101. SELF-ESTEEM (UJUB)
Hadhrat Ibraheem bin Khawwaas (rahmatullah alayh) narrates:
“Along a journey I suffered extreme hardship. Inspite of the severity of the hardship, I exercised patience. When I finally reached Makkah Muazzamah, I developed a degree of self esteem on account of the trials I had suffered.
An old lady called to me during tawaaf. She exclaimed: “O Ibraheem1 I was with you in that wilderness, but I did not speak to you so that your attention would not be diverted from Him. Eliminate the thoughts from your mind.”
Sheikh Abul Hasan Izeen (rahmatullah alayh ) said: “Once I travelled alone, bare footed through the desert. I thought that on this occasion no one had renounced the world and taken upon himself so much difficulties as myself. As this thought crossed my mind, a man grabbed me from behind and reprimanded:
“O miserable one! How long will your heart dwell in deception.”[In such ways does Allah Ta`ala warn and protect His special servants from the snares of their nafs].
A Buzrug said:
“Allah Ta`ala bestows ma`rifat to all His servants. He then grants them forbearance to suffer hardships and calamities in proportion to the degree of the ma`rifat He has bestowed to them.”
103. SHAM`OON’S PRESCRIPTION FOR WUSOOL-ILAL-LAH[Wusool-ilal-lah means to link up with Allah Ta`ala].
Once when a buzrug saw Hadhrat Sham`oon (rahmatullah alayh) make tawaaf of the Ka`bah with great pleasure and ecstasy, he said:
“O Sheikh! How have you attained Allah?”
Hadhrat Sham`oon (rahmatullah alayh) fell down unconscious. After a short while, he regained conscious and said: “O my brother! I have imposed five acts on my nafs:
(1) I killed whatever was alive in me, viz. my carnal desires , and made alive that object which was dead in me, viz. my heart.
(2) I brought into my presence whatever was absent in me, viz. the Aakhirah, and I turned away from things which were in my presence, viz. the pleasures of the world.
(3) I perpetuated what I had believed was transitory, viz. taqwa or fear of Allah, and I destroyed whatever I had thought would endure, viz. my desires.
(4) I began to love things which people disliked and shunned.
(5) I fled from the things people love.”
104. RIZQ COMES TO YOU
Once Sheikh Abu Ya`qub Basri (rahmatullah alayh) remained in I`tikaaf for ten days in the Haram Shareef. He did not get a morsel of food in all this time. Finally hunger and weakness overcame him. He set out with the intention of obtaining some food. When he came to a desolate place ( in the desert) he saw a decaying turnip laying on the ground. As he picked it up, a fear settled in his heart. It was as if someone was rebuking and taunting him:
“After starving for ten days, your reward is a rotten turnip”
Sheikh Ya`qub threw away the turnip and went to Musjidul Haraam. After some time a man appeared. Placing a bag in front of Shaikh Ya`qub, the man said:
“ This bag containing 500 Ashrafis ( gold coins) is for you.”
Sheikh Ya`qub: “Why is it specially for me?”
The Man: “ I was on a voyage for ten days. The boat was about to sink. Everyone in the boat made a pledge to Allah Ta`ala, vowing to give some Sadaqah if he was saved. I vowed to give 500 Ashrafis to the first person by the Ka`bah on whom my eyes fell.”
Sheikh Ya`qub: “Open the bag.”
When the bag was opened, instead of Ashrafis, it contained some delicious varieties of foods. (The coins were miraculously transformed into food). Sheikh Ya`qub ate from the food and instructed the man to distribute the remainder among his children. Sheikh Ya`qub (rahmatullah alayh) said to himself:
“O nafs! Your rizq was coming towards you since the last ten days while you went in search of it to the wilderness.”
105. DIVINE LOVE
Hadhrat Sheikh Abu Bakr Kitaani (rahmatullah alayh) narrates:
“I was once in Makkah Muazzamah in the company of a group of Sufiyaa Kiraam who were discussing the question of Allah’s Love. The youngest of the group was Hadhrat Junaid Baghdaadi (rahmatullah alayh). The Sufi’s urged him to speak on this question.
Hadhrat Junaid (rahmatullah alayh) lowered his head and shed tears profusely. Then he said: “A lover is such a servant whose ego has been eliminated. He is absorbed in the thikr of Allah. He fulfils the rights of Allah. He looks with his heart towards Allah. The rays of Divine Fear have consumed his heart. The cup of Wine of Divine Love is for him. From behind the unseen veils Allah has become manifest to him. When he speaks, he speaks with Allah. When he moves, he does so with Allah’s command. When he rests, he rests with Allah. He is constantly with Allah he exists with Allah and he is in Allah’s companionship.”
All the Mashaa-ikh shed tears in abundance and said: Can anyone say anything more superb? O Taajul Aarifin (crown of the Auliyaa)! May Allah increase your intelligence and wisdom.”
106. A YOUNG WALI
Hadhrat Dhuhhaq Bin Muzahim (rahmatullah alayh) narrates:
“One Jumuah night I went to the Jami’ Musjid in Kufa. Late in the night I observed a young man crying in the Musjid annex. I had no doubt that he was a Wali of Allah. I went near to listen to his dua. He was enwrapped in pleading with Allah Ta`ala. He poured out his heart with supplications of profound divine love. I too began crying.
I then made salaam to him and he responded. I said: “May Allah Ta`ala grant barkat in you and in your night. May Allah have mercy on you. Who are you?” He said: “Rashid Bin Sulaimaan.” I recognized him from his name which I had heard earlier. I had already heard of his lofty spiritual states. I had yearned to meet him, but circumstances did not permit it. I was now overwhelmed with joy for my fortune in meeting him so easily and unexpectedly. I asked him to allow me to accompany him. He said: “How is it possible for a man who derives pleasure from Divine Communion to derive solace from association with people? I take an oath by Allah and say that if a Buzrug with a true intention has to come across the Mashaa-ikh of this age, he will say that they have no belief in Qiyaamah.”
He then disappeared from my sight. I do not know if he went into the heaven or the earth. His departure filled my heart with intense grief. I made dua and asked Allah to allow me to meet him once more before my death.
After some years I went for Hajj. To my delight I saw him sitting in front of the Ka`bah with a group of people reciting the Qur`aan Majeed. When he saw me he smiled and said: “This is the kindness of the Ulama and the humility of the Auliyaa.” He embraced me and shook hands. He said: “Did you make dua to meet me before your death?” I said: “Yes.” He said: “All praises to Allah for this.”
I said: “May Allah have mercy on you. Tell me of whatever you had seen or heard this night.” He let out a loud shriek and collapsed. The people who were sitting around him reciting Qur`aan Shareef, departed. When he became conscious, he said: “O my Brother! What is hidden from you of the mysteries of Divine Fear and Awe which are in the hearts of the Auliyaa of Allah?” I said: “Who are the people who were with you?” He said: “They were a Jamaat of jinn. Because of a long standing companionship I was honoring them. They were reciting the Qur`aan Shareef to me. They accompany me every year for Hajj.” Bidding farewell to me, he said: “May Allah unite us in Jannat. There will be no separation nor fear, grief or toil.” He again disappeared. I never again saw him.
107. TAKING FROM ALLAH AND GIVING TO ALLAH
An Aabid who lived near to the Haram Shareef fasted every day. Every evening a man delivered two bread to him. The Aabid dissociated himself from every one and was engrossed only with Allah Ta`ala.
One day it occurred to him that he was relying on the man for his rizq, not on Allah Ta`ala. He said to himself: “You have forgotten the One who is the Sustainer of the entire creation.” When the man came with the bread, the Aabid refused to accept it. Three days went by but the Aabid had nothing to eat. He supplicated to Allah Ta`ala. That night he dreamt that he was in Allah’s Presence. Allah Ta`ala said to him: “O My Servant! Why did you reject whatever I had sent to you with one of My servants?”
The Aabid: “O Allah! I derive no solace from anyone besides You.”
Allah Ta`ala: “Who used to send the bread to you?”
The Aabid: “O Allah! Only You had sent it.”
Allah Ta`ala: “From whom were you taking it?”
Aabid: “From You, O Allah!”
Allah Ta`ala: “Henceforth accept it and do not reject it.”
Suddenly the Aabid saw the man who used to deliver the bread. He too was standing in Allah’s Presence. Addressing the man, Allah Ta`ala said: “Why did you terminate the rizq of this servant?”
The man: “O Allah! You are fully aware.”
Allah Ta`ala: “O My Servant! To whom were you giving?”
The man: “To You, O Allah!”
Allah Ta`ala: “Continue your practice and be firm. The thawaab for your practice (of delivering the bread to the Aabid) is Jannat.”[When charity is given, it is given in reality to Allah Ta`ala, and when accepted, it is taken from Allah Ta`ala.]
108. ALLAH PROTECTS HIS AULIYAA AGAINST PRIDE
Once Ahmad Bin Hawaari (rahmatullah alayh) accompanied Hadhrat Sulaimaan Daaraani (rahmatullah alayh) on a journey to Makkah Muazzamah. Their water bag was lost along the journey. When Ahmad Bin Hawaari informed Hadhrat Daaraani of the loss, he supplicated:
“O Restorer of lost things! Return our water-bag.”
Shortly thereafter a man appeared with the water- bag and handed it to them.
