of the anwaar of Ilm, the Arif is able to view the wonders of the unseen realms.

23. THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN THE ZAAHIDS AND THE PEOPLE OF THE WORLD

Hadhrat Ya`fi (rahmatullahi alayh) said that generally the deeds of worldly people are devoid of sincerity. For example, while they spend wealth in pious acts, their hearts are saturated with love for wealth. It is this love (hubb-e-maal) which prevents them from obedience to Allah Ta`ala.

On the contrary, the Zaahideen (plural of Zaahid) dissociate themselves from the world and its attractions solely for the Sake of Allah Ta`ala. The world is contemptible and abhorrent to them. Their entire existence, body and soul, are focused towards Allah Ta`ala. They combine Ibaadat-e-Qalbiyah and Ibaadat-e-Badaniyah.

[Ibaadat-e-Qalbiyah: This means the worship of the heart. With hearts purified from all evil attributes they are engrossed in Divine Remembrance, contemplation, meditation and derive lessons from whatever they view. Ibaadat-e-Badaniyah refers to the physical acts of worship such as Salaat, Saum, Hajj, etc.]

When Allah Ta`ala sees that their hearts are completely devoid of any love for aliens (i.e. for things besides Allah), He fills their hearts with the treasure of His Qurb (Proximity / Nearness). He then, by His Grace and Mercy, bestows to them such spiritual treasures and lofty heights which the intelligence of worldly men can never comprehend or even conceive.

24. HAATIM ASAM’S ENCOUNTER WITH AN AALIM

Hadhrat Haatim Asam (rahmatullahi alayh) once, on his way to Hajj, passed through the city of Rai. Three hundred and twenty Sufis were accompanying him. A prominent and leading trader of the city, who was a devotee of the Fuqaraa and Masaakeen invited the entire group to be his guests. In the morning he said to Hadhrat Haatim: “An Aalim, Faqeeh here is ill. I am going to visit him. Will you accompany me?” Hadhrat Haatim said: “Visiting the sick is an act of thawaab. Furthermore, to visit an Aalim, is ibaadat. I shall certainly go with you.”

The name of the Aalim was Muhammad Bin Muqaatil. He was the Qaadhi of Rai. The entire group went to the house of the Qaadhi. On arrival there, Hadhrat Haatim observed a palatial mansion. It had a large ornamental door. Large and expensive curtains decorated the place. Seeing all the luxury and adornment of the mansion, Hadhrat Haatim was perplexed and astonished. He thought: “O Allah! An Aalim and such pomp and splendour.”

When permission for admission was obtained, he was even more surprised at the splendour and glitter of the interior of the mansion. When he came into the presence of the Qaadhi, he observed the extreme luxury of the carpets and the bed on which the Qaadhi was resting. At the head-side a servant was standing with a fan in his hand.

The trader on reaching the Qaadhi’s presence, sat down. But Hadhrat Haatim remained standing. Qaadhi Ibn Muqaatil indicated to Hadhrat Haatim to sit down. However, he remained standing. The Qaadhi said: “Perhaps you have a need?”

Hadhrat Haatim said: “I wish to enquire about a mas`alah.”

The Qaadhi responded: “Ask!”

Hadhrat Haatim: “First, sit up!”

The Qaadhi complied and sat respectfully.

Hadhrat Haatim: “Where have you acquired your knowledge?”

Qaadhi: “I have acquired it from illustrious and reliable Thiqaat (authorities of the Deen).”

Hadhrat Haatim: “What are their names?”

Qaadhi: “The As-haab of Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam).” The Qaadhi was a Tabi`ee.

Hadhrat Haatim: “From whom did the Sahaabah gain their knowledge?”

Qaadhi: “From Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam).”

Hadhrat Haatim: “From whom did Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) obtain his knowledge?”

Qaadhi: “From Jibraeel (alayhis salaam).”

Hadhrat Haatim: “And Jibraeel (alayhis salaam)?”

Qaadhi: “From Allah Ta`ala.”

Hadhrat Haatim: “In that knowledge which Jibraeel (alayhis salaam) delivered to Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) from Allah Ta`ala, and which Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) delivered to the Sahaabah and they in turn to the Thiqaat who delivered it to you, did you see anywhere that a wealthy man enjoying pomp, splendour and possessing palatial mansions is a man of lofty status by Allah Ta`ala?”

Qaadhi: “No, I have not read this.”

Hadhrat Haatim: “What then have you learnt?”

Qaadhi: “I have heard from my Shuyookh that a man who lives like a Zaahid on earth, yearns for the Aakhirah and befriends the Masaakeen, he, holds a very elevated rank by Allah Ta`ala.”

Hadhrat Haatim: “Whom have you followed? Have you followed Nabi (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) and his Sahaabah or Fir`oun and Hamaan? O Ulama of evil practice! Ignorant people engrossed in the world go astray by looking at men like you and they comment: ‘ If an Aalim can live like this, then what wrong are we committing?’”

Hadhrat Haatim (rahmatullahi alayh) after delivering this reprimand and admonition departed. Qaadhi Ibn Muqaatil having heard this sharp rebuke became more ill.

Subhaanallah! After all, he (the Qaadhi) was among the Salaf-e-Saaliheen. Even the wealthy and the rulers of that age were not inferior to the Zaahideen of our age.

25. THE ULAMA AND THE SUFIYAA

Hadhrat Haatim Asam (rahmatullahi alayh), was one of the great Mashaa`ikh. Imaam Ibn Hambal (rahmatullahi alayh) would frequent him. He would listen to Hadhrat Haatim’s talks, pose questions to him and be pleased with his answers.

