SHAIKH ABUL HASAN SHADHILI (رضئ الله تعالی عنه)
الحمد لله رب العالمين ، والصلاة والسلام على سيدنا محمد وعلى آله وصحبه أجمعين
Shaikh Abul Hasan Ali Ibn Abdullah Shadhili (رضئ الله تعالی عنه) is distinct among Awliya Allah. He is undisputed Sultan-ul-Maghrib (North Africa) enthroned with the legacy of spiritual enlightenment of people. His prominence among Awliya-e-Kubaar is acknowledged. Sufia-e-karaam, irrespective of their lineage, benefit from his ocean like knowledge and benefaction all over the world. No doubt, he helped many to soar high in the sky of Wilaya.
Shaikh Abul Hasan Shadhili (رضئ الله تعالى عنه) is my Grand Shaikh in Shadhili order. His support has been of significant in our campaign for the spread of Sahih Iman in the world.
I have written many encomiums in praise of my Shuyookh. The following are a few couplets in this regard which are part of my English Kalam (poetry).
I loved you a lot, for your kindnessFor Awliya Allah, I developed fondnessOn divine way, you led me alongOn this path, you made me strong
With meteoric pace, I came of ageYou pushed me reach, to this stageNo words to express, my full gratitudeYou let me peak, at this altitudeHelp me spread, your legacyIn cleaning hearts, from heresyLet people benefit, in this lifeAnd salvation, in afterlifeO’my Shuyookh I am so thankfulFor all your help I am grateful
BLESSED BIRTHShaikh Abul Hasan Shadhili (رضئ الله تعالی عنه) was born in Bani Yafrah village in the region of Ghumara (Western Rif), near Tétouan, in northern Morocco, in 1196 AD (593 AH). He was direct descendant of Khalifat-e-Rasulullah, Amir-ul-Momineen, Hadhrat Ali Ibn Ali Talib ( رضئ الله تعالی عنه) from both mother's and father's side.EARLY LIFEShaikh Abul Hasan Shadhili (رضئ الله تعالی عنه) received education in his home town and memorized Quran at an early age. Later he studied at Al-Quaraouiyine university (جامعة القرويين) of Fez, Morocco. It is reported that as a young man, he was famous for his ability to engage in religious debates with scholars on fiqh and other religious subjects.SHUYOOKH AND TEACHERSShaikh Shadhli (رضئ الله تعالى عنه) had taken baya on the hands of Shaikh Mohammed Ibn Harazem (d.1218) when he was studying at Quaraouiyine University. Shaikh Harazem (رضئ الله تعالى عنه) was his teacher at the University. He was instrumental in changing the orientation of Shaikh Shadhili (رضئ الله تعالى عنه). In his company he developed the interest to find the Qutb al-Aqtab (Ghouse) of that time to learn more about the intrinsic spirit of Islam.After completion of his studies at Quaraouiyine University, Shaikh Shadhili (رضئ الله تعالی عنه) traveled to the East that took him to Tunis, and Iraq, etc. He related his stay in Iraq, as follows.When I came to Iraq, I met Shaikh Abu al-Fath al-Wasiti, the like of whom I did not see in Iraq. I learned a lot in his company. I met some other prominent Shuyookh in Iraq. During my stay there, my quest was to see the Qutb al-Aqtab (Ghouse) of that time so that I could learn in his company. I expected him to be in Iraq. However, one of the Shuyookh in Iraq told me 'you are searching for Qutb al-Aqtab in Iraq, while he is in your country. Return to your land and you will find him'.Shaikh Shadhili (رضئ الله تعالى عنه) returned to Maghrib (Morocco) and found Qutb al-Aqtab of that time Shaikh Mohammad Abdul Salam Ibn Mashish (رضئ الله تعالى عنه). He related his meeting with the Shaikh as follows.Shaikh Ibn Mashish (رضئ الله تعالى عنه) lived on top of a mountain. I climbed the mountain and reached his abode and knocked at his door. He came out, did not ask who I was and did not let me in. He asked me to go to the bottom of the mountain and do wudu in the spring there. I had already done the wudu in that spring when I climbed the mountain to see him. But I did not tell him this. I went back to the bottom of the mountain and did wudu again. When I went to his door, he came out and again he asked me to go back and do wudu in the spring. I had done the wudu second time. However, I did not say anything and went back to do wudu at the spring down. On the way, I thought why the Shaikh was sending me again and again to