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Fawa'id al-Fu'ad (Moral of the hearts)

 

 

                                              

"MORALS FOR THE HEART"
The conversations/advices/public apperreances/stories of Hazrat Khwaja Nizamuddin Aulia (Radi Allahu Anhu)
as recorded by Khwaja Amir Hasan 'Ala Sijzi (Radi Allahu Anhu)
FASCICLE 1
I. Assembly 1 Sunday, 3 Sha’baan A.H. 707 (27 January 1308)
The hopeful sinner Hasan ‘Ala Sijzi, who is the compiler of this discourse, obtained the benefit of kissing
the feet of that king of the universe and wellspring of compassion. Praise be to Allah that on that day,
after he had discussed the necessity of saying prescribed prayers plus the early morning prayer and
making six prostrations and also saying the evening prayer as well as performing a fast on the brightest
white days, he spoke as follows: “THE PENITENT IS EQUIVALENT TO THE UPRIGHT, since the
upright is he who never drinks throughout his life or commits a single sin, while the penitent is he who
has sinned and then repented of his sin. The two are equivalent,” he noted, “in accordance with this
Tradition (Hadith) of the Prophet Muhammad – Salallahu Alaihi Wasallam: ‘A person who repents of his
sin is like someone who has never sinned.’” He then explained what that meant: “That a sinner who
becomes aware of his sin and subsequently repents, turning to obedience – every moment he is conscious
of the need to obey, and it is possible for one particle of that comfort which he finds in obedience toreduce to ashes all his sinful excesses.”
Discussion turned to THE MEN OF ALLAH and how that OUGHT TO REMAIN HIDDEN till
Allah Almighty Himself has decided to reveal their identity. The master then told a short anecdote about
Khwaja Abu’l-Hasan Nuri – may Allah illuminate his grave. “O Allah,” he once prayed, “hide me in
Your country among Your servants.” From the Beyond he hears a voice: “For Allah nothing is hidden,
nor is Allah Himself ever hidden!” In that same connection, the master went on to tell another story. “In
the vicinity of Nagaur there lived a saint known as Hamid ad-din Suwali – may Allah grant him mercy
and forgiveness. He was asked, ‘How is it that after death some of the saints are never remembered by
name, while in the case of others, their posthumous fame spreads to the end of the earth? What causes
this disparity in the states of the saints?’ Hamid ad-din answered: ‘He who strives to become famous
during his lifetime – after he dies his name will be forgotten, while he who conceals his identity during
his lifetime – after he dies his name will resound throughout the world.’”
Discussion then turned to THE GREAT SHAYKHS and their PROGRESS to stages BEYOND that
The master told about a man who, on entering the khanqah of of ALLAH’S DEPUTIES (abdaal)
celebrations, Khwaja Junayd Baghdadi—may Allah sanctify his lofty secret—was sitting in his khanqah.
Four men from the Unseen came to pay their respects to him. Turning to one of them, he asked, “Where will you go in the morning to say your ‘Id prayers?” “To Blessed Mecca” was the reply. “And you?” he
asked the second. “To Exalted Medina” was the reply. “As for you?” he queried the third. “To the
Sanctified House, that is, Jerusalem,” was the reply. “And what about you?” he demanded of the fourth.
Bowing down before Junayd, the fourth replied, “I will remain in Baghdad in the service of the master
[i.e., Junayd].” To the fourth visitor Junayd exclaimed, “It is you who are the most devout, you are the
most knowledgeable, you are the most virtuous of all!”
The conversation then turned to PURIFICATION. “To perfect his soul,” explained the master,
“man must do four things: eat little, talk little, sleep little, and also socialize little.” To illustrate the true
nature of effort and exertion, he recited the following verse:
Although Allah guides us in our faith,
Still efforts must be made by men.
The deed-books read on Judgment Day
Must have their entries here first penned.
I. Assembly 2
Friday, 8 Sha’ban, A.H. 707 (4 February 1308)
After prayer I obtained the benefit of kissing the master’s feet. I had had a slave named Malih.
Out of deference to the master—may Allah perpetuate his blessings—and in gratitude for the privilege of
discipleship, I had set him free and offered prayers on his behalf. At the same time this slave approached
the feet of the eminence of both worlds and was honoured to make the oath of allegiance to him. Praise
be to Allah!