In every age the pious Ulama held the Sufiyaa in high esteem. They would visit the Sufiyaa and derive the benefit and blessings of their companionship. Among the notable Ulama who would visit the Sufiyaa was Hadhrat Sufyaan Thauri (rahmatullah alayh). He frequented Hadhrat Rabiah Basriyyah (rahmatullahi alayha) and sit with great respect. Imaam Shaafi and Imaam Hambal (rahmatullahi alayhima) derived benefit of association with Hadhrat Shaibah Raa`ee (rahmatullahi alayh).

IMAAM HAMBAL AND SUFI SHAIBAAN

Once when Imaam Ahmad Bin Hambal and Imaam Shaafi (rahmatullahi alayhima) were together, Hadhrat Shaibaan Raa`ee (rahmatullahi alayh) – who was a Sufi – appeared on the scene. Imaam Ahmad said to Imaam Shaafi: “I wish to draw his attention to the paucity of his knowledge so that he becomes involved in the acquisition of knowledge.”

Imaam Shaafi forbade him. But Imaam Ahmad did not heed his advice.

Imaam Ahmad said to Hadhrat Shaibaan: “If someone forgets to perform one of the five Salaat, but does not remember which one, what should he do?”

Hadhrat Shaibaan: “Ahmed, such a heart is forgetful of Allah Ta`ala. It is necessary for this person to punish his heart so that he does not become forgetful of His Friend (Allah). He should repeat all his Salaat (i.e. the five Salaat).”

When Imaam Ahmad heard this, he lapsed into unconsciousness. After he was revived, Imaam Shaafi said: “Did I not warn you to desist from pestering him?”

27. THE SOURCE OF KNOWLEDGE

Someone asked Hadhrat Abul Qaasim Junaid (rahmatullahi alayh): “From whence did you acquire all this knowledge?”

Hadhrat Junaid said: “We did not gain Tasawwuf by fabricating speeches. But we acquired it by means of hunger, renunciation of the world, abandoning the pleasures and comforts of the world, abundance of Thikrullah, fulfilment of the Faraa-idh and Waajibaat, following the Sunnah, discharging all commands and abstaining from all prohibitions.”

28. ABUL MA-AALI AND THE SUFIYAA

One morning while Imaamul Haramain, Abul Ma`aali was conducting his lesson in the Musjid, a Sufi Shaikh with a group of his Mureeds passed nearby. They were on their way to a feast to which they were invited. Sheikh Abul Ma`aali observing them, said to himself: “Besides eating, drinking, dancing and jumping these people have no other occupation. Night and day, this is their engrossment.”

On their way back from the feast, the Sufi Sheikh approached Abul Ma`aali, and said: “I have a question. A man performs Fajr Salaat in the state of Janaabah, then sits teaching in the Musjid and making gheebat of people. What type of man is he?”

Hearing this, Imaamul Haramain Abul Ma`aali was overcome with regret and embarrassment. He said: “Truly, I was in need of a Ghusl at that time.” He thus realised his error and henceforth appreciated the Sufiyaa.

[NB. The Sheikh’s acts of leading the Salaat and remaining in the Musjid in the state of Janaabah were not intentional. Sometimes a man sleeps away after the need for Ghusl develops. When he wakes up he forgets about his Janaabah. This condition of Abul Ma`aali was revealed to the Sufi Sheikh by the inspirational process called Kashf.]

29. THE CORE OF KNOWLEDGE

Imaam Ahmad Bin Hambal (rahmatullahi alayh) used to attend the bayaan (discourse) of a Sufi Aarif. People asked: “Why do you attend his talks? He is not a Muhaddith nor does he possess any excellence in academic knowledge.”

Imaam Ahmad responded: “What do you know? These people have the core of knowledge, i.e. the Ma`rifat of Allah Ta`ala.”

30. THE TRUEST MUSLIMS

Envious people misinformed the Khalifah about the Sufiyaa. On account of their lack of understanding they interpreted the statements of the Sufiyaa as being heretical and kufr. The Khalifah ordered the execution of the Sufiyaa among whom were Hadhrat Junaid Baghdaadi and Sheikh Abul Hasan Noori (rahmatullahi alaihima). When it was time for the execution, Sheikh Abul Hasan Noori eagerly advanced to the executioner who enquired: “Why did you step forward?” Sheikh Noori said: “So that my friend may live a few extra moments.”

The astonished executioner thought: “Who branded these people irreligious?”

This information was relayed to the Khalifah, who at that time was in session with his ministers. All present were full of surprise. The Qaadhi who was present said: “Allow me to go to these people. I shall debate with them on masaa`il of the Deen. Their beliefs will then become manifest.” The Khalifah consented.

When the Qaadhi came to the group of Sufis, he ordered one of them to come forward. Sheikh Noori stepped forward. After the Qaadhi posed several questions, Sheikh Noori first looked towards the right side, then to the left. He then lowered his head momentarily and satisfactorily answered all the questions. He added: “There are some servants of Allah who stand with Allah and they speak with Allah.”

Thereafter he gave a lengthy lecture which reduced the Qaadhi to tears.

The Qaadhi asked: “Why did you glace hither and thither?”

Sheikh Noori said: “I was not aware of the answers to your questions. I therefore sought the aid of my companions on the right. They expressed their inability to answer. I then sought the aid of my companions of the left side. They were unable to answer. I then questioned my heart. My heart acquired the answers from Rabbul Izzat, hence I answered you.”

The Qaadhi was bewildered. He sent word to the Khalifah: “If these people are irreligious and zindeeq (a class of kuffaar), then on the surface of the earth there are no Muslims.”

31. AN ILLITERATE SUFI

Sheikh Abul Ghaith was completely illiterate, but the Fuqahaa (Jurists of Islam — top-ranking Ulama) of the age would frequent him and discuss the most intricate masaa`il. He would present convincing explanations.

