Hazrat Sultan Hasan al-Basri
by His Eminence Imam Sheikh Sayyid Mubarik Ali Shah Gilani El-Hashimi
Hazrat Sultan Hasan al-Basri] was born in the fifteenth year of Hijra in the reign of the second Khalif Hazrat Umar, radiyallahu 'anh, and was named Hasan by Hazrat 'Umar (radiyallahu 'anh) for he was a very beautiful child.
He is one of the most well known saints of all times. His sermons and lectures were unique in themselves. He was blessed with seeing one hundred and twenty As'habi Kiram of whom seventy belonged to the Battle of Badr. The Mother of Believers Hazrat Umm-e-Salama was very fond of him. Consequently numerous people benefited and obtained guidance from him.
When Hazrat Ali visit Basra he forbade all the preachers from preaching but allowed Hazrat Hasan al-Basri to continue with his guidance. Once in cognito, Hazrat Ali came to his lecture and posed a question, "Are you a scholar or a pupil?" He replied, "I am nothing, what I have received from the Holy Last Messenger, Sall Allahu alaihi wa Aalihi wa Sallim, that I am conveying to the people." Hazrat Ali (Karam Allahu wajhahuu) upon hearing this remarked, "this young man is eloquent." Hazrat Hasan al-Basri realized that he was being questioned by Hazrat Ali. He left the pulpit and followed him outside after approaching him he said, "O' Amirul-Mu'mineen, for Allah's sake teach me Taharah (cleanliness)." Hazrat Ali taught him both the exoteric and esoteric Taharah and he stayed in the Suhbat (companionship) of Hazrat Ali. Hazrat Hasan al-Basri was the Khalif of Hazrat Ali and had also stayed in the Suhbat of Sayyidina Imam al-Husain and Hazrat Khawaja Kameel ibn Ziyad.
Once Hazrat Malik bin Dinan inquired of him in what lies the ill of people, he replied, "in the death of the heart." "In what lies the death of the heart," asked Hazrat Malik, "in the love for the world," was the reply. He would say that Ma'arfat has been withdrawn and only evil remains, whosoever remains in the Muslims is worried and disturbed.
Once advising Sa'eed ibn Jabees he said, "never do the following three things: 1.) never step on carpets of kings even though they may be generous. 2.) Never sit with a (ghairi mahram) alien woman alone even though she may be a Rabi'ah of her time and you were teaching her the Holy Qur’an. 3.) Never listen to music and songs even though you have the status of a perfect man, for listening of music takes one to pitfalls and in the end always injures a person."
He would say, "do not buy a friendship of thousands of people if you have to make even a single man unhappy." "Greed makes the scholar infamous and a person who openly criticizes his Nafs he, in fact, is praising it." He would say that the most respected amongst you is he would always remain your friend.
He would say that if you wish to keep enmity with someone and if he obeys the Almighty then develop friendship with him for Allah will not hand him over to you. If you wish to keep enmity with someone who disobeys the Almighty then your objective will be achieved by itself, hence surrender your heart to your Allah. Thus all Muslims will be safe from you.
Wise is he who rejects the love of the world in order to earn the Hereafter. Before preaching he should practice the lesson himself. "To me, my Deeni (spiritual Muslim) brothers are closer than wife and children who are friends of the world and enemies of Din."
He would say "people whatever I utter listen to that for my knowledge will do you good and my deeds will not harm you."
Concerning the world he said: "The world is a place for deeds. He who lives in the world having dislike and enmity towards it, he himself is successful and he has also honored the world. One who lives in the world with love for the world and is drowned in it he is a loss to himself and of no use to the world."
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