51. THE MAD LOVER OF ALLAH
Hadhrat Fudhail Bin Iyadh (rahmatullahi alayh) narrates: “Once I stayed for three days in the Jami’ Musjid of Kufaa. I neither ate nor drank anything. While I was sitting in this forlorn state, a mad man appeared at the entrance. He was carrying a large rock and a heavy chain was around his neck. Children were around him. The mad man began walking in the Musjid. When he came in front of me, he stared threateningly at me. I became scared and in my heart supplicated: ‘O Allah! You have kept me hungry and now You have appointed over me a man who will kill me.’
As I thought, the mad man was reciting the following poetry:
‘The palace of patience is a part of your disposition
If only I knew of an end for your patience.’
On hearing this, I became relaxed. My fear disappeared. I said: ‘O my master! If there was no hope, I would not have this patience!’
He responded: ‘Where is the abode of your hope?’
I said: ‘Where the reflections of the Aarifeen come to a rest.’
He said: ‘O Fudhail! Well said. Undoubtedly, the habitation of the hearts of the Aarifeen is reflection. Grief and sorrow are their homeland. I have recognised this sorrow, hence I derive solace from it. The intelligence of only the Aarifeen is proper. Their hearts are absorbed by Divine Illumination and their souls dwell in the angelic realms.’”
Hadhrat Fudhail says: “His rapturous words had such an effect on me that I remained there for ten days without food and water. Indeed, he who has developed dislike for people and love for Allah is most fortunate.”
52. HADHRAT BAHLOOL IN THE QABRASTAAN
Hadhrat Sirri Saqati (rahmatullahi alayh) once found Hadhrat Bahlool Majnoon (rahmatullahi alayh) sitting in the qabrustaan. Hadhrat Saqati asked: “What are you doing here?”
Bahlool: “I have cultivated the friendship of such people who do not cause me distress nor speak ill of me behind my back.”
Sirri Saqati: “O Bahlool! Are you not hungry?”
Bahlool: “Remain hungry, for hunger is of the signs of taqwa. Undoubtedly, the hungry will soon be satiated.”
53. THE WISDOM OF A MAJNOON
A Majnoon who in fact was a man of lofty intelligence was coming from the qabrustaan. Someone asked him: “From where are you coming?”
He said: “I am coming from a caravan that has camped here.”
The person said: “Did you speak to them? What did you ask them and what did they say?”
The Majnoon said: “I asked them when they would be departing. They replied: ‘When you come here.’”
54. THE SUPPLICATION OF A MAJNOONAH
Hadhrat Ataa` (rahmatullahi alayh) saw in the market-place a Majnoonah slave-girl being sold. He purchased her for seven Dinaar, and brought her to his house. After a part of the night had passed, he observed her getting up. She made wudhu and engaged in Salaat. While she was performing Salaat, tears were flowing abundantly and she was sobbing uncontrollably. She supplicated to Allah Ta`ala: “O Allah! I swear by Your Love for me! Have mercy on me.”
Hadhrat Ataa` said to himself: “I now understand the type of insanity she had (i.e. the Love of Allah).”
He said to her: “Girl! Don’t say so. Say – ‘O Allah! Unto You is the oath of sustaining my love (for You).”
The girl snapped: “Begone! Get away far! I take oath by Allah! If He did not love me, He would not allow me to sleep with pleasure and peace nor would He allow me to stand in His Presence.”
In ecstasy she fell down and recited some poetry on Divine Love. She then exclaimed very loudly:
“O Allah! Our relationship until now was secret. People have become aware of it. Now call me unto You.”
She let out a chilling scream and she presented her life at the altar of Divine Love. Her soul left this earthly body. May Allah’s mercy be on her.
A man asked a buzrug to teach him something which will benefit him. The buzrug said: “Flee from people and dissociate from them. You will then meet Allah Ta`ala. Your union with Him will then be perfect.”
The man asked for more naseehat. The buzrug said: “Take hold of Sidq (truth) and taqwa (piety); abandon ujub (vanity) and riyaa (show); be dominant over the nafs and its desires. You will then reach your goal.”
56. THE NASEEHAT OF HADHRAT SHAIBAAN MUSAAB
Hadhrat Zunnun Misri (rahmatullahi alayh) narrates: “In a cave in the mountains of Libnaan (Lebanon), I saw a buzrug whose hair and beard were completely white. The hair in his head was filled with sand and he was extremely lean. He was immersed in Salaat. As he made the Salaam of the Salaat, I greeted. He responded with Salaam and again engaged in Salaat. He remained engrossed in Salaat until Asr. Then leaning against a rock he began the thikr of Subhaanallah. He did not speak to me. I said: “Hadhrat! Make dua for me.”
Buzrug: “May Allah Ta`ala bestow His Qurb (Proximity) to you. Son! When Allah Ta`ala endears a man with His Qurb, He bestows four characteristics to him. (1) Honour without a family, (2) Knowledge without searching for it, (3) Independence without wealth, (4) Solace without Jamaat (i.e. peace and tranquility in solitude).”
He then let out a chilling shriek and collapsed unconscious. And so he remained three whole days. When he regained consciousness, he inquired from me the duration of his unconsciousness. He made Qadha of the Salaat of the past three days. After completing his Salaat, he made Salaam to me and prepared to depart. ‘I said: Hadhrat, I have waited here for three days hoping to gain naseehat from you.’ I started to cry. The Sheikh said:
‘Befriend your Creator. Besides Him do not desire anyone. Only those who have befriended Allah are the kings of all peoples. They are the true and chosen servants of Allah.’
He then let out a scream and surrendered his soul to Allah Ta`ala. After some time had passed, a group of Aabideen descended from the mountain and attended to his burial. After they had buried him, I asked them to inform me of the Sheikh’s name. They said: ‘Shaibaan Musaab.’ -rahmatullahi alayh.”
57. THE SUPPLICATION OF A FEMALE DEVOTEE OF ALLAH
Hadhrat Zunnun Misri (rahmatullahi alayh) narrates: “Once while wandering in the desert I heard a voice supplicating: ‘O Thou of Boundless Bounties! O Thou of Boundless Generosity! O Thou, The Eternal One! Strengthen the gaze of my heart with immersion in Your bewilderment. Permeate my resolve with Your Sublimity. O Thou of Boundless Munificence! Save me with Your Splendour from the paths of the proud and rebellious. Keep me as Your slave in both hardship and comfort. O Thou Who has brightened my heart! O Thou Who are my True Goal! Only You be with me in my resolve.’
Hearing this wonderful supplication, I went in the direction of the voice. Soon I came upon a woman who was like a burnt out coal, having been consumed by the fire of Divine Love. Allah’s Love had melted her body. She was as lean as a rake. She was wearing a woollen dress and a scarf (orni) of mohair. I said:
‘Assalaamualaiki!’ She replied: ‘Wa Alaikumus Salaam, O Zunnun!’. In surprise I said: ‘Laailaaha illallah! How do you know my name? Until today you have never met me.’
She said: ‘Zunnun! My True Beloved has removed the veils of mysteries from me. He has eliminated the blindness of the heart. I therefore know your name’.”
Hadhrat Zunnun then continues: “Repeat your supplication.”
The woman said: “O Thou of Glitter and Brightness! Remove from me the evil of what I am perceiving. I am fearful of this life.”
A few moments later she fell down dead. While I stood there bewildered and confused, an old woman appeared. Looking at the face of the dead young woman she exclaimed: ‘All Praises are due to Allah, Who has ennobled her.’
I asked: ‘Who are you and who is she?’
The old woman replied: ‘My name is Zahra Walihaanah. She is my daughter. She has been in this state of Divine Love for twenty years. People thought she was mad. But, the Love of Allah had reduced her to this condition.’”
Subhaanallah! A poet has beautifully described such people:
“They say! Love of your beloved has driven you to insanity.
The pleasure of life is known to only the insane.”
58. A FEMALE DEVOTEE OF ALLAH
Sheikh Abu Abdullah Iskandari (rahmatullahi alayh) narrates:
“Once I wandered in the mountains in the hope of meeting a devotee of Allah from whom I could derive some spiritual benefit. In my wanderings I saw a woman walking and reciting poetry about the Love of Allah Ta`ala. I thought to myself: ‘It would have been good if I had met a man.’ As this thought crossed my mind the woman said: ‘O Abdullah! Indeed, your heart is queer. How can a man who cannot even attain the ranks of a woman hope to meet men (i.e. Auliyaa)?’
I said to her: ‘You have made a very bold claim!’ She said: ‘A claim without basis is unlawful.’
I said: ‘What is the basis of your claim?’ She responded: ‘The basis for my claim is that my King and True Beloved is for me as I wish because I am for Him as He wishes.’
I said: ‘If it truly is as you say, then produce fried fish immediately.’ She retorted scornfully: ‘You have indeed asked for something exceedingly insignificant. Why did you not ask that Allah Ta`ala bestows to you wings of Divine yearning so that you could fly to Him as I am doing.’
So saying, she flew into the air.”
Abu Abdullah continues: “I was smitten by remorse and embarrassment. Nothing at that time was more bitter to me than my contemptibility, and nothing sweeter than her elevated state of Divine Honour. I ran in the direction that she was flying and implored: ‘O Sayyidah! I swear by that Being Who has enriched you and deprived me, Who has made you fortunate and me unfortunate! For Allah’s Sake, assist me with some dua.”
