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Sufi lessons history lectures


Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) said that when noor enters the heart, the (spiritual) breast of man expands. When the Sahaabah asked for a sign of this noor, Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) said: “Such a person flees from this abode of deception. He turns his attention to the abode of the Aakhirah and he makes preparations for it before the arrival of maut.”

Thus, a man who has lost interest and desire in this world, has acquired this noor.


Hadhrat Abu Darda (radhiallahu anhu) said: “The wealthy eat and we (the Fuqaraa) also eat. They wear garments and so do we. Neither do they derive benefit from the excess wealth (which they hoard) nor do we gain any benefit (from their excess wealth). On the Day of Qiyaamah, an account will be demanded from them of this wealth, but not from us. Our wealthy brethren have not acted justly. While they love us (or claim so) for Allah’s Sake, they do not include us in their wealth. Such a day will dawn when they will wish that on earth they had been Fuqaraa, while we will not wish that we should have been wealthy.”


A man came to a Sheikh and said: “Hadhrat, make dua for me. My wife and children have distressed me considerably.”

The Sheikh said: “When your family pesters you and complain, make du`aa. At that time your du`aa is closer to acceptance than my du`aa.”


A wealthy man presented a gift of 500 dirhams (silver coins) to Hadhrat Junaid Baghdaadi (rahmatullahi alayh) requesting him to distribute it to the Fuqaraa. Hadhrat Junaid asked: “Do you have more wealth?”

When the man said, “Yes”, Hadhrat Junaid said: “Do you desire more wealth than what you have?” The man said: “Yes”, Hadhrat Junaid said: “Then take these dirhams. You are in greater need than us (Fuqaraa).” Hadhrat Junaid thus returned the money to him and did not accept it.


When a man presented 10 000 dirhams to Hadhrat Ibraheem Bin Ad`ham (rahmatullahi alayh), he refused acceptance and commented: “You desire that my name be struck from the roll of Fuqaraa by giving me these dirhams?”


Hadhrat Ibraheem Bin Ad`ham (rahmatullahi alayh) said: “The people of the world searched for peace in the world, but failed to find it. If they became aware of the kingdom we own, they will kill one another with swords (to gain it).”


Hadhrat Zunnun Misri (rahmatullahi alayh) said that the Zaahid is the king of the Aakhirah. A Zaahid is a Faqeer who has renounced the world.

Sheikh Kabeer Abu Madyan Shaheer (radhiallahu anhu) said that there are two kinds of kingdoms – the kingdom of geographical territory and the kingdom of the hearts of mankind. The Zaahid is the king of the hearts of men.


Sheikh Kabeer Aarif Abu Abdullah Qarshi (rahmatullahi alayh) describing true Faqr (i.e. poverty and hunger for Allah’s Sake), said that this hunger is accompanied by pain and pleasure. In this pain and pleasure is the yearning (for Allah Ta`ala).


Hadhrat Baayazid Bustaami (rahmatullahi alayh)said that among the Auliyaa of Allah Ta`ala there are such servants, who, if they are denied the Vision of Allah in Jannat, will seek refuge and protection from Jannat just as people seek protection from Jahannum.


According to Hadhrat Abu Uthmaan Maghribi (rahmatullahi alayh), by virtue of the anwaar of Ilm, the Arif is able to view the wonders of the unseen realms.


Hadhrat Ya`fi (rahmatullahi alayh) said that generally the deeds of worldly people are devoid of sincerity. For example, while they spend wealth in pious acts, their hearts are saturated with love for wealth. It is this love (hubb-e-maal) which prevents them from obedience to Allah Ta`ala.

On the contrary, the Zaahideen (plural of Zaahid) dissociate themselves from the world and its attractions solely for the Sake of Allah Ta`ala. The world is contemptible and abhorrent to them. Their entire existence, body and soul, are focused towards Allah Ta`ala. They combine Ibaadat-e-Qalbiyah and Ibaadat-e-Badaniyah.

[Ibaadat-e-Qalbiyah: This means the worship of the heart. With hearts purified from all evil attributes they are engrossed in Divine Remembrance, contemplation, meditation and derive lessons from whatever they view. Ibaadat-e-Badaniyah refers to the physical acts of worship such as Salaat, Saum, Hajj, etc.]

When Allah Ta`ala sees that their hearts are completely devoid of any love for aliens (i.e. for things besides Allah), He fills their hearts with the treasure of His Qurb (Proximity / Nearness). He then, by His Grace and Mercy, bestows to them such spiritual treasures and lofty heights which the intelligence of worldly men can never comprehend or even conceive.


