Rabia Basri / Rabi`a al `Adawiyya / Rabi`a al-Qaysiyya
Posted by: Sohail Ahmed Shaikh on: June 30, 2008
Allah / Angels / Sufis / Sahaba| Women in IslamComment!
of the stories of the holy people of Allah is that of Rabi`a
al-Adawiyya, or Rabi`a al-Qaysiyya who was born in Basra, Iraq
between the years 95 A.H. and 99 A.H. (about 717 C.E.).
turbulent years of the first century after the death of the
Prophet Muhammad, may prayers and peace be upon him, records
of the lives of the early Sufis were not always accurate and
were sometimes even based on supposition. This led to certain
variations in the details of the events in their lives and in
the case of Rabi`a al-Adawiyya, a confusion on occasion between
her story and that of the Rabi`a bint Isma`il of Syria. It is
generally agreed, however, that her fathers name was,
nevertheless, Isma`il who was a very poor and holy man.
which has been used for the main events of Rabi`as life
is as follows: Isma`il married and went to live with his wife
on the edge of the desert not far from the town of Basrq.
while Allah, the All-Mighty, gave them a daughter whom the father
named Rabi`a. Then they had another daughter whom the father
named Rabi`a ath-thani, and a third daughter he named Rabi`a
ath-thalata, and yet again another daughter whom he named Rabi`a
ar-rabi`a who was to become the beloved Saint of Allah.
It is said
that on the night that Rabi`a was born there was not even a
drop of oil in their house with which to anoint the navel of
the new-born daughter and no cloth in which to swaddle her.
So in despair, Rabi`as mother told her husband to go to
their neighbors house and to beg them for some oil so
that she could light their lamp.
Isma`il had made a promise never to ask a human being for anything.
So he went out and put his hand on the neighbors door
and without saying anything to them, returned to his own house.
They will not open the door, he said.
this, Rabi`as mother wept bitterly. Full of anxiety and
feeling helpless in the matter, Rabi`as father put his
head on his knees and fell asleep.
was sleeping he dreamed that the Prophet Muhammad, prayers and
peace be upon him, came to him and said, Do not be sad.
The girl child which has just been born is a queen amongst women
who shall be the mediator for seventy thousand of my Community.
Tomorrow you must go to `Isa Zadan, the Governor of Basra. Write
this message on a piece of paper which you will take to him:
Every night you send upon me a hundred blessings and on Friday
night four hundred. Last night was Friday night and you forgot
me. To set right your forgetfulness, give this man four hundred
dinar, which he has lawfully earned.
awoke and remembered his dream Rabi`as father burst into
tears, but he got up straight away and wrote exactly what the
Prophet had told him to write, then took his letter and presented
it to one of the Governors chamberlains.
as the letter reached the Governor and he had read it, he said
to his Minister, Give two thousand dinar to the poor people
immediately because I thank the Master for reminding me of my
forgetfulness. Also give four hundred dinar to the old man and
say to him: I would like you to come to me so that I may see
you. But I do not hold it proper for a man like you to come
to me. I would rather come to you and rub my beard on the floor
of your threshold. But I swear by Allah that whatever you need
you may let me know about it.
father was overjoyed and took the money, thanking Allah and
his Prophet, and he bought all that was necessary for his holy
continues: As the four girls grew up, their father Isma`il worked,
as he could, to make a living for his family in the desert.