The cold was intense. They were wearing heavy woolen garments. Soon they saw a man clad in only two light cloths. He was perspiring profusely. Hadhrat Daaraani (rahmatullah alayh) said: “If you wish, we shall give you some warm garments.” The man said: “Both heat and cold are the creations of Allah Ta`ala. If He commands, both will overwhelm me, and if He commands, both will leave me. I am wondering in this condition in this wilderness for the past 30 years. Never did I shiver because of the severity of the cold nor did I perspire because of the result of the heat of summer. In winter, the heat of my Divine Love keeps me warm and in summer its sweetness keeps me cool. O Daaraani! You are engrossed with garments and you have abandoned zuhd (renunciation of the world). The cold is therefore distressing you. O Daaraani! You cry, shriek and derive pleasure from cool breezes.”
Hadhrat Abu Daaraani (rahmatullah alayh) then departed. He said to his companions: “Besides this man, no one has recognized me.”[i.e. Only this Wali of Allah Ta`ala has understood my pride and vanity].
As a result of the dua of Hadhrat Daaraani, the water-bag was found. The almost immediate acceptance of his dua was likely to create in him the idea of his holiness and loftiness of rank. This would give rise to ujub and takabbur. It is of the ways of Allah Ta`ala to save his Auliyaa from the pitfalls of nafsaaniyat by bringing them into contact with such pious persons whose acts of piety put them to shame. They realise the insignificance of their own deeds when they view the deeds of other men of piety. In this way they are saved from pride and vanity.
109. A LAD’S TRUST IN ALLAH
A Buzrug narrates:
“Along the road to Makkah Muazzamah, I saw a lad walking with great delight as if he was walking in the yard of his home. I said: ‘O lad! What is the reason for this delightful style of walking?’ The lad said: ‘This is the style of the youthful servants of Allah, The Merciful One.’
I asked: ‘Where is your mount and food?’ He stared at me with disgust and said: ‘O man! If a weak slave who resolves to go to the house of his gracious master takes along food to his home, will the master not be offended? My Friend is the Being of Power and Grandeur. Since He has called me, He provides for me.’
The lad then disappeared. I never again saw him.”
110. THE HIDDEN AULIYAA OF ALLAH
Sheikh Abul Abbas (rahmatullah alayh) once asked Hadhrat Khidr (alayhis salaam) if he had ever met a Wali higher in rank than himself. Hadhrat Khidr (alayhis salaam) said: “Yes. Once I went to Musjid-e-Nabawi where I saw Sheikh Abdur Razzaq imparting Hadith lessons to a group of people. A young man was sitting aloof in another corner. I said to him: ‘Why don’t you join the class of Sheikh Abdur Razzaq. Young man, don’t you know that people are acquiring the knowledge of Hadith from Sheikh Abdur Razzaq?’
The young man ignored me. He did not even glance at me. He said: ‘These people are listening to Hadith from the Abd (The Slave) of Razzaq. While I am listening to Razzaq, not from His slave.’
I said: ‘If you are true in your claim, tell me who I am?’ The young man said: ‘If the firasat (insight) and understanding of the Mu`min is correct, then you are Khidr.’
Khidr (alayhis salaam) said: ‘I then realised that there are servants of Allah with such elevated ranks whom I did not recognize.’
111. THE CURSE OF A WALI
A Buzrug said: “We were discussing the special favours Allah Ta`ala bestows to His Auliyaa. A blind man who used to listen silently to our talks once said:
‘I derive satisfaction from your talks. One day I went to gather wood near to Baqi. I saw a youth clad in expensive attire and holding some pearls in his hand. I thought that this was an opportunity to gain some wealth easily. I ordered him to remove his garments. He said: ‘Leave in the protection of Allah.’ I repeated my demand three times. The youth said: ‘Are you determined to take my clothes?’ When I said ‘Yes’, He made a sign towards me with his two fingers. Both my eyes popped out and fell to the ground. In sheer panic, I shrieked: ‘Who are you?’ He said: ‘Ibraheem Khawwaas.’[Hadhrat Ibraheem Khawwaas – rahmatullah alayh- was one of the great Auliyaa of former times].
112. PUNISHMENT FOR DISRESPECT TO A WALI
Hadhrat Jurambeel Ya`fi (rahmatullah alayh) narrates: “A resident of Yemen related the following episode to me:
‘I accompanied a Buzrug for Hajj. When we reached Jeddah, we hired camels for the journey to Makkah. We joined a caravan. Along the route the caravan was stopped by the tax-man of the Sultan of Makkah. He extorted taxes from the travellers. Only the two of us did not pay. The tax-man prevented our camels from proceeding. The Sheikh told him to release the camels, but the tax-collector refused and became abusive. The tax-man said: ‘I take oath by my father’s head that I will not allow you to proceed without paying the tax.’ He had also by this time increased the amount. The Sheikh exclaimed: ‘I take oath by my Protector that I shall not give you anything.’
The Sheikh then ordered the camel drivers to proceed. The caravan proceeded while the tax-collector remained riveted and paralyzed on his horse unable to move. He sent his slave to apologize to the Sheikh and pleaded to be released from the punishment. The Sheikh accepted his apology and the tax-collector was only then able to move with his horse.’”
113. CATEGORIES OF THE MUTAWAKKILEEN
A group of Fuqaraa (Pious Mendicants or paupers) came to Hadhrat Bishr Haafi (rahmatullah alayh). The following dialogue took place between them:
Hadhrat Bishr: “Who are you?”
Fuqaraa: “We are the residents of Shaam (Syria). We came to greet you. We intend to go for Hajj.”
Hadhrat Bishr: “May Allah accept your Hajj.”
Fuqaraa: “Do accompany us so that we all may perform Hajj in your companionship.”[Hadhrat Bishr -rahmatullah alayh- declined. However they persisted in their plea].
Hadhrat Bishr: “Since this is your desire, I agree to accompany you on three conditions:
(1) No provisions (food etc.) whatsoever should be taken along the journey.
(2) We should not ask anything from anyone along the journey.
(3) If someone gives us something, we should not accept it.”
Fuqaraa: “The first two conditions are acceptable. But, if someone gives us something, and if we are in need, we shall be unable to refuse.”
Hadhrat Bishr: “Perhaps you set off on this journey from your homes reposing trust on your food, not on Allah Ta`ala. Begone, all of you! Leave me alone in my state. Among the fuqaraa, three types are good.
(1) He does not beg for anything and if given something, he does not accept. This faqeer is among the celestial beings. He dwells with the purified souls.
(2) He does not beg. But if given, he accepts. A dastarkhwan will be spread for this type of faqeer in the Divine Presence.[Dastarkhwan is a cloth (or tablecloth) on which the food has already been set out].
(3) He asks for food. If given, he takes according to his need. He only asks when necessary. He does not accept more than his need.”
114. GARMENTS OF SINCERITY
A Group of sufis clad in woollen gowns of the Sufiyaa visited Hadhrat Bishr Haafi (rahmatullah alayh). He said:
“Fear Allah! Abandon this garb which is advertising you.”
All remained silent. Then a youth among them spoke and said: “By Allah! We shall certainly don these garments. By Allah! We shall certainly don these garments. By Allah! We shall certainly don these garments until the entire Deen triumphs for only Allah Ta`ala.”
Hadhrat Bishr commented: “Well said, O young man! Only men of your calibre have the right of wearing these garments.”
Wearing the popular Sufi raiments had become a medium of ostentation (Riyaa). Insincere people had begun donning these garments to project the image of piety, hence Hadhrat Bishr (rahmatullah alayh) initially urged them to abandon this dress. However when he discerned the sincerity of the young man, he complimented him.
115. A BUCK IMPARTS THE LESSON OF TAWAKKUL
A Buzrug narrates: “I observed a faqeer in the wilderness by a well. He lowered his bucket into the well. The rope snapped and the bucket fell to the bottom. He stood there for a long time and supplicated: ‘I take oath by Your Greatness I shall not move from here without my bucket unless I be ordered to move on.’”
The narrator continues: “A thirsty buck appeared and stood at the well, staring inside. Soon the water bubbled to the surface. Along with the water came the bucket. Taking his bucket the faqeer lamented sadly: ‘O Allah! By You I am not the equal of even this she-buck.’
He heard a voice proclaiming: ‘O Miskeen! You came to the well with rope and bucket while the buck came with only trust on Us, having renounced all worldly means.’”[A similar anecdote has been related earlier. Perhaps it refers to the same buzrug-or to someone else].
116. A WONDERFUL EPISODE
Sheikh Abdul Khair Aqta’ (rahmatullah alayh) narrated the following wonderful episode:
“Among the wonders which I had observed was a Habshi (Abyssinian) slave in the Jami’ Musjid of Tartus. He covered his head with his shawl and imagined himself making ziyaarat of the Ka`bah Shareef. When he opened his head, he found himself in the Haram Shareef at the Ka`bah.”
117. DIVINE PROTECTION
Hadhrat Abdul Waahid Zaid (rahmatullah alayh) asked Hadhrat Abu Asim Basri (rahmatullah alayh): “When Hajjaj sent his men to arrest you, what did you do?”
Asim Basri said: “At that time I was on the upper floor of my house. They had broken down the door and rushed inside. I pushed myself. Suddenly I was standing on mount Abu Qabees (in Makkah).”
Abdul Waahid Zaid: “How did food reach you there?”
Asim Basri: “The two bread which I used to get in Basrah, would be delivered to me by an old lady at the time of Iftaar.”
118. MIRACULOUS TRANSMISSION OF NEWS
When a certain Buzrug became ill, a cup with medicine appeared miraculously in front of him, he commented: “Today something new has happened on earth. As long as I am not apprized of it, I shall neither eat nor drink anything.”