do the Wudu. I turned towards Allah (سبحانه و تعالى) and His guidance came to my mind. This time I bathed at the spring and forsook my dependence on my knowledge and works and climbed the mountain as a person in need. When I was climbing up on the hill, I realized that the Shaikh was coming down towards me wearing a patched cloak. He was wearing a palm leaves cap on his head. He said, 'welcome to Ibn Abdullah Ibn al-Jabbar and mentioned my lineage up to Prophet Mohammad (صلى الله عليه و آله وسلم). Then he said, O'Ali, you have come up to us destitute of your knowledge and works, so you will receive from us the riches of this world and the next. When I heard him saying this, awe of him seized me. I followed him to his abode and remained with him for some days until Allah (سبحانه و تعالى) awakened my perception, and I realized that the Shaikh was the Qutb al-Aqtab (Ghouse) of that time.Shaikh Shadhili (رضئ الله تعالى عنه) related an incident during his stay with the Shaikh, as follows.One day as I sat in front of him while his young son played with him on his lap. After a while, it came to my mind to ask him concerning the greatest name (اِسمِ اعظم) of Allah (سبحانه و تعالى). The child came to me, threw his arms around my neck and shook me saying, 'O Abul Hassan, you desired to question the Shaikh concerning the greatest name of Allah (سبحانه و تعالى). It is not a matter of importance that you should ask about the greatest name of Allah (سبحانه و تعالى). The important thing is that the greatest secret (سِر) of Allah (سبحانه و تعالى) should be lodged in your heart.' Shaikh Ibn Mashish (رضئ الله تعالى عنه) smiled and said, the son has answered you for me.Maqam of Shaikh Ibn Mashish (رضئ الله تعالى عنه) at Jebel Alam, in the Rif Mountains, Morocco.Shaikh Shadhili (رضئ الله تعالى عنه) spent sometime in the company of his Shaikh at his abode on top of Mount Alam. Later Shaikh asked him to go to Afriqiya (Tunis). He relates his departure to Tunis as follows.After spending some time in the company, the Shaikh said to me, O'Ali, depart to the province of Ifriqiya (Tunis) and stay there in a place called Shadhila for Allah (سبحانه و تعالى) will name you 'Shadhili'. After that you will move to the city of Tunis where charges will be brought against you before authorities. Afterwords, you will go further to the East. I told him, O' my master, give me spiritual bequest to stay firm on the path. He said, O'Ali, Allah (سبحانه و تعالى) is Allah (سبحانه و تعالى) and men are men. Keep your tongue from the mention of them and your heart from inclining towards them and be careful to guard your limbs and fulfill divine ordinances so that Wilaya will be perfected in you.
After departing from Shaikh's abode, Shaikh Shadhili (رضئ الله تعالى عنه) traveled towards Tunis, and as directed by his Shaikh, stayed in Shadhila village which was on the way at some distance from Tunis.
Many incidents are reported about the period of his stay in Shadhila when Shaikh Shadhili (رضئ الله تعالى عنه) used to wander in nearby Jungles. He has related one such incident as follows.
One night I lodged myself in a Jungle where there were many wild beasts. The beasts began to growl at me. So I climb up on a hill and said, 'By Allah (سبحانه و تعالى), I will recite Durood on Apostle Mohammad (صلى الله عليه و آله وسلم). Surely, the Prophet (صلى الله عليه و آله وسلم) said ' if anybody recites Durood once, by that act, Allah's (سبحانه و تعالى) blessings will be upon that person tenfold. And if the blessing of Allah (سبحانه و تعالى) is upon me, I shall pass the night under His protection.' So I started reciting Durood and feared nothing. At dawn I went to a pool of water for ablution for Fajr prayer. There was a mass of reeds near the pool from which hundreds of partridges emerged with a great flutter of wings. Fear overcame me and I drew back. Then I was summoned within me with the words, 'O'Ali, when you passed last night under the care of Allah (سبحانه و تعالى) and the growling of the wild beasts at you did not frighten you. But when you arose today under your own care, the flutter of partridge feathers has caused you to be afraid'.