On this occasion the master—may Allah prolong his blessings—observed that “THERE IS NO
SUCH THING AS SLAVERY AND DOMINION IN THE WAY; all who enter properly into the world of
love do Allah’s work.” To explain what he meant, he told the story of a certain master from Ghazni. He
had a slave named Zairak and that Zairak was extremely righteous and virtuous. When the time of death
approached for that saint, his disciples asked: “Who will sit in your place?” “Zairak,” he replied. Now
that master had four sons, Ikhtiyar, Ajlad, Ahba, and Ajla. Zairak said, “O Khwaja, your sons will not
allow me to succeed you. Every moment they will vent their anger on me.” “Set your heart at ease,”
replied the saint. “If they cause you any trouble, I will defend you from their evil machinations.” In
short, when the saint was joined to the realm of divine mercy, Zairak succeeded him. The sons of the
saint began to foment trouble. “You are our slave! What right do you have to sit in our father’s place?”
When their harassment became intense, Zairak went to the grave of the saint, pleading, “O master, you
said: ‘If my sons vex you, I will defend you from their evil machinations.’ Now that they are berating
me, you must honour your promise.” Having said this, he returned home. Within a few days unbelievers
attacked the vicinity of Ghazni. The inhabitants went out to do battle with them. All four of the saint’s
progeny also joined in the fray, and all four of them died the death of martyrs. And Zairak continued to
abide in that place without further commotion.
The aforementioned Malih, after he had taken the vows of discipleship, offered two cycles of
prayer. “What was your intention in offering these two cycles of prayer?” asked the master. “To expel
everything other than Allah,” replied Malih.
I. Assembly 3
(i.e., a kind of itinerantabundant mercy on him—every sort of dervish and other kind of person would‘ami) there IS ONEkhassi). And in this connection he told a story about Shaykh Baha ad-dinjuwaliqs, and sat down among
[a lenghty prayer consisting of twenty prostrations]. "Every evening," recalled the
master, "he would also urge me to read three sections of the Qur'an, so that after ten consecutive
evenings I might complete the whole of the Quran and obtain the benefit of performing this task.
'Good' he would exclaim to me; 'That is a commendable thing for you to do!"
Afterward, in the same connection, the master told a story about Shaykh Baha ad-din Zakariyamay
God have mercy upon him. One evening he turned to those who were present (in his
hospice) and asked, "Who among you this evening will say two cycles of prayer, and in one
cycle will recite the whole Quran?" Among those present no one could fathom the sense of what
the Shaykh was saying. Shaykh Baha ad-din then stepped forward. In one cycle of prayer he
recited the entire Quran plus four additional sections; then in the second cycle he recited the
At his command, after the congregational prayer, I would retire to observe the namaz-itarawhi.
Surat al-Ikhlas
On the same theme the master told another story about Shaykh Baha ad-din Zakariya-may God
have mercy upon him. The latter would say: "Whatever I have been told about the prayers and
invocations of saint and devotees-I have observed them all, but one thing I have not been able to
do, and that is this: It has been related to me that a certain saint from the break of dawn till the
rising of the sun would recite the entire Qur'an. However much I have wanted to do the same, I
could not."
In the same context he told one further anecdote. "Qazi Hamid ad-din Nagauri-may God have
mercy upon him- was once circumambulating the Ka'aba. He saw a certain man whom he began
to track: Wherever that saintly person would walk, Qazi Hamid ad-din would follow in his
footsteps. The
mercy upon him-: "Why are you practicing external conformity? Conform yourself to what I am
really doing." "What is that" asked Aqzi hamid ad-din. "Every day" recited the
entire Quran 700 times!" Qazi Hamid ad-din was stupefied. To himself he thought, "But it is the
meaning of the Quran which he calls to mind and imagines that he is reciting its words!" The
(Q.112) and finished his prayer.Pir, on realizing what was happening, asked Qazi Hamid ad-din-may God havePir, "I recite thePir
craned his head towards the Qazi and remarked, "I recite literally,
When the master-may God remember him with favor- had finished this story, Aghaz ad-din Ali
Shah-may God Almighty grant him peace-who belonged to the inner circle of his disciples,
asked, "Is this not a miracle (Karamat)?" "Yes," replied the master, "it is a miracle. Every action
which the intellect can decipher-that is one thing, but every action which it is impossible for the
intellect to unravel-that is a miracle".