She responded: “You need the dua of men. What need have you for women?”
Abu Abdullah: “At least cast a gaze (tawajjuh) on me.”
The woman: “The lofty state in which I am immersed is infinitely superior to gazing at you.”
Abu Abdullah: “Please, only two words of dua.”
The woman: “Tomorrow morning you will meet a man whose dua is readily acceptable.”
“After saying this she disappeared. My peace was utterly destroyed. I passed the remaining part of the day and night in considerable distress and restlessness. In the morning I saw a man crawling on his knees. The signs of holiness were cascading from his glittering face. It occurred to me that this was perhaps the person the woman had mentioned. As I was thinking, he said: ‘ Yes! I am that person.’”
Abu Abdullah: “Hadhrat, make a dua so that I could reach The True Beloved.”
The Buzrug: “O Abu Abdullah! You have been deprived from the dua of the one who had made no claim. You lacked the insight and spiritual vision for even recognizing Raihaanah Kufiyah (the name of the woman). Now I cannot make any dua for you until you have not met some insane persons. You will meet them tomorrow.”
As he spoke, he disappeared into thin air. A mountain of grief, regret and sorrow descended on Hadhrat Abu Abdullah.
“The next day I heard a Qaari reciting in a sorrowful and heart-rendering voice. I was enraptured by his recitation. Abu Abdullah said: ‘I give you an oath by that Being Who has bestowed to you this beautiful voice! Have mercy on my forlorn heart.’
A short while later there appeared on the scene a man who was immersed in Divine Love. He said: ‘What do you want from such mad men whose tears never stop flowing? However, since you have been assigned to me for dua, I advise you to cling to insane persons and hold on firmly to the Sunnat of Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam).’”
Abu Abdullah: “Hadhrat, say something more.”
He said: “Have mercy on yourself. Abstain from sins. Renounce the world. This world is most ungrateful. It drowns and destroys its lovers. It throttles the middle class and burns out the inferior ones. May Allah bestow His True Attainment to you and accept you among his devotees. Insha`Allah, He will not deprive you of the pleasure of His Vision.”
59. REMEDY FOR HUBBE DUNYA
Hadhrat Muhammad Bin Raafi` (rahmatullahi alayh) was returning from Shaam (Syria) when he met along the road a youth wearing a woollen cloak and with a staff in hand. Hadhrat Muhammad Bin Raafi` asked him: “Where are you going?”
Youth: “I do not know.”
Bin Raafi`: “Where do you come from?”
Youth: “I do not know.”
Muhammad Bin Raafi` said to himself that the youth must be mad. He then asked: “Who created you?”
As the youth heard this, he turned so yellow as if someone had dyed him with saffron. He said; “That Being Who has made me so (changed my colour) has created me.”
Muhammad Bin Raafi` said: “Brother, I am a brother (i.e. one who is on the spiritual path – Tariqat) do not become annoyed with me.”
Youth: “By Allah! If I am permitted to dissociate from people I would flee to an inaccessible mountain or hide in a cave so that I may gain peace and be safe from the world and its people.”
Muhammad Bin Raafi`: “What harm has the world done to you to warrant so much displeasure?”
Youth: “Its one crime is that we are unable to see its harms.”
Muhammad Bin Raafi`: “Show me an act, which will enable me to gain the proximity (Qurb) of Allah Ta`ala.”
Youth: “Brother! I have examined all acts of ibaadat. Nothing is more efficacious than dissociation from people. Nine tenths of all relationships is with people and one tenth is with the world. Therefore, the man who has gained the ability to live in solitude has gained control of nine tenths of his heart.”
60. MADINATUL AULIYAA (THE CITY OF THE AULIYAA)
A buzrug narrates: “Once I saw nine Auliyaa at the Raudhah Mutahharah (The Holy Sepulcher) of Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam). When they began leaving, I followed them. One of them turned to me and sharply enquired: ‘Where are you going?’ I responded: ‘I am accompanying you. I love you all and I have heard that a man will be with whom he loves.’
One of the group said: ‘He cannot go where we are going. Only those who are forty years of age are allowed to go there.’
Another member of the group said: ‘Let him come, perhaps Allah will grant him the fortune of going there.’
Thus I accompanied them. We traversed distance miraculously. Great distances were covered in the shortest time. Ultimately we reached a city which was built of gold and silver. The trees were extremely lush and the growth luxuriously dense. Beautiful rivers of crystal clear water were flowing. A wide variety of the most wonderful fruit grew in abundance.
We entered the city and ate of the delicious fruit. I kept three apples from that city with me. None of the Auliyaa forbade me from taking the apples. As we prepared to leave, I asked them about this city. They said that it is the city of the Auliyaa of Allah (Madinatul Auliyaa). When the Auliyaa desired to visit this place, the city is miraculously brought to them. They added: ‘However, besides you to this day, no one under forty years had come to this city.’
When we reached Makkah, I gave one of the apples to a labourer. But he threw it away. My companions severely reprimanded me and told me to eat of the remaining apples whenever I felt hungry.
Finally I arrived home with one apple. My sister out of happiness hugged me and said: ‘Brother, you brought a wonderful thing from your journey. Give it to me.’
I replied: ‘What wonderful thing of the world could I have found for you?’ She said: ‘ Where is that apple?’
I had hidden it, hence I asked: ‘Which apple?’
She said: ‘Why conceal it from me? You had to struggle to gain admission while I was taken there at the age of twenty years. By Allah! I was called there without my desire.’
I said: ‘Sister, what are you saying? One of the buzrugs said that besides me, no one under forty years had even entered that city. ’
She said: ‘Yes, this is the law for the Mureedeen and Ush-shaq. But the Muraad and the Mahboob are allowed to visit the city whenever they wish. But, nothing of the city pleases them. Whenever you desire, I can take you to that city.’
(Mureedeen, Ush-shaq, Muraad, Mahboob – these are classes of the Muhibbeen (lovers) of Allah Ta`ala).
I said: ‘Show me the city now!’
My sister issued a command. ‘By Allah! To my astonishment, I beheld with my eyes that very same city. I saw the city inclining towards my sister. Stretching her hand towards the city, she said: ‘Now tell me where is that apple?’
The apple which I had hid above me fell on me.
After this wonderful experience, I understood my insignificance. I never had the faintest idea of the lofty states of my sister.”
61. THE GOAT OF MILK AND HONEY
Shaikh Abu Raabi Maliki (rahmatullah alayh) narrates:
“I heard that in a certain city there lived a very pious lady. A karaamat (miracle) related to her induced me to visit her. The name of that Waliyyah (female saint) was Fid-dhah.
She had a goat which miraculously produced milk and honey. I bought a new mug and went to her. On reaching her home, I made salaam and said: ‘I wish to gain from the blessing of your goat.’ She presented the goat to me. When I milked the goat, truly, there came forth milk and honey. This wonderful episode left me bewildered. I said: ‘From where did you get this goat?’ Fid-dhah then explained the story of her goat as follows:
“We were very poor. We owned a goat and nothing else. When Eid came, my husband who was a pious man decided to make Qurbani of the goat. I requested him to spare the goat as Qurbani was not compulsory on us. Allah Ta`ala is well aware of our need of the goat. My husband approved my request, and the goat was not sacrificed.
Sometime thereafter, we had a guest. I said to my husband that Allah Ta`ala has commanded hospitality to the guest. It is therefore appropriate that we should slaughter the goat.
My husband took the goat behind a wall for slaughtering it. After some time I saw the goat standing on top of the wall. I concluded that the goat had escaped from the grip of my husband. When I went to my husband I saw him skinning the slaughtered goat. I explained to him about the goat on top of the wall. He commented: ‘It is not surprising if Allah Ta`la has bestowed to us a better goat.’
We discovered that this goat gave milk and honey whereas the first one gave only milk. The woman said: ‘O my son! This, my goat, will effect your hearts. If your hearts are pure, this milk will be wonderful. If your hearts are polluted, the milk too will be contaminated. Therefore purify and adorn your hearts.’
62. THE MIRACLE OF A SAINTLY LADY
The son of a pious lady who was the disciple of Hadhrat Sirri Saqati (rahmatullah alayh) was the pupil of a certain muallim (Deeni teacher). One day the muallim sent the boy on an errand. Along the way the boy went to the river and drowned. The Muallim informed Hadhrat Sirri Saqati of the tragedy. Hadhrat Saqati together with some companions went to the home of the lady.
He first delivered a lengthy talk on the virtues of Sabr (Patience). The lady enquired: ‘Hadhrat, what is your motive for this bayaan?’
He said: ‘Your son has drowned.’
Lady: ‘My son?’
Saqati: ‘Yes, your son.’
Lady: ‘Never! Allah Ta`ala did not do so.’
Hadhrat Sirri Saqati reiterated the information and emphasised that the incident has been confirmed. The lady said: ‘If this is true, take me to the place where it happened.’
The whole group together with the lady went to the spot where her son had drowned. When the spot was shown to her, she called out: ‘O my child, Muhammad!’
Simultaneously, came the response from the river: ‘Mother! I am coming!’ The boy came dashing and splashing out of the water. His mother grabbed his hand and set off home with him.
