Tuesday, January 24, 2006

Is it not time to submit to God's commands?

Has not the Time arrived for the Believers that their hearts in all humility should engage in the remembrance of Allah and of the Truth which has been revealed (to them), and that they should not become like those to whom was given Revelation aforetime, but long ages passed over them and their hearts grew hard? For many among them are rebellious transgressors. (Qur'an 57:16)

[Abu Ali al-Fudayl b. Iyaad] is one of the paupers (sa3aleek) of the Sufis, and one of their most eminent and celebrated men. At first he was used to practice brigandage between Merv and Baward, but he was always inclined to piety, and invariably showed a generous and magnanimous disposition, so that he would not attack a caravan in which there was a woman, or take the property of anyone whose stock was small; and he let the travellers keep a portion of their property, according to the means of each. One day a merchant set out from Merv. His friends advised him to take an escort, but he said to them: "I have heard that Fudayl is a God-fearing man;" and instead of doing as they wished he hired a Koran-reader and mounted him on a camel in order that he might read the Koran aloud day and night during the journey. When they reached the place where Fudayl was lying in ambush, the reader happened to be reciting: "Is it not time that the hearts of those who believe should be humbled to the remembrance of God?" (Qur'an 57:16). Fudayl's heart was softened. He repented of the business in which he was engaged, and having written a list of those whom he had robbed, he satisfied all their claims upon him. Then he went to Mecca and resided there for some time and became acquainted with certain saints of God. Afterwards he returned to Kufa, where he associated with Abu Hanifa. He has handed down relations (hadiths) which are held in high esteem by Traditionists, and he is the author of lofty sayings concerning the verities of Sufism and Divine Knowledge.

- Kashful Mahjub, pg 97-98

see also Remembrance of the Saints, pg 52

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