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Flagships of Sufism : Abu'l Faydh Thu'l Nuun Al Misri


Shaikh of the Egyptian Lands, Thawban Ibn Ibrahim, and it has been said Faydh Ibn Ahmad, and it has been said: Faydh Ibn Ibrahim Al-Nubi Al-Ikhmeemi; named Aba'l Faydh/ 'He with overflowing abundance', born in the last days of Al-Mansour
His father was Nubian, then he descended
 to Ikhmeem in Upper Egypt and stayed there. One day he heard the sound of duf/ 'drumming' and merriment, and asked what this was, and was told a wedding. Next to it he heard the sound of weeping and wailing and asked what that was, and was told that someone had passed away, and said: He gave one crowd and they thanked Him not, and Tested the other crowd and they waited not. He then swore not to pass the night in that town and left to Egypt.

And Thu'l Nuun used to always say: To Allah there are subjects who have come out to him with Ikhlas/ 'loyalty'/ 'extracting all that is not Him from their hearts and from before their eyes', raised their fortitude in journeying to Him with the Clarity of their Asrar/ 'Secrets', so they stayed themselves upon the purity of Mo'amala/ transactions, and proceeded to listen to His Words with the presence of their understanding, upon doing so He Viewed them with a Watchful Eye and Dispensed upon them Awards/ and Talents, and to them He Was Bountiful in Givings, such that they breathed the Scent of Proximity of His Nearness, and upon them blew the Winds of Meeting from His Throne, that the spirits of their hearts flew to that Great Rawh/ 'Bliss' that these spirits then they called out "We Leave Not"

:The Journey to Hidaya/ 'guidance'/ 'finding the way

Thu'l Nuun was asked one day: How was it that you came to know Your Lord? He said: I came to know My Lord by My Lord and where it not for My Lord I would have not known My Lord.

Yousif Bin Al-Hussein Al-Razi said: I was with Thu'l Nuun and he was asked: O' Aba'l Faydh what was the reason for your repentance? He said: I fell asleep in the desert and opened my eyes to find a blind lark had fallen from its lair, and the earth split and two vessels of gold and silver emerged, in one there was sesame and the other water, so I ate and drank, and said to myself: Hasbi, so I repented and stayed at His Bab/ 'door' until He Accepted me.

Al-Silmi says in his "Hardships of Sufis": Thu'l Nuun was the first in his town to talk of the orders of A7wal, and the Maqamat/ 'stations' of Awliyya/ 'Those who are Loved and Neared', and was denied by Abdullah Ibn Abdul-Hakam, and was abandoned by the scholars of Egypt, and it was said that he had invented a science that the Salaf/ 'prior'/ 'those who lived at the time of the Prophet PBUH' had not spoken of, and they abandoned him until they cast him as a heathen. So his brother said: they call you a heathen.

So he said: 'And to me is but to listen, and be silent, and place my palm 'neath my cheek, and my zikr/ remembrance'

:His Sayings

Abu'l Faydh Thu'l Nuun Al-Masri said: To Allah are the Purified of His Creation, and To Allah are the Chosen of His Creation, and was asked: O' Aba'l Faydh what are their signs? He replied: If the subject abandons rest and exerts effort in Ta'3a/ 'varying forms of obedience' and they love lowering their status.

Then they asked: O' Aba'l Faydh then what are the signs of Allah Most Dear and Sublime's Approaching them? He said: If you see him staying patiently, in gratitude, in remembrance, that is the sign of Allah's Approach upon one of His subjects.

Then they asked: Then what is the sign that Allah has turned away from one of His subjects? He said: if you see him distracted, irritable, turning away from remembrance of Allah, that is when Allah turns away from him.

Then he was asked: O' Aba'l Faydh what is the sign of taking sweet comfort in being with Allah/ 'Uns Billah? if you find Him Giving you comfort that you prefer your company with others then He is Keeping you away from Himself. And if He is Keeping you away from His Creation, then He is Comforting You with Himself.