Hadhrat Sirri Saqati bewildered and astonished by this wonderful episode, referred to Hadhrat Junaid (rahmatullah alayh) for an explanation. Hadhrat Junaid explained: “This woman has adorned herself with the commands of Allah Ta`ala. By virtue of her obedience, she has a special relationship with Allah Ta`ala. Whenever something regarding her has to occur, Allah Ta`ala informs her (by Kashf and ilhaam). However, she was not informed of the drowning of her son, hence she refuted it. She was therefore able to declare with the firmest conviction that Allah Ta`ala did not do so. May Allah Ta`ala be pleased with her and grant us roohani benefit by her virtue.”
63. ABU AMIR AND THE LETTER OF LOVE
Abu Amir Waa-iz (rahmatullahi alayh) narrates:
“Once when I was in Musjidun Nabawi, a man handed me a letter, the contents of which were as follows:
‘Brother! May Allah Ta`ala bestow to you the wealth of fikr (reflection) and the affection of ibrat (i.e. to take lesson). May He bestow success to you in the love of khalwat (solitude) and keep you ever alert against ghaflat (indifference, obliviousness).
O Abu Amir! I am one of your Brethren of Tariqat. I have been informed of your blessed arrival. This has delighted me. I am extremely delighted. If my eagerness could be transformed into physical shape it will form an umbrella above me. If it had to form under me, it would lift me. I implore you in the Name of Allah! Do not deprive me of the honour of kissing your noble feet. Was-salaam.’
After reading the letter, I accompanied the man. We walked on until we reached a very large dilapidated house in Quba. He requested me to wait outside while he entered to announce my arrival. He came back and told me to enter. The inside of the house was in a greater state of dilapidation than the exterior. Doors made of date-branches were fitted on the entrances.
I soon saw a very old man sitting in the direction of the Qiblah. Age and weakness had reduced him to a stalk. Fear and bewilderment permeated his being. Sorrow and grief were written on his blessed face. I went close to him and made Salaam. Observing him carefully, I discerned that he was blind and lame. Furthermore, he was the victim of a number of illnesses. Perceiving my presence, he said: ‘Abu Amir! May Allah Ta`ala maintain your heart pure from the pollution of sins. The flames of eagerness to meet you and listen to your blessed words of love have been consuming me. My heart suffers from an ailment. All physicians (spiritual doctors) have failed to cure it. I have heard that you have a life-saving balm. For the sake of Allah give me that elixir of life. I shall be patient regardless of its bitterness.’”
Abu Amir continues:
‘The talk of the aged man cast a fearful and shocking concern in me. After reflecting for a long while, the subtleties of his words dawned on me. I then said: ‘O Sheikh! Turn the vision of your heart for a while to the Angelic realm as well as your ears of Ma`rifat. Incline the Haqeeqat (Reality) of your Imaan towards Jannatul Ma`waa. The bounties and treasures which The True Benefactor has prepared for His Auliyaa will then be in front of you (i.e. their forms will be made manifest).
Thereafter turn your attention momentarily towards Jahannum. You will then observe the punishment and calamities Allah Ta`ala has in store for the evil ones.’
The Sheikh was shedding tears in profusion. He said: ‘Abu Amir! By Allah! Your medicine has benefitted me. I believe with conviction that your medicine will cure me. May Allah Ta`ala shroud you in the clouds of His Mercy.’
I said: ‘O Sheikh! Allah Ta`ala is aware of your secrets. He sees you in privacy and in public.’
The Sheikh let out a cry and explained: ‘Who can remove my poverty? Who can eliminate my starvation? Who can forgive my errors. O My Maula! Only You fulfill needs and only You are The Abode of Safety.’
The Sheikh then fell over. When I examined him, I discovered that he had departed from this world. May Allah have mercy on him.
A young girl donning a woollen dress and orni (head-scarf) approached. Her forehead glittered with the impression of Sujood (prostration). Fear of Allah had made her complexion exceedingly pale. She said: ‘O Balm of the hearts of the Aarifeen! O Igniter of the flames of Divine Passion! Congratulations! You have truly achieved a wonderful accomplishment. Your effort is acceptable by Allah Ta`ala. This Sheikh is my father. He has become lame performing Salaat for the past twenty years in this state (of Divine Love), and he lost his vision as a result of his abundant crying. He always supplicated to Allah Ta`ala to fulfill his yearning to meet you. He had said that once he had attended your gathering and you had instilled life in his dead heart. You had banished his ghaflat. He had also said: ‘If I should again listen to his talk, it would kill me.’ May Allah Ta`ala reward you wonderfully.’
Then she kissed her father’s forehead and shed tears in abundance. I said to her: ‘Why are you crying so much? Your father has journeyed to the Abode of Reward. He has seen the rewards of his righteous deeds.’
The girl screamed like her father and perspired profusely. Within a few moments, she too had traversed beyond the frontiers of this earthly abode. I performed the Janaaza Salaat for both.”
64. BAHLOOL AND A PIOUS LAD
Hadhrat Bahlool (rahmatullahi alayh) once while walking in the streets of Basrah came upon a group of children playing with walnuts and almonds. One child was sitting apart and crying. Bahlool thought that the boy was crying because he had no nuts to play with as the others were doing. Bahlool therefore asked:
“Why are you crying? I shall buy some nuts for you. You too can then play.”
Turning to Bahlool, the lad said: “We have not been created for play and amusement.”
Bahlool: “O son for what then have we been created?”
Lad: “To acquire knowledge and to worship Allah Ta`ala.”
Bahlool: “How do you know this? May Allah grant Barkat in your age.”
Lad: “Allah Ta`ala says: ‘What! Do you think that We have created you redundant and that you will not be returned to us?”
Bahlool: “Son! You appear intelligent to me. Give me some naseehat.”
Lad: “The world is moving on. Be prepared for the journey. The world will not remain everlasting for anyone. No one will remain here. This worldly life and death are for men like two swift horses. The one follows the other. O you who are infatuated with the world! Renounce the world and prepare for the journey.”
The boy raised his head to the heaven and cried much. Tears were cascading down his cheeks like so many pearls. He recited some verses of Divine Love and fell down unconscious. Bahlool cradled his head in his lap and wiped the dust from his face. When the lad opened his eyes, Bahlool said: “Son what has happened to you? You are still sinless.”
Lad: “Bahlool! Leave me! I have seen my mother kindle a fire. As long as she does not add small twigs and blades of dry grass the firewood does not ignite. I fear that I may be used as twigs to ignite the fuel of Jahannum.”
Bahlool: “Son, you are indeed intelligent. Give me some more naseehat.”
Lad: “Alas! I have stayed in neglect. Maut is following me. If not today, then tomorrow. The departure is certain. Of what benefit is it to conceal one’s body in fine and beautiful raiments. Finally this body will decay and be transformed into sand. The bedding in the grave is sand. Alas! All beauty will disappear with death. No sign of flesh and skin will remain on the bones. Alas! Life has passed and no goal has been achieved nor do I have any provisions for the journey. I shall be ushered into the Court of The Divine King with sins loaded on me. On earth I sinned under the cover of a thousand veils, but on the Day of Qiyaamah, all veils will be lifted. Everything is manifest to the Knower of the Unseen. Do we sin on earth fearless of Allah’s Wrath, or do we sin leaning on His toleration and forgiveness? He is the Most Merciful. If He wishes He will punish or forgive purely out of His Mercy and Kindness.”
Bahlool: “After the lad completed his lecture, I fell down unconscious. After regaining consciousness, I searched for the lad, but in vain. When I asked the other children, they said: ‘Do you not know that he is of the offspring of Sayyidunah Husain Bin Ali Bin Abi Taalib (radhiyallahu anhum).”
Bahlool said: “I was indeed surprised. No wonder! He was the fruit of such a noble and wonderful tree.”
65. KILLED BY ALLAH’S SWORD OF LOVE
Hadhrat Maalik Bin Dinaar (rahmatullahi alayh) narrates:
“On my way to Hajj, I met a man who was proceeding on foot to Baitullah. He was walking delightfully, all in eager. He had neither food not water nor any provisions whatsoever for the road. I made salaam to him. After he responded, I said: ‘O young man! From where are you coming?’”
Young man: “I come from Him.”
Maalik: “Where are you going?”
Young man: “To Him.”
Maalik: “Where are your provisions for the journey?”
Young man: “It is His responsibility.”
Maalik: “How can you traverse a journey without food and water?”
Young man: “Yes! When I set out from home, I had five huroof (letters) for provisions.”
Maalik: “Which letters?”
Maalik: “What are their meanings?”
Young man: “Kaaf means Kaafi (i.e. He Who is Sufficient). Haa means Haadi (i.e. The Guide). Yaa means The One Who gives Refuge or place. Ain means Aalim (The Knower). Swaad means Saadiq (The Truthful One). The man whose companion is self sufficient, the guide, the giver of a place, the knower and the truthful, will not be destroyed. He has no fear and he is not in need of provisions.”
Hadhrat Maalik Bin Dinaar offered his kurta to the young man. Refusing, he said: “O Sheikh! It is better to be without a kurta of the world. There will be a reckoning demanded (on the Day of Qiyaamah) for halaal things and punishment for haraam things.”
When all the people donned Ihraam and proclaimed “Labbaik”! I said: “Don’t you say Labbaik?”