After a few days it transpired that Makkah was invaded and a ferocious battle had taken place.
The narrator said that when I narrated this episode to Ibn Khatib (rahmatullah alayh), he commented: “It is indeed surprising.”
Sheikh Abu Uthmaan Maghribi (rahmatullah alayh) added: “This is nothing surprising.” Ibn Khatib then said: “What is the news of Makkah today?” Abu Uthmaan said: “At this time the battle is raging between the followers of Talhah (radhiyallahu anhu) and the progeny of Hasan (radhiallahu anhu). The followers of Talhah have appointed a Habshi slave as their commander. There is a red turban on his head, and the Haram today is overshadowed by clouds.”
Ibn Khatib wrote to Makkah enquiring the events of that particular day. He was informed of the events in exactly the same way as Abu Uthmaan (rahmatullah alayh) had related.
119. FOR THE SAKE OF ALLAH
Sheikh Abu Ja’far Haddad (rahmatullah alayh), the Ustaadh of Hadhrat Junaid Baghdaadi had taken up residence in Makkah Muazzamah. Once his hair was overgrown. However, he had no money for a haircut. He went to a pious looking barber and said: “For Allah’s Sake cut my hair.”
The barber who was engaged in cutting the hair of a worldly man said: “With much pleasure I am at your service.” The barber left the man and began cutting the hair of Sheikh Haddad. After the haircut, the barber gave him a few dirhams and said: “Use this for your other needs.” Sheikh Haddad resolved to give to the barber whatever wealth he first obtains. When he went to the Musjid he met a man who said: “Your brother in Basrah has sent this bag containing 300 dinars (gold coins).”
Taking the bag, Sheikh Haddad went to the barber and said: “Accept these 300 dinars and use them for your needs and for spending in Allah’s path.” The barber responded: “O Sheikh! Have you no shame? You asked me to cut your hair for Allah’s Sake. How can I now accept remuneration? You take it. May Allah forgive you.”
120. DISGRACE FOR THE LOVERS OF WEALTH
Once Sheikh Shibli (rahmatullah alayh) debated with himself: “Am I a miser or not.” He could not resolve his inner dispute. He pledged that whatever wealth he receives he would give it to the first faqeer he met. Even before completing his vow, a man appeared and presented 30 dinars to him. Taking the dirhams, Hadhrat Shibli set out in search of a faqeer. At the barbers shop he saw a blind faqeer whose hair the barber was cutting.
When Hadhrat Shibli offered the dinars to the blind faqeer, he said: “Give it to the barber.” Hadhrat Shibli said: “These are dinars (i.e. gold coins).” The faqeer, raising his head, said: “Did we not say to you that you are a miser?”
Hadhrat Shibli then presented the dinars to the barber, but he said: “When this faqeer came to me, I pledged to Allah that I will not accept any fee.” Feeling highly ashamed, Hadhrat Shibli flung the dinars into the river and commented:
“O wealth of the world! May Allah disgrace you like this. Whoever loves you, will be disgraced by Allah.”
121. A CONVERSION OF A NASARA MONK
Sheikh Ibraheem Khawwaas (rahmatullah alayh) narrates:
“Once I journeyed across a wilderness where I met a Nasara (Christian) monk. He had a cross around his waist. He requested to accompany me. Both of us walked continuously for seven days. The monk said to me:
“O Devotee of the Straight Deen! Display some miracle. Hunger has overcome us.”
I supplicated in my heart: “O Allah! Do not disgrace me in front of this kaafir.”
Suddenly, there appeared miraculously a tray with bread, meat, fresh dates and water. We both ate and drank. Then we continued our journey. After walking for seven days, I hastily said: “O Christian worshipper! You also display some miracle. It is now your turn.” Leaning on his staff, he prayed. Two trays with twice the amount of food which was in my tray appeared. I was bewildered. However, I refused to eat. Inspite of his insistence , I declined to partake of the food. He then said: “Eat! I shall give you two glad tidings. One is the Kalimah Shahaadat.” He recited:
“I bear witness that there is no object of worship, besides Allah and I testify that Muhammad is the Rasool of Allah.”
The second glad tiding is my supplication: “O Allah, The Gracious! If there is anything in store by You for this servant, then open up the doors of Your Kindness.” (In consequence of his sincere dua, Allah Ta`ala had bestowed the treasure of Imaan to him).
Sheikh Ibraheem Khawwaas (rahmatullah alayh) said: “We both ate and drank. We then proceeded to Makkah. After Hajj we stayed a year in Makkah Muazzamah, and the Aabid (the former monk) died there. He was buried in Batha.”
122. A KARAAMAT OF IBRAHEEM BIN AD`HAM
Someone asked Huzaifah Mur`ashi (rahmatullah alayh): “What act of marvel had you seen of Ibraheem Bin Ad`ham (rahmatullah alayh)?” Hadhrat Mur’ashi said:
“We were along the road in Makkah for a few days. We had nothing to eat. We stopped at a desolate and dilapidated Musjid. Ibraheem Bin Ad`ham said: ‘O Huzaifah, I see that you are hungry?’ I said: ‘I see that you too are hungry.’
Then he wrote on a paper:
‘Bismillahir Rahmaanir Raheem. In all circumstances You are the Goal and in every way we are pointing towards You.’
He gave me the letter and said:
‘Go! Do not apply your heart to anyone besides Allah. Give this letter to the first person you meet.’
I took the note and left. When I saw a man on a mule, I gave him the letter. When he read the letter he cried. He asked me for the whereabouts of the writer. I directed him to the Musjid. He gave me a bag containing 600 dinaars. Meanwhile I met another man. I learnt that the man with the mule was a Christian. When I returned to Hadhrat Ibn Ad`ham with the bag, I explained what had transpired. He said: ‘Don’t touch the money. He will soon come.’ After a short while, the Christian arrived. Falling at the feet of Hadhrat Ad`ham (rahmatullah alayh), the Christian embraced Islam.”
123. THE FRUIT OF TAWAKKUL
While travelling towards Makkah, Hadhrat Sheikh Abu Hamzah Khuraasani (rahmatullah alayh) fell into a disused well. He resolved not to call on anyone besides Allah Ta`ala. As he was ruminating, two men passed by the well. The one said to the other: “Let us close up this well so that no one falls in it.” They then closed the mouth of the well with a huge boulder. In fact, they obliterated every sign of the well.
Hadhrat Abu Hamzah says: “I intended to call to them, but decided against it. I said: ‘By Allah! I will never call to them. I will call only Him who is nearer to me than them.’ After an hour I observed the mouth of the well opening and a leg hanging down towards me. I heard a humming sound which appeared to me to mean: ‘Cling to me.’
I grabbed the leg and was hauled out of the well. Only then I saw it was a huge beast. A Voice proclaimed: ‘We saved you from destruction by means of something which destroys.’”
124. THE HEAD OF PRIDE
Hadhrat Ibraheem Bin Ad`ham (rahmatullah alayh), after having renounced the throne of Balkh worked as a caretaker in an orchard. One day a soldier who was passing by demanded some fruit. Hadhrat Ibraheem Bin Ad`ham refused. In anger the soldier struck him a blow to his head with his whip. Hadhrat Ibraheem, lowering his head, said: “This head had disobeyed Allah. Go ahead and hit it.” When the soldier realized who he was, he apologized profusely. Hadhrat Ibraheem Bin Ad`ham (rahmatullah alayh) said: “ I have left in Balkh the head which was in need of apologies.”
125. ATTAINING THE ELEVATED RANKS OF THE PIOUS
Hadhrat Ibraheem Bin Ad`ham said to a man who was making tawaaf:
“You will never attain the elevated ranks of the pious (i.e. the Auliyaa) as long as you have not traversed six difficult valleys. First Valley – The closing of the door of bounties and the opening of the door of hardship. Second Valley – Closing of the door of honour and opening of the door of disgrace. Third Valley – Closing of the door of comfort and opening of the door of toil. Fourth Valley – Closing of the door of sleep and opening of the door of wakefulness during the night. Fifth Valley – Closing of the door of wealth and opening of the doorof poverty. Sixth Valley – Closing of the door of wishes and opening of the door of preparations for Maut.”
126. THE HONOUR OF A MUSTAAJABUT DA`WAT AFRICAN SLAVE[Mustaajabut Da`wat- a person whose dua Allah Ta`ala readily accepts].
Hadhrat Abdullah Bin Mubarak (rahmatullah alayh) narrates the following interesting story:
“I was in Makkah Muazzamah during a severe drought. Rain had not fallen for a considerable period. The entire population -big and small- had gathered in Musjidul Haraam for Salaatul Istisqaa (to supplicate for rain). I too attended. I was in the vicinity of Baab-Bani Shaibah when I observed an African slave entering. He had two very cheap shawls wrapped around his body. He sat in front of me in a concealed place. I heard him making dua as follows:
“O Allah! As a result of the abundance of sins and the misfortune of evil deeds, the faces of people have aged and changed. You have withheld Your rains of mercy from us to teach us and warn people. I ask You. O Thou, The One of Forbearance, O Thou, the One Who Procrastinates in Punishment! O Thou, The Merciful One! Your servants know nothing but goodness and kindness emanating from You. Bestow rain to Your servants this very moment.”
He repeated this supplication several times until the rain clouds gathered in the sky. Rain fell in torrents on all sides. The young slave remained supplicating where he was sitting.
I sat shedding tears. When he stood up and left, I followed at a discreet distance. When he entered the house I made a note of the building.
