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Tuesday, May 04, 2004  

Rabi’a al-‘Adawiyya Rabi’a was from Basra and was a client (mawla) of the clan of ‘Atik. Sufyan at-Thawri (may God have mercy upon him) sought her advice on legal matters and referred to such issues to her. He also sought her spiritual advice and supplications. Both at-Thawri and Shu’ba (ibn al-Hajjaj) transmitted Rabi’a’s words of wisdom. Muhammad ibn ‘Abdallah b Akhi Mimi personally reported from Ahmad ibn Ishaq b Wahb that his father (Wahb al-Bazzaz) reported through ‘Abdallah ibn Ayyub al-Muqri (the Quran Reciter) through Shayban ibn Farrukh, that Ja’far ibn Sulayman related: Sufyan at-Thawri took me by the hand and said about Rabi’a: “Take me to the mentor. For then I am apart from her. I can find no solace.” When we entered her abode, Sufyan raised his hand and said, “Oh God, grant me safety!” At this Rabi’a wept. “What makes you weep?” he asked. “You caused me to weep,” she replied. “How?” he asked. She answered, “Have you learned that true safety from the world is to abandon all that is in it? So how can u ask for such a thing while you are still soiled with the world?” Abu Ja’far Muhammad ibn Ahmad bin Said ar-Razi reported from al-‘Abbas ibn Hamza through Ahmad ibn Abi al-Hawari through al-‘Abbas ibn al-Walid al-Mashriqi that Shayban al-Ubulli related: I heard Rabi’a say: “For everything there is a fruit (thamara), and the fruit of the knowledge of God (ma’arifa) is in orienting oneself toward God at all times (iqbal).” Also on his authority, Rabi’a said: “I ask forgiveness for my lack of truthfulness in saying, ‘I ask God’s forgiveness.’” Also on his authority, Rabi’a was asked: “How is your love for the Prophet (may God bless and preserve him)?” To which she replied, “Verily, I love him. But love for the Creator has turned me away from love for created things.” (Shayban al-Ubulli) also said: One day, Rabi’a saw Rabah (al-Qaysi) kissing a young boy. “Do you love him?” she asked. “Yes,” he said. To which she replied, “I did not imagine that there was a room in your heart to love anything other than God, the Glorious and Mighty!” Rabah was overcome at this and fainted. When he awoke, he said, “On the contrary, this is a mercy that God most High has put into the hearts of His slaves.” I heard Abu Bakr ar-Razi report from Abu Salama al-Baladi that Maymun ibn Al-Asbagh related through Sayyar from Ja’far (ibn Sulayman): Muhammad ibn Wasi’ came upon Rabi’a while she was staggering like one inebriated. “What causes you to stagger?” he asked. “Last night I became intoxicated with love for my Lord and woke up inebriated from it,” she replied. In a quarter of Baghdad named Qati’at ad-Daqiq, I heard Muhammad ibn ‘Abdallah b. Akhi Mimi report from Ahmad ibn Ishaq b. Wahb al-Bazzaz (the Cloth Merchant) through ‘Abdallah ibn Ayyub al-Muqri through Shayban ibn Farrukh that Ja’far ibn Sulayman said: I heard Rabi’a al-‘Adawiyyah say that Sufyan at-Thawri asked her, “What is the best way for the slave (‘abd) to come close to God, the Glorious and Mighty?” She wept and replied: “How can the likes of me be asked such a thing? The best way for the salve to come close to God Most High is for him to know that he must not love anything in this world or the Hereafter other than Him.” Also on (Ja’far ibn Sulayman’s) authority it is reported that at-Thawri said in Rabi’a’s presence, “How sorrowful I am!” “Do not lie!” she said. “Say instead. ‘How little is my sorrow!’ if you are truly sorrowful, life itself would not please you.” Also on his authority Rabi’a said: “My sorrow is not from feeling sad. Rather, my sorrow is not from feeling sad enough.” Also on his authority Rabi’a said: In Basra, Rabi’a came across a man who had been arrested and crucified for immorality. She said “Upon my father! With that tongue you used to say, ‘There is no god but God!’” Sufyan said: “Then she mentioned the good works that the man has done.” Also on his authority: Salih al-Murri said in her presence, “He who persists in knocking at the door will have it opened for him” “The door is already open,” she replied. “But the question is: Who wishes to enter it?” Lubaba al-Muta’abbida (Lubaba the Devotee), From Jerusalem Lubaba was a specialist in the ways of gnosis (ma’rifa) and self-denial (mujahadat). Abu Ja’far Muhammad ibn Ahmad b Sa’id ar-Razi reported from al-‘Abbas ibn Hamza through Ahmad ibn Abi al-Hawari that Muhammad ibn Rawh related: Lubaba the Worshipper said: “I am ashamed lest God sees me preoccupied with other than Him.” Lubaba also said: “The more I observe self-denial, the more comfortable I become with its practice. Thus, when I get tired from human encounter, I find intimacy in the remembrance of God. And when human discourse tires me, I take my rest in dedication to the worship of God and fulfilling His service.” A man said to her: “This is the question. I want to perform the pilgrimage to Mecca, so what invocation should I make during this period?” She said: “Ask God most High for two things: that He will be pleased with you, so that He will make u attain the station of those who find their satisfaction in Him, and that He will magnify your reputation among His friends (awliya’)”. Maryam of Basra, From the Natives of Basra Maryam was a contemporary of Rabi’a (al-‘Adawiyya) and survived her. She was also her companion and served her. She used to lecture on the subject of love (mahabba) and whenever she listened to discourses on the doctrine of love, she went into ecstasy. It was said: One day she attended the session of a preacher. When he started to speak about love, her spleen ruptured and she died during the session. Muhammad ibn Ahmad b. Sa’id ar-Razi reported from al-‘Abbas ibn Hamza through Ahmad ibn Abi al-Hawari that ‘Abd al-‘Aziz ibn ‘Umayr related: Maryam of Basra would remain standing in worship from the beginning of the night, saying, ‘Gracious is God toward His servants’ ( 42:19), and did not go beyond this verse till daylight. Maryam said: “I have never been preoccupied with my sustenance, nor have I exhausted myself in seeking it from the day I heard the statement of God the Glorious and Mighty: ‘For in heaven is your sustenance as is that which you are promised’ (61:22).” Mu’mina the Daughter of Bahlul, From the Female Worshippers of Damascus Mu’mina was one of the most important female Gnostics (‘arifat) of her age. I found this in the handwriting of my father, who related it. It was reported that Mu’mina bint Bahlul said: “This world and the Hereafter are not pleasurable except through God or through the contemplation of the effects of His artifice and His power. He who is denied closeness to God experiences intimacy through these effects. How desolate is the hour in which God is not mentioned!” (My father) also related: Mu’mina was asked, “From whence did you acquire these spiritual states (ahwal)?” She replied, “By following God’s commands according to the Sunna of the Prophet Muhammad (may God bless and preserve him), by magnifying the rights of the Muslims, and by rendering service to the righteous and the virtuous.” I heard Abu al-Mufaddal ash-Shaybani (report from Ibrahim ibn al-Azhar through Abu Hashim ar-Razi through Ibn Abi al-Hawari) who said: I heard Mu’mina bint Bahlul (the quintessential female ascetic of Damascus) say: “Oh most Beloved! This world and the Hereafter are not pleasurable except through You. So do not overwhelm me with the loss of You and the punishment that results from it!” Mu’adha bint ‘Abdallah al-‘Adawiyya Mu’adha was a contemporary of Rabi’a (al-‘Adawiyya) and was her close companion. She did not lift up her gaze toward the sky for forty years. She did not eat during the day and did not sleep at night. For this she was told, “You are causing harm yourself harm.” To which she replied, “No, I have postponed one time for the other. I have postponed sleep from the night until day and have postponed food from day until night.” I found this in the handwriting of my father (may God have mercy upon him). It says: A woman used to take care of Mu’adha al-‘Adawiyya, who used to stay up all night praying. When overcome by the need for sleep, she would get up and wander around the house, saying, “Oh, soul! Eternal sleep is ahead of you. If I were to die, your repose in the grave would be a long one, whether it be sorrowful or happy.” She would remain that way until daylight. Shabaka of Basra Shabaka was a companion of her brother and like him specialized in the way of scrupulousness (wara’). There were underground cells (saradib) in her house for her female students and disciples, where they learned the ways of self-denial and spiritual practice. She used to say: “Souls are purified by acts of worship (riyadat). When they are purified, they find peace in worship, just as before they were burdened by it.” Abu Sa’id ibn al-‘Arabi also mentioned this statement in Kitab at-tabaqat. Nussiya bint Salman Nusiyya was the wife of Yusuf ibn Asbat. She once said to Yusuf ibn Asbat: “You will be asked by God on my behalf whether you have provided me with any food other than that which is lawful, and whether you might be suspected of any wrongdoing for my sake.” (Yusuf ibn Asbat) said: When Nusiyya gave birth to a son she said “Oh, Lord! You do not see me as someone worthy of Your worship. So for this You have preoccupied me with a child!” - Abu ‘Abd ar-Rahman as-Sulami, Early Sufi Women (Dhikr an-niswa al-muta’abbidat as suffiyat)