The young man said: “O Sheikh! I fear to say Labbaik! Perhaps the Divine Response will be Laa Labbaik! Wa Laa Sa`daika! (Your presence is not accepted.)”
So saying, he left.
Hadhrat Maalik Bin Dinaar says: “Then I saw him again in Minaa. He was proclaiming; ‘My Friend is He who loves that I be killed. For him my blood is lawful in the Haram. O you who criticize! Don’t criticize me for His Love, for if you should see His excellence and beauty which I am seeing, you will never be saved (from death). Like me, you too will sacrifice your life at the altar of His Love. People have sacrificed animals on the Day of Eid, while my Friend has sacrificed my life.
O Allah! People have gained Your Proximity by sacrificing animals. Besides my life I have nothing to sacrifice. I offer this life to You. You accept it.”
He then emitted a loud, chilling shriek and fell down dead. A voice proclaimed:
“He is the friend of Allah. He has been killed by Allah. He has been killed by the Sword of Allah.”
Maalik Bin Dinaar (rahmatullahi alayh) performed his burial. That night Hadhrat Maalik slept in great agitation and restlessness. In a dream he saw the young man and enquired about his condition. The young man said: “Allah Ta`ala treated me like the Shuhadaa of Badr. Infact, he gave me more.”
Maalik asked in his dream: “Why did He give you more?”
Young man: “The Shuhadaa of Badr were killed by the swords of the kuffaar, whereas I was killed by the Sword of Allah’s Love.”
66. HADHRAT IBRAHEEM KHAWWAAS AND THE PIOUS LAD
Hadhrat Ibraheem Khawwaas (rahmatullahi alayh) narrates: “Once when I went for Hajj, the heat was intense. It was hotter than usual. Scorching winds were blowing. One day when we reached in the middle of the desert in Hijaaz, I became separated from the caravan. Overcome with fatigue, I fell asleep. When my eyes opened, I saw a person at a distance. I quickly went towards him. When I reached him I saw that he was a small boy. His face glittered like the moon of the fourteenth night. I could discern the rays of spiritual jubilation on his face. I said: ‘Assalaamu Aalaikum, Son!’ He responded: ‘ Wa Alaikumus Salaam, O Ibraheem!’
I was amazed and I began having misgivings about him. I exclaimed: ‘Subhaanallah! How have you recognized me? We have never met before.”“
The Boy: “O Ibraheem! Since I gained recognition (of Allah Ta`ala), I did not remain ignorant, and since I was united (with Allah), I did not become separated.”
Ibraheem: “Why have you come into this wilderness in this intense heat?”
The Boy: “O Ibraheem! Besides Him, I have not befriended anyone. I perpetually remain aloof from all people, and I am going to Him. I have proclaimed that only He is The Ma`bood.”
Ibraheem: “From whence do you obtain your food and water?”
The Boy: “It is my Friend’s responsibility.”
Ibraheem: “By Allah! I fear for your life in this intense heat.”
The Boy (Tears like pearls flowing down his cheeks): “O man! You try to terrify me with the hardships of the journey when in fact, I am proceeding to my Friend. Love has thrown me into restlessness and eagerness drives me along. Does a friend of Allah also fear? Thikr-e-Ilaahi suffices for hunger and shukr quenches the thirst. What if I am small and weak? His Love has taken me from Hijaaz to Khurasaan. (Today part of Khurasaan is in Afghanistan and part in Iran). You despise me because of my childhood. Whatever has to happen, will happen.”
Ibraheem: “By Allah! Tell me honestly what your age is?”
The Boy: “Twelve years. Why do you enquire my age?”
Ibraheem: “I am bewildered by you statements.”
The Boy: “Alhamdulillah! I have been given excellences over many special people of Imaan.”
Hadhrat Ibraheem Khawwaas continues: “I was truly astonished by his handsomeness and his sweet words of wisdom.
After some time the boy said: ‘O Ibraheem! The one whom the Friend abandons is in separation. The one who has acquired a share of obedience to Allah, he has reached the destination. O Ibraheem! You are separated from both roads (i.e. the Road of Divine Love and the road to Baitullah).”
Ibraheem: “Why am I so deprived? For Allah’s Sake, make dua that I link up with my companions of the caravan.
“The boy looked towards the heaven and moved his lips. I became drowsy and lapsed into a deep sleep. When my eyes opened I discovered myself in the caravan. I do not know what happened to the boy.
Ultimately our caravan reached Makkah Muazzamah. As I entered the Haram Shareef, my eyes suddenly fell on a boy who was holding the cloth of the Kaabah and shedding tears in profusion. It was the boy I had met in the wilderness. After a while he went into Sajdah. I stood watching him. After some time had passed I went near and discovered that he had surrendered his life to Allah Ta`ala. May Allah Ta`ala be pleased with him. A state of intense grief and sorrow settled over me. I went to my place of residence to procure whatever was required for the boy’s burial. On my return, his body was no longer there. On making enquiries, I realised that no one had any information about the boy. No one besides me, had seen the boy. He was invisible to the eyes of others.
I returned to my residence and went to sleep. I dreamt about the boy. He was the chief of a large assembly of people. He was clad in the best of garments which were glittering on him. Its beauty is beyond description. I asked: ‘Are you not my friend?’ He answered: ‘Yes.’
I said: ‘By Allah! I had searched much to bury you. I had desired to perform your Janaaza Salaat.’ He said: ‘O Ibraheem! Know that The One Who had brought me out of my city; Who had instilled His Love in me and Who had separated me from my family – He attended to my burial and to all my needs.’
I said: ‘How did Allah, The Gracious treat you?’ He said: ‘I was ushered into His Presence and He said: ‘What is your desire?’ I replied: ‘O Allah! Only You are my desire.’ Allah said: ‘You are My true servant. I shall not conceal anything from you.’ I said ‘I wish that my intercession be accepted on behalf of the people of my time.’ Allah Ta`ala said: ‘Your intercession is accepted.’
In my dream the boy shook hands with me. My eyes then opened. In the morning I fulfilled the rites of Hajj, but I was extremely restless. The memory of that boy, grief and sorrow had settled over me. Then together with the other Hujaaj we commenced the return journey. Along the journey everyone was saying: ‘O Ibraheem! Everyone is wonder-struck by the fragrance of your hands.’”
This wonderful fragrance remained on Hadhrat Ibraheem Khawwaas (rahmatullahi alayh) for as long as he lived. May Allah’s Rahmat be on him.
67. HADHRAT IBRAHEEM KHAWWAAS AND THE JINN
Hadhrat Ibraheem Khawwaas (rahmatullahi alayh) narrates: “Once when I was on a Hajj journey, a strong urge in my heart constrained me to break away from the caravan. I left the main road and continued the journey walking. I walked continuously for three days and nights. I neither thought of food nor water. I did not even have any other need. Ultimately, I came upon an extremely luxurious and dense forest. Everything was green. Fruit trees and fragrant flowers were in abundance. There was a small pond of clear water. I said to myself: ‘This is Jannat.’ I was indeed amazed.
While I was in this state of bewilderment, I saw a group of people approaching. They were adorned in beautiful and shining garments. They came and surrounded me. All made Salaam to me. In response, I said: ‘Wa Alaikumus Salaam wa rahmatullahi wa Barakaatuhu.’ The thought of these people being jinn crossed my mind.
One of the group addressing me said: ‘We have a dispute on a particular question. We are a community of jinn. We had heard the sacred Kalaam of Allah Ta`ala from Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam). On the night of Uqbah we were honoured to be in his blessed presence. The blessed talk of Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) has separated us from all worldly affairs. Allah Ta`ala has bestowed this abode in the forest for us.’
I asked: ‘How far is this place from my companions?’ Hearing this, they smiled. One of them said: ‘O Abu Is`haq! This place is among the wonders and mysteries of Allah Ta`ala. Besides one human being, no one has ever come here. That man was among your companions. He came here and died here. Look! That is his qabr.’
He pointed towards the qabr. The qabr was on the banks of the lake inside a beautiful garden of exotic flowers which I had never seen before. The jinn said: ‘The distance between you and your companions is so many (months or years?).’ [ The narrator of this episode could not remember the number of months or years which Ibraheem Khawwaas had mentioned].
Hadhrat Ibraheem Khawwaas asked the jinn to explain the story of the young man who lies buried in the grave. One of them said: ‘We were sitting here by the lake discussing about Divine Love when suddenly a man appeared and made Salaam to us. We responded to his Salaam and asked where he came from. He said that he came from Nishapur. When we asked him how long it took him to reach here, he said, seven days. We asked the reason for his journey. He said that he had heard the Kalaam of Allah, viz.:
“Turn towards your Rabb (i.e. inaabat) and submit (Islam) to Him before there comes to you the punishment, for then you will not be aided.”
We asked for the meanings of inaabat, Islam and athab in the context of this Aayat. He explained: ‘Inaabat means to turn away from yourself and become obedient to Him. Tasleem is to surrender your life to Him, and to understand that Allah is more entitled to your life than you.’
When he was about to explain athab, he let out a chilling scream and died. We then buried him here. May Allah be pleased with him.’”
Ibraheem Khawwaas continues: “I went to his qabr. At the head-side grew dense bushes of beautiful flowers. On a tablet was inscribed:
‘This is the qabr of Allah’s friend.
