Al-Fuḍayl ibn ‘Iyāḍ

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Al-Fuḍayl ibn ‘Iyāḍ ibn Bishr ibn Masūd Abū ‘Alī at-Tamīmī al-Yarbū‘ī al-Khurāsānī
الفضيل بن عياض بن مسعود بن بشر أبو على التميمي اليربوعي الخراساني
Died 03 Rabi ul Sani 803
Mecca
Venerated in Islam
Major shrine Bagdhad
Influenced Ibrahim ibn Adham

Al-Fuḍayl ibn ‘Iyāḍ (d. 803 / AH 187, الفضيل بن عياض, full name Al-Fuḍayl ibn ‘Iyāḍ ibn Bishr ibn Masūd Abū ‘Alī at-Tamīmī al-Yarbū‘ī al-Khurāsānī, was also known as Abu Ali and as al-Talaqani) was a thief who renounced his crimes and became a Muslim ascetic.

It is not uncommon to find his story confused with that of Fuḍayl Ibn Yahya, a contemporary who was the vizier to Harun al-Rashid.[1][full citation needed]

Early life and banditry[edit]

A number of birthplaces have been attributed to Fuḍayl, including Samarkand, Merv, Mosul and Balkh; meaning he could be identified as a Turkomen, Iraqi , Azeri etc.[2][full citation needed][3][page needed]

Prior to his conversion, Fuḍayl led a group of bandits, or highwayman, in Syria and Khorasan, raiding caravans and robbing travelers.[3][page needed] Even during this time, he was a Muslim, keeping his five daily salat prayers, fasting as required and forbidding his men to uncover any women found among the victims.[4] During this time, he was deeply in love with a woman, and would often send her tokens from his stolen treasures.[4]

One story of his banditry has a rich merchant, fearful of running into bandits, mistake Fuḍayl for an honest man and ask him to hide the majority of his wealth lest bandits find him. As the merchant continued on his way, he was robbed of his remaining wealth by Fuḍayl's men. When the merchant returned to Fuḍayl to recover the majority of his wealth, he was dismayed to find the bandits who had robbed him there surrounding the man he had trusted; however Fuḍayl indicated that he was a god-fearing man, and would not betray his trust, therefore motioning the merchant to reclaim the wealth he had left in trust with him.[4]

Fuḍayl was climbing a wall simply watching a passing caravan;[4] when Fuḍayl heard someone reciting the Quranic chapter of Al-Hadid, and when he heard 57:16, which reads "Has not the Time arrived for the Believers that their hearts in all humility should engage in the remembrance of Allah and of the Truth which has been revealed (to them), and that they should not become like those to whom was given Revelation aforetime, but long ages passed over them and their hearts grew hard? For many among them are rebellious transgressors", he realised that he was a hypocrite to claim both submission to God, and banditry.[4][5]

With his new found piety, Fuḍayl left his criminal ways and wandered through the desert where he found a caravan camping - and overheard two men warning each other to be wary lest the bandit Fuḍayl ibn Iyad find them. Fuḍayl stepped out and introduced himself, acknowledging that he had repented and was no longer a danger.[5][6]

After this, Fuḍayl tried to visit each of his known victims to repay them what he had stolen from them, and when he ran out of available goods, he visited them to beg their forgiveness. However one Jew refused to forgive him until he had been repaid, and ordered Fuḍayl to move a pile of dirt in front of his house to work off his debt. After several days of work, a hurricane blew away the pile of dirt, and Fuḍayl explained to the Jew that God had aided him. The Jew then placed a bag of dirt on his bed and asked Fuḍayl to bring it to him, and remarked upon discovering that the dirt had turned to gold that he now believed in the religion of Fuḍayl, and asked to become a Muslim.[3][7][page needed]

Later life[edit]

After his conversion, Fuḍayl moved to Kufa, in modern-day Iraq, and studied under Ja'far al-Sadiq.[8][page needed] and taught Bishr the Barefoot and Sari Sakti.[8][page needed] When Fuḍayl determined to make the Hajj pilgrimage to Mecca, he approached his wife and told her that he had to leave on the long and dangerous journey, but that he was willing to grant her a divorce if she wished to remarry in his absence. She refused, and said she would prefer to accompany him on the trip.[4] He remained in Mecca for a long time, and studied under Abu Hanifa.[4] He had at least one son, named Ali, and two daughters.[4]

Fuḍayl was noted for his anti-social nature, and many examples exist of this. When crowds began to gather around his Meccan home, eager for the chance to see him, he would often dissuade them, one time standing on his roof to thank them all and tell them that he prayed God would give them meaningful employment for their time. He was rather noted for his preference for solitude, at one point saying he wished he would become ill so that he did not have meet people and could avoid going out to public prayers.[4] Another quote that survives from him is that "I am grateful to a man who does not greet me when he sees me and does not visit me when I am sick".[4]

Fuḍayl's son suffered from a urinary tract infection, which was cured when Fuḍayl relied on prayer and faith alone.[9]

When Fuḍayl understood that his death may be near, he told his wife to take his daughters to Mount Abu Qais, in Mecca, and tell God that Fuḍayl had cared for them all his life and now they were in God's hands.[4]

He died during his salat prayers, early in the year 187AH, with some scholars suggesting it was the third day of Rabi' al-awwal[10][page needed] and others suggesting the month of Muharram.[8][page needed]

Following his wishes, his widow took their two daughters to Mount Abu Qais, where they were greeted by the King of Yemen who was travelling with his two sons, and two marriages were thus arranged.[4]

A shrine was built in his honor in Bagdhad.[citation needed]

Fudhayl bin Iyaadh (rah) are amongst the Rijaal of all major hadith works and they are unanimously agreed upon to be "THIQA (RELIABLE)" "SUDUQ (TRUTHFUL)" "THIQA THABIT (UTTERLY RELIABLE) "SALIH (RIGHTEOUS)" etc... hence the hadith science itself reaches us through eminent Sufis.

References[edit]

  1. ^ Hagiography in Tazkirat al-Awliyā, Attar of Nishapur
  2. ^ Politics and society during the early medieval period: collected works of Professor Mohammad Habib, Volume 1
  3. ^ a b c Siddiqi, Iqtidar Husain (2010). Indo-Persian historiography up to the thirteenth century. Primus Books. ISBN 978-81-908918-0-6. 
  4. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m :: Hazrat Abdul Fuḍayl Ibn Iyad (rahmatullah alayh) ::[dubious ]
  5. ^ a b Muwaqif Mushriqah fi Hayatis Salaf
  6. ^ How to Win Your Wife's Heart. Ibrahim Ibn Saaleh al-Mahmud
  7. ^ Jawami'ut Hika'at, Volume I, Part I
  8. ^ a b c Beale, Thomas William (1881). The Oriental Biographical Dictionary. Calcutta: Asiatic Society. 
  9. ^ Dols, Michael Walters (1992). Immisch, Diana E., ed. Majnūn: the madman in medieval Islamic society. Clarendon Press. p. 228. ISBN 978-0-19-820221-9. 
  10. ^ Khan, K. D. (2004). Khwaja Moinuddin Chishti: social and educational relevance. Sarup & Sons. ISBN 978-81-7625-515-8. 
  • Fa al-Din Attar, trans. Arthur John Arberry, Muslim saints and mystics: episodes from the Tadhkirat al-Auliya' , Routledge, 1983 (reprint 2007), p. 52.