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IMAM AL HASSAN OF BASRA

Imam Al-Hassan ubn Yasar Abu Saed al-Basri, the great faqih of Basra, leader of the ascetics and scholars of his time. He became known for his strict and encompassing embodiment of the Sunnah; famous for his immense knowledge, asceticism , fearless remonstration of the authorities, and his power of attraction both in discourse and appearance. One of the early formal Sufis in both the general and the literal sense, he wore all his life a cloak of wool. (Suf).

 

Upbringing

Both his parents were freed slaves, yet his lineage and childhood could not possibly have been more exalted. He was raised in the household of Zayd ibn Thabit r.a, who was not only one of the seven sahaba fuqaha (jurists), but also the one to whom the compilation of the Quran was entrusted. He was nursed by Umm Salamah r.a, the wisdom filled wife of Rasulullah swm, who played a crucial role in his upbringing and moral instruction. At his birth, Sayyidna Umar r.a blessed him, saying ‘Oh Allah ! Make him wise in religion and beloved to the people.’ Furthermore, he became the murid of Sayyidina Ali r.a at the age of fourteen. A childhood surrounded by such titanic figures unsurprisingly left and indelible impression upon the great Imam. He one remarked,

“ By Allah ! I have met seventy veterans of Badar. Most of their garments were wool. Had you seen them you would have said they were insane. Had they seen the best among you they would have said, ‘these people will have no part in the Hereafter;’ and had they seen the worst among you they would have said, ‘these people do not believe in the Day of Reckoning,’”

 

Knowledge and Piety

 

In his uncompromising search for Allah, he became one of the greatest saints of his era and was named “ Bab al Wilayah” ( the gateway of sainthood).

He was a hadith narrator of the highest grading, and over 1400 hadith in the nine books have chains running through him. He was also one of the authorized fuqaha among the taabain, having learnt in the household of Zayd bin Thabit, as well as others. His links to Sayyidna Ali r.a , are evident in all his fields of mastery; hadith, fiqh and tasawwuf. Some hadith masters assert that he related hadith directly from Hazrat Ali r.a ; according to Abd ar-Razzaq r.a , the great Khalifah once accepted his recommendation in a judicial case. Finally, of course, it is the consensus judgment of the great Imams of the Way that Sayyidna Ali r.a transmitted the knowledge of tasawwuf to him with a single look.

He lived most of his life in Basra (Southern Iraq), which was at that time the cultural and intellectual center of the Islamic world. It was also here that many theological and metaphysical controversies raged. It was al-Hassan r.a , a staunch defender of  Orthodox Islam, who first mounted a systematic and comprehensive rebuttal of Persian and Greek beliefs. This defense was later continued by such men as the Imam Abu Hanifa, Imam Hanbal r,.a, and al-Ashari r.a. Infact , his interpretation of Allah attributes from key components of the aqidah ( doctrinal belief) of the Ahl as-Sunnah wa’l Jamaah.

He developed a wide circle of disciples and students and became renowned as a brilliant orator. Arab scholars have preserved many of his speeches, letters and aphorisms. He made, during his time, the acquaintance of many Sufi saints. To some he was a guide, to others a fellow-traveler, and to very few, a pupil. Perhaps the most revered of these was the legendary Hazrat Bibi Rabia of Basra, a female saint whose sanctity and love for God reached mythical dimension.

He was famed and respected not only for his knowledge and wisdom, but also for his tremendous humility and piety. It is reported that for forty years he did not laugh, so completely was he consumed by fear of Allah. Once a man mockingly asked him whether he (al-Hassan) was better or worse than a dog. He replied, “if I am saved from Allah’s punishment, then I am better than the dog; but if His punishment overtakes me, then the dog is thousand times better.” When he saw a dog, he used to supplicate, “ Oh Allah ! Forgive me through the wasilah of this dog.”