He says: To Allah there are subjects who have known Him with certitude and raised their fortitude in journeying to Him, for His sake they withstood catastrophes in accordance with what they crave of Him, they befriended dunya with laments, and were blessed in it with long periods of sadness and would not crave it, and only took stock as riders passing through. They feared their stay and so hurried, and longed for salvation so planned. In His remembrance their tongues flared for the Content of Their Master, they erected the End World/ 'Akhira' before their eyes, and kept listening out to it with the ears of their hearts. Thus if you seek them you see a crowd with wilted lips, constricted stomachs, saddened hearts, slimming figures, weeping eyes, abandoning distractions, procrastination and false hopes, and are content from dunya with little alms. Dressed in faded, worn out garb, housed in the lands in vacant barren lots, escaping from homelands, replacing brethren with solitude, thus if you seek them you see a crowd their throats slit with the night's blades of sleeplessness, dismembered by the daggers of tiredness, empty-stomached for the length of the journey, hair dirt-filled and unkempt for loss of interest, they joined labor with labor in anticipation of their journey and passing.

Thu'l Nuun says: I was prescribed a man in Shahirt and sought him, and stayed at his door for 40 days, then it happened that I saw him, yet when he saw me he hurried away, so I called out to him: I ask of you with the Dearness of Your Lord, would you not stand upon my need for a moment? So I asked: I ask of you by Allah, how did you come to know Allah, and in what ways did He Make Himself known until you did know Him? 

Yes, he said: I found a Love that if I approached, would Approach and Near me, and if I distanced He Voiced and Called, and if I grew cold He Made me Long and Hope, and if I obeyed He Increased and Bestowed, and if I sinned He Waited on me Cared for me, Have you seen such a Love? Leave me be and do not distract me, then he left.

Ahmad Ibn Salama Al-Nisapuri said: I heard Thu'l Nuun say: O' Kharasani, beware that you turn away  from Him and are deceived, I asked: how? He said: the deceived is he who views his gifts and blessings and turns from looking to Him with filling his eyes with gifts instead.

Thu'l Nuun said: The most people speaking of Allah in Zahir/ 'plain outwardly form' are furthest from Allah, and who crave dunya the most secretly, yet denounce those who seek it the most [So Beware]

Thu'l Nuun was asked: Who are those with the longest hardship? He said: those with the worst mannerisms, and was asked: what is the sign of ill manners? He said: plenty of disagreement.

Thu'l Nuun says: with the company of the righteous, life is beautified and all good is collected in good companionship, if you forget your zikr/ remembrance, and if you remember they aid you.

Thu'l Nuun says: the grindstones of will turn upon three things: certainty in Allah's Promise, Rida/ 'comfort in His Decrees', and never-ending knocking on His Bab/ door.

He says: People are on their way as long as they have fear still, once fear dissipates, they lose their way.

And says: three signs of certainty: a decrease in accompanying others, abandoning praise when receiving gifts from people, and refraining from speaking ill of them when they halt their awards.

And says: three signs of certainty of certitude: Seeing Allah in all things, returning to Him in all things, and depending on His Aid in all things.

Yousif Ibn Al-Hussein: on leaving Thu'l Nuun I asked him: who should I sit with/ 'accompany'? He said: sit with whomever, as long as their sight reminds you of Allah, and who's Haiyba/ 'pious charisma' falls upon your Batin/ inside, who's logic increases the fortitude of your own effort, and who's actions increase your abandonment of dunya, and who you cease to sin in their presence, advising you with the tongue of their actions, and not simply advising you with their tongue of speech.

As for Tawakul/ 'rightly depending on Allah for Aid and Guidance' he says: it is letting go of scheming of oneself, and undressing from the illusion of any control or reach of power, yet only if the subject knows that Allah Knows and Sees All that they are and do can they truly achieve Tawakul.

And he says: who remembers Allah in Haqiqa/ 'their essence of Truth' they forget in his zikr all else, and Allah Preserves for him all things and to him Substitutes all things.

Hayyan bin Ahmad Al-Sahmi says that Thu'l Nuun passed away in Giza and they carried his body in a boat to Egypt out of fear that people will overcrowd the bridge, two nights into Thi'l Qi'eda in the year 246 H.

عن الكاتب

حسن بن أحمد

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2016