Abu ‘Ali al-Fuzail ibn ‘Ayad al-Talaqani Radi ALLAHu Ta'ala Anho
(پیر آف اوگالی شریف , Khushab)
Abu ‘Ali al-Fuzail ibn ‘Ayad al-Talaqani Radi ALLAHu Ta'ala Anho (187 AH / 803 AD)
Abu ‘Ali al-Fuzail ibn ‘Iyaz al-Talaqani was born in Khorasan, and in the beginning of his career he is said to have been a highwayman. After conversion he went to Kufa and later to Mecca, where he resided for many years and died in 187 (803). He achieved considerable repute as an authority on Traditions, and his boldness in preaching before Harun al-Rashid is widely reported.
Fuzail the highwayman and how he repented
At the beginning of his career, Fuzail-e Iyaz pitched his tent in the heart of the desert between Merv and Bavard. He wore sackcloth and a woollen cap, and hung a rosary around his neck. He had many compan-ions who were all of them thieves and highwaymen. Night and day they robbed and pillaged, and always brought the proceeds to Fuzail since he was the senior’ of them. He would divide the loot among the bandits, keeping for himself what he fancied. He kept an inven-tory of everything, and never absented himself from the meetings of the gang. Any apprentice who failed to attend a meeting he expelled from the gang.
One day a great caravan was passing that way, and Fuzail’s confederates were on the alert for it. A certain man was’ travelling in the convoy who had heard rumour of the brigands. Sighting them, he took coun-sel with himself how he might conceal his bag of gold.
“I will hide this bag,” he said to himself. “Then if they waylay the caravan, I will have this capital to fall back on.”
Going aside from the road, he saw Fuzail’s tent and Fuzail himself close by it, an ascetic by his looks and the clothes he wore. So he entrusted the bag of gold to him.
“Go and put it in the corner of the tent,” Fuzail told him.
The man did as he was bidden, and returned to the caravan halt, to find that it had been pillaged. All the luggage had been carried out, and the travellers bound hand and foot. The man released them, and collecting the little that remained they took their departure. The man returned to Fuzail to recover his bag of gold. He saw him squatting with the robbers, as they divided up the spoil.
“Ah, I gave my bag of gold to a thief!” the man exclaimed.
Seeing him afar off, Fuzail hailed the man, who came to him.
“What do you want?” he asked.
“Take it from where you deposited it,” Fuzail bade him. “Then go.”
The man ran into the tent, picked up his bag, and departed.
“Why,” cried Fuzail’s companions, “in the whole caravan we did not find so much as one dirham in cash, and you give back ten thousand dirhams!”
“The man had a good opinion of me, and I have always had a good opinion of God, that He will grant me repentance,” Fuzail replied. “I justified his good opinion, so that God may justify my good opin-ion.”
One day later they waylaid another caravan and car-ried off the baggage. As they sat eating, a traveller from the caravan approached them.
“Who is your chief?” he asked.
“He is not with us,” the brigands replied. “He is the other side of the tree by the river bank, praying.”
“But it is not the hour of prayer,” the man exclaimed.
“He is performing a work of supererogation,” one of the thieves explained.
“And he is not eating with you,” the man went on. “He is fasting,” the thief replied.
“But it is not Ramazan.” “Supererogation again,” the thief retorted.
Greatly astonished, the traveller drew near Fuzail who was praying with great humility. He waited until he had finished, then he remarked.
“Opposites do not mingle, they say. How can one fast and rob, pray and at the same time murder Muslims?”
“Do you know the Quran?” Fuzail asked the man. “I know it,” the man replied.
“Well then, does not Almighty God say And others have confessed their sins; they have mixed a righteous deed with another evil?”
The man was speechless with astonishment.
It is said that by nature he was chivalrous and high-minded, so that if a woman was travelling in a caravan he never took her goods; in the same way, he would not pillage the property of anyone with slender capital. He always left each victim with a due proportion of his belongings. All his inclination was towards right doing.
