The sign-post to right-guidance, Shaikh Abu-l Fadl ‘Abdu-l Wāhid b. ‘Abdu-l ‘Azīz b. Hārith b. As’ad at-Tamīmī was a celebrated spiritual guide of the 5th Islamic century. He is known by the epithets Khādimu-sh Sharī’ah [Guardian of the Sacred Law], Sāliku-t Tarīqah [Wayfarer of the Spiritual Path], Wāqifu-l Haqīqah [Unveiler of Divine Mysteries], amongst others.

Little is known of his youth and educational endeavours. We know that in matters of fiqh, he followed the madhab of Imamu-l A’zam Abu Hanifah Nu’man b. Thabit al-Kufi, Allah be well pleased with him. There are two narrations regarding his spiritual endeavours. One states that he accompanied Shaikh Abu Bakr ash-Shibli and was vested with the Sufi khirqa by him. The other narration states that he took the path at the hands of his blessed father, Shaikh ‘Abdu-l ‘Azīz at-Tamimi. The inimitable Muhaddith Shah Waliyullah Dehlawi reconciles both of these with the following statement, “‘Abdu-l Wahid at-Tamimi wore the Khirqa from both ‘Abdu-l ‘Aziz at-Tamimi and Abu Bakr Shibli, Allah be pleased with them all. This is reflected in many of the authentic chains of spiritual transmission.” [Masaliku-s Salimīn]

His character is said to have resembled the eminent Shaikh Abu Bakr al-Shibli. He is reported to have been a devout worshipper [‘abid], a pious ascetic [zahid], and a beacon of piety [Imamu-t Taqwa] of his time. He was meticulous in emulating and protecting the prophetic behaviour [sunnah] in all spheres of his life. He lived to a ripe old age, much of which was spent in guiding the people to spiritual wayfaring. He undertook numerous journeys to spread the message of Islam. He also performed the Hajj more than once. His penchant for travelling saw him influencing a wide array of people who repented at his hands and turned onto the path of Allah. They became ardent Muballighin [missionaries] who went far and wide to spread the message of Islam. [Khazinatu-l Asfiyah]

His blessed soul left the worldly plane on Friday 26 Jumada al-Akhir 425 Hijri. He was laid to rest in the mausoleum of Imam Ahmad b. Hanbal in Baghdad, may Allah be pleased with him. Although he had many disciples [muridin] and successors [khulafa], records of their details have been lost over time. But the one name that frequently appears in books is of Shaikh Abu-l Faraj|Farah Yusuf Thawi al-Tarsusi|Tartusi who inherited his Secret [sirr].

May Allah be well pleased with Shaikh ‘Abdu-l Wahid al-Tamimi, sanctify his secret, illuminate his resting abode, and bless us all for his sake.