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(Sufficient Provision for Seekers of the Path of Truth) also known in the Indian sub-continent as Al-Ghunya li-Talibin. Author's Prologue Praise be to Allah for His gracious favor, and blessings and peace be upon the Prince of His Prophets and upon his family and his friends. The following are the words of our Supreme Helper [Ghawthuna'lA'zam], the Mainstay of the Arabs and the non-Arabs [Sanad al'Arab wa'l-'Ajam], the Light of Mankind and the Jinn [Nur athThaqalain], the Axis of East and West [Qutb al-Khafiqain], the Reviver of the Prophetic Example [Muhyi's-Sunna], Abu Muhammad 'Abd al-Qadir al-Hasani al-Husaini al-Jilani (may Allah the Exalted sanctify his innermost being, and may He pour His gracious blessings in abundance upon those who follow his lofty example): Praise be to Allah, for every book must begin with the declaration of His praise, as every speech must start with the mention of His name. The people of bliss will take delight in praising Him [hereafter] in the abode of requital and reward. By His name is every sickness healed, and with it every grief and tribulation is removed. Toward Him hands are raised in earnest entreaty and supplication, in hardship and in ease, in good times and in bad. He is Attentive [Sami'] to all voices, with all their various forms of speech in different languages, and He is Responsive [Mujib] to those who feel the need to appeal [to Him]. Praise be to Him, therefore, for all that is best and finest, and thanks be to Him for all the favors He has bestowed, for all the gifts He has granted, and for the evidence and guidance He has clearly shown.

May His blessings be upon His chosen friend [safi] and Messenger [Rasul], Muhammad, through whom He has guided us out of error, and on his family, his companions, his brother Envoys [Mursalun] and the angels brought near [mala'ika muqarrabun], and may He grant them peace. Now to address the subject of the present work: One of my friends had been pressing me, urging me in very emphatic terms to compose this book, because of his excellent appreciation of what is right and proper. Of course, Allah is the One who protects from harm ['Asim] in words and deeds, the One who has insight [Muttali'] into consciences [dama'ir] and intentions [niyyat], and the Benefactor [Mun'im] who graciously condescends to facilitate whatever He wishes. Refuge with Him (Almighty and Glorious is He) must be sought through cleansing hearts of pretense [riya'] and hypocrisy [nifaq], and replacing bad deeds with good. He is Forgiving [Ghafir] of sins and mistakes, and Accepting [Qabil] of repentance from His servants. I came to recognize the sincerity of his [my friend's] wish to acquire real knowledge [ma'rifa] of modes of behavior consistent with the sacred law [adab shar'iyya], namely obligatory religious duties [fara'id], recommended practices [sunan] and formal refinements [hai'at]; real knowledge of the Maker [Sani'] (Almighty and Glorious is He) through signs [ayat] and indications ['alamat]; then instruction in the Qur'an and Prophetic utterances [alfaz nabawiyya], in discourses [majalis] we shall mention later; and real knowledge of the morals and ethics of the righteous [salihun], which we shall review in the course of the book, so that it may serve as a helper to him in following the path of Allah (Almighty and Glorious is He), in carrying out His commandments and observing His prohibitions. I found that he had a sincere intention [niyya sadiqa], which I experienced within me among the revelations of the Unseen [futuh al-ghaib], so I gave him a positive response in this matter. Promptly and eagerly, counting on the reward, hoping for salvation on the Day of Reckoning, I set about the work of compiling this

book, with the helpful guidance of the Lord of lords [Rabb alarbab], the Inspirer of what is right [Mulhim as-sawab], and I have given it the title: Sufficient Provision for Seekers of the Path of Truth [Al-Ghunya liTalibi Tariq al-Haqq].

Read some of these discourses by following the links below:

A Collection of 14 Special Prayers for each day and night of the week Supererogatory Prayers for those seeking extra blessings Three Indispensable Virtues

Concerning the vital importance of (1) repentance [tawba], (2) sincere devotion [ikhlas], and (3) the abandonment of hypocritical display [riya'].
Ritual Prayer of Shawwal Concerning the ritual prayer of those who are emancipated [from the Fire of Hell] in the month of Shawwal [salat al-'utaqa' fi Shawwal] Concerning knowledge of the Creator [Sani'] (Almighty and Glorious is He). Concerning contentment [rida]. Concerning absolute trust in the Lord [tawakkul]. Concerning thankfulness [shukr]. A series of invocations, each of them beginning with: "In the Name of Allah, who [Bismi'llahi'lladhi]." Concerning the ritual prayer of the spiritual elite [salat al-khassa]. Concerning the necessity to be constantly on guard against hypocritical display [riya'], the desire to impress one's fellow creatures [ru'yat al-khalq], and vain conceit ['ujb].

Journey to the Lord of Power: Sufi Ma... by Muhyi al-Din Muhammad...

4.0 out of 5 stars (4)


The Alchemy of Happiness (Forgotten Books) by Al-Ghazali

3.7 out of 5 stars (7)


The Secret of Secrets (Golden Palm) by Abd al-Qadir Al-Jilani

5.0 out of 5 stars (3)


Al-Ghazali's Path to Sufism by Abu Hamid Muhammad ibn Muhamma...

5.0 out of 5 stars (1)


A Prayer for Spiritual Elevation and... by Muhyiddin Ibn 'Arabi 10.31

Futuh Al-Ghaib: Revelation of the Unseen by Abdul Qadit Jilani

An interpretation of Ibn 'Arabi's (d. 1240) work originally entitled in Arabic 'Sharjarat al -kawn' ('The Tree of Being') together with the translator's introduction to the life and work of Ibn 'Arabi, an an appendix containing Tosun Bayrak's description of the Prophet Muhammad and his translation from a 16th-century work listing the 201names and attributes of the Prophet Muhammad.

Futuh Al-Ghaib: Revelation of the Unseen [Paperback]

Abdul Qadit Jilani (Author)

Hamzah Fansuri: Pujangga Sufi Agung Melayu

Hamzah Fansuri ialah seorang ulama dan pujangga besar Melayu. Beliaulah penyair Melayu pertama yang menggubah syair-syair bersifat agama. Hamzah Fansuri dipercayai dilahirkan pada akhir abad ke-16 di Barus atau Panchor, Sumatera Utara. Panchor disebut Fansur dalam bahasa Arab. Pada tahun 1726, Francois Valentijn dalam bukunya Oud en Nieuw Oost-Indie (Hindia Timur Lama dan Baharu) pada bab mengenai Sumatera, menyebut Hamzah Fansuri sebagai seorang penyair yang dilahirkan di Fansur. Karya-karya Hamzah Fansuri telah dikaji oleh para sarjana Timur dan Barat iaitu Kraemaer,










Kajian al-Attas yang merupakan analisis semantik dianggap sebagai kajian yang paling menyeluruh dan hebat terhadap pegangan mistisisme Hamzah Fansuri. Pada masa yang sama, kajian mereka ini telah memberikan penjelasan yang amat penting mengenai sumbangan Hamzah terhadap sastera Melayu.

Pemikiran dan pegangan Hamzah Fansuri terpancar dalam karya- karya beliau meliputi karya prosa dan puisi. Hamzah adalah pengembang tarekat Wujudiyah. Gambaran tentang ajaran Wujudiyah ini dapat dikutip daripada karangan beliau Asrar al-Arifin dan Sharab alAsyikin. Fahaman ini beranggapan bahawa segala makhluk itu pada asasnya esa, kerana wujud daripada zat Allah.

Dalam hujahnya menerusi kitab-kitab ini, terkesan bahawa Hamzah terpengaruh dengan faham Ibn Arabi, ahli tasawuf yang masyhur pada akhir abad ke-12 dan,awal abad ke-13. Selain itu, Hamzah turut menyisipkan dalam karangannya kutipan-kutipan ahli tasawuf Parsi seperti al-Junaid, Mansor Hallaj, Jalaluddin Rumi, Abi Yazid Bistami, dan Shamsu Tabriz. Karangan-karangan prosa Hamzah yang terpenting ialah Asrar al-Arifin (Rahsia Orang yang Bijaksana), Sharab al-Asyikin (Minuman Segala Orang yang Berahi) dan Zinat al-Muwahidin (Pe r h i asan Sekalian Orang yang Mengesakan). Syair-syair beliau pula ialah Syair Si Burung Pingai, Syair Si Burung Pungguk, Syair Sidang Fakir, Syair Dagang dan Syair Perahu. Melalui hasil karangannya, dijelaskan mengapa orang harus mencari Tuhan dan juga sebagai garis petunjuk untuk mencari Tuhan. Syair-syair Hamzah sarat dengan estetika, ilmu dan falsafah diolah berdasarkan pengaruh, pantun menampakkan bahawa Hamzah menguasai puisi Parsi bersifat tasawuf dan memupuk rasa cinta akan Allah. Hamzahlah penyajak Melayu pertama yang menggunakan syair dalam tulisan agama. Winstedt mengatakan cara pemikiran Hamzah sesuai dengan pemikiran yang terdapat dalam karangan-karangan ahli-ahli falsafah, pujangga dan pengarang-pengarang,besar Barat seperti St. Augustinom(354-430), John Lyly (1553-1606), Francis Bacon (1561-1662), John Milton(1608-1674), Sydney Smith (1771-1845) dan lain-lainnya. Pengiktirafan tersebut Hamzah Fansuri diangkat sebagai pelopor kesusasteraan Melayu moden di alam Melayu.

Futuh Al-Ghaib: Revelation of the Unseen (Paperback)

Good book in general, but some of the concepts it discusses might be hard to grasp, as 1) the English might be hard to understand (not perfectly structured sentences) and 2) Some of the concepts are just hard to explain explicitly and without creating confusion due to the very nature of the matter. But overall, the book is very good and inspirational to me! Also, it is not in hard cover, although it says so on here.
utuh Al-Ghaib: Revelation of the Unseen (Paperback)

one of the best books talking about how to get close to God and different ranks (stages) you go through. its content is very intense and for those with no basic knowledge in the subject of 'hating your desires', they wont understand some of the material and might label it as foolish. this book basically contains different lectures by hazrat ghaus al azam (may Allah bless him). i was going through some deep thoughts when i decided to buy this book. it not only transformed my way of looking at things but also refined by belief. all the teaching have been derived from very simple verses of Quaran and Ahadith. in short its all about loving God, doing everything in your life with the aim of pleasing God and destroying yourself in God. highly recommended for seekers

The Secret of Secrets (Golden Palm) by Abd al-Qadir Al-Jilani

5.0 out of 5 stars (3)


The Alchemy of Happiness (Forgotten Books) by Al-Ghazali

3.7 out of 5 stars (7)


Al-Ghazali's Path to Sufism by Abu Hamid Muhammad ibn Muhamma...

5.0 out of 5 stars (1)


Ibn 'Arabi, the "Tree of Being":... by Muhyiddin Ibn 'Arabi

5.0 out of 5 stars (1)


Journey to the Lord of Power: Sufi Ma... by Muhyi al-Din Muhammad...

4.0 out of 5 stars (4)


Al-Ghazali on Disciplining the Soul a... by Abu Hamid Muhammad Gh...

4.9 out of 5 stars (8)


The Ta-Sin of Understanding

1. The comprehensions of created natures are not attached to reality, and reality is not attached to created natures. Thoughts (which come) are adherences, and the adherences of created natures do not attach themselves to realities. The perception of reality is difficult to acquire, so how much more difficult is the perception of the reality of the Reality. Furthermore, Allah is beyond reality, and reality does not in itself imply Allah. 2. The moth flies about the flame until morning, then he returns to his fellows and tells them of his spiritual state with the most eloquent expressions. The he mixes with the coquetry of the flame in his desire to reach perfect union. 3. The light of the flame is the knowledge of reality, its heat is the reality of reality, and Union with it is the Truth of the reality. 4. He was not satisfied with its light nor with its heat, so he leapt into it completely. Meanwhile, his fellows were awaiting his coming so that he could tell them of his actual vision since he had not been satisfied with hearsay. But at that moment, he was being utterly consumed, reduced and dispersed into fragments, and he remained without form or body or distinguishing mark. Then in what sense can he return to his fellows? And in what state now that he has obtained? He who had arrived at the vision became able to dispense with reports. He who arrives at the object of his vision is no longer concerned with the vision. 5. These meanings do not concern the negligent man, nor the transitory man, nor the man of wrong action, nor the man who follows his whims. 6. Oh you who are uncertain, do not identify I am with the Divine I - not now, nor in the future, nor in the past. Even if the I am was a consummated gnostic, and if this was my state, it was not the perfection. Even though I am His I am not He. 7. If you have understood this, then understand that these meanings were not true from anyone except Muhammad, and Muhammed is not the father of any one of your men, but the Messenger of Allah and the seal of the

prophets. He absented himself from men and jinn, and he closed his eyes to where until there no longer remained any veil on the heart nor any falsehood. 8. There was a length of two bows lengths or nearer, when he reached the desert of the knowledge of reality, he reported from the outward heart. When he arrived to the truth of the reality he left his desire there and gave himself up to the Bountiful. When he reached the Truth he returned and said: the inward heart has prostrated to You, and the outward heart has believed in You. When he reached the Furthermost Limit he said: I cannot praise You as You should be praised. When he reached the reality of the reality he said: You are the only One who can praise Yourself. He renounced his desire and followed his vocation, the heart did not lie about what it saw at this station near the Lote-Tree of the Boundary. He did not turn to the right to the reality of things, nor to the left to the reality of reality. His eyes swerved not, nor swept away.

[Table of Contents] Previous: The Ta-Sin of the Prophetic Lamp Next: The Ta-Sin of Purity

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(Faslun f bayn itiqd hdhihi al-tifa f masil al-usl) FROM



[The numbering in brackets corresponds to our forthcoming translation of the paragraph chapters of al-Qushayris entire Chapter on Doctrine from the beginning of his Risala (Eds. Abd al-Halim Mahmud and Mahmud ibn al-Sharif. Cairo: Rida Tawfiq Afifi, 1974.)+

AL-HALLAJ is Abu Mughith al-Husayn ibn Mansur al-Hallaj al-Baydawi al-Wasiti (d. 309) the ascetic, he hailed from Persia and was raised in Iraq. He first accompanied al-Junayd, al-Nuri and others then became known in 299. After accusations were raised to the Abbasi Caliph al-Muqtadir Billah he was jailed on charges of heresy, then tortured to death in unspeakable fashion. Many if not most of the Ulema consider him one of the Friends (awliy) of Allah, such as Ibn Khafif who visited him in jail, Abu al-Qasim al-Nasir Abadi, al-Qushayri, Ibn Ata Allah, Ibn al-Hajj, Ibn Aqil who wrote Juz fi Nasr Karamat al-Hallaj (Opuscule in Praise of al-Hallajs gifts) , Ibn Qudama, al-Tufi, Ibn al-Mulaqqin, alMunawi, al-Sharani, etc. Among his sayings: Take care of your ego; if you do not make it busy, it shall make you busy and Whoever points to Him is an aspirant-Sufi whereas whoever points on His behalf is a Sufi.

