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Stars of the African Firmament

2015-07-31
July 31, 2015

 

STARS OF THE AFRICAN FIRMAMENT

 

How many a piercing star has traversed the empyrean vault of our Islamic cosmos on the African continent!

One of the precious wonders of this African continent is al‐Buhlūl b. Rāshid al‐Ru`aynī, the descendant of freed slaves of an authentic Arab tribe (and thus attached to it by ties of clientage).

No less than Sahnūn, the master savant of al‐ Qayrawān who assembled AlMudawwanah alKubrā, heard narrations from him.

His real forte was not knowledge, though he was well‐versed in the fiqh. Rather, it was devout worship.

Mālik once looked at him and said, with his physiognomic acumen, ‘This man is the (outstanding) worshipper of his country.’ He then turned his sight towards ‘Abdullāh b. Ghānim and declared: ‘This one is the judge of his country.’ He finally cast a look at ‘Abdullāh b. Farrūkh and said: ‘This is instead the jurist of his country.’

It was precisely as he had put it [Ibn Ghānim was originally a faqīh, until he excelled in judicial skills once he had been appointed to the judiciary]. ‘Beware of the inner sight of the mu’min, as he sees by the light of Allah’, ‘Umar b. al‐Khattāb asserted in a famous saying.

Sahnūn said: “The like of little knowledge in a wholesomely virtuous man is the like of a spring of cool and fresh water in a land which is sweet. The owner of such land plants some crops in it, and he then benefits thereby. Conversely, the like of abundant knowledge in a man lacking virtuousness is the like of some trickling water in a briny land, which is laid to waste morning and night without any benefit being derived from it”.

Immediately after quoting that statement, Sahnūn used to add: “This is al‐Buhlūl. He was a man of wholesomeness, though his encompassment of the fiqh fell short of what others had in that regard, and Allah the Exalted gave benefit through him”, whereupon he would mention some man who kept the company of the Sultan, and would critically remark as follows:

“He is for sure one of the seas (of erudition), yet Allah did not provide benefit by his knowledge”.

Al‐ Buhlūl was viewed as one of the two most uncompromising men of his age in establishing the Sunnah, alongside Sahnūn himself.

He refused to greet people given to whims or pray behind them, unconcerned about the “ostensible advantages of societal opportunism”.

One of al‐ Buhlūl’s regular associates recounted the following:

“One day I was sitting in his company, and a man in his gathering of instruction was wearing fine clothes and displaying a dignified bearing.

(Al-)Buhlūl asked him, ‘I like you to mention to me the arguments used by the (deviant sect of) the Qadariyyah [a term which usually denoted the rationalistic Mu`tazilah].’ The man kept silent all the way until those in attendance eventually dispersed, whereupon he addressed al‐Buhlūl as follows: ‘Abā ‘Amr, you have inquired from me about the arguments adduced by the Qadariyyah, but the

speech on such a topic is one that is escorted by the Shaytān, being in fact one of the weapons in their arsenal: By laying it out, you would merely beautify it in the hearts of the general populace. Your circle of learning, besides, comprises people who are incapable of understanding what I would like to say on the subject, and I do not feel assured that part of what one of them might hear is not going to taste sweet in his view, in which event he will say, ‘Well, I heard it while in the circle of learning of al‐Buhlūl.’

On hearing his explanation, al‐Buhlūl remarked: ‘By Allah, I am verily going to kiss you on the head. You have enlivened me, so may Allah vivify you!’”.

To initiate campaigns against anti‐Prophetic cartoonists, indeed, only supplies them with the theatrical centre stage and perverted attention they crave for.

Sa`dūn b. Abān related from Dihyūn that the latter said:

“I was in al‐Madīnah when a man asked, ‘Is there here any one from the inhabitants of the region of Ifrīqiyyah (= Tunis and surrounding areas)?’. ‘I am one!’, I replied, so he asked me, ‘From the people of al‐Qayrawān?’. I replied in the affirmative, so he said to me inquiringly, ‘Do you know al‐Buhlūl [b. Rāshid]?’. ‘Yes’, I said, and he handed me some writing, which he requested me to convey to al‐Buhlūl. I eventually gave the written message to al‐Buhlūl. He broke its seal to open it and read its contents. Lo! It contained the following words from a woman who resided in Samarqand, which was situated in the (far away) region of Khorasan:

“I am a woman who used to engage in shameless talk and buffoonery, of such a degree of impudence that no one had dared to reach before.