When the eldest daughter was about twenty years old and Rabi`a
ar-rabi`a was about eleven, their father died, leaving behind
him his wife and four daughters, all of whom were very poor.
now finding herself alone and the life of the desert being very
hard for them, decided to take her four daughters and set out
for Basra where she hoped to make a better living for herself
and her children.
on their way they were set upon by bandits and in the resulting
fray the mother was killed, and each of the daughters was taken
as a slave by the robbers.
master took her to Baghdad where he immediately set about using
her in the way that was most profitable for himself. She was
very beautiful and she also had a lovely voice, so her master
taught her how to sing and play the `oud, made her dance and
entertain people, and above all, to make money in this way for
her to weddings and celebrations where she would dance and sing,
and the people would give her money for whatever they wanted
from her. In this way she came to have many bad habits and ways,
living a very low life amongst all sorts of people and not caring
about anything that she did. This continued until she was about
thirty-six years old, when one day as she was singing at a wedding
she found herself singing in a different way. Songs were coming
from her heart for her Beloved Who was her true Love because
now Allah, the All-Mighty, had awakened Rabi`a.
moment she left everything that she had been doing before, and
she refused either to sing or to dance, or to play any music
for anyone except for her Beloved God.
her master very angry because he could no longer use her to
make money for himself. He began to ill-treat her, to beat her,
and even to put burns on her body hoping that this would frighten
her into returning to her former ways.
refused everything that her master tried to do to her. She had
begun to pray all through the night, crying to her Beloved God
to help her in her desperate state.
time her master, seeing that he could not influence her in any
way, and because she was no longer of any use to him, decided
to sell her. So he put a cord around her neck and took her to
the slave market of Baghdad. There a holy man took Rabi`a to
his home, gave her food and simple clothes, and told her that
he did not want anything from her, except that she could pray
and be free in his house.
him with all her heart and said, If you want anything
from me for the Face of Allah, He will give you your reward,
but if you want anything from me for yourself only, I have nothing
to give you. I have everything that I need from my Beloved God
and I do not need anything from any human being.
man replied that he would like to marry her, and to free her
from being a slave, but that he did not ask anything from her
except what she wanted to give.
him for his kindness and consideration, and she said that she
did not want to marry anyone, but was grateful for the way that
he cared for her in her deep need.
the All-Mighty, sent a very holy person to Rabi`a, some say
that it was Hasan al-Basri.
to be some doubt about who this holy person was, because it
is recorded that Hasan al-Basri was born in al-Madina in the
year 21 A.H./642 C.E. to a servant of the Prophets wife,
prayers and peace be upon him, Umm Salamah. As a young child
he had lived with his mother in Umm Salamahs household.
In manhood he followed a follower (at-tabiun) of `Ali
ibn Abu Talib, the Prophets cousin and close Companion,
and the fourth of the Righteous Caliphs (al-khulafa
ar-rashidun) from whom the Line of the Prophets Inheritors
descended. It is recorded that Hasan al-Basri died in 110 A.H,
at which time Rabi`a would have been about eleven years old
and had perhaps just arrived in Baghdad as a slave-girl for
of this discrepancy of dates, Hasan al-Basri is usually referred
to as being one of the closest of the Beloveds of Allah around
Rabi`a in her early life. It is he who is recorded as being
the person who said to Rabi`a, Do you desire for us to
get married? To which she replied, The tie of marriage
is for those who have being. But here being has disappeared
for I have become as nothing to my self, and I exist only through
Allah for I belong wholly to Him, and I live in the shadow of
His control. You must ask for my hand from Him, and not from
replied, How did you find this secret, Rabi`a?
him, I lost all found things in Him.
replied, How did you come to know Him?
You know of the how but I know of the howless.
case was that she had heard the Voice of her Beloved Who was
Allah and none other than He, and she had no need for any earthly
husband because the only true marriage for her was with Allah
of the ascetic sufis, Rabi`a made no separation in her love
between man and woman if they lived for the Face of her Beloved
God. Many people loved her and needed her and wanted to take
from her something of the special Gift which she had been given
from Allah. She had many followers who yearned to feed themselves
from her Love which she gave to all those whom she loved. Allah
himself was her real Beloved but she kept company with her fellow
beings, as she said, Everyone who obeys (and she meant
by this the true lover) seeks intimacy.
recited these lines:
have made You the Companion of my heart.
