HADHRAT Zunnun Misri (rahmatullah alayh), the famous Wali of Egypt of the third Islamic century,
was branded a zindeeq (heretic/kaafir) by the people of Egypt. His mystical statements were
beyond their intellectual capacity. The people sent a petition to Khalifah Mutawakkil in Baghdad
complaining severely about Hadhrat Zunnun (rahmatullah alayh). Many blasphemous statements
and beliefs were attributed to him. The Khalifah ordered his arrest and instructed that he be sent in
chains to Baghdad which was the seat of the Khilaafate.
Consequently, Hadhrat Zunnun (rahmatullah alayh) was put in chains and dispatched to
Baghdad. When he finally was delivered into the court of the Khalifah, he commented: “Today I
have learnt how to be a Muslim from two persons: an old lady and a young man.” When he was
asked to explain, he said: “Along the way to the court, a young water-carrier gave me some water
to drink. I indicated to a friend who had accompanied me to give him a dinar. The water-carrier
HAYAATAN TAYYIBATAN (A WHOLESOME LIFE)
refused to accept it, and commented: “It is dishonourable to take payment from a stranger in
“When I was ushered into the Khalifah’s court, I became a bit apprehensive when I observed
the pomp and splendour, the soldiers, guards, etc. As some change overtook me, there suddenly
appeared an old lady with a stick in front of me. She reprimanded: “Beware! Never fear! The one to
whom they are taking you is a human being just as you. He cannot do you anything without the
Will of Allah Ta’ala.” Then she disappeared.
The Khalifah ordered that Hadhrat Zunnun be imprisoned for forty days. Whilst in jail, Hadhrat
Bishr Haafi’s sister who was a saintly lady of lofty rank would daily send one bread to the prison for
Hadhrat Zunnun. After forty days when he was released, it was seen that the forty bread were all
intact. He did not eat a single piece of the bread. This realization grieved the saintly lady. When
she queried the reason for having abstained from the bread which she had prepared from her
halaal earning, Hadhrat Zunnun (rahmatullah alayh) said that he was aware that the bread was
from her halaal earnings, however, the container in which the bread was sent was contaminated by
the hands of an oppressor. This was a reference to the hands of the jail warder who would bring
After he was released, he fell down due to extreme weakness. His head was injured and blood
gushed forth. Miraculously, the blood did not run on to his face nor on his garments, but would run
off directly from his forehead on to the ground and the ground would instantaneously absorb it.
Before he was released, he was brought into the presence of Khalifah Mutawakkil and
interrogated about his beliefs and the seemingly blasphemous statements attributed to him.
Hadhrat Zunnun acquitted himself with such eloquence and elucidation that the Khalifah broke
down crying. All the noblemen and scholars present were amazed at the eloquence and the
elaboration presented by Hadhrat Zunnun (rahmatullah alayh). So awed became the Khalifah that
he became the mureed and devotee of Hadhrat Zunnun Misri (rahmatullah alayh) who was sent
back to Egypt in great honour and respect.
