Hazrat Abu Bakar Shibli
Abu Bakr ash-Shibli was a famous Sufi and Maliki faqih. The shaykh of the Sufis and Imam of the people of knowledge of the inward about whom there are miraculous reports and rare traditions. He was one of those with great skill in the sciences of the Shari'a. There is a disagreement about his name. It is said to be Dulaf ibn Jahdar or Ibn Ja'far. Other things are said. His family was from Khorasan, from a village there called Shibla. He was born in Samarra or Baghdad. He grew up in Baghdad. Abu Bakr al-Khatib said, "His uncle was the Amir of the Amirs in Alexandria." As-Sulami said, "Ash-Shibli was the chamberlain of the Khalif al-Muwaffiq.
His father had been the chamberlain in Baghdad." Abu 'Abdu'r-Rahman said: "He was a man of knowledge and a faqih in the school of Malik. He wrote out many hadiths. He mentioned that the beginning of his repentance was in the assembly of Khayr an-Nassaj. He kept the company of al-Junayd and the shaykhs of his time. He was unique in his age in state and knowledge. He transmitted hadith with isnad." He related from Muhammad ibn Mahdi al-Basri. 'Ali ibn Muhammad al-Hammal, al-Husayn ibn Ahmad as-Saffar, Isma'il ibn al-Husayn ibn Bandar, Abu'l-Hasan 'Ali ibn al-Muthanna al-'Anbari, Abu Sahl as-Sa'luki, Abu Bakr ar-Razi and Abu Bakr al-Abhuri related from him.
As-Sulami said, "While al-Muwaffiq was in power, one day ash-Shibli attended the assembly of Khayr an-Nassaj. He returned to Nihawand where he the governor. Ash-Shibli said to them, 'I have been appointed over your city, so put me in the lawful.' They did that. They tried to have him accept something from them, but he refused." Abu 'Abdullah ar-Razi said: "The shaykhs of Iraq say, 'The wonders of Baghdad in Sufism are three: the indications (isharat) of ash-Shibli, the fine sayings of al-Murta'ish and the stories of Ja'far, i.e. al-Khuldi.
Ash-Shibli was asked about asceticism. He said, "It is the heart turning away from things to the Lord of things."
Abu Bakr al-Abhuri said, "I heard him say once, 'If someone does not guard his secrets with the Truth, the eye of the reality will rarely be unveiled for him.'."
He was asked about the most extraordinary thing. He said, "A slave who recognises his Lord and then rebels against Him."
He said, "Tasawwuf is the heart resting in the fans of purity, the thoughts being enveloped by the curtain of fidelity, and taking on the character of generosity and joy in the encounter."
He said, "Tasawwuf is love of the Majestic and hatred of the insignificant and following descent and fear of reversal."
He was asked, "Who is the Sufi?" and he replied, "The one who does not ask, does not repel and does not store up." It was said, "Who is the faqir?" He said, "The one who is at home with non-existence as he is at home with oneness."
He also said, "Tasawwuf is to curb your senses and guard your breaths."
He was asked about this world and said, "A pot boiling and beauty decaying."
He was asked about sincerity and abandoning artifice. He said, "It is that you do not articulate any words of other-than-Him nor look at other than his Lord nor see for yourself any protector but your Lord."