Hadhrat Haatim Asam (rahmatullahi alayh) once, on his way to Hajj, passed through the city of Rai. Three hundred and twenty Sufis were accompanying him. A prominent and leading trader of the city, who was a devotee of the Fuqaraa and Masaakeen invited the entire group to be his guests. In the morning he said to Hadhrat Haatim: “An Aalim, Faqeeh here is ill. I am going to visit him. Will you accompany me?” Hadhrat Haatim said: “Visiting the sick is an act of thawaab. Furthermore, to visit an Aalim, is ibaadat. I shall certainly go with you.”

The name of the Aalim was Muhammad Bin Muqaatil. He was the Qaadhi of Rai. The entire group went to the house of the Qaadhi. On arrival there, Hadhrat Haatim observed a palatial mansion. It had a large ornamental door. Large and expensive curtains decorated the place. Seeing all the luxury and adornment of the mansion, Hadhrat Haatim was perplexed and astonished. He thought: “O Allah! An Aalim and such pomp and splendour.”

When permission for admission was obtained, he was even more surprised at the splendour and glitter of the interior of the mansion. When he came into the presence of the Qaadhi, he observed the extreme luxury of the carpets and the bed on which the Qaadhi was resting. At the head-side a servant was standing with a fan in his hand.

The trader on reaching the Qaadhi’s presence, sat down. But Hadhrat Haatim remained standing. Qaadhi Ibn Muqaatil indicated to Hadhrat Haatim to sit down. However, he remained standing. The Qaadhi said: “Perhaps you have a need?”

Hadhrat Haatim said: “I wish to enquire about a mas`alah.”

The Qaadhi responded: “Ask!”

Hadhrat Haatim: “First, sit up!”

The Qaadhi complied and sat respectfully.

Hadhrat Haatim: “Where have you acquired your knowledge?”

Qaadhi: “I have acquired it from illustrious and reliable Thiqaat (authorities of the Deen).”

Hadhrat Haatim: “What are their names?”

Qaadhi: “The As-haab of Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam).” The Qaadhi was a Tabi`ee.

Hadhrat Haatim: “From whom did the Sahaabah gain their knowledge?”

Qaadhi: “From Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam).”

Hadhrat Haatim: “From who did Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) obtain his knowledge?”

Qaadhi: “From Jibraeel (alayhis salaam).”

Hadhrat Haatim: “And Jibraeel (alayhis salaam)?”

Qaadhi: “From Allah Ta`ala.”

Hadhrat Haatim: “In that knowledge which Jibraeel (alayhis salaam) delivered to Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) from Allah Ta`ala, and which Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) delivered to the Sahaabah and they in turn to the Thiqaat who delivered it to you, did you see anywhere that a wealthy man enjoying pomp, splendour and possessing palatial mansions is a man of lofty status by Allah Ta`ala?”

Qaadhi: “No, I have not read this.”

Hadhrat Haatim: “What then have you learnt?”

Qaadhi: “I have heard from my Shuyookh that a man who lives like a Zaahid on earth, yearns for the Aakhirah and befriends the Masaakeen, he, holds a very elevated rank by Allah Ta`ala.”

Hadhrat Haatim: “Whom have you followed? Have you followed Nabi (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) and his Sahaabah or Fir`oun and Hamaan? O Ulama of evil practice! Ignorant people engrossed in the world go astray by looking at men like you and they comment: ‘ If an Aalim can live like this, then what wrong are we committing?’”

Hadhrat Haatim (rahmatullahi alayh) after delivering this reprimand and admonition departed. Qaadhi Ibn Muqaatil having heard this sharp rebuke became more ill.

Subhaanallah! After all, he (the Qaadhi) was among the Salf-e-Saaliheen. Even the wealthy and the rulers of that age were not inferior to the Zaahideen of our age.


Hadhrat Haatim Asam (rahmatullahi alayh), was one of the great Mashaa`ikh. Imaam Ibn Hambal (rahmatullahi alayh) would frequent him. He would listen to Hadhrat Haatim’s talks, pose questions to him and be pleased with his answers.

In every age the pious Ulama held the Sufiyaa in high esteem. They would visit the Sufiyaa and derive the benefit and blessings of their companionship. Among the notable Ulama who would visit the Sufiyaa was Hadhrat Sufyaan Thauri (rahmatullah alayh). He frequented Hadhrat Rabiah Basriyyah (rahmatullahi alayha) and sit with great respect. Imaam Shaafi and Imaam Hambal (rahmatullahi alayhima) derived benefit of association with Hadhrat Shaibah Raa`ee (rahmatullahi alayh).