story of a young ascetic - ghurabaa

Discussion in 'Stories and Anecdotes' started by abu Hasan, Oct 29, 2013.

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  1. abu Hasan

    abu Hasan Administrator

    this is the time foretold in the hadith: "many orators, but few scholars" (aw kama qaala SallAllahu alayhi wa sallam)

  2. Unbeknown

    Unbeknown Senior Moderator

    I think that the closest to this sort of life in these times are the poor scholars who teach at humble seminaries in the subcontinent, the truly sincere ones among them. They pass their days in relative obscurity and negligible income but are upright in their deen.

    A friend related this to me from his teacher, an 'aalim at Jamia Ashrafia, mubarakpur (whose name I withhold), about his early days at the institution:

    'Jeb me ek rupya nahi hota tha. Naashte tak ko paysa nahi hota tha. Kuchh tulaba kehte the, hazrat woh kitab padha dijiye aapke naashte ka kharcha hum uthaenge, fulan kitab padha dijiye aap ke khaane ka kharcha uthaenge. Magar hamaari ghayrat ne kabhi ganwaran nahi kiya ke kisi se ek rupya bhi len.'


    He also told me about another scholar who was a very talented and hard-working individual. But no one paid much attention to him and sometimes even bothered him with petty issues. He then decided to become an orator and started giving speeches at various religious events.

    today he is invited from all over the country and sometimes is even given air-fare so that he has no difficulty in reaching the venue on time. He receives nazranas starting from INR 50,000 on-wards!
  3. :s1:
    i have heard the same story from prof. tahir ul qadri sahib but with slight differences:

    1. the young ascetic left the court of harun al-rashid--though he was his son--since his constant company of the sufis and wearing of torn clothes embarassed his father the caliph in front of his court. one day his father said to him, 'you embarass me in front of the people of the court' to which his son replied, 'you embarass me in front of the ascetics' and left the court as a dervish.

    2. when he was hired as a labourer the person who hired him was amazed to see that the young ascetic had done the equivalent of 10 people's work in half the time. so the second time he spied on him and found that the man would sit down and do zikr and all the work would be done by itself. e.g. if he lifted one brick into place then all the other bricks would be put into place by themselves. Amazed at his karamat the shaykh fell at the young ascetic's feet. the ascetic then left, never to return.

    when asked why? he replied, 'you have discovered my secret!'
  4. abu Hasan

    abu Hasan Administrator

    bismillāhi’r Raĥmāni’r Raĥīm

    Imām Abū Bakr al-Ājuriyy, Al-Ghurabā mina’l Mu’minīn, page 69-73

    Muĥammad ibn al-Ĥusayn narrated to us that he heard Abū Bakr ibn Abu’t Ţayyib raĥmatullāhi álayh that he said: “It has reached us from Ábdullāh ibn al-Faraj the ascetic [al-áābid] say:

    I was once in need of a daily-wage laborer, so I went to the market to find one. I looked around and saw a pale young man, wearing woolen clothes, sitting gloomily in a corner, with a bag and a big spade in front of him. [1].

    I asked him: ‘Do you want work?’

    He said: ‘Yes.’

    I asked: ‘On what wages?’

    He replied: ‘A Dirham and a Dāniq.’ [2]

    I said: ‘Rise, and come to work.’

    He said: ‘But there is a small condition.’

    I asked: ‘And what is that?’

    He said: ‘When the adhān for the mid-day prayer is called out, I will go to the masjid, wash, pray in the congregation and come back. Also, for the afternoon prayer, I will do likewise.’

    I said: ‘Alright.’

    He rose and came along with me to my place. I showed him what needed to be moved and where it was to be moved. He tied his belt and began to work silently. He did not utter a word until the adhān for mid-day prayer was called.

    He said: ‘O Ábdullāh, the adhān…’

    I said: ‘Go ahead.’

    He left and returned after the prayer and continued to work diligently until it was time for the afternoon prayer and the adhān was called out.

    He said: ‘O slave of Allāh, the adhān…’

    I said: ‘Go ahead.’

    He left for prayer and returned to work until the day was up. I weighed his wage [3] which he took and left.