After a while the conversation turned to THE OBEDIENCE OF THE SHAYKHS. The master
noted that Shaykh Abu Sa'id Abu'l-Khayr-may God have mercy upon him-used to say:
"Whatever I have been told about the prayers of the Prophet Muhammad-peace and blessings be
upon him-I have observed. I have even gone to this extent: When I heard that the Prophet-peace
and blessings be upon him once performed the inverted prayer
tying a rope around my feet, suspended myself upside down inside a well and performed my
prayers in this posture".
As he finished telling this story, the master turned toward this humble servant, and
commented,"Whoever achieves his objective through virtous action is the beneficiary of divine
grace....yet it is still incumbent on man to exert himself!".
I. Assembly 6
Friday, 5th of Shawwal, AH. 707 (30 March 1308)
After prayer I obtained the benefit of kissing the master's feet. Conversation turned to
RENUNCIATION AND SOLITUDE and during that period he told of a dervish who practiced
extreme poverty and physical deprivation. Due to continuous hunger his stomach became
distended. He was walking down a road one day when our friend Khwaja Muhammad Tapuh
placed a grain (of barley) before him. "I have already eaten garlic dregs today," replied the
dervish. "Due to the feeling of total contentment I experienced, I have no need today of this
grain (of barley)." After that the master-may God remember him with favor- marveled at the
dervish's zest for righteousness. "What contentment! What power! What patience!" he
exclaimed.
In the same connection he went to speak about CONTENTMENT AND DESIRING NOTHING
OTHER THAN GOD. "There was a Saint named Shaykh Ali", he noted; "One day he was
sewing his patched garment (khirqa) when one of legs outstretched before him, and as he was
quilting, the fold of the patched garment covered the outstretched leg. The successor (to a
notable saint), happened to arrive at this time, according to reports, but Shaykh Ali did not budge
from his place. Remaining in the same position, he invited the successor to come in. The
successor entered and, greeting Shaykh Ali, sat down. Shaykh Ali returned his greeting, but the
attendant who was accompanying the successor said, "Shaykh fold your legs". Shaykh Ali
ignored him. Two or three times the attendant repeated his injunction. Later, as the successor
was about to leave, 'Look!" he exclaimed, 'I have folded my hands; hence I do not need to fold
my legs! That is to say, I am not now desiring, nor have I ever desired, anything from you. I
grasp nothing; I have folded my hands. So if I choose not to fold my legs, that is my right!'.
For a while the conversation turned to THE BASIS FOR SPIRITUAL PROGRESS, that is, the
kernel of meaning. In this connection the master noted that a man once presented himself to
Khwaja Ajall Shirazi-may God grant him mercy and forgiveness- and the Khwaja conferred
discipleship on him. The new disciple expected Ajall to instruct him on the invocations and
prayers he ought to observe. "Whatever you do not find agreeable for yourself", declared the
Khwaja, "do not wish it to happen to others; wish for yourself (only) what you also wish for
others". In short, that man went away and after a while returned, presenting himself to Khwaja
Ajall Shirazi-may God have mercy upon him. "On such-and-such a day", he submitted to the
Khwaja, "I waited upon you, hoping that you might tell me a prayer or invocation (that I could
repeat), but you told me nothing. Today I am also expectant". "On that day", replied the
Khwaja, "what were your instructions?" The disciple was stupefied; he did not answer. The
Khwaja smiled and said, "Onthat day I told you that whatever was not pleasing to yourself was
also not pleasing to another, and (that you ought to) wish for yourself the same thing that you
wish for another. You did not remember that instruction. Since you have not learned the first
lesson, how can I give you another?"
After that the master told the following story about a certain chaste saint. many times he used to
say that all virtuous deeds, such as prayers, fasting, invocations, and saying the rosary are a
cauldron, but the basic staple in the cauldron is meat: Without meat you do not experience any of
these virtuous deeds. Finally they asked the
now explain it". "Meat", replied the saint, "is RENOUNCING WORLDLINESS, while prayer,
fasting, invocation as well as repetition of the rosary-all such virtuous deeds presuppose that the
one who does them has left the world and is no longer attached to any worldly thing. Whatever
he observes or does not observe prayer, invocations, and other practices, there is no cause for
fear, but if friendship with the world lingers in his heart, he derives no benefit from
supplications, invocations, and the like".
After that the master observed: "If one puts ghee, pepper, garlic, and onion into a cauldron and
adds only water, the end result is known as pseudo-stew. The basic staple for few is meat; there
may or may not be other ingredients. Similarly, the basis for spiritual progress is leaving the
world; there may or may not be other virtuous practices".