I subsequently turned to Allah, the Mighty and the Majestic, in tawbah, and I inquired about the devotees of worship in all the four corners of the world.

Four of them were described to me: Buhlūl in Ifrīqiyyah was the fourth in the list of those who were mentioned in that connection.

I thus ask you by Allah, Buhlūl, to beseech Allah, the Mighty and the Majestic, in order for Him to perpetuate the spiritual opening He has bestowed on me””.

The said narrator went on to recount:

“The missive fell down from al‐Buhlūl’s hands, and he threw himself face-down to the ground. He kept on weeping until the letter clang to the viscous

substance of his tears. He then exclaimed to himself: ‘O Buhlūl, Samarqand in Khorasan! Woe unto you from Allah, Buhlūl, if He does not spread His concealing veil over you on the Day of Rising!’”.

 

Abū ‘Uthmān related that Buhlūl owned some bread at a time when a substantial

rise in prices was experienced. He instructed that it should be sold in the market.

That was done. He then issued an order that one quarter of a cafiz, a dry measure of food, be purchased for him. He was asked, ‘What’s that? You sell and then you buy?!’. He answered, ‘We rejoice when the people are joyful, and we are saddened when they are struck by sorrow.’

 

Abū Zarjūnah related what follows:

“On the night of al‐Jum`ah (= Thursday night), I was hit with a rod and beaten up with a whip.

The next day I apprised al‐Buhlūl of what had transpired, and I said to him, as I related the story, ‘I was struck with a staff, and my worn garments were plundered from me.’

Al‐Buhlūl leaned towards me, and he solicited me to free the doer of that action from (otherworldly) answerability for his deed. I remonstrated against his suggestion and said, ‘Abā ‘Amr (= the patronymic of al‐Buhlūl), they did to me what I’ve mentioned to you, and yet I should acquit them of responsibility for their action?’. He retorted, ‘Does it please you that a barrier be interposed between your Muslim brother and (entry in) the Garden because of you?’.

Al‐ Buhlūl persisted with his peroration, asking me gently to accede to his request, until I freed them from responsibility for their evildoing”.

 

The under‐mentioned anecdote was related by one of al‐Buhlūl’s close associates:

“I came to al‐Buhlūl when his daughter, a child who was wearing some dyed clothes, was seated on his lap.

He said, ‘I never loved anything that might grant her a long life. I would indeed love to offer her (back to Allah).’ I then departed from his presence.

I came back on a visit to him later that same day, and I found a sizeable group of

people standing by the door of his house. I asked, ‘What’s the reason for all these people here?’.

It was said to me in reply, ‘Al‐Buhlūl’s daughter has passed away.’

I came into his presence, and, after I had offered him my condolences and turned away from him, he followed me, caught up with me and said, ‘I am asking you in the Name of Allah not to mention to anyone what you heard from me so long as I am alive.’ He meant by it the oath he had taken early on the day when her daughter had died. I assuaged his concern by stating in reply, ‘By Allah, I shall never mention it so long as you are alive’”.

 

Ahmad b. Ibrāhīm related what follows: “Al‐Buhlūl handed two gold coins to a man, and issued to him the instruction of purchasing for him, with that sum, some oil from the coastal region, which he found especially agreeable due to the sweetness he tasted in it. When the man thus commissioned arrived at his intended destination, he inquired about the spot in which he could find that pleasantly sweet oil. He was told that it could be obtained from a Christian man, and that, in the whole region, there was no sweeter oil than that.

Al‐ Buhlūl’s agent thus headed at once for the Christian man’s location. Once there, he asked him to sell to him oil for the value of two gold coins, and added, ‘I want it for al‐Buhlūl.’ The Christian replied by commenting commented to him in

reply, ‘We, too, draw near to Allah, Exalted is He, through al‐Buhlūl the way you (Muslims) do.’ After saying that, he gave the agent four gold coins’ worth of the lower quality of the sweetest oil in the region in exchange for the two gold coins. When the man returned to al‐Buhlūl, he clued him about his dealings with the Christian, the indulgence which he had granted with regard to the oil, and what he had uttered. Thereupon, al‐Buhlūl remarked, ‘You have indeed fulfilled one

need of mine. Now discharge a second one:

Hand back to me the two gold coins.’ The man, perplexed, inquired, ‘But why, may Allah put you right?!’. Al‐Buhlūl answered, ‘I remember Allah’s statement, Mighty

and Majestic is He: «You will not find people who have īmān in Allah and the Last Day having love for anyone who opposes Allah and His Messenger» (Sūrah al‐

Mujādalah: 22, 21 in the Warsh riwāyah). I was afraid that, if I partook of the Christian’s oil, love for him might penetrate my heart, and I would then become among those who love those opposing Allah and His Messenger, purely for the sake of a tiny worldly benefit’”.