posted by Abubak'r | 5/04/2004 06:08:00 AM |
As for him who fears to stand before his Lord and restrains the ego its desires, the Garden is shelter.
(The Snatchers:40)
Abu Hurairah (May Allah be pleased with him) reported: Messenger of Allah (PBUH) said, "The Fire is surrounded by all kinds of desires and passions, while Paradise is surrounded by all kinds of disliked, undesirable things."
(Bukhari)
Whoever does good at night is rewarded during the day and whoever does good during the day is rewarded at night. Whoever is sincere in abandoning a desire is saved from catering to it. God is too noble to punish a heart that has abandoned a desire for His sake.
(Abu Sulayman ad-Darani)
Beware of your ego, and trust not its mischief;
The ego is worse than seventy devils.
(Arabic Poem)
Abu Bakar Balkhi
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I seek God's forgiveness, and do not claim that my intention in producing this Blog is confined to good religious purposes; how may I do so when I am aware of the hidden desires, egotistic passions, and worldly wishes that I harbour? I do not claim innocence for myself; the ego is indeed an inciter to evil, save when my Lord shows mercy; my Lord is indeed Forgiving, Merciful. O God! I seek Your protection against my committing idolatry [shirk] knowingly, and Your forgiveness for that of which I am not aware! I ask God to make me and all other believers benefit from this Blog and to render my production of it purely for the sake of His Noble Countenance.

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