At the beginning of his exploits Fuzail was passion-ately in love with a certain woman, and he always brought her the proceeds of his brigandage. In season and out of season he climbed walls in the infatuation of his passion for the woman, weeping all the while.
One night a caravan was passing, and in the midst of the caravan a man was chanting the Quran. The fol-lowing verse reached Fuzail’s ears: Is it not time that the hearts of those who believe should be humbled to the remembrance of God? It was as though an arrow pierced his soul, as though that verse had come out to challenge Fuzail and say, “O Fuzail, how long will you waylay travellers? The time has come when We shall waylay you!”
Fuzail fell from the wall, crying, “It is high time indeed, and past high time!”
Bewildered and shamefaced, he fled headlong to a ruin. There a party of travellers was encamped. They said, “Let us go!” One of them interjected, “We cannot go. Fuzail is on the road.”
“Good tidings!” Fuzail cried. “He has repented.” With that he set out and all day went on his way
weeping, satisfying his adversaries. Finally there remained only a Jew in Bavard. He sought quittance of him, but the Jew would not be reconciled.
“Today we can make light of these Mohammadans,” he chuckled to his fellows.
“If you want me to grant you quittance,” he told Fuzail, “clear this heap.”
He pointed to a mound of sand, to remove which would tax all the strength of a man except perhaps over a long period. The hapless Fuzail shovelled away the sand little by little, but how should the task ever be completed? Then one morning, when Fuzail was utter-ly exhausted, a wind sprang up and blew the heap clean away. When the Jew saw what had happened he was amazed.
“I have sworn,” he told Fuzail, “that until you give me money I will not grant you quittance. Now put your hand under this rug and take up a fistful of gold and give it to me. My oath will then be fulfilled, and I will give you quittance.”
Fuzail entered the Jew’s house. Now the Jew had put some earth under the rug. Fuzail thrust his hand under, and brought forth a fistful of dinars which he gave to the Jew.
“Offer me Islam!” cried the latter.
Fuzail offered him Islam, and the Jew became a Muslim.
“Do you know why I have become a Muslim?” he then said. “It is because until today I was not certain which was the true religion. Today it has become clear to me that Islam is the true 3 religion; for I have read in the Torah that if any man repents sincerely and then places his hand on earth, the earth turns to gold. I had put earth under the rug to prove you. When you laid your hand on the earth and it turned to gold, I knew for sure that your repentance was a reality and that your religion is true.”
“For God’s sake,” Fuzail begged a man, “bind me hand and foot and bring me before the Sultan, that he may exercise judgment against me for the many crimes I have committed.”
The man did as he requested. When the Sultan beheld Fuzail, he observed in him the marks of right-eous folk.
“I cannot do this,” he said. And he ordered him to be returned to his apartment with honour. When he reached the door of the apartment he uttered a loud cry.
“Hark at him shouting!” people remarked. “Perchance he is being beaten.”
“Indeed, I have been sorely beaten,” Fuzail replied. “In what part?” they asked.
“In my soul,” he answered. Then he went in to his wife.
“Wife,” he announced, ‘I would visit God’s House. If you wish, I will set you free.”
“I will never go apart from you,” his wife replied. “Wherever you may be, I will be with you.”
So they set out and in due time came to Mecca, Almighty God making the road easy for them. There he took up residence near the Kaaba, and met some of the Saints. He companioned Imam Abu Hanifa for a while, and many stories are told of his extreme discipline. In Mecca the gates of oratory were opened to him, and the Meccans thronged to hear him preach. Soon all the world was talking about him, so that his family and kinsmen set forth from Bavard and came to look upon him. They knocked at his door, but he would not open it. They for their part would not depart, so Fuzail mounted the roof of his house.
“What idlers you are!” he cried to them. “God give you employment!”
He spoke many such words, till they all wept and were beside themselves. Finally, despairing of enjoying his society, they went away. He still remained on the roof and did not open the door.
Fuzail and Haroon al-Rasheed
One night Harun al-Rashid summoned Fazl the Barmecide, who was one of his favourite courtiers.