 

It has been narrated from Abū ‘Uthmān that Harthamah b. A`yan (an Emir and brave commander who built cities in Armenia and Tunisia), who at that time was the governor of Ifrīqiyyah (= as we noted, the region of Tunis and surrounding areas, which included al-Qayrawān), came with his attendants and the members of his

brigade to al‐Buhlūl, who at that time was leaning against a pillar in the mosque he

habitually frequented.

Harthamah bent down from his saddle for the sake of alighting from his mount. When Harthamah noticed that al‐Buhlūl did not raise his head at all or take any step towards him, he walked back to his riding animal and said to one of his escorting

adjuncts, ‘Hand this bag of silver coins to al‐ Buhlūl, and say to him: “The Emir instructs you to distribute it (among the needy ones who are eligible to receive a share of it)”.’ Al‐ Buhlūl said in reply to the Emir’s assistant, ‘Tell the Emir: “You are more knowledgeable than me about its rightful beneficiaries”’, whereupon he refused to take receipt of it.

 

‘Abdullāh b. Sa`īd al-Haddād reported from his father from his grandfather that some cattle dealers were owed 20 gold coins by al‐Buhlūl, at the same time that Diyūn had a debt of exactly the same amount with al‐ Buhlūl. A beggar stopped by al‐Buhlūl, who said to Dihyūn, ‘Hand him one gold coin from the twenty you owe me.’

Afterwards, the creditors who were owed the 20 gold coins by him came to pay al‐Buhlūl a visit. Al‐Buhlūl addressed them thus, ‘At present, we have with us 19  out of your 20 gold coins.’

He then turned to Dihyūn and said, ‘Count the coins for them.’ He counted them, and found them to be 20 gold coins. He accordingly said to al‐Buhlūl, bewildered, ‘I see here 20 gold coins!’. Al‐Buhlūl replied to him, ‘There is no god but Allah! I see you are incapable of calculating properly’”. He only said that out of fear that Allah the Exalted would openly manifest to Dihyūn the miraculous nature of the matter.

Part of what corroborates the veracity of this account is that ‘Āmir b. ‘Abd Qays used to take his allowance and place it inside his cloak. Whenever he came across one of the destitute people, he would invariably give something out of his

allowance to any such petitioner. When he eventually came home to his family, he would toss to them the allowance stored inside his cloak, they would count its amount, and they would found it, without fail, to be exactly what he had been originally apportioned.

 

Ibn al‐ Haddād said:

“My mother related to me from Ghuzayl, the slave woman of al‐Buhlūl, that she said: I spent thirty years with al‐Buhlūl without ever seeing him taking off his clothes, nor did I ever see him performing a supererogatory prayer.

She would come to me so as to have sexual intercourse, he would seat me the way a mother does with her daughter, and, when he was through, he would walk into the lavatory. He would ready himself for prayer, climb up to his room, and lock its door behind him, in order for me not to possibly gain access to it. I would then be unaware of whether he was alive or dead, save for the fact that I could hear him falling onto the ground in the last part of the night, from which I would infer that sleep had overcome him and that he had dropped down exhausted”.

 

One of our teachers related that Mu`attib b. Rabāh came to al‐Buhlūl on a visit to the mosque which al‐Buhlūl regularly clang to. When he saw him, al‐Buhlūl asked him, ‘Abā Ahmad, what’s the reason for you being here?’. Mu`attib answered, ‘Abā ‘Amr, I have resolved to go on hajj this year.’ Al‐Buhlūl rejoined, ‘Abā Ahmad, haven’t you performed the hajj before?’. ‘Sure’, the visitor said in reply, ‘I did, but I felt a longing to be by the inviolable House of Allah and by the grave of the Prophet, on him be the prayers of blessing and the greetings of peace.’ Al‐Buhlūl inquired from him, ‘How much money have you set aside for your journey?’. ‘One hundred gold coins’ was Mu`attib’s prompt answer. Al‐Buhlūl then asked him, ‘Would you not give that amount to me, for me to distribute it among people who are entitled to it, and I warrant to you, from Allah, the Mighty and the Majestic, ten accepted pilgrimages?’. Mu`attib stood up quickly and handed the purse containing his savings to al‐Buhlūl. Al‐Buhlūl emptied its contents beneath a hide he was sitting upon, and Mu`attib b. Rabāh sat down. People kept on walking in and receiving a portion of that money from al‐Buhlūl’s hands, this one five coins, that one eight, and yet a third one ten. Alternatively, he might say to one, ‘Marry with part of this money, and live out of the remainder’, while he might advise another fellow to ‘spend extensively on your dependants and small children’ or instruct one of them ‘to cover your face with the money.’

