Sufi Teachings: A historical story about someone very famous in Islam.
A Woman and Hazrat Abdallah ibn Mubarik (rd):
Hazrat Abdullah ibne mubarik (rta) was once going on a journey to Hijaz (occupied KSA), during his travel he saw an old woman covered with a blanket alone in a jungle sitting there. He was astound to see her in such wild jungle alone. It is narrated that he stopped in front of her (that old woman) and said:
Hazrat Abdullah ibn Mubarik: Salam-Alaikum Wa Rahmtullahi Wa Baraktuhu.
Woman replied: سَلٰمٌ ۣ قَوْلًا مِّنْ رَّبٍّ رَّحِيْمٍ (Yasin -58)
Translation: Upon them will be Peace“ a Word from their Merciful Lord!
Then the conversation Started between them such as follows:
Hazrat Abdullah ibn Mubarik was questioning from her and the woman is answering him.
Abdullah: May Allah have mercy on you, how are you doing here lady?
Woman: مَنْ يُّضْلِلِ اللّٰهُ فَلَا هَادِيَ لَهٗ (Al-A’raaf-186)
Translation: For one whom Allah sends astray, there is none to guide him (what she means was i lost my way)
Abdullah: Where you have to go?
Woman: سُبْحٰنَ الَّذِيْٓ اَسْرٰى بِعَبْدِهٖ لَيْلًا مِّنَ الْمَسْجِدِ الْحَرَامِ اِلَى الْمَسْجِدِ الْاَقْصَا (Al Isra- 17:1)
Translation: Purity is to Him Who took His bondman in a part of the night from the Sacred Mosque to the Aqsa Mosque around which We have placed blessings (she means, completed hajj and now going towards al-aqsa).
Abdullah: From how long you have been here?
Woman: ثَلٰثَ لَيَالٍ سَوِيًّا (Surah maryam v 10)
Translation: “for three nights, although in proper health” (means, from three days)
Abdullah: Do you have any food?
Woman: هُوَ يُطْعِمُنِيْ وَيَسْقِيْنِ (Al-Shu’ara: 79)
Translation: “And the One Who feeds me and gives me to drink” (means: Allah gave me food)
Abdullah: From which thing would you perform ablution?
Woman: فَلَمْ تَجِدُوْا مَاۗءً فَتَيَمَّمُوْا صَعِيْدًا طَيِّبًا (Al Nisa- 43)
Translation: “and you do not find water, then cleanse (yourself) with clean soil”.. (means, if i dont found water i use clean soil for ablution)
Abdullah: Would you like to eat something. I have some food?
Woman: ثُمَّ اَتِمُّوا الصِّيَامَ اِلَى الَّيْلِ (Al baqarah/187)
Translation: “then complete the fast till nightfall” (means: she was having fast until nightfall)
Abdullah: This is not the month of fasting i.e, Ramzan Sharif!
Woman: وَمَنْ تَـطَوَّعَ خَيْرًا ۙ فَاِنَّ اللّٰهَ شَاكِـرٌ عَلِــيْمٌ (Al baqrah 158)
Translation: and whoever does good of his own accord, then (know that) indeed Allah is Most Appreciative (rewards virtue), the All Knowing”. (Means: Nafli fasting, ie, fasting anytime without having month of ramzan is blessed act in Quran).
Abdullah: During travel ‘Iftar’ is validated?
Woman: و ان تصوموا خير لکم ان کنتم تعلمون (baqarah 184)
Translation:” and fasting is better for you, if only you realise.” (means: its much better that way).
Abdullah: Why dont you talk with me in that sense of language which i am talking? (means in simple arabic rather than quranic talk in verses)
Woman: ما يلفظ من قول الا لديه رقيب عتيد (Qaaf: 18)
Translation: “He does not utter a single word, without a ready recorder seated next to him.” (means: she was saying that every spoken word and acts are been recorded by angels , so why not we talk in language of Quran so that, we have Quran in our Nama’e Amal’ (record of actions)).
Abdullah: Which people do you belongs to?
