A certain young man was always speaking against the Sufis. One day Dho’l-Nun took the ring off his finger and handed it to him.
“Take this to the market and pawn it for a dinar” he said The young man took the ring to the market, but they would not give more than a dirham for it. The youth returned with the news.
“Now take it to the jewellers”, and see what they value it at” Dho’l-Nun told him The jewellers priced the ring at a thousand dinars.
“You know as much about the sufis,” Dho’l-Nun said to the youth, “as those stallholders in the market know about the ring”
It is said the youth decided to reserve judgement and that he later became a disciple of hazrat bahauddin


The great saint, Hazrat Bahauddin Zakariya, lived surrounded in  luxury all his life. When he passed away his son and spiritual  heir Shaykh Sadruddin Arif, himself a great saint, distributed everything to the poor and started to live in poverty himself.
A disciple approached him and asked him the reason for the difference in lifestyles between father and son.
“My father lived in wealth because wealth did not affect him at all. I live in poverty because poverty does not affect me at all” replied Shaykh Sadruddin Arif


A leading scholar of Basra visited Rabia Basri on her sickbed.
Sitting beside her pillow, he reviled the world.

“You love the world very dearly” Rabia commented “If you did not love the world, you would not make mention of it so much. It is always the purchaser who disparages the wares. If you were done with the world, you would not mention it, either for good or evil. As it is, you keep mentioning it, because, as the proverb says, whoever loves a thing mentions it frequently”



One day, a rich man came to Rabi’a al-‘Adawiyyah and said, “For many years I’ve lived a very spoiled, arrogant and sinful life. If I repent now will God forgive me?”

Rabi’a replied, “No, but if God forgives you, you will repent.”


Once a man came to the great chisti saint, nizamuddin aulia, and said that he had lost the papers proving his property rights in the city and that the king’s clerks were refusing to make new papers for him. Hazrat smiled and humorously asked him to treat him to some halwa. The man immediately left to get some halwa from the market. He returned after a short while with the halwa in one hand and a piece of paper in the other. He put both halwa and paper before hazrat and explained. :”when I asked for the halwa, the shopkeeper picked up some paper to wrap the halwa and immediately I recognized the paper as my lost deed. I asked the shopkeeper to use another paper and the deed is before you”

A poor man came to Nizamuddin Aulia asking for alms at a time when there was nothing left in the khaneqah to be given. The saint expressed his helplessness, but pointed to a torn and tattered pair of sandals that belonged to him, saying if those could be of any help to the poor man, he could take them.The faqir, having no choice, decided to take them any way, and left.

When he was on his way to some other city, he met Amir Khusrau who was returning from his royal journey with a bag  loaded with wealth. Khusrau sensed something odd as he met this man, and told him “Bu-e Shaikh mi aayad, Bu-e Shaikh mi aayad”. (I smell my master, I smell my master). This man dejectedly told him the story about how he could only get these sandals from Nizamuddin Aulia.

It is said that Khusrau after seeing his pir’s belongings decided to trade his bag of gold coins  for this pair of sandals, placed them on his head and came rushing to see Nizamuddin Aulia. His pir saw the sandals and asked Khusrau how he found them. When Khusrau told him about the price he has paid for them, Nizamuddin Aulia said, “Arzaan khareedi”. (Well, you ‘ve got them quite cheap).


One day, Rabia Basri was seen running through the streets of Basra carrying a torch in one hand and a bucket of water
in the other. When asked what she was doing, she said:
I want to put out the fires of Hell, and burn down the rewards of Paradise so people worship not from fear of punishment
or for the promise of reward but simply for love of God.

‘Once Hadrat Baba Fareed ‘Ganj e Shakar’ Radi Allahu ta’ala anhu noticed a Qazi, in amongst their gathering. This Qazi was a typically proud and arrogant type of a ‘Molvi’ who was feeling perplexed as to why and how Hadrat Baba Fareed Radi Allahu ta’ala anhu always seem to attract such huge crowds. Hadrat Baba Fareed Radi Allahu ta’ala anhu immediately read the state and feelings in his mind and watched him whilst he was displaying his own pride and arrogance to some of their gathering with the ulterior motive to prise them towards him. Hadrat Baba Fareed Ganj e Shakar Radi Allahu ta’ala anhu approached him and asked,’O Qazi Saheb, how many pillars of Islam are there?’ The Qazi replied ‘Why, there are five, of course!’ Hadrat Baba Fareed said ‘You have forgotten one, there are six!’ ‘Six!’ Exclaimed the Qazi, ‘What is the sixth?’ They gently explained ‘The sixth pillar of Islam is roti [bread]’. The angry Qazi moaned ‘How can this be possible, you Sufis are always making your own rules!’ He angrily got up and left the gathering mumbling and moaning to himself.

