ATTRIBUTES OF SUFIS INNER AND OUTER SELF

Sufi Art   Among the attributes of the Sufis were their refrainment from all hypocrisy. In simple terms, their inner selves were in complete concordance with their outer self.

It is said that Sayyiduna Omar bin Abdul Aziz (radi Allahu anhu) asked Sayyiduna Khidr (alaihis salaam) to give him some advise when they both found themselves in Medina Shareef, Sayyiduna Khidr (alaihis assalaam) replied, “O Omar! Save yourself from this state, wherein, outwardly you are the friend of Allah, yet, inwardly you are His enemy. Those whose inner self is not in concordance with their outer self are hypocrites and for them will be extreme punishment”.

Sayyiduna Abdul Wahid bin Yaazid (radi Allahu anhu) has expressed, “Sayyiduna Hasan Basri (radi Allahu anhu) has reached a lofty position in Tassawaf simply because whenever he advised any person to perform any action he firstly did so himself. Whenever he prohibited a person, he always firstly refrained himself. I have therefore, never seen a person whose inner self is precisely as his outer self”.

Sayyiduna Mu’awwiya bin Qurra (radi Allahu anhu) has stated, “Whenever I heard a person being praised, I had always found him less then his tribute, except for Sayyiduna Wakee’ah (radi Allahu anhu). I have always found him to be even more superior then his acclaim”.

Sayyiduna Abdullah Antaaki (radi Allahu anhu) states, “To refrain from internal sins is the most superior of acts”. When he was asked the reasons, he replied, “Simply because he who refrains from internal sins will have a better chance of refraining from external sins. Therefore, he whose internal self is better then his external self, this indeed is the Mercy of Allah. While he whose both selves are equal, this indeed is equality. He on the other hand he whose external self is better then his internal self, he indeed is an oppressor”.

It is because of this that the great Sufis hide their worship. They state that Read the rest of this entry »

SUFIS AND SINCERITY

Bismillahir Rehmanir Rahim    Among the ethics and manners of the famous Sufis, sincerity held a mighty and lofty position. Every action of theirs portrayed absolute sincerity. The thought of insincerity never crossed their minds. They clearly understood that action could only be considered noble, if it contained sincerity. Their aim was not to become famously known as Sufis, neither did they consider worldly respect as the all important factor. Their aim was merely to achieve the Pleasure of Allah. The world in front of them held no real value. They understood that if a person spent day and night in the Ibaadat of Allah, yet, he was devoid of sincerity, he would achieve nothing from his worship.

It is recorded that when the Holy Prophet (sallal laahu alaihi wa sallam) sent Sayyiduna Ma’az (radi Allahu anhu) to Yemen, he advised him, “O Ma’az create sincerity in your belief. In this way (even if you perform little deeds) it will be enough for you”.

The incident of Sayyiduna Ali (radi Allahu anhu), clearly portrays the importance of sincerity. Once while he was in battle, he had captured an enemy and was about to kill him when the enemy spat on his blessed face. Sayyiduna Ali (radi Allahu anhu) immediately released him. When he was asked the reason, he replied, “I chose the sword strictly for the Pleasure of Allah. I have been delegated to see that His commands are obeyed. I do not obey my Nafs (carnal desires). I am the Lion of Allah, I am not the lion of my desires. When you spat on me, my desire immediately entered this battle and sincerity began to depart. It is because of this that I have spared you, for my action was not based on sincerity”. When the enemy heard this amazing reply, he instantly repented and became a Muslim.

Sayyiduna Wahab Mambeh (radi Allahu anhu) states, “He who desires the world with the actions of the Hereafter, Allah will indeed alter his heart. His name will then be included among those who are to enter Hell”.

It is recorded that certain Sufis actually re-performed 30 years of Salaah, simply because they felt that they had not shown enough sincerity. Read the rest of this entry »

Beshr ibn al-Hareth Radi Allahu anhu

Abu Nasr Beshr ibn al-Hareth al-Hafi was born near Merv c. 150(767) and was converted from a life of dissipation, studied Traditions in Baghdad, then abandoned formal learning for the life of a mendicant, destitute, starving and barefoot. He died in Baghdad in 227 (841). He was admired by Ahmad ibn Hanbal and respected by the caliph al-Ma’mun.