I went to Sheikh Fudhail Bin Iyadh (rahmatullah alayh). He said: “Why do you look so sorrowful?” I said: “A foreigner has surpassed us, and he has become the spiritual ruler and guardian.” In surprise, Sheikh Fudhail said: “What are you saying?” I narrated the whole episode of the Habshi slave. The Sheikh shrieked and became silent. He said: “ O Ibn Mubarak! Take me to that young man.”
I told him that it was now late in the night.
The next morning after Fajr Salaat, I went to the house of the young man. At the entrance, was sitting a pious old man. He recognized me and asked me for the reason of my coming. When I informed him that I required a Habshi slave he told me to choose any of his slaves. He called a healthy and strong slave and exhorted me to take him, but I declined. Thereafter he called several slaves, one by one, but I refused them all. At last the slave I was looking for appeared. When I saw him, my eyes brightened and I requested to purchase him. The owner said: “I cannot sell this slave. His stay has brought blessing to this house. He never causes me any distress or inconvenience. He earns his own living. He weaves rope and earns enough for his food. Sometimes if he does not sell any rope, he does not eat on that day. He remains awake the whole night and he does not associate with anyone. I love him.”
Ibn Mubarak said: “How can I go to Sufyaan Thauri and Fudhail Bin Iyadh without fulfilling their need?”
The owner said: “ Your coming here has indeed placed a heavy load on me. Take him for any price you wish.” I then purchased the slave and proceeded with him to the home of Fudhail Bin Iyadh. While walking the slave said: “O my master!” I immediately responded : “Labbaik!” (I am at your service!) He said: “Do not say ‘Labbaik’ in response to me. It is the duty of the slave to say ‘Labbaik’ when his master calls.” I said: “O my friend! What do you need?” He said: “I am physically weak and unfit for service. Besides me, my former master has shown you strong slaves.” I said: “May Allah never see me extracting service from you. On the contrary, I will purchase a house for you, get you married and be of service to you.” Hearing this, the slave sobbed much. When I asked him the reason for his crying, he said: ‘Undoubtedly, you have seen and become aware of my relationship with Allah Ta`ala, hence you chose and purchased me. For Allah’s Sake, tell me what have you observed of my condition.’
I told him that I had seen the acceptance of his dua, hence I chose him. He said: ‘If Allah wishes you too will become virtuous. There are people who are the beloved devotees of Allah. He reveals them to only His friends. Is it possible for you to wait for a short while? I have to perform a few rak`ats Salaat.’ I said: ‘The house of Fudhail is close by. Perform it there.’ The slave said: “No! I want to perform it here. It is not good to delay in the duties of Allah.’
He entered a Musjid. After completing his Salaat, he turned to me and said:
‘O Abdur Rahmaan! Have you any need?’ Full of concern, I asked: ‘Why do you ask this?’ He said: ‘I am leaving.’ I asked: ‘Where are you going?’ The slave said: ‘To the Abode of the Aakhirah.’
Smitten with grief, I cried: ‘Don’t do this. Allow me to be happy with you.’ He said: ‘ This life was one of happiness as long as my relationship with Allah was a secret. Now that you know and others too will become aware, I have no need for this life.’ So saying, he fell down and proclaimed: ‘O Allah! Take my soul this very moment.’
When I went to him in consternation, I found him dead. By Allah! Whenever I think of him my grief increases and the world becomes contemptible and disgraceful in my sight.”
127. A VIRTUOUS SLAVE GIRL
Sheikh Muhammad Bin Husain Baghdaadi (rahmatullah alayh) narrates:
“One day while wandering in the market-places of Makkah Muazzamah, I saw an old man holding the hand of a slave girl whose colour was extremely pale. She was weak and skinny, but her face was radiant with noor. The old man was offering her for sale. He exclaimed: ‘Who will purchase this slave girl for 20 dinars with all her defects.’
Sheikh Muhammad went near and enquired about her defects. The old man said: ‘This slave girl is insane. She is always full of sorrow. She worships throughout the nights and fasts everyday. She neither eats nor drinks. She always remains in solitude.’”
Sheikh Muhammad continues:
“When I heard this, my heart inclined to her. I paid the price and brought her to my home. The slave girl turned towards me and said: ‘O my little master, may Allah have mercy on you from which land do you hail?’ I said: ‘From Iraq.’
Slave girl: “The Iraq of Basrah or the Iraq of Kufa?”
Sheikh Muhammad: “Neither Basrah nor Kufa.”
Slave girl: “Perhaps you live in the City of Peace, Baghdad.”
Sheikh Muhammad: “Yes.”
Slave girl: “Wonderful! That is the City of Zaahids and Aabids.”
Full of surprise, Sheikh Muhammad said: “Girl! You who move from one room of the house to another, what do you know of Zaahids and Aabids?”
Turning towards her, Sheikh Muhammad jokingly asked: “Among the Auliyaa whom do you know?”
Slave girl: “Maalik bin Dinaar, Bishr Haafi, Saalih Muzni, Abu Haatim Sajastaani, Ma`roof Karkhi, Muhammad Bin Husain, Baghdaadi, Raabiyah Adwiyyah, Sa`wanah and Maimunah. I know these Buzrugs.”
Sheikh Muhammad: “How have you recognized these Auliyaa?”
Slave girl: “O young man! How can I not recognize them. By Allah! They are the doctors of the hearts. They show the lover the path of the Beloved.”
Sheikh Muhammad: “Girl! I am Muhammad Bin Husain.”
Slave girl (with delight): “I made dua to Allah Ta`ala, O Abu Abdullah, that He unites you with me. Recite to me the Qur`aan Shareef.”
When Sheikh Muhammad recited “Bismillahir Rahmaan nir Raheem,” She shrieked loudly and collapsed unconscious. Sheikh Muhammad sprinkled some water on her face. When she regained consciousness, she said: “O Abu Abdullah! This is merely His Name. What will happen to me when I recognize Him and see Him in Jannat? Recite more.”
After Sheikh Muhammad had recited a number of Aayat, she said:
“O Abu Abdullah! I think you have proposed for the Houris of Jannat. Have you spent anything for their mehr?”
Sheikh Muhammad: “Girl! Tell me what is their mehr? I am a pauper.” Slave girl: “ To remain awake during the nights; to fast perpetually and to love the poor.”
The slave girl then again fell down unconscious. Sheikh Muhammad sprinkled water on her face. She opened her eyes and began to make dua. While supplicating, she lapsed into a coma. When Sheikh Muhammad approached her, he was torn with grief to find her dead. He continues the story:
“I went to the market place to purchase kafan for her. When I returned, I was astonished to see that she was already draped with kafan. A heavenly green suit of two garments were on her body and a wonderful fragrance permeated her body. Two lines were miraculously inscribed on her kafan.
The one line read:
The second line was the Qur`aanic verse:
“Verily the Auliyaa of Allah – there shall be no fear on them nor will they grief.”
Together with my friends, we lifted her Janazah, performed Janazah Salaat and buried her. I recited Surah Ya`seen at the head-side of her grave. I returned to my home crying and overwhelmed by sadness. I performed two rak`ats Salaat and fell asleep. In a dream I saw the slave girl in Jannat sitting on a wonderful throne, adorned in the best of heavenly garments. Her glitter and beauty dazzled more than the moon and the sun. I said: ‘O Girl! Wait a bit. Which deeds elevated you to your lofty rank?’
She said: ‘Love for the fuqaraa, abundance of Istighfaar and removing harmful things from the path of Muslims. These deeds have elevated me to this lofty rank.’
128. THE CONVERSION OF A FAMILY OF FIRE-WORSHIPPERS
A former Majusi (Fire-worshipper) narrated the following story to a Buzrug.
“I had purchased a slave girl. I paid a huge sum for her on account of her intelligence , beauty and piety. She devoted herself to the worship of our god (the fire). I was enamored and in love with her.
One day a man of your religion (i.e. a Muslim) came to our home and recited something from your Scripture (Qur`aan). When the slave girl heard the recitation, she shrieked loudly. Her loud shriek instilled fear in us. She lapsed into a state of bewilderment. She would not answer when we spoke to her. She abandoned us and our god. She abstained from our food. During the night she would face the Qiblah and pray like you.
I sternly prohibited her, but she ignored all my warnings. The glitter of her beauty faded and her entire condition underwent a complete change. No longer did we derive any benefit from her, nor did we succeed in bringing any change in her.
One day when I came home, I saw the slave girl sitting on a chair and lecturing on the thikr and unity of Allah, and warning my family against fire-worship. She was praising Jannat. I was shocked to see her reviling our religion. I consulted with a friend who advised me to give a bag with some money to her for safe-keeping. I should then remove the bag from her custody without her knowledge. When she will obviously be unable to produce the bag on demand, I will then have a valid reason for beating her. He advised me to give her a thorough beating.
I followed the advice of my friend. When she had become engrossed in Salaat as had become her practice, I surreptitiously removed the bag. She was completely unaware. I then appeared and demanded the bag. She quickly went to the place where she had put the bag and brought it to me. I was dumb-founded. I could not believe it as I, myself, had taken away the bag. I now realized the truth of her religion. I had no doubt that the Deity she worshipped was indeed Almighty. We all- my friend, my family and I- embraced Islam.
We set the slave girl free in fulfillment of her desire. She spent her days in concealment absorbed in the love and worship of Allah Ta`ala.”