But my body is available to those who desire its company,
And my body is friendly toward its guest,
But the Beloved of my heart is the guest of my soul.
married nor did she have any children but as she, may Allah
be pleased with her, said, My peace is in solitude but
my Beloved is always with me. Whenever I witness His Beauty
He is my prayer niche (mihrab); toward Him is my qibla. Oh Healer
of souls, the heart feeds upon its desire and its striving towards
Union with You has healed my soul. You are my Joy and my Life
to Eternity. You were the Source of my life; from You came my
ecstasy. I have separated myself from all created beings, for
my hope is for Union with You; for that is the Goal of my searching.
did Rabi`a never marry but she also never had a Shaykh to guide
and instruct her. She received everything that she knew directly
from Allah (the Most High) without the intermediary of any Shaykh.
this time she left Baghdad and returned to Basra where she remained
for many years, until she finally travelled to Jerusalem where
she died and is buried. She, may Allah be pleased with her,
had a long life in this dunya (material world) during which
she continued, to her last days, to give of everything that
Allah inspired her to give to all who loved her, because she
was His special Light for them all.
She is often
referred to as the first true Saint (waliya) of Islam and was
praised, not because she in any way represented womankind, but
because as someone said, When a woman walks in the Way
of Allah like a man she cannot be called a woman.
writer also said that Rabi`a was That one set apart in
the seclusion of holiness; that woman veiled with the veil of
sincerity; that one enflamed by love and longing, lost in union
with God; that one accepted as a second spotless Mary.
as she said herself, she was always busy with her Beloved God
all the time and she did not have any moment for anybody or
anything else but Him, she also knew the meaning of what she
said, for her Beloved Allah revealed Himself to her in every
face around her. She said,
groaning and yearning of the lover of Allah will not be satisfied
until it is satisfied in the Beloved. And Rabi`a was,
for many people, that Beloved. May Allah protect her secret,
and that of all His true holy lovers. Many of the incidents
recorded about Rabi`as early life are said to concern
her relationship with Hasan al-Basri, in spite of the discrepancy
in the dating of their lives. Nevertheless it is the sayings
themselves that are important, and the incidents which brought
them about are, in themselves, irrelevant.
It is said
that she, may Allah be pleased with her, once sent Hasan al-Basri
a piece of wax, a needle and a hair, and said, Be like
wax and illumine the world and burn yourself. Be like a needle
and work naked. When you have done these two things a thousand
years will be for you like a hair.
story tells of how one day Hasan al-Basri saw Rabi`a near a
lake. Throwing his prayer rug on top of the water, he said,
Rabi`a come! Let us pray two ruk`u here. She replied,
Hasan, when you are showing off your spiritual goods in
the worldly market, it should be things which your fellow men
cannot display. Then she threw her prayer rug into the
air and flew up onto it. Come up here, Hasan, where people
can see us, she cried. But seeing his sadness Rabi`a sought
to console him, so she said, Hasan, what you did fishes
can do, and what I did flies can do. But the real business is
outside these tricks. One must apply oneself to the real business.
said that there are three kinds of men: The first believes that
his hands and his sons hands are all that is necessary
to succeed in the only world they know-the material world. The
second kind prays with his hands so that a reward will be earned
in the next life. The third kind has his hands tied at the wrist,
bound with love to serve without thought of return.
and sayings became a source of deep inspiration and yearning
(himma) for all those who were drawn to her and followed her,
both in her time and afterwards. This was because her love,
manifesting directly from the Spirit and for the Face of her
Beloved alone without any trace of self in it, brought a special
fragrance from the deep Secret Love into the more austere teachings
of those early Sufis. She was the Word which gave life to the
hearts of those beloved people of Allah who followed after her
in the same Line of the Love of God, as she had done. Particularly,
this was the case later for Abu Bayazid al-Bistami, Abu lHusayn
an-Nuri, Husayn ibn Mansur al-Hallaj, and Abu Bakr ash-Shibli,
may Allah be pleased with them, who, around their leader and
Master al-Junayd, came to be known as The Baghdad School.