Woman: و لا تقف ما ليس لک به علم ان السمع و البصر و الفؤاد کل اولىک کان عنه مسولا (Al Isra:17:36)
Translation: “And do not pursue the matter you do not have the knowledge of; indeed the ear, and the eye, and the heart, each of these will be questioned.” (means: do not talk much without reason, because on the day of judgement it will be questioned about ears, eyes, and heart).
Abdullah: Will you not accept my sorry?
Woman: قال لا تثريب عليکم اليوم يغفر الله لکم و هو ارحم الرحمين (Yusuf: 92)
Translation: “He said,There is no reproach on you, this day! May Allah forgive you “ and He is the Utmost Merciful, of all those who show mercy.” (means: i had accepted your apology may Allah bless you).
Abdullah: If you want to go with us in caravan, i will take you with us on a camel!
Woman: و ما تفعلوا من خير يعلمه الله (Al baqarah: 197)
Translation: ” and whatever good you do, Allah knows it; and take provision ..” (means: i am ready may Allah bless you reward for this good act)
Abdullah: I had downed the camel you can now sit on her!
Woman: قل للمؤمنين يغضوا من ابصارهم (Al Noor: 30)
Translation: “Command the Muslim men to keep their gaze low ” . (means: i am ready to ride on camel keep your eyes close).
Abdullah bin Mubarik (rd) says i forget to rope-tide the camel while sitting so that when woman try to ride on her, the camel rushed because of which her cloth was ruined, upon that she says”!!!
وَمَآ اَصَابَكُمْ مِّنْ مُّصِيْبَةٍ فَبِمَا كَسَبَتْ اَيْدِيْكُمْ وَيَعْفُوْا عَنْ كَثِيْرٍ (Shoora : 30)
Translation: “And whatever calamity befalls you, is because of what your hands have earned “ and there is a great deal He pardons!” (means: this is not your fault this problem occured because of myself, this is not your fault)
Abdullah: Lady please wait so i have to rope the camel first!
Woman: ففهمنها سليمن (Al anbiya 21: 79)
Translation:And We explained the case to Sulaiman”.. (means: Just like Prophet sulaiman (alehisalam) that Allah gives him wisdom to solve the problem, you also got wisdom to solve this problem).
Abdullah: Lady now i had make it proper so you can ride her now.
Woman: وَتَـقُوْلُوْاسُبْحٰنَ الَّذِيْ سَخَّــرَ لَنَا ھٰذَا وَمَا كُنَّا لَهٗ مُقْرِنِيْنَ (Al Zakhraf 13-14)
Translation: “and say, Purity is to Him, Who has given this ride in our control, and we did not have the strength for it.”
Abdullah (rd) further said that when she rides on the camel i take the rope in my hands while walking on my feet doing poetry loudly and walking fastly, upon this the woman may feel uncomfortable so she says!
و اقصد في مشيک و اغضض من صوتک (Luqman: 19)
Translation: “And walk moderately and soften your voice” (means; be a little slow and keep your voice not aloud)
Then i (abdullah) keep my voice and walk in slow, upon which the woman again said!!
فاقرءوا ما تيسر من القران (al Muzammil: 20)
Translation: ” therefore recite from the Quran as much as is easy for you.” (means: recite as much as you can the Holy Quran).
Abdullah (rd) said ! I have got Khairan Kathir (much blessings), the woman said!
و ما يذکر الا اولوا الالباب (Al baqarah 269)
Translation: “but none heed advice except men of understanding.” (means: only people of wisdom accepts the good sayings)
Upon listning this Abdullah (rd) kept the silence and while walking, reached to the caravan, the woman asked him’ do you have any men of yours in caravan?”
Hazrat Abdullah (rd) Replied:
المال و البنون زينة الحيوة الدنيا (al Kahaf: 18: 46)
Translation: “Wealth and sons are ornaments of the life of this world” (means: the wealth and childern people etc are only the ornaments of this materialistic world nothing else)
(The woman in this historical astonishing conversation is no one else than famous Sufi Saint Rabia Al-Basari, some people does not mention her name, but many narrations mentioned her, i will try to translate more stories of such kind in future, may Allah bless us all that wisdom and that way of living and talk in our lives amin)
You can read more about Rabia Basari (rta) in our blog’s section of Islamic personalities or by using search engine.