129. TUHFAH, THE MISTRESS OF BARKAT
One night, the illustrious Buzrug, Hadhrat Sirri Saqati(rahmatullah alayh) was unable to sleep. His heart was inexplicably in a severe state of agitation and unrest. He was unable to even close his eyes for a moment. His agitation and depression even deprived him of Tahajjud Salaat that night. After Fajr Salaat he remained in the Jaami’ Musjid listening to a lecture in the hope of attaining some solace. But he says that he found the hardness of his heart having aggravated. He left and attended another lecture, but his agitation and unrest were not relieved.
He then went to a gathering of Sufis engaged in discussions of Divine Love, but it had no effect on him. He decided to visit the jail. Perhaps the sorrowful delight of the jail’s inmates would soften his heart and eliminate the agitation. He narrates:
“When I reached the jail, my heart opened up. The hardness disappeared. I saw in the jail a beautiful slave girl clad in expensive garments. the fragrance of musk emitted from her. She appeared virtuous. However, she was handcuffed and had chains round her legs. When she saw me her eyes welled up with tears. She recited poetry of Divine Love. Addressing Allah Ta`ala, she said: ‘I swear by Your Truth! O Goal of my heart, I take oath in all truth. Even if You split my heart into bits, I shall never abandon You.”
Hadhrat Saqati asked the warder about the slave girl. “Who is she?”
Warder: “She is a slave and insane. Her master has left her here hoping she would be cured.”
When the girl heard the words of the warder, she shed tears. Hadhrat Sirri Saqati said that the words of the girl made him restless. Her words had brought sadness to his heart and made him cry. When the slave girl saw his tears, she said: “O Sirri! You cry on hearing about His Attributes. What will be your condition when you recognize Him?” Then for a while she lapsed into unconsciousness. When she regained conscious, Hadhrat Sirri said: “O Slave girl!” The girl responded: “Labbaik, O Sirri!”
Hadhrat Sirri: “How did you recognize me?”
Slave girl: “From the time I had acquired ma`rifat, I never remained ignorant and was never indolent in rendering service. Since I was united I was never separated. The people of ranks recognize each other.”
Hadhrat Sirri: “I have just heard from you that you are in love. With whom are you in love?”
Slave girl: “He who has given me ma`rifat along with His beloved ones; He who has been most generous. He is close to the hearts. He is the Friend of the beloved who searches for Him. He hears and he knows. He is the All-Wise Creator, Generous and Gracious. He is Most Merciful and the Bestower.”
Hadhrat Sirri: “Who has imprisoned you here?”
Slave girl: “Those who are jealous.”
She let out a loud shriek and Hadhrat Sirri thought she had died. Soon she regained conscious. Hadhrat Sirri urged the warder to release her. The warder did so. Hadhrat Sirri said: “Go wherever you wish.”
Slave girl: “O Sirri! Where can I go leaving Him? Which is my road? The Friend of my heart has made His slave my master. Therefore, if my (worldly) master is pleased, I shall go away otherwise I shall stay here patiently.”
Hadhrat Sirri said to himself: “By Allah! She is more intelligent than myself.”
While he was talking to Tuhfah, her master came. Recognizing Hadhrat Sirri, the master conducted himself very respectfully.
Hadhrat Sirri: “She deserves to be more honoured than myself. What is her fault? Which do you dislike?”
Master: “She has many faults. She neither eats nor drinks. The stupid girl neither sleeps nor allows us to sleep. She is always grieving. For every insignificant thing she cries. Crying has become her occupation. All my capital has been wasted on her. I spent 20,000 dirhams in procuring her. I had great hopes of gain because, in addition to her beauty, she is a professional singer.”
Hadhrat Sirri: “For how long has she been plagued by these defects?”
Master: “Since a year.”
Hadhrat Sirri: “How did it begin?”
Master: “Once she was singing with the accompaniment of the harp. Suddenly without any explanation, she smashed the harp and threw it away. She got up shrieking and crying. I accused her of being in love with some man. But, my investigation did not support my allegation. When I asked her if she was in love with any man, she sharply rebuked me and said:
‘My Allah has spoken in my heart. He has brought me near to Him after I had drifted far from Him. He has chosen me. When I was called with love and pleasure, I responded. I became fearful of my past sins, but Divine Love drove away the fear, and cast me into yearning for Him.’”
Hadhrat Sirri: “I am liable for her price. I shall pay you. I shall give you more than her price.”
Master: “But you are a pauper. How can you afford her price?”
Hadhrat Sirri: “Do not be hasty. I shall bring the money.”
Hadhrat Sirri left them . He went home with a great weight on his heart, full of grief and worry. He was shedding tears in abundance. That whole night he supplicated to Allah Ta`ala. He could not sleep the entire night . He made dua:
“O Allah! You are the Knower, the Manifest and the Hidden. I trusted in your Kindness. Do not disgrace me in front of the girl’s master.”
While he was engrossed in his dua, someone knocked on the door.
Hadhrat Sirri: “Who is it?”
Stranger at the door: “A friend among friends.”
Hadhrat Sirri: “What do you want?”
Stranger: “The Command of Allah, The Merciful has brought me here.”
Hadhrat Sirri opened the door. He saw a man with four servants. The stranger asked permission to enter. He then entered.
Hadhrat Sirri: “Who are you?”
Stranger: “Ahmad Bin Muthanna. The Being who is never miserly has enriched me. Last night while I was sleeping a voice ordered me to take five bags of gold coins (Ashrafis) to Sirri Saqati. Make him happy. He will purchase Tuhfah, the slave girl, because We have extended Our Kindness to her. In gratitude to Allah, I fell into Sajdah for having bestowed this bounty to me.”
After Fajr Salaat, Hadhrat Sirri, holding Ahmad’s hand proceeded to the jail. When the jailer saw Hadhrat Sirri, he exclaimed delightfully: “Welcome! Welcome! I heard a voice last night proclaiming that Allah’s Kindness is for this slave girl.”
When Tuhfah saw Hadhrat Sirri, tears flowed from her eyes and she sobbed: “You have publicized me to everyone.”
Then, Tuhfah’s master arrived. He was crying. His face was stricken with grief.
Hadhrat Sirri: “Don’t be sad. I have brought the full amount you had paid for her plus 5000 dirhams profit.”
Master: “No! By Allah!”
Hadhrat Sirri: “I’ll give you 10,000 dirhams more.”
Master: “No! By Allah! I will not accept.”
Hadhrat Sirri: “20,000 dirhams more.”
Master: “Even if you give me the wealth of the whole world, I will not sell Tuhfah. Tuhfah is free for the Sake of Allah Ta`ala.”
Hadhrat Sirri (in bewilderment) : “What has happened?”
Master: “Last night I was severely reprimanded and warned. I have left everything and am fleeing to Allah. Allah is responsible for my sustainment.”
Ibn Muthanna, by this time was shedding tears.
Hadhrat Sirri: “Why are you crying?”
Ibn Muthanna: “Allah is not pleased with me. Be witness that I am contributing my entire wealth in the path of Allah.”[He apparently arrived at this conclusion because his money did not achieve the emancipation of Tuhfah, the beloved Saint of Allah].
Hadhrat Sirri: “Tuhfah is indeed a noble Mistress of Barkat”
Meanwhile Tuhfah stood up and went into seclusion. She appeared with old simple garments, having removed the expensive clothes with which her master had adorned her. While they looked on, she cried and departed. As she was leaving , Hadhrat Sirri said:
“You have been freed, why are you crying?” She quickly moved on. They all followed. When they reached outside the prison confines, they found no trace of Tuhfah. She had simply disappeared. They set off in search, but in vain. Along the road, Ibn Muthanna died. Hadhrat Sirri and Tuhfah’s ex-master set off for Makkah. After a long and difficult journey they reached Makkah Muazzamah. Hadhrat Sirri, continuing the story, says:
“One day while making tawaaf of the Ka`bah, I heard some outpourings of love from a wounded heart. The voice cried:
‘The beloved of Allah is sick of the world. The illness is chronic. The cure is the illness itself. He has given her to drink the Wine of His Love. The lover is now intoxicated with that Love. There is no other Love besides Him. The Lover will remain in bewilderment until the goal of His Vision is attained.’
I went in the direction of the voice. When she saw me, she exclaimed: ‘O Sirri!’ I responded: ‘Labbaik! Who are you? May Allah have mercy on you.’
She said: ‘La ila ha illalla hu.’ After recognition (ma`rifat) you have become a stranger. I am Tuhfah.’
She had become extremely lean and weak. She appeared like a phantom or a thought in the mind. I said to her: ‘Tuhfah, from the time you had renounced the world, what bounties did you obtain from Allah Ta`ala?’
Tuhfah: ‘He bestowed the love of His Proximity to me and he made me averse to everyone else.’”
Hadhrat Sirri: “Ibn Muthanna is dead.”
Tuhfah: “May Allah have mercy on him. My Friend (i.e. Allah) has bestowed to him such bounties and honour which no eye has seen or no ear has heard of. In Jannat he will be my neighbour.”
Hadhrat Sirri: “Your former master is with me.”
On hearing this, Tuhfa’s countenance became grave and she supplicated silently. I was full of apprehension. While I was staring at her, she turned towards the Ka`bah and collapsed.
With a heart shattered by grief, Hadhrat Sirri rushed to her. He found her dead. Tuhfah’s master appeared on the seen. When he saw what had happened, the agony of his sorrow was unbearable. He fell forward. He too died where Tuhfah had expired. The sorrow of Hadhrat Sirri was beyond description. He arranged for her ghusl and burial. May the Rahmat of Allah be on them.