The two of them, al‐Buhlūl and Mu`attib, did not part ways until they had disposed of all the 100 gold coins.

In the district of al‐Qayrawān called as‐Sidrah, there lived a virtuous man who was called Abū Sulaymān al‐A`mā (= the Blind). He was a man committed to the Dīn and to wholesomeness. At times it might occur that Siqlāb b. Ziyād al‐Hamdānī, Dunayj

and Abu’l‐Ghusn, who were among al‐Buhlūl’s close associates, sought blessing by praying behind the said Abū Sulaymān.

Abū Sulaymān reported the fact that an apparition visited him that night and said to him: ‘Abā Sulaymān, set out for Mu`attib b. Rabāh, and inform him that Allah, Blessed and Exalted is He, has fulfilled to him the warranty he had received from al‐Buhlūl.’

Abū Sulaymān went on to narrate as follows: Sleep overwhelmed me, whereupon the same apparition visited me a second time, and said:

‘Abā Sulaymān, proceed to Mu`attib’s house right now, before the aurora breaks.’

Abū Sulaymān thus headed for Mu`attib’s residence, and once he

arrived there he knocked at the door. Mu`attib came out to meet him and said, ‘Abā Sulaymān, what brings you here at this early hour?’.

Abū Sulaymān replied, ‘I have been dispatched to your person to acquaint you with the fact that Allah, Mighty and Majestic is He, has discharged to you in full what al‐Buhlūl had guaranteed you would have found with Allah’”.

 

 

HIS HUMILITY

Abū Muhammad ‘Abdullāh b. Yūsuf al‐Jabbī said:

“It has reached my knowledge that a man once said to Buhlūl, ‘O Buhlūl, O show‐off!’.

Buhlūl hastened to comment, ‘I had already informed my own self of that, but it refused to accept my word. Now your testimony against my self has joined hands with my self‐knowledge, and two witnesses carry more strength than a single one!’”.

 

Abū Zakariyyā al‐Hifrī said:

“I was at the residence of Buhlūl who was busy lousing himself, when two women walked in. One of them said to the other, ‘Do you want me to show you Buhlūl?’. Her companion answered in the affirmative, so the first woman said, ‘There he is, the one who is lousing himself.’ The other one commented, taking her leaf from a famous proverb, ‘To hear about al‐ Ma`īdī is better than to see him.’

Abū Zakariyyā concluded his account as follows:

‘Buhlūl then accosted me and said to me reprovingly, ‘Do you want me to show you who clued this woman who described me to her companion about my identity?’ (= meaning Abū Zakariyyā himself)”.

 

On one occasion, a beggar asked him for a favour, and al‐Buhlūl told him to have his need fulfilled by al‐ Fārisī – meaning the great Ibn Farrūkh, another stalwart of that age. The beggar betook himself to al-Fārisī, who gave him the same reply as al‐Buhlūl’s, and sent him back in turn to his first addressee. The man left

and retraced his steps to al‐Buhlūl, to whom he reiterated his original request. Al‐

Buhlūl then said to him,

‘Have I not directed you (to the right person to ask from)?’. The man answered, ‘You certainly did, and he answered me.’ Thereupon, al‐Buhlūl said to him, ‘Perchance you then prefer some people over others? By Allah, if sins had a smell, I would not have sat with you and you would not have sat with me’”.

 

Al‐Buhlūl once said: ‘All the deeds of goodness, in comparison with jihād in the Path of Allah, Exalted is He, are but a spittle in the expanse of a sea, while all the deeds of goodness together with jihād are merely a spittle in the whole vast sea, when placed beside the search for knowledge.’

 

It has been narrated that al‐ Buhlūl used to say:

‘While Ridwān (the angel in charge of the entrance gate by the Garden) is standing at the door of the Garden, he will hear some movement there, whereupon he will say: ‘O Lord! You have created this Abode, and you have placed the access keys for it in my hands. I did not think it possible that anyone could enter it without my knowledge.’