One more incident is related as follows that shows Shaikh Ibn Mashish's (رضئ الله تعالى عنه) guidance and attention (توجھہ) continued towards Shaikh Shadhili (رضئ الله تعالى عنه) even though he was not with him physically.
One night during the period of wandering, I came to a cave to pass the night. Within, I heard the voice of a man praising Allah (سبحانه و تعالى). I said, 'By Allah (سبحانه و تعالى) I will not trouble him this night'. So I passed the night at the mouth of the cave. About dawn I heard him say, 'O'Allah (سبحانه و تعالى), verily some people pray that men should be brought in their presence and be subject to them. O'Allah (سبحانه و تعالى), I pray for their removal from me and for their shunning of me that I may have no refuge except in you'. When it became light, that person came out and I was surprised to see that he was my Shaikh Ibn Mashish (رضئ الله تعالى عنه). Thereupon I said to him, 'O'Shaikh, last night I heard you say so and so'. He replied, O'Ali, which is better for you, that you should say, 'Be You (O'Allah - سبحانه و تعالى) for me', or 'Cause the hearts of your creatures to be submissive to me'? For whenever Allah (سبحانه و تعالى) is there for you, you have everything.
Shaikh Shadhili's (رضئ الله تعالى عنه) stay in Shadhila village was the time of asceticism, seclusion and spiritual development during which the depth of his self-denial was accompanied by the manifestation of marvels (karamaat) that were witnessed by people. Some of these episodes were recorded by his Murid and companion Shaikh Abu Muhammad al-Habibi (رحمة الله عليه).
One such incident recorded by Shaikh al-Habibi (رحمة الله عليه) is as follows.
After forty days of my keeping company with Shaikh Ali ash-Shadhili in seclusion, feeding on nothing but herbs of the fields and laurel leaves until my cheeks went inside my teeth and I felt extremely weak, the Shaikh asked 'O `Abdullah, is it that you wished for food?' I said, 'O my Master, my looking at you enables me to do without it.' The Shaikh then said, 'tomorrow, if Allah (سبحانه و تعالى) wills, we shall go down to Shadhila (village) and some Gift from Allah (سبحانه و تعالى) will come to us.
The next morning we descended, and while we were walking through a valley, Shaikh told to me, 'O Abdullah, if I should leave this road, do not follow me.' Then he disappeared. After sometime he appeared and I saw him walking at some distance from me. I witnessed four birds, resembling like falcons, come down from the sky and fly over his head. Each one of them came close in front of him as if they were talking to him. After sometime, they flew away. Then I saw several hundred birds about the size of pigeons surrounded him between the earth and the horizon, hovering in circles over him. After a while, they disappeared. A little later, I saw the Shaikh appeared close by me walking along with me. He said, 'O Abdullah, did you see anything.' I told him of what I had seen and he said, 'The four birds were from the angels who came to question me about Knowledge. The birds resembling pigeons were the spirits of Awliya Allah who came to receive blessing.'
It was around this time that the Shaikh was awarded the title of "Shadhili". He related this incident as follows.
Allah (سبحانه و تعالى) informed me 'O Ali, I am awarding you with the title of 'Shadhili'. It is not with reference to your stay in Shadhila village, rather you are 'ash-Shadhi-li' (the one who is set apart for Me).
Shortly after receiving the title, Shaikh Shadhili (رضئ الله تعالى عنه) was commanded to go to people and teach them the intrinsic spirit of Islam. He implored, 'O my Lord, relieve me of their company. Do not leave me with the people'. He was commanded, do not worry, you will be in peace.
After receiving the divine commandment, Shaikh Shadhili (رضئ الله تعالى عنه) proceeded to Tunis and started calling people towards Allah (سبحانه و تعالى). In Tunis also he continued his practice of retreat and seclusion. The place of his retreat in Tunis was a cave located near Jallaz Cemetry. It was on this place that Shadhiliyya Zawiya was built later.
In Tunis, Shaikh Shadhili spent some time in the company of Shaikh Abu Sa'id al-Baji (رضئ الله تعالى عنه). He relates his meeting with Shaikh Abu Sa'id al-Baji (رضئ الله تعالى عنه) as follows.