130. THE EFFECT OF THE QUR`AAN
Sheikh Ismaeel bin Abdullah Khuza-i (rahmatullah alayh) narrates:
“A man from the tribe of Muhaliyah came to Basrah on some business. A slave and a slave girl accompanied him. After completing his business he set sail in a boat for his home. As the boat was ready to depart, a young man in simple garments appeared on the shore of the river and asked to board. He offered the fee. The Muhaliyah man instructed the boatman to take the young man on board.
The boat sailed. When it was time for meals, the Muhaliyah insisted on the young man to join in the eating. After eating the Muhaliyah instructed his slave girl to pour some wine which he drank. A cup of wine was also offered to the young man, but he refused. The master instructed the slave girl to drink the wine. Thereafter she was ordered to sing. She produced a harp and began to sing. The Muhaliyah said: ‘Young man, can you sing as well as she?’
The young man said: ‘I can sing better.’
He began with Bismillah and recited the Aayat:
“Say, the benefit if this world is little. The Aakhirah is best for him who fears.”
He recited until
“Maut will find you even if you are in powerful forts.”
The Muhaliyah man threw his wine cup into the river and said: ‘I testify that this (recitation ) is superior to the singing which I have just heard. Is there more besides this?’
The young man recited: The glory of Allah’s Kalaam had now settled in his heart. He threw the bottles of wine into the water and broke the musical instrument. He said:
‘Young man, recite some verses of glad tidings.’
The young man recited:
“Say (O Muhammad!): O my servants who have committed injustice against themselves: Do not despair of the mercy of Allah. Verily He forgives all sins. Verily He is the Forgiver, The Most Merciful.”
Hearing this the Muhaliyah shrieked very loudly and collapsed. When the people rushed to inspect, they found that his soul had departed from this worldly abode. He was dead.
He was a wealthy and well-known personality. A huge concourse of people accompanied his Janaaza in his hometown.
Meanwhile the slave girl had undergone a change. She donned a simple dress of mohair. She fasted daily and spent the nights in ibaadat. She spent 40 years in this state. One night when she heard someone read an Aayat, she handed her soul to Allah Ta`ala and departed from this world. In the morning the people found that she had died.
The Aayat on which she sacrificed her life was: “And say: The truth is from your Rabb. Therefore, whoever wishes, should accept Imaan, and whoever wishes should commit kufr. Verily, We have prepared for the Zaalimun (wrongdoers), a Fire whose walls will be surrounding them . And if they ask for help they will be granted water like boiling oil, that will scald their faces. Terrible the drink, and an evil dwelling. ”
131. THE FEAR OF ALLAH
A Buzrug narrates:
“In the wilderness of Bani Isra-eel (The Valley of Teeh). A man was seen wandering. Ibaadat had reduced him to a rake. He appeared like an old goatskin. I asked: ‘What hardship has reduced you to this state?’
He said with surprise: ‘The load of sins, the fear of Jahannum and the shame for the Almighty Sovereign.’”
132. THE GAZE OF THE AULIYAA
Sheikh Abdullah Bin Ahnaaf (rahmatullah alayh) relates that Isa Bin Yunus Misri (rahmatullah alayh) said to him:
“In a certain place you will find an old man and a young man. Both are perfect in their contemplation of Allah (i.e. muraqabah). If you just cast a glance on them, it will benefit you throughout your life. Do meet them.”
I journeyed to the wilderness where the two Buzrugs were. I was hungry and thirsty and I had nothing to protect me against the intense heat. I found them both sitting, facing the Qiblah, absorbed in contemplation. I greeted them and spoke, but they did not respond. I persisted and begged them to say something.
The old man said: ‘O son of Ahnaaf! How little intelligence have you! You are free of encumbrances, hence you came to disturb us.’
He then lowered his head and became absorbed in contemplation. I, however, remained in front of them. We performed Zuhr and Asr. My hunger and thirst disappeared. I said to the young Buzrug: ‘Give me some naseehat which will benefit me.’ He said: ‘We are in a calamity. Our tongues lack the ability for naseehat.’
I stayed 3 nights and 3 days by them. None of us ate anything during this time. On the third day as I resolved to speak to them, the young man said: ‘Be in the association of a man who reminds you of Allah when you look at him and you gain admonition (naseehat) from his actions, not from his speech.’ When I again looked both had instantaneously disappeared from my sight.”
133. INSAAN IN SHAITAAN’S OPINION
Hadhrat Abul Qaasim Junaid (rahmatullah alayh) narrating a dream he had seen said:
“In a dream I saw Iblees, the accursed, naked. I said to him: ‘Are you not ashamed of insaan (human beings)?’
Iblees said: ‘They are insaan by you, not by me. If they were human beings, I would not have played with them as children play with the ball. However there are insaan besides these people.’ I said: ‘Who are they?’ Iblees said: ‘In Musjid Shunuziah there are a few persons. Their ibaadat and piety have emaciated by body. The fire of my jealousy for them have roasted my liver. Whenever I think of doing anything to them, they point towards Allah Ta`ala. I am close to being ruined.’
Hadhrat Junaid went to the Musjid in the morning. He found three men sitting in contemplation. Their heads were tucked into their blankets. When they perceived that a stranger had arrived, one of them opened his head and said: ‘O Abu Qaasim! Do not be deceived by the accursed Shaitaan.’
He then covered his head and became absorbed in meditation.”
134. THE EVIL OF GHEEBAT
Sheikh Abul Qaasim Junaid (rahmatullah alayh) was sitting in the Musjid. He saw a healthy faqeer begging from people. He said to himself: “It would be better for him if he worked and earned his living instead of asking from others.”
When Sheikh Junaid returned to his home, he found himself extremely agitated. He had no rest in his heart. With difficulty did he engage in ibaadat. He fell asleep in this state of turmoil. He dreamt that the body of that faqeer was placed in front of him and he was ordered to eat it. “You have made gheebat of him,” said someone. I said: “I did not make gheebat of him. However, I said something about him to myself.” It was said to me: “You are not amongst those who indulge in such contemptible things. Go and ask the faqeer to forgive you.”
In the morning Hadhrat Junaid set out in search of the faqeer. He saw the faqeer picking some vegetable leaves from water in which people had washed their vegetables. After Hadhrat Junaid greeted, the faqeer said: “O Abul Qaasim! Will you search for the faults of the servants of Allah? May Allah forgive you and me.”
135. THE DESIRE FOR A POMEGRANATE
The special Auliyaa of lofty ranks go to great lengths to deny even the lawful desires of the nafs:
Once while journeying in the mountains, Hadhrat Ibraheem Khawwaas (rahmatullah alayh) developed the desire for a pomegranate which he saw laying nearby. When he tasted it, he found it extremely sour. Leaving the pomegranate, he walked on until he came across a man laying on his side. A swarm of wasps was all over him. Hadhrat Khawwaas said: “Assala mu alaikum!” The man said: “Wa- alaikumus salaam, O Ibraheem!”
Hadhrat Khawwaas: “How did you recognize me?”
The man: “Nothing remains hidden from the one who has recognized Allah Ta`ala.”
Hadhrat Khawwaas: “I can perceive your special relationship with Allah Ta`ala. If you desire, you can supplicate to Allah and He will free you from these wasps.”
The man: “ I also perceive that you have a special relationship with Allah Ta`ala. If you wish, you too can supplicate to Allah Ta`ala to save you from the desire for pomegranates. The punishment of the pleasure of pomegranates will have to be borne in the Aakhirah whereas the stings of the wasps are only in this world.”
Understanding the divine reprimand, Hadhrat Ibraheem Khawwaas (rahmatullah alayh) proceeded on his journey.[Eating pomegranates is lawful. However, the Auliyaa who enjoy lofty ranks of Divine Proximity and Maarifat have a different code of self-imposed ascetism. They deny even the lawful desire of the nafs in their pursuit for greater spiritual purity which is so necessary to gain the heights of Roohaani elevation enjoyed by the Auliyaa. Sometimes things which are lawful for the masses are unlawful for the special devotees of Allah Ta`ala.]
136. THE STATUS OF SIDDIQIYAT[Siddiqiyat is the highest rank of wilaayat-sainthood]
A group of Sufiyaa was living in Baghdad. Among them was Hadhrat Ibraheem Khawwaas (rahmatullah alayh). Once an intelligent, wise, handsome youth with good manners came to the group of Sufiyaa. Hadhrat Ibraheem said to his companions: “I think that this youth is a Yahudi (Jew).” The others did not like this comment. Hadhrat Ibraheem went out.
The youth who was very observant, asked the Sufiyaa: “What did your chief say?” At first, they hesitated. However on the insistence of the youth they told him the truth. The youth went immediately to Hadhrat Ibraheem and embraced Islam.
When someone questioned him about his conversion, he said: “ It is stated in our Scripture that the understanding of a Siddique is not false. I had thought to put the Muslims to test. When I reflected I concluded that if there is a Siddique among them, he will be in the group of the Sufis who devote themselves to the worship of Allah Ta`ala. When this Sheikh’s gaze fell on me, he immediately recognized that I was not a Muslim. This convinced me that he is a Siddique.”
The young man joined in the company of the Sufiyaa and became a senior Sufi.
137. A YAHUDI EMBRACES ISLAM
Hadhrat Abul Abbas Bin Masruq (rahmatullah alayh) narrates:
“An old man of cheerful deposition used to visit us. He would talk to us and ask many questions. He also told us to unhesitatingly inform him of any opinions we held of him.