Imaam Abul Qaasim Qushairi (rahmatullahi alayh) says that Allah Ta`ala has ennobled the group of Sufiyaa. After the Ambiyaa, Allah Ta`ala has given superiority to the Sufiyaa over all people. He has made their hearts the mines of spiritual mysteries.

32. A TRUE LOVER OF ALLAH

Hadhrat Zunnun Misri (rahmatullahi alayh) said: “I was informed of a Yemeni buzrug who was unique in humility and fear of Allah Ta`ala. After I had completed Hajj, I decided to visit him so that I may derive the benefits of his naseehat. Several people accompanied me on the journey to Yemen. Among them was a youth of exceptional piety. All the signs and bearings of the Sulahaa exuded from his countenance, which glittered with Khauf-e-Ilaahi (Divine Fear). Without any physical ailment, his face had become pale. Without any calamity, tears flowed from his eyes. Solitude was his companion. He loved to be alone. Looking at him, one would think a great calamity had just befallen him.

We rebuked him for his extreme austerity and penances, but he remained silent. He would not reply. Day by day his penances and efforts would increase. This youth journeyed with us until we reached the home of the Yemeni buzrug. After knocking on his door, the buzrug appeared. He looked like a man who had just emerged from the grave. The youth was the first to greet and speak. Addressing the buzrug, the youth said: ‘Allah Ta`ala has made you and other Auliyaa like you the physicians of the heart. There is a wound in my heart. I will be greatly indebted to you if you would kindly provide me some balm for my wound.’

The Sheikh said: ‘Ask what you wish to.’

The youth said: ‘Hadhrat, what is the sign of Khauf-e-Ilaahi?’

Sheikh: ‘When the bandah is blessed with Khauf-e-Ilaahi, he becomes fearless of all other fears and Allah’s fear becomes grounded in his heart.’

Hearing this, the youth shuddered and fell down unconscious. On regaining consciousness, he asked: ‘Hadhrat, when is a man certain that he has Khauf-e-Ilaahi?’

Sheikh: ‘He abandons pleasures in the same way as a sick man abstains from delicious food because of the fear of the illness deteriorating, and he tolerates bitter medicine. Similarly, the one who has Khauf-e-Ilaahi abstains from worldly pleasures.’

On hearing this, the youth let out such a shriek which led us to think that his soul had departed from his physical body. After a while he became conscious and asked: ‘What is the sign of Divine Love?’

Sheikh: ‘Friend! The stage of Divine Love is extremely lofty.’

Youth: ‘Please say something!’

Sheikh: ‘The veils are lifted from their hearts and they perceive the splendour and grandeur of their True Beloved with the anwaar (rays of noor) of their hearts. Their souls are always connected to the lofty spiritual realm. The barriers are removed from their hearts. Their intelligence is heavenly. They dwell in the assembly of the Malaa-ikah. They perceive all this with their eyes. Their whole effort is expended for the ibaadat of Allah Ta`ala. The purpose of their ibaadat is neither desire for Jannat nor fear for Jahannum.’

When the youth heard this discourse, he let out a spine-chilling screech and fell down dead. The Sheikh kissed him and sobbed. He then commented: ‘Look at the fear and humility of those who fear and love Allah Ta`ala. This is their elevated rank.’”

[The veils of Divine Love were lifted. Its splendour claimed his life.]

33. A YOUNG THAAKIR

Hadhrat Zunnun Misri (rahmatullahi alayh) narrates: “Once when I was in the land of Shaam, I passed by a luxurious orchard. A young man was performing Salaat under a tree. I went forward and made Salaam. When I made Salaam a second time, the youth quickly ended his Salaat and with his finger wrote the following verses in the sand:

‘The tongue has been prohibited from speaking,

Because it draws a variety of misfortunes and calamities,

Therefore, when you speak, be a Thaakir of your Rabb,

Do not forget Him and praise Him in all conditions.’

On reading this, I stood crying for a long time. I then, in response wrote on the sand with my fingers:

‘Every writer shall one day decompose (in the grave),

Time will retain what his hand had written

Therefore, do not write with your hand except something which will give you pleasure when you see it in Qiyaamah.’

When the youth read this, he let out a chilling scream, handing over his life to Allah Ta`ala (i.e. he died). I desired to give his body Ghusl and bury him, but I heard a Voice proclaiming:

‘Zunnun! Leave him. Allah Ta`ala had promised that the Malaa-ikah will attend to his burial.’

After hearing this Voice, I stood at a distance and engaged in Salaat. When I went to inspect the youth after I had performed a few Raka`ts, there was no trace of him, nor did I ever gain any information of him.”

34. A YOUNG DEVOTEE OF ALLAH

Once while wandering in the mountains of Baitul Maqdis (Jerusalem), Hadhrat Zunnun (rahmatullahi alayh) heard a voice supplicating to Allah Ta`ala. He went in the direction of the voice until he came upon an extremely lean and pale of complexion lad who was pouring out his heart to Allah Ta`ala. When the lad saw Zunnun, he tried to run and conceal himself among the trees. Zunnun exclaimed: “O lad! So much hatred and so much ill-manners! This does not befit the dignity of Mu`mineen. It is bad character.”

The lad responded with some admonition and advice, then supplicated to Allah Ta`ala: “O Allah! Conceal me from those who attempt to sever me from You.”

As he supplicated, he disappeared from sight.

35. THE NIKAH OF ABDAAL

Hadhrat Abul Qaasim Junaid (rahmatullahi alayh) narrates: “Once I attended the nikah of a male and female Abdaal. Each one of those present (i.e. the other Abdaal) stretched his hand above and it was miraculously filled with precious stones which they presented to the married couple. I too stretched my hand and it was filled with saffron. Hadhrat Khidr (alaihis salaam), complimenting me said: ‘You have presented the best gift to the bride and bridegroom. No one of the gathering had made such a presentation.’”

