EPISODES FROM THE LIVES OF THE AULIYAA-5

40. HIDAAYAT COMES TO AN IDOLATER

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

Idolater: “Whom do you worship?”

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

Idolater: “How do you know this?”

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

Idolater: “Where is that Messenger?”

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

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

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

Idolater: “Show it to me.”

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

41. THE CONVERSION OF A YOUTH

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

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

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

Youth: “One hundred thousand dirhams.”

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

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

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

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

Youth: “Most certainly.”

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

42. BAHLOOL AND KHALIFAH HAROON RASHID

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

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

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

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

Bahlool recited some poetry, the translation of which is:

“O my friend! Do not be deceived by luxuries

life is passing by and pleasures are depleting

when you carry the janazah to the cemetery

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

43. HADHRAT SA`DOON MAJNOON’S NASEEHAT

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

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

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

44. SA`DOON MAJNOON’S DUA

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

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

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

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

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

Maalik: “How are you?”

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

Then he sobbed profusely.

Maalik: “Why are you crying?”

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

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

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

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

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

“O Beloved One! Dissociate from people

Take Allah Ta`ala for your friend and companion 

Test people in any way you wish

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

46. A YOUNG DEVOTEE OF ALLAH IN THE MADHOUSE

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

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

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

Ibn Qassaab: “Who is the worst ingrate?”

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

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

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

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

47. A COMPANION OF JANNAT

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

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

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

I said: ‘Give me some naseehat’

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

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

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

48. THE DIVINE LOVE OF A MAJNOONAH

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

49. THE CONDITION OF A YOUTHFUL AARIF BIL-LAAH

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Zunnun: “Are you truly mad?”

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

Zunnun: “What has driven you to insanity?”

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

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

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

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

Zunnun: “What does the sirr gain?”

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

Zunnun: “How does it obtain The Haqq?”

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

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

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