AL-QUSHAYRI is Zayn al-Islam Abu al-Qasim Abd al-Karim ibn Hawzan ibn Abd al-Malik ibn Talha ibn Muhammad al-Qushayri al-Naysaburi al-Istiwai al-Shafii al-Ashari (376-465), the Teacher, the absolute Imam, jurist, mutakallim, scholar of Principles, Quranic commentator, man of letters, grammarian, writer, and poet, the spokesman of his time, leader among his contemporaries, the secret of Allah in His creation, the Shaykh of shaykhs, the Teacher of the Congregation and most advanced one of the Fold, the goal of those who tread the Path, the ensign of Truth, wellspring of Felicity, pole of Leadership, and grace personified. He never saw such as himself nor did any who saw him ever see such as him in his perfection and brilliance. He gathered together the two sciences of Shara and Haqqa and explained in the best manner the principles of the Path (Abd al-Ghafir alFarisi). He was also an expert in horse and swordsmanship. His Risala ila al-Sufiyya is the earliest complete treatise of its kind and probably the most respected Sufi treatise in Islam.


*16+ Shaykh Abu Abd al-Rahman al-Sulami Allah have mercy on him! told us: I heard Muhammad ibn Muhammad ibn Ghalib say: I heard Abu Nasr Ahmad ibn Said al-Isfanjani say: al-Husayn ibn Mansur said: You must categorically consider all to be contingent, for pre-existence belongs to Him [alone].

*17+ All that appears through body is necessarily an accident (arad).

*18+ That whose assemblage comes about through cause-and-effect (al-adt) is held together through its powers (quwh).1[1]

*19+ All that comes together at one time, goes into dispersion at another time.

*20+ All that something else causes to subsist is characterized by dependency.

*21+ All that imagination can possibly apprehend can be pictured.

*22+ All that is contained is subject to where.

*23+ And all that has a genus is the object of a modality.

*24+ No above shades Him Exalted is He! nor does any below carry Him.

*25+ No limit/direction faces Him (wal yuqbiluhu hadd) nor does any at (ind) beset Him.

*26+ He is not confined by any behind nor limited by any before.

*27+ No before caused Him to appear nor did any after cause Him to vanish.

*28+ No all gathered Him.

*29+ No He is brought Him into existence (lam yjidhu kn).


Such as life, death, poverty and wealth (Sidi Mustafa Basir).

*30+ No He is not can cause Him to be missed (walam yufqidhu lays).

*31+ His description: He has none (wasfuhu l sifata lahu).2[2]

*32+ His act has no cause (illa).

*33+ His being has no duration (amad).

*34+ He is transcendent beyond the states of His creatures: there is not for Him the least deliberation (mizj) in His creation, nor working (ilj) in His acts.

*35+ He is clearly separate from them by His pre-existence (byanahum biqidamih) just as they are clearly separate from Him by their contingent nature (kam byanh bihudthihim).3[3]

*36+ If you ask When? His being is before Time.

*37+ Should you say, H the letters h and ww are but His creation.


Al-Tabari narrates in his Tafsir on verses 39:67 and 114:1 from Said ibn Jubayr, as well as Ibn al -Mundhir, Ibn Abi Hatim, Abu al-Shaykh in al-Azama, and al-Suyuti in al-Durr al-Manthur: A group of Jews came to the Prophet Allah bless and greet him and asked him: O Muhammad! Now, Allah created creation, but who created Him? At this the Prophet Allah bless and greet him became angry so that his color changed and he upbraided them on behalf of His Lord, whereupon Gibril upon him peace came and calmed him, saying: Lower your wing [of mercy], O Muhammad! for the answer came to me from Allah to what they are asking about. Allah says: Say: He is Allah, the One! Allah, the eternally Besought of all! He begets not nor was begotten. And there is none comparable unto Him (112:1-4). When the Prophet Allah bless and greet him recited it to them they said, Describe for us your Lord, what is His physical appearance, how are His arms and upper arms? At this the Prophet Allah bless and greet him became even angrier than before and upbraided them again, whereupon Gibril came again and told him the same thing as before, bringing him as the answer to what they had asked: And they esteem not Allah as He has the right to be esteemed. The whole earth is His handful on the Day of Resurrection and the heavens are rolled in His right hand. Glorified is He and High Exalted from all that they ascribe as partner (unto Him) (39:67). 3[3] I.e. he completely differs from them because There is nothing whatsoever like unto Him (42:11) (Sidi Mustafa Basir).

*38+ And if you say, Where? His existence precedes Place.

*39+ So letters are His Signs (fal-hurfu ytuhu);4[4]

*40+ His existence is the affirmation of Him (wujduhu ithbtuh);5[5]

*41+ Gnosis of Him is the upholding of His Oneness (marifatuhu tawhduh);6[6]

*42+ and His Tawhd is to distinguish Him clearly from His creatures.

*43+ Whatever you imagine in your imaginings, He is different from that (m tusawwiru fil-awhmi fahuwa bikhilfih).

*44+ How can that which He Himself began analyze Him? (kayfa yahullu bihi m minhu badaahu).7[7]

*45+ Or how can that be part of Him which He Himself gave rise to? (aw yadu ilayhi m huwa anshaahu).

*46+ The pupils of the eyes cannot see Him.


I.e. [letter are] the material of which are made His verses and evidences revealed to His Prophet Muhammad Allah bless and greet him (Mahmud and Sharif). 5[5] I.e. It is not enough to believe He exists, but the evidence for its firm proof must be shown up and established (Mahmud and Sharif). 6[6] I.e. Gnosis of Him with His Attributes is produced by upholding His Oneness (Mahmud and Sharif). Sidi Abd al-Salam ibn Mashish said: O Allah, my Lord! Snatch me up from the quic ksands of Tawhd and drown me in the wellspring of the ocean of your Unicity (Allhumma anshiln min awhli al-tawhdi waaghriqn f ayni bahri wahdniyyatik) (Sidi Mustafa Basir). Cf. Shaykh Nuh Keller, trans., Invocations of the Shadhili Order (p. 77-78): And pluck me from the mires of affirming unity, to the infinite space of singularizing the One, transcendently beyond absoluteness or conditionedness; And drown me in the very sea of Oneness (wanshuln min awhli altawhdi il fadi al-tafrdi al-munazzahi an al-itlqi wal-taqydi waaghriqn f ayni bahri al-wahda), cf. Awrad al-Tariqa al-Shadhiliyya (p. 77-78). 7[7] I.e. the mind (Sidi Mustafa Basir).

*47+ Nor can conjectures apprehend Him.

*49+ His nearness is His generosity (qurbuhu karmatuhu).

*50+ His distance is His contempt (wabuduhu ihnatuhu).

[51] His elevation is without ascent (uluwwuhu min ghayri tawaqqul).8[8]

[52] His coming is without displacement (wamajuhu min ghayri tanaqqul).9[9]

[53] He is the First and the Last and the Manifest and the Hidden (57:3), the Near (al-qarb), the Far (al-bad),10[10] There is nothing whatsoever like unto Him, and He is the All-Hearing, the AllSeeing (42:11).

Books published by the Society

The Society's publications are described on this page. Ordering: If you live in the USA, North and Central America please use the US publications page which shows the Dollar prices. For the rest of the world please use the UK order form. (Please note that the Fuss al-Hikam and the Commemorative Volume are only available from the UK, so the UK order form must be used.)

I.e. His elevation is over His slave and consists in majesty and greatness, not an elevation of place (Mahmud and Sharif). 9[9] I.e. the coming of His favor and descent of His command is without [His] movement or displacement (Mahmud and Sharif). 10[10] I.e. from the disbelievers as proven by the verse Allah is the Protecting Friend of those who believe. He brings them out of darkness into light. As for those who disbelieve, their patrons are false deities. They bring them out of light into darkness (2:257) (Sidi Mustafa Basir). This is also in the sense of bin as already stated.

Postage from the UK: A capital letter in brackets, eg. (B), indicates the postage code. Please refer to the postage costs information on the "Books by other publishers page" for the appropriate cost.
Fuss al-Hikam

Translation from the Arabic into Ottoman Turkish with commentary, rendered into English by Bulent Rauf with the help of Rosemary Brass and Hugh Tollemache. Volumes 1, 2 and 3 are now in a new edition. Muhyiddin Ibn 'Arabi considered the Fuss al-Hikam, his last major opus, to be the most important of his more than 350 books. The theme is the inner meaning of the 27 prophets mentioned in the Quran from Adam to Muhammad: the infinite wisdom which is at once unique in itself and manyfaceted in its representation. The Fuss is simultaneously an explanation of the most profound meaning of man's existence and perfectibility and an esoteric exegesis of the Quran. The author of the commentary accompanying the translation writes, "Oh special people, oh people of the Fuss, this is a private Mercy from God which is extended to you, which leads the people of purity to perfection." This is the famous 17th century translation from the Arabic into Ottoman Turkish, along with extensive commentary which has been rendered into English by Bulent Rauf with the assistance of Rosemary Brass and Hugh Tollemache.

Volume 1, Introduction to the Fuss; Chapters on Adam and Seth. Hardcover 40 + postage (F)

Volume 2, Chapters on Noah, Idris (Enoch), Abraham, Isaac and Ishmael. Hardcover 40 + postage (F)

Volume 3, Chapters on Jacob, Joseph, Hud, Salih, Jethro, Lot, Ezra, and Jesus. Hardcover 40 + postage (F)

Volume 4, Solomon, David, Jonah, Job, John, Zachariah, Elijah, Loqman, Aaron, Moses, Khalid, Mohammed.


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Muhyiddin Ibn 'Arabi - A Commemorative Volume

Edited by Stephen Hirtenstein and Michael Tiernan. A selection of papers and translations. Element Books, 1993. This unique volume commemorates the 750th anniversary of the death of Muhyiddin Ibn 'Arabi and celebrates his life and work. For the first time it brings together eminent scholars and students of the Shaykh from many different countries, all of whom have marvelled at the vast spiritual landscape that he depicts. Part I is devoted to translations of his works, most of which are presented in a European language for the first time. Part II is a collection of specially written new studies of his teachings, the way they have influenced succeeding generations and their implications for our own time.

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Wird Ibn 'Arabi Arabic text with phonetic transliteration. Ibn 'Arabi's daily morning and evening prayers for recitation in Arabic.

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Hizbu-l Wiqayah Arabic text with phonetic transliteration. The Hizbu-l Wiqayah (or Dawru-l A'la) is Ibn 'Arabi's prayer for protection. In microfiche form, it is frequently carried as an amulet or displayed in a significant place.


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Microfiche of 1 each + postage / UK: 1-10 copies, add 75p, 10-20 add 1.50 /Rest of Arabic text world: 1-10 copies, add 1.50, 10-20 add 2.50

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The Four Pillars of Spiritual Transformation Ibn 'Arabi's Hilyat al-abdal

Translation and Arabic edition by Stephen Hirtenstein Introduction, translation, and Arabic text. Paperback, 64 pages, Anqa Publishing in association with Muhyiddin Ibn 'Arabi Society. October 2008. ISBN: 978 19059370 4 2.

This is the first English translation of Ibn 'ArabIs Hilyat al-abdal, a short work which he wrote in the space of an hour during his Meccan period as something that would be of assistance for those on the Path to true happiness. Beginning with an anecdote concerning one of his Andalusian companions, Ibn 'Arabi proceeds to explain the exterior qualities of the spiritually transformed (abdal). He particularly focuses on the four essential prerequisites of spiritual discipline: silence, seclusion, hunger and vigilance, describing how these appear among both aspirants and the spiritually realised. One of the most popular of his short works, the Hilyat al-abdal was much copied, and this book includes the first critical edition of the text based on the best manuscripts, including one written in Malatya during the author's lifetime. In addition, it provides a substantial introduction on the abdal saints, and a translation of Chapter 53 from the Futuhat al-makkiyya, which deals with the same subject-matter.

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A Prayer for Spiritual Elevation and Protection Ibn 'Arabi's al-Dawr al-a'la or Hizb al-wiqaya Suha Taji-Farouki Study, translation, transliteration and Arabic text. 160 pages, paperback, Anqa Publishing in association with Muhyiddin Ibn 'Arabi Society. September 2006. ISBN: 0 9534513 99.

"Whoever recites this prayer will be like the sun and the moon among the stars" This is the first study of a widely-used and much-loved prayer by Ibn 'Arabi, sometimes recited after the Awrad (The Seven Days of the Heart). The Dawr al-a'la ('The Most Elevated Cycle'), also known as the Hizb al-wiqaya ('The Prayer of Protection'), is a prayer of remarkable power and beauty. It consists of 33 verses, invoking protection through particular Divine Names and phrases

from the Qur'an. It is said that whoever reads the prayer with sincerity of heart and utter conviction, while making a specific plea, will have their wish granted. This precious book provides a definitive edition of the Arabic text based on a substantial number of the best manuscript copies, and a lucid translation. A transliteration is also provided for those unable to read Arabic. In addition, there is an illuminating analysis of the transmission, presentation and use of the prayer across the centuries. Of particular interest are the major figures in Islamic scholarship and mysticism who have been associated with it, and perceptions of its properties and uses.

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The Universal Tree and the Four Birds Treatise on Unification (al-Ittihad al-kawni) by Muhyiddin Ibn 'Arabi. Introduction, translation and commentary by Angela Jaffray, Arabic text edited by Denis Gril. 160 pages, paperback, Anqa Publishing in association with Muhyiddin Ibn 'Arabi Society. September 2006. ISBN: 0 9534513 99

"I am in love with no other than myself, and my very separation is my union..." The Universal Tree and the Four Birds is one of Ibn 'Arabi's early works. A dazzling blend of poetry and rhymed prose, this short mystical treatise encompasses a number of themes that were of perennial concern to Ibn 'Arabi, in particular the question of union with the Divine. Beginning with a series of poems that depict the existential fluctuation of the human heart, the narrator goes on to describe his meeting with his Essential Self in a 'place' outside space and time. He then finds himself in a garden with the Universal Tree, symbolising the Reality of Perfect Man, and four delightful birds: an Eagle, a Ringdove, a fabulous 'Anqa' (or Gryphon), and a Jet-black Crow. Each in turn regales the author with a tale of its origins and essential characteristics, but it is only in the end that their true natures are finally revealed. The elegant translation is complemented by Angela Jaffray's illuminating commentary on key elements in the text and extensive notes, and a foreword by Rafi Zabor. The Arabic text, critically edited from the best manuscripts by Denis Gril, is also included.