Love killed him.’
On a page I found there was written the meaning of inaabat. I read and explained it to the jinn. They were very pleased and said that they now received a satisfactory answer to their question. I then became drowsy and fell into a deep sleep. When my eyes opened, I discovered that I was near to Musjid-e-Aisha (in Tan`eem). I still had petals of those flowers. They remained fragrant for a whole year. The petals thereafter disappeared mysteriously.”
68. THE DEATH OF TWO DEVOTEES
Hadhrat Ibraheem Khawwaas (rahmatullahi alayh) narrates the following wonderful encounter in the wilderness:
“Once along a Hajj journey on a night when the moon was shining brightly, I fell asleep. Suddenly I heard a voice calling: ‘O Abu Ishaq! I am waiting for you since yesterday.’ I went near and found a man excessively lean and weak. He was on the verge of death. Exotic flowers in abundance were all around him. I asked about his homeland. He mentioned a city. He added that he was a person of considerable wealth and rank. However, he yearned for solitude, hence he renounced all his worldly possessions to wander in the wilderness. He said: ‘Now I am close to maut. I supplicated to Allah Ta`ala to send a Waliullah to me. I hope that you are the answer to my supplication.’”
Ibraheem: “Do you have any parents?”
Young man: “Yes. I also have brothers and sisters.”
Ibraheem: “Do you wish to meet them?”
Young man: “I had no such wish, but today I remembered them. I desire to smell their fragrance. Wild animals of the wilderness took pity on me and brought me to this orchard.”
Hadhrat Ibraheem continuing his story said: “I saw a big serpent approaching with a fragrant flower in its mouth. It said to me: ‘Keep your evil away from him. Allah Ta`ala is aware of the condition of His friends and obedient slaves.’
I then became unconscious. When I regained consciousness I discovered that the soul of the young man had departed. I again fell into a deep sleep. When my eyes opened I was back on the main road. After completing Hajj, I went to the hometown of the young man. When I reached there, I saw a woman with a water-pitcher. She had a striking resemblance with the young man. When she saw me she said: ‘O Abu Ishaq! How did you find the condition of the young man? I have been waiting for you since three days.’
I narrated the whole episode and the young man’s statement, viz. ‘I wish to smell their fragrance.’ The woman screamed loudly and said: ‘Oh! The fragrance has already reached.’ She too collapsed and died. Soon a group of beautifully clad girls arrived on the scene. They attended to the burial of the woman. [The girls were mysterious servants of Allah Ta`ala of the Abdaal category]
69. THE HAJJ OF SIX HUNDRED THOUSAND
Hadhrat Abu Abdullah Jauhari (rahmatullahi alayh) narrates:
“Once I fell asleep on the Plain of Arafaat. In a dream I saw two Angels descending from heaven. The one asked his companion: ‘How many people performed Hajj this year?’
The second Angel: ‘Six hundred thousand. But the Hajj of only six was accepted.’
First Angel: ‘ What has Allah Ta`ala done with those whose Hajj has not been accepted?’
Second Angel: ‘Allah is Most Gracious. Through the virtue of the six, Allah Ta`ala accepted the Hajj of six hundred thousand. Allah bestows His Kindness to whomever He wishes.’”
70. HADHRAT ZAINUL AABIDEEN
Once Hishaam Bin Abdul Maalik went for Hajj prior to his appointment to the Khilaafat. During Tawaaf, he struggled to kiss Hajr-e-Aswad. However, due to the huge crowd he was unable to do so. Precisely at the same time, Hadhrat Imaam Zainul Aabideen (rahmatullahi alayh), who was the son of Hadhrat Husain (radhiyallahu anhu) appeared on the scene. When the people saw him, they made way out of devotion and honour. Hadhrat Zainul Aabideen made Tawaaf in comfort and kissed the Hajr-e-Aswad without hassle or inconvenience. Hishaam looked on with awe.[The Auliyaa are the true kings. While worldly kings rule people by force, the Auliyaa are the kings of the hearts of people. They rule by love and piety.]
Hadhrat Zainul Aabideen would spend the greater part of the night and the day in Salaat. When he would make wudhu, his colour turned extremely pale and he would tremble during Salaat.
71. THE FIRE OF AAKHIRAH
Once the house of Hadhrat Zainul Aabideen was on fire while he was immersed in Salaat. The people shouted: “O Son of Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam)! Your house is on fire.”
However, Hadhrat Zainul Aabideen was fully absorbed in his Salaat. He was oblivious of the fire and the shouts of the people. He remained engrossed in Salaat until the fire died out. When people asked him about his obliviousness, he said: “The fire of the Aakhirah has made me oblivious of the fire of this world.”
72. HADHRAT ZAINUL AABIDEEN’S DUA
“O Allah! I seek Your Protection from that my outward appearance be pious to people while my heart is corrupt.”
73. THE REASONS FOR IBAADAT
Hadhrat Zainul Aabideen (rahmatullahi alayh) said: “Some people worship Allah because of fear. This is the ibaadat of slaves. Some worship Him because of their desire for thawaab. This is the ibaadat of traders. Some worship Him in gratitude for His bounties. This is the ibaadat of freed slaves.”
74. CHARITY IN CONCEALMENT
Many poor and destitute people were obtaining their needs without being aware of the benefactor. Hadhrat Zainul Aabideen (rahmatullahi alayh) exercised great care to conceal his acts of charity. He arranged for his charitable contributions to be delivered to the poor during the night.
He concealed his charity so much that some people being unaware of his generosity branded him a miser. Only when he died, was it discovered that a hundred families were secretly supported by him. These families too were not aware who their benefactor was while Hadhrat Zainul Aabideen (rahmatullahi alayh) was alive.
75. REFRAIN FROM THE FRIENDSHIP OF FOUR PERSONS
Hadhrat Baqir (rahmatullahi alayh) narrates: “My father (Hadhrat Zainul Aabideen) instructed me not to associate with four types of people. (1) A fasiq. He will betray you for a morsel of food.
(2) A liar. He will deceive you.
(3) A stupid man. He will harm you even if he does something with a good intention.
(4) A person who severs family ties. He is described as a Ma’loon (accursed) in three places in the Qur`aan Shareef .”
76. HADHRAT ZAINUL AABIDEEN’S TOLERATION
Once a slave of Hadhrat Zainul Aabideen (rahmatullahi alayh) was bringing a pot of steaming hot food from the stove for the guests. The pot accidentally fell from the slave’s hands onto Imam Zainul Aabideen’s baby son. As a result of the accident the child immediately died. Spontaneously Imam Zainul Aabideen set the slave free and commented: “He did not do it deliberately.” He then commenced preparation for the kafan and dafan (burial) of his son.
77. HADHRAT ZAINUL AABIDEEN’S GENEROSITY
Once Hadhrat Zainul Aabideen (rahmatullahi alayh) went to visit Muhammad Bin Usama. On seeing Hadhrat Zainul Aabideen, he broke down crying. When Hadhrat Zainul Aabideen asked him for the reason for his grief , he replied that he was in debt.
Hadhrat Zainul Aabideen said: “How much is your debt?”
Usama said: “Fifteen thousand dinar.” (Dinar is a gold coin)
Hadhrat Zainul Aabideen: “Payment of your debt is my responsibility.”
78. THE DUA OF HADHRAT JA`FAR
Hadhrat Laith Bin Sa`d (rahmatullahi alayh) narrates:
“In the year 113 Hijri I went for Hajj on foot. On reaching Makkah I performed Asr Salaat. When I climbed Mount Abu Qubais, I found a man immersed in dua. He was saying only: ‘Ya Rabbi! Ya Rabbi!’ He repeated this so much that his breathing became heavy. Then he said: ‘Ya Allah! Ya Allah!’ so much that it appeared as if his breathing had ceased. Thereafter he said: ‘Ya Hayyu! Ya Hayyu!’ in the same manner. Then he said: ‘Ya Rahmaan! Ya Rahmaan!’ in a similar way. His breathing stopped. Then he started to say: ‘Ya Raheemo! Ya Raheemo!’ Thereafter he recited: ‘Ya Ar-Raahimeen! Ya Ar-Raahimeen!’ seven times. Each time his breathing would stop. Then he supplicated:
‘O Allah! I desire grapes. Feed me with it. My clothes are torn.’
Just as he was terminating his dua, a very large bunch of grapes and two shawls appeared miraculously. He began eating the grapes. I said: ‘I too am your partner.’ He asked: ‘Why?’ I said: ‘When you were making dua, I was saying Aameen!’ He told me to join him. I never in my life had ate such delicious grapes. I ate to my satiation, but the grapes did not decrease.
He told me to choose one of the shawls. However, I told him that I had no need for the shawls. He instructed me to go out of his sight as he wished to change. I hid myself and he clad himself with the two shawls. Taking the two old shawls he started to descend from the mountain. I accompanied him. When we reached a place called Sahi, we met a man who said:
‘O Son of Rasulullah! Give the shawls (i.e. the two old ones) to me.’
My Companion gave the man the two sheets with which he left. I followed him and asked: ‘Who is he?’ The man replied: ‘Hadhrat Ja`far Bin Muhammad.’
I searched for him , but could not find him.”