When I entered the city of Tunis I went to some Shuyookh as I had a certain matter I wished to present to someone for clarification. But no one among them could clarify about the state I was going through until I met Shaikh Abu Sa'id al-Bagi (رضئ الله تعالى عنه). He informed me of my state before I revealed it, and discussed my thoughts and guided me. I realized that he was a great Shaikh. I remained close to him and benefited from his company.
Shaikh Abu Madyan Shuaib (رضئ الله تعالى عنه)
Shaikh Abu Madyan Shuaib (1126-1198) was the Grand Shaikh of (i) Shaikh Shadhili (1196-1258), (ii) Shaikh Mohiuddin Ibn Arabi (1165-1240), and (iii) Shaikh Muhammad Ba 'Alawi (1178-1232). Shaikh Ba'Alawi was the founder of Ba'Alawiyya Sufi order of Yemen (رضئ الله تعالى عنهم اجمعين).
Shaikh Shadhili (رضئ الله تعالى عنه) had taken baya on the hand of Shaikh Abdus Salam Ibn Mashish (1140-1227) (رضئ الله تعالى عنه). Shaikh Ibn Mashish was Murid of Shaikh Abdur Rahman Attar Az-Zayyat (رضئ الله تعالى عنه) but had the honor of learning under Shaikh Abu Madyan (رضئ الله تعالى عنه) as well for many years.
Shaikh Abu Madyan (رضئ الله تعالى عنه) Dome in Telecemen, Western Algeria.
Shaikh Abu Madyan was the Grand Shaikh of Shaikh Shadhili from another lineage. Shaikh Shadhli had taken baya in his youth on the hands of Shaikh Mohammed Ibn Harazem (d.1218) when he was studying at Quaraouiyine University. Shaikh Mohammed Ibn Harazem was the grandson of Shaikh Abul Hassan Ali Ibn Harzihim (d.1163) and student of Shaikh Abu Salih Mohammed Majiri. Shaikh Majiri (1153–1234) was one of the successors of Shaikh Abu Madyan. And Shaikh Abul Hassan Ali Ibn Harazihim was the Shaikh of Abu Madyan (رضئ الله تعالى عنهم اجمعين).
Shaikh Abu Madyan (رضئ الله تعالى عنه) traveled to many places in search of knowledge, including Makka, Madina, Baghdad, etc. When he was in Baghdad, he had the honor to meet Ghousul Azam Shaikh Abdul Qadir Jilani (رضئ الله تعالى عنه). It is reported that he stayed in Khankha Qadriya for sometime and completed his studies under Ghousul Azam (رضئ الله تعالى عنه).
Shaikh Mohiuddin Ibn Arabi (رضئ الله تعالى عنه) has related an incident which testifies his love and respect for his Grand Shaikh Abu Madyan (رضئ الله تعالى عنه) as follows.
One day I happened to be in a mosque in Seville (Spain) on top of a mountain along with my Shaikh Abu Yaqub bin Yakhlaf Qumi al-Abbasi (رضئ الله تعالى عنه), who had been a companion of my Grand Shaikh Abu Madyan (رضئ الله تعالى عنه) for many years. After Asr prayer, Shaikh said: 'let us return to town. He mounted his horse and I walked alongside him. Along the way he talked to me of the virtues and marvels (karamaat) of Abu Madyan (رضئ الله تعالى عنه). I was all ears, and forgot myself entirely, keeping my eyes fixed on his face the whole time. Suddenly he looked at me, smiled and spurring his horse and made me run in order to keep up with him. I succeeded in doing so. Finally he stopped, and said to me, 'look what you have left behind.' I looked back and saw that the way along which we had come was full of thorn bushes that reached as high as my chest, and that the ground was also covered with thorns. He said, 'look at your feet!' I looked at them and saw no trace of thorns. He asked, 'look at your clothes?' On them too I found no trace of thorns. Then he said: 'That comes from the grace of our talk about Shaikh Abu Madyan (رضئ الله تعالى عنه)'. (Ruhul Quds Fi Munasahat an-Nafs by Muhiuddin Ibn Arabi)
Imam Ibn Hajar al-Haytamī al-Makkī was a famous Muhaddith and theologian. He belonged to Shadhili order. He wrote as follows:
When Shaikh Abdul Qadir Jilani (رضئ الله تعالى عنه) declared in Baghdad during a sermon 'this foot (of mine) is over the necks of all Awliya Allah' ( قدمي هذه علٰى رقبة كل ولي الله ); not only the people present heard it, but Awliya Allah from around the world heard it spiritually and accepted by bending their heads.(i) Shaikh Abdul Qahir Abu-Najib Suhrawardi (رضئ الله تعالى عنه) bent his head and said 'On my head, on my head'.