The master then began to speak about what RENOUNCING WORLDLINESS actually entailed.
"Renouncing worldliness does not mean, for instance, that one becomes naked, wearing only a
loin cloth and sitting (in solitude). Renouncing worldliness means, instead, to wear clothes and
to take food while at the same time keeping in continuous use whatever comes to hand, feeling
no inclination to hoard and no attachment to material objects. That [disposition alone] is
tantamount to renouncing worldliness".
I. Assembly 7
Friday, 19th of Shawwal, AH 707 (13 April)
After prayers I obtained the benefit of kissing the feet of the master. Conversation focused on
THE MANNERS OF SUFIS, THE SIGNS OF THE SHAYKHS AND THEIR TECHNICAL
TERMS. The master observed: "Shaykh Jamal ad-dinBistami-may God have mercy upon himused
to be the Shaykh al-Islam and spiritual overlord of Delhi. He was well informed about the
customs and manners of Sufis, as is evident from the following anecdote. Once a water jug was
brought to him and it had four handles. Another saint was present and he said, 'This is called
"the jug of Luqman."' 'Why do they call it "the jug of Luqman"'? inquired Shaykh Jamal ad-din
Bistami. The other saint feel silent. Shaykh Jamal ad-din then told this story. 'There was once a
saint known as Shaykh Luqman Sarkasi-may God have mercy upon him. His vittues were
numerous, as is evident from the following anecdote. It has been related that Shaykh Luqman
once missed the Friday prayer or failed to follow the divine injunctions, and God knows the truth
of what really happened, but in any case,
told him, "The ulama of the city are coming to investigat you." "Are they coming on horseback
or on foot?" asked the saint. "On horseback." was the reply. At that time Shaykh Luqman was
sitting on a wall. "By the order of God Almighty," he intoned, "move!" and the wall immediately
moved.
"As for the jug of Luqman,' it evolved as follows: Shaykh Luqman once asked a disciple to bring
him a jug of water. The disciple fetched a jug but it had no handle. 'I must have a jug which I
can pick up,' protested the saint. The disciple made a handle on the same jug and brought it back
to the saint. Smiling, Shaykh Luqman observed, 'You may clasp this jug but where am I to take
hold of it? Go, make a jug with two handles and bring it back.' The disciple went and fashioned
two handles on to the jug and presented it to the saint, clasping one handle with one of his hands,
the other handle with the other hand. Again, Shaykh Luqman protested, 'You are holding on to
both handles. Where am I to clasp it? Go! Make a jug with three handles.' The disciple went and
made three handles, but when he returned to the Shaykh, he clasped two handles himself, one
ineach hand, while the third handle pointed toward his own chest! Smiling, Shaykh Luqman
demurred, 'Go make four handles.' And the disciple, after making four handles, once again
returned, presenting the jug to the saint, who at last accepted it. Hence it is that the four-handled
jug is called 'the jug of Luqman.' "
I. Assembly 8
Friday, 26th of Shawwal, AH 707 (20 April 1308)
After prayers I obtained the benefit of kissing the mater's feet. Conversation turned to PRAYER
AND THE SPIRITUAL AWARENESS
that the indispensable precondition for spiritual awareness is that the prayer leader absorb the
meaning of what he prays in his heart.
After that he told about a certain Muslim who was among the disciples of Shaykh Baha ad-din
Zakariya-may God have mercy upon him. "The disciple was known as Hasan Afghan. The man
was a pillar of saintliness, so much so that Shaykh Baha ad-din Zakariya used to say: 'If
tomorrow they ask me to bring forward one person from my household (dargah) as a
representative to face judgment on behalf of all the others, I would select Hasan Afghan.' Once
this same Hasan was passing through a town and arrived at the mosque in time for prayer. The
Imam led the prayer and the people followed along. Khwaja Hasan also joined in. When the
prayers were completed and the congregation had dispersed, he slowly went up to the Imam and
said, 'Respected sir, you began the prayers and I fell in with you. You went from here to Delhi
and bought some slaves, came back, then took the slaves to Khurasan, and afterward left there
for Multan. I got my neck twisted trying to catch up with you. What has all this got to do with
prayer?"