79. WHERE TO FIND SAFETY
Hadhrat Sufyaan Thauri (rahmatullahi alayh) said:
“I heard from Hadhrat Ja`far Saadiq (rahmatullahi alayh) that safety has almost disappeared so much so that searching for it has become obscure. If there is safety in anything, it is in anonymity. If it is not in anonymity then it is in solitude, but this is not equal to anonymity. If it is not in solitude then it is in silence, but this is not equal to solitude. If it is not in silence, then it is in the discourses of the pious people of bygone times. A fortunate man is he who finds solitude in his heart.”
Hadhrat Ja`far (rahmatullahi alayh) narrates:
“Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) said that it is incumbent to make shukr (express gratitude) to Allah Ta`ala for the bounties he confers. In adversity (poverty, debt, etc.) recite Istighfaar and when afflicted by grief recite ‘Wa la haula wa la quwwata illa billahil azweem.’
81. A NOBLE YOUNG MAN
Hadhrat Shafeeq Balkhi (rahmatullahi alayh) narrates: “In the year 149 Hijri I set out for Hajj. I halted in Qadisiyyah. While I was viewing the large crowds and their pomp, my eyes fell on a young man clad in fine garments. He had wrapped a woollen shawl around him (in the style of the Sufis). He was sitting alone. I thought he was a pretender. I went near to him with the intention of reprimanding him. He looked at me and said: ‘O Shafeeq! Abstain from suspicion because some suspicion is sinful.’ So saying, he went away. I said to myself: ‘Indeed I had committed evil.’ He had said what was in my heart. He even mentioned my name. He appears to be a pious man. I resolved to locate him and apologise. Although I hastily pursued him, he was nowhere in sight. Then I saw him at Waaqisah, I was trembling and tears were flowing. I delightfully said to myself: ‘This is that same friend of mine.’ I was determined to seek forgiveness from him for my error of suspicion. I waited a long time. After he completed his Salaat, I turned towards him. When he saw me approaching, he said: ‘O Shafeeq! (He recited the Aayat)-‘Verily, I am Most Forgiving for him who repents…..’ He then departed and disappeared from my sight. I said to myself: ‘This young man is certainly one of the Abdaal. He twice revealed what I was thinking.’ When we reached Mina, I saw the same young man standing at the well with a mug in his hand. The mug slipped from his hand and fell into the well. He lifted his gaze to the heaven and supplicated. By Allah! I saw the water rising to the top of the well with the mug. The young man filled it with water and engaged in Salaat. After Salaat he went to a sand dune and filled his mug with sand. He drank the contents. He repeated this act several times. I went up to him and made Salaam to which he responded. I asked him to give me some of the contents of his mug. he acceded to my request. I never drank anything sweeter and more delicious than the juice in his mug. Nothing was more fragrant than it. I stayed a few days at this place without feeling hungry or thirsty.
The youth said: ‘O Shafeeq! Allah`s zaahiri and baatini bounties are always with me. Cherish a lofty opinion of your Rabb.’
I then did not see the young man along the road to Makkah. Once at midnight in Makkah I saw him performing Salaat with profound humility. I heard the sound of crying. He spent the entire night in this state. In the morning after Fajr Salaat he made Tawaaf of the Kaabah. Thereafter he came out of the Haram. I followed him. Suddenly I observed many servants and assistants around him. People gathered around him to pay their respects. I was surprised at this transformation from a lonely young man to an important personality. When I enquired from someone, I was told that the young man, was Hadhrat Ja`far Saadiq (rahmatullahi alayh). I was truly astonished. Undoubtedly, the miracles which I had witnessed were the effects of such a noble Sayyid.’”
82. THE KARAAMAT OF A WOMAN
A Buzrug travelling with a caravan passing through a wilderness saw an old woman walking in front of the caravan. The Buzrug thought to himself: “The old woman is keeping ahead so that she does not miss the caravan (and along with it the opportunity to beg from people).” He took some dirhams from his pocket and was handing it to the old woman. She stretched her hand into the air and brought it back filled with dirhams. She said: “You extracted dirhams from your pocket and I from the unseen realm.” She gave the dirhams to the Buzrug.
83. THE SUPPLICATION OF A DIVINE LOVER
A woman clasping the cloth of the Kaabah, supplicated: “O Thou Beloved of all hearts! Besides You, who is there for me? Have mercy on me. I have today come to visit You. I no longer have the strength to bear (this separation from You). My yearning for You has increased. My heart rejects every other love. You Alone are my desire and goal. When will I meet You? The bounties of Jannat are not my objective. I desire Jannat for Your Vision.”
84. THE KARAAMAT OF A SUFI
Sheikh Abu Abdur Rahmaan Bin Khafeef (rahmatullahi alayh) narrates:
“On my way to Hajj I entered Baghdad. I underwent considerable mujaahadah to banish from my heart everything besides Allah. I abstained from eating for forty days, nor did I drink a drop of water. I perpetually remained with Tahaarat. In this condition, I set out from Baghdad. In the wilderness I saw a buck at a well. The water had miraculously risen to the top. I too was extremely thirsty. But when I reached the well, the water had receded to the bottom. The buck had left. I too then left and lamented: ‘O my Rabb! To You I am not equal to even this buck.’
I heard a voice behind me saying: ‘We tested you. You had no patience. Now go and drink the water. The buck came without bucket and rope, while you have with you a bucket and rope.’
I went to the well and found that the water had once more risen to the top. I filled my bucket. I continued making wudhu with this water until I reached Madinah, but the water remained the same.
After Hajj when I went into the Jami` Musjid of Baghdad, Hadhrat Junaid Baghdaadi’s gaze fell on me. He commented: ‘If you had exercised patience for a little while, the water would have gushed around your feet.’”
85. SALT WATER BECOMES SWEET
A Buzrug narrates: “Journeying on foot, through the wilderness, I saw a faqeer barefooted and bare-headed. The sheets covering his body were worn and tattered. He had no provisions whatsoever with him. I thought: ‘If he had a bucket and rope with him, he could draw water from a well. This would have been better for him.’
Anyhow, I linked up with him.
It was intensely hot. I presented a cloth to him and asked him to shield his head with it from the blazing sun. But he remained silent and continued walking. After an hour, I said to him: ‘You are bare-footed. It will be good if you put on my shoes for a while. We can take turns wearing the shoes.’ He said: ‘I can see that you like to speak much nonsense, have you not heard the Hadith:
‘Of the beauty of a man’s Islam is that he shuns nonsensical things.’
I said: ‘Yes!’ He remained silent and continued walking.
Soon I became very thirsty. Turning to me, he asked: ‘Are you thirsty?’ I said: ‘No!’ We continued walking along the sea-shore for another hour. By this time I was overwhelmed by thirst. Again turning to me, he asked: ‘Are you thirsty?’ I said: ‘Yes! But what can you at this time do to help me?’
Taking my mug, he waded into the sea. After filling my mug, he presented it to me. Never had I drunk clearer and sweeter water than this.”
86. THE YAQEEN OF A LAD
Sheikh Fatah Musali (rahmatullahi alayh) narrates: “I saw a minor boy walking in the wilderness. His lips were moving. I made Salaam and he responded. I asked: ‘Son! Where are you off to?’ He said: ‘I am proceeding to Baitullah.’”
Sheikh: “With which words are you moving your lips?”
Lad: “With the Qur`aan.”
Sheikh: “You are yet a minor. The laws are not yet incumbent on you.”
Lad: “I am observing that Maut is claiming even those younger than me.”
Sheikh: “Your feet are still small and the road difficult and long.”
Lad: “It is Allah’s responsibility to enable me to reach the destination.”
Sheikh: “Where are your provisions and mount?”
Lad: “Yaqeen is my provision and my feet are my mount.”
Sheikh: “I am asking about your food and water.”
Lad: “O Uncle! If a person invites you to his home, is it proper to take food along to his house?”
Lad: “My King is calling His servants to His House. The weakness of their Yaqeen constrains them to take along food, while I believe this to be highly disrespectful. Do you think that He will allow me to be destroyed?”
Sheikh Fatah continues: “The lad then disappeared from my sight. I saw him again in Makkah. When our eyes met, he said: ‘O Sheikh! You are still dwelling in weakness as far as Yaqeen is concerned.’”
87. THE INCENTIVE OF SHAUQ
Hadhrat Shaqeeq Balkhi (rahmatullahi alayh) narrates that along the road to Makkah he saw a frail weak man crawling on his knees. Hadhrat Shaqeeq said to him: “From where do you come?”
Lame man: “From Samarqand.”
Hadhrat Shaqeeq: “How long are you journeying along the road?”
Lame man: “Ten years.”
When Hadhrat Shaqeeq stared at him in surprise, he asked: “O Shaqeeq! Why are you staring at me in surprise? My journey may be arduous and long, but shauq (yearning for Allah) is drawing me near. Certainly I am weak in body, but my Master is sustaining it and carrying it aloft. O Shaqeeq! There is no surprise when the Kind Benefactor is taking along the weak servant.”
88. TALQEEN TO THE LIVING[Talqeen is the Shaafi practice of instructing the deceased person in the lessons of Imaan. After burial, those who are at the grave-side recite the Talqeen formula in which the dead person is instructed to be firm, and to answer correctly the questions of Munkar and Nakeer, etc.].