said, The ascetics regard the beauty of the Unknown with
the light of belief and certainty and they despise the world,
but they are still veiled by a sensuous pleasure, namely-the
thought of Paradise, whereas the true Sufi is veiled from both
worlds by the sight of the Primordial Beauty and the Love of
One of the
early stories about Rabi`a relates how she set about making
the Pilgrimage to Mecca. She joined a caravan of other pilgrims
and she had a small donkey on which she put her baggage for
her journey. However, in the middle of the desert the donkey
died. Some of the people in the caravan offered to carry her
baggage for her, but she said to them, Go on your way
for I must not depend upon you for help, but I trust myself
to Allah. So, seeing that they could not persuade her
otherwise, the other pilgrims continued and Rabi`a remained
behind alone in the vast desert all around her. She prayed to
her Lord, saying, O my God, do kings deal thus with a
woman, a stranger who is weak? You are calling me to Your House
(the Ka`ba) but in the middle of my way You have suffered my
ass to die, and You have left me alone in the desert.
Hardly had she finished praying when her ass began to move,
and finally it stood up. Rabi`a put her baggage again on it
and continued on her way. The person who related that said that
he saw the same little donkey for sale in the market-place.
fasted for a whole week, neither eating nor sleeping. All night
she prayed and became very hungry. Then a visitor came bringing
her a bowl of food. She accepted it and went to fetch a lamp.
When she returned, she found that a cat had overturned the bowl
of food. She then said to herself: I will fetch a jug
of water and break my fast by drinking. But by the time
that she had fetched the jug, the lamp had gone out. She then
tried to drink the water in the dark, but the jug slipped from
her hand and broke into pieces. She lamented and sighed so much,
as the story-teller said, that it was to be feared that
the whole house would be consumed with fire! O Allah!
she cried, What is this that You are doing with this helpless
heard a voice say, Be careful lest you desire Me to bestow
on you all worldly blessings, but take away from your heart
the caring for Me, for care for Me and worldly blessings can
never be together in a single heart. Rabi`a, you desire one
thing and I desire another. My desire and your desire can never
be joined in one heart.
then, When I heard this admonition I so cut off my heart
from the world and curtailed my desires that whenever I have
prayed during the last thirty years I have thought it to be
my last prayer.
may Allah benefit us by him, has said, This is the state
of the Essence of the lovers of Allah in the station (maqam)
of the Special of the special ones (al-hawass al-hawass) of
the Sincerity, or Integrity (al-ikhlas). These lovers are those
who are nearest to Him and their Order is La ilaha illa llah.
Their offering and trust is to be dying for the Truth and to
kill themselves so as to live in Allah, and to be like wool
in His Hands until they reach the station (maqam) of completion.
Then they rest face-to-Face with their Mighty King. The tongue
of their asking is Rabi`a, who said:
prays to You from fear of the Fire;
And if You do not put them in the Fire,
This is their reward.
Or they pray to You for the Garden,
Full of fruits and flowers.
And that is their prize.
But I do not pray to You like this,
For I am not afraid of the Fire,
And I do not ask You for the Garden.
But all I want is the Essence of Your Love,
And to return to be One with You,
And to become Your Face.
It was told
of Rabi`a that she was seen one day carrying a brand of fire
in one hand and a pitcher of water in the other, and that she
was running very fast. When they asked her what she was doing
and where she was going, she said, I am going to light
a fire in the Garden and pour water onto it so that both these
veils may disappear from the seekers, and that their purpose
may be sure, and that the slaves of Allah may see Him, without
any object of hope or motive of fear. What if the Hope for the
Garden and the Fear of the Fire did not exist? Not one would
worship his Lord, nor obey Him. But He is worthy of worship
without any immediate motive or need.
love You with two loves-a selfish love
And a Love that You are worthy of.
As for the selfish love, it is that I think of You,
To the exclusion of everything else.
