Grand Shaykh Abu al-Hasan al-Kharqani (q.s.)

بِسۡمِ ٱللهِ ٱلرَّحۡمَـٰنِ ٱلرَّحِيمِ

Grand Shaykh Abu al-Hasan ‘Ali ibn Ja’far al-Kharqani (q.s.) was the Arch-Intercessor of his time and unique in his station.  He was the focus of attention of his people and an ocean of knowledge from which saints still receive waves of light and spiritual knowledge.  His shaykh was Abu Yazid Tayfur al-Bistami (q.s.).

Shaykh Abu al-Hasan al-Kharqani (q.s.) proved a deep well of knowledge for his followers and supporters.  He emptied himself of everything except Allah’s (s.w.t.) Oneness, refusing for himself all titles and aspirations.  He would not be known as a follower of any science, even a spiritual science, and he said, “I am not a hermit.  I am not an ascetic.  I am not a speaker.  I am not a Sufi.  O God, You are One, and I am one in Your Oneness.”

Of knowledge and practice, he said, “Scholars and servants in the lower world are numerous but they do not benefit you unless you are engaged in the satisfaction of God’s Desire and, from morning to night, are occupied with the deeds that God Accepts.”

About being a Sufi, he said, “The Sufi is not the one who is always carrying the prayer rug, nor the one who is wearing patched clothes, nor the one who keeps certain customs and appearances, but the Sufi is the one to whom everyone’s focus is drawn, although he is hiding himself.”

He also said, “The Sufi is the one who in the daylight does not need the sun, in the night does not need the moon.  The essence of Sufism is absolute non-existence that has no need of existence because there is no existence besides God’s Existence.”

He was asked about truthfulness.  He said, “Truthfulness is to speak your conscience.”

Of the heart, he said, “What is the best thing?  The heart that is always in remembrance of God.  The best of hearts is the heart that contains nothing but the Presence of God, Almighty and Exalted.  Today it will have been forty years that God has been Looking into my heart and has Seen nothing except Himself.  I have had nothing in my heart except God for forty years.  While my ego is asking for cold water and a drink of milk, I have not allowed it that for forty years in order to control myself.”

He also said, “The vision with the eyes of the head does not bring happiness, but the vision with the eyes of the heart and the secret that God Gives to the soul will bring out that happiness.”

Of Shaykh Bayazid (q.s.), he said, “When Abu Yazid said, ‘I want not to want’ that is exactly the wanting that is real desire.”

He was asked, “Who is the appropriate person to speak about annihilation and subsistence?”

He answered, “That is knowledge for the one who is as one suspended by a silk thread from the heavens to the earth when a big cyclone comes and takes all trees, houses, and mountains and throws them in the ocean until it fills the ocean.  If that cyclone is unable to move the one who is hanging by the silk thread, then he is the one who can speak on annihilation and subsistence.”

Once Sultan Mahmud al-Ghazni visited Shaykh Abu al-Hasan (q.s.) and asked his opinion of Shaykh Bayazid al-Bistami (q.s.).  He said, “Whoever follows Bayazid is going to be guided.  Whoever saw him and felt love towards him in his heart will reach a happy ending.”

At that, Sultan Mahmud said, “How is that possible when Abu Jahl saw the Prophet (s.a.w.) and he was unable to reach a happy ending but rather ended up in misery?”

He answered, “It is because Abu Jahl did not see the Prophet (s.a.w.) but he saw Muhammad ibn ‘Abdullah.  And if he saw the Messenger of God (s.a.w.), he would have moved out of misery into happiness.  As God Said, ‘You see them looking at you but without clear vision.’”

… Thou wilt see them looking at thee, but they see not. (Surah al-A’araf:198)

He continued with the saying already quoted, “The vision with the eyes of the head ...” 

He also said, “Ask for difficulties in order for tears to appear because God Loves those who cry,” referring to the advice of the Prophet (s.a.w.) to cry much.

With regards to supplications, he said, “In whatever way you ask God for anything, still the Qur’an is the best way.  Do not ask God except through the Qur’an.  The inheritor of the Prophet (s.a.w.) is the one who follows his footsteps and never puts black marks in his Book of Deeds.”

Grand Shaykh Abu al-Hasan al-Kharqani (q.s.) passed away on Tuesday, 10th of Muharram in 425 AH / 1033 CE.  He was buried in Kharqan, a village of the city of Bistam in Iran.  He passed on the secret of the Golden Chain to Shaykh Abu ‘Ali al-Fadhl ibn Muhammad al-Farmadi at-Tusi (q.s.).  Shaykh Abu ‘Ali al-Farmadi (q.s.) was the shaykh of al-Hujatullah, Imam Abu Hamid Muhammad ibn Mohammad al-Ghazzali at-Tusi (r.a.).


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