Wednesday, 28 March 2012

Imam Junayd al-Baghdadi- Great Muslim Scholars

Al-Junayd ibn Muhammad ibn al-Junayd, Abu al-Qasim al-Qawariri al-Khazzaz al-Nahawandi al-Baghdadi al-Shafi`i (d. 298). Called Imam Junayd al-Baghdadi or Abu al-Qasim for short. The Imam of the World in his time, shaykh of the Sufis and "Diadem of the Knowers," he accompanied his maternal uncle Sari al-Saqati, al-Harith al-Muhasibi, and others.

The Mu`tazili (a sect based on philosophy) al-Ka`bi said: "My eyes did not see his like. Writers came to hear him for his linguistic mastery, philosophers for the sharpness of his speech, poets for his eloquence, and kalam scholars for the contents of his speech."

He took fiqh from Abu Thawr - in whose circle he would give fatwas at twenty years of age - and, it was also said, from Sufyan al-Thawri. He once said: "Allah did not bring out a single science on earth accessible to people except he gave me a share in its knowledge." He used to go to the market every day, open his shop, and commence praying four hundred rak`as until closing time.

Al-Junayd went on pilgrimage on foot thirty times. 

When his uncle asked him to speak from the pulpit he deprecated himself, but then saw the Prophet  in his dream ordering him to speak. 

Among his sayings about the Sufi Path: "Whoever does not memorize the Qur'an and write hadith is not fit to be followed in this matter. For our science is controlled by the Book and the Sunnah."

His student Abu al-`Abbas ibn Surayj would say, whenever he defeated his adversaries in debate: "This is from the blessing of my sittings with al-Junayd." 

Once a young Christian asked him: "What is the meaning of the Prophet's hadith: 'Beware the vision of the believer for he sees with the light of Allah'?"2 Al-Junayd remained immersed in thought then lifted his head and said: "Submit, for the time has come for you to accept Islam." The young man embraced Islam on the spot. 

Al-Junayd defined the Knower (al-`arif) as "He who addresses your secret although you are silent."

He also said "The Sufi is like the earth: both the righteous and the sinners walk upon it. He is like the clouds: they give shade to all things. He is like the raindrop: it waters all things."

"The Sufi is like the earth: every kind of abomination is thrown upon it, but naught but every kind of goodness grows from it." 

On his deathbed he recited the Qur'an incessantly. Al-Jariri related that he told him: "O Abu al-Qasim! Put yourself at ease."

He replied: "O Abu Muhammad! Do you know anyone that is more in need of Qur'an at this time, when my record is being folded up?" He finished one khatma then started over until he recited seventy verses of Sura al-Baqara, then he died. Ibn `Imad al-Hanbali said: "If we were to speak of his merits we could fill volumes."
Before his death Junayd ordered that all the saying of knowledge attributed to him which people have written down should be buried. When people asked him the reason he said, "When the people have the knowledge of the Prophet of Allah with them, I desire that I may meet Allah Ta'ala in the state that there remains nothing attributed to me".

After his death Shaykh Ja'far al-Khaldi saw him in a dream. Ja'far al-Khaldi asked Junayd "How did Allah Ta'ala treat you?"

Imam Junayd replied:
"Those subtle signs were finished, those phrases disappeared, those sciences were annihilated, those illustrations were erased and nothing helped us except some rak`ats which we used to pray before dawn".

For more info on him, see:


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