Then, to explain his saintliness further, the master said, "Once they were building a mosque in
such and such a place. Khwaja Hasan arrived there. To the people constructing it he said, 'Be
sure to make the prayer niche pointing to Mecca
present there. He disagreed, saying, 'No! orientation to the Kaa'ba is in another direction.' Many
words were exchanged between them. Finally Khwaja Afghan said to the scholar, 'Face that
direction which I indicated and note it well.' The scholar complied with the saint's demand and
verified that the Kaa'ba was indeed in the same direction that Khwaja Hasan had indicated."
After that the master began to explain THE SPIRITUAL STATES OF KHWAJA HASAN. "He
was illiterate. He could not read. People would come to him and, placing a piece of paper and a
tablet before him, would begin to write some lines, a sample of poetry, a sample of prose, some
in Arabic, some in Persian; of every spot they would write some lines. And in the midst of these
lines they would include a single line from a verse of the Word of God. Then they would ask
Khwaja Hasan, 'Of all these lines, which is from the Qur'an? He would point to the Qur'anic
verse, saying, 'It is this!' 'But you don't read the Qur'an,' they would protest. 'How can you tell
that his is a Qur'anic verse?' He would reply: 'I see a light in this line that I do not see in the
other lines of writing.' "
Also, in connection with THE SPIRITUAL STATE OF SAINTS, the master began to speak of
immersion in prayer. "There was a man named Khwaja Karim," he noted. "In his early life he
was a clerk in Delhi but in his last years he turned away from worldly preoccupations and
became one of those with God (
Delhi, no unbeliever will conquer the city,' "
The master then explained KHWAJA KARIM'S TOTAL AWARENESS OF GOD DURING
PRAYER. "Once at the time of evening prayer, he was completely absorbed in prayer before the
city gate. But in those days were civil disturbances and no one was permitted to mill around the
gate in the evening. That Khwaja Karim was absorbed in prayer. His friends were standing by
the gate. 'Quickly,' they entreated him, 'come into the city!' The gatekeepers also tried to urge
him on. In short, when Khwaja Karim finished his prayer and returned from there, they asked
him, 'Did you not hear some voices?' 'No,' he replied. 'How strange that you did not hear our
insistent urgings!' they commented. "Strange?' retorted Khwaja Karim, 'What would be strange
is for someone to be truly in prayer and still hear the urgings of others!' "
After that the master observed that Karim, once he set his face toward God Almighty, never laid
his finger on any coin or currency. And about leaving the world and its pleasures, he noted:
"One must have a high spiritual resolve and not be preoccupied with the defilements of the
world, nor be held in tow by sensual desires." Then these two lines of poetry came to his blessed
lips :
not figuratively!"(namaz-i ma'kus), I went and,pir: "Many times you have used that analogy, butulama of that city came out to question him. People(huzur) OF PRAYER LEADERS. The master observedmihrab) here, for orientation to the Kaa'baqibla) is in this direction.' Having said this, he pointed to a particular spot. A scholar waswasilan). Many times he used to say, 'As long as my grave is in
For one brief moment stand back from the lusts you bear,
And let a thousand witnesses come forward there.
I . Assembly 9
Thursday, 10th of Dhul'-Qa'da AH 707 (3 May 1308)
I obtained the benefit of kissing the master's feet. "How is it that you come today," he asked,
"since the time for recording conversations had been fixed as Friday?" "This blessing appeared
to be especially auspicious today," I explained, "and every time that the opportunity for such a
blessing appears I try to obtain the benefit of kissing the master's feet." "You have done well,"
he replied. "Whatever comes from the Unseen is for the good." After that he began to talk about
THE INFLUENCE OF COMPANY. "The company of others has a powerful influence," he
observed, and then he went on to speak at great length about RENOUNCING WORLDLINESS.
During this time upon his blessed tongue came the query: "Is there any one who, by removing
himself from a putrid object, has not taken a noble task?"
I . Assembly 10
Friday, 11th of Dhu'l-Qa'da AH 707 (4May 1308)
I obtained the benefit of kissing the master's feet. Present on this occasion were several of the
dear ones (i.e., members of the inner circle of the Shaykh's disciples), such as Maulana Wajih addin
Pa'ili, Maulana Husam ad-din Hajji, together with Maulana Taj ad-din, his friend, and
Maulana Jamal ad-din as well as other friends. Food was brought in, and the master said,
"Everyone who is not fasting-please eat!" Since these were the bright days, most of the group
were fasting. When food was put before them, only two or three people who were not fasting
took some. At this point the master commented, "When friends arrive, one should put food out
for them. ONE OUGHT NOT TO ASK, 'ARE YOU FASTING?' because if someone does not
wish to fast, he will eat of his own accord. Moreover, it is wise not to ask, 'Are you fasting?'
because if someone replies 'I am fasting' (and he is not), he is skirting the edge of hypocrisy. On
the other hand, if he is actually firm and sincere in his fasting, there is no room for hypocrisy,
and yet because he replies, 'Yes I am fasting,' instantly his obedience, which had been a secret, is
divulged on the public ledger. Should someone answer, 'I am partially fasting,' he has told a lie,
and as for the person who remains quiet, he shows a contempt for the questioner!"
