The Orchards of Love – Part Thirty – Five

The Great Saint – Hazrat Fudhail bin Iyaaz (rahimahullah)

Hazrat Fudhail bin Iyaaz (rahimahullah) was an eminent Muhaddith and great saint of his era. Allah Ta‘ala had blessed him with such a high rank in Hadith that many of the leading Muhadditheen, the likes of Hazrat Abdullah bin Mubaarak, Hazrat Sufyaan bin Uyainah and Imaam Shaafi’ee (rahimahumullah) have narrated Hadith from him.

It is reported that prior to Hazrat Fudhail (rahimahullah) being blessed with the lofty rank of piety, he was known to be a notorious highway robber. However, Allah Ta‘ala blessed him with the taufeeq to repent from his sins and reform his life. Below is the incident of his repentance:

On one occasion, a certain caravan was traveling on the road where Fudhail (rahimahullah) would rob people. Among the people present in the caravan was a Qari who would recite the Qur’aan Majeed in the most beautiful manner. As the caravan passed by Fudhail (rahimahullah), the Qari was reciting the following verse of the Qur’aan Majeed, “Has the time not yet come for the believers’ hearts to be humbled for the remembrance of Allah Ta‘ala..?” (Surah Hadeed v. 16)

On hearing this verse, the heart of Fudhail (rahimahullah) was so affected that he immediately turned to Allah Ta‘ala in repentance and left the life of sin.

Thereafter, Hazrat Fudhail (rahimahullah) exerted himself in ibaadah and acquiring the knowledge of deen, until the time came when even Haaroon Rasheed, the king of the time, began to visit him to benefit from his advice.

It is reported that on one occasion, when Haaroon Rasheed performed hajj, he said to Fadhl bin Rabee, “I perceive a weakness in my heart. Therefore, take me to some pious friend of Allah Ta‘ala so that I may take advice from him and benefit from his company.” Fadhl suggested to him that they go to see Hazrat Sufyaan bin Uyainah (rahimahullah).

When they came to the home of Hazrat Sufyaan (rahimahullah) and knocked on the door, Hazrat Sufyaan (rahimahullah) received him with great honor and respect. Haaroon Rasheed said to him, “The purpose for which I have come is to seek advice from you.” Hazrat Sufyaan (rahimahullah) then gave him some general advice.

Eventually, when Haaroon Rasheed wished to depart, he asked Hazrat Sufyaan (rahimahullah), “Do you have any debts that I can assist you with settling?” Hazrat Sufyaan (rahimahullah) replied in the affirmative, and Haaroon Rasheed instructed Fadhl to settle his debts.

After leaving Hazrat Sufyaan (rahimahullah), Haaroon Rasheed turned to Fadhl and said, “I did not benefit from Hazrat Sufyaan (rahimahullah) in the manner I wished.” (Perhaps Haaroon Rasheed was not satisfied as he felt that Hazrat Sufyaan (rahimahullah) showed him great respect and honor and did not show him any of his weaknesses.) Fadhl thus suggested that they go to visit Imaam Abdur Razzaaq (rahimahullah).

Imaam Abdur Razzaaq (rahimahullah) also received Haaroon Rasheed with great honor and gave him some general advices upon his request. Before departing, Haaroon Rasheed asked him, “Do you have any debts that I can assist you with settling?” When Imaam Abdur Razzaaq (rahimahullah) replied that he did have debts, Haaroon Rasheed instructed Fadhl to settle the debts.

Once again, when they departed, Haaroon Rasheed said to Fadhl, “I did not benefit from Imaam Abdur Razzaaq (rahimahullah) in the manner I wished. Find me the right person who I can refer to.” Fadhl then suggested that they go to visit Hazrat Fudhail bin Iyaaz (rahimahullah).

Upon meeting Hazrat Fudhail (rahimahullah), Haaroon Rasheed requested him to present him with some advice. Hazrat Fudhail (rahimahullah) said to him, “When Hazrat Umar bin Abdil Azeez (rahimahullah) was appointed as the Khalifah, he called Hazrat Saalim bin Abdillah, Hazrat Muhammad bin Ka’b and Hazrat Rajaa bin Haywah (rahimahumullah) and said to them, ‘I have been tested with this trial of rulership, so please advise me.’” Hazrat Fudhail (rahimahullah) then said, “Hazrat Umar bin Abdil Azeez (rahimahullah) was so concerned about the khilaafah that he regarded it to be a trial, whereas you regard it to be a blessing (and do not have the same concern as him).”

Hazrat Fudhail (rahimahullah) warned him that if he did not administrate the affairs of the khilaafah according to the dictates of the Shari‘ah, then he would suffer the punishment of Jahannum. This warning had such an effect on Haaroon Rasheed that he began to weep profusely.

When Haaroon Rasheed wished to depart, he asked Hazrat Fudhail (rahimahullah), “Do you have any debts that I can assist you with settling?” Hazrat Fudhail (rahimahullah) replied, “Yes! I have debts which are the rights that I owe to my Rabb. If you wish to assist me, then you may do so.”

Haaroon Rasheed then presented money to Hazrat Fudhail (rahimahullah) saying, “Here are a thousand dinars. Accept it from me as a gift and spend it upon your dependents.” Hazrat Fudhail (rahimahullah) replied, “Subhaanallah! I have shown you the path to gain salvation, and this is how you repay me? You are giving this wealth to a person who has no need for it. You should rather give it to one who requires it.”

When Haaroon Rasheed and Fadhl thereafter left the home of Hazrat Fudhail (rahimahullah), Haaroon Rasheed said to Fadhl, “O Fadhl! When you wish to take me to a friend of Allah Ta‘ala, then take me to a man like him! He is undoubtedly the leader of all the Muslims!”  (Siyar A’laamin Nubalaa 8/428-431 and Aalami Tareekh 2/358)

Haaroon Rasheed was greatly impressed with Hazrat Fudhail (rahimahullah) on account of the beautiful qualities which he possessed – his fear for accountability in the Hereafter, his high level of piety, his disinterest in the world, his commitment to Shari‘ah and the Sunnah and his sincere advice to the king regarding the manner he should administrate the affairs of the khilaafah. In essence, Haaroon Rasheed bore testimony that Hazrat Fudhail (rahimahullah) was an embodiment of the Sunnah.

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