Once in Makkah Muazzamah, Sheikh Najmuddin Isfahaani (rahmatullahi alayh) attended the Janaaza of a Buzrug. After the burial when the people sat at the grave-side and engaged in reciting the Talqeen, Sheikh Isfahaani, contrary to his habit, laughed. He never used to laugh. When someone asked him the reason for laughing, he sharply reprimanded the enquirer. Thereafter, on some other occasion, he explained: “On that day I had laughed because when the people were engaged in Talqeen, the dead Buzrug from inside the grave said: ‘People! It is surprising that you are reciting Talqeen to one who is alive.’”
89. DEATH IN LOVE
Hadhrat Sheikh Muzani Kabeer (rahmatullahi alayh) says: “Once in Makkah my heart was overcome with fear and agitation. I therefore decided to go to Madinah Munawwarah. When I neared Beer-e-Maimunah. I saw a young man in his death throes. I said to him: ‘Laa Ilaaha il-lallaahu…’ He opened his eyes and said: ‘I am dying with a heart in love. Virtuous people die with the sickness of love.’”
He then died. Hadhrat Muzani gave him ghusl and after the Janaaza Salaat buried him. He said: “After completing the burial all fear and restlessness disappeared from me. I therefore, cancelled my journey and returned to Makkah Muazzamah.”
Allah Ta`ala brought Sheikh Muzani out of Makkah Muazzamah in this way for the burial of His devotee.
90. A MAN OF GREAT HONOUR
A Buzrug narrates: “A young man, always dressed in old tattered garments lived near to us in isolation. He never associated with anyone. As a result of his piety, there developed in my heart a love for him.
Once when I acquired two hundred dirhams from a halaal earning I went to the young man and placed the money on his musalla. I said to him: ‘I acquired this money in a halaal way. Use it for your needs.’
He glowered at me and rebukingly said: ‘I have purchased this state of solitude with Allah Ta`ala very cheaply, paying 70 000 dirhams during my time of affluence. Now you want to deceive me with this contemptible sum?’
He stood up. Throwing away the money, he walked away while the Buzrug bent over to gather the scattered coins. The Buzrug commented: ‘At that time while he was departing, I found him to be a man of the highest honour, while I viewed myself the most despicable man gathering the coins.’”
91. IN ONE NIGHT FROM MAKKAH TO MADINAH ON FOOT
A pious young man who was a resident of Madinah Munawwarah, once after presenting himself at the Raudah Mubaarak and reciting Salaam, saw a non-Arab leaving from the Holy Qabr of Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam). As he was leaving, the young man followed until they reached Musjid Zul Hulaifah. The Ajami (non-Arab) recited Durood and the Talbiyah. The young man did the same and followed. The Ajami turned and said: “What do you want?”
Young man: “I wish to accompany you.”
However, the Ajami refused. After pleading much with the Ajami, he said: “If you wish to accompany me, then follow in my footsteps.”
The young man delightfully accepted.
He says: “The Ajami left the usual road and wandered off into the wilderness. When a portion of the night had passed, we saw some lights in the distance. The Ajami said: ‘This is Musjid-e-Aishah (in Tan`eem).’”
The Ajami proceeded and the young man fell asleep. At the time of Fajr, the young man entered Makkah Muazzamah. After performing Tawaaf he went to Sheikh Abu Bakr Kitaani (rahmatullahi alayh). A group of Mashaa-ikh was with him. Continuing the story, the young man said: “After making Salaam, the following conversation ensued:
Sheikh Kitaani: ‘When did you arrive (from Makkah)?’
Young man: ‘I have just arrived.’
Sheikh Kitaani: ‘From where have you come?’
Young man: ‘From Madinah.’
Sheikh: ‘When did you leave Makkah?’
Young man: ‘Last night.’
(All those present stared at one another in amazement.)
Sheikh: ‘With whom did you come here?’
(The young man described the whole episode.)
Sheikh: ‘Your companion was Abu Ja`far Daamghaani. What you have narrated about him is in fact insignificant’
The Sheikh then instructed his companions to search for Abu Ja`far Daamghaani. He added:
‘O my son! I know that you are not capable of reaching Makkah Muazzamah from Madinah Munawwarah in one night. When you were walking, how did you feel the ground beneath your feet?’
Young man: ‘The ground had appeared like water – like a ship sailing on it.’”
92. SUPPRESSING DESIRES FOR ALLAH’S SAKE
Hadhrat Sufyaan Bin Ibraheem (rahmatullahi alayh) narrates:
“I saw Hadhrat Ibraheem Bin Adham (rahmatullahi alayh) sobbing in Makkah Muazzamah at the place where Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) was born. This place is called Suqal Lail. I greeted him and recited Durood in that blessed place. I said to him: ‘O Abu Ishaq! Why are you crying in this place?’ He responded: ‘It is good to cry here.’
I visited this place again – twice or thrice – and found him in the same condition, sobbing. After I repeatedly asked him to explain, he said: ‘O Abu Sufyaan! I desired for the past thirty years to eat Hareesah, but I applied pressure on my nafs and denied its desire. Last night I was overwhelmed by sleep. In a dream I saw a handsome young man with a green steaming mug in his hand. The fragrance of Hareesah was being emitted from the mug. I exercised control on my heart. The young man said: ‘O Ibraheem! Eat this.’ I said: ‘I shall not eat something which I had renounced for Allah’s Sake.’
The young man said: ‘Will you not eat it even if Allah Ta`ala feeds you with it?’
By Allah! I had no reply other than to cry. The young man said: ‘Eat – Allah will have mercy on you.’
I said: ‘We have been instructed not to have any food with us.’
The young man said: ‘ Eat! Allah Ta`ala will overlook it. Ridhwaan, the over-looker of Jannat has given this (Hareesah) by the Command of Allah Ta`ala. He had ordered me: ‘ O Khidr! Feed this to Ibraheem. Allah Ta`ala has taken pity on his soul. He has exercised remarkable restraint. He has prevented himself from forbidden desires.’
The young man added: ‘Allah Ta`ala feeds you, but you refrain! O Ibraheem, I heard the Malaa-ikah say: ‘A man who refuses to accept what he had not asked for , will be denied when he asks.’
I said: ‘If it is truly as you are saying, then I am in your presence. To this day I have not violated Allah’s Pledge.’
Another lad appeared. He gave Khidr something and said: ‘Put this in Ibraheem’s mouth.’
Hadhrat Khidr then fed me until I woke up. When my eyes opened I had the taste of the food in my mouth and the colour of saffron on my lips. I went to the well and rinsed my mouth, but the taste and colour remained in my mouth.’”
Hadhrat Sufyaan said: “When I looked, I saw the impressions of the food and colour still in his mouth.”
93. RENOUNCING A SON FOR ALLAH’S SAKE
When Ibraheem Bin Ad`ham had abandoned his throne, he had left behind an infant son. After the son attained manhood, he made enquiries about his father. His mother narrated the episode of his father’s renunciation of the world and told him that his father was presently in Makkah Muazzamah. Four thousand inhabitants of Balkh accompanied the young prince to Makkah. When they finally reached Musjidul Haraam, the prince saw many durwaishes. When he questioned them about Ibraheem Bin Adham, they said: “He is our Sheikh. He has gone to gather firewood.” The prince went to the outskirts where he saw an aged man with a pile of wood on his shoulder. This sight reduced the prince to tears. Controlling himself, he followed his father at a distance. When they reached the market-place, he heard his father exclaiming: “Is there anyone with wholesome money to purchase a wholesome product?” A man gave some bread in exchange for the firewood. Ibraheem Bin Adham gave the bread to his mureeds while he became engrossed in Salaat.
Ibraheem’s teaching to his mureeds was to guard their gaze from young lads and females. Ibraheem and his disciples began making tawaaf of the Ka’bah. During the tawaaf, his gaze fell on his son. Paternal love kindled and his gaze was momentarily fixed on his son. His mureeds were astonished. After tawaaf, they asked Ibraheem to explain the mystery of his conduct. He said: “When I left Balkh, I left behind a milk-suckling boy. That lad appears to be my son.”
The next day a mureed of Ibraheem went to the caravan of Balkh. He found the young prince seated on a chair reciting the Qur’aan. The prince was weeping. The following conversation transpired:
Durwaish: “From where do you hail?”
Prince: “From Balkh.”
Durwaish: “Whose son are you?”
The prince wept and said: “I never saw my father. Yesterday I saw a man, but I am not sure if he is my father. I fear that he may flee if I ask him. My father’s name is Ibraheem Bin Adham.”
Durwaish: “Come, I shall take you to him.”
Ibraheem was sitting with his mureeds at Rukn-e-Yamaani when he saw the mureed approaching with his son and his wife (i.e. the queen, Ibraheem’s wife). When the mother saw Ibraheem, she lost control, wept and said: “Son, that is your father.” All the mureeds as well as others cried loudly. The prince fainted. When he regained conscious, he greeted his father. Ibraheem, returning the salaam, embraced his son and asked: “What Deen are you following?”
Prince: “The Deen of Muhammad (sallallahu alayhi wasallam).”
Ibraheem: “Do you know the Qur’aan?”
Prince: “Yes, I know it.”
Ibraheem: “Al-hamdulillah! Have you acquired any knowledge?”
Prince: “Yes, I have.”