I Assembly 11
Monday, 21st of Dhu'l-Qa'da AH 707 (14 May 1308)
I obtained the benefit of kissing the master's feet. The subject of conversation was THE
BLESSING which is CONFERRED BY THE FEET OF THE SAINTLY MEN. He asserted:
"Every spiritless place [where they have trod] has been scented by their feet. Consider the
congregational mosque of Delhi-how many feet of saints and holy men have trod upon it and for
that very reason how much comfort is to be found there!"
At that time he spoke of Mahmud Kabir. "He is reported to have said: 'One morning I saw a
saint who came and went from the pace above the multicolored beams of the Friday mosque, that
is, the space above the balcony of the central prayer niche (mihrab)-he came and went from there
like an ant: in great haste but without the least confusion. Back and forth he went from one to
the other. I stood looking at him from afar. As dawn approached, he descended from those
beams. I came forward and greeted him. "Did you see me?" he asked. "Yes," I replied. "Don't
tell anyone!" he enjoined me' "
At this point I interjected: "Most of the SAINTS CONCEAL THEIR SPIRITUAL STATES-why
is that?" Replied the master: "If they disclose their secret, you would shift the abode of
confidentiality to another person. Suppose someone tells your secret to someone else, and then
that person makes it public. Would you ever again divulge a secret to the first person?"
"How is it," I asked, "that Khwaja Abu Sa'id Abu'l-Khayr-may God have mercy upon him-often
gave voice to words from the Unseen?" "At that time the saints are overcome by desire (for
God)," explained the master, "due to their intoxication (sukr), they say something, but that
person who is perfected (kamil) lets out no kind of secrets." After that a line of verse came twice
to his blessed lips :
God's heroes drain a thousand seas...yet thirst.
God's heroes drain a thousand seas...yet thirst.
He then observed that it requires great patience to honor the divine secrets and those who do are
wholly men of sobriety (sahw). "Which is the higher stage," I asked, "the stage of the men of
intoxication or that of the men of sobriety?" "The stage of the men of sobriety," replied the
master. And God know best.
I . Assembly 12
Wednesday, 14th of Dhu'l-Hijja, AH 707 (5 June 1308)
I obtained the benefit of kissing the master's feet. The topic of conversation turned to THE
ACCEPTANCE OF ANOTHER'S GIFT. From his blessed tongue came the declaration: "One
should honor any devotion or invocation that comes from a man infused with divine grace, for in
so doing, one will find a different kind of comfort. Some invocations," he went on, "I have made
incumbent on myself but others I have received from my master, that is Shaykh Farid ad-din -
may God sanctify his lofty secret. At those times when I use both kinds of invocations, what a
difference is there in the respective comforts they provide! It is as great as the distance between
heaven and earth!"
Conversation turned to LEAVING OF CHOICE that is, nor pursuing a work of your own
violation. Asked the master: "Why should a man who has been given wisdom by another call
himself wise?" Then he told a story about Shaykh Abu Sa'id Abu'l Khayr-may God -may God
have mercy upon him. One Friday he came out of his hospice
in the congregational prayer. "Which is the way to the Friday mosque and how does on go
there?" he asked his disciples. One of those present said, "This is the way." Others asked him,
"How many times has the Shaykh participated in congregational prayer, and still he doesn't know
the way to the mosque?" "I know the way," replied Shaykh Abu Sa'id, "but I ask all the same, in
order that in every circumstance I am dependent on the wisdom of another!"
After that the master exhorted those present about LEAVING COUNTRY, LOVE OF HOME,
PROPERTY, AND THE LIKE. He also recited the following verse :
(khanqah) in order to participate
Take to the rocks and deserts like a beast,
And leave your home for cats and mice to feast.
Since Jesus' food from heaven was conveyed,
In heaven too a home for him was made.