    After a few days, I needed a laborer again for some other work. My wife told me: ‘Why don’t you get that young man? He is a good worker.’

    I went to the market but I could not find him. I made enquiries about him and I was told: ‘Are you looking for that melancholic young man who comes here once a week? We don’t see him here except on Saturdays; he sits alone and removed from others.’

    So I came back but returned to the market, the following Saturday and I ran into him unexpectedly. I asked him: ‘Want to work?’

    He replied: ‘You know the wages and the terms.’

    I agreed. He got up and came with me. He worked in the same manner he had done before. This time when I gave him his wages, I gave him a little more. He refused to accept it and I insisted. He became very displeased and he went away abruptly. This caused me anguish and I went behind him to find him and at least give him his earned wage [but I could not catch up with him.]

    We required a laborer again after a long time [since this happened] so I went to the market on Saturday and waited for him, but I did not chance upon him. I made enquiries and I was told that he was sick. Someone who knew him said: ‘The young man comes only once a week and only on Saturdays, and works only for a Dirham and a Dāniq. He does so because he makes use of a Dāniq a day for his living. He has fallen ill.’

    I took his address and upon receiving directions went there and found that he was a tenant of an old woman. I said to her: ‘Does the daily-wage youth live here?’

    She said: ‘He is sick for some days now.’

    I went inside and found him lying down and there was a dried brick under his head [for a pillow.] I greeted him and said: ‘Do you need anything?’

    He said: ‘Yes, if you accept.’

    I said: ‘I will accept, Allāh Willing.’

    He said: ‘When I am dead, sell this spade. Wash this woollen cloak and my smock [or the loincloth] and shroud me in these clothes. Also, you will find a signet-ring in the pocket of my cloak. Take it and wait until the day the caliph Hārūn ar-Rashīd passes by. Stand in a noticeable place and show him the ring. He will call you and when you go to him give him the ring. And you must not do this until I have been buried.’

    I said: ‘Alright.’

    When he died, I did as he instructed me to do and waited until the day Ar-Rashid, the Caliph came riding and I hailed him as he passed. ‘O Commander of the Faithful! I have a belonging of yours in my trust’ and I waved the ring. He summoned me and I was taken to his palace.

    He bade me step forward and asked me: ‘Who are you?’

    I said: ‘Ábdullāh ibn al-Faraj.’

    He asked: ‘This ring…how did you come to possess it?’

    I told him the story of the young man and he began to weep so much that I pitied his agony. After a while when he was a bit familiar with me, I asked: ‘O commander of the faithful, was this youth related to you?’

    He said: ‘He was my son.

    I asked: ‘Then how did he happen to pass into such a state?’

    He said: ‘He was born before I became the caliph. He was raised in a austere environment. He learnt the Qur’ān and aquired knowledge but when I took authority [as the Caliph] he deserted me. He did not want to partake anything from this world. I sent this costly and precious diamond ring to his mother and requested her to give it to my son so that he could use it, if he ever fell into want. He was dutiful and obeidient to his mother so he took it from her. Her mother died and I did not hear about him until just now, when you have told me his story.’

    And then he said: ‘Let us go to his grave tonight.’

    In the night, only the two of us went to his grave. The caliph wept uncontrollably until it was dawn and we returned. The caliph requested me to accompany him every time he visited the grave and I kept my promise.

    Ábdullāh ibn al-Faraj says: ‘I did not know that he was Harun Al-Rashid’s son until his father revealed it to me.’ or something like that as narrated by Ibn Abi’t Ţayyib.


    1. jubbatu şūf wa mi’yzaru şūf

    2. a dāniq is one sixth of a dirham according to the dictionary al-muĥiţ; and according to lisān al-árab it is one-fiftieth of a dirham; fifty dāniq make one dirham. and a dirham in the olden days used to be a silver coin. but the first opinion of sixth of a dirham is more appropriate in this story as you shall see.

    3.In olden days, payment was made by weighing silver and gold instead of counting standard currency like we do today.
    Last edited: Feb 19, 2008
    MissHussain likes this.

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