36. THE CONSEQUENCE OF DIVERTING THE GAZE FROM ALLAH

An Aarif narrated the following episode: “Once 40 houris (damsels of Jannat) were shown to me. Adorned in heavenly attire of gold and silk and resplendent in their indescribable beauty they were floated above me in the air. I stared in astonishment at them. In consequence, I was placed under Divine Displeasure for 40 days. Thereafter I was shown 80 houris more beautiful and resplendent than the first group. I immediately closed my eyes and fell into Sajdah, supplicating:

‘O Allah! I seek protection with You from all things besides You. I have no need for them. Remove them from my sight.’”

37. THE CONSEQUENCE OF SLEEPING AWAY THE NIGHT

Sheikh Abu Bakr Dhareer (rahmatullahi alayh) narrates: “I had a young, handsome slave who used to fast daily and spend the nights in ibaadat. One day he came to me and said: ‘Last night I went to sleep without reciting my auraad (plural of wird – thikr). In a dream I saw a few exceptionally beautiful damsels emerging out of the wall which had split open. One among them was extremely ugly. Never had I seen such an ugly person in my life. I asked them: ‘ To whom do you belong and for whom is the ugly one?’

They said: ‘ We are all your past nights (of ibaadat) and the ugly one is your last night when you had slept away (missing your ibaadat). If you had died this night, she would have fallen to your share permanently.’

After narrating this dream, the youth let out a shriek and his soul departed from his physical body.”

38. THE EFFECT OF A QUR`AANIC AAYAT ON A LAD

Once Sheikh Abdul Waahid Bin Zaid (rahmatullahi alayh) made preparations for going on Jihaad. He instructed every one of his companions to learn two Qur`aanic verses pertaining to the virtues of Jihaad. One of his companions recited the following Aayat:

“Verily, Allah has purchased from the Mu`mineen their lives and their wealth in lieu of Jannat for them.”

A 14 or 15 year old lad stood up. His deceased father had left for him an enormous amount of wealth. He said: “O Abdul Waahid! Has Allah indeed purchased the lives and wealth of the Mu`mineen in lieu of Jannat?”

The Shaikh replied: “Undoubtedly He has!”

The lad said: “You be my witness. I have sold my wealth and life in exchange for Jannat.”

Sheikh Abdul Waahid: “Understand well that the blade of the sword is extremely sharp and you are still a kid. I fear that you may not be able to persevere and you may back pedal.”

The lad: “O Sheikh! How can I retract after entering in a deal with Allah? What does this mean? I make Allah my witness and say that I have sold all my wealth and my life.”

Feeling very ashamed of himself, Sheikh Abdul Waahid said to himself: “Just look at the intelligence of this lad and at my lack of intelligence inspite of my advanced age.”

In short, the lad gave in Sadaqah his entire estate except his horse, weapons and a necessary amount for expenses. On the day of departure for Jihaad, he came to Sheikh Abdul Waahid and greeted. The Sheikh responded and said: “Be happy! Your trade is extremely profitable.”

Along the journey, the lad would fast by day and remain awake at night in ibaadat. He served the others and attended to their animals. Sheikh Abdul Waahid continues the story:

“When we reached near a city of the Christians, the lad was exclaiming: ‘O Ainaa Mardhiyyah! Where are you?’

My companions said that perhaps the lad has become insane. I called him and asked him: ‘Friend, whom are you calling? Who is Ainaa Mardhiyyah?’ He gave the following explanation:

‘While I was in a state between wakefulness and sleep, a man approaching me said: ‘Come to Ainaa Mardhiyyah.’

I accompanied him until we entered a beautiful orchard. A river of crystal clear water was flowing. Along the banks were extremely beautiful girls dressed most resplendently. When they saw me, they exclaimed in delight: ‘This is the husband of Ainaa Mardhiyyah.’ I made Salaam to them and asked who among them was Ainaa Mardhiyyah. They responded that they were Ainaa Mardhiyyah’s slaves. She was further ahead. I walked on until I reached an orchard in which flowed a river of delicious milk. Along the bank were girls more beautiful than those I had seen. On seeing them I was captivated by their beauty, when they saw me, they delightfully said: ‘This is the husband of Ainaa Mardhiyyah.’ I asked: ‘Where is she?’ They said: ‘We are her servants. She is further ahead. Go to her home.’ I proceeded until I came to a river of pure delicious wine. The beauty of the damsels by this river made me forget all the other beautiful girls I had seen earlier. I greeted them and asked: ‘Is Ainaa Mardhiyyah among you?’ They said: ‘We are all her slaves. She is further on.’ I went further on until I came to a river of pure honey. The damsels on the banks of this river effaced the memory of all the females I had seen earlier. After greeting them, I asked about Ainaa Mardhiyyah. They said: ‘O Friend of Allah! We are her slaves. Walk ahead.’ I proceeded until I came to a beautiful tent-like structure of white pearls. At the entrance stood a girl of such captivating beauty which I had hitherto not seen. When she saw me, she exclaimed: ‘O Ainaa Mardhiyyah! Your husband has come.’

As I entered I saw a golden throne studded with precious stones. On it was seated Ainaa Mardhiyyah in all her resplendence. I was enraptured and beyond myself, captivated and madly in love. Seeing me, she said: ‘Welcome. O Friend of Allah! Your time of coming here is now near.’ I ran forward and wanted to embrace her, but she said: ‘Wait! It is not yet the time. There is earthly life in your soul. Insha-Allah, tonight you will have iftaar of your fast here.’ My eyes opened. Now I cannot contain myself.’”