 

Aphorisms

  • We laugh and yet-who knows? –perhaps Allah has looked at some of our works and said: “ I will not accept anything from you.” Woe to you, son of Adam ! Can you fight Allah? Whoever disobeys Allah is fighting Him.
  • Two thoughts roam over soul, one from Allah and one from the enemy. Allah shoes mercy on a servant who settles at the thought that comes from Him.
  • Whoever knows his Lord loves Him, and whoever knows the world does without it.
  • Humility is to consider everyone nobler than you.
  • The world is a vehicle for you. If you drive it, it will deliver you to your destination. If it drives you, it will lead you to destruction.

Once the great Imam visited his dying neighbor, a Magian Fire worshipper named Simeon. Al-Hassan r.a approached his deathbed and advised him to become Muslim, but the man replied that there were three things stopping him.

“Firstly,” he said, “Muslims speak ill of the world, but day and night pursue worldly things. Secondly, you say death is a inevitability, but yet make no preparations for it. Thirdly, you say that God’s face shall be seen, but you do everything contrary to his good pleasure.”

Al-Hassan r.a conceded the fact, but replied that at least Muslims worship God, and not fire. “Fire is but a servant of Allah,” said the saint. “ and if Allah wishes it will not burn one particle of my body.” So saying, he thrust his hand directly into the burning flame. There it remained, unaffected by the heat, and true knowledge dawned upon Simeon. He converted to Islam, and later died. Al-Hassan r.a saw him in dream walking through the gardens of Paradise wearing a cloak of light. “Lord God!” he cried, “such is your mercy! If you can forgive and unbeliever of seventy years because of one utterance, how will you exclude a believer?”

He attained unity with Beloved in Basra in 110 AH, leaving five Khalifa, one of whom was Hazrat Imam Abd Al-Wahid ibn Zayd.

Hazrat Hafiz Mohammed Ali Khairabadi RA

(as he was popularly known) is the direct descendant of the Holy Prophet SAW, following the lineage of Hazrath Ghausal Azam RA. He was one of the leading Khulafas of the great illuminary of Punjab (India), Rohela of Hazur Qibla-e-Alam Khwaja Maharvi, Hazrath Khwaja Suleman Tawsawi RA.

andHe was born in 1192 AH (1778AC). He committed the Holy Quran to memory  enrolled as a student in Khairabad, later proceeding to Shahjahanpur and finally to Delhi.

On the specific instructions of his Sheikh he started the process of Peeri Mureedi. Thousands of people pledged ba’it on his hand. He established his Khanqah in Khairabad. It proved to be the cradle of learning which later became famous as the Khairabadi school of thought. He was a very practical man who attracted a number of knowledge-thirsty and spiritual-hungry personalities from the length and breadth of India. He also spent ten years in the Haramain (Mecca and Medina).

Hafiz Paak RA was referred to as the “Shibli of the Era” and “Sultan-ul-Mashaikh”. He kept away from kings and affluent arrogant people. He passed away on 19 Zil Qada 1266 AH at the age of 71. One of his most well known Khulafas is Hazrath Khwaja Habib Ali Shah RA, the Pir-O-Murshid of Hazrath Soofie Saheb RA

 

Khawaja Sadid Ad-Din Huzaifa Al-Marashi

Through my weakness am I in a state of unconsciousness,

Therefore there is no joy in my heart at all;

I feel tremendously drawn towards him.

Salautations to you, may I be intoxicated by love,

Oh Sadid ad-Din Huzaifa Marashi.

 

 

Hazrat Khwaja Sadid ad-Din Huzaifa al-Marashi r.a was a great saint of early Islamic history, known as ‘the man of secrets.’ IN his childhood, he had already mastered the seven recitations of the Holy Quraan. After completing his studies, he was directed to become the murid of Hazrat Ibrahim bin Adham by none other than Hazrat Khidr a.s himself.

Khwaja Huzaifa al-Marashi used to spend all his time serving Hazrat Khwaja Ibrahim Adham r.a and on their travels together, he met the foremost saints of his time. As one might expect, Khwaja Huzaifa r.a received intensive spiritual training from his master. During his travels he used to make dhikr aloud continuously. He never asked any favors from mortals; if he needed anything he sought the aid of Allah alone, and it was produced for him from the unseen world. He also authored several works in the science of Tasawwuf.

