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|Died||874 CE |
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Abū Yazīd Ṭayfūr bin ʿĪsā bin Surūshān al-Bisṭāmī (al-Basṭāmī) (d. 261/874–5 or 234/848–9), : بایزید بسطامی), was a Persian Sufi from north-central Iran. Known to future Sufis as Sultān-ul-Ārifīn ("King of the Gnostics"), Bisṭāmī is considered to be one of the expositors of the state of fanā, the notion of dying in mystical union with Allah. Bastami was famous for "the boldness of his expression of the mystic’s complete absorption into the mysticism." Many "ecstatic utterances" (شطحات shatˤħāt) have been attributed to Bisṭāmī, which lead to him being known as the "drunken" or "ecstatic" (Arabic : سُكْر, sukr ) school of Islamic mysticism. Such utterance may be argued as, Bisṭāmī died with mystical union and the deity is speaking through his tongue. Bisṭāmī also claimed to have ascended through the seven heavens in his dream. His journey, known as the Mi'raj of Bisṭāmī, is clearly patterned on the Mi'raj of the Islamic prophet Muhammad. Bisṭāmī is characterized in three different ways: a free thinking radical, a pious Sufi who is deeply concerned with following the sha'ria and engaging in "devotions beyond the obligatory," and a pious individual who is presented as having a dream similar to the Mi'raj of Muhammed. The Mi'raj of Bisṭāmī seems as if Bisṭāmī is going through a self journey; as he ascends through each heaven, Bisṭāmī is gaining knowledge in how he communicates with the angels (e.g. languages and gestures) and the number of angels he encounters increases.commonly known in the Iranian world as Bāyazīd Bisṭāmī (Persian
His grandfather Surūshān was born a Zoroastrian,an indication that Bastami had Persian heritage, despite the fact that his transmitted sayings are in Arabic. Very little is known about the life of Bastami, whose importance lies in his biographical tradition, since he left no written works. The early biographical reports portray him as a wanderer but also as the leader of teaching circles. The early biographers describe him as a mystic who dismissed excessive asceticism; but who was also scrupulous about ritual purity, to the point of washing his tongue before chanting God's names. He also appreciated the work of the great jurists. A measure that shows how influential his image remains in posterity is the fact that he is named in the lineage (silsila) of one of the largest Sufi brotherhoods today, the Naqshbandi order.
The name Bastami means "from Bastam". Bayazid's grandfather, Sorūshān, was a Zoroastrian who converted to Islam.His grandfather had three sons, who were named: Adam, İsa and Ali. All of them were ascetics. Bayazid was the son of İsa. Not much is known of Bayazid's childhood, but he spent most of his time isolated in his house, and the mosque. Although he remained in isolation from the material world, he did not isolate himself from the Sufi realm. He welcomed people into his house to discuss Islam. Like his father and uncles, Bayazid led a life of asceticism and renounced all worldly pleasures in order to be one with Allah The Exalted. Ultimately, this led Bayazid to a state of "self union" which, according to many Sufi orders, is the only state a person could be in order to attain unity with God.
Bastami's predecessor Dhul-Nun al-Misri (d. CE 859) was a murid "initiate" as well.Al-Misri had formulated the doctrine of ma'rifa (gnosis), presenting a system which helped the murid and the sheikh (guide) to communicate. Bayazid Bastami took this a step further and emphasized the importance of religious ecstasy in Islam, referred to in his words as drunkenness ( Sukr or wajd), a means of self-annihilation in the Divine Presence of the Creator. Before him, the Sufi path was mainly based on piety and obedience and he played a major role in placing the concept of divine love at the core of Sufism.
When Bayazid died, he was over seventy years old. Before he died, 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."
Bayazid died in 874 CE and is likely buried in Bistam. There is also a shrine in Kirikhan, Turkey in the name of Bayazid Bastami.His corpus of writings is minimal when compared to his influence. His ascetic approach to religious studies emphasizes his sole devotion to the almighty.