Just as the lad completed his story, a group of the enemy attacked. The lad surged forward among the enemy. After killing nine kuffaar, he was martyred. Sheikh Abdul Waahid said: “When he was martyred I went to him. He was covered with blood and laughing delightfully. Within a few moments his soul departed.”

39. THE SUPPLICATION OF AN AABID

An Aabid (pious worshipper) had engrossed himself in ibaadat for 40 years. Once when he was in a state of spiritual ecstasy (known as Maqaam-e-Naaz), he supplicated: “O Allah! Show me here on earth whatever bounties you have prepared for me in Jannat and also the houris You have destined for me.”

While he was engaging in his supplication, the wall in front of him split open and a most beautiful damsel emerged. Such was her beauty that all mankind would be captivated and enraptured if they had to see her. The Aabid said: “O Pious one! Are you a human being or an angel?”

She said: “I am the response of your supplication to your Rabb. You have obtained what you had requested. I have been sent to comfort you.”

Aabid: “For whom are you?”

Houri: “For you.”

Aabid: “How many houris like you will I get?”

Houri: “A hundred. Every houri has a hundred servants. And every one of these servants has a hundred slave-girls. Each slave-girl has a hundred maids.”

In sheer delight the Aabid said: “O my beloved! Will anyone receive more than me?”

Houri: “You are insignificant. Every ordinary man who recites only Istighfaar morning and evening, and nothing else, will receive what you will receive.”

40. HIDAAYAT COMES TO AN IDOLATER

Sheikh Abdul Waahid Bin Zaid (rahmatullahi alayh) narrates that once the ship in which he was sailing was caught in a storm. The stormy waves buffeted the rudderless ship. At last it reached a desolate island. After disembarking, they found a man worshipping an idol. Shaikh Abdul Waahid told him: “Your object of worship is not The Creator. On the contrary it is itself a created object, while The Being Whom we worship is The Creator of all objects.”

Idolater: “Whom do you worship?”

Sheikh: “The Being Whose Throne is in the Heaven; Whose control is on the entire earth; His Power extends over all the living and the dead; His Name is Glorious. He is Almighty and All-Powerful.”

Idolater: “How do you know this?”

Sheikh: “That True King sent His true Messenger to us. He guided us.”

Idolater: “Where is that Messenger?”

Sheikh: “After he had accomplished his mission for which he was sent, The Creator called him back.”

Idolater: “Did that Messenger leave with you any sign?”

Sheikh: “He left behind the Book of Allah.”

Idolater: “Show it to me.”

After showing him the Qur`aan Shareef, he said: “I do not know how to read it. Read it for me.”

Sheikh Abdul Waahid recited a Surah. The idolater was so touched that he cried profusely.

Idolater: “The command of the Being Whose Speech this is should be wholeheartedly obeyed. Never should he be disobeyed in any way.”

He thus embraced Islam. Sheikh Abdul Waahid continues: “We taught him the basics of the Deen and a few Surahs. When night fell we all went to sleep, he said: ‘Brothers! Does the Ma`bood (Being of worship) about Whom you have informed me, also sleep?’ We told him that Allah does not sleep. He is perpetually Alive and Awake. The convert said: ‘What evil servants are you? Your Master remains awake, but you sleep!’ We were truly amazed by his talks.

After a few days, when we decided to continue our voyage, he said: ‘Brothers! Take me along with you.’ We agreed. At last we reached Abaadan. I said to my companions: ‘We should assist our brother Muslim.’ We made a collection amongst us and presented the money to him. When we did this, he exclaimed:

‘You are indeed peculiar people. You guided me to The Straight Path, but you have strayed from it. I am truly astonished. When I used to worship the idol – when I did not know Allah, He never destroyed me. He always cared for me. Why will He now abandon me after I have recognised Him and am worshipping Him?’ (He did not accept the money).

Three days later someone informed me that the new Muslim was dying. I visited him and asked him if he needed anything. He said: ‘I need nothing. The Being Who had brought you to the island has fulfilled all my needs.’”

Sheikh Abdul Waahid, while sitting by the new Muslim fell asleep. He narrates the dream he saw:

“I saw a luxurious dense orchard in which was a domed structure. Seated on a resplendent throne inside the mansion was a young damsel of stunning beauty. She said: ‘For Allah’s Sake send the new Muslim quickly. I am extremely restless in this separation.’

My eyes opened. I saw that he had already undertaken the journey of the Aakhirah. May Allah’s Mercy be on him.

I gave him ghusl, kafan and buried him. That night I saw in a dream the same orchard and mansion. Seated on the throne at the side of the damsel was the new Muslim. He was reciting:

“The Malaa`ikah will come to them from every door (saying): ‘Peace on you on account of your patience. Indeed, wonderful is the abode of the Aakhirah.’”

41. THE CONVERSION OF A YOUTH

Hadhrat Sulaimaan (rahmatullahi alayh) and Hadhrat Maalik Bin Dinaar (rahmatullahi alayh) were one day walking in the city of Basrah. They came upon a beautiful mansion. When they entered, they saw artisans and labourers working. An extremely handsome youth was issuing instructions regarding the building work which was in progress. Maalik Bin Dinaar said: “Just look how handsome he is and how enamoured he is with the construction of the mansion. I pity him. I wish to make dua that Allah Ta`ala grants him sincerity and makes him a pious servant. He may become one of the youths of Jannat.”

They then went to the youth and greeted him. He responded, but he did not recognise Maalik Bin Dinaar. However, after some time had passed he recognised Maalik Bin Dinaar and stood up to honour him.