After completing his spiritual training, he received the Khilafat from his murshid and became his foremost successor. So great was the love between master and pupil that whatever spiritual wealth Hazrat Ibrahim bin Adham received from Khidr a.s, Imam Mohammed Baqir r.a and Hazrat Fuzail bin Ayaz r.a, he gave to him.

He was a man of great humility and filled with tremendous fear of Allah. Once he was asked, “ why do you cry so much? Do you not believe in Allah’s mercy?” He replied, “ in the Quran it is written that a group will be in Paradise, and another in Hell. I do not know which of these I will be in , therefore I cry.” He was then asked, “ if this is your case, why do you accept people’s bayaah?” Upon hearing this, he gave an anguished sigh and passed out. When he awakened, a voice was heard by all those present giving him the glad tidings of Paradise. Upon hearing this, three hundred unbelievers accepted Islam.

Khawaja Sadid ad-Din Huzaifa Maraashi attained unity with Beloved on the 14th Shawal 207 AH. His most famous khalifa was Khwaja Amin ad-Din Habayrah , but it is said that Imam ash-Shafi was another of them.

Khwaja Abu Ahmad Abdal Al-Chishti

Whoever remembered Hazrat from the depths of his heart,

Became absorbed in the sea of love;

He began reciting then, this verse with zeal.

Salutations to you, Oh Commander of Chishtiya

Khwaja Abu Ahmad-king of the both worlds.

 

Khwaja Abu Ahmad Abdal Chishti r.a was a great saint and the successor Abu Ishaq, the founder of the Chishtiya Silsilah. The was acknowledge by his contemporaries as an abdal, hence his title’Qutab al-Abdal’( the axis of the substitute-saints). He was the son of Sultan Faransafah, and his lineage is linked to Imam Hussain r.a. His aunt was a saintly woman, and was devoted to Hazrat Khwaja Abu Ishaq r.a. Occasionally the master of the Chishtiya silsilah would partake of meals with her husband at her house. One day he remarked that in the house of her brother (sultan), a very pious child was to be born; he instructed her to go there and ensure that the queen ate no doubtful food during her pregnancy. It was this level of care, even before his birth that contributed greatly to the future wilayah of Khwaja Abu Ahmad r.a

After his birth, his aunt took it upon herself to raise him, with the result that he used to live more with her than with his parents. Whenever Khwaja Abu Ishaq used to visit the house, he used to remark that he smelt the fragrance of sainthood. At the age of seven, he began to attend the Sema gatherings of his future murshid. Seeing this, Khwaja Abu Ishaq said, “(only) lovers should attend Sema, and you are indeed worthy!” The barakah of these blessed words removed all the veils from his eyes, so that nothing in heaven or earth was hidden from his vision. At this young age, whatever he prophesied came to pass, and the great people of his time showed tremendous respect towards him.

When Hazrat Abu Ahmad was twenty, he accompanied his father on a hunting expedition, only to find himself separated from the king’s party. It happened that he wandered onto a barren plain in front of a mountain, upon which he saw forty Auliya Allah standing in the presence of Khwaja Abu Ishaq r.a out of respect. Thus was the greatness of the master of Chisht emphatically revealed to him. Immediately he alighted from his horse and kissed his feet. Then he put off his princely garb and donned the khirqah (woolen robe) of the Sufis.

The family of the sultan was distraught at this turn of events, and the king himself came to cajole, plead and eventually threaten his son to return; to no avail: Abu Ahmad Adbal r.a remained with his murshid and became a Sufi of the first spiritual rank. He used to remain engrossed in dhikr, regularly performing the continuous fast after the fashion of his murshid. It is also reported that he used to complete the recitation of the Quran twice everyday. For seven continuous years, he never missed tahajud , and it was his practice that afterwards he used to make the following dua.