Soon the Qazi was making preparations to travel by sea to Makkah to ‘perform’ the duty of Hajj. He successfully completed the pilgrimage but on his return from his obligation, a freak storm suddenly appeared that brought complete havoc and destruction. The vessel he was travelling on capsized and many of the pilgrims died. But this Qazi managed to cling on to some part of the wreckage that slowly helped him to drift ashore on to an unknown island. Feeling shocked and totally distraught he searched for help but it seemed as though he was alone. After days of loneliness and fear his hunger was now his only concern and superseded all his other troubles and anxieties. In a state of extreme desperation he would look out for other ships and vessels to rescue him from dying of starvation and to take him home. When all of a sudden he heard a voice shouting Roti, Roti, ‘Food, Food’!

Shocked, the Qazi saw a man walking in a distance, hurriedly he went running towards him and began pleading for mercy. The man shouting roti was infact selling food for his own survival and would not part from his rations without a price. The Qazi appealed to the man to show compassion as a fellow Muslim returning from Hajj and in a state of total desperation and turmoil, as all his belongings had been awashed in the shipwreck. The roti seller was stubborn and would not budge, until eventually they mutually agreed that since the Qazi had no physical valuables in his possession he would willingly assign the reward for his act of Hajj to the Roti seller. The man insisted that he have this proposal in writing and so the Qazi undersigned the statement reading ‘I exchange my obligation of Hajj for roti’, since at that moment in time food was his only means of survival.

Having temporarily relieved himself from extreme hunger it was not long before starvation revisited his state. Again he came across the roti seller demanding clemency and sympathy, but once again found the man strict and rigid in his own acquisitions. As it happened the Qazis deeds were his only possessions and so it was, he signed away all his deeds and rewards from his lifetime fulfilment of the act of ‘amaal-zakah’. Within the next few days the Qazi who was initially starved of food was now starved of all his amaal [good deeds] as well, as he had now written off his lifelong acts of salah, sawm, hajj and zakah. All he had left remaining was his Iman [faith]. Luckily not long after a ship passing by discovered him stranded, he was rescued and thus eventually returned to his homeland.

Upon his return home people came visiting him congratulating him on the completion of Hajj but in reality he returned with a zero balance in terms of rewards and deeds. A few days later he thought he ought to visit Hadrat Baba Fareed Radi Allahu ta’ala anhu, as he felt a little guilty and remorseful after the outcome of their previous encounter. He also wanted to show his face on return from his expedition of pilgrimage thinking it was a good time to forgive and forget. Hadrat Baba Fareed naturally congratulated him on his visit to the Holy lands and expressed their happiness for him to come and meet them. They said that they had often thought about their last meeting and regretted the Qazi’s dismay in Hadrat’s question, so once again they put to him, ‘So Qazi Sahib, if i ask you again, how many pillars of Islam are there, what would be your reply now?’ The Qazi was still relentless in his reply ‘Why five of course, when it comes to the ‘Shariah’ there is no compromise, I am a man of standing and sound faith!’ Hadrat replied ‘You are a learned person how come you have never come across this in your studies?’ The Qazi demanded proof, thus Hadrat Baba Fareed Radi Allahu ta’ala anhu asked one of their disciples to bring forth one of the books from their rooms. The Qazi remained adamant that it was impossible for such a statement to appear, but Hadrat opened the book in front of his very eyes. To his total shock and horror all the statements he had written assigning his accumulated rewards from his personal lifetime acts of the pillars of Islam in exchange of Roti were before him. Hadrat Baba Fareed Ganj e Shakar Radi Allahu ta’ala anhu looked carefully into the Qazi’s eyes and softly said ‘Now Qazi Sahib do you believe me that Roti [food] is the sixth pillar of Islam and such a pillar for which you sacrificed all the other pillars of Islam and signed away all your good deeds. The Qazi immediately realised the Roti seller was in actual fact Hadrat Baba Fareed Radi Allahu ta’ala anhu and fell to their feet.’

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