Tuesday, 23 July 2013

[14th Ramadan] Sultan al-'Aarifeen Sayyiduna Bayazid al-Bestami Radi ALLAHu Ta'ala Anho

[14th Ramadan] Sultan al-'Aarifeen Sayyiduna Bayazid al-Bestami Radi ALLAHu Ta'ala Anho

Abu Yazid Taifur ibn 'Isa ibn Sorushan al-Bestami was born in Bestam in North-Eastern Persia, the grandson of a Zoroastrian; there he died in 261 (874) or 264 (877), and his mausoleum still stands. The founder of the ecstatic school of Sufism, he is famous for the boldness of his expression of the mystic's complete absorption into the Uloohiyyah.

Bastmi's predecessor Zu al-Nun al-Misri (d. CE 859) had formulated the doctrine of Ma'rifa (gnosis), presenting a system which helped the Murid (Initiate) and the Shaykh (Guide) to communicate. Bayazid Bastami took this another step and emphasized the importance of ecstasy, referred to in his words as drunkenness, a means of union with God.

Bistami was the first to speak openly of "annihilation of the self in God" (Fana fi 'Allah') and "subsistence through God" (Baqa' bi 'Allah). His paradoxical sayings gained a wide circulation and soon exerted a captivating influence over the minds of students who aspired to understand the meaning of the waHdat al-wujud, Unity of Being.

Birth and Early Years:

The grandfather of Bayazid Bestami was a Zoroastrian; his father was one of the leading citizens of Bestam. Bayazid's extraordinary career began from the time he was in his mother's womb.

"Every time I put a doubtful morsel in my mouth," his mother would say, "you stirred in my womb and would not keep still until I had put it out of my mouth." [This statement is confirmed by words spoken by Bayazid himself.]

In due course his mother sent him to school. He learned the Qur'an, and one day his master was explaining the meaning of the verse in the Surah Luqman, Be thankful to Me, and to thy parents. These words moved the heart of Bayazid.

"Sir," he said, laying down his tablet, "please give me permission to go home and say something to my mother."

The master gave him leave, and Bayazid went home.

"Why, Taifur," cried his mother, "why have you come home? Did they give you a present, or is it some special occasion?"

"No," Bayazid replied. "I reached the verse where God commands me to serve Him and you. I cannot be manager in two houses at once. This verse stung me to the quick. Either you ask for me from God, so that I may be yours entirely, or apprentice me to God, so that I may dwell wholly with Him."

"My son, I resign you to God, and exempt you from your duty to me," said his mother. "Go and be God's."

After his mother resigned him to God, Bayazid left Bestam and for thirty years wandered from land to land, disciplining himself with continuous vigil and hunger. He attended one hundred and thirteen spiritual preceptors and derived benefit from them all. Amongst them was one called Sadiq. He was sitting at his feet when the master suddenly said, "Bayazid, fetch me that book from the window." "The window? Which window?" asked Bayazid. "Why," said the master, "you have been coming here all this time, and you have not seen the window?" "No," replied Bayazid. "What have I to do with the; window? When I am before you, I close my eyes to everything else. I have not come to stare about." "Since that is so," said the teacher, "go back to Bestam. Your work is completed."

He then left to Makkah Mukarrrama and It took Bayazid a full twelve years to reach the Kaaba. This was because at every oratory he passed he would throw down his prayer rug and perform two rak'as. After Bayazid had visited Madinah Munawwarah, the order came to him to return to care for his mother. He accordingly set out for Bestam, accompanied by a throng. At midnight he entered Bestam and, coming to his mother's house, he stood a while listening. He heard sounds of his mother performing he ablutions and praying.

"Lord God, care well for our exile. Incline the hearts of the Shaykhs towards him, and vouchsafe him to do all things well.'

Bayazid wept when he heard these words. Then he knocked on the door.

"Who is there?" cried his mother. "Your exile," he replied.

Weeping, his mother opened the door. Her sight was dimmed.

"Taifur," she addressed her son, "do you know what has dimmed my sight? It is because I have wept so much being parted from you, and my back is bent double from the load of grief I have endured."

Bayazid Bestami and a Jewish Priest:

Once the Jews and their scholars were present, their chief Priest stood up to speak. But when he stood up, his tongue became stuck and he could not talk. After he had been standing quietly for some time, the Jews started to complain. The Priest said, "In this gathering there is a follower of the Prophet Muhammed (SallAllaho Alaihi wa Sallam) and I cannot speak because he has come to examine us."

On hearing this, their anger raged like wildfire and they asked the Priest to give them permission to kill this follower of the Prophet Muhammad (SallAllaho Alaihi wa Sallam). The Priest replied, "He cannot be killed without proof, so we must talk to him peacefully and respectfully and then we can decide."

