Abu Bakr ash-Shibli (247-334 A.H)(861-946 C.E)

Abu Bakr ash-Shibli a famous Sufi and Maliki faqih.

His family was from Khorasan, from a village there called Shibla. He was born in Samarra or Baghdad. He grew up in Baghdad.

Abu Bakr al-Khatib said, "His uncle was the Amir of the Amirs in Alexandria."

Abu 'Abdu'r-Rahman said: "He was a man of knowledge and a faqih in the school of Malik. He wrote out many hadiths. He mentioned that the beginning of his repentance was in the assembly of Khayr an-Nassaj. He kept the company of al-Junayd and the shaykhs of his time. He was unique in his age in state and knowledge. He transmitted hadith with isnad."

Al-Junayd said, "Do not look at ash-Shibli with the eye by which you look at others." He said, "Every people has a crown and the crown of these people is ash-Shibli."

Abu 'Abdullah ar-Razi said: "The shaykhs of Iraq say, 'The wonders of Baghdad in Sufism are three: the indications of ash-Shibli, the fine sayings of al-Murta'ish and the stories of Ja'far.

As-Sulami reported that Abu 'Abdullah ar-Razi said, "I did not see anyone in Sufism with more knowledge than ash-Shibli."

It is said that a slavegirl of ash-Shibli remarked to him, "I have counted six months in which you have not slept."

He said, "My father left 60,000 dinars, not to mention the estates and real estate, and I spent all of it. Then I sat with the poor and I did not go back to a refuge nor appeal for help from anyone."

He said, "Tasawwuf is the heart resting in the fans of purity, the thoughts being enveloped by the curtain of fidelity, and taking on the character of generosity and joy in the encounter."

He said, "Tasawwuf is love of the Majestic and hatred of the insignificant and following descent and fear of reversal."

He was asked, "Who is the Sufi?" and he replied, "The one who does not ask, does not repel and does not store up." It was said, "Who is the faqir?" He said, "The one who is at home with non-existence as he is at home with oneness."

He also said, "Tasawwuf is to curb your senses and guard your breaths."

Al-Junayd said to him, "If you were to return your affair to Allah, glory be to Him! you would have rest." Ash-Shibli said to him, "Abu'l-Qasim, if Allah were to return your affair to you, you would have rest." Al-Junayd said to him, "The swords of ash-Shibli drip with blood."

Abu 'Abdu'r-Rahman as-Sulami said, "Ash-Shibli died in Dhu'l-Hijja in 334." Another said, "On Friday on the next to the last night of the month." Ibn Nafi' said that it was in 335.

Al-Khatib said, "The first is sounder. It was when he was 87. He was buried in the al-Khayrazan cementary in Baghdad, and his grave is known there."

Al-Khuldi said, "I asked Bakran, the servant of ash-Shibli, 'What did you notice in him when he died?' He said, 'He told me, "There is a dirham of injustice against me, and I have given thousands in sadaqa for its owner. There is nothing which occupies my heart more than it." Then he said, "Do wudu' for the prayer for me," and I did it. Then I forgot to let the water run through his beard. He could not speak, so he took my hand and put it in his beard. Then he died, may Allah have mercy on him."