(ii) Shaikh Ahmad Kabir Rifa'i (رضئ الله تعالى عنه) bent his head and said - 'This small Ahmad is also among them on whose neck is the foot the Master. When he was asked by his Murideen about his sudden action of bending his head and his statement, he replied 'At this moment, Shaikh Abdul Qadir (رضئ الله تعالى عنه) has announced in Baghdad that his foot is on the necks of all the Awliya Allah. Therefore, I too humbly said that this small Ahmad is also among them.(iii) Shaikh Abu Madyan Shu'ib (رضئ الله تعالى عنه) also bent his head and said - ' I am also among them. O'Allah (سبحانه و تعالى) be my witness and make all the Angels witness that I heard the command of (قدمي هذه علٰى رقبة كل ولي الله) and obeyed.(iv) Shaikh Abdur Rahim Qanawi (رضئ الله تعالى عنه) bent his heck to the ground and said - 'The truthful has spoken the truth.'All Awliya Allah also said, Ghousul Azam (رضئ الله تعالى عنه) did not make that statement on his own accord but he was commanded by Allah (سبحانه و تعالى) to do so.(Fatawa Hadithiyya, Published by Dar al-Ihya al-Turath al Arabi, Berut, Lebanon, Page 414).
STAY IN TUNIS
After receiving the divine commandment to go to people for teaching, Shaikh Shadhili (رضئ الله تعالى عنه) proceeded to Tunis city. Around 1243 AD, he began calling people to Allah (سبحانه و تعالى). He started giving sermons in al-Balat Mosque. His sermons were effective and soon people started gathering in great numbers. This news reached Sultan Abu Zakariyya. He was also impressed by Shaikh's lectures. It is reported that 40 people took baya on the hand of Shaikh Shadhili (رضئ الله تعالى عنه) in the beginning that marked the beginning of Shadhiliyya Sufi order.
Shaikh Shadhili's (رضئ الله تعالى عنه) popularity in Tunis had its implications. The scholars of the city became envious. On the forefront of them was a scholar named Abul Qasim Ibn Bara, Chief Mufti, who tried to defame the Shaikh by leveling false charges. However, he did not succeed in his endeavors. When the defamation attempts failed, the scholars complained to Sultan Abu Zakariyya saying Shaikh Shadhili (رضئ الله تعالى عنه) was a fraud and imposter belonging to Fatimid (shia) lineage. They also convinced him that taking advantage of his popularity, the Shaikh may stir trouble in the region.
In order to find the truth, Sultan Abu Zakariyya called for a meeting of all prominent scholars of that time along with Shaikh Shadhili (رضئ الله تعالى عنه) in which they were allowed to question the Shaikh about their accusations. The Sultan hid himself behind a veil but listened to the proceedings. After a long debate, the meeting was inconclusive as the scholars could not prove their charges. Thus Shaikh Shadhili (رضئ الله تعالى عنه) was allowed to go back to his Madrasa. The meeting did not help Shaikh Shadhili (رضئ الله تعالى عنه) much as the opposition to him increased day by day and Sultan did nothing to stop the scholars from defaming him.
When the opposition grew, Shaikh Shadhili (رضئ الله تعالى عنه) decided to leave Tunis with the intention for Hajj. He left Tunis with a large number of his Murideen. When this news reached the Sultan, he sent his messenger to request the Shaikh to stay in Tunis. Shaikh replied, I am leaving with the intention for Hajj, and if Allah (سبحانه و تعالى) wills, I will return back.
On his way to Hajj, when Shaikh Shadhili (رضئ الله تعالى عنه) reached Iskandariya (Alexandria), he was detained by Egyptian military on the order of Sultan of Egypt. It was said that Ibn al-Barra had sent a letter to the ruler of Egypt saying Shaikh Shadhili (رضئ الله تعالى عنه) was a dangerous man for Egypt's security.