Ibn Arabi: Heir To The Prophets (Paperback)


William C Chittick

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Ibn Arabi: Heir to the Prophets Book Description

Muhyi ad-Din Ibn 'Arabi (1165 - 1240) was an outstanding Spanish-born mystic and one of the most prolific writers in Islamic history. He made major contributions to the fields of Qur'an commentary, jurisprudence, theology, philosophy, cosmology, and spiritual psychology, and he was also a great poet of love. Although he is known as the first spokesman for 'the oneness of being', his real focus was the diverse modalities of human perfection. He marks a transition in Sufism in practical instructions on healing the heart and aphorisms on the divine mysteries to an equal stress on the theoretical issues that had long been the topic of philosophy and theology. William C Chittick has contributed to Ibn Arabi: Heir to the Prophets as an author. Chittick is Professor of Comparative Studies at the State University of New York. A greatly respected scholar, he spent over 12 years in Iran before studying Sufism in theory and practice.

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Title: Publisher: Author: Language: ISBN: EAN:

Ibn Arabi: Heir to the Prophets Oneworld Publications William C Chittick English

1851685111 9781851685110

No. of Pages: 152 Publish Date: 2007-04-30 Binding: Paperback

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The book Ibn Arabi: Heir to the Prophets by William C Chittick (author) is published or distributed by Oneworld Publications [1851685111, 9781851685110]. This particular edition was published on or around 2007-04-30 date. Ibn Arabi: Heir to the Prophets has Paperback binding and this format has 152 number of pages of content for use. This book by William C Chittick is written in English language.

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Mohsin Husayn ibn Mansur al-Hallaj --------------------------------------Now famous simply as al-Hallaj, he is one of the most controversial mystics of the Islamic world. The shathiyyat uttered by him are many, and he was accused of apostasy and claiming divinity. The jurisprudents pronounced him an apostate and he was crucified during the reign of the 'Abbasid caliph al-Muqtadir. The 'urafa' themselves accuse him of disclosing spiritual secrets. Hafiz has this to say about him: He said, that friend, who was raised high on the cross, His crime was that he used to reveal secrets. Some consider him no more than a juggler, but the 'urafa' themselves absolve him and say that the statements of al-Hallaj and Bayazid that gave the impression of unbelief were made when they were beside themselves in the state of 'intoxication'. Al-Hallaj is remembered by the 'urafa' as a martyr. He was executed in 309/913.

Mohamad Sufi shaikhs differ in opinion abt Al-Hallaj. Some declared him a heretic while according to others he is approved. There is also another

section of saints who are silent abt him, such as Junaid al-Baghdadi, Syaikh Shibli, Hariri and Husri. Abul Qasim al Qushairi says "If Hallaj was a genuine saint, he cannot be called rejected (mardud) on grounds of condemnation by his opponents. On the other hand, if he was not genuine, he cannot become approved (commendation) of his friends. Therefore we leave him to God, However, we respect him for the mark of Truth we find in him". Shaikh Shibli says "Hallaj and I had the same religious belief. I was saved by my madness and he was ruined by his intelligence." Perhaps the shaikhs disapproved only of his lack of Sufi etiquitte, but none of beliefs were in question.

Imran Great Sufi Saint Data Ganj Bakhsh Syed Ali Hajveri R.A. Said : Hussain bin Mansoor R.A. was great and strong Sufi "... but, He further says : I love him from my heart but his way is not followable commonly... Indeed AL-Hallaj was true lover of Allah Subhana and was well aware of his profound love therefore he declared his soul is nothing but just love and he has rewarded by Allah almighty as he deserved as : Hazrat Abubakar Shibli R.A said that : He saw Al-Hallaij in his dream and asked him HOW ALLAH SUBHANA treated him?" Al-Hallaj said Allah Sunhna rewarded him by "Qasre Sadq" ... Moulana Jalaludin Rumi, Sheikh Fareedudin Attaer, Allama Sheikh Abdul Wahab Sherani, Imam Abu-Al-QasimAbdul karaeemQasheri also approve Al-Hallaj as a sufi and Wali ... Hazrat Sheikh Abubakar Shibli stated that : I and Ibne Mansoor are the

same; but he could not hide himself and opened and I hided".and syas ""Hallaj and I had the same religious belief. I was saved by my madness and he was ruined by his intelligence." Sheikh Akbar Hazrat Mohiuddin Ibne Arabi R.A. has also shown his great respect towards AL-Hallaj. Ghous-E-Azam Hazrat Sheikh Abdul Qadir Jillani R.A. approves Him As Salik Tareeqat but also cosidered him retard. Thus Sheikh Fareedudin Attar has declared Hussain bin Mansoor AlhALLAJ R.A. a kaimil, true, passionate, devoted, who had pain and curosity and was true believer and lover of Almighty.

Mohsin I think we are only quoting and sharing the opinions of different known saints and personalities about Al-Hallaj. We are not giving our personal opinions, neither we are capable, atleast me.

Azhar Translation: Those who have been martyred in the way of Allah SWT, do not call them dead they are alive. (Surah Baqara -154).

Belief brings me close to You, but only to the Door. It is only by disappearing into Your Mystery that I will come in. ~ Hakim Sanai

Study on Mansur Al Hallaj (2) I have seen my Lord with the eye of my heart,
and I said: "Who are You?" He said: "You." - Manur Al Hallaj, Diwan al-Hallaj

Now i quote from website, some thoughts of Dr. Anab Whitehouse. "The classic example of the contrast between drunken and sober Sufism is found in the pictures drawn of the tenth century figures Hallaj and Junayd. The first became Sufisms great martyr because of his open avowal of the mysteries of divine union and his disregard for the niceties of Shariite propriety. The second, known as the master of the whole tribe (shaykh at-taifa), kept cooly sober despite achieving the highest degree of union with God.."

Commentary: Contrary to the authors contention in the foregoing quote, Hallaj (may Allah sanctify his soul), the person, did not necessarily openly avow "the mysteries of divine union". While such words as "Anal Haq" (I am the Truth) may have issued from his mouth, the "I" and "Truth", to which reference is being made through the words of the mystic, is none other than Divinity.

In fact, there are a number of questions which arise in conjunction with the events surrounding the public execution of this Friend of God. Among other things, one needs to ask whether, or not, Hallaj (may Allah sanctify his soul) was any more blameworthy than the burning bush had been for disclosing Divine secrets to Moses (peace be upon him). The author of Sufism - A Short Introduction contrasts the spiritually intoxicated condition of al-Hallaj (may Allah sanctify his spirit) with the sobriety of Hazrat Junayd (may Allah sanctify his soul). This choice of individuals is instructive and, perhaps, for reasons other than what the author originally may have intended.

The two mystics were not only historical contemporaries, they knew one another, as well. After Hazrat Mansur Hallaj (may Allah sanctify his soul) completed his study of various exoteric disciplines associated with Islam, he turned his attention to the Sufi Path, and one of his Sufi teachers was Hazrat Junayd Baghdadi (may Allah sanctify his soul). The process of unveiling which, ultimately, resulted in the problematic utterances of Hazrat Hallaj (may Allah sanctify his soul), took place when he was studying with Hazrat Umar ibn Uthman (may Allah sanctify his soul). Despite instructio ns from this latter teacher to refrain from such exclamations, the same sort of utterances continued on from time to time, and, eventually, the shaykh ordered Hazrat Hallaj (may Allah sanctify his soul) to leave the vicinity.

Hazrat Hallaj (may Allah sanctify his soul) left Basra and went to Baghdad where he returned to the spiritual center over which Hazrat Junayd (may Allah sanctify his soul) presided and with whom Hazrat Hallaj (may Allah sanctify his soul) previously had received instructions concerning the Sufi Path. Once again, however, there was a spilling over of spiritual intoxication into the public domain through the mouth of Hazrat Hallaj (may Allah sanctify his soul).

On one of these occasions, the shaykh warned Hazrat Hallaj (may Allah sanctify his soul) that, in a very short period of time, the blood of the latter would color the point of a piece of wood - an allusion to a future date with the executioner. Hazrat Hallaj (may Allah sanctify his soul) is reported to have responded by acknowledging the truth of what the shaykh was saying but, also, adding that the shaykh would be required to take off the clothes of a Sufi dervish and wear the attire of a religious cleric in relation to the forthcoming demise of Hazrat Hallaj (may Allah sanctify his soul).

The unfolding nature of subsequent events demonstrated the truth in the words of both individuals. More specifically, a fatwa of kufr, or proclamation of unbelief, was issued by the court of Baghdad against Mansur Hallaj (may Allah sanctify his soul), and a penalty of death was sought. Eventually, he was imprisoned for about a year while waiting for the final sentence to be declared and carried out.

During his stay in prison, he continued to utter "Anal Haq" - I am the Truth. Yet, throughout all of this period, he observed prayers on a regular basis - often staying up entire nights to be engaged in prayer.

The head of government in the area refused to carry out the death sentence unless Hazrat Junayd (may Allah sanctify his soul) agreed with the charges and the penalty to be imposed. The shaykh was asked to make a pronouncement concerning the matter on seven different occasions.

Finally, the seventh request arrived with instructions that the shaykh must answer either yes or no with respect to the charge and sentence. As Hazrat Mansur Hallaj (may Allah sanctify his soul) foretold, the shaykh removed the attire of the Sufi Path, donned the garb of an Alim - a person representing the community of religious scholars, and wrote: "According to the laws of Shariah, Mansur is liable to a sentence of death, but according to the doctrines of the Secret Truth, God knows best" - thereby, setting in motion the execution which would prove the truth of his earlier words to Hazrat Hallaj (may Allah sanctify his soul).

Could Hazrat Hallaj (may Allah sanctify his soul) have done other than he did? He acknowledged the truth of his shaykhs warning that the executioner was waiting for him if he did not stop saying: Anal Haq", and, yet, he continued to declare the problematic formula. There is no indication he was disobedient in other matters. For instance, when he was asked by one teacher to leave, he left. When he was in prison, he was devoted to prayer. Hazrat Junayd (may Allah sanctify his soul) avoided the issue for as long as he was able to do so. When he no longer could delay the matter, he issued a statement that, simultaneously, endorsed both sides of the controversy.

He agreed that under the requirements of Shariah, or the Divine Law which gover ned communal life, the one making the utterances in question was liable to a penalty of death. Nonetheless, only God knew if these declarations were wrong from the perspective of the Secret of Truth.

To protect the integrity of community life - including the potential vulnerability of some people who might be misled by such utterances, the shaykh acknowledged the rights of the community in this matter over that of the individual. At the same time, by making reference to the Secret of Truth - over which God had jurisdiction, as well - he went as

far as he could - without following in the verbal footsteps of Mansur Hallaj (may Allah be pleased with him) to indicate that there was, indeed, something more to be considered than the exoteric facets of Islam and that God alone would be the judge of this matter. The fact that Hazrat Junayd (may Allah sanctify his soul) put off making a formal declaration on six previous occasions demonstrates that the issue was neither a simple one, nor one that necessarily pointed toward just one conclusion. The fact that the shaykh qualified his public statement concerning the sentence indicates that not only was there more to the issue than just what was entailed by the aspects of Shariah governing communal life, but that the shaykh was willing to risk the ire of the religious clerics by reminding people, in a very public way, that a sentence of death did not end the matter. In the Quran one finds: "You express your desire for death if you are truthful." (62:6) Hazrat Hallaj did, and he was.

It is reported, through eyewitness accounts, that, upon execution, every drop of blood shed by Hazrat Hallaj (may Allah sanctify his soul) assumed the shape of the Arabic letters that spelled "Anal Haq" and, as well, people heard this phrase arising from the blood which had been spilled on the ground. There are further reports that when mud, stained with the blood from the execution, was thrown into the Euphrates, the same phrase was heard arising from the river.

What is the truth of such accounts? As Hazrat Junayd said: Allah knows best. What is the contrast between these two friends of God? One observed the adab of sobriety, and one did not.

We do not know whether, or not, Hazrat Hallaj (may Allah sanctify his soul) was operating under Divine compulsion, or whether he was, for unknown reasons, unwilling or unable to comply with the adab of sobriety. Can he be considered to be something of a burning bush of his day such that, like the latter, he really didnt have any control over wha t was being manifested through him when what was uttered, was uttered?

We do know that Hazrat Junayd (may Allah sanctify his soul) - who did observe the adab of sobriety - felt comfortable with alluding to the possibility that the acts of the one being condemned may not have been wrong when considered from a Divine perspective

rather than a purely human and/or communal one. We also know that from the perspective of Shariah anyone paying the prescribed penalty for a transgression of the law, is considered to be innocent before God on the Day of Judgement in relation to that transgression. There is an account of a Sufi shaykh who, during the condition of spiritual intoxication, would say things which appeared to be heretical in nature. When the shaykh came out of that condition, his mureeds, or students, informed him about what had gone on. Upon hearing the testimony of his mureeds, the shaykh agreed that such exclamations were not in accordance with the Shariah. He advised them that if he should make su ch statements during some future instance of intoxication, the students should take their swords and kill him immediately.

A few days later, the shaykh went into a condition of spiritual intoxication and, again, uttered the same sorts of exclamation. The students proceeded to follow the instructions which, previously, had been given by the shaykh with respect to such circumstances. They tried to strike the shaykh with their swords. Yet, on each occasion, their swords passed through the shaykh without causing injury or bloodshed.

Is the foregoing account factual? Or, is it merely a piece of embellished folklore? Or, is it a story with truth at its kernel?

For many centuries, due to what some perceive to be the problematic statements issuing from the mouth or pen of this or that Sufi, various jurists, academic scholars, and theologians have been trying to swing their verbal swords through the body of the Sufi Path. Yet, like the students of the shaykh in the aforementioned story, their swords have passed through without, for the most part, doing damage or shedding blood. The adab of sobriety is observed for a variety of different reasons. Some of this etiquette is observed in order to protect the Secret of Truth to which Hazrat Junayd (may Allah sanctify his soul) referred in his aforementioned quote. In addition, the adab also serves to protect both the community, as well as travelers on the Sufi Path - including people such as Hazrat Hallaj (may Allah sanctify his spirit) if they are able to avail themselves of its protection.

The Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) is reported to have said: "Do not give wisdom to other than the people of wisdom for you will be doing the wisdom an injustice, and do not prevent the people of wisdom from obtaining it and, thereby, do them an injustice."

The Sufi Path follows the above mentioned teachings of the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him), and through the adab of sobriety, the Path seeks not to do injustice to spiritual wisdom by giving it to those for whom it is not intended. On the other hand, the purpose of the Path is to ensure, God willing, that the people for whom wisdom is intended are not prevented from being exposed and opened to that wisdom. What is the truth concerning the nature of this wisdom? What is the truth of the foregoing story of the intoxicated shaykh and his mureeds? What is the truth concerning what is alleged to have happened following the execution of Hazrat Hallaj (may Allah sanctify his soul)? What is the truth behind his uttering "Anal Haq?

Everyone makes his or her own choice about what to believe and what not to believe in relation to such matters. Ultimately, however, "To God belongs the conclusive argument" (6:149), and unless one is acquainted with that argument on a first-hand basis, one might do well to remember the counsel of the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him): "There are hidden gems of knowledge unknown to all but those who know God. If they are spoken of, none denies them except those arrogant toward God." Both Hazrat Hallaj, as well as Hazrat Junayd ,(may Allah sanctify their souls) - each in his own way, spoke of these "hidden gems of knowledge" for they each, in their own way, knew God. One of them observed the adab of sobriety with respect to such knowledge, and one of them did not - although, perhaps, the latter may have been incapable of preventing what was said from being said.

