Naqshbandiya Foundation for Islamic Education

The Naqshbandiya Foundation for Islamic Education (NFIE) is a non-profit, tax exempt, religious and educational organization dedicated to serve Islam with a special focus on Tasawwuf(Sufism),

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Excerpts from Nafahat al-'Uns: The Lives of Notable Figures of the Spiritual Path


Gonbad e Alaviyan,Hamadan,Iran

Excerpts from Nafahat al-'Uns: The Lives of Notable Figures of the Spiritual Path
by Sidi Ruslan Moore


Khwaja Yusuf Hamadani
May Allah the Exalted sanctify his spirit!
His patronymic is Abu Ya'qub. He was an Imam, a scholar, a lordly sage, master of the spiritual states, endowed with abundant gifts, charismatic talents and illustrious dissertations. At the beginning of his career, he went to Baghdad, where he regularly attended the class of Shaikh Abu Ishaq Shirazi. He achieved a very high standard there, and he excelled his peers in the science of Islamic jurisprudence [fiqh], as well as in the other sciences, especially the theoretical sciences. In spite of his young age, Shaikh Abu Ishaq accorded him preference over very many of his companions. In Baghdad, Isfahan and Samarqand, he heard the noble Prophetic tradition [hadith] related by very many trustworthy reporters. He then left all that, and embarked on the path of worship, spiritual exercise and earnest endeavour. It is a well-known fact that he received his initiation into Sufism from Shaikh Abu 'Ali Farmadhi. He is also said to have joined the fellowship of Shaikh 'Abdu'llah Juwaini and Shaikh Hasan Simnani.
He had settled in Merv, and from there he came to Herat, where he stayed for a long period of time. After this, the notables of Merv came and asked him to return to Merv. In response to their request, he went to Merv. He then came again to Herat. While returning once more from Herat to Merv, he died on the road. That was in the early months of the year A.H. 535 (1140 C.E.). They buried him in the place where he died. They transported him to Merv a long time after that, and his mausoleum is a conspicuous and famous site in Merv.
As related by Shaikh Muhyi'd-Din ibn al-'Arabi (may Allah the Exalted sanctify his innermost being) in one of his literary works: "In the year A.H. 602 (1205 C.E.), Shaikh Awhad ad-Din Hamid Kirmani was in my dwelling in the city of Konya. He told me the following story: 'In our towns, Khwaja Yusuf Hamadani (may Allah bestow His mercy upon him) spent more than sixty years of his life on the prayer mat of Shaikhhood and spiritual guidance. He was in his convent [zawiya] one day, when his heart was stirred by the desire to step outside, although it was not his custom to go out except on a Friday, the Day of Congregation. This feeling that had entered his heart weighed heavily upon him, but he could not understand why it was necessary for him to go out at that moment. He mounted his donkey and set out on the road. He gave his donkey free rein, saying: "Wherever the Lord of Truth (Exalted is He) wishes me to go, let it carry me there!" The donkey carried him out of the city, then moved towards the desert. It brought him to a ruined mosque, and there it stopped. The Shaikh dismounted and went inside the mosque. He saw that someone was sitting with his head bowed down. After a while, he raised his head. He was young man inspired with awe. He said: "O Yusuf, I have been confronted with a problem that is difficult to solve." He proceeded to recount that problem, and the Shaikh explained it to him, then said: "O son, whenever a difficult problem arises for you, come to the city and ask me about it. Do not cause me trouble!" Shaikh Yusuf Hamadani went on to say: "When I spoke to him like this, that young man said: 'Whenever I have a difficult problem, every stone is for me a Yusuf like you!"'" Shaikh Muhyi'd-Din ibn al-'Arabi remarks: "What I understood from this is the following: When the disciple is sincere and truthful, his sincerity endows him with the power to move his Shaikh to his side."
As related by Shaikh Najib ad-Din Buzghush Shirazi (sanctified be his innermost being): "Once upon a time, a few excerpts from the sayings of the Shaikhs had come into my possession. I studied them with care and found them extremely pleasing. In order to discover their continuation and learn whose sayings they were, I embarked on the quest for their missing parts. "One night in my dream, I saw a white-bearded, extremely radiant and dignified elder arrive and enter the dervish convent. He went over to the washroom to perform the ritual ablution. He was wearing a white robe, on which the Qur'anic Verse of the Throne [Ayat al-Kursi] had been scrawled with liquid gold. This inscription covered the robe from top to bottom. I followed in his footsteps and he removed the robe and handed it to me. Underneath it, he had donned a green robe that was even more beautiful. The Verse of the Throne had been inscribed upon it in the same manner. He handed me that robe as well, then he said: 'Take care of these until I have performed the ritual ablution!' After performing the ritual ablution, he said: 'I shall give you one of these two robes. Which of them would you like to have?' I could not choose between them, so I said to him: 'Give me whichever one you wish!' He thereupon presented me with the green robe and donned the white robe himself. He then went on to say: 'Do you recognize me? I am the author of those excerpts, the person you have been seeking. I am Yusuf Hamadani! I have given them the title Rutbat al-Hayat [The Degree of Life]. I have also authored other literary works, all of which are excellent, such as Manazil as-Sa'irin [The Stages of the Travellers] and Manazil as-Salikin [The Stages of the Wayfarers].' When I woke up from my dream, I felt tremendously happy."
They say that Yusuf Hamadani was delivering a lecture on one occasion in the NiDamiyya College in Baghdad, when a jurist called Ibn as-Saqqa stood up and posed a question. The Khwaja told him: "Sit down! I am smelling the odor of unbelief from your speech. Perhaps you will not be in the religion of Islam when your death occurs!" Some time after this, a Christian came to the Caliph as an ambassador from the Emperor of Byzantium. Ibn as-Saqqa met with him, sought his companionship, and said: "I wish to abandon the religion of Islam and enter your religion." The Christian accepted this request of his and they went together to Constantinople (now Istanbul), where he met with the Emperor. He became a Christian and died in Christianity. Ibn as-Saqqa is said to have learned the Noble Qur'an by heart. When he was nigh unto death, they asked him: "Do you remember anything from the Qur'an?" To this he replied: "I remember nothing apart from this verse:
It may be that those who disbelieve will dearly wish that they had been Muslims. (15:2)" rubba-ma yawaddu 'lladhina kafaru law kanu muslimin.
Some authorities have related different versions of the story of Ibn as-Saqqa. Examples will be provided later, if Allah (Exalted is He) so wills, in the account of the venerable Shaikh Muhyi'd-Din 'Abd al-Qadir al-Jilani (sanctified be his innermost being).
The deputies of Khwaja Yusuf Hamadani (may Allah the Exalted sanctify his innermost being) are four in number, namely: Khwaja 'Abdu'llah Barqi, Khwaja Hasan Andaqi, Khwaja Ahmad Yasawi and Khwaja 'Abd al-Khaliq Ghujdawani (may Allah the Exalted sanctify their innermost beings). After Khwaja Yusuf, each of these four held the post of missionary work [da'wa]. He also had other deputies at his service in the teaching of proper conduct [adab]. When Khwaja Ahmad Yasawi set out in the direction of Turkistan, he instructed all his companions to follow the guidance of Khwaja 'Abd al-Khaliq Ghujdawani. Similar accounts of the Shaikhs of this dynasty are provided in the treatises of some of the modern scholars.
May Allah be well pleased with him! (Courtesy:Sunni Path http://www.sunnipath.com/)

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