“Oh AllahQ Have mercy on your servants! Forgive the sinners from the Community of Rasulullah swm.” Thereafter, a voice used to say: “ Oh Abu Ahmad! We have accepted your duaa and through it have forgiven ten thousand sinners. On the Day of Qiyamah , they will enter Paradise with you.”

It happened that his father has a large winery wherein he used to store all his liquor. One day Abu Ahmad r.a returned to this place and destroyed all the wine-stocks. When the sultan saw this, he became enraged and hurled a large rock at the saint. However, by the power of Allah it was suspended in the mid-air, injuring no-one. Awed by this miracle, the sultan immediately asked forgiveness from Allah and became a disciple of his son.

Once he was founded by a group of infidels whose hatred of Muslims was so intense that they used to burn alive any that they captured. When they taunted him as to his fate, he replied serenely, “The Holy Prophet r.a has said that fire cannot burn one in whose heart there is true faith.” To prove his point, as he approached the blaze, he willingly laid down his musallah and calmly entered the fire. When the Kuffar saw that the fire did notburn the great saint, they immediately repented and converted en masse.

Khwaja Abu Ahmad Abdal Chishti is regarde as a patriarch of the Chishtiya order. He attained Unity on the 1st or 3rd of Jamad- al Ukra 355 AH and lies buried in the village of Chisht, present day Afghanistan.

Khwaja Abu Ishaq al-Chishti of Sham

I now have no fear, nor am I in danger,

In this love I have become entirely absorbed;

Oh God, take me at last unto his door.

Salutations to you, O head of the Chishti !

Khwaja Abu Ishaq Chishti..the celebrated.

 

Although Khwaja Moin ud Din Chishti r.a the great saint of India, is widely regarded as the pivotal figure in the Chishtiya silsilah, the actual founder of the mighty order lived over two hundered years before him. Khwaja Abu Ishaq Chishti r.a is called Taj al-auliya, or “the crown of the Saints”. He was born in Chisht, a small village in Afghanistan, and probably acquired his religious knowledge from Damascus (al-Sham) in Syria.

Seeking a spiritual teacher to perfect himself, he performed salat al istikhara (the prayer of seeking guidance). After forty consecutive days, he received his response: “if you seek to reach the destination, go to Mumshad al-Dinawari.” When he arrived in Baghadad, Khwaja Mumshad asked him for his name. He replied

“ I am Abu Ishaq al-Shami,” ( referring to the place he had acquired his religious instruction). His murshid, however, diving through spiritual intuition, replied,

“ NO; you are Abu Ishaq al-Chishti ! From you the peole of Chisht and all the surrounding areas will receive guidance; and the spiritual order (silsilah) you found will be known as al-Chishtiya until the Day of Qiyamah.

After these glad tidings, he was trained in the tariqah—the path of Tasawwuf. He became known as a great zahid (ascetic). Among his extraordinary mujahadahs was the seven day fast, and he used to declare, “ the miraaj of the fuqara is hunger.” It is said that such was the power of his companionship that those who sat with him thereafter refrained from sin, and the sick were miraculously cured. Once a king came to him complaining that his lands were undergoing a drought. Through the grace of Allah, it immediately began to rain. The next day the king returned with some other problem, and Khwaja Abu Ishaq began to wep. When asked why, he replied, “ I fear that I have committed a sin. Why else would Allah punish me with the company of rich and deprive me of the company of the poor?”

Upon perfection of his suluk, he was granted khilafat in a total of fourteen spiritual orders. Thereafter, he returned to his home town, where he founded the Chishtiya silsilah, about which mention has been made. Its foundations and practices, which today are almost emblematic of the Chishtiya , were laid by Khwaja Abu Ishaq r.a, who lived out the rest of his life in Chisht and spread the order from there. Many people accepted Islam and became muridin at the hands of Khwaja Abu Ishaq, including Khwaja Abu Ahmad al-CHishti who eventually became his foremost khalifa. He attained unity on the 14th Rabi al-Akhir 329 AH and lies buried in Acer, on the border of Syria,