There is a Sufi shrine in Chittagong, Bangladesh, dating back to 850 AD, that is said to be Bastami's tomb. Although this may be unlikely, given the fact that Bastami was never known to have visited Bangladesh. However, Sufism spread throughout the Middle East, parts of Asia and Northern Africa, and many Sufi teachers where influenced in the spread of Islam in Bengal. Also, one local legend says that Bastami did visit Chattagong, which might explain the belief of the locals in Chittagong. Nevertheless, Islamic scholars usually attribute the tomb to Bayazid.While there is no recorded evidence of his visit to the region, Chittagong was a major port on the southern silk route connecting India, China and the Middle East, and the first Muslims to travel to China may have used the Chittagong-Burma-Sichuan trade route. Chittagong was a religious city and also a center of Sufism and Muslim merchants in the subcontinent since the 9th century, and it is possible that either Bayazid or his followers visited the port city around the middle of the 9th century.
Still earlier, in the short sayings of another great Muslim mystic of Persian origin, Abū Yazīd al-Bistāmī, written down from oral transmission, we have several examples of a similar schematic movement of life.
Rejection of this world is also manifest in a saying by the famous Persian Sufi Abū Yazīd al-Bistāmī (d. c. 261/875): “This world is nothing; how can one renounce it?”
Sufism, also known as Tasawwuf (ٱلتَّصَوُّف), is a mystic body of religious practice within Islam characterized by a focus on Islamic spirituality, ritualism, asceticism and esotericism.
The Masnavi, or Masnavi-ye-Ma'navi, also written Mathnawi, or Mathnavi, is an extensive poem written in Persian by Jalal al-Din Muhammad Balkhi, also known as Rumi. The Masnavi is one of the most influential works of Sufism, commonly called "the Quran in Persian". It has been viewed by many commentators as the greatest mystical poem in world literature. The Masnavi is a series of six books of poetry that together amount to around 25,000 verses or 50,000 lines. It is a spiritual text that teaches Sufis how to reach their goal of being truly in love with God.
Al-Hallaj or Mansour Hallaj was a Persian mystic, poet and teacher of Sufism. He is best known for his saying: "I am the Truth" (Ana'l-Ḥaqq), which many saw as a claim to divinity, while others interpreted it as an instance of annihilation of the ego, allowing God to speak through him. Al-Hallaj gained a wide following as a preacher before he became implicated in power struggles of the Abbasid court and was executed after a long period of confinement on religious and political charges. Although most of his Sufi contemporaries disapproved of his actions, Hallaj later became a major figure in the Sufi tradition.
Sultan Bahu, was a Sufi mystic, poet, scholar and historian active during the Mughal empire mostly in the Punjab region. He belonged to Qadiri Sufi order, and started the mystic tradition known as Sarwari Qadiri.
Ibn Qudāmah al-Maqdisī Muwaffaq al-Dīn Abū Muḥammad ʿAbd Allāh b. Aḥmad b. Muḥammad , often referred to as Ibn Qudamah or Ibn Qudama for short, was a Sunni Muslim ascetic, jurisconsult, Traditionalist theologian. Having authored many important treatises on Islamic jurisprudence and religious doctrine, including one of the standard works of Hanbali law, the revered al-Mug̲h̲nī, Ibn Qudamah is highly regarded in Sunnism for being one of the most notable and influential thinkers of the Hanbali school of orthodox Sunni jurisprudence. Within that school, he is one of the few thinkers to be given the honorific epithet of Shaykh of Islam, which is a prestigious title bestowed by Sunnis on some of the most important thinkers of their tradition. A proponent of the classical Sunni position of the "differences between the scholars being a mercy," Ibn Qudamah is famous for having said: "The consensus of the Imams of jurisprudence is an overwhelming proof and their disagreement is a vast mercy."
Junayd of Baghdad was a Persian mystic and one of the most famous of the early Islamic saints. He is a central figure in the spiritual lineage of many Sufi orders.
Fanaa in Sufism is the "passing away" or "annihilation". Fana means "to die before one dies", a concept highlighted by famous notable Persian mystics such as Rumi and later by Sultan Bahoo. There is controversy around what Fana exactly is, with some Sufis defining it as the annihilation of the human ego before God, whereby the self becomes an instrument of God's plan in the world (Baqaa). Other Sufis interpret it as breaking down of the individual ego and a recognition of the fundamental unity of God, creation, and the individual self. Persons having entered this enlightened state are said to obtain awareness of a intrinsic unity (Tawhid) between Allah and all that exists, including the individual's mind. This second interpretation is condemned as heretical by orthodox Islam.