And as for the Love that You are worthy of,
Ah! That I no longer see any creature, but I see only You!
There is no praise for me in either of these loves,
But the praise in both is for You.
was referring to the Love which is of the complete integrity,
steadfastness and patience, which is for nothing but the Face
of Allah Who is the only true Beloved. It is the worship of
the heart which only witnesses the perfect Union of the Beloved
and the Lover.
It was said
that Rabi`a was the first person to teach about the necessity
for truthfulness and sincerity in the lovers bondsmanship
to the Beloved Who is Allah. She was one of those referred to
as the spies of the heart for she often spoke out clearly against
all who claimed to be lovers of Allah, but whose hearts were
not always pure in intention and devotion.
the case of those who could not unquestioningly surrender to
the Will of the Beloved in everything. She said to them, You
rebel against Allah, yet you appear to love Him. I swear by
my faith that this is most strange. For if your love were truthful
you would have obeyed Him, since the lover obeys the one whom
he loves. So that whenever someone said to her, Alas,
for my sorrow (my sins), she replied, Do not lie,
but say rather, Alas for my lack of sorrow, for
if you were truly sorrowful, life would have no delight for
One of her
companions, Sufyan al-Thawri, asked her, What is the best
thing for the servant to do who desires proximity to his Lord?
She said, That the servant should possess nothing in this
world for the Next, save Him. Rabi`a, may Allah preserve
her secret, never had any doubts about her Beloved being present
or absent, because she was not concerned only to have His good
pleasure and bounties. She lived for a Love which does not seek
for any answer, reward or reciprocity. It was related how one
day one of her followers said in her presence, Oh Allah,
may You be satisfied with us! Whereupon Rabi`a said, Are
you not ashamed before Him to ask Him to be satisfied with you,
when you are not satisfied with Him? By this she meant
that first we must be truly satisfied with Allah, Most High,
before we can ask Him to be satisfied with us.
was followed by the question to her, When then is the
servant satisfied with Allah Most High?
When his pleasure in misfortune is equal to his pleasure
asked Rabi`a, What is Love? She, may Allah be pleased
with her, said, Love has come from Eternity and passes
into eternity, and none has been found in seventy thousand worlds
who drinks one drop of it until at last he is absorbed in Allah,
and from that comes His words: He loves them, and they
love Him. (5:59).
she was sick a number of people went to visit her. They asked
her, How are you? She replied, By Allah! I
know of no reason for my illness except that Paradise was displayed
to me and I yearned after it in my heart; and I thank that my
Lord was jealous for me and so He reproached me; and only He
can make me happy again.
God, whatsoever You have apportioned to me of worldly things,
Give that to Your enemies, And what You have apportioned to
me in the Hereafter, Give that to Your Friends, For You suffice
God, if I worship You for fear of Hell, burn me in Hell, And
if I worship You in hope of Paradise, Exclude me from Paradise.
But if I worship You for Your Own sake, Grudge me not Your everlasting
was urged to speak, her words perfectly manifested her love,
her belief and her faith, for she was so totally immersed in
her Lord that she became a shining Light which attracted many
people to her presence to drink from the same Spring from which
she drank. She said, If I will a thing and my Lord does
not will it, I shall be guilty of unbelief. So that her
faith came from her total surrender to her Beloved God, as she
said, I have fled from the world and all that is in it.
My prayer is for Union with You; that is the goal of my desire.
Then, since she always attributed her illnesses and misfortunes
to the Will of her Beloved God, how could she oppose Him in
trying to rid herself of them?
was heard to say, If You had not set me apart by affliction,
I would not have increased Your lovers.
It was part
of her faith that she welcomed an asceticism which accepted
everything as a Gift from Allah, the Lover to his beloved slave.