Homes merely built to guard one's food-supply
Are like the nests where bees and insects lie!
I . Assembly 13
Sunday, 3rd of Muharram, AH 708 (23 June 1308)
I obtained the blessing of kissing the master's feet. The topic of discourse was DEVOTION (TO
GOD). "There are two forms of devotion," he explained; "One is mandatory, the other is
supererogatory. Mandatory devotion is that from which the benefit is limited to one person, that
is, to the performer of that devotion, whether is be canonical prayers, fasting, pilgrimage to
Arabia, invocations, repetitions of the rosary, or the like. But supererogatory devotion is that
which brings benefit and comfort to others, whether through the expenditure of money or
demonstration of compassion or other ways of helping one's fellow man. Such actions are called
supererogatory devotion. Their reward is incalculable; it is limitless. In mandatory devotion one
must be sincere to merit divine acceptance, but in supererogatory devotion even one's sins
become a source or reward! May god grant success!"
I . Assembly 14
Thursday, 7th of Muharram, AH 708 (27 June 1308)
I obtained the benefit of kissing the master's feet. Discussion turned to THE DIFFERENCE
BETWEEN SAINTHOOD (walayat) AND SAINTDOM (wilayat). The master explained: "The
saint possesses both walayat and wilayat at the same time. Walayat is that which masters impart
to disciples about God, just as they teach them about the etiquette of the Way. Everything such
as this which takes place between the Shaykh and other peoples is called walayat. But that
which takes place between the Shaykh and God is called wilayat. That is a special kind of love,
and when the Shaykh leaves the world, he takes his wilayat with him. His walayat, on the other
hand, he can confer on someone else, whomever he wishes, and if he does not confer it, then it is
suitable for God Almighty to confer that walayat on someone. But the wilayat is the Shaykh's
constant companion; he bears it with him (wherever he goes)."
In this connection the master told the story of a certain saint who sent one of his disciples to call
on another saint and to determine what had transpired on the face of the earth that night. The
disciple sent back word that at night Shaykh Abu Sa'id abu'l-Khayr-may God sanctify his lofty
secret- had expired at Mayhana (in Khurasan). The same saint sent someone else to enquire who
it was on who They had conferred his walayat. "I have no news of that," he answered; "all that
has been made known I have disclosed to you." Subsequently, word was received that the saint,
with his disciple, went to the door of Shams al-arifin. Before they could say anything, Shams alarifin
declared: "How many Shams al-arifins does God have? On which Shams al-arifin have
They conferred the walayat of Abu Sa'id Abu'l-Khayr?"
After that the master told a story about Shaykh Najib ad-din Mutawakkil-may God have mercy
upon him, the brother of Shaykh al-Islam Farid ad-din-may God sanctify his lofty secret. When
he first went to school to acquire a formal education, the teacher asked: "Are you Najib ad-din
Mutawakkil?" "I am Najib ad-din muta'akkil, that is, the compulsive consumer," he replied; "how
can any one be mutawakkil, that is utterly reliant (on God)?" Then the teacher asked, "You are
the brother of Shaykh al-Islam Farid ad-din, are you not?" "In appearance I am," replied Najib
ad-din, "but how can any one be truly his brother?"
After a while conversation turned to THE CAPACITY FOR FORGIVENESS AMONG MEN
INFUSED WITH DIVINE GRACE, men who see the true state of those claiming to serve the
saints. "There was once a master full of grace and charity, "noted the master. "From time to time
he would send Qazi 'Ain al-Quzat Hamadani-may God show him mercy and forgiveness-some
money to expend as the saint saw fit. Now it happened that on a certain occasion Qazi 'Ain al-
Quzat wanted something from another person, and he obtained what he wanted. The master
heard about it and was displeased. He sent to Qazi 'Ain al-Quzat a messenger who chided the
saint : 'Why do you need to get anything from someone else, and why do you waste this bounty
on others ?' Qazi 'Ain al-Quzat-may God have mercy upon him- wrote the following reply: 'Look
out for the welfare of the afflicted, in order that someone else might obtain this bounty. Do not
act like those of whom it has been said : "God has been merciful to us, so has the Prophet, but
one (of our fellow Muslims)has not been merciful to us!" ' Nor should you act like that group one
of whose members said :
Come, gardener, open wide the garden gate but Once I and my love have entered, then slam it
shut!"
The same day Amir Chahju, nephew of the writer, became a disciple (of Shaykh Niz