Allah, the Mighty and the Majestic, will then inspire to him the following: “O

Ridwān, these are people who worshipped me in the dunyā secretly, and I have thus caused them to enter the Garden secretly, lest they might witness the dreadful horrors of the Day of Rising”.’

 

AN INVOCATION (DU`À’):

Al‐Buhlūl, may Allah have mercy on him, used to supplicate often through the following invocation.

‘Abdullāh said:

“I saw the du`ā’ jotted down in the handwriting of the devout worshipper Mahmūd in (the Tunisian city of) Monastir:

“O Allah, I ask you by Your magnificent Name, which is the most magnificent of

Your Names, and I ask You by Your great Name, above all other Names in greatness. O Allah, O Allah, You are verily the Light of every light. By the light of Your Face (I ask), and You are the Light of the heavens and the earth. I ask You, O

Generously Noble, O Opener Who grants victory, O Opener Who grants victory, O Opener Who grants victory, O Powerfully Capable, O Powerfully Capable, O Powerfully Capable, and by the light of Your Face (I ask), O Powerfully

Capable, and by the light of Your Face (I ask), O Powerfully Capable, and by the light of Your Face (I ask), O Powerfully Capable, and by the light of Your Face (I ask), O Powerfully Capable, O Clement, and by the light of Your Face (I ask), O Clement, and by the light of Your Face (I ask), O Clement. I ask You to make Your greatest pleasure, and the loftiest ranks in the Garden, obligatory for us, to shield us safely from the Fire as well as from Your wrath, and to bestow on us the gracious favour of

memorizing Your Book until we are able to recite it in a mode which makes You pleased with us”.

Al‐Buhlūl remarked: ‘Beware of using this invocation to ask for any worldly matter.

O Allah! I have verily conveyed the message’”.

He, may Allah show mercy to him, was accustomed to say the following in his invocations:

“O Allah, make me pleased with Your Destining, and give me blessing in what You have decreed, so that I do not desire the anticipation of whatever You have deferred, nor the deferment of whatever You have anticipated”.

 

THE MENTION OF HIS ORDEAL, MAY ALLAH THE EXALTED BE PLEASED WITH HIM [1]

He, may Allah the Exalted shower him with mercy, lived during the rule of Muhammad b. Muqātil al‐‘Akkī, the Emir of Ifrīqiyyah. Al‐‘Akkī was inured to befriend the despot of the age (i.e. the Byzantine king), and dispatch to him tokens of friendship, which were reciprocated by the said despot.

 In one instance, the (Byzantine) tyrant wrote a missive to al‐‘Akkī, in which he requested the Emir to send to him some copper, iron and weaponry. When al‐‘Akkī resolved on acquiescing in the tyrant’s demands, by sending to him all his desiderata, al‐Buhlūl could not restrain himself from speaking out.

He addressed al‐‘Akkī, opposing his stance and admonishing him fiercely, so that al‐‘Akkī would be left with no supporting proof in his favour, and thus with no excuse, vis‐à‐vis Allah, the Mighty and the Majestic.

As al‐ Buhlūl was insistently urging him to act on his admonition, al‐‘Akkī sent someone to him who had him beaten.

It has been said that when such man fettered al‐ Buhlūl’s hands with shackles, and his feet had been stretched so that chains could be placed on them, al‐Buhlūl observed, ‘Verily, this corporal chastisement is part of the testing tribulation the healing from which I shall never request from Allah, Mighty and Majestic is He.’

It has been mentioned by the biographers that, when al‐‘Akkī sent someone in pursuit of al‐Buhlūl with the aim of inflicting corporal punishment on him, several people and in fact entire communities thronged together around the Emir’s emissary, so as to prevent him from the execution of the plan. That only increased al‐‘Akkī’s rage and exasperation. As a result of that heated fury, he dispatched his soldiers to the people thus crowding together, and they forcibly dispersed them. He then ordered that al‐Buhlūl be stripped of his clothes and beaten up, but a group of people hurled themselves in front of him to shield him from that torture and receive the beating themselves. They were accordingly harmed as well, whereafter a number of lashes, less than twenty, were inflicted on the body of al‐Buhlūl. The Emir had him incarcerated.

He later took him out of prison. The traces of the whipping disappeared from his skin, save for the imprint left by a single such lashing, which suppurated and turned into a festering pus. It was the eventual cause of his death.