One day it came to my mind that the old man was a Jew (pretending to be a Muslim). When I mentioned this to my companion Jareeri, he exclaimed in surprise: ‘Allahu Akbar!’ However, I resolved to voice my opinion to the old man.
When he came, I said: ‘You had told us to inform you of any thoughts we had of you. I am of the opinion that you are a Yahudi.’ The old man lowered his head and after reflecting, said:
‘Undoubtedly, you have spoken the truth. But now I am saying:
I have examined all religions and I had concluded that if there was any truth in any people, it would be among Muslims. I therefore came to test you. I am now convinced of your truth.’”
138. A CHRISTIAN EMBRACES ISLAM
The Christian slave of a bigoted Christian came to Hadhrat Abul Qaasim Junaid Baghdaadi (rahmatullah alayh). Pretending to be a Muslim, the slave said:
“O Sheikh! What is the meaning of Rasulullah’s saying:
‘Beware of the insight of the Mu`min, for verily, he looks with the noor of Allah.’”
Hadhrat Junaid lowered his head for a few moments. Then, raising his head, he said;
“The time for you to become a Muslim has arrived. Accept Islam.”
The slave immediately embraced Islam. He broke the crucifix which he had with him and threw it away.
139. THE BEGINNING OF HADHRAT JUNAID’S NASEEHAT
Hadhrat Sirri Saqati (rahmatullah alayh) frequently urged Hadhrat Abul Qaasim Junaid Baghdaadi (rahmatullah alayh) to lecture to people. However, Hadhrat Junaid was very modest and humble. He did not consider himself qualified to advise and admonish people. One Friday night he saw in a dream Rasulullah (alayhi wasallam) instructing him to give naseehat to people.
He immediately woke up and even before Fajr he knocked at the door of Hadhrat Sirri. From inside, Hadhrat Sirri said: “As long as you were not directly instructed, you had no confidence in what I said to you.” Henceforth, Hadhrat Junaid would sit in the Musjid to deliver discourses to the people.
140. THE DUA OF THE AHLULLAH FOR A CHRISTIAN
One day Hadhrat Shibli (rahmatullah alayh) left the city with 40 of his mureeds. Addressing them on the outskirts of the city, Sheikh Shibli said:
“Allah Ta`ala has undertaken the responsibility of providing rizq to His servants. Therefore, all of you, have trust in Allah. Do not focus your attention on anyone.”
Sheikh Shibli left them and disappeared for 3 days. Nothing of the spiritual mysteries was revealed to them during this interval. After 3 days when Sheikh Shibli returned, he said: “Allah Ta`ala has given His servants permission to search for their rizq. Therefore, send a truthful one from among you on this errand.” They chose one and sent him off to the city.
In the city, he did not succeed in obtaining any means for the acquisition of food. Finally, overcome by extreme hunger and weakness, he sat down outside the surgery of a Nasara physician who was being visited by numerous patients. When the doctor observed the faqeer, he asked: “What sickness ails you?”
The faqeer did not think it honourable to speak about food to the doctor. He simply stretched his hand like a patient who wants his pulse checked. After checking the pulse, the doctor said: “I have diagnosed your sickness and I know the medicine for it. Sit comfortably.”
The physician sent his servant to buy some food. When the food was brought, the doctor presenting it to the faqeer, said: “In my opinion the medicine for your sickness is only this.” The faqeer said: “If you are true in your profession, then know that there are 40 persons with this same illness.” The doctor ordered his servant to hasten to the market-place to buy food for 40 persons. When the food arrived, the doctor presented it to the faqeer and sent a porter with him to carry the food. The doctor followed at a discreet distance to verify the claim of the faqeer.
When they reached the place where the group of Sufis was, the doctor remained concealed. He looked through the opening. He saw that when the food was placed in front of the mureeds, they called Sheikh Shibli. The Sheikh, without touching the food, said: “There is a wonderful mystery in this food.” He instructed the faqeer to narrate the episode of the food. After the faqeer had narrated the whole story, Hadhrat Shibli said: “Are you pleased to eat the food of a Nasara who has been kind to you while you have not yet compensated him?”
The Mureeds said: “O Sayyid! We are poor and mendicants. How can we compensate him?” Hadhrat Shibli said: “Before eating, make dua of Hidaayat for him.”
Meanwhile, the doctor was observing the whole scene. When he saw that in spite of their extreme hunger, they had not eaten, he knocked at the door. When the door was opened, he went to them, broke his crucifix and recited the Kalimah. He entered into the circle of Hadhrat Shibli’s Mureeds.
141. THE PHYSICIAN WAS THE PATIENT
Once Hadhrat Shibli became very ill. The king sent a very experienced physician to treat Hadhrat Shibli (rahmatullah alayh). However, the doctor was a Christian. Inspite of all his efforts, the condition of Hadhrat Shibli did not improve. In desperation, the doctor said: “If the cure of your illness requires that I cut off any part of my body, I will assuredly do so without hesitation.”
Hadhrat Shibli said: “My cure is simple, throw away the cross you are wearing and accept Islam.” The physician immediately embraced Islam and recited the Kalimah. Hadhrat Shibli (rahmatullah alayh) recovered from his sickness.
When the king heard this amazing story, he cried much a142. IMAAN – THE REWARD OF IKHLAASnd commented:
“We thought that we had sent a physician to a patient. But in reality we had sent a patient to a physician.”
142. IMAAN – THE REWARD OF IKHLAAS
Sheikh Ibraheem Khawwaas (rahmatullahi alayh) would never inform anyone whenever he went on a journey. He would only take a water-jug and set off without telling anyone. He would not take with any other provisions.
Hadhrat Haamid (rahmatullah alayh) says:
“One day I was with Ibraheem Khawwaas in the Musjid. He suddenly picked up his water-jug and left. I followed him. When we reached Qaadsiyah, he asked where I was going. I replied that I was accompanying him. He said:
‘Insha`Allah, I intend to go to Makkah Muazzamah.’ I said: ‘Insha`Allah, it is also my intention to go to Makkah Muazzamah.’
After walking continuously for three days, a young man joined us. He remained walking with us for a day and a night. However, he did not perform any Salaat. When I mentioned this to Sheikh Khawwaas (rahmatullah alayh), he addressed the youth: ‘O lad! Why do you not perform Salaat? In fact, Salaat is more important than Hajj.’ The youth said: ‘O Sheikh! Salaat is not obligatory on me.’
Sheikh Khawwaas: ‘Are you not a Muslim?’
Youth: ‘No, I’m not a Muslim.’
Sheikh: ‘What are you then?’
Youth: ‘I am a Christian. However, inspite of being a Christian, I have based my life on tawakkul. I have resolved to practise tawakkul until perfection. Since I was not convinced of my own sincerity in this resolve, I have renounced the world and wander in the wilderness because there is non besides God Almighty here. I am able to examine my own sincerity in this wilderness.’
After hearing the story of the youth, we continued our journey. Hadhrat Khawwaas said to me: ‘Leave him now. Henceforth he will always be with you.’
When we reached the outskirts of the Haram, Sheikh Khawwaas said to the youth: ‘What is your name?’ He replied: ‘Abdul Maseeh.’
Sheikh: ‘O Abdul Maseeh! This is the threshold of the Haram. It is not permissible for the likes of you to enter the Haram. Allah Ta`ala has declared:
‘Verily the Mushrikeen are impure. Therefore, they should not come near to Musjidul Haram.’
‘Now do not enter Makkah. If we see you there, we shall have you expelled the same time.’
We left him and proceeded. After Makkah, we went to Arafaat. In Arafaat, to our surprise, we saw the youth in ihram. He came to us and fell at the feet of Hadhrat Ibraheem Khawwaas who asked: ‘O Abdul Maseeh! What is your story?’
Youth: ‘Never say “Abdul Maseeh”. I am now the slave of The Being Whose slave Maseeh is.’
Sheikh: ‘Explain your story.’
Youth: ‘After you had left, a caravan of Hujjaaj arrived. As I stood looking at them, it appeared to me that I too was in the state of ihram. I saw a vision of the Ka`bah. I realised that besides Islam all other religions were baseless. I immediately embraced Islam, took ghusl and donned ihraam. Today I was in search of you.’
Looking at me, Hadhrat Khawwaas said: ‘O Haamid! Look at the barkat of sincerity in even the Christian. Look, how he acquired the Hidaayat of Islam.’
The youth remained with us. Finally he died among the Fuqaraa.”
143. IN SEARCH OF AULIYAA
Hadhrat Abdullah Bin Khafeef (rahmatullah alayh) narrates:
“I have now been travelling for many years in the hope of meeting some of the Abdaal. Finally, after tiring of traveling, I arrived in the city of Istakhar in Iran. I went to a khaanqah of the Sufis. I saw a group of nine Mashaa-ikh. The food had just been placed in front of them. Among them was Hasan Bin Abi Sa’d Abul Azhar Bin Hayyaan. I washed my hands and sat in the place they had opened for me. I joined them in their meals. After eating, we slept for a while. I must have slept only a few minutes when I saw Rasulullah ( sallallahu alayhi wasallam) in a dream. Nabi-e-Kareem (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) said to me: ‘O Ibn Khafeef! The people whom you were searching and whose company you had yearned for are these very people whom you have met in this city and now you too are one of them.’
I desired to inform the group of Abdaals of my dream, but awe for them restrained me. After sunrise, Sheikh Abul Hasan Bin Abi Sa’d suddenly arrived. He said to me: ‘O Abu Abdullah! Narrate to them whatever you had seen in the dream.’