Therefore, she regarded misfortune in the same way as she regarded
favors and happiness, and this was the ultimate of bondsmanship
to her. About this she said, You have given me life and
have provided for me, and Yours is the Glory. And she
added, You have bestowed upon me many favors, and gifts,
graces and help. In this she acknowledges her bondsmanship
to the Giver and Bestower of all Bounty.
object of Rabi`as life was bound up in her yearning and
passionate love (shawq) for her Beloved, which meant not merely
the destruction of her self (nafs) but surrender to Allah every
moment in the perfect Union in which there is no Lord and slave,
no Creator and created being, only He in Himself. In that state
she came to realize that she existed in Him without any possibility
of separation from His indivisible Oneness.
a story related that she once said, I praised Allah one
night with the praises of dawn, then I slept and I saw a bright,
green tree, not to be described in size and beauty, and lo,
upon it were three kinds of fruit, unknown to me amongst the
fruit of the world, like virgins breasts, white, red and
yellow and they shone like spheres and suns in the green spaces
of the tree. I admired them and said, Whose is this?
And one said to me, This is yours, for your praises aforetime.
Then I began to walk around the tree, and lo, underneath it
were eighteen fruits on the ground of the color of gold, and
I said, If only these fruits were with the fruits on the
tree it would be better. That person said to me, They
would have been there but that you, when you offered your praises,
were thinking, Is the dough leavened or not? So
this fruit fell off. This is a warning to those of insight,
and an exhortation to those who fear Allah and worship Him.
a man, who was said to be a knower of Allah, met Rabi`a who
asked him of his state, whereupon he replied, I have trod
the Path of obedience and I have not sinned since Allah created
me. She, may Allah be pleased with her, said to him, Alas
my son, your existence is a sin wherewith no other sin may be
to a life of poverty was also part of her need not to be distracted
from her inner journey by the necessity for material considerations.
There is a story about this poverty of hers, as one of her companions
said, I went to visit Rabi`a and saw her in her house
with nothing but a broken water pitcher out of which she drank
and made her ablution. There was also an old reed mat and a
brick which she sometimes used as a pillow. When I saw this,
I felt very sad and I said to her, I have rich friends.
If you wish I will get something from them for you. She
said, You have committed a grievous error. Is not my Provider
and theirs one and the same? I replied, Yes.
Then she said, And has the Provider of the poor forgotten
the poor on account of their poverty? And does He remember the
rich because of their riches? I replied, No.
She said, Then since He knows of my state, how should
I remind Him? Such is His Will and I too wish what He wills.
love, which was passionate (shawq) and all-consuming was also
full of humility, fear (hawf) and reverence (taqwa) for her
Beloved, and when she was asked about how she had such a degree
of intimacy, she said, By constantly saying: I take refuge
in You from everything which has distracted me from You and
from every hindrance which has hindered me from You.
said, You must conceal your good deeds as you conceal
your evil deeds.
In the same
way, she said, What appears of any (good) works, I count
as nothing at all.
a story that Rabi`a was once on her way to Mecca. When she was
half-way there she saw the Ka`ba coming to meet her and she
said, It is the Lord of the House Whom I need. What have
I to do with the House? I need to meet with Him Who said: Whoso
approaches Me by a spans length I will approach him by
the length of a cubit. The Ka`ba which I see has no power
over me. What does the Ka`ba bring to me?
a story of the same nature is as follows: It is related that
Ibrahim ibn Adhan, a very holy person, spent fourteen years
making his way to the Ka`ba because in every place of prayer
he prayed two ruk`u and at last when he reached the Ka`ba he
did not see it. He said to himself, Alas, what has happened
to my eyes. Maybe a sickness has come to them. Then he
heard a voice which said, No harm has befallen your eyes,
but the Ka`ba has gone to meet a woman who is approaching.
Ibrahim was seized with jealousy and said, O indeed; who
is this? He ran and saw Rabi`a arriving, and the Ka`ba
was back in its place.
Rabi`a, may Allah be pleased with her, was asked, Where
have you come from? She said, From that World.