“Take me to a man this night who will reveal me to myself,” he bade him. “My heart is grown weary of pomp and pride.”
Fazl brought Harun to the door of the house of Sofyan-e Oyaina. They knocked at the door.
“Who is it?” Sofyan asked.
“The Commander of the Faithful,” Fazl replied. “Why did he trouble himself so?” Sofyan said. “I ought to have been informed, then I could have come myself to him.”
“This is not the man I am seeking,” Harun com-mented “He fawns upon me like the rest.”
Hearing of what had happened, Sofyan said, “Fuzail-e Iyaz is such a man as you are seeking. You must go to him.” And he recited this verse: Or do those who commit evil deeds think that We shall make them as those who believe and do righteous deeds?
“If I am seeking good counsel, this is sufficient,” remarked Harun.
They knocked at Fuzail’s door. “Who is it?” Fuzail asked.
“The Commander of the Faithful,” Fazl replied. “What business has he with me, and what have I to
do with him?” Fuzail demanded.
“Is it not a duty to obey those in authority?” coun-tered Fazl.
“Do not disturb me,” cried Fuzail.
“Shall I enter with an authority or a command?” said Fazl.
“There is no such thing as authority,” replied Fuzail. “If you enter by force, you know what you are doing.” Harun entered. As he approached Fuzail, the latter blew out the lamp so as not to see his face. Harun
stretched out his hand, and Fuzail’s hand met it. “How smooth and soft this palm is, if only it could
escape from Hell-fire!” Fuzail remarked.
So saying, he arose and stood in prayer. Harun was much affected and weeping overcame him.
“Say something to me,” he begged. Fuzail saluted him and then spoke.
“Your ancestor, the Prophet’s uncle, once demanded of the Prophet, ‘Make me commander over some peo-ple.’ The Prophet replied, ‘Uncle, for one moment I have made you commander over yourself.’ By this he meant, ‘For you to obey God for one moment is better than a thousand years of people obeying you.’ The Prophet added, ‘Command shall be a cause of regret-ting on the Day of Resurrection.’ “
“Say more,” Harun pleaded.
“When Omar ibn Abd al-Aziz was appointed caliph,” Fuzail related, “he summoned Salem ibn Abd Allah, Raja’ ibn Hayat, and Mohammad ibn Ka’b. ‘I have been afflicted with this trial,’ he told them. ‘What am I to do? For I know this high office to be a trial, even though men count it for a blessing.’ One of the three said, ‘If you wish tomorrow to escape from God’s punishment, look upon aged Muslims as though each were your father, and regard youthful Muslims as your brothers, Muslim children as your own sons, treating them in all respects as one does one’s father, brother, and son.’ “
“Say more,” Harun repeated.
“The lands of Islam are as your own house, and their inhabitants your family,” Fuzail said. “Visit your father, honour your brother, and be good to your son. I fear,” he added, “that your handsome face will be sorely tried by the fire of Hell. Fear God, and obey His command. And be watchful and prudent; for on the Resurrection Day God will question you concerning every single Muslim, and He will exact justice from you in respect of every one. If one night an old woman has gone to sleep in a house without provisions, she will pluck your skirt on that Day and will give evidence against you.” Harun wept bitterly, so that his consciousness was like to fail.
“Enough! You have slain the Commander of the Faithful,” chided Fazl the vizier.
“Be silent, Haman,” cried Fuzail. “It is you and your creatures who are destroying him, and then you tell me that I have killed him. Is this murder?”
At these words Harun wept even more copiously. “He calls you Haman,” he said, turning to Fazl,
“because he equates me with Pharaoh.” Then, address-ing Fuzail, he asked,
“Have you a debt outstanding?”
“Yes,” replied Fuzail. “A debt of obedience to God. If He takes me to task over this, then woe is me!”
“I am speaking of debts owed to men, Fuzail,” said Harun.
“Thanks be to God,” cried Fuzail, “who has blessed me abundantly, so that I have no complaint to make to His servants.”
Then Harun placed a purse of a thousand dinars before him.
