Shaykh Abu al-Hasan al-Kharqani (q.s.) & His Lion

بِسۡمِ ٱللهِ ٱلرَّحۡمَـٰنِ ٱلرَّحِيمِ

The following is extracted from the “Treatment for Anger” by Mawlana Shah Hakim Muhammad Akhtar Swahib (r.a.).

Shaykh Abu al-Hasan al-Kharqani (q.s.) used to ride on a lion, bringing with him wood from the jungle on it, and if sometimes the lion would become troublesome, he would whip it with a live snake.  A person from Khurasan went to Kharqan to take the pledge, bay’at, at the shaykh’s hands.  When he arrived at the Shaykh Abu al-Hasan’s (q.s.) house, he was not home and the prospective murid encountered his wife.

She asked the man why he had come, and he related his reason.  She was an ill-tempered woman and upon hearing this she recited, “Laa hawla wa laa quwwata illah bi Allah,” and then said, “Who in this world can know the condition of this man better than I?  I am with him day and night.  He is a crafty deceiver!  How did you get involved with him?  Have you no brains?”

She spoke so bitterly to him that he cried and thought to himself that his trip had been in vain.  However, the people of the locality urged him to go into the jungle, and meet Shaykh Abu al-Hasan (q.s.), and not form any opinion about the shaykh as his wife was an ill-tempered woman.  When he reached the jungle, sure enough, there was Shaykh Abu al-Hasan (q.s.), seated on the lion’s back.

Mawlana Jalal ad-Din ar-Rumi (q.s.) said that through mukashafat, it transpired to Shaykh Abu al-Hasan al-Kharqani (q.s.) that this person had heard his wife’s bitter words and was aggrieved.  Shaykh Abu al-Hasan (q.s.) laughed and asked what the matter was.  The visitor asked, “O Shaykh, your wife is a very bad-tempered woman; why did you marry her?”

Shaykh Abu al-Hasan (q.s.) replied, “The miracle which you see in front of you, was attained by patiently bearing the harms caused to me by this woman.”

In the words of Mawlana ar-Rumi (q.s.), “If my patience would not tolerate the burden of her ill-temper, then do you think this lion would bear my burden and become my slave.”  It is the way of Allah (s.w.t.), that when He Blesses one with a gift, He Does so after training of the nafs.


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