Now that he realised who his guest was, the youth was extremely hospitable. Hadhrat Maalik said: “How much money do you intend spending on this palace?”

Youth: “One hundred thousand dirhams.”

Maalik: “Why don’t you rather give all that money to me? I shall spend it where it is most needed and I guarantee you a palace more beautiful than this mansion. And not only a palace, but along with it, its furniture, servants, slaves, domes of precious stones and the soil will be saffron and musk. That palace will be vastly bigger and enduring than your mansion. In fact, it will be everlasting. No artisan ever set hand to it. It came into being solely by the Command of Allah Ta`ala.”

Youth: “Give me the time of this night. Come in the morning.”

Maalik (rahmatullahi alayh) agreed. Throughout the night, Hadhrat Maalik’s thoughts were occupied with the youth. He made dua earnestly and in profusion for the youth. As arranged the two went to meet the youth. They found him sitting at the entrance of his palace. When he saw Hadhrat Maalik, he became delighted and said: “Do you remember yesterday’s promise?”

Maalik: “Yes, I remember it. Will you do so?”

Youth: “Most certainly.”

The youth ordered bags of money and placed it in front of Hadhrat Maalik. He also called for paper and pen to be brought. Hadhrat Maalik Bin Dinaar wrote the agreement guaranteeing that Allah Ta`ala will give the youth a palace of the said description in exchange for the money. After completing the document, Maalik (rahmatullahi alayh) handed it to the youth. Maalik Bin Dinaar came away with the bags of money.

The entire day was spent distributing the money to the poor. By nightfall all the money had been distributed.

Forty days had not yet passed since the episode, when Maalik noticed on the mihraab one morning after Fajr Salaat, a document. When he examined it, he realised that it was the agreement he had written. On the reverse was miraculously written without ink:

“From Allah, The Mighty, The Wise to Maalik Bin Dinaar. You have been released from your obligation of the palace which you had guaranteed in Our Name. The palace and 70 times more have been awarded to the youth.”

Hadhrat Maalik Bin Dinaar (rahmatullahi alayh) stared at the letter in astonishment. Taking the letter he went to the residence of the youth. He was informed that the youth had died the previous day. Maalik Bin Dinaar sent for the person who had given the ghusl and asked him to describe the death of the youth. He explained as follows:

“Just before his death, he instructed me to give his body ghusl and to put on the kafan. He gave me a letter and told me to put in inside the kafan. I did as he had instructed, and buried him.”

Hadhrat Maalik showed the letter to the man. Spontaneously he exclaimed: “By Allah! This is that letter which I had placed inside his kafan.”

When this news spread, a young man came to Maalik Bin Dinaar and said:: “I shall give you two hundred thousand dirhams. Write for me also a guarantee of such a palace.”

Maalik said: “Whatever had to happen has happened. Allah does as He pleases.”

42. BAHLOOL AND KHALIFAH HAROON RASHID

Khalifah Haroon Rashid once went for Hajj in great pomp and splendour. At one location in the precincts of Makkah Muazzamah, the cavalcade of Haroon Rashid reached the spot where the Majzub, Bahlool Majnoon who was well known to all, including the Khalifah, shouted loudly: “O Ameerul Mu`mineen! O Ameerul Mu`mineen! O Ameerul Mu`mineen!”

Pulling aside the curtain, Haroon Rashid responded: “Labbaik! O Majnoon! What have you to say?”

Bahlool: “O Ameerul Mu`mineen! Aiman Bin Ma-il on the authority of Qudamah Bin Abdullah Aamiri narrated that Qudamah saw Nabi (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) at Mina seated on a camel on which the saddle was of very cheap quality. There were no guards and servants accompanying Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) chasing and pushing people out of the way. Therefore, O Ameerul Mu`mineen! On this journey the acquisition of humility and meekness is better than pride and greatness.”

Haroon Rashid was touched by this admonition. He cried so much that his tears fell on the ground. He said: “O Bahlool! Admonish me more.”

Bahlool recited some poetry, the translation of which is:

“O my friend! Do not be deceived by luxuries

life is passing by and pleasures are depleting

when you carry the janazah to the cemetery

Then know that after it you will be carried (to the cemetery).”

Haroon Rashid cried more and said: “Bahlool! You have spoken wonderfully. Say something more.”

Bahlool: “O Ameerul Mu`mineen! The man to whom Allah has bestowed wealth and beauty, if he spends the wealth in Allah’s Path and saves his beauty from haraam, by Allah he is recorded in the roll of the Abraar.”

Haroon Rashid: “Bahlool! You have spoken correctly. You deserve a prize.”

Bahlool: “Give your prize to one who will accept it. I have no need for it.”

Haroon Rashid: “Bahlool! If you have any debts, then inform me. I shall pay it.”

Bahlool: “I do not want to exchange the Deen for my debts.”

Haroon Rashid: “If you wish, a stipend will be fixed for you.”

Bahlool: “Ameerul Mu`mineen! You and I are the servants of Allah. How can it be that Allah Ta`ala remembers you and forgets me?”

Hearing this, Haroon Rashid drew the curtain and the royal cavalcade proceeded.

43. HADHRAT SA`DOON MAJNOON’S NASEEHAT

Once when the Khalifah was proceeding for Hajj on foot, he met Hadhrat Sa`doon Majnoon (rahmatullahi alayh) – a Majzub – at a halting station prepared for the Khalifah along the route from Iraq to Makkah Muazzamah. Hadhrat Sa`doon recited some poetry of naseehat to the Khalifah. The translation of the verses is:

“Even if the world has complied with you, Maut will overtake you. What will the world then do? O searcher of the world! Beware! Leave the world for your enemies. Just as time has made you laugh, it will one day make you cry.”

