Shaykha Rabi'ah's (q.s.) Gifts to Shaykh Hasan al-Baswri (q.s.)

بِسۡمِ ٱللهِ ٱلرَّحۡمَـٰنِ ٱلرَّحِيمِ

This is adapted from the Tadzkirat al-Awliya’ of Farid ad-Din ‘Aththar (q.s.).  It is said that once Shaykha Rabi’ah al-‘Adawiyyah (q.s.) sent Shaykh Hasan al-Baswri (q.s.) three things - a piece of wax, a needle, and a hair.

“Be like wax,” she said.  “Illumine the world, and yourself burn.  Be like a needle, always be working naked.  When you have done these two things, a thousand years will be for you as a hair.”

“Do you desire for us to get married?” Shaykh Hasan (q.s.) asked Shaykha Rabi’ah (q.s.).

“The tie of marriage applies to those who have being,” Shaykha Rabi’ah (q.s.) replied.  “Here, being has disappeared, for I have become noughted to self and exist only through Him.  I Belong Wholly to Him.  I live in the shadow of His Control.  You must ask my hand of Him, not of me.”

“How did you find this secret, Rabi’ah?” Shaykh Hasan (q.s.) asked.

“I lost all ‘found’ things in Him,” Shaykha Rabi’ah (q.s.) replied.

“How do you know Him?” Shaykh Hasan (q.s.) inquired.

“You know the ‘how’; I know the ‘howless’,” Shaykha Rabi’ah (q.s.) said.

So what then of the hair?


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