“This is lawful coin, of my mother’s inheritance,” he said.
“Commander of the Faithful,” said Fuzail, “the counsels I have spoken to you have yielded no profit. Even now you have recommenced wrongdoing and resumed injustice.”
“What wrongdoing?” demanded Harun.
“I call you to salvation, and you cast me into temp-tation. This is wrongdoing indeed,” said Fuzail. “I tell you, give back what you possess to its proper owner. You for your part give it to another to whom it should not be given. It is useless for me to speak.”
So saying, he rose up from the caliph’s presence and flung the gold out of the door.
“Ah, what a man he is!” exclaimed Harun, leaving Fuzail’s house. “Fuzail is in truth a king of men. His arrogance is extreme, and the world is very con-temptible in his eyes.”
Anecdotes of Fuzail
One day Fuzail was holding in his lap a four-year-old child, and by chance placed his mouth on its cheek as is the wont of fathers.
“Father, do you love me?” asked the child. “I do,” replied Fuzail.
“How many hearts do you have?” the child asked. “One,” answered Fuzail.
“Can you love two with one heart?” demanded the child.
Fuzail at once realized that it was not the child speaking, but that in reality it was a Divine instruction. Jealous for God, he began to beat his head and repent-ed. Severing his heart from the child, he gave it to God.
One day Fuzail was standing at Arafat. All the pil-grims there were weeping and wailing, humbling them-selves and making lowly petition.
“Glory be to God!” cried Fuzail. “If so many men were to go to a man at one time and ask him for a sil-ver penny, what do you say? Would that man disap-point so many?”
“No,” came the answer.
“Well,” said Fuzail, “surely it is easier for Almighty God to forgive them all, than for that man to give a sil-ver penny. For He is the most bountiful of the bounti-ful, so there is good hope that He will pardon all.”
Once Fuzail’s son suffered an obstruction of urine. Fuzail came and lifted up his hands.
“O Lord,” he prayed, “by my love for Thee deliver him out of this sickness.”
He had not yet risen from his knees when the boy was healed.
Fuzail would often say in prayer: “Lord God, have mercy! For Thou knowest my repentance; and do not punish me, for Thou hast all power over me.” Then he would add, “O God, Thou keepest me hungry, and Thou keepest my children hungry. Thou keepest me naked, and Thou keepest my children naked. Thou givest not to me a lantern by night. All these things Thou doest to Thy friends. By what spiritual station has Fuzail earned this felicity from Thee?”
For thirty years no man saw Fuzail smile, except on the day when his son died. Then he smiled.
“Master, what time is this for smiling?” he was asked.
“I realized that God was pleased that my son should die,” he answered. “I smiled to accord with God’s good pleasure.”
Fuzail had two daughters. When his end approached, he laid a last charge upon his wife.
“When I die, take these girls and go to Mount Bu Qobais. There lift your face to heaven and say, ‘Lord God, Fuzail laid a charge upon me saying, “Whilst I was alive, I protected these helpless ones as best I could. When Thou madest me a prisoner in the fastness of the grave, I gave them back to Thee.’”
When Fuzail was buried, his wife did as he had bid-den her. She went out to the mountaintop and con-veyed her daughters there. Then she prayed with much weeping and lamentation. At that very moment the Prince of Yemen passed by there with his two sons. Seeing them weeping and making moan, he enquired, “Whence are you come?”
Fuzail’s wife explained the situation.
“I give these girls to these my sons,” the prince announced. “I give each of them as a dowry ten thou-sand dinars. Are you content with this?”
“I am,” their mother replied.
At once the prince furnished litters and carpets and brocades, and conveyed them to Yemen.
Golden Words of Wisdom by Fudayl ibn 'Ayad Radi ALLAHu Ta'ala Anho
* Some people come out of the bathroom pure and clean and some people return from the Ka'abah yet they are polluted and unclean.
* It is easier to do battle with the intellectual than to eat sweets with the foolish.
* That person who curses an animal, the animal says may it be so (Ameen) from the both of us and whosoever between you and I is the more sinful may he be cursed.
