EPISODES FROM THE LIVES OF THE AULIYAA-3

21. AN ATTITUDE OF DIVINE LOVE

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

22. THE AARIF’S GAZE

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

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

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

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

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

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

24. HAATIM ASAM’S ENCOUNTER WITH AN AALIM

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

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

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

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

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

The Qaadhi responded: “Ask!”

Hadhrat Haatim: “First, sit up!”

The Qaadhi complied and sat respectfully.

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

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

Hadhrat Haatim: “What are their names?”

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

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

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

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

Qaadhi: “From Jibraeel (alayhis salaam).”

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

Qaadhi: “From Allah Ta`ala.”

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

Qaadhi: “No, I have not read this.”

Hadhrat Haatim: “What then have you learnt?”

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

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

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

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

25. THE ULAMA AND THE SUFIYAA

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

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

IMAAM HAMBAL AND SUFI SHAIBAAN

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

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

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

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

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

27. THE SOURCE OF KNOWLEDGE

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

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

28. ABUL MA-AALI AND THE SUFIYAA

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

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

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

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

29. THE CORE OF KNOWLEDGE

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

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