After detaining Shaikh Shadhili (رضئ الله تعالى عنه), the Egyptian military carried out detailed investigation but found no evidence to Ibn Al-Barra's charges. The Shaikh was allowed to proceed for Hajj along with his Murideen.
After Hajj, Shaikh Shadhili (رضئ الله تعالى عنه) returned to Tunis and stayed there for a few months. Around this time Shaikh Abul Abbas al-Mursi (رحمة الله عليه), who was in his teens, took baya on the hands of Shaikh Shadhili (رضئ الله تعالى عنه). Shaikh al-Mursi (رحمة الله عليه), later became the successor of Shaikh Shadhili (رضئ الله تعالى عنه).
ARRIVAL IN EGYPT
It is reported that in 1246, Shaikh Shadhili (رضئ الله تعالى عنه) was commanded by Prophet Mohammad (صلى الله عليه و آله وسلم) to go to Egypt to guide people there. The Prophet's (صلى الله عليه و آله وسلم) commandment came during peak summer time and it was difficult to travel in the desert under scorching sun. The Prophet (صلى الله عليه و آله وسلم) told him not to worry about the heat as a cloud will give shade to his caravan and he will receive rain on the way that will be sufficient for him and his Murideen. It is said that Shaikh Shadhili (رضئ الله تعالى عنه) was made Qutb al-Aqtab (Ghouse) at that time.
After receiving the commandment, Shaikh left Tunisia accompanied by Shaikh Abul Abbas al-Mursi, his brother Abdullah, his servant Abu Azayim and a large number of his Murideen. Shaikh made Alexandria his abode where he established his residence and his Institution (zawiya) in a large building gifted to him by the Egyptian Sultan. He lived with his family on the top floor; another floor was converted into a mosque where he gave public sermons; and a floor was converted into a great Zawiyah for his disciples, with cells for meditational retreat.
Soon, Shadhili order became very popular in Egypt, drawing into its ranks many court officials, religious scholars like Shaikh Izzuddin Ibn Abdus Salam (d. 1262), Shaikh al-Mundhiri (d.1258), and people from different segments of society. Alexandria was a distinguished city and a place of learning those days. Shaikh remained in Alexandria for the following 12 years till his death in 1258.
Back in Ifriqiya (Tunis) Shadhili Silsila was kept alive by a small group of his students with whom he kept up correspondence. Two of them wrote books about the life of their Master. One of these two students, Muhammad Ibn Sabbagh was the author of the books "The Pearl of the Secrets (Durra-tul-Asrar)" and "Treasure of the Righteous ( Tuhafat-tul- Abrar).
Shaikh Shadhili (رضئ الله تعالى عنه) did not pen down books. He used to say, my companions are my books. However, the litanies (Hizbul Baher, Hizbun Nasr, etc.) that were taught to his students were preserved.
In addition to his verbal teaching, Shaikh Shadhili (رضئ الله تعالى عنه) kept an extensive correspondence going with his Murideen who had remained behind in Tunis. Many letters passed between him and Shaikh Abul Hasan Saqalli, and Shaikh Abdus Salam al-Habibi, who remained in Ifriqiyya (Tunis) to look after the Zawiya established by him. These letters are an important source in understanding Shadhili teachings.
Battle of Mansurah was fought during February 8-11, 1250, between Crusaders led by Louis IX, the King of France and Egyptian's Ayyubid forces led by Emir Fakhruddin Yusuf. Shaikh Shadhili (رضئ الله تعالى عنه) participated in this battle along with hundreds of his Murideen. The battle was won by the Egyptians and King Louis IX and many French generals were captured.
Some of Shaikh Shadhili's (رضئ الله تعالى عنه) teachings are as follows.(i) Unity (tawhid) is a light which makes you non-existent to others and makes others non-existent to you.(ii) Flee from the good of humans more than you flee from their evil, for their evil afflicts your body while their good afflicts your heart, and that you should be afflicted in your body is a lesser affliction than that you are afflicted in your heart.