The Tawasin

of Mansur Al-Hallaj
Translated by Aisha Abd Ar-Rahman At-Tarjumana

The Ta-Sin of the Prophetic Lamp The Ta-Sin of Understanding The Ta-Sin of Purity The Ta-Sin of the Circle The Ta-Sin of the Point The Ta-Sin of Before Endless-Time and Equivocation The Ta-Sin of the Divine Will The Ta-Sin of the Declaration of Unity The Ta-Sin of the Self-Awarenesses in Tawhid The Ta-Sin of the Disconnection-From-Forms The Garden of Gnosis

umno Terus Menabur Fitnah dan Menyemarakkan Kebencian Kerana Terdesak By Anwar Ibrahim

Kenyataan Media: Kami memandang serius fitnah terbaru yang dimainkan pimpinan Umno untuk menyemarakkan api kebencian di negara ini. Tuduhan yang dilemparkan kepada Kerajaan Pakatan Rakyat Pulau Pinang bahawa nama Yang Di Pertuan Agong telah digantikan dengan Ketua Menteri Pulau Pinang Saudara Lim Guan Eng telah terbukti merupakan satu pembohongan semata. Saya sendiri memantau perkembangan tersebut, membaca teks khutbah yang diedarkan dan menerusi rakan-rakan di Pulau Pinang mendapati tuduhan tersebut tidak berasas bahkan

ianya merupakan satu fitnah demi laba politik pemerintah yang kian hari kian terdesak. Pimpinan Umno menerusi akhbar Utusan Malaysia berterusan menggunakan aksi politik perkauman sempit yang usang. Kegagalan pentadbiran Dato Sri Najib memahami nurani rakyat Malaysia keseluruhannya yang mahukan sebuah negara yang kekal aman dan sejahtera dizahirkan oleh kenyataan berunsur fitnah Datuk Seri Ahmad Zahid Hamidi tersebut. Kita yakin usaha pimpinan Umno ini tidak akan berhenti di situ sahaja. Mereka pasti menganyam fitnah yang lain pula demi memecah belahkan muafakat masyarakat di negara ini yang mahu hidup dalam kerukunan dan sejahtera. Mereka menyedari rakyat Malaysia mempunyai keyakinan yang teguh untuk terus beriltizam dengan Perubahan dan demi Malaysia yang Adil. Oleh demikian saya menyeru rakyat Malaysia untuk perteguh keazaman bersama Pakatan Rakyat dan mara mengharungi serangan yang tidak akan kunjung diam dari pimpinan Umno itu. Hanya dengan melakukan Perubahan, politik perkauman sempit akan berjaya dihalang. ANWAR IBRAHIM AHLI PARLIMEN PERMATANG PAUH KETUA PEMBANGKANG MALAYSIA
Story Prophet Musa (asw) Once, while Prophet Musa (asw) conversing with Almighty Allah, requested: "O' Lord! I desire to meet the person, who is to be my companion in Paradise." Jibril (Gabriel) descended and informed Prophet Musa (asw) that his companion was to be a butcher who lived in a certain place. Prophet Musa (asw) set out in search of him and arrived at his place, he noticed a youth, resembling a night watchman, busy selling meat. When night fell, the youth took some meat and proceeded towards his house. Prophet Musa (asw) approached the youth and said, "Would you not like to have a guest?" The youth willingly agreed and took Prophet Musa (asw) inside his house. Prophet Musa (asw) watched the youth preparing some food. When he had finished, he brought down a large basket from the upper storey. Bringing out an old and wizened woman from inside it, he washed her and then proceeded to feed her with his own hands. When the youth was about to carry the basket back to its original place, Prophet Musa (asw) noticed the old

woman's lips move as she mumbled something incomprehensible. The youth then brought food for Prophet Musa (asw) and both of them ate their dinner. Prophet Musa (asw) inquired, "What is your relation with this old woman?" The youth replied, "She is my mother and since my financial state does not allow me to purchase a slave-girl for her, I myself strive to serve and look after her." Prophet Musa (asw) questioned further, "What did your mother mumble before you took her upstairs?" The youth responded, "Whenever I wash her and feed her, my mother prays: May Allah forgive you and place you in the company and in the rank of Prophet Musa (asw) in Paradise." Hearing this, Prophet Musa (asw) said, "O' Youth! I give you glad tidings; Allah (saw) has accepted your mother's prayers and Jibril (Gabriel) has informed me that you shall be my companion in Paradise! Subanallah look how important it is to take of your mother. Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) said, "If a person looks with love at his parents, Allah SWT Writes in his favor the reward equal to the performance of one Hajj." Muslim

Annemarie Schimmel, Influential Scholar of Islam, Dies at 80

By STEPHEN KINZER Published: February 2, 2003

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Annemarie Schimmel, who became fascinated with the Muslim world after hearing Arabian tales as a child and went on to become one of the 20th century's most influential scholars of Islam, died last Sunday in Bonn. She was 80. Ms. Schimmel taught generations of students in a breathtaking style that included lecturing with her eyes closed and reciting long passages of mystical poetry from memory. She spoke Arabic, Farsi, Turkish, Urdu and Punjabi.

She wrote more than 50 books and hundreds of articles published around the world. In some Muslim countries she was treated as a celebrity and showered with honors. Her eagerness to delve into Islamic cultures led to friendships with repressive rulers that sometimes propelled her into public controversies. Some intellectuals attacked her for painting too gentle a picture of Islam and for failing to denounce evils committed in its name. Ms. Schimmel's interests ranged across the Muslim landscape. She wrote a book about the role of cats in Islamic literature and another, ''The Mystery of Numbers'' (Oxford University Press, 1993), that compared numerical symbolism in various cultures. Her consuming passion, however, was Sufism, the mystical branch of Islam. Even prominent Sufis acknowledged her as one of the foremost experts on their history and tradition. Annemarie Schimmel was born on April 7, 1922, in Erfurt, Germany. She finished high school at 15 and earned a doctorate in Arabic and Islamic studies at 19. She had a nearly photographic memory. For years she was a consultant to the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York, where she was legendary for her ability to identify scraps of ancient text. After earning her second doctorate, in comparative religion, Ms. Schimmel began teaching Persian and Arabic poetry at the University of Marburg in Germany. For several years she taught theology at the University of Ankara in Turkey, the first woman and the first nonMuslim to do so. In 1967 she inaugurated the Indo-Muslim studies program at Harvard, and remained on the faculty for the next quarter-century. She returned to Bonn in 1992. Leaders of Islamic countries revered her, and she readily accepted their hospitality. Friends admitted that Ms. Schimmel often seemed nave about politics. ''That is not my world,'' she once said. ''I'm interested in culture, religion, the daily life of Islam, the foundation, not the politics of the day.'' In 1995 Ms. Schimmel was awarded the Peace Prize of the German Book Trade, an award also given to Albert Schweitzer, Martin Buber and Vaclav Havel. The citation praised her lifelong search for ''a synthesis of Islam and the modern.'' Several dozen German intellectuals, among them Gnter Grass and Jrgen Habermas, issued a statement condemning the award. ''This German Orientalist is a welcome guest in

totalitarian Islamic states like Iran, but in her entire work there is not a single reference to human rights violations in those countries,'' they said. In awarding the prize, Roman Herzog, then president of Germany, called Ms. Schimmel ''one of the few Western scholars who is able and ready to think herself totally into the mental world of this different culture.'' She declared, ''I have never seen anything in the Koran or in the traditional writings that called for or even allowed terrorism or hostage-taking.'' Ms. Schimmel was briefly married in the 1950's. Despite her fascination with Islam, she remained Lutheran her entire life. She recently completed work on an autobiography. ''Corporeal death is necessary,'' she said once in a lecture about Sufism. ''How else do you get in close touch with the Divine Beloved?'' Photo: Annemarie Schimmel in 1995. (Agence France-Presse)

Ibn 'Arabi, the "Tree of Being": An Ode to the Perfect Man [Paperback]
Muhyiddin Ibn 'Arabi (Author), Tosun Bayrak (Translator)

Sufis, Shaykhs, Saints & Scholars

Short Biographies [2]

d. 251 - 500 H

- 250 HIJRI | 251 - 500 HIJRI | 501 - 750 HIJRI

751 - 1000 HIJRI

| 1001 - 1250 HIJRI | 1251 + HIJRI


d. 251 - 500 HIJRI

SARI AL-SAQATI [d.253 H - 867 CE] ABU YAZID AL-BISTAMI [d.261 H - 874 CE] SAHL AL-TUSTARI [d.283 H - 896 CE] JUNAYD, AL-BAGHDADI [d.297 H - 910 CE]

IBN MANSUR AL HALLAJ [d.309 H - 922 CE] ABU JA'FAR AL-TAHAWI [d.321 H - 933 CE] ABU AL-HASAN AL-ASH'ARI [d.324 H - 935 CE] ABU MANSUR AL-MATURIDI [d.333 H - 945 CE] ABU BAKR ASH-SHIBLI [d.334 H - 946 CE] ABU 'ALI AL-DAQQAQ [d.412 H - 1021 CE] ABUL HASAN AL-KHARQANI [d.425 H - 1033 CE] ABD 'AL-QAHIR AL-BAGHDADI [d.429 H - 1038 CE] ABU SA'ID ABU'L KHAYR [d.440 H - 1049 CE] ABU AL-FARMADHI AT-TUSI [d.447 H - 1055 CE] ABU AL-QASIM AL-QUSHAYRI [d.464 H - 1072 CE] 'ALI UTHMAN AL-HUJWIRI [d.469 H - 1077 CE] IBN AL-JUWAYNI [d.478 H - 1085 CE] 'AL-HARAWI AL-ANSARI [d.481 H - 1088 CE]

plenty more to come



| [2] | [3] | [4] | [5] | [6]

Sari al-Saqati

Shaykh Sari al-Saqati: [d.253H/867CE] 'alayhi al-rahmah wa'l-ridwan

One of the friends and companions of themselves.


Allahu anhu, Sari al-Saqati was one of

those who bore affection for the creatures of God and of those who preferred others above

In his book Wafayat al-'a'yan, Ibn Khallikan writes that Sari once said, "It is thirty years that I have been seeking forgiveness for one phrase, Praise be Allah's, that I allowed to pass my lips." When asked to explain he replied, "One night the bazaar caught fire, and I left my house to see if the fire had reached my shop. When I heard that my shop was safe, I said, 'Praise be Allah's'. Instantly I was brought to my senses with the realization that, granted my shop was unharmed, should I not have been thinking about others'?"

Sa'di is referring to this same story (with slight variations) where he says:

One night someone's chimney kindled a fire, And I heard that half of Baghdad had burnt down. One said, thank God that in the smoke and ashes, My shop has not been damaged. A man who had seen the world replied, O selfish man, Was your grief for yourself and no other? Would you be satisfied that a town should burn down by fire, If your own dwelling were left unscathed?

Shaykh Sari as-Saqati was the pupil and disciple (murid) of and maternal uncle of


and the teacher

Sari has many sayings on mystical unity (tawhid),

love of God and other matters. It was also he who said: "Like the sun, the 'arif shines on all the world; like the earth, he bears the good and evil of all; like water, he is the source of life for every heart; and like fire he gives his warmth to all and sundry." Shaykh Sari asSaqati died in [d.253H/867CE] at the age of ninety-eight.

Shaykh Sari as-Saqati Radi Allahu anhu also states:

"Tassawuf is the name of three qualities: 1. His 'Nur of Marifah' (Knowledge of Allah) must not extinguish his 'Nur of Wara' (Piety). 2. Never speak from the knowledge of Batin (Interior) that may contradict the Zahir (Exterior) -Qur'an al kareem and Hadith.

3. Do not let Karaamats (Miracles) caste a veil on those things which Allah has made Haraam."


Bayazid al-Bistami

Al-Bistami, Abu Yazid [d.261H/874CE] 'alayhi al-rahmah wa'l-ridwan

Also known as Bayazid. Prominent paradigm of "intoxicated" Sufism from the north eastern Iranian town of Bistam. Early education included Hanafi legal thought. Best known for "ecstatic utterance" [shath], several hundred of which are attributed to him by Sufi historians & theorists. Bayazid Radi Allahu anhu's grandfather was a Zoroastrian from Persia. Bayazid Radi Allahu anhu made a detailed study of the statutes of Islamic law (shari'a) and practiced a strict regimen of self-denial (zuhd). All his life he was assiduous in the practice of his religious obligations and in observing voluntary worship. He urged his students (murid's) to put their affairs in the hands of Allah and he encouraged them to accept sincerely the pure doctrine of tawhid (the Oneness of God). This doctrine consisted of five essentials: to keep the obligations according to the Qur'an and Sunnah, to always speak the truth, to keep the heart free from hatred, to avoid forbidden food and to shun innovations (bid'a).

Bayazid Radi Allahu anhu said the ultimate goal of the Sufi is to experience the vision of Allah in the Hereafter. One of his sayings was,

"I have come to know Allah through Allah, and I have come to know what is other than Allah with the light of Allah."

He said, "Allah has granted his servants favours for the purpose of bringing them closer to Him. Instead they are fascinated with the favours and are drifting farther from Him." And he said, praying to Allah, "O Allah, You have created this creation without their knowledge and

You have placed on them a trust without their will. If You don't help them who will help them?"

Of tasawwuf .... Bayazid said:

"It is to give up rest and to accept suffering."

Many Muslim scholars in his time, and many after his time, said that Bayazid alBistami was the first one to spread the Reality of Annihilation (fana'). Even the most heretical and puritan of scholars, Ibn Taymiyya, who came in the 7th Century A.H., admired Bayazid for this and considered him to be one of his masters.

Ibn Taymiyya said about him,

"There are two categories of fana': one is for the perfect Prophets and saints, and one is for seekers from among the saints and pious people (saliheen). Bayazid al-Bistami Radi Allahu anhu is from the first category of those who experience fana', which means the complete renunciation of anything other than God. He accepts none except God. He worships none except Him, and he asks from none except Him."






"I want not to want except what He wants."

When Bayazid Radi Allahu anhu died [261 H.], he was over seventy years old. Before he died, someone asked him his age. He said: "I am four years old. For seventy years I was veiled. I got rid of my veils only four years ago." Shaykh 'Abdullah Daghestani, referred to this saying in his encounter with Khidr alayhi asalam, who told him, as he was pointing to

the graves of some great scholars in a Muslim cemetary: "This one is three years old; that one, seven; that one, twelve." It is said he is buried in two places, one is Damascus and the other is Bistam in Persia. The secret of the Golden Chain was passed from Bayazid alBistami Radi Allahu anhu to Abul Hassan al-Kharqani Radi Allahu anhu.