The impact of this naseehat on the Khalifah’s heart was so profound that he involuntarily let out a loud shriek and lapsed into unconsciousness. He remained unconscious for a period of three Salaats. When he regained consciousness, Sa`doon (rahmatullahi alayh) was nowhere in sight. A search for him proved fruitless. Haroon Rashid was full of regret and sorrow.

44. SA`DOON MAJNOON’S DUA

Muhammad Sabbaah (rahmatullahi alayh) narrates: “Once there was a severe drought in Basrah. The people went to the outskirts to supplicate for rain (i.e. to perform Salaatul Istisqaa). When we arrived in the wilderness, we found Hadhrat Sa`doon Majnoon (rahmatullahi alayh)sitting. He asked: ‘Why have you come?’ When he was told of our purpose, he asked: ‘Have you come with heavenly hearts (i.e. purified from worldly contaminations)?’ We said: ‘Yes!’ He then instructed us to make dua. We engaged ourselves in dua until the sun had risen high in the sky, but there was not the slightest sign of rain. In fact, the sky had cleared further and the heat was burning fiercely. Sa`doon (rahmatullahi alayh) turned to us and exclaimed: ‘O Jews! If your hearts had been heavenly, rain would have fallen by this time.’

He got up, made wudhu and performed two rakaats Salaat. Then he looked at the sky and said something which we could not understand at all. I swear by Allah! Even before he ended his supplication, the clouds gathered. Thunder and lightning struck and it rained in torrents.

We asked Hadhrat Sa`doon (rahmatullahi alayh) to explain what he had said when he looked at the sky. He snapped: ‘Be gone!’”

45. MAALIK BIN DINAAR’S MEETING WITH SA`DOON MAJNOON

Hadhrat Maalik Bin Dinaar (rahmatullahi alayh) once met Hadhrat Sa`doon Majnoon (rahmatullahi alayh) in the wilderness outside Basrah.

Maalik: “How are you?”

Sa`doon: “O Maalik! You are enquiring of the condition of a person whose intention it is morning and evening to undertake an extremely difficult journey, but he has no provisions for the road. He has to appear in the Court of the King and Judge of all mankind.”

Then he sobbed profusely.

Maalik: “Why are you crying?”

Sa`doon: “By Allah! I do not cry for any worldly desire nor for the fear of Maut and misfortunes. I cry because one day of my life had passed in futility. I did not practice righteousness on that day. Furthermore, the arduous journey ahead and the paucity of provisions make me cry. I do not know if Jannat or Jahannum will be my abode.”

After Maalik Bin Dinaar heard these words of wisdom, he said: “People say that you are Majnoon (mad) whereas you are highly intelligent.”

Sa`doon: “You too are trapped in the deception of people who think I am mad. There is no insanity in me. However, the love of my Maula (Allah Ta`ala) has permeated my every vein and bone. My blood is saturated with Divine Love. On account of this Muhabbat (love) I am in the state of bewilderment.”

Maalik: “O Sa`doon! Why do you not associate with people?”

Sa`doon, in response, recited two verses which mean:

“O Beloved One! Dissociate from people

Take Allah Ta`ala for your friend and companion

Test people in any way you wish

In every condition they will appear as scorpions to you.”

46. A YOUNG DEVOTEE OF ALLAH IN THE MADHOUSE

Ibn Qassaab Sufi (rahmatullahi alayh) narrates: “A few of us went to visit a madhouse. We saw there a young man who appeared extremely sad and grief-stricken. We were bewildered by his presence in the madhouse. We followed him in an endeavour to gain information about him. As soon as he observed that we were following him, he exclaimed: ‘O People! Look at these people. They are all dressed and adorned with fine garments and fragrant with perfume. Yet, they left all work of the world and the Deen in pursuit of futility and an insignificant act. They attach importance to it. They are bereft of knowledge. They are not human.”

Ibn Qassaab said: “If we ask you some questions, will you answer properly?”

He replied: “Ask, By Allah! I will answer perfectly.”

Ibn Qassaab: “Who is the worst ingrate?”

The Youth: “The worst ingrate is a person who has been saved from a calamity. Then he sees another person afflicted by this calamity, but he derives no lesson therefrom. On the contrary, he indulges in futility and sin.”

Ibn Qassaab and his companions were profoundly affected by the youth’s words of wisdom and admonition. When they questioned the youth about some praiseworthy spiritual attributes, he said: “That does not conform to your state.”

He then sobbed and supplicated to Allah Ta`ala: “O Allah! If you do not return my sanity, at least give me sufficient strength to enable me to slap each one of these people.”

On hearing this Ibn Qassaab (rahmatullahi alayh) and his companions quickly disappeared from the scene.

47. A COMPANION OF JANNAT

Hadhrat Abdul Waahid Bin Zaid (rahmatullahi alayh) narrates: “ On three nights in succession I supplicated to Allah Ta`ala to show me the person who will be my close companion in Jannat. I was informed (by way of ilhaam): ‘O Abdul Waahid! Your companion in Jannat will be Maimoonah Saudaa.’ I supplicated to be informed of her whereabouts. It was inspired to me that she was a member of a certain tribe in Kufaa.

I set off for Kufaa. When I reached there, I met members of her tribe and made enquiries about her. I was told that she was a mad woman tending to goats in the forest. When I reached the place shown to me, I saw a woman engaged in Salaat. A wonderful scene met my eyes. Among the grazing goats were some wolves just as docile as the goats. Neither did the wolves attack the goats nor were the goats scared of the wolves. I made Salaam and she quickly ended her Salaat. As she completed her Salaat, she said: ‘O Ibn Zaid! Go away now. This is not the promised time.’ I said: ‘Who informed you that I am Ibn Zaid?’