The Priest then said, "Oh follower of Muhammad (SallAllaho Alaihi wa Sallam). For the sake of your Prophet please stand up in your place. If you can remove our doubt about Islam then we shall accept Islam, but if you can't, then we shall kill you." On hearing this, Hadrat Bayazid stood up and gave permission for them to question him.

Priest: What is one and not two?
Bayazid: Allah.

Priest: What is two and not three?
Bayazid: Night and day. [Qur'aan chapter 17 verse 12: "And we made night and day two examples."]

Priest: What is three and not four?
Bayazid: The Throne, Chair, and the Pen of Allah.

Priest: What is four and not five? 
Bayazid: The Torah, Bible, Psalms, and the Qur'aan.

Priest: What is five and not six?
 Bayazid: The five compulsory Prayers.

Priest: What is six and not seven? 
Bayazid: The six days in which the Earth, te sky, and whatever is in between them was created. [Qur'aan chapter 50 verse 38:"And we created the Sky and the Earth and whatever is between them in six days"]

Priest: What is seven and not eight? 
Bayazid: The seven skies. [Qur'aan chapter 67 verse 3, "Who created the seven skies layer upon layer!"]

Priest: What is eight and not nine? 
Bayazid: The bearers of the throne of Allah. [Quraan chapter 69 verse 17: "And they will lift their Lord's throne on themselves on that day, eight persons."]

Priest: What is nine and not ten? 
Bayazid: The villagers of Hadhrat Salih peace be upon him in which the mischief mongers lived. [Qur'aan chapter 27 Verse 48: "And in that city there were nine persons who created mischief on the Earth, and they didn't amend. "]

Priest: What is ten and not eleven?
Bayazid: The person who performs a minor pilgrimage along with the major one and doesn't have the capacity to sacrifice an animal, he has to keep ten fasts. [Qur'aan chapter 2 verse 196: "So keep the three Haj days and seven fasts when you return".]

Priest: What is eleven, twelve and thirteen things which Allah has mentioned? 
Bayazid: Hadhrat Yusuf had eleven brothers. The twelve months in a year, [Qur'aan chapter 9 verse 36: "The number of months, with Allah, is twelve months".]

Hadhrat Yusuf saw thirteen things prostrating to him. [Qur'aan chapter 12 verse 4:"I saw in a dream eleven stars, the sun and the moon, I saw them (for my sake) prostrating (to me)".]

Priest: Which is that nation which lied and went in to paradise and which is that nation which said the truth and entered hell?
 Bayazid: Hadhrat Yusuf's brothers lied but they went to paradise. [Qur'aan chapter 12 verse 17: "Oh father! We went out to run and we left Yusuf with our belongings, then he was eaten by the wolf."]

The contradiction between the Christians and the Jews was true but they went to hell. [Qur'aan chapter 2 verse 113: "And the Jews said that the Christians are not on any path, and the Christians said that the Jews are not on any path, even though they all read the book."]

Priest: What is the meaning of Qur'aan chapter 51 verse 1-4: By the ships that scatter broadcast; And those that lift and bear away heavy weights; And those that flow with ease and gentleness; And those that distribute and apportion by Command? 
Bayazid: The meaning of flying scattered ships is air, the meaning of weight carrying ships is water filled clouds, the meaning of calmly sailing ships is boats, and the meaning of the last is the angels which distribute the sustenance.

Priest: What is that thing which has no soul nor any connection with breathing, yet it breathes? 
Bayazid: It is the dawn, for it has no soul but it still breathes. [Qur'aan Chapter 81 verse 18: "And the morning, when it breathes."]

Priest: What are those fourteen things to which Allah talks with honour?
 Bayazid: The seven earths and the seven skies, [Qur'aan chapter 41 verse 11: Then He said to it and to the Earth, come both of you with happiness or hardly, They said we will come happily.]

Priest: Which is that grave which moves the person in it around? 
Bayazid: The fish of Hadhrat Yunus alayhi salaam. [Qur'aan chapter 37 verse 142: "Then the fish took him as a morsel".]

Priest: Which is that water which neither came up from the earth nor down from the sky? 
Bayazid: The water which Hadhrat Sulaiman alayhi salaam sent to Bilqis, Queen of Sheeba, for it was the sweat of a horse.

Priest: What are those four things which had no father nor were born from a mother's stomach?
 Bayazid: The sheep of Hadhrat Ismail, the she camel of Hadhrat Salih, Hadhrat Adam and our mother Eve alayhi salaam.

Priest: Whose blood flowed first on the Earth? 
Bayazid: It was Habil's (Abel) when Qabil (Cain) killed him.

Priest: What is that thing which Allah created and then bought? 
Bayazid: A believers soul. [Qur'aan chapter 9 verse 11: "Allah bought from the Muslim's their souls."]

Priest: What is that voice which Allah created and then spoke ill of?
 Bayazid: The donkey's voice. [Qur'aan chapter 31 verse 19: "Without doubt the worse voice is of a donkey."]