(iii) The Sufi way is the holding of one's course towards Allah (سبحانه و تعالى) by four things. The first of these four is remembrance of Allah (سبحانه و تعالى) (ذِكر), the basis of which is righteous works, and the fruit of which is illumination. The second is meditation, the basis of which is perseverance, and the fruit of which is knowledge. The third is contentment, the basis of which is thankfulness, and the fruit of which is increase in Allah's (سبحانه و تعالى) bestowal. The fourth is love, the basis of which is dislike of the world and its people and the fruit of which is union with the beloved (Allah - سبحانه و تعالى).(iv) The blindness of inner eyes/spiritual insight (بَصيرت) lies in three things; (a) Permitting physical limbs for sinful activities and disobedience to Allah (سبحانه و تعالى). (b) Artificiality in obedience to Allah (سبحانه و تعالى). And (c) Greed for what is in the possession of Allah's (سبحانه و تعالى) creatures. So whoever claims to have spiritual insight (بَصيرت), and yet one of these things is existing in him, surely his heart has been falsified by the fancies of his Nafs and whispering of Satan.(v) There are four centers of Nafs. (a) A center for desire (شہوت) for transgression. (b) A center for desire (شہوت) for obedience. (c) A Center for attainment for spiritual ranks. (c) A Center for inability to perform Islamic religious obligations.The head of the Nafs is its 'will' (ارادہ); its two hands are its knowledge (علم) and reason (عقل); and its two legs are its self management (تدبیر) and and its choice (اختیار).If you wish to strive against your Nafs, sentence it with impotence with every movement, smite it with fear at every suggestion, imprison it with Allah's (سبحانه و تعالى) grasp wherever you are, and bemoan to Him (Allah - سبحانه و تعالى) regarding your weakness whenever you are forgetful; for it is something over which you do not posses power. Verily Allah's (سبحانه و تعالى) knowledge encompasses it. So if it is subdued for you in His grasp, then it is most fitting for you that you remember the grace of Allah (سبحانه و تعالى) and be thankful to Him.(vi) Whoever feels he is rich with his material wealth, is a pauper. Whoever feels he is rich with his prestige, he is a vile. Whoever feels he is rich with his kins folk (children or clan) he is abject (menial). Whoever feels he is rich with his merits or good work is a bankrupt. Whoever feels he is rich with Allah (سبحانه و تعالى) he is indeed rich in reality.(vii) The sign of having trust in Allah (سبحانه و تعالى) is the absence of agitation (feeling distressed or upset) whenever unpleasant things occur.(viii) If you desire to look towards Allah (سبحانه و تعالى) with the eyes of faith and firm belief at all times, be thankful for His favors, and be content with His Decrees. Whatever favor you have is from Allah (سبحانه و تعالى). Then, whenever evil touches you, call upon Him. If you desire it to turn away from you, or yourself to turn away from it, worship Allah (سبحانه و تعالى) lovingly, not bargaining with Him, but knowingly with due respect and modesty.'(ix) The slave of this world is a prisoner, the slave of the Hereafter is a laborer, but the slave of Allah is an 'Amir'.(x) Someone who acquires religious knowledge in order to gain this world and to achieve status therein is like a person who picks up human excrement with a sapphire spoon. How noble the means and how dirty is the end sought. (Astaghfirullah).
During his stay in Egypt, Shaikh Shadhili (رضئ الله تعالى عنه) did Hajj every year along with his Murideen. In 1258, Genghis Khan attacked Baghdad and ransacked the city. That did not deter the Shaikh from going for Hajj. He asked his Murideen to prepare to travel for Hajj. But this time he asked that a pickaxe, shovel, and a shroud to be added to his baggage. As was his custom he set out on the southern route, known as the spice route, overland to Damanhur, via Qahira (Cairo), up the Nile to Idfu desert in Upper Egypt. From there he would cross the Red Sea to reach Jeddah in Arabian Peninsula. From Jeddah he would take the two-day camel ride to reach Makka al-Mukaramma.
Soon after entering desert 'Aydhab', Shaikh fell ill. Since it was a vast desert, they had no choice but to continue travel on camels. When they reached 'Humaythira', a place deep into the desert, Shaikh's condition deteriorated. Shaikh called his companions and advised them to continue to act upon his teachings even when he is not there among them.
