Anfas al-Arifin: A Little Help From Sadi al-Shirazi


When living in Saudia Arabia I recall one day sitting with some Salafi colleagues.  One of them (who was from the UK) all of a sudden mentioned to the brothers present that “Not many people know this, but Shaykh al-Uthaimeen’s teacher Allamah al-Sadi wrote poetry in Persian”.  I was struck by the oddness of the claim, especially considering the fact as to how would Allamah al-Sadi from Najd have learnt Persian, more less authored poetry in the language which could remain unknown for so long.  Still perplexed a few moments later it dawned on me that perhaps the brother had mistaken Sadi al-Shirazi for his namesake Abd al-Rahman al-Sadi.  I felt it necessary to clarify this point in the gathering, and felt a little bad seeing the expression on the brothers face when I did so.  Anyways regarding this same Sadi al-Shirazi, Shah Waliullah mentions the following incident from his father in the ‘Anfas al-Arifin’  (pg.111-112):

He said that in Akbarabad during studies with Mir Muhammad Zahid once on the way back from a lesson I passed by a long alleyway.  At that time I was reciting with full enjoyment these verses of Sadi Shirazi:

Juz ya dost har che kunni umr zai ast
Juz sirr ishq har che najawani batalat ast
Ittifaq ki baat chu tha dil az naqsh ghair haq
Ilmi ki rah bahaqq nanmayad jahalat ast

It so happened that the fourth verse had slipped from my mind, I exerted my mind to remember but I did not.  The break in this flow  caused a serious perplexment and a lack of enjoyment developed that suddenly a person who looked like a dervish (faqir), with a fine face, long hair appeared and prompted me:

Ilmi ki rah bahaqq nanmayad jahalat ast

I said: May Allah reward you the best of rewards, you have delivered me from so much upset.  I presented some paan to him.

He said to me smiling:  Is this the wage for reminding of a forgotten verse?

I replied no, I am presenting this as a gift and and thanks.

At this he said that: I do not use paan.

I said: Is there some legal prohibition regarding paan or is it some rule of a tariqah?  If it such a matter tell me so that I may also avoid it.

He replied:  It is not such a matter it is just that I do not eat paan.  He then said: I should be going quickly.

I said: I will also go quickly.

He said:  I will go very quickly, at this he lifted his foot and placed it at the end of the alleyway.  I understood that this was the soul of one of the people of Allah which has manifested in a human form.

I called out that atleast inform me of your name so that I may recite fatiha for you!

He replied:  This “faqir” is called Sadi.

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