Shaikh Abu Sa’id Mubarak al-Mukharrimi
August 15, 2013
The Hanbali Judge [al-Qaḍi] and pious ascetic [az-zāhid] Shaikh Abū Sa’īd al-Mubārak al-Mukharrimī is the pivotal fountain from whom Sayyidina-sh Shaikh ‘Abdu-l Qadir al-Jilani drank the wine of gnosis and spiritual wayfaring, in addition to acquiring the inner content and obvious meaning of Islamic legal doctrine.
He is Mubārak b. ‘Alī b. Ḥasan b. Bandār al-Baghdadi al-Makhzūmī | al-Mukharrimī. He was known by the teknonym [kunya] Abū Sa’īd.
The absence of diacritical marks and the blotching of ink in manuscripts have resulted in a discrepancy about the proper reading of his relational byname [nisba]. The two variations are: al-Mukharrimī and al-Makhzūmī.
Shaikh Muḥammad ibn Yaḥyā al-Tādifī, in his Qalā’id al-Jawāhir, states that the proper rendition of his name is al-Mukharrimi, which indicates his connection to the quarter of Baghdad called al-Mukharrim. Some of the sons of Yazid ibn al-Mukharrim settled there, and that is how that quarter of the city acquired its name. And Allah and His Messenger know best.
He had a well-kept schoolhouse [madrasa] by the Portico Gate [bāb al-azaj]. The building was placed at the disposal of Sayyidina-sh Shaikh ‘Abdu-l Qādir al-Jilani, and in it he gave talks to the people, whom he addressed in the language of religious exhortation [wa’ẓ] and spiritual reminding [tadhkīr].
His Noble Tattered Cloak [khirqa]
He had worn the noble tattered cloak [khirqa] after receiving it from Shaikh Abu-l Ḥasan ‘Alī ibn Muḥammad al-Qurashī, and al-Qurashī had acquired it from Abu-l Faraj aṭ-Ṭarsūsī, to whom it was handed down by Abu-l Faḍl ‘Abdu-l Wāḥid at-Tamīmī, who had received it from the hand of his own Shaikh, Shaikh Abū Bakr ash-Shiblī. Ash-Shiblī had acquired it from Shaikh Abu-l Qāsim al-Junaid, and al-Junaid had received it from his maternal uncle, as-Sarī as-Saqaṭī, who upon whom it had been bestowed by Shaikh Ma’rūf al-Karkhī.
Al-Karkhī had otained it from our master ‘Alī ar-Riḍā, who had received it from his generous father, Mūsā al-Kāẓim. Al-Kāẓim had obtaied it from his polymath father, Ja’far aṣ-Ṣādiq, who had received it from his virtuous father, Muḥammad al-Bāqir. Al-Bāqir had obtained it from his pious father, ‘Alī Zainu-l ‘Ābidīn, who had received it from our master al-Ḥusain. Al-Ḥusain had Obtained it from our patron, the Commander of the Believers, ‘Alī ibn Abī Ṭālib (may Allah ennoble his countenance and be well pleased with him), who had received it from the Chieftain of the Messengers, the Beloved of the Lord of All the Worlds, Muḥammad (on whom be the most excellent blessings and the most perfect greeting of peace).
With regard to the tattered cloak [khirqa], its transmission is also traced by another route from Al-Karkhī, who had received it from Dāwūd aṭ-Ṭā’ī, who had obtained it from our master, Ḥabīb al-‘Ajamī. It had been given to Ḥabīb al-‘Ajamī by Shaikh al-Ḥasan al-Baṣrī, and al- Baṣrī had received it from our patron, the Commander of the Believers, ‘Alī ibn Abī Ṭālib (may Allah ennoble his countenance and be well pleased with him), who had received it from the Chieftain of the Messengers, the Beloved of the Lord of All the Worlds, Muḥammad (on whom be the most excellent blessings and the most perfect greeting of peace).
As for Muḥammad himself (Allah bless him and give him peace), he had received it from Gabriel (peace be upon him), and Gabriel had received it from the Lord of Truth (Magnificent is His Majesty, and Sanctified be His Names).