I thereupon informed them. On hearing this, they all departed and dispersed.”[The number of Abdaal as well as some other categories of Auliyaa always remains constant. When one among them dies, his post is filled by a new appointment. It appears from this episode that the group of nine Auliyaa was awaiting a new appointment, hence as soon as they were informed of the appointment, they separated and went in different directions to execute the variety of tasks and missions which Allah Ta`ala imposed on them].
144. RUIN IN THE WAKE OF GREED
One Sheikh narrated the following episode:
“I went on a journey hoping to meet some Abdaal. One day, at about the time of Asr, I reached the outskirts of Basrah. I walked along the river banks. I saw ten men sitting on their musallas. None of them had a water-jug as was the usual practice of the Sufiyaa when they travelled. When they saw me, they all stood up to welcome me. After embracing me, they sat down and became engrossed in meditation. They remained fully absorbed in contemplation until sunset. No one appeared to be even aware of the existence of the others.
After sometime one of them stood up and dived into the water. I did not know what he was doing underwater. However, soon he emerged with eleven fried fish. From among the group one of them stood up and served each one with a fish. He picked the biggest fish for himself and went to one side to eat it. After meals, everyone again became absorbed in meditation. When it was Fajr, the Athaan from the Musaajid nearby could be heard. The group performed Fajr Salaat in Jamaat. After Fajr Salaat, each one folded his musalla and entered into the river. They walked on the surface of the water.
The one who had taken the big fish attempted to follow them, but simply sank down and was drowned.
They looked at him in dismay as he was sinking and said: ‘O man! Whoever among us abuses trust, does not remain in our ranks.’ They proceeded on their journey, walking across the river on the surface of the water while I stood there with a heavy heart gazing at them until they were out of sight.”[The nafs is an integral constituent of the human being. This episode illustrates that even Auliyaa of high ranks can fall prey to the snares of shaitaan and the nafs. No one besides the Ambiyaa – alayhimus salaam-has the assurance of crossing the threshold into the Hereafter with his Taqwa/Imaan intact.
In this episode, the bigger fish was intended for the guest; the Sheikh who had arrived. However, desire/greed ruined the one Wali in the group of ten. The higher a man’s rank, the severer is the punishment for his errors.]
145. NOURISHMENT FROM THE HEAVEN FOR THE AULIYAA ON THE SILVER THREAD
Sheikh Abdullah Bin Ubaidullah Abadani (rahmatullah alayh) narrates:
“After Esha Salaat one day, I was still in the Musjid of Abadan. I observed three men sitting in the first saff. They had performed Salaat with us. They left the Musjid and went in the direction of the river. A strong feeling that they were the Auliyaa of Allah Ta`ala settled in my heart. I therefore followed them.
When they reached the river, I observed a wonderful spectacle. A thin glittering silver thread spanned across the river. They walked on it and crossed the river. When I attempted to follow, it disappeared as soon as I set foot on it. With a heavy heart I returned shedding tears.
The next morning I observed the same three Auliyaa in the first saff. They left again as they had done the previous day after staying the whole day in the Musjid. The same episode was re-enacted. The same thing happened on the third day. I realised that I was spiritually defective hence I was unable to accompany them across the river on the silver thread.
On the third night when I set foot on the silver thread, they grabbed my hand and I crossed over with them walking on the thread. When we reached the other side, four men were waiting. They were now a group of seven. I was the eighth one.
I saw descending from the heaven a cloth on which were eight fried fish. We all sat down to eat. Without thinking, I commented: ‘It would have been good if we had salt.’ They lamented and let out a sigh of grief. One of them commented: ‘You among such people!’ (i.e. People unfit to be in the ranks of the Abdaal). They disappeared and I never saw them again.”
146. THE SLAVE WHO WAS THE NOOR OF SOLACE
Abdul Waahid Bin Zaid (rahmatullah alayh) had purchased a slave. During the night he called the slave, but found him missing. The doors and windows were all closed and locked as he had left them. In the morning the slave mysteriously appeared and handed his master a silver coin (dirham) on which was inscribed Surah Ikhlaas. When Hadhrat Abdul Waahid asked him about the dirham, the slave said: “I shall give you such a dirham everyday on condition that you do not call me during the night.”
The master accepted. Every morning thereafter, the slave presented a dirham to Hadhrat Abdul Waahid.
Many days thereafter, his neighbour came and said: “Sell your slave. He is a kafan-thief.” The neighbour said that the slave was seen entering graves, hence it was assumed that he stole the kafans of the dead. Hadhrat Abdul Waahid was extremely grieved. He decided to follow the slave that night and discover the truth. Continuing the story, he says:
“After Esha Salaat when the slave decided to leave, I saw to my utter amazement the closed door open up at a sign made by him. When he made another sign, the door closed. He passed through three doors of the house in this manner. I was observing him closely from a vantage point in concealment. When he reached outside, I followed. We walked on until we arrived in a plain. He removed his clothes and donned a simple garment of rough sack cloth. Soon he was engrossed in Salaat until Fajr. After completing his Salaat, he raised his face towards the heaven, and made dua: ‘O my Great Master! Give me the wage for my small master.’
As he supplicated, a dirham fell from above and landed by him. He put the dirham in his pocket. I was astonished and bewildered and was overcome with awe and fear. I made wudhu and performed two rak`ats. I sought forgiveness from Allah Ta`ala for the suspicion I had entertained about him and I resolved to set him free.
When I looked, I saw that he had disappeared. I was now extremely concerned. I did not know where I was. I could not recognize the wilderness where I was standing. Suddenly I saw a man on a green horse approaching. He said: ‘O Abdul Waahid! Why are you sitting here today?’ I explained what had transpired. He asked: ‘Do you know the distance this place is from your city?’ I said: ‘I know nothing.’ He said: ‘For a man on a fast horse, it will take two years to reach your city. But remain here. Tonight your slave will return to this place.’ The horseman disappeared.
That night my slave appeared suddenly. A cloth with a variety of dishes appeared. The salve said: ‘O master, eat! In future do not do so.’ I ate. The slave remained performing Salaat until the morning. Then taking hold of my hand, he recited a glorious Name of Allah (Ism – e – A`zam) which I could not make out. He walked with me a few steps. To my amazement I was standing at the entrance of my home. He then said: ‘ O my master! Did you not resolve to set me free?’
I said: ‘That is still my intention.’
The Slave: ‘ In lieu of the price you had paid for me, emancipate me. You will also be rewarded in the Aakhirah.’
He picked up a stone and gave it to me. When I took it, it was gold. The slave departed leaving me with a broken heart.
My neighbour came to me and asked: ‘What have you decided about your kafan-thief slave?’
I said: ‘Beware! He is not a kafan-thief. He is a celestial light of solace.’
I narrated the miracles of the slave to the neighbours. They all cried abundantly and repented.”
147. THE SLAVE WITH THREE ‘DEFECTS’
Hadhrat Ibraheem Khawwaas (rahmatullah alayh) narrates: “Once in the city of Basrah I saw a slave on sale. His master explained that the slave had the following three ‘defects’ in him: (1) He does not sleep at night. (2) He does not eat during the day.(3) He speaks only when absolutely necessary.
I said to the slave: ‘To me you appear to be an Aarif.’ The slave responded: ‘O Ibraheem! If I was an Aarif, I would never turn my attention to anyone besides Allah.’
This statement of the slave convinced me that he was an Aarif. I paid the price and purchased him, the seller remarked: ‘What are you going to do with a mad slave?’ I said in my heart: ‘O Allah! I have set this slave free for only Your Sake.’
The slave said: ‘O Ibraheem! You emancipated me from slavery here on earth. Allah has emancipated you from Jahannum in the Aakhirah.’
He suddenly disappeared from my sight. I never again saw or heard of him.”
148. THE TEACHING OF A SLAVE
A Buzrug narrates: “After I purchased a slave I asked his name. He replied: “My name is whatever you call me.” I said: “What work will you do?” He said: “Whatever task you impose on me.”
I said: “What food do you prefer?”
He said: “Whatever you feed me.”
I said: “What does your heart wish for?”
He said: “What can a slave wish for in the presence of his master?” ( i.e. His master is everything for him.)
I broke down crying. I reflected and thought of the relationship I should have with my Master, Allah Ta`ala. I said to the slave: ‘O my friend! You have imparted adab (respect) to me.’”
149. A LESSON IN SELF-SACRIFICE GIVEN BY A DOG
Once a dog found a dead animal on the outskirts of the town. He returned to the town and brought 20 dogs with him. All the dogs devoured the dead animal while the leader sat one side looking on. When they all had eaten and left, there remained only some bones. The leader came and ate whatever had remained.
150. HADHRAT UWAIS QARNI’S DISCOURSE
Hadhrat Ammaar Bin Yusuf Jinni (rahmatullah alayh) says that someone asked Hadhrat Uwais Qarni (rahmatullah alayh) :
“How do you spend the time every morning and evening?”
Hadhrat Uwais said: “In the morning I live in the love of Allah. In the evening I am engrossed in praising Him. What do you ask about a man who in the morning has no hope of living until the evening. The spectacle of Maut leaves no happiness for a Muslim. The right of Allah leaves no scope for accumulating gold and silver. Amr Bil Ma`roof Nahy anil Munkar (Commanding righteousness and forbidding evil) does not allow anyone to become the friend of a Muslim. We are among those who practice Amr Bil Ma`roof. People criticize us for this and they endeavour to ruin our reputation. They seek the aid of fussaq against us. By Allah! They have slandered me with grave crimes.”