Ibraheem stood up and began walking away. But his son held on to him while his wife was pleading. Ibraheem lifted his face to the heaven and said: “O Allah! Set me free.” Instantly, his son dropped down dead.
Later when his disciples asked for an explanation, Ibraheem said: “When I embraced my son, his love kindled in my heart. Immediately, a Voice reprimanded: “O Ibraheem! You are claiming to love Me but you associate with another being. You admonish your disciples to abstain from looking at boys while you look with love at your son and wife.” I then supplicated: “O Allah! If his love will divert me from You, either take my life or take his life.” The dua was accepted and his life taken.”
Some Auliyaa have an extremely close relationship of Divine Love. They are on a different spiritual plane. Having abandoned the world and its pleasures in entirety, great trials are imposed on them in the journey of Divine Love. Just as Hadhrat Ibraheem (alayhis salaam) was called on to sacrifice his son, Ismaeel (alayhis salaam), so too are certain Auliyaa required to make great sacrifices for the treasure of Divine Love.
94. THE EFFECT OF THIKR
A Sheikh who was saved by Allah Ta`ala when he was overwhelmed by the love of a beautiful woman, saw Hadhrat Nabi Yusuf (alayhis salaam) in a dream. The Sheikh (in the dream) said: “O Nabi of Allah! May Allah Ta`ala keep your eyes cool. Allah Ta`ala saved you from Zulaikha.” In response, Nabi Yusuf (alayhis salaam) said: “O Blessed One! May Allah keep your eyes cool. You have been saved from the woman of the Tribe of Asfaan.” Hadhrat Yusuf (alayhis salaam) then recited very softly the following Aayat:
“Verily, for the one who fears the Rank of Allah will be two Orchards.”
A Buzrug commented:
“A man cannot save himself from the snares of the nafs by his own efforts. He is saved by the aid of Allah Ta`ala, from the evil of the nafs.”
Seek comfort from Allah. Do not attempt to seek comfort without Allah. Whoever derives comfort from Allah, has been saved. Whoever sought comfort by abandoning Allah, was destroyed.
The heart derives rest in the Thikr of Allah. Searching for rest besides Allah is a sign of perpetual ghaflat (obliviousness).
Sheikh Abu Abdullah Muhammad Bin Ali Tirmizi Hakeem (rahmatullah alayh) said: “The Thikr of Allah moistens the heart and cultivates tenderness in it. When the heart is bereft of Thikrullah, the heat of the nafs overtakes it; the fire of lust reaches it; the heart becomes barren and hard, and all the limbs refrain from obedience to Allah Ta`ala.”
Sheikh Abdullah Bin Fadhl (rahmatullah alayhi)said: “Lamentable is the condition of the person who goes through numerous difficulties and hardships travelling through the wilderness to reach his family at his home, but he does not cut asunder his nafsaani desires to reach the heart in which the signs of his Friend (Allah Ta`ala) are manifest.”
Sheikh Abu Turaab Bakshi (rahmatullah alayh) said: “Whoever turns away from Allah Ta`ala after being engrossed with Him (with His Remembrance), he will immediately become involved in the Wrath of Allah Ta`ala.”
95. MAKING A PLEDGE WITH ALLAH
A Buzrug set off for Hajj alone. He promised Allah Ta`ala that he would not ask anyone for anything. Along the journey he halted at a place. Some days passed by, but he obtained not even a morsel to eat. His physical weakness did not allow him to walk. He said to himself:
“This is an occasion of dire need which can lead to death. Allah Ta`ala, Himself has prohibited self-destruction.”
When the Buzrug reasoned in this manner, he felt justified to ask for aid. However, as he resolved to seek assistance, an overwhelming spiritual force in him prevented him from asking for aid. He thus resolved: “Even if I die, I shall not violate my pledge with Allah.” The caravan in which he was travelling proceeded on the journey. The buzrug remained behind alone in his pitiful condition. He sat down facing the Qiblah in anticipation of Maut. Suddenly he saw a man on horseback standing by him. The man gave him water to drink and food to eat. He asked the buzrug: “Do you want to link up with the caravan?” The buzrug said: “Where is the caravan now? (i.e. the caravan is far ahead).” The man said: “Get up and walk a few steps.” After he walked a few steps, the man said: “Wait here. The caravan must be approaching.” Soon the buzrug saw the caravan approaching from the rear.
96. THE BENEFIT OF ABUNDANT DUROOD
A young man who was making tawaaf of the Ka`bah was reciting Durood Shareef in abundance. Someone asked if he experienced any effect of the Durood Shareef. The young man narrated the following episode:
“My father and I went for Hajj. Along the journey my father became ill and died. His face became black; his eyes became horribly contorted and his stomach bloated. I cried and said: ‘Inna lillahi wa inna ilayhi raji-oon.’ I bewailed my father’s death in the journey and his condition. That night when I fell asleep, I saw in a dream Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) approaching my father. He rubbed his blessed hand on my father’s face. Immediately it became whiter than milk and glittered. He then rubbed his hand on my father’s bloated stomach. His stomach subsided and became normal. When Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) was about to leave, I took hold of his blessed shawl and exclaimed: ‘O my chief! Who are you?’ He said: ‘Do you not recognize me? I am Muhammad, the Rasool of Allah. This, your father, was grossly disobedient and a sinner. However he recited Durood in abundance. I have therefore come to his aid when this calamity befell him.’”
97. THE REWARD OF SABR IS GOODNESS
A lady of admirable patience during the severe trials of misfortune which befell her related these trials as follows:
“My husband slaughtered a goat for Qurbaani. My two little sons saw their father slaughtering the goat. The elder of the two boys took his brother into the woods to demonstrate how his father had slaughtered the goat. He laid his brother down and slaughtered him. After he had realised what he had done, he ran into the mountains. A wolf attacked and killed him. His father set out in his search, but got lost in the desert and died of thirst. Meanwhile, after my husband had gone in search, I left my baby in the house and went to the door to see if my husband was perhaps returning. The infant crawled to the stove and upturned the pot of boiling water which fell on him. As a result of this incident, the baby died. When news of these disasters reached my eldest married daughter, she came in haste to me. When she heard what had happened, grief and shock overwhelmed her. She collapsed and died. Now here I am all alone.”
Someone said to her: “How are you able to bear all this grief?” She said: “Whoever is able to differentiate between sabr (patience) and panic will most assuredly find an avenue in between. The result of sabr is goodness. The one who panics receives no reward.”
98. IBRAHIM KHAWWAAS
Hadhrat Ibrahim Khawwaas (rahmatullah alayh) was overcome by excessive thirst along a journey in the wilderness. As a result of the extreme thirst he became unconscious. Somebody suddenly appeared and sprinkled water on his face. When his eyes opened he saw a very handsome and pious-looking young man standing by him with a horse. The young man gave Hadhrat Khawwaas (rahmatullah alayh) water to drink. He then instructed Hadhrat Khawwaas to accompany him. After a few minutes the horse-rider said: “Look ahead! What do you see?” Hadhrat Ibrahim Khawwaas said in surprise: “This is Madinah.” The man said: “Get down. Convey my Salaam to Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) and say that your brother Khidr sends his salaams.” He then disappeared.
99. THE FRUITS OF GENEROSITY
Hadhrat Sheikh Ali bin Muwaffiq (rahmatullah alayh) had performed more than fifty Hajj. He had asked Allah Ta`ala to bestow the thawaab of all his Hajj to Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam), Hadhrat Abu Bakr, Hadhrat Umar, Hadhrat Uthmaan, Hadhrat Ali (radhiallahu anhum) and to his parents. He had only one Hajj remaining to his credit. This particular year, standing on the plain of Arafaat, he supplicated:
“O Allah! If there is anyone here whose Hajj has not been accepted, award my Hajj to him.”
That night while sleeping at Muzdalifah, he saw Allah Ta`ala in a dream, proclaiming:
“O Ali bin Muwaffiq! By virtue of your generosity I have forgiven the People of Wuqoof (the Hujjaj) as well as four times their number. And, I shall accept the intercession of each one of them on behalf of his family, friends and neighbours. I am The One of Holiness and Forgiveness.”
100. A WALI’S INNOCENCE IS ESTABLISHED
Hadhrat Zunnun Misri (rahmatullah alayh) narrates:
“Once I was journeying in a boat. Alongside was seated a very handsome man with a noorani (glittering) face. When we were in the middle of the river, the owner of the boat discovered that his purse with all his money was missing. Although the young man was the prime suspect, everyone was searched.
When it was the turn of the young man to be searched, he leapt into the water which became like a solid board for him. He sat on the water and supplicated:
“O my Protector! People have accused me of theft. O Friend of my heart! Command all the animals of the sea in this area to surface with precious stones in their mouths.”
Sheikh Zunnun Misri continues:
“Even before he completed his supplication, we observed a vast assembly of sea animals in front of the boat. In the mouth of every animal was a dazzling precious stone. The glitter blinded our vision. The young man then walked away across the water until he disappeared from our sight.”
Hadhrat Zunnun (rahmatullah alayh) adds:
“It is for this reason that I took to travelling. During journeys sometimes the Auliyaa of Allah are met. I recall that Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) said that there will always be three men whose hearts are like the hearts of Nabi Ibraheem (alayhis salaam). When one of them dies, Allah Ta`ala appoints another man to fill the vacancy.”