Hazrat Sari al Saqati
The faithful mystic and the devoted pure, His Eminence Sari Saghati. His spiritual title is Abolhassan and his honorable name Sari son of Mofles Al Saghati, because he was engaged in retailing, he gained the surname Saghati and the word Sari means virtuous and possessor of munificence.
First of all, His Excellency, Sari was a disciple of Sheikh Maruf and the teacher and guide of Sheikh Junayd and a close relative of Hares Mohasebi and Boshr Hafi . He was clad by the robe of sincerity from the hands of Sheikh Maruf and was given the permission to enlighten and guide the seekers of truth (talibin) from him. Next in the presence of two Imams and Javad Mohammad Taghi Razi AllahTala Anhu and Ali Al Naghi Razi AllahTala Anhu was sanctioned permission to guide on behalf of the honorable and glorious two Imams. It is said, in the beginning, his condition was such that he on the justification and guidance of His Eminence Maruf, clothed an orphan boy and made him happy.
Maruf said: God will make your heart cold towards this world, and grant you comfort from the work of this world. From that time onwards, his heart became cold towards this world and assisted him in the work of the hereafter.
His Excellency was unequaled in generosity and forgiveness and unique in modesty and reverence. He acquired 98 years of age, till the age of 70, he never laid down to sleep, except when he was ill and dying and said: One night after praying, I stretched my legs towards the prayer altar (Mehrab) and heard a voice, who said: Oh Sari, you are stretching your legs in the presence of your Lord. After that I gathered my legs and did not stretch my legs again.
Sheikh Junayd says, when Sari was seriously ill, I took a sample of his urine to the physician for diagnosis of the disease. The physician looked at the urine for sometime, then said that the owner of this sample urine is a hard heart burnt lover.
The year of His Excellency’s death is cited in disagreement, it is said to be in the month of Ramazan 251 AHL and also 253 AHL and also 257 AHL. If the year of his death is considered as per sayings in 253, whereas the death of His Eminence Maruf was in the year 204. The period of his accession to enlightenment would be 49 years.
As a blessing, some brief sayings of His Excellency are mentioned.
A Sufi is a person, who should have three attributes, first of all, the light of his knowledge, do not cause it to extinguish his light of fear and dread, secondly, do not speak from the inward path and through the tongue, something that would be against the book of God. Thirdly, through bounty, do not tear the curtain of traditions.
And said, there are many redundant things in this world out of which only five things, are exceptions. A small amount of bread which will holdback hunger and water that will quench thirst and clothes which can cover nakedness and a house to live in and knowledge you can use to work based upon.
And said: every sin that is caused by lust, the hope for salvation is there and every sin that is caused by vanity, there is no hope for salvation, because the sin of Adam was from lust and the abjection of the Devil was from vanity.
And said: the strongest power is that you overcome the passions of your (nafs or ego). Whoever is submissive to his elder, his subordinate will be submissive to him.
And said: There are five things, which cannot enter a heart, if in that heart there is something else. First fear of God, second hope in God, third friendship with God, fourth modesty from God and fifth attachment (rememberance) to God.
And said: Tomorrow, nations will be called in the name of the prophets, but friends in the name of God.
And said: A mystic is someone who eats like a helpless beggar, his sleep is like someone who gets bitten by a snake and his pleasure like someone who is drowning.
And said: Your tongue is the translation of the contents of your heart and your face the mirror of your heart.
And said: Knowledge from the above like a bird flying lands in a heart with modesty.
And said: It is 30 years that I am in penitence for one thanksgiving, that, one day a fire broke out in the markets of Baghdad, one said : your shop has not been burnt? I Said: thanks to God, from that thanksgiving that I thought myself to be better than my fellow Muslims brothers, I apologize.
It suffices here to mention one greatness of His Excellency, which is cited in the Memoir: One day the Sheikh had a sufi session (Majlis), during a sermon, Ahmad Ibn Abi Katib who was one of the Emirs of the Caliphate was passing with pomp and luxury along with his servants, in his heart he felt that he should also join the ceremony, entered inside and sat down. Sari was saying: In the 18,000 worlds, there is nobody as weak as man and none of the feeble creatures are more sinful towards their God as man. If man wants to be righteous, he will be so that even the angels will be jealous of him, and if he wants to be bad, he will be so that even the devil will be dishonored. And it is a surprise that man being so feeble and weak, sins against the great Almighty God. This oration of Sari like an arrow which left its bow, sank in the heart of Ahmad, he cried so much to the point of fainting. Then he got up and left towards his home crying. That night he neither eat nor spoke. The next day he came to the sufi session (Majlis) on foot with a heavy and haggard heart and returned back to his home. On the 3rd day, again, he came to the sufi session (Majlis) alone, when the sufi session (Majlis) was over, he sat in front of the Sheikh and said: Oh Teacher, you have made this world cold towards my heart, guide me. Sari said: Do you want the way to Shariat or Tarighat? The common way or the exclusive way? Ahmad said explain both. Said: the common path is manifest, prays, fasting, poor rate, Hajj and the exclusive path is that you should leave the world behind, leave behind luxury and pomp and even if you are given the same, not accept it. Ahmad came out of the Sufi session (Majlis) and went towards the dessert. A few days passed, an old woman came crying to Sari and said: Oh Imam of the Muslims, I had a son, young and fresh looking. One day he came to your Sufi session (Majlis) laughing and cheerful and returned home crying and fused. It is now a few days and he is not to be seen, my heart is missing him, have mercy on me and show me the right way. Sari felt pity for her and said. Don’t worry except goodness it is nothing, if he comes I shall let you know, he has left this world behind and repenting truthfully. Sometime passed, Ahmad one night returned back from the dessert and went to the Sheikh. Sheikh asked one of his attendants to let the old woman know. Ahmad was saying to the Sheikh, Oh teacher, just as you saved me from the darkness and reached me to the ease of the two worlds, God will also give you the ease of the two worlds, it was while saying this that, his mother and wife and his young son entered. His mother saw him thin and crying and sat by his side, his wife and son were screaming. Their condition made the Sheikh cry, however, hard they tried to take Ahmad home, but were not successful. Ahmad said, Oh Honorable Sheikh, Why did you let them know, that now they should destroy me. Said: Your mother was very upset and I promised to let her know if you would come. As Ahmad wanted to go back to the dessert, his wife said, you have made me a widow and your son an orphan, if your son should ask for his father, what shall I do? Then take your son with you. Said: I shall take him with me, then he took off his son’s new clothes, made him wear a rugged gilim and gave him a basket and said follow me. Ahmad’s wife could not bear and took her son back. Ahmad said: I give you permission to divorce me and went towards the dessert. After a few years, one night during the night prayers, someone came to the Khaneghah and said that Ahmad has sent him saying that his work has been accomplished and to help as I am going. Sheikh went and saw Ahmad lying on the ground of the graveyard, towards the end of his life and murmuring something. Sheikh listened and heard he was saying: “For the like of this, then, let the workers work” and his breath ceased. Sari, crying came back to the town to make arrangements for his burial and saw the people going out of town. Said: where are you going? they said, we heard a voice from the sky saying: “Whoever wants to perform prayers for the friend of God should go to the Shunizyieh graveyard”. Then the people and Sheikh prayed for Ahmad and buried him.