 

(Al-)Buhlūl said: ‘I spent 30 years during which I would utter the following invocation twice daily, once in the morning and once at night: “By the Name of Allah with Whose Name nothing in heaven or earth will cause harm. He is the All‐Hearing, the All‐Knowing (Bismillāhilladhī lā yadurru ma`asmihi shay’un fi’lardi walā fissamā’i waHuwas-Samī`u’lAlīm). When the day on which I experienced what I did at the hands of al‐‘Akkī set in, I was made to forget its verbalization, and I was thus subjected to an ordeal through his medium.’

Abū ‘Uthmān commented:

“I have been reciting it studiously 50 times every morning and 50 times every evening since as long as Allah has willed. I open my eyes after my sleep on

the recitation of that invocation with a fear chiselled out of awe and astonishment”.

 

Abū Zarjūnah said: “After (al-)Buhlūl was beaten, I paid him a visit. While I was in his

company, I heard weeping from a man who had crossed the threshold of al‐Buhlūl’s

residence. Lo! He was ‘Abdullāh b. Farrūkh.

He came in and sat opposite Buhlūl, still in tears.  Buhlūl said to him astounded, ‘Glory to Allah, O Abā Muhammad! What are you shedding tears for?’. He replied, ‘I am weeping over a back that was flogged without any rightful justification.’ Al‐Buhlūl then commented to him: ‘Abā Muhammad, it is but Destining and

Decreeing”.

Abū Zarjūnah further said:

“We were all seated at the time when al‐‘Akkī sent to al‐Buhlūl a fine garment and a purse containing some money. Al‐Buhlūl refused to accept either, and sent those items back with the Emir’s envoy. A persevering al‐‘Akkī dispatched his messenger back to al‐Buhlūl. The emissary said to al‐Buhlūl, as per the instructions he had received, ‘Al‐‘Akkī says to you: “If you won’t accept those gifts, please free me from

answerability for what you met from me (= meaning his answerability for it on the Day of Rising)”.’ Al‐Buhlūl said to the envoy in reply, ‘Tell him this: “I did not unloosen my hands from the enchaining wardens but that I had already set you free from the consequences of your actions against me”.’

On hearing such words, al‐‘Akkī felt aggrieved and regretted what he had done”.

 

Once, al‐‘Akkī looked at al‐Buhlūl from a spot where the latter could not notice him, and began to say: ‘By Allah, it is as if he is Sufyān ath‐Thawrī!’.

 

Al‐Buhlūl used to wear a qalansuwah , that is, a tall headgear, made of a certain type of fabric, a wrap manufactured in the Tunisian town of Tirāq, a shirt from the Persian city of Tustar, and sandals from atTā’if.

 

Finally, the following has been related from Abū Ja`far Ahmad al‐Kūfī, who was a resident of Monastir: “We were in the one Caliph’s company during a military expedition. Amid us were 12 000 horsemen who usually protected the frontier posts. Every day, in the course of that expedition, the Caliph would fulfill a

pair of demands on our behalf. He would let us write them down in a piece of paper which his chamberlain would then hand to him for his personal perusal. When it reached our ears that al‐Buhlūl had been beaten up in Ifrīqiyyah, the entire military camp was shaken. All of us approached the door of the Caliph’s lodgings, whereupon the chamberlain said to us, ‘What is it that you people want?’. We replied, ‘We have made our joint needs a single plea of support for al‐Buhlūl.’ The

chamberlain remarked to us, ‘Have taqwā of Allah regarding the blood of al‐‘Akkī: If the news that al‐‘Akkī has lashed al‐Buhlūl were to reach the Caliph’s attention, he would put al‐‘Akkī to death. How can al‐Buhll be possibly whipped in Ifrīqiyyah, unless the people of that region have apostatized (in mass) and left Islam? Do, however, exercise patience. If the report about al‐Buhlūl having been battered at the behest of al‐‘Akkī is found to be authentic, I will take up the matter of your concern (directly with the Caliph).’ We came back from the military raid before the soundness of such report could be double‐checked and verified by us. Meanwhile, Allah was pleased with al‐Buhlūl, and He, Mighty and Majestic is He, sealed his actions by shahādah (martyrdom) as a result of this testing ordeal which Allah chose for him. Allah, the Mighty and the Majestic, led him thereby to the loftiest ranks and the noblest stations.

 



[1] Reference can also be made in this whole connection to what al-Qādī ‘Iyād has recorded in his biographical jewel Tartīb al-Madārik.

 



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