Sufism of Abu Saeed Abu al-Khair
Islam has opposed the monasticism and seclusion from its early advent. There are many verses in Quran that were revealed to organize the life of Muslims. Even
Author: Hosein Bokaei
Translator: Mohammad Ali Asefipoor
Translator: Mohammad Ali Asefipoor
Extracted from Rasekhoon
Islam has opposed the monasticism and seclusion from its early advent. There are many verses in Quran that were revealed to organize the life of Muslims. Even in a verse God blames Muslims that why they forbid something that is legit.
With all this, there was a kind of trend toward ascetic and avoiding the world among Muslims. This trend to ascetic gradually found its regular shape in the first and second centuries of the AH, when Muslims became familiar with Christians and Hindus, and the word Sufism emerged among Muslims.
Like other branches of science, Muslims first took Sufism from others and mixed it with the Islamic thoughts and made it to have color and smell of Islam. Then they took Islamic Sufism out of it.
The main and real and big fact is God, and the human being in this world follows that fact.
This world the human being is able to realize is the world of causes and effects. The human being is able to gain a kind of awareness through observation and rational reasoning, but he cannot get the fact of the world.
The fact of the world is something behind the world, where in which the law of causality does not govern.
That second and superior world which is close to fact, itself has a big distance from absolute truth that is God.
The way of realizing the real world and God, and in general the way of realizing comprehensiveness passes through heart, not wisdom.
Wisdom cannot reach God through reasoning. God is a fact that human being can achieve it by cleaning his soul and body and life. Such an experience is other than the sensual and rational experience.
In sufi experience, God is not somewhere outside the experiencing man, but God flows from inside the experiencing man, and the human being does not realize the fact but he joins to it.
The Sufis would be silent after showing the way to reach the fact, and did not present any description about the fact they believed they were watching. The Sufis said what a Sufi watches in this way cannot be expressed by words because words are the result of sensory experiences of the human beings which differ from Sufi experiences.
The Sufis believed that the experience of those who go on the path of heart is irrefutable, and what they observe is certain and true.
The Sufis said that human being consists of two parts of body and soul. Body is from this world while Soul originates from partnership of human being and fact of existence, and from the general life. Body in this world is able to know this world through the five senses that are the tools of rational recognition. But Soul can realize the real world by using its tool of recognition. In the work of spiritual training we need a master and we need austerity just as in the work of training of our physical senses we need teacher and endeavor.
In the thought of Sufism, master was the same person who knew the way of passing through this world and reaching the superior world and was able to guide the deciples.
Based on these believes, Sufis forbade the seekers of the truth from thinking about God and searching reasons to prove its existence.
On the other hand, Keramat, that is doing extraordinary tasks, was common among Sufis and each Sufi proves his joint to fact by doing an extraordinary act.
One day a man from Mihaneh, one of the villages of Khorasan, was going to Friday Prayer with his son. The great Sufi of Mihaneh saw them. The Sufi looke at the boy and asked the man: "Whose son is this boy?"
The man answered: "He is my son."
The Sufi said: "Bring him to me after the prayer."
The man brought his son to the Sufi after the prayer. The Sufi had sat in the room. When they entered the room, the Sufi said to the man: "Lift up your son to pick up the bread I have put that high."
The man lifted up his son and the boy picked up the bread and brought down and handed it over to the Sufi. The Sufi while was worried took it. Suddenly he began to smile and expressing his joy and happiness. The Sufi embraced the boy and kissed him. Then he divided the bread between himself and the boy. The man became upset due to this act of the Sufi, and asked him: "Why didn't give me bread?"
The Sufi replied: "It was thirty years that I had put that bread on the high. I was said that this bread would become warm and soft in the hands of a person who a world would become alive due to him. That person is your son."
Sufi believed that this word was humble and non-real. He could not have any interest and attachment to anything of it, even if that thing was the religious teachings.
Sufi said: "When I have reached the fact, I have in fact released myself from any bond to this world even being religion and worship based on its legal regulations."
Of course, this does not mean that all the Sufis were careless to the religious worship of God or did not read Quran or doubted in the subject of prophecy or in the truth of the words of the prophet of Islam. In fact really most of the Sufis had longest worships and read the most romantic prays. Most of them believed in the existence of God and the truth of the speeches of the prophets and believed that the prophet of Islam was the last prophet. Nevertheless, they believed that all these tasks belonging to this world. They stated that they had reached the other world and so had become released from all these problems.
It was the reason why they did not search to find any reason to prove the prophecy of the prophet and truth of his speeches.
On this way, some Sufis had appeared who were careless to religious legal laws like prayer. This group of Sufis said: "These orders are for this world which is not a real world. When I have reached the fact and I have become a part of the fact, I don't need to do these orders of the religion."
Generally in the viewpoint of Sufi, well behaving and evil, sin and right action, bad and good and … are all parts of classification of this unreal world and in the world of fact there is no there is no well behaving and there is no evil and there is no sin and there is no right action and there is no bad and there is no good. There, the system of existence is based on other things.
So while they acted in a Sufi manner, they did not interfere in government works and neither paid attention to the needs of the nation. They neither noticed to food nor to clothing. They did neither trend to wisdom nor to jurisprudence and hadith. They belied that heart sufficed for everything.
The name of the child whose hands made a piece of thirty years old stale bread fresh and warm was Abu Saeed. The name of his father was Abu al-Khair. So he was called as Abu Saeed Abu al-Khair. After educating in various field of Islamic sciences, this person had a visit to Mohammed ibn Hasan Sarakhsi, the great Sufi of Sarakhs. Afterwards he was transformed mentally and went to the monastery from school. He was first teached in Sarakhs and Mihaneh under consideration of the great Sufis of Khorasan until when he became a master. After passing elementary stages and reaching the world of fact and ownership of so many Keramat, he went to Neyshabour and residented in a monastery and began to educate the disciples.
Abu Saeed did two important works: First, he reconciled Sufis with the religion and expelled those Sufis who were careless to religious legal regulation from the group of Sufis around himself. Second, he announced that music and sama was allowed in monastery, and himself acted that times and times. After Abu Saeed, building of monasteries in Khorasan and other Islamic cities grew more intensely, and the interest and attention of the people and the statesmen increased to Sufism and the dervishes.
Abu Saeed educated so many disciples. Their disciples went through all parts of Iran. The importance that the Ghaznavid Turks and men of their courts gave to the Sufis was enormous even while there was opposition of the jurisprudents with them. After Abu Saeed, so many of monasteries were built by politician men. For example it is said that Khaje Nizam al-Molk had built a number of monasteries and common houses for the Sufis.
Common houses for the Sufis and monasteries where places for Sufis for their austerities and seclusion. They went or resided there and away from the views and attention of others did their works. The common houses had other benefits too. There, the leaders of Sufism educated the disciples and held the sessions for lecture or sama. Also they played role of inns for the Sufis who were travelling.