Sahl al-Tustari

Sahl ibn 'Abd Allah ibn Yunus, Abu Muhammad al-Tustari [d.283H/896CE] 'alayhi alrahmah wa'l-ridwan
Al-Tustari by GF Haddad [with some of his sayings]

Al-Tustari is named by al-Dhahabi "the master of knowers (shaykh al-'arifin), the ascetic sufi (al-suufi al-zahid)... He has a firm foothold in the path." He related that when he was three years old he would wake up at night to watch his uncle Muhammad ibn al-Sawwar pray. He spent his early years with his uncle and Dhu al-Nun al-Misri Radi Allahu anhu whom he met during pilgrimage.





"He had no peer in his time for correctness of transaction and superlative Godwariness, and he was a person of karamat."

He narrates from 'Umar ibn Wasil al-Basri that Sahl said: "My uncle once told me: 'Remember Allah Who created you.' I said: 'How should I remember him?' He replied: 'Say in your heart, whenever you are alone at night, three times, without moving your tongue: Allah is with me; Allah is looking at me; Allah is watching me.'" This became his lifelong devotion. He memorized the Qur'an al kareem by the age of seven. He used to practice perpetual fasting and prayed all night. He reached a point where he broke his fast only once every twenty-five nights on one dirham's worth of barley bread for twenty years. Hence his saying: "Hunger is Allah's secret on His earth. He does not confide it to one who divulges it." To a shaykh who told him that whenever he performed ablution the water that dripped from him changed into sticks of gold he said: "Children are given rattles." He also said:

1. "The ignorant one is dead, the forgetful one is asleep, the sinner is drunk, and the obstinate one is destroyed." 2. "We have six principles: Holding fast to the Qur'an al kareem; taking the Sunnah as a guide; eating what is licit; quitting from harm and avoiding sins; repentence; fulfillment of obligations." 3. "Whoever speaks about what does not concern him will be prohibited from obtaining truthfulness; whoever busies himself with superfluity will be prohibited from obtaining true fear of Allah; and whoever entertains bad opinions will be prohibited from obtaining certitude. Whoever is prohibited from obtaining these three, he is destroyed." 4. "Among the manners of the most truthful and trustful saints ( al-siddiqin) is that they never swear by Allah, nor commit backbiting, nor does backbiting take place around them, nor do they eat to satiation. If they promise, they are true to their word, and they never speak in jest." 5. "None truly knows ignorance except a 'alim faqih zahid 'abid hakim." 6. "Allah does not open the heart of a servant if it still contains three things: loving to remain [in the world], love of wealth, and concern about tomorrow." 7. Asked when the faqir attains relief from his ego he replied: "When he no longer sees any time other than the time he is in." 8. "Allah is the qibla of intention; intention is the qibla of the heart; the heart is the qibla of the body; the body is the qibla of the limbs; and the limbs are the qibla of dunya." 9. "When the servant abides in a specific sin, all his good deeds are admixed with his egotism (hawa). His good deeds are not purified as long as he abides in a single sin. He will not deliver himself from his egotism until he ousts from himself all that he knows to be abhorred by Allah." 10. "Lukewarmth is heedlessness; is vigilance; hardness is death."

11. Asked in what consisted the solace of hearts, he replied: "The coming of revelation: {Woe unto those whose hearts are hardened against remembrance of Allah} (39:22)." 12. "Whoever disputes reliance upon Allah (al-tawakkul), disputes belief (iman); and whoever disputes earning (al-takassub), disputes the Sunnah." He defined true tawakkul as "Forgetting tawakkul."

13. "Sit with one whose limbs address you, not his mouth." (1) 14. "Life is four kinds. The life of angels consists in obedience. The life of Prophets consists in 'ilm and the anticipation of revelation. The life of truthful and trustful saints ( al-siddiqin) consists in following guidance (al-iqtida'). And the life of the remainder of the people - whether knowledgeable, ignorant, ascetic, or devoted to worship - consists in eating and drinking." 15. "Good deeds both the righteous (al-barr) and the disobedient (al-fajir) perform; none but the siddiq avoids disobedience." 16. He addressed the special insight of saints with the poetic verse:







That see what onlookers cannot see.

Al-Tustari considered the audition and study of the hadith of the Prophet Salla Allahu 'alayhi wa Sallam the highest pursuit as is evident from the following sayings:












"Endeavor not to meet Allah except with your inkwell in hand." 2. To Abu Dawud: "Bring out for me your tongue with which you narrate the Prophet's hadiths so that I may kiss it," whereupon Abu Dawud drew out his tongue and al-Tustari kissed it. 3. Asked until when should a man write down the hadith of the Prophet, he replied: "Until death, and the rest of his ink is poured into his grave." 4. From 'Ali ibn al-Husayn al-Daqiqi: "Whoever desires this world and the next, let him write down the hadith, for it contains the good of this world and the next." Al-Tustari Radi Allahu anhu addressed the issue of Allah's establishment (istiwa') over the Throne in the manner of Imam al-Ash'ari, by declaring it a divine act that is neither qualified nor enquired about: "Reason alone cannot point to One Who is without beginning and without end above a Throne that is brought into being. Allah erected the Throne as a sign and as tidings for us so that by it the hearts should be guided to Him without trespassing. He did not require the hearts to obtain knowledge of its exact nature. Therefore, His establishment over it is unqualified (la kayfa lahu) and it is impermissible to ask: 'How does istiwa' apply to the Creator of istiwa'?' The believer must only accept and submit, due

to the Prophet Salla Allahu ta'ala 'alayhi wa Sallam's saying: 'He is over His Throne' (2) ( innahu 'ala 'arshihi)." Al-Dhahabi quotes the above but expresses caution elsewhere in his Siyar and in Mukhtasar al-'Uluw, in commentary of a similar statement by 'Uthman ibn Sa'id al-Darimi (d. 280): In his book al-Naqd he said: "The Muslims all agree that Allah is above His Throne, above His heavens." I say: The clearest thing on this topic is Allah's saying: {The Merciful established Himself over the Throne} (20:5). Therefore, let it pass as it came, just as we learned to do from the school of Salaf.(3) Al-Darimi's book also contains bizarre findings in which he exaggerates the affirmation [of the divine Attributes], concerning which, silence would have been more in keeping with the way of the Salaf both then and now." (4) End of al-Dhahabi's words. On the same subject Ibn Hajar said: When we say: "Allah is above the Throne," it does not mean that He is touching it or that He is located on it or bounded by any side of the Throne. Rather, it is a report which is transmitted as is, and so we repeat it while at the same time negating any modality, for {There is nothing whatsoever like unto Him} (42:11), and from Him comes all success. Al-Tustari authored a renowned Sufi commentary of the Qur'an which has been translated into English. In it he gives the following explanations: - {And give me from Your presence a sustaining Power } (17:80): "A tongue that speaks on Your behalf, and on behalf of no-one else." - {Forsake the outwardness of sin and the inwardness thereof } (6:120): "The outwardness of sin is its enactment; the inwardness, its love." NOTES
1] I.e. one who benefits others not through discourse but through states of being, in action or in repose, in public or in private, in solace and in hardship. 2] See the "hadith of the groaning of the Throne" narrated from Jubayr ibn Mut'am from his father from his grandfather, and also the "hadith of the mountain-goats" Narrated from al-'Abbas. 3] Al-Dhahabi, Siyar (10:643). 4] Al-Dhahabi, Mukhtasar al-'Uluw (p. 214).

End of the biographical notice on the master of knowers al-Tustari by the scribe in need of his Lord's mercy Hajji Gibril.

Main sources: Al-Qushayri, Risala p. 16-17; Abu Nu'aym, Hilya al-Awliya 10:198-222 #544; al-Dhahabi, Siyar A'lam alNubala' 10:647-649 #2369.

Blessings and peace on the Prophet, his Family, and all his Companions.
By Shaykh Gibril F Haddad Source :


Junayd, al-Baghdadi

Abu al-Qasim ibn Muhammad Junayd, al-Baghdadi [d.298H/910CE] 'alayhi al-rahmah wa'l ridwan

Al-Junayd ibn Muhammad ibn al-Junayd, Abu al-Qasim al-Qawariri al-Khazzaz al-Nahawandi al-Baghdadi al-Shafi'i (d. 298). The Imam of the World in his time, shaykh of the Sufis and "Diadem of the Knowers," he accompanied his maternal uncle SARI AL SAQATI, al-Harith al-Muhasibi, and others. Abu Sahl al-Su'luki narrates that as a boy al-Junayd heard his uncle being asked about thankfulness, whereupon he said: "It is to not use His favours for the purpose of disobeying Him." He took fiqh from Abu Thawr - in whose circle he would give fatwas at twenty years of age - and, it was also said, from Sufyan al-Thawri.

He once said: "Allah did not bring out a single science on earth accessible to people except he gave me a share in its knowledge." He used to go to the market every day, open his shop, and commence praying four hundred rak'as until closing time. Other hallmarks are an emphasis on constant ritual purity & fasting. Taught that the goal of Tasawwuf was not loss of self but the return to daily life transformed by a vision of Allah through the loss of self & constant remembrance of Allah's presence. Devoted to fulfillment of Allah Subhanahu wa Ta'ala's will as expressed in the Qur'an al kareem & Sunnah. Among his sayings about the Sufi Path: "Whoever does not memorize the Qur'an and write hadith is not fit to be followed in this matter. For our science is controlled by the Book and the Sunna."

To Ibn Kullab who was asking him about tasawwuf he replied:

"Our madhhab is the singling out of the pre-eternal from the contingent, the desertion of human brotherhood and homes, and obliviousness to past and future." Ibn Kullab said: "This kind of speech cannot be debated." His student Abu al-'Abbas ibn Surayj would say, whenever he defeated his adversaries in debate: "This is from the blessing of my sittings with al-Junayd."

relates from al-Junayd the following definitions of tasawwuf:

* "Not the profusion of prayer and fasting, but wholeness of the breast and selflessness."1 * "Tasawwuf means that Allah causes you to die to your self and gives you life in Him." * "It means that you be solely with Allah with no attachments." * "It is a war in which there is no peace." * "It is supplication together with inward concentration, ecstasy together with attentive hearing, and action combined with compliance [with the Sunna]." * "It is the upholding of every high manner and the repudiation of every low one."

FURTHER READING BY Shaykh Gibril Haddad


Mansur al-Hallaj

Abu al-Mughith al-Husayn ibn Mansur al-Hallaj [d.309H/922CE] 'alayhi al-rahmah wa'lridwan

Al-Hallaj (d.309H/922CE) was a Persian writer and teacher of Sufism. His full name was Abu al-Mughith alHusayn ibn Mansur al-Hallaj. He was born around 858CE in Tur, Iran to a wool seller. His father lived a

simple life, and this form of lifestyle greatly interested the young al-Hallaj. As a youngster he memorized the Qur'an and would often retreat from worldly pursuits to join other mystics in study. Al-Hallaj would later marry and make a pilgrammige to Makkah. After his trip to the holy city, he traveled extensively and wrote and taught along the way. He travelled as far as India and Central Asia gaining many followers, many of which accompanied him on his second and trips to Makkah. After this period of travel, he settled down in the Abbasid capital of Baghdad.

Among other Sufis, Al-Hallaj was not an anomaly, just some felt it was inappropriate to share mysticism with the masses, yet Al-Hallaj openly did so in his writings and through his teachings. He would begin to make enemies, and the rulers saw him as a threat. This was exacerbated by times when he would fall into trances which he attributed to being in the presence of God. During one of these trances, he would utter Ana al-Haqq, meaning that "I am the Truth", which was taken to mean that he was claiming to be God, as Al-Haqq is one of the Ninety Nine Names of Allah. This utterance would lead him to a long trial, and subsequent imprisonment for eleven years in a Baghdad jail. In the end, he would be tortured and publicly crucified by the Abbasid rulers for what they deemed as a heresy. Many accounts tell of AlHallaj's calm demeanor even while he was being tortured, and indicate that he forgave those who had executed him.

He died on March 26TH, 922CE. His writings are very important to only Sufis, but to all Muslims. His example is seen by some as one that should be emulated, especially his calm demeanor in the face of torture and his forgiving of his tormentors.



Imam al-Tahawi

Imam Abu Ja'far al-Tahawi [d.321H - 933CE] 'alayhi al-rahmah wa'l-ridwan

Imam Abu Ja'far Ahmad ibn Muhammad al-Azdi, known as Imam al Tahawi al-Misri after his birthplace in Egypt, is among the most outstanding authorities of the Islamic world on hadith and jurisprudence

(fiqh). He lived at a time when both the direct and indirect disciples of the Four Imams of law were teaching and practicing. This period was the greatest age of Hadith and fiqh studies, and Imam Tahawi alayhir rahman studied with all the living authorities of the day.

Imam al-Tahawi (239-321h) can be said to represent the creed of both ASHARI'S and MATURIDIS, especially the latter, as he was also following the Hanafi madhhab. We have therefore chosen to include the entire translated text of his Statement of Islamic Doctrine commonly known as the 'aqida tahawiyya'. This text, representative of the viewpoint of Ahl al-Sunnah wa al-Jama'ah, has long been the most widely acclaimed, and indeed indispensable, reference work on Muslim beliefs.

Al-Badr al-'Ayni alayhir rahman said that when Ahmad died, Tahawi was 12; when Bukhari died, he was 27; when Muslim died, he was 32; when Ibn Majah died, he was 44; when Abu Dawud died, he was 46; when Tirmidhi died, he was fifty; when Nisa'i died, he was 74. Kawthari relates this and adds the consensus of scholars that Tahawi allied in himself completion in the two knowledges of hadith and fiqh, a consensus that included, among others, al-'Ayni and al-Dhahabi, with only the misguided IBN TAYMIYYA singling himself out in his opinion that Tahawi was not very knowledgeable in hadith. This is flatly contradicted by Ibn Kathir alayhir rahman who says in his notice on Tahawi in 'al-Bidaya wa alnihaya' :

"He is one of the trustworthy narrators of established reliability, and one of the massive memorizers of hadith."

Imam al Kawthari alayhir rahman calls Ibn Taymiyya's verdict "another one of his random speculations" and states: "No-one disregards Tahawi's knowledge of the defective hadith except someone whose own defects have no remedy, and may Allah protect us from such."1

Read Dr

al Gibril

'Aqida F.


Tahawiya Haddad


Imam al Ash'ari

Imam Abu al Hasan al Ash'ari [d.324H/935CE] 'alayhi al-rahmah wa'l-ridwan

'Ali ibn Isma 'il ibn Abi Bishr Ishaq ibn Salim, Abu al-Hasan al-Ash'ari al-Yamani al-Basri alBaghdadi (260-324), a descendent of the Yemeni Companion Abu Musa al-Ash'ari, was in the first half of his scholarly career a disciple of the Mu'tazili teacher Abu 'Ali al-Jubba'i, whose doctrines he abandoned in his fortieth year after asking him a question al-Jubba'i failed to resolve over the issue of the supposed divine obligation to abandon the good for the sake of the better (al-salih wa al-aslah).

