A BRIEF ACCOUNT OF THE MODERN SUFIS IN DIFFERENT COUNTRIES
I have not space enough to give biographies of them all, and if I omit some the object of this book will not be accomplished. Now, therefore, 1 will mention only the names of individual Sufis and leading spiritualists who have lived in my time or are still alive, excluding the formalists (ahl-i rusum).
1. SYRIA AND 'IRAQ
Shaykh Zaki b. al-'Ala was an eminent Shaykh. 1 found him to be like a flash
of love. He was endowed with wonderful signs and evidences.
Shaykh Abu Ja'far Muhammad b. al-Misbah al- Saydalani was one of the principal aspirants to Sufi'ism. he discoursed eloquently on theosophy and had a great fondness for Husayn b. Mansur (al-Hallaj), some of whose works I have read to him. Shaykh Abu '1-Qasim Suddi1 was a director who mortified himself and led an excellent spiritual life. He cared tenderly for dervishes and had a goodly belief in them.
The Grand Shaykh, Abu 'l-Hasan b. Saliba,2 spoke with the utmost elegance on
Sufi'ism and with extreme lucidity on Unification (tawhid). His sayings are well
know. The Shaykh and Director (murshid) Abu Ishaq b. Shahriyar was one of the
most venerable Sufis and had complete authority. Shaykh Abu 'l-Hasan Ali b.
Bakran was a great mutasawwif, and Shaykh Abu Muslim was highly esteemed in his
Shaykh Abu 'l-Fath b. Saliba is an excellent and hopeful successor to his father. Shaykh Abu Talib was a man enraptured by the words of the Truth.
I have seen all these except the Grand Shaykh, Abu Ishaq.
3. QUHISTAN, ADHARBAYAJAN, TABARISTAN, AND KISH
Shaykh Faraj,4 known as Akhi Zanjani, was a man of excellent disposition and
Shaykh Badr ul-Din is one of the great men of this sect, and his good deeds are many.
Padshah-i Taib was profoundly versed in mysticism. Shaykh Abu Abdullah Junaydi was a revered director. Shaykh Abu Tahir Makshuf was one of the eminent of that time.
Khwaja Husayn Simnan is an enraptured and hopeful man.
Shaykh Sahlagi was one of the principal Sufi paupers (sa'alik).
Ahmad, son of Shaykh Khurqani, was an excellent successor to his father.
Adib Kumandi was one of the chief men of the time.
Khwaja Ali b. al-Husayn al-Sirgani was the wandering devotee (sayyah) of his
age and made excellent journeys. His son, Hakim, is held in honour.
Shaykh Muhammad b. Salama was among the eminent of the time. Before him there have been hidden saints of God, and hopeful youths and striplings are still to be found.
5. KHURASAN (Where now is shadow of God's favour)
The Shaykh and Mujtahid Abu 1-Abbas was the heart of spiritualism (sirr-i
ma'ani) and had a goodly life.
Khwaja Abu Ja'far Muhammad b. 'Ali al-Hawari is one of the eminent theosophists of this sect.
Khawaja Abu Ja'far Turshizi was highly esteemed.
Khwaja Mahmud of Nishapur was regarded as an authority by his contemporaries. He was eloquent in discourse.
Shaykh Muhammad Ma'shuq had an excellent spiritual state and was aglow with love.
Khwaja Rashid Muzaffar, the son of Abu Sa'id, will, it may be hoped, become an example to all Sufis and a point to which their hearts will turn.
Khwaja Shaykh Ahmad Hammadi of Sarakhs was the champion of the time. He was in my company for a while, and I witnessed many wondrous experiences that he had.
Shaykh Ahmad Najjar Samarqandi, who resided at Merv, was the sultan of his age.
Shaykh Abu 'l-Hasan 'Ali b. Abi Ali al-Aswad was an excellent successor to his father, and was unique in the sublimity of his aspiration and the sagacity of his intelligence.
It would be difficult to mention all the Shaykhs of Khurasan. I have met three hundred in that province alone who had such mystical endowments that a single man of them would have been enough for the whole world. This is due to the fact that the sun of love and the fortune of the Sufi Path is in the ascendant in khurasan.
The Khwaja and Imam, honoured by high and low, Abu Ja'far Muhammad b. al-Husayn"
al-Harami, is an ecstatic (mustami) and enraptured man, who has a great
affection towards the seekers of God.
Khwaja Abu Muhammad Banghari6 had an excellent spiritual life, and there was no weakness in his devotional practices.
Ahmad Ilaqi was the Shaykh of his time. He renounced forms and habits.
Khwaja Arif was unparalleled in his day.
'Ali b. Ishaq was venerated and had an eloquent tongue.
I have seen all these Shaykhs and ascertained the "station" of each of them. They were all profound theosophists.
Abu '1-Fadl b. al-Asadi was a venerable director, with brilliant evidences
and manifest miracles. He was like a flash of the fire of love. His spiritual
life was based on concealment (talbis).
Isma'il al-Shashi was a highly esteemed director. He followed the path of "blame" (malainat).
Shaykh Salari-i Tabari was one of the Sufi divines and had an excellent state.
Shaykh Abu 'Abdullah Muhammad b. al-Hakim, known as Murid, was a God-intoxicated man, and was not rivalled by any contemporary in his own line. His state was hidden from the vulgar, but his signs and evidence's were conspicuous, and his state was better in companionship (suhbat) than in casual meeting (didar).
Shaykh Sa'id b. Abi Sa'id al-Ayyar was a recorder (hafiz) of Apostolic Traditions. He had seen many Shaykhs and was a man of powerful spirituality and great knowledge, but he took the way of concealment and did not exhibit his true character.
Khwaja Abu '1-Ala Abd al-Rahim b. Ahmad al- Sughdi is honoured by all Sufis, and my heart is well- disposed towards him. His spiritual state is excellent, and he is acquainted with various branches of science.
Shaykh Awhad Qaswarat b, Muhammad al-Jardizi has a boundless affection for Sufis and holds every one of them in reverence. He has seen many Shaykhs.
In consequence of the firm convictions of the people and divines of Ghazna, I have good hope that hereafter persons will appear in whom we shall believe, and that those wretches (paragandagan) who have found their way into this city and have made the externals of Sufi'ism abominable will be cleared out, so that Ghazna will once more become the abode of saints and venerable men.
1 IJ. Sudsi, B. Sundusi-
2 See Nafahat, No.347, where he is called Abu 'I-Hnsayn Saliba.
3 B. Kumish.
4 The texts ha ve or but see Nafahat, No. 171,
5 IJ. Al-Hasan.
6 This nisba is variously written "Banghari" and "Bayghazi",