Abusa'id Abolkhayr or Abū Saʿīd Abū'l-Khayr, also known as Sheikh Abusaeid or Abu Sa'eed, was a famous Persian Sufi and poet who contributed extensively to the evolution of Sufi tradition.
Sufism is the mystical branch of Islam. A Sufi is a Muslim who seeks annihilation of the ego in God.
Dhūl-Nūn Abū l-Fayḍ Thawbān b. Ibrāhīm al-Miṣrī, often referred to as Dhūl-Nūn al-Miṣrī or Zūl-Nūn al-Miṣrī for short, was an early Egyptian Muslim mystic and ascetic. His surname "al Misri" means "The Egyptian". He was born in Upper Egypt in 796, Dhul-Nun is said to have made some study of the scholastic disciplines of alchemy, medicine, and Greek philosophy in his early life, before coming under the mentorship of the mystic Saʿdūn of Cairo, who is described in traditional accounts of Dhul-Nun's life as both "his teacher and spiritual director." Celebrated for his legendary wisdom both in his own life and by later Islamic thinkers, Dhul-Nun has been venerated in traditional Sunni Islam as one of the greatest saints of the early era of Sufism.
The Naqshbandi Golden Chain is a lineage of spiritual masters of the Naqshbandi Sufi order related to each other going back to the Islamic prophet Muhammad. It is a chain in which each scholar was given ijazah or permission for dhikr of God by his own teacher or pir to transmit the knowledge he had received to the next generation of students in the traditional manner of Sufi transmission.
Abu Madyan Shuʿayb ibn al-Husayn al-Ansari al-Andalusi, commonly known as Abū Madyan, was an influential Andalusian mystic and a great Sufi master.
'Abd al-Karīm ibn Hūzān Abū al-Qāsim al-Qushayrī al-Naysābūrī, was an Arab Muslim scholar and theologian known for his works on Sufism. He was born in 986 CE in Nishapur which is in Khorasan Province in Iran. This region was widely known as a center of Islamic civilization up to the 13th Century CE.
The Shattariyya are members of a Sufi mystical tariqah that originated in Persia in the fifteenth century C.E. and developed, completed and codified in India. Later secondary branches were taken to Hejaz and Indonesia. The word Shattar, which means "lightning-quick", "speed", "rapidity", or "fast-goer" shows a system of spiritual practices that lead to a state of "completion", but the name derives from its founder, Sheikh Sirajuddin Abdullah Shattar.
Abu Sa'id ibn Abi al-Hasan Yasar al-Basri, often referred to as Hasan of Basra for short, or as Hasan al-Basri, was an early Sunni Muslim preacher, ascetic, theologian, exegete, scholar, judge, and mystic. Born in Medina in 642, Hasan belonged to the second generation of Muslims, all of whom would subsequently be referred to as the tābiʿūn in Sunni Islamic piety. In fact, Hasan rose to become one of "the most celebrated" of the tābiʿūn, enjoying an "acclaimed scholarly career and an even more remarkable posthumous legacy in Islamic scholarship."
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Abu Muhammad Ruwaym bin Ahmad was an early Muslim jurist, ascetic, saint and reciter of the Qur'an. He was one of the second generation of practitioners of Sufism (tasawwuf).
Abū al-Ḥasan Sarī (al-Sirrī) bin al-Mughallis al-Saqaṭī also known as Sirri Saqti was one of the early Muslim Sufi saints of Baghdad. He was one of the most influential students of Maruf Karkhi and one of the first to present Sufism (tasawwuf) in a systematic way. He was also a friend of Bishr al-Hafi. He was the maternal uncle and spiritual master of Junayd of Baghdad.
Siraj al-Din Abdullah Shattar was a prominent 15th-century Sufi master, considered to be the eponymous founder of the Shattariyya order. He brought his sufism order from Transoxiana to South Asian subcontinent, where his successors developed it further. In the late 16th-century, the order was introduced to the Haramain, and through them to Southeast Asia.
Ḥāfiẓ Aḥmad Jaunpūrī was an Indian Muslim scholar, religious preacher and social worker. As the son and successor of Karamat Ali Jaunpuri, he led the Taiyuni reformist movement in Bengal.
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