At that time he adopted the doctrines of the sifatiyya, those of Ahl al-Sunna who assert that the divine Attributes are obligatorily characterized by perfection, unchanging, and without beginning, but He is under no obligation whatsoever to abandon the good for the sake of the better. He left Basra and came to Baghdad, taking fiqh from the Shafi'i jurist Abu Ishaq al-Marwazi (d.340).

He devoted the next twenty-four years to the refutation of "the Mu'tazila, the Rafida, the Jahmiyya, the Khawarij, and the rest of the various kinds of innovators" in the words of alKhatib. His student Bundar related that his yearly expenditure was a meager seventeen dirhams. Some of al-Ash'ari's books up to the year 320 as listed by himself in al-'Umad ("The Supports"):

* Adab al-Jadal ("The Etiquette of Disputation").

* Al-Asma' wa al-Ahkam ("The Names and the Rulings"), which describes the divergences in the terminology of the scholars and their understanding of the general and the particular.

* Al-Dafi 'li al-Muhadhdhab ("The Repelling of 'The Emendation'"), a refutation of alKhalidi's book by that title.

* Al-Funun ("The Disciplines"), a refutation of atheists. A second book bearing that title was also written, on the disciplines of kalam.

* Al-Fusul ("The Sub-Headings") in twelve volumes, a refutation of the philosophers, perennialists, and members of various religions such as Brahmans, Jews, Christians, and Zoroastrians. It contains a refutation of Ibn al-Rawandi's claim that the world exists without beginning.

By Shaykh Gibril Haddad Further reading :


Imam al-Maturidi
Shaykh al-Islam Abu Mansur al-Maturidi [d.333H/945CE] 'alayhi al-rahmah wa'lridwan

Muhammad ibn Muhammad ibn Mahmud Abu Mansur al-Samarqandi al-Maturidi al-Hanafi (d.333H) of Maturid in Samarqand, Shaykh al-Islam, one of the two foremost Imams of the mutakallimun of 'Ahl alSunna', known in his time as the Imam of Guidance ( Imam al-Huda), he studied under Abu Nasr al-'Ayadi and Abu Bakr Ahmad al-Jawzajani. Among his senior students were 'Ali ibn Sa'id Abu al-Hasan alRustughfani,1 Abu Muhammad 'Abd al-Karim ibn Musa ibn 'Isa al-Bazdawi, and Abu al-Qasim Ishaq ibn Muhammad al-Hakim al-Samarqandi. He excelled in refuting the Mu'tazila in Transoxiana while his contemporary ABU AL-HASAN AL-ASH'ARI did the same in Basra and Baghdad. He died in Samarqand where he lived most of his life. The founder of the Egyptian Muniriyya Salafiyya Press, Munir 'Abduh Agha wrote:

"There is not much [doctrinal] difference between Ash'aris and Maturidis, hence both groups are now called Ahl al-Sunna wa al-Jama'a."2

Al-Maturidi surpasses IMAM AL-TAHAWI as a transmitter and commentator of Imam Abu Hanifa's legacy in kalm. Both al-Maturidi and al-Tahawi followed Abu Hanifa and his companions in the position that belief (al-iman) consists in "conviction in the heart and affirmation by the tongue," without adding, as do

Malik, al-Shafi'i, Ahmad ibn Hanbal and their schools, "practice with the limbs." Al-Maturidi, as also related from Abu Hanifa, went so far as to declare that the foundation of belief consisted only in conviction in the heart, the tongue's affirmation being a supplementary integral or pillar ( rukn za'id).3 Among al-Maturidi's works: * Kitab al-Tawhid on the doctrine of Ahl al-Sunna. In it he states the following: "The Muslims differ concerning Allah's place. Some have claimed that Allah is described as being 'established over the Throne' ('ala al-'arshi mustawin), and the Throne for them is a dais (sarir) carried by the angels and surrounded by them [as in the verses]: { And eight will uphold the Throne of their Lord that day, above them} (69:17) and {And you see the angels thronging round the Throne } (39:75) and {Those who bear the Throne, and all who are round about it} (40:7). They adduced as a proof for that position His saying: {The Merciful established Himself over the Throne } (20:5) and the fact that people raise their hands toward the heaven in their supplications and whatever graces they are hoping for. They also say that He moved there after not being there at first, on the basis of the verse { Then He established Himself over the Throne} (57:4). "Others deny the ascription of place to Allah, whether one place or every place, except in the metaphorical senses that He preserves them and causes them to exist. "Shaykh Abu Mansur [al-Maturidi] - may Allah have mercy on him - says: The sum of all this is that the predication of all things to Him and His predication - may He be exalted! - to them is along the lines of His description in terms of exaltation (' uluw) and loftiness (rif'a), and in terms of extolment (ta'zim) and majesty (jalal), as in His saying: {the Sovereignty of the heavens and the earth} (2:107, 3:189, 5:17-18, 5:40 etc.) {Lord of the heavens and the earth} (13:16, 17:102, 18:14, 19:65, etc.), "God of all creation" (ilah al-khalq), Lord of the worlds (1:2, 5:28, 6:45, 6:162, 7:54, etc.), "above everything" ( fawqa kulli shay') and so forth. As for the predication of specific objects to Him, it is along the lines of His specific attribution with generosity (al-karama), high rank (al-manzila), and immense favor (al-tafdil) for what is essentially meant to refer to Him, as in His sayings { Lo! Allah is with those who keep their duty unto Him} (16:128), {And the places of worship are only for Allah} (72:18), {The she-camel of Allah} (7:73, 11:64, 91:13), "The House of Allah" (bayt Allh), and other similar instances. None of these examples is understood in the same way as the predication of created object to one another.... "Abu Mansur - may Allah have mercy on him! - further says: The foundation of this issue is that Allah Almighty was when there was no place, then locations were raised while He remains exactly as He ever was. Therefore, He is as He ever was and He ever was as He is now. Exalted is He beyond any change or transition or movement or cessation! For all these are portents of contingency ( hudth) by which the contingent nature of the world can be known, and the proofs of its eventual passing away.... "Furthermore [concerning the claim that Allah is on the Throne], there is not, in the context of spatial elevation, any particular merit to sitting or standing, nor exaltation, nor any quality of magnificence and splendor. For example, someone standing higher than roofs or mountains does not deservedly acquire loftiness over someone who is below him spatially when their essence is identical. Therefore, it is not permissible to interpret away the verse [20:5] in that sense, when it is actually pointing to magnificence and majesty. For He has said {Verily, it is your Lord Who created the heavens and the earth} (7:54, 10:3,

21:56) thereby pointing to the extolment of the Throne, which is something created of light, or a substance [or jewel] the reality of which is beyond the knowledge of creatures. It was narrated that the Prophet - Allah bless and greet him - while describing the sun, said: "Gibril brings it, in his hand, some of the light of the Throne with which he clothes it just as one of you wears his clothes, and so every day that it rises"; he also mentioned that the moon receives a handful of the light of the Throne.4 Therefore, the predication of istiwa' to the Throne is along two lines: first, its extolment in the light of all that He said concerning His authority in Lordship and over creatures; second, its specific mention as the greatest and loftiest of all objects in creation, in keeping with the customary predication of magnificent matters to magnificent objects, just as it is said: "So-and-so has achieved sovereignty over such-and-such a country, and has established himself over such-and-such a region." This is not to restrict the meaning of this sovereignty literally, but only to say that it is well-known that whoever owns sovereignty over this, then whatever lies below it is meant a fortiori."5 * Kitab Radd Awa'il al-Adilla, a refutation of the Mu'tazili al-Ka'bi's book entitled Awa'il al-Adilla;









* Kitab Bayan Awham al-Mu'tazila; * Kitab Ta'wilat al-Qur'an ("Book of the Interpretations of the Qur'an"), of which Ibn Abi al-Wafa' said: "No book rivals it, indeed no book even comes near it among those who preceded him in this discipline."7 Hajji Khalifa cites it as Ta'wilat Ahl al-Sunna and quotes as follows al-Maturidi's definition of the difference between "explanation" (tafsir) and "interpretation" (ta'wl): "Tafsir is the categorical conclusion (al-qat') that the meaning of the term in question is this, and the testimony before Allah Almighty that this is what He meant by the term in question; while ta'wil is the preferment (tarjih) of one of several possibilities without categorical conclusion nor testimony."8

* Kitab al-Maqalat;

* Ma'akhidh al-Shara'i` in Usul al-Fiqh; * Al-Jadal fi Usul al-Fiqh;

* Radd al-Usul al-Khamsa, a refutation of Abu Muhammad al-Bahili's exposition of the Five Principles of the Mu'tazila;9 * Radd al-Imama, a refutation of the Shi'i conception of the office of Imam; * Al-Radd 'ala Usul al-Qaramita;

* Radd Wa'id al-Fussaq, a refutation of the Mu'tazili doctrine that all grave sinners among the Muslims are doomed to eternal Hellfire.

Most of the Hanafi school follows al-Maturidi in doctrine, but he evidently achieved lesser fame than alAsh'ari because the latter entered into countless debates to defeat the opponents of Ahl al-Sunna while al-Maturidi, as Imam al-Kawthari said, "lived in an environment in which innovators had no power." The absence of a notice on Imam Abu Mansur al-Maturidi in al-Dhahabi's Siyar is a major omission in that masterpiece of biographical history.

NOTES 1 He narrated from Imam Abu Hanifa the saying: kullu mujtahidin musibun wa al-haqqu 'inda Allahi wahid which means "Every scholar who strives [towards truth] is correct [whatever his finding], even if the truth in Allah's presence is one." Accordingly, al-Rustughfani differed with al-Maturidi who considered that the mujtahid is wrong in his ijtihd if his finding differs from the truth. Ibn Abi al-Wafa', Tabaqat alHanafiyya (p. 310, 362-363). 2 In Namudhaj min al-A'mal al-Khayriyya (p. 134). 3 Al-Tahawi, `Aqida 62: "Belief consists in affirmation by the tongue and acceptance by the heart." See "Ibn Abi al-'Izz," Sharh al-`Aqida al-Tahawiyya (4th ed. p. 373-374, 9th ed. p. 332). See also Risala Abi Hanifa ila `Uthman al-Batti in 'Abd al-Fattah Abu Ghudda, Namadhij (p. 21-28). 4 Something similar is narrated - without naming the angel - as part of a very long hadith from Ibn 'Abbas by Abu al-Shaykh with a very weak chain in al-'Azama (4:1163-1179). Another hadith states: "The Messenger of Allah - Allah bless and greet him - told me that the sun, the moon, and the stars were created from the light of the Throne." Narrated from Anas by Abu al-Shaykh in al-'Azama (4:1140). See also al-Suyuti's al-Haba'ik fi Akhbar al-Mala'ik. 5 Al-Maturidi, Kitab al-Tawhid (p. 72). 6 Cf. Hajji Khalifa, Kashf al-Zunun (1:518). 7 Ibn Abi al-Wafa', al-Jawahir al-Mudiyya (p. 130). 8 In Hajji Khalifa, Kashf al-Zunun (1:334-335). 9 The "Five Principles" of the Mu'tazila are:

1. Tawhid entailing a denial of the Divine "Attributes of Meanings" ( sifat al-ma'an) and of the
vision of Allah Most High by the believers in the next world - although both tenets are mentioned in the Qur'an;

2. 'Adl or Divine Justice, entailing the position that Allah Most High cannot possibly create the evil

deeds of His servants, therefore they are in charge of their own destinies and create the latter themselves through a power which Allah deposited in them - a denial of the verse {Allah creates you and what you do} (37:95); 3. Reward and Punishment, entailing the belief that Allah Most High, of necessity, rewards those who do good and punishes those who do evil, and He does not forgive grave sinners unless they repent before death, even if they are Muslims - a denial of the verses that state explicitly that Allah forgives whom He wills and punishes whom He wills and a denial of the intercession of the Prophet - Allah bless and greet him - for grave sinners among the Muslims; 4. Belief, whereby they held that grave sinners were considered neither believers nor disbelievers and so construed for them a "half-way status" between the two (al-manzila bayn al-manzilatayn) in Hellfire; 5. Commanding good and forbidding evil is obligatory upon the believers, and this is the sole principle in which they are in agreement with the majority of Muslims.

Hajji Gibril F. Haddad





Main sources:
Al-Lacknawi, al-Fawa'id al-Bahiyya fi Tarajim al-Hanafiyya p. 319-320 #412; Ibn Abi al-Wafa', al-Jawahir al-Mudiyya fi Tabaqat al-Hanafiyya p. 130, 310, 362-363; Al-Kawthari, introduction to al-Bayadi's Isharat al-Maram.

Allah bless and greet our Master Muhammad, his Family, and all his Companions.



Abu Bakr ash-Shibli [d.334H/946CE] 'alayhi al-rahmah wal-ridwan

Abu Bakr ash-Shibli was a famous Sufi and Maliki faqih. The shaykh of the Sufis and Imam of the people of knowledge of the inward about whom there are miraculous reports and rare

traditions. He was one of those with great skill in the sciences of the Shari'a. There is a disagreement about his name. It is said to be Dulaf ibn Jahdar or Ibn Ja'far. Other things are said. His family was from Khorasan, from a village there called Shibla. He was born in Samarra or Baghdad. He grew up in Baghdad. Abu Bakr al-Khatib said, "His uncle was the Amir of the Amirs in Alexandria." As-Sulami said, "Ash-Shibli was the chamberlain of the Khalif al-Muwaffiq. His father had been the chamberlain in Baghdad." Abu 'Abdu'r-Rahman said: "He was a man of knowledge and a faqih in the school of Malik. He wrote out many hadiths. He mentioned that the beginning of his repentance was in the assembly of Khayr an-Nassaj. He kept the company of al-Junayd and the shaykhs of his time. He was unique in his age in state and knowledge. He transmitted hadith with isnad." He related from Muhammad ibn Mahdi al-Basri. 'Ali ibn Muhammad al-Hammal, al-Husayn ibn Ahmad asSaffar, Isma'il ibn al-Husayn ibn Bandar, Abu'l-Hasan 'Ali ibn al-Muthanna al-'Anbari, Abu Sahl as-Sa'luki, Abu Bakr ar-Razi and Abu Bakr al-Abhuri related from him.

As-Sulami said, "While al-Muwaffiq was in power, one day ash-Shibli attended the assembly of Khayr an-Nassaj. He returned to Nihawand where he the governor. Ash-Shibli said to them, 'I have been appointed over your city, so put me in the lawful.' They did that. They tried to have him accept something from them, but he refused." Abu 'Abdullah ar-Razi said: "The shaykhs of Iraq say, 'The wonders of Baghdad in Sufism are three: the indications (isharat) of ash-Shibli, the fine sayings of al-Murta'ish and the stories of Ja'far, i.e. alKhuldi.

Ash-Shibli was asked about asceticism. He said, "It is the heart turning away from things to the Lord of things."