(In the case of the tattered cloak, it should be explained that transmission is not verified by reference to a chain of reliable verbal reports [isnād], as required in the case of Prophetic Tradition [ḥadīth]. The only factor to be considered is the existence of companionship [suḥba] between the Shaikhs concerned.)
His Initiation of Sayyidina-sh Shaikh ‘Abdu-l Qadir al-Jilani
Sayyidina-sh Shaikh ‘Abdu-l Qādir al-Jilani (may Allah be pleased with him) made himself at home in the (ruined) fortress called the Persian Tower [al-burj al-‘ajami] for eleven years. It was because of his prolonged stay within its walls (Sayyidina-sh Shaikh being a native of the Persian province of Jilan), that it came to be called the “Persian” Tower.
At one point, while he was a lodger in it, he made a solemn pact with Allah (Exalted is He) to the effect that he would not eat until he was provided with food, and that he would not drink until he was given the means to quench his thirst. He then stayed there for a period of forty days, without eating anything at all.
At the end of the forty days, along came a man with a loaf of bread and a dish of food. He set the meal in front of him then promptly departed and left him all alone. Sayyidina-sh Shaikh describes the events that unfolded thereafter as follows:
My lower self [nafs] immediately reasserted its instinctive urge to pounce upon the food. So I exclaimed: “By Allah, it is not absolved of the pledge I gave to Allah!” Then, from my inner being [batin], I heard a loud voice yelling: “Hunger!” But I refused to indulge it.
It so happened that Abū Sa’īd al-Mukharrimī was passing by at that moment, and he heard the sound, so he entered into my presence. When he asked me: “What is this all about, O ‘Abdu-l Qadir?” I told him: “This is nothing but the antics of the lower self [nafs]. As far as the spirit [ruh] is concerned, it is perfectly calm and quiet, reposing undisturbed in the presence of its Master [mawla] (Almighty and Glorious is He).”
“Come to the Portico Gate [bāb al-azaj],” he said to me, then he went off and left me there in my peculiar state. I said to myself: “I shall not leave this situation without a command (from the Lord).”
It was then that Al-Khidr (peace be upon him) came up to me and told me: “Get up at once and go to Abū Sa’īd (al-Mukharrimī)!” So off I went, and there I found him, standing by the door of his house, expecting my arrival.
“O Abdu-l Qadir,” he said to me, “was it not enough for you, to have me say,: ‘Come visit me!’?” It was then that he conferred upon me the tattered robe [khirqa], with his own hand. From that time on, I remained constant in my dedication to him, as his diligent student.
May Allah be well pleased with him.
His Mutual Exchange of the khirqa
Al-Tādifī, in his Qalā’id al-Jawāhir, states that he said:
“ ‘Abdu-l Qadir al-Jili wore a tattered cloak [khirqa] that he received from me, and I wore a tattered cloak that I received from him, so each of us obtained blessing by means of the other.”
His Excellence and Virtue
He was a Jurist [al-faqih] par excellence and a leading Judge [al-Qāḍi] of the Hanbali legal school [madhhab]. He renounced his position in later years to indulge in complete remembrance of and devition to his Lord.
He was endowed with penetrating insight of the human soul [firasa]. He was spiritually endowed such that many repented simply through his warm embrace or gentle look upon them.
His Passing and Burial
He passed away on a Monday, the 7th of Sha’ban 513 (A.H.) in Baghdad and was laid to rest at his schoolhouse by the Portico Gate. Some scholars have also reported his passing to be on the 4th Sha’ban, 27th Sha’ban, and 10th Muharram. And Allah and His Messenger know best!
His resting abode is sought out by visitors for it is a source of much blessings and mercy of the Divine.
O Allah, for the sake of Abu-l Farah the harbinger of joy and glad tidings, and for the sake of Abu-l Hasan and Abu Sa’id, substitute for me with beatitude, my sorrows
May Allah be well pleased with Shaikh Abū Sa’īd al-Mubārak al-Mukharrimī and bless us for his sake.