* If I was given a chance of one prayer being fulfilled then instead of praying for my success and reformation, I would pray for the success and reformation of my king for if I asked for myself then only I would benefit but if I asked for my king then not only the king but the entire kingdom under his rule will be blessed with success and reformation.
* That person, who behaves frightfully and savagely alone yet behaves with mutual love and familiarity when amongst the creation, is very far from peace and solace.
* How do you praise your ulema – Although their necks are fat, their bodies are plump, their clothes are delicate and their dinners fine poultry.
* The company of a good natured sinful person is slightly better than the company of an evil and rude 'Alim.
* The signs of a Munafiq (Hypocrite) are to be happy upon praises of those characteristics that don’t exist and to become annoyed at the disclosure of those faults that do exist.
* Once Sayyiduna Fudhayl Radi ALLAHu Ta'ala Anho went to he market to buy bread for his family. He sees the baker reciting the kalimah and durood, etc. while he briskly trotted. He did not buy the bread and he and his family went to bed hungry that night. The next day he bought bread from a quiet silent baker.
* A Mu'min plants a date tree and becomes apprehensive that hopefully the tree does not bear thorns. Munafiq plants thorns and is hopeful that the tree bears dates.
* Whoever has a bad temper has very few friends, whoever rewards someone for their immoral ways then he has assisted immorality. Whoever questioned anyone then he has brought dishonour upon himself. Whoever has learnt an action from an un-practicing person then he has progressed in his ignorance. Whoever has assisted an ungrateful person then he has wasted his good deed.
* If a person cannot recognise a good person then he would not recognise a bad person.
* Kindness is, being obligated to your friend’s gratitude. If he has taken anything from you, and had he not taken it from you, you would not have earned a reward for it. So he had asked you because he had great expectations from you.
* To seek forgiveness with only the tongue yet continue sinning is the forgiveness of a false person.
* The bad consequences are the results of bad beginnings therefore make your beginnings good.
* I feel like crying when I see the World playing with the 'Alims.
* True friendship is when a person holds his friend in higher esteem in his time of need than when he was wealthy. Because poverty is more noble than wealth. Therefore the needy are more entitled to honour so do not be at their appearance.
* I have a great amount of respect for some people but when I see them being lavish in their eating habits then, because of the deficiency of piety in me they become contemptible in my eyes.
* Sayyiduna Fudhayl Radi ALLAHu Ta'ala Anho says if you wish to see a pretentious person then look at me. Thereafter he takes hold of his beard and begins to weep and say: "O! Fudhail, you were a fasiq in your youth and thereafter you have become a pretentious person, by Allah! Fisq in by a degree better than pretence because its evil is apparent while that of pretence is concealed.”
* A person once saw Sayyiduna Fudhail Radi ALLAHu Ta'ala Anho crying. He asked him as to why he was crying. He replied that he is crying in sorrow for poor Muslims who have oppressed him and thereafter they say that on the day of Qiyamat they would have no reason so they would be confined to punishment.
* He once addressed Haroon-ar Rashid such: If you wish for eternal bliss then the elderly Muslims in the community should be regarded as you fathers, the young men as you brothers, the youth as your sons, the womenfolk as your mothers and sisters. So treat them in such a manner as you would treat your own mother, father, brothers or sisters.
* Just as this World is made of sand and earth and can be destroyed and the hereafter is of gold and everlasting so too should your inclination be towards the hereafter and not towards the World.
* Noting has been given to a man in this World that has not decreased the provisions from the hereafter for him.
* Do not seek 3 things for you would not find it: That 'Alim whose knowledge is completed in the scales of deeds will not be found and you would remain uneducated. That 'Alim whose sincerity is equal to his actions will not be found and you would be left un-practicing. Thirdly do not look for a brother who has no faults because you would also not find him and you would be left with no brothers.
* If you are asked, do you regard your creator as your friend then adopt silence because if you answer no you would become a kaafir and if you say yes, yet your actions do not portray you as a friend of your creator then this would tantamount to lies.