Shaykha Rabi'ah al-‘Adawiyyah (q.s.) & the Three Aqthab

بِسۡمِ ٱللهِ ٱلرَّحۡمَـٰنِ ٱلرَّحِيمِ

Shaykh Farid ad-Din ‘Aththar (q.s.) made mention in his Tadzkirat al-Awliya’ of the famous instance when three aqthab visited Shaykha Rabi’ah al-‘Adawiyyah (q.s.) when she fell ill.  It is related that Shaykh Hasan al-Baswri (q.s.), Shaykh Malik ibn Dinar (q.s.), and Shaykh Shaqiq al-Balkhi (q.s.) went to visit Shaykha Rabi’ah (q.s.).  The conversation turned to the question of sincerity as they attempted to offer her solace.

Shaykh Hasan (q.s.) said, “None is sincere is his claim to love God, unless he patiently endures the Blows of his Lord.”

Shaykha Rabi’ah (q.s.) said, “This talk stinks of egotism.”

Shaykh Shaqiq (q.s.), attempting to elevate the answer and definition, said, “None is sincere is his claim to love God unless he is not grateful for the Blows of his Master.”

Shaykha Rabi’ah (q.s.) said, “We need something better than this.”

Shaykh Malik ibn Dinar (q.s.) said, “None is sincere is his claim to love God unless he does not delight in the Blows of his Master.”

Shaykha Rabi’ah (q.s.) said, “We need something better than this.”

They said, “Now you speak.”

Shaykha Rabi’ah (q.s.) said, “No one is sincere in his claim to love God, unless he forgets the Blows in beholding his Lord, from enduring, to giving thanks, to delighting, to forgetting the tribulation in his love for God.”


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