They then asked her, Where are you going? She replied,
To that World. They asked, What are you doing
in this world? She said, I am sorrowing. They
asked, In what way? She said, I am eating
the bread of this world and doing the work of that World.
Then someone said, One so persuasive in speech is worthy
to keep a guest-house. She replied, I myself am
keeping a rest-house. Whatever is within I do not allow to go
out, and whatever is without I do not allow to come in. If anyone
comes in or goes out, he does not concern me, for I am contemplating
my own heart, not mere clay.
companions spoke about how she was always weeping and when she
was asked, Why do you weep like this? she said,
I fear that I may be cut off from Him to Whom I am accustomed,
and that at the hour of death a voice may say that I am not
We can perhaps
find both the inner depth and the height of the meaning of her
need for poverty in a story relating to a period in the early
days of Rabias walking on the Path of Allah. This was
always to be a reminder to her of the need to strive and surrender
all her existence to her Beloved Lord if she was to reach to
the Goal of what He desired of her. She, may Allah hallow her
secret, told of how when she was making the Pilgrimage, and
upon reaching the standing on `Arafat she heard a voice saying
to her, O you who call upon Me, what request have you
to make to Me? If it is Myself that you desire, then I will
show you one flash of My Glory, but in that you will be absorbed
and melt away. She said then, O Lord of Glory, Rabi`a
has no means of reaching to that degree, but I desire one particle
of Poverty. The voice said, O Rabi`a, Poverty is
the drought and famine of Our Wrath which We have placed in
the way of men. When but a hairs breadth remains between
them and Union with Us, everything is changed and Union becomes
separation. As for you, you still have seventy veils of existence,
and until you have come forth from beneath these veils you will
not benefit even to speak of that Poverty.
to Rabi`as reaching and living in the loving Presence
of her Lord was her constant praying, remembrance and asking
for forgiveness for all her shortcomings, and a knowing that
her Union with her Beloved God could not come in the way that
she desired, but only in the way that He desired for her. She
was also well aware that her remembrance and repentance did
not come from herself, but from Him, her Beloved God. It is
said that someone once said to her, I have committed many
sins; if I turn in repentance (tawba) toward Allah, will He
turn in His Mercy toward me? She said, No, but if
He will turn toward you, you will turn toward Him. For
Rabi`a, repentance was a Gift from Allah. As she said, Seeking
forgiveness with the tongue is the sin of lying. If I seek repentance
of myself, I shall have need of repentance again. Or as
she also said, Our asking for forgiveness of Allah itself
Allah be pleased with her, said:
God, my whole occupation And all my desire in this world, Of
all worldly things, Is to remember You. And in the Hereafter
It is to meet You. This is on my side, as I have stated. Now
You do whatever You will.
says that in her nightly prayers she loved to commune with her
Beloved God, saying, O God, the night has passed and the
day has dawned. How I long to know if You have accepted my prayers
or if You have rejected them. Therefore console me, for it is
Yours to console this state of mine. You have given me life
and cared for me, and Yours is the Glory. If You want to drive
me from Your Door yet would I not forsake it for the love that
I bear in my heart towards You.
As for the
rest of the story of her life in this world, it is said: About
seven years before she died, she travelled to Jerusalem with
a woman companion and attendant, and she bought a small house
with some land surrounding it on top of the holy Mountain of
Olives (at-Tur). There she lived, and from there she used to
walk down, every day, to al-Aqsa Mosque where she prayed and
gave Teachings to the people, both men and women, who came to
listen to her. Although she was a woman, nobody could prevent
her from doing this because it was Allah Who moved her in this
way to be the means of manifesting Himself to the people who
sought Him through her. Then after praying and teaching in the
Mosque she would walk back up the mountain to her house. This
she did every day until she died in the year 185 A.H. / 801
died her followers built a tomb for her which still exists near
the Christian Church of the Ascension on top of the Mountain
of Olives. It is visited by those who remember her and thank
Allah for the blessing which He granted through her life-the
example of a holy soul filled with Hi.