Priest: What is that creation that Allah created and from it's greatness created fear? 
Bayazid: Women's scheming. [Qur'aan chapter 12 verse 28: "Truly, mighty is your scheming."]

Priest: What is that thing that Allah created and then asked about?
 Bayazid: The staff of Hadhrat Musa. [Qur'aan Chapter 20 verse 17: "And what is that in your right hand, Oh Musa? He said "This is my staff."]

Priest: Who are the most pious of the women and what are the blessed rivers? 
Bayazid: The most pious women are Hadhrat Hawwa, Hadhrat Khadija, Hadhart Aisha and Hadhrat Fatima. The most blessed rivers are the Oxus, Simwon, Tigris, Euphrates and Nile.

Priest: Which is the most blessed mountain and the most blessed animal? 
Bayazid: Mount Toor in Makkah and the Horse.

Priest: Which is the best of all months and the best of all nights? 
Bayazid: The month of Ramdhan and the Night of Power. [Qur'aan Chapter 2 verse 185: "The month of Ramdhan in which the Qur'aan was revealed." Qur'aan chapter 97 verse 3: "The night of power is better than a thousand months."]

Priest: There is a tree which has twelve twigs, each twig has thirty leaves, and each leaf has five fruits, two in the sun and three in the shade. What is the meaning of this tree? 
Bayazid: The tree means one year, the twigs mean the twelve months, the leaves represent the thirty days, and the fruits are the daily prayers, two of which are prayed in the day and the remaining three which are prayed at dawn, at dusk, and in the night time.

Priest: What is that thing that circled around the Ka'abah in Makkah even though it had no soul? 
Bayazid: The boat of Hadhrat Nuh alayhi salaam. In the time of the flood it arrived in Arabia and circled around the Ka'abah.

Priest: How many prophets did Allah send as Messengers? 
Bayazid: Only Allah knows, but in narrations it is said that Allah created 126,000 prophets from which 313 were Messengers.

Priest: What are those four things whose roots are one but their colours and tastes are different?
Bayazid: Eyes, ears, mouth and nose. The wetness of the eye are sour, the wetness of the ears is acid, that of the noses is also acid and the wetness of the mouth is sweet.

Priest: What is the voice of the donkey called? 
Bayazid: It is the curse on the tax takers.

Priest: What is the voice of the dog called?
Bayazid: Doom on the dwellers of Hell by the anger of Allah.

Priest: What is the remembrance of the ox? 
Bayazid: SubhanAllah wa bihamdihi, subhanAllah il adheem.

Priest: What is the remembrance of the camel?
Bayazid: HasbunAllahu wa ni'mal wakeel.

Priest: What is the remembrance of the peacock? 
Bayazid: Huwal wadud, dhul 'arsh il-adheem.

Priest: What is the beautiful recitation of the nightingale? 
Bayazid: So remember the pure Allah when it is morning and evening.

Priest: What is that thing which Allah sent revelation on, but it was not human, Jinn or Angel? 
Bayazid: The honey bee. [Qur'aan chapter 16 verse 68: "And your lord gave order to the honey bee."]

After this the Priest couldn't ask any more questions and became quiet. Hadhrat Bayazid Radi ALLAHu Ta'ala Anho said, "Now you give me the answer to my one question. What is the key to paradise?" The Priest replied, "If I give the answer to this question, this gathering will kill me."

The gathering shouted in one voice "We shall not do anything. Now tell us the true answer!"

The Priest then said, "Listen! the key to paradise is: There is no God worthy of worship except Allah and Muhammad peace be upon him is His Messenger!"

On hearing this the whole gathering accepted Islam and Hadhrat Bayazid Radi ALLAHu Ta'ala Anho returned giving thanks to Allah.

Wisaal Sharif:

He passed away in 874 CE and is buried either in the city of Bistam in north central Iran, or in Semnan, Iran or a place near Damascus in Syria. When Bayazid passed away, he was over seventy years old. Before he passed away, someone asked him his age. He said: I am four years old. For seventy years I was veiled. I got rid of my veils only four years ago."

Words of Wisdom by Sultan al-Aarifeen
  • That person is very close to Allah SubHanuhu wa Ta'ala who is polite and courteous and eases the burdens of others.
  •  If you have not become powerful at 30 and wise and understanding at 40. Then don't even have expectations of becoming powerful and wise ever. 
  • The birth of every child heralds the fact that our creator has as yet never become disappointed with us. 
  • Do not consider yourself human until your opinions are the result of your anger. 
  • The country is like an orchard and justice is it's guardian without a guardian the orchard is ruined.
Sultaan al-Aarifeen Ba-Yazeed Bostaami Radi ALLAHu Ta'ala Anho - Syria
Sultaan al-Aarifeen Ba-Yazeed Bostaami Radi ALLAHu Ta'ala Anho - Syria


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