The conversion of Beshr the Barefoot

Beshr the Barefoot was born in Merv and settled at Baghdad. The beginning of his conversion happened as follows. He had lived a life of dissipation, and one day as he was staggering along the road drunk he found a piece of paper on which was written,

“In the Name of ALLAH, the Merciful, the Compassionate.”

He bought some attar of roses and perfumed the paper with it, and deposited it reverently in his house. That night a certain holy man had a dream in which he was bidden to tell Beshr:

“Thou hast perfumed my Name, so I have perfumed thee. Thou hast exalted my Name, so I have exalted thee. Thou hast purified my Name, so I have purified thee. By my Majesty, I will surely perfume thy name in this world and the world to come.”

“He is a dissolute fellow,” thought the saint. “Perhaps I am seeing erroneously.”

So he made ablution, prayed and returned to sleep. He saw the selfsame dream a second and a third time. In the morning he arose and went in search of Beshr.

“He is at a wine-party,” he was told.

He went to the house where Beshr was.

“Was Beshr here?” he enquired.

“He was,” they said. “But he is drunk and incapable.”

“Tell him I have a message for him,” said the saint.

“A message from whom?” demanded Beshr when he was told.

“A message from ALLAH,” replied the saint.

“Alas!” cried Beshr, bursting into tears. “Is it a message of chiding or of chastisement? Wait, till I tell my friends. Friends,” he addressed his drinking-companions, “I have had a call. I am going. I bid you farewell. You will never see me again at this business.”

And from that day onward he lived so saintly, that none heard his name mentioned without heavenly peace invaded his heart. He took to the way of selfdenial, and so overwhelmed was he by the vision of God that he never put shoes on his feet. For that reason he was called Beshr the Barefoot.

Tadhkirat al-Auliya’
(Memorial of the Saints)
by Farid al-Din Attar

Rabe’a al-Adawiya Radi Allahu anha

The night when Rabe’a radi allhu anha came to earth, there was nothing whatsoever in her father’s house; for her father lived in very poor circumstances. He did not possess even one drop of oil to anoint her navel; there was no lamp, and not a rag to swaddle her in. He already had three daughters, and Rabe’a radi allhu anha was his fourth; that is why she was called by that name.

“Go to neighbour So-and-so and beg for a drop of oil, so that I can light the lamp,” his wife said to him. Now the man had entered into a covenant that he would never ask any mortal for anything. So he went out and just laid his hand on the neighbour’s door, and returned.

“They will not open the door,” he reported. The poor woman wept bitterly. In that anxious state the man placed his head on his knees and went to sleep.

He dreamed that he saw the Prophet Salla Allahu ta’ala’alayhi wa sallam. “Be not sorrowful,” the Prophet Salla Allahu ta’ala’alayhi wa sallam bade him. “The girl child who has just come to earth is a queen among women, who shall be the intercessor for seventy thousand of my community Tomorrow,” the Prophet Salla Allahu ta’ala’alayhi wa sallam continued, “go to Isa-e Zadan the governor of Basra. Write on a piece of paper to the following effect.

‘Every night you send upon me a hundred blessings, an on Friday night four hundred. Last night was Friday night, and you forgot me. In expiation for that, give this man four hundred dinars lawfully acquired.’”

Rabe’a radi allhu anha’s father on awaking burst into tears. He rose up and wrote as the Prophet Salla Allahu ta’ala’alayhi wa sallam had bidden him, and sent the message to the governor by the hand of a chamberlain.

“Give two thousand dinars to the poor,” the governor commanded when he saw the missive, “as a thanksgiving for the Master remembering me. Give four hundred dinars also to the shaikh, and tell him, ‘I wish you to come to me so that I may see you. But I do not hold it proper for a man like you to come to me. I would rather come and rub my beard in you threshold. However, I adjure you by Allah Azzawajal, whatever you may need, pray let me know.”

The man took the gold and purchased all that was necessary.

Tadhkirat al-Auliya’
(Memorial of the Saints)
by Farid al-Din Attar

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