Abu Bakr al-Abhuri said, "I heard him say once, 'If someone does not guard his secrets with the Truth, the eye of the reality will rarely be unveiled for him.'."

He was asked about the most extraordinary thing. He said, "A slave who recognises his Lord and then rebels against Him."

He said, "Tasawwuf is the heart resting in the fans of purity, the thoughts being enveloped by the curtain of fidelity, and taking on the character of generosity and joy in the encounter."

He said, "Tasawwuf is love of the Majestic and hatred of the insignificant and following descent and fear of reversal."

He was asked, "Who is the Sufi?" and he replied, "The one who does not ask, does not repel and does not store up." It was said, "Who is the faqir?" He said, "The one who is at home with non-existence as he is at home with oneness."

He also said, "Tasawwuf is to curb your senses and guard your breaths."

He was asked about this world and said, "A pot boiling and beauty decaying."

He was asked about sincerity and abandoning artifice. He said, "It is that you do not articulate any words of other-than-Him nor look at other than his Lord nor see for yourself any protector but your Lord."




Abu 'Ali al-Daqqaq

Abu 'Ali al-Daqqaq ibn Ishaq al-Naysaburi [d.412H/1021CE] 'alayhi al-rahmah wa'l-ridwan

Abu 'Ali al-Daqqaq, al-Hasan ibn 'Ali ibn Muhammad ibn Ishaq al-Naysaburi, was a great Ashari scholar, teacher and father-in law of

and the foremost Sufi shaykh in his time. An

Arabized Persian from Naysabur, he took usul there and fiqh from Marw at the hands of al-Khudari and Abu Bakr al-Qaffal al-Marwazi. He then took tasawwuf from Abu al-Qasim al-Nasrabadhi. Al-Qushayri relates that his knees would shake in his presence. In his Risala he relates from him the following sayings:



"This path is fit only for those persons whose spirits Allah has used to sweep the dunghills."

About the Sufi:

"If the dervish had nothing left but his spirit and he offered it to the dogs at this door, not one dog would pay it any attention."

Abu Ali al-Daqqaq also said:

"The tree that grows by itself, without having been planted, grows leaves but no fruit. If it does grow fruit its fruit is not like the fruit of trees that have been planted."

Regarding remembrance, Abu Ali al-Daqqaq said,

"The practice of remembering Allah is a proclamation of office. Whoever has been made successful in remembrance has been granted the proclamation and whoever has been denied remembrance has been dismissed from office."

Allah Most High has said,

"Those who remember Allah standing and sitting and lying on their sides. . ." (Surah 3 Al-Imran: Verse 191).

Once Abu Abd al-Rahman asked Abu Ali al-Daqqaq, ''Which is more perfect, the practice of remembrance (dhikr) or meditation (fikr )?" Abu Ali al-Daqqaq inquired, "What do you say?" Abu Abd alRahman said, "It seems to me that dhikr is more perfect than fikr because remembrance is known to be an attribute of the Truth, whereas meditation is not. Whatever is an attribute of the Truth is more perfect than something that is specific to the creation." Abu Ali al-Daqqaq was pleased with this.

Abu Ali al-Daqqaq recited the following to a dervish:

I would not have remembered You, but a care drove meHeart and soul and secret-into Your remembrance. It was as if Your watcher was whispering to me "Beware, O Rememberer! Woe to you! Beware!"


Abul Hassan Ali ibn Ja'far al-Kharqani [d.425H/1033CE] 'alayhi al-rahmah wa'l-ridwan "Mayest Thou deign to be sweetness and let life be bitter! If Thou art content, what matter that men be angry. Let everything between me and Thee be cultivated, Between me and the worlds let all be desert! If Thy love be assured, all is then easy, For everything on earth is but earth."

He was the Ghawth (Arch-Intercessor) of his time and unique in his station. He was the Qiblah (focus of attention) of his people and an Ocean of Knowledge from which saints still receive waves of light and spiritual knowledge. He devoided himself of everything except Allah's Oneness, refusing for himself all titles and aspirations. He would not be known as a follower of any science, even a spiritual science, and he said:

"I am not a rahib (hermit). I am not a zahid (ascetic). I am not a speaker. I am not a Sufi. O Allah, You are One, and I am one in Your Oneness."







"Scholars and servants in the lower world are numerous but they don't benefit you unless you are engaged in the satisfaction of Allah's desire, and from morning to night are occupied with the deeds that Allah accepts."






"The Sufi is not the one who is always carrying the prayer rug, nor the one who is wearing patched clothes, nor the one who keeps certain customs and appearances; but the Sufi is the one to whom everyone's focus is drawn, although he is hiding himself."

"The Sufi is the one who in the daylight doesn't need the sun and in the night doesn't need the moon. The essence of Sufism is absolute nonexistence that has no need of existence because there is no existence besides Allah's existence."









" Truthfulness is to speak your conscience."

Of the heart he said:

"What is the best thing? The heart which is always in Remembrance of God ( dhikr Allah)."

"The best of hearts is the heart which contains nothing but the presence of Allah, Almighty and Exalted."

"Today it will have been 40 years that Allah has been looking in my heart and has seen nothing except Himself. I have had nothing in my heart nor my breast except Allah for 40 years; and while my ego is asking for cold water and a drink of milk, I have not allowed it that for 40 years in order to control myself."

"The vision with the eyes of the head doesn't bring happiness, but the vision with the eyes of the heart and the secret that Allah gives to the soul will bring out that happiness."







"When Abu Yazid said, 'I want not to want' that is exactly the wanting which is real desire (irada).

He was asked, "Who is the appropriate person to speak about fana' (annihilation) and baqa' (permanence)?" He answered, "That is knowledge for the one who is as if suspended by a silk thread

from the heavens to the earth and a great cyclone comes and takes all trees, houses, and mountains and throws them in the ocean until it fills the ocean. If that cyclone is unable to move the one who is hanging by the silk thread, then he is the one who can speak on fana' and baqa'."

One time Sultan Mahmoud al-Ghazi visited Abul Hassan and asked his opinion of Bayazid al-Bistami. He said, "Whoever follows Bayazid is going to be guided. And whoever saw him and felt love towards him in his heart will reach a happy ending." At that Sultan Mahmoud said, "How is that possible, when Abu Jahl saw the Prophet Salla Allahu ta'ala 'alayhi wa sallam and he was unable to reach a happy ending but rather ended up in misery?" He answered, "It is because Abu Jahl didn't see the Prophet Salla Allahu ta'ala 'alayhi wa 'Sallam but he saw Muhammad bin 'Abdullah. And if he saw the Messenger of Allah he would have been taken out of misery into happiness. As Allah said, " You see them looking at you but without clear vision" [7:198]. He continued with the saying already quoted, "The vision with the eyes of the head..."

Other sayings of his:

"Ask for difficulties in order for tears to appear because Allah loves those who cry," referring to the advice of the Beloved Prophet Muhammad Salla Allahu ta'ala 'alayhi wa 'aalihi wa Sallam to cry much. "In whatever way you ask Allah for anything, still the Qur'an is the best way. Don't ask Allah except through the Qur'an." "The Inheritor of the Beloved Prophet Muhammad Salla Allahu ta'ala 'alayhi wa 'aalihi wa Sallam is the one who follows his footsteps and never puts black marks in his Book of Deeds."

Abul-Hasan al-Kharqani died on Tuesday, 10th of Muharram in 425 H. (1033CE). He was buried in Kharqan, a village of the city of Bistam in Persia. He passed on the Secret of the Golden Chain to Abu 'Ali al-Fadl bin Muhammad al-Farmadhi at-Tusi (q).



'Abd al-Qahir al-Baghdadi

Imam Abu Mansur 'Abd al-Qahir al-Baghdadi [d. 429H/1038CE] 'alayhi al-rahmah wa'l-ridwan

'Abd al-Qahir ibn Tahir ibn Muhammad, Abu Mansur al-Naysaburi al-Tamimi al-Baghdadi al-Shafi'i alAsh'ari (d. 429), al-Ustadh, the imam, jurist, scholar of principles and kalam, man of letters, poet, prosodist, grammarian, and mathematician, praised by Shaykh al-Islam Abu 'Uthman al-Sabuni as "one of the imams of the principles of the Religion and foremost authorities of Islam by consensus of its most eminent and competent scholars."

He is al-Bayhaqi's senior and the exact contemporary of Abu Dharr al-Harawi and IBN AL-JUWAYNI among the third-generation Ash'ari imams. He came to Naysabur with his father and spent his entire fortune in support of the scholars of knowledge until he became able to teach in seventeen different disciplines. He was Abu Ishaq al-Isfarayini's senior student and, together with Abu Sahl al-Su'luki, they staunchly 1 defended the position related from al-Shafi`i that "the Book cannot be abrogated by the Sunna." Abu Mansur succeeded Abu Ishaq al-Isfarayini as headmaster in the mosque of 'Aqil, where al-Bayhaqi, ABU AL-QASIM AL-QUSHAYRI and Nasir al-Marwazi studied under him. He narrated hadith from al-Isma'ili and Abu Ahmad ibn 'Adi. Among 'Abd al-Qahir's works:

1. Ahkam al-Wat' al-Tamm, also known as Iltiqa' al-Khitanayn, a book on sexual ethics and pertaining laws in Islam, in four volumes. 2. Bulugh al-Mada min Usul al-Huda 3. Fada'ih al-Karramiyya 4. Fada'ih al-Mu'tazila 5. al-Fakhir fi al-Awa'il wa al-Awakhir 6. al-Farq Bayn al-Firaq, his major heresiological reference-work together with the Milal. In it he states the following positions:

- "It is obligatory to declare as unbeliever someone who says that Allah has limits." The anthropomorphist creed is that "Allah has limits that He knows of."

- "Ahl al-Sunna reached consensus that Allah, the Flawless, the Exalted, is not bounded by location." He then reports the saying of Imam Ali al Murtaza radi Allahu ta'ala anhu :

- "Allah created the Throne as an indication of His power, not for taking it as a place for Himself."

Know that Ahl al-Sunna wa al-Jama'a are divided in eight groups of people... the sixth group being the 'Sufi Ascetics' (al-zuhhad al-sufiyya), who have seen things for what they are and therefore have abstained, who have known by experience and therefore have taken heed truly, who have accepted Allah's allotment and contented themselves with what is within reach.

They have understood that hearing, sight, and thought are all accountable for their good and their evil and subject to reckoning to an atom's weight. In consequence they have harnessed themselves with the best harness in preparation for the Day of the return. Their speech has run the two paths of precepts and subtle allusions in the manner of the People of Hadith but without the pursuit of idle discourse. They neither seek self-display in doing good, nor do they leave doing good out of shyness. Their religion is the declaration of singleness and the disavowal of similitude. Their school is the commital of matters to Allah, reliance upon Him, submission to His order, satisfaction with what they have received from Him, and shunning all objection to Him.

'Such is the bounty from Allah, He bestoweth it upon whom He will, and Allah is of infinite bounty' (57:21, 67:4).(1) Imam 'Abd al-Qahir al-Baghdadi alayhir rahman writes in 'Usul al-din': The book 'Tarikh al-Sufiyya' (History of the Sufis, more commonly known as 'Tabaqat al-Sufiyya' or layers of the Sufis) by Abu 'Abd al-Rahman Sulami comprises the biographies of nearly a thousand sheikhs of the Sufis, none of whom belonged to heretical sects and all of whom were of the Sunni community, with the exception of only three of them: Abu Hilman of Damascus, who pretended to be of the Sufis but actually believed in incarnationism (hulul); HUSAYN IBN MANSUR AL-HALLAJ, whose case remains problematic, though IBN ATA' ALLAH, Ibn Khafif, and Abu al-Qasim al-Nasir Abadi approved of him [as did the Hanbalis Ibn 'Aqil, Ibn Qudama, and al-Tufi]; and al-Qannad, whom the Sufis accused of being a Mu'tazili and rejected, for the good does not accept the wicked.(2)

Toward the end of Abu Mansur al-Baghdadi's life the Turkmen dissension forced him out of Naysabur to Isfarayin, where he died [d.429

and was buried next to his teacher Abu Ishaq al-Isfarayini.

Main sources: Ibn 'Asakir, Tabyin Kadhib al-Muftari (p. 249-250); al-Dhahabi, Siyar A'lam al-Nubala' (13:372 #3991); Ibn al-Subki, Tabaqat al-Shafi'iyya al-Kubra (5:136-148 #468).














(2) 'Abd al-Qahir al-Baghdadi, Usul al-din p. 315-16.

Bismillah al-Rahman al-Raheem was-salaat was-salaam 'alaa Rasul-illah wa 'alaa alihi wa sahbihi wa sallam



Abu Sa'id Abu'l-Khayr

Abu Sa'id ibn Abu'l-Khayr [d.440H/1049CE] 'alayhi al-rahmah wa'l-ridwan

Shaykh Abu Sa'id ibn Abu'l-Khayr, was an early Sufi shaykh who at different stages of his life was an ascetic, an antinomian ecstatic, and a spiritual guide. He received a Sufi transmission from Abu al-Fadl al-Hasan (or ibn al-Hasan) al-Sarakhsi, whom Abu Sa'id called his "pir" (a Persian word refering to a spiritual guide and often equivalent to "shaykh"). After the death of Abu al-Fadl, Abu Sa'id looked to Abu 'Abbas al-Qassab (the butcher), whom Abu Sa'id called "shaykh," for spiritual guidance.

The hagiography Asrar al-tawhid is one of the two major sources for what we know of his life and teachings. It has been translated as The Secrets of God's Mystical Oneness by John O'Kane. A collection of quatrains (ruba'iyat) is attributed to Abu Sa'id.

Abu Sa'id Abu'l-Khayr writes:

If I am travelling, my Friend during this travel is You. If I am at home, my Companion at home is You. In short, wherever I am and wherever I travel I am thinking of nobody except of You.

Gar dar safaram toi rafiq-e safaram Var dar hazaram toi anis-e hazaram Al-qisse be har kojaa ke baashad gozaram Joz to nabud hichkasi dar nazaram

Get up in the night as lovers disclose their secrets at night, Sit near to the door of the Friend and to His roof take a flight; Wherever there is a door, it is closed at night, Except for the door of the Friend, which is open at night.

Shab khiz keh 'aasheqaan ba shab raaz konand Gird-e dar o baam-e dust parwaaz konand Har jaa keh dari bud ba shab dar bandand Ella dar-e dust raa keh shab baaz konand

translated and contributed by Mohammed Siraj Elschot [source]


al-Farmadhi at-Tusi

Abu 'Ali al-Fadl bin Muhammad al-Farmadhi at-Tusi [d.447H/1055CE] 'alayhi alrahmah wa'l-ridwan

"O Do calling not

child! let Allah the at

said rooster dawn be

Luqman more while you

the watchful are than

Wise, you, sleeping."

He "The And If I I were

is turtle-dove slept a true

right, wept on--what lover, on never her lying,

he branch false

who in love the is overtake

said: night mine? me.