In the evening, he appointed Shaikh Abul Abbas al-Mursi (رحمة الله عليه) as his successor. Then he called for a jar of water to be filled from the well at Humaythira. When he was told that water of the well was not safe to drink as it was salty, he asked them to bring it anyway. When the water was brought, he took some water into his mouth, and spat back into the jar and asked to pour the water back into the well. No sooner the jar water was poured into the well, the water of the well became sweet and fresh. The well water was sufficient for the entire caravan traveling with the Shaikh at that time. Later that night Shaikh passed away. He was buried in the middle of a vast desert at Humaythira.
After the death of Shaikh Shadhili (رضئ الله تعالی عنه), successive scholars, have written books about his deeds and sayings. These include, (i) Hikam al Ataiyya (The book of Wisdom) (ii) Miftah al-Falah wa Misbah al-Arwah (the Key to Salvation); (iii) Kitab at-Tanwir fi Isqat al-Tadbir (the Book of Illumination); (iv) Lataif al-Minan fi Manaqib Abul Abbas al-Mursi wa Shaikhihi Abul Hassan Ash-Shadhili (the Subtle Blessings in the Saintly Lives of Abul Abbas al-Mursi and his Shaikh Abul Hassan Shadhili); (v) 'Tayid al-Haqiqa al-Aliya wa Tashyid al-Tariqa Shadhiliya' (The Sublime Truths of The Shadhili Path), etc.
BIOGRAPHICAL ACCOUNTSBiographical accounts of Shaikh Abul Hassan Shadhili (رضئ الله تعالی عنه) were written and published after his death by many Shadhili scholars. The two primary sources of his biographical works are (i) Lataif al-Minan by Ibn Ata'allah, and (ii) Durratul Asrar by Ibn Sabbagh. The later biographical woks were based on the information in these books.
Spiritual Golden Chain (Shajrah-e-Tariqa) of Shaikh Abul Hassan Shadhili (رضئ الله تعالی عنه ) is as follows:(1) Ahmad Mujtaba, Mohammad Mustafa (صلى الله عليه و آله وسلم)
(2) Ameer al-Momineen Ali Ibn Abi Talib (رضئ الله تعالی عنه )
(3) Hadhrat Imam Hassan bin Ali (رضئ الله تعالی عنه )(4) Hadhrat Shaikh Mohammad Jarbadi (رضئ الله تعالى عنه)(5) Hadhrat Sa'eed al-Ghazwani (رضئ الله تعالی عنه )
(6) Hadhrat Mohammad Fath as-Su'ud (رضئ الله تعالی عنه )
(7) Hadhrat Abu Mohammad Sa'ad (رضئ الله تعالی عنه )
(8) Hadhrat Abu Mohammad Sa'eed (رضئ الله تعالی عنه )
(9) Hadhrat Abu al-Qasim bin Marwan (رضئ الله تعالی عنه )(10) Hadhrat Is'haq Ibrahim al-Basari (رضئ الله تعالی عنه )(11) Hadhrat Zainuddin al-Qazwini (رضئ الله تعالی عنه )(12) Hadhrat Mohammad Shamsuddin (رضئ الله تعالی عنه )(13) Hadhrat Mohammad Tajuddin (رضئ الله تعالی عنه )(14) Hadhrat Nuruddin Abul Hassan Ali (رضئ الله تعالی عنه )(15) Hazrat Mohammad Fakhruddin (رضئ الله تعالی عنه )(16) Hadhrat Taqiuddin Al-Fuqair (رضئ الله تعالی عنه )(17) Hadhrat Abdur Rahman Attar Az-Zayyat (رضئ الله تعالی عنه )(18) Hadhrat Abdus Salam Ibn Mashish (رضئ الله تعالی عنه )
(19) Hadhrat Abul Hassan Ash-Shadhili (رضئ الله تعالى عنه)
Some well known Shuyookh who continued Shaikh Abul Hasan Shadhili's (رضئ الله تعالی عنه) legacy after his death are as follows.
(i) Shaikh Abul Abbas Al-Mursiرحمة الله عليه) (1287-1219) was son in Law, Khalifa and first successor of Shaikh Abul Hasan Shadhili (رضئ الله تعالى عنه). He was born in Murcia, Spain. He became Murid of Shaikh Shadhili (رضئ الله تعالى عنه) when he was in Tunis. He was extremely popular in Egypt to an extent that his name 'Mursi' became a common name for Egyptians for centuries.(ii)