THE MYSTERY OF IBRAAHIM KIRMAANI
A Buzrug narrated the following wonderful episode: “Together with a few of my companions we went to Mount Libnaan with the intention of meeting Auliya who inhabit isolated places and caves. We walked for a considerable time in the mountain range. I injured my leg and sat down to rest. My companions decided to proceed with the search for Auliya. They told me to remain here while they searched. They would return again. I waited until the next day but they did not return. I hobbled along in search of water to make wudhu. I descended the side of the mountain and found a fountain of water. After making wudhu as I was about to commence Salaat, I heard a voice reciting the Qur’aan Shareef. I completed Salaat and set off in the direction of the voice. Soon I saw a cave. The voice was emanating from that cave. When I entered I saw a blind Buzrug sitting. I made Salaam, and he responded: ‘Wa Alaikumus Salaam’, and asked me: ‘Are you a jinn or an insaan (human being).’ I said: ‘I am an insaan.’ With surprise in his voice, he said: ‘This is the first time in thirty years that a human being has come here. Perhaps you are tired. Take a rest.’ As he said so, I fell asleep. He aroused me at the time of Zuhr, and I joined him for Zuhr Salaat. I also performed Asr, Maghrib and Isha’ with him. Despite him being blind, he was accurate in determining the times of Salaat. After Isha’ Salaat he said to me: ‘Go, into the inner-side of the cave and eat whatever you find there.’ When I reached another section inside the cave, I saw on a slab of stone walnuts, raisins, apples, figs, etc. I ate as much as I desired. I asked him: ‘From whence did all these fruits come to you?’ He said: ‘You shall soon see for yourself.’ Soon thereafter, a beautiful multi-coloured bird arrived. Its wings were snow white; breast red and neck green. In its beak were raisins and in its claws walnuts. The bird deposited the fruit on the slab of stone. The Buzrug said: ‘This bird has been delivering these fruits for me since the past 30 years. It comes daily seven times. But today it had come 15 times. When I asked the bird the reason, it said that seven times were for me, and eight times for the guest.’ The garment of the Buzrug was made of the bark of a tree. A bark of the tree was also his bedding. I asked him: ‘Where did you obtain the bark from?’ He said: ‘This same bird on the Day of Ashura (10th Muharram) every year brings ten pieces of bark which I make into garments.’
The Buzrug had a wonderful stone in which there was a slight hollow forming a sort of a dish. Water poured into this stone would serve the purpose of removing hairs. By rubbing the water, hairs of the body would be removed. I stayed with the Buzrug for 24 days. One day seven beings visited him. They all had fiery red eyes. There only garments were dense layers of hair which covered their entire bodies. The Buzrug said to me: ‘Don’t fear. They are Muslim jinn.’ One jinn recited Surah Taha; one recited Surah Furqaan, and one recited some verses of Surah Rahmaan. It appeared that they came to learn Qiraa’t of the Qur’aan from the Buzrug. On the 24th day the Buzrug asked me to explain my story. How I happened to come here. After I explained the circumstances of my arrival. He commented: ‘If I had known, I would not have permitted you to stay so long. Your companions must be anxious and worried about you. It is best that you depart now.’ I told him that I was not aware of the road back. He said: ‘Come, I shall show you.’ While walking with him, I requested him for some naseehat. He said: ‘I shall give you two naseehat: (1) Learn respect. (2) Adopt hunger. You will then be enumerated among the Auliya.’ Then he said: ‘On the occasion of Hajj you will meet a man (he described the man to me). On the Day of Tawaaf-e-Ziyaarat, he will be between Maqaam-e-Ibraahim and the Zam Zam Well. Convey my Salaam to him. Tell him that Ibraahim Kirmaani sends his Salaam.’ When we came out of the cave, a wild beast was waiting there. Ibraahim Kirmaani said something to the animal which I did not understand. Then he instructed me: ‘Go, accompany this animal. At a juncture where he will stop, turn to your left and that will be the road.’ I followed the beast. Soon we came to a junction and the animal stopped. When I looked left, I saw Damascus. I hastened to the Jaami’ Musjid in Damascus. There I found some of my companions. After I narrated my story, a group of people accompanied me to the mountain. Although we searched for the cave for three days, it was in vain. The cave had disappeared. I went for Hajj seven times after this episode, but I could not locate the Buzrug to whom I was asked to convey Salaams. In the eighth year I finally found him between Maqaam-e- Ibraahim and the Well of Zam Zam. I first greeted him and requested him to make dua for me. Then I conveyed Ibraahim Kirmaani’s Salaam to him. In surprise he asked me: ‘Where did you meet Ibraahim Kirmaani?’ The manner of the question gave me the impression that Ibraahim Kirmaani (rahmatullah alayh) had died. I therefore asked: Has he died? The Buzrug said: ‘Yes, he has died. At the time we were giving him ghusl, that bird arrived, threw itself on to the ground and flapping its wings, it also died. We buried the bird at the feet-side of Hadhrat Ibraahim Kirmaani (rahmatullah alayh).”