I am the dry-eyed lover of his Lord, while animals weep!"

Ghazali, Ayyuha-l-walad.

He is called the Knower of the Merciful and the Custodian of Divine Love. He was a scholar of the Shafi'i school of jurisprudence and a unique 'arif (endowed with spiritual knowledge). He was deeply involved in both the School of the Salaf (scholars of the First and Second Centuries) and that of the Khalaf (later scholars), but he made his mark in the Science of Tasawwuf. From it he extracted some of the heavenly knowledge which is mentioned in Qur'an in reference to al-Khidr alaihis asalam: "and We have taught him from our Heavenly Knowledge" [18:65].

Sparks of the light of jihad an-nafs (self-struggle) were opened to his heart. He was known everywhere in his time, until he became a very famous shaykh in Islamic Divine Law and theology. The most famous shaykh of his time, as-Simnani, said about him, "He was the Tongue of Khurasan and its shaykh and the master in lifting up and raising the station of his followers. His associations were like gardens full of flowers, in which knowledge flowed from his heart and took the hearts of his listeners into a state of joy and happiness." Among his teachers was

the celebrated Sufi Master, and al-Ghazali al-Kabir who said about

him, "He was the shaykh of his time and he had a unique way of reminding people. No one surpassed him in his eloquence, delicacy, ethics, good manners, morality, nor his ways of approaching people." The son of the latter,

nicknamed Hujjat ul-Islam -

the Proof of Islam, took much from Farmadi in his Ihya 'Ulum ad-Din.

One time he said, "I entered behind my teacher, al-Qushayri, to the public bath, and from the well I took for him a bucket of water which I had filled from the well myself. When my teacher came he said, 'Who brought the water in the bucket?' I kept quiet, as I felt I had committed some disrespect. He asked a second time, 'Who brought the water?' I continued to keep quiet. He asked a third time, 'Who filled that bucket with water?' I finally said, 'I did, my teacher.' He said, 'O My son, what I received in seventy years, I passed to you with one bucket of water.' That meant that the heavenly and divine knowledge which he had struggled for seventy years to acquire he passed to my heart through one glance."

On behaviour towards one's master he said:

"If you are true in your love of your shaykh, you have to keep respect with him."

On spiritual vision he said:

"For the 'arif (Knower) a time will come wherein the light of knowledge will reach him and his eyes will see the incredible Unseen." "Whoever pretends he can hear, yet cannot hear the glorification of birds, trees and the wind, is a liar." "The hearts of the people of Truth are open, and their hearing is open." "Allah gives happiness to His servants when they see His Saints." This is because the Prophet Salla Allahu ta'ala 'alayhi wa 'aalihi wa Sallam said, "Whoever sees the face of a knower of God, sees me," and also, "Whoever sees me, has seen Reality." Sufi Masters have named the practice of concentrating on the face of the sheikh (tasawwur), and it is done to the end of fulfilling that state. "Whoever looks after the actions of people will lose his way." "Who prefers the company of the rich over the company of the poor, Allah will send him the death of the heart."

Imam Ghazali reports, "I heard that Abul Hasan al-Farmadhi said, 'the Ninety-nine Attributes of Allah will become attributes and descriptions of the seeker in the way of Allah.'"

He died in 447 H. and he was buried in the village of Farmadh, a suburb of the city of Tus. He passed on the Secrets of the Golden Chain to Abu Ya'qub Yusuf ibn Ayyub ibn Yusuf ibn al-Husayn al-Hamadani (q).

source :


al Qushayri

Abu al-Qasim Abd al Karim bin Hawazin al Qushayri [d.464H/1072CE] 'alayhi alrahmah wa'l -ridwan

Abu al-Qasim al-Qushayri radi Allahu anhu was born in July 986 CE [d.1072 CE] in northwestern Iran in the province of Khurasan, the richest center of eastern Islamic civilization down to the 13th century C.E. An exemplary scholar and sufi intellectually grounded in the Qur'an, Qur'anic exegesis and Traditions. He went and taught in Baghdad until 1063 C.E., later to return to Khurasan where he died.

Al-Qushayri radi Allahu anhu was also a recognised muhaddith who transmitted hadith to pupils by the thousands in Naysabur, in which he fought the Mu'tazila until he flew to Makkah to protect his life. Al-Qushayri was the student of the great Sufi Shaykh ABU 'ALI ALDAQQAQ radi Allahu anhu. He was also a mufassir who wrote a complete commentary of the Qur'an entitled 'Lata'if al-isharat bi tafsir al-Qur'an' (The subtleties and allusions in the commentary of the Qur'an). Al-Qushayri radi Allahu anhu is famous for authoring ''The Risalah'' a Sufi textbook of the highest order where Sufi practices, states and stations, rules of travel, dreams and advice to the spiritual seeker, among other topics are related to Qur'anic verses, Traditions of the Beloved Prophet ( Peace and Blessings of Allah upon him) and sayings of early Sufis. This was a book that Mawlana Rume radi Allahu anhu read and recommended to his students as a book popular among Sufis. 'The Risalah' has been described as one of the early complete manuals of the science of tasawwuf.












Hadrat Sayyad Ali bin Uthman al-Hujweri, Data Ganj Bakhsh (Bestower of Spiritual Treasures) belonged to a place called Hujwer in the town of Ghazna, Afghanistan. He lived during the 5th century A.H. (11th century C.E.) and was well versed in all the Islamic sciences such as Tafsir (exegesis) of the Qur'an, Hadith (Traditions of the Prophet), Fiqh (Muslim Law) and dogmatic theology ( Ilmu Kalam). AlHujweri's spiritual lineage traces back to an-Nasrabi, and Shibli. In the course of his spiritual journey to God, he journeyed physically to many countries, often alone and with hardship. These places included Turkestan, Transoxania, Iran, Iraq, and Syria where he met innumerable Sufi shaykhs, many of whom he has mentioned in his book ' Kashful Mahjub.' He went to Lahore in the later part of this life to spread Islam, converting large numbers of Hindus into Muslims. He passed away in Lahore in 469 A.H. (1077 C.E.) where his maqam currently stands, visited by people of all walks of life, from near and far. Also popularly known as 'Data Sahib'.

through the three intermediaries al-Husri,

Kashful Mahjub;

Originally in Persian, was written at the request of a student of Sufism at that time. He had asked the shaykh to compile a comprehensive study on tasawwuf (Sufism) as a guide for spiritual aspirants. Although al-Hujweri was a master in the science of Islamic scholasticism and his judgements based on logic, the conclusions he arrived at were the result of his deep spiritual experience, where he has shown the absence of any conflict between true Sufism and Islamic Shariah.

Starting from the life of the Beloved Prophet Salla Allahu ta'ala 'alayhi wa Sallam's brimful experience of Divine nearness, Presence, Union and Communion, this book describes the spiritual experiences of the Companions of the Prophet, Companions of the Companions (tabi'in), their Companions (taba-tabi'in), and the Imams (heads) of the four schools of Islamic law (Ahl as-Sunnah wal Jama'ah ), showing in truth, "when Sufism was made to leave Islam," and that it is not the so called question of "when Sufism 'entered' Islam." This book also explains the various aspects of Sufism in a thorough yet simple manner.


'Imam al Haramayn' al-Juwayni

'Imam al Haramayn' Abi Muhammad al-Juwayni al-Naysaburi al-Shafi'i, [d.478H/1085CE] 'alayhi alrahmah wa'l-ridwan

'Abd al-Malik ibn 'Abd Allah ibn Yusuf, Abu al-Ma'ali ibn Rukn al-Islam Abi Muhammad al-Juwayni alNaysaburi al-Shafi'i, known as Imam al-Haramayn and Ibn al-Juwayni [d.419-478h], ABU HAMID AL-GHAZALI teacher, the jurist, scholar of legal pinciples, expert in kalam and debate and 'Shaykh al-Islam'. AlJuwayni was a Sunni Shafi'i hadith and kalam scholar. He was described as :

"the Glory of Islam, absolute Imam of all Imams, main authority in the Law, whose leadership is agreed upon East and West, whose immense merit is the consensus of Arabs and non-Arabs, upon the like of whom none set eyes before or after," (IMAM IBN AL-'ASAKIR)

"whose work forms the connecting link between the respective methods of the Salaf and Khalaf" (alKawthari). He is the main figure among the fifth generation of al-Ash'ari's students. Al-Bakhirzi compared him to alShafi'i and al-Muzani in fiqh, al-Asma'i in manners,

in preaching eloquence, and al-Ash'ari

in kalm. Ibn 'Asakir mentioned it and said: "Truly he is above that by far." Ibn al-Subki said: "Whoever thinks that there is anyone in the Four Schools that comes near his clarity of speech has no knowledge of him." "He felt bound to follow neither al-Ash'ari nor al-Shafi'i." Abu al-Ma'ali's father is considered, like him, a major authority of the Shafi'i school and among Ash'ari scholars.

Famous for his intelligence, eloquence, learning, and charisma, Abu al-Ma'ali began to teach in Naysabur immediately after his father's death, only twenty and still a student in al-Bayhaqi's school. He took usl from Imam Abu al-Qasim al-Iskaf al-Isfarayini and read the Qur'an under Abu 'Abd Allah al-Khabbazi. He took hadith first from his father, then from Abu Hassan Muhammad ibn Ahmad al-Muzakki, Abu Sa'd 'Abd

al-Rahman ibn Hamdan al-Nasrawi, Abu 'Abd Allah Muhammad ibn Ibrahim ibn Yahya al-Muzakki, Abu Sa'd 'Abd al-Rahman ibn al-Hasan ibn 'Aliyyak, Abu 'Abd al-Rahman Muhammad ibn 'Abd al-'Aziz al-Nili, Abu Nu'aym al-Asbahani, and others. Abu al-Ma'ali fled from Naysabur at a time when the anthropomorphist governor al-Kunduri and other Mu'tazili and Shi'i-inclined Hanafis used to curse the Companions as well as Imam al-Ash'ari from the pulpit every Jum'a. Among those imprisoned or compelled to leave at that time were Abu Sahl al-Bastami, al-Furati, Abu al-Qasim al-Qushayri, al-Bayhaqi, and others of the Shafi'is. He travelled to Baghdad, then Makkah where he taught and wrote for four years, earning his nickname of Imam of the two Sanctuaries. He then returned to Naysabur as the unchallenged grand mufti and headmaster of the newly-built Nizamiyya school where he remained for the next thirty years, forming generations of Shafi'i jurists and Ash'ari scholars and writing the following works: In fiqh: Ghiyath al-Umam, Mughith al-Khalq, Nihaya al-Matlab fi Diraya al-Madhhab ("The End of the Quest in the Knowledge of the [Shafi'i] School"), his magnum opus, which Ibn 'Asakir said had no precedent in Islam, and Mukhtasar al-Nihaya. In usl: al-Burhan, al-Talkhis, and al-Waraqat. In kalm: al-Shamil, al-Irshad, and al-Nizamiyya.

Imam al-Haramayn was humble and acknowledged his debt even to the unschooled if he had learned something from them, never belittling anyone. Inversely, he did not hide or gloss over his disapproval of something he disapproved of, even when it came to the words of his father or those of the famous imams. The grammarian al-Mujashi'i said: "I never saw anyone crave after knowledge more than this imam. Truly he pursues knowledge for the sake of knowledge." Ibn 'Asakir related: "His pleasure and leasure consisted in the sessions of knowledge." "Whenever he spoke of spiritual states and probed the sciences of the Sufis in his early morning gatherings, he wept and made everyone weep at his words." Among his sayings: "I do not eat or sleep out of habit, but only if sleep overcomes me whether by night or by day, and only if I need to eat, whatever the time." "I did not utter one word of kalam before first memorizing twelve thousand folios of the words of the qadi Abu Bakr [al-Baqillani] alone." Ibn al-Sam'ani in Dhayl Tarikh Baghdad narrated from Abu Ja'far Muhammad ibn Abi 'Ali al-Hamadhani that Imam al-Haramayn said: "I read fifty thousand times fifty thousand [folios]. Then I left behind the people of Islam and their Islam of outward sciences in those books. I took to the vast sea and probed what Muslims deem prohibited to probe. I did all this in the pursuit of truth. I used, in bygone times, to flee from imitation. Now I have returned from all this to the word of truth: 'Cling to the faith of old women' ('alaykum bi dn al-'aja'iz). If Allah does not catch me with His immense kindness so that I shall die with the faith of old women and my final end be sealed with the uprightness of the 'People of Truth' and the pure declaration: la ilaha illallah - then woe to al-Juwayni's son!"

Al Juwayni was Ashari to the last, strongly condemning anthropomorphism. He died of jaundice and was buried in his house after a huge throng attended his funeral bare-headed. Unrestrained manifestations of grief by four hundred of his over-zealous students lasted for days in Khurasan. Ibn 'Asakir said: "I believe that the marks of his hard work and striving in Allah's Religion shall endure until the rising of the Hour."

By Dr GF Haddad [Read the full page]

Main sources: Ibn al-Subki, Tabaqat al-Shafi'iyya al-Kubra 5:165-222 #477; Ibn 'Asakir, Tabyin Kadhib al-Muftari p. 272-278; al-Dhahabi, Siyar A`lam alNubala' 14:16-21 #4313.


al-Harawi al-Ansari

Shaykh Abu Isma'il 'Abd Allah al-Harawi al-Ansari [d. 481H/1088CE] alayhi al-rahmah wal-ridwan A Sufi shaykh, hadith master (hafiz), and Qur'anic commentator (mufassir) of the Hanbali school, one of the most fanatical enemies of innovations, and a student of Khawaja the grandshaykh of the early Naqshbandi Sufi path. He is documented by 'Manaqib-i Shaykh al-Islam Ansari.' He was a prolific author of Sufi treatises among which are: 'Manazil al-sa'irin', on which Ibn Qayyim wrote a commentary entitled Madarij al-salikin; 'Tabaqat al-sufiyya' (Biographical layers of the sufi masters), which is the expanded version of the earlier work by Abu 'Abd al-Rahman al-Sulami (d. 411) bearing the same title. 'Kitab 'ilal al-maqamat' (Book of the pitfalls of spiritual stations), describing the characteristics of spiritual states for the student and the teacher in the Sufi path;


in his Tarikh al-islam

and Siyar a'lam al-nubala', Ibn Rajab in his 'Dhayl tabaqat al- hanabila', and Jami in his book in Persian

'Kitab sad maydan' (in Persian, Book of the hundred fields), a commentary on the meanings of love in the verse: 'If you love Allah, follow me, and Allah will love you!' (3:31). This book collects al-Harawi's lectures in the years 447-448 at the Great Mosque of Herat (in present-day Afghanistan) in which he presents his most eloquent exposition of the necessity of following the Sufi path. 'Kashf al-asrar wa 'uddat al-abrar' (in Persian, the Unveiling of the secrets and the harness of the righteous), in ten volumes by al-Maybudi, it contains al-Harawi's Qur'anic commentary.