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Tawwasuf of Sufyan al-Thawri (Rahmatullahi ’alayh)

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Bismillah al-Rahman al-Raheem was-salaat was-salaam `alaa Rasul-illah wa ‘alaa alihi wa sahbihi wa sallam

Sufyan al-Thawri  (Rahmatullahi ’alayh) (d. 161)

Ibn Qayyim al-Jawziyya relates in Madarij al-salikin, and Ibn al-Jawzi in the chapter entitled ‘Abu Hashim al-Zahid’ in his Sifat al-safwa after the early hadith master Abu Nu`aym in his Hilyat al-awliya’, that Sufyan al-Thawri said:

If it were not for Abu Hashim al-Sufi (d. 115) I would have never perceived the presence of the subtlest forms of hypocrisy in the self… Among the best of people is the Sufi learned in jurisprudence.(1)

Ibn al-Jawzi also narrates the following:

Abu Hashim al-Zahid said: ‘Allah has stamped alienation upon the world in order that the friendly company of the muridin (seekers) consist solely in being with Him and not with the world, and in order that those who obey Him come to Him by means of avoiding the world. The People of Knowledge of Allah (ahl al-ma`rifa billah) are strangers in the world and long for the hereafter.'(2)

(1) Ibn Qayyim, Madarij al-salikin; Ibn al-Jawzi, Sifat al- safwa (Beirut: dar al-kutub al-`ilmiyya, 1403/1989) 1 (2):203 (#254); Abu Nu`aym, Hilyat al-awliya, s.v. ‘Abu Hashim al-Sufi.’ (2) Ibn al-Jawzi, op. cit.

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