She said: ‘Do you not know that according to the Hadith all the armies of the souls had once been assembled together. Those who recognised one another in that realm have a mutual affection in this world while those who had developed no affinity there, remain strangers even here?’

I said: ‘Give me some naseehat’

She said: ‘Allah Ta`ala eliminates the love of solitude with Him and His Proximity from a person who engrosses in the pursuit of a worldly bounty which Allah Ta`ala had bestowed to him. Allah Ta`ala puts a wild fear (wahshat)in his heart.’

I asked: ‘How do the goats and wolves live in harmony?’

She said: ‘Be gone! Don’t ask such questions. I have made peace with my Maula (Friend, Allah Ta`ala). He has thus created harmony between the goats and the wolves.’”

48. THE DIVINE LOVE OF A MAJNOONAH

Once when Hadhrat Utbah (rahmatullahi alayh) wandered on the outskirts of Basrah, he came upon a community of Bedouins living in tents. They were a community of farmers. In one of the tents he saw a girl who was apparently mad (majnoonah). She was wearing a woollen cloak on which was inscribed: ‘This slave-girl will neither be sold nor bought.’

Utbah went near and made Salaam, but she did not reply. After a few moments she recited some verses of Divine Love and admonition. Hadhrat Utbah said to her: “Whose farm is this?” She replied: “If it remains safe and sound it will be our farm.”

Utbah then went to another tent. Suddenly there was a destructive downpour of rain which ruined the farm. Hadhrat Utbah thought: “Today, I shall see what this Majnoonah has to say about this rain.”

When he came out of the tent he observed that the entire crop was destroyed and underwater. The girl was standing outside and saying: “I swear by that Being Who has given me the pure wine of His Love! My heart is contented with You.”

She turned to Utbah and said: “O man! Look! It is He Who grew the farm. He sustained, nourished and developed it. He protected it. When it was ready for harvesting it, He destroyed it.”

Raising her eyes to the heaven, she said: “O Allah! All these people are Your creatures. Their rizq is Your responsibility. You do as You please.”

Utbah said to her: “How do you have so much sabr (patience)?”

She responded: “O Utbah! Keep quiet. My Creator is Independent. He is The Praiseworthy. Every day I obtain fresh rizq from Him.”

Hadhrat Utbah (rahmatullahi alayh) comments: “Whenever I remember her speech, a sorrowful yearning grips me and I begin to cry.”

49. THE CONDITION OF A YOUTHFUL AARIF BIL-LAAH

Hadhrat Zunnun Misri (rahmatullahi alayh) narrates: “Some people informed me that there was an Aarif Bil-Laah living in Mount Lakaam. I developed an intense desire to meet him. When I reached the top of the mountain, I heard a voice reciting poetry of Divine Love in a heart-breaking tone. I went in the direction of the voice. Soon I came upon an extremely handsome youth. Divine Love had reduced him to a rake. He was exceptionally pale and lean. I made Salaam. He responded and recited more poetry of Allah’s Love:

‘I have blinded my eyes to the bounties of the world. O Allah! There is no separation between You and my soul. O Allah! When I remember You, my eyes remain ever awake.

When sleep desires to close my eyes, I see Your Grandeur in front of me.’”

The youth then said: “O Zunnun! Where are you and where am I? Why do you wander in pursuit of mad people? Why have you come?”

Zunnun: “What has made solitude beloved to you? What has induced you to wander in mountains and wilderness?”

Youth: “My Love and yearning make me wander in the wilderness and mountains. My burning Love has separated me from all people. O Zunnun! Do you derive pleasure from the words of insane people?”

Zunnun: “By Allah! I love the words of such persons. They bring solace and yearning to my heart.”

Hadhrat Zunnun (rahmatullahi alayh) adds: “Then the youth disappeared from my sight. I never discovered what happened to him.”

50. THE EFFECT OF ALLAH’S LOVE ON A YOUNG GIRL

Once while wandering on Mount Muqtam, Hadhrat Zunnun Misri (rahmatullahi alayh) heard a voice brimming with sorrow. When he went in that direction, he soon came upon a girl sitting on a rock. He greeted her. After responding to his Salaam, she said: “O Zunnun! What business do you have with mad people?”

Zunnun: “Are you truly mad?”

Girl: “If I was not mad, why would people say so?”

Zunnun: “What has driven you to insanity?”

Girl: “Zunnun! His Love has made me mad. His Shauq (yearning) has thrown me in bewilderment. The search for Him has plunged me in burning desire and restlessness.

Muhabbat (Love) is in the qalb; Shauq is in the fuaad and searching is in the sirr.”

Zunnun: “Girl! Is the fuaad something apart from the heart?”

Girl: “Yes! Fuaad is the noor of the qalb, and sirr is the noor of the fuaad. The qalb loves; the fuaad yearns; and the sirr gains (the love).”

Zunnun: “What does the sirr gain?”

Girl: “It gains The Haqq (i.e. Allah Ta`ala).”

Zunnun: “How does it obtain The Haqq?”

Girl: “Zunnun! The obtainal of Haqq is without form. It is beyond description.”

Zunnun: “What evidence is there in your claim of having obtained The Haqq?”

The girl broke down sobbing so much that she became unconscious. When she became conscious, she sighed with sorrow and grief. She recited some heart-rending poetry. She let out a chilling shriek and exclaimed: “Look! Truthful people depart in this way.” She fell down unconscious. When Zunnun went to inspect, he discovered that she had died. Zunnun continues: “I looked for something to dig the grave for her. Suddenly I saw that her body had disappeared. May Allah’s Rahmat be on her.” 

Next: Episodes from the lives of the Auliyaa – Part Two

Back to Contents 

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *