Hajj of Elders

Story - 1 

Zun Noon Misri rah. says: “I was once performing tawaaf around the Ka’bah. Everybody’s eyes were fixed on the Ka’bah when suddenly a man approached the Ka’bah and prayed:
“O my Lord, I am Your poor servant who is astray from Your court and who has run away from Your door; I beg of You that thing which is nearest to You and I beg of You that I be allowed such worship of You which You love most: O Allah I beg of You through those saintly ones and Your Nabis that You grant me to drink the wine of Your love; O Lord remove from me the ignorance that prevents me from reaching knowledge (Ma’rifat) of You that I may eagerly reach unto You, and converse with You silently in my desire.”

Thereafter having said this prayer, he cried bitterly for a long while. He cried so much that his tears fell on the ground. Then suddenly he started laughing and went away. 

Zun Noon Misri rah. says: ” I followed him and thought within myself that this man must either be a perfect sufi or a madman. He went out of the mosque towards the outskirts of the town. He became aware of me and said: “What do you want? Why do you follow me; Please leave me alone.”
I said: “May Allah have mercy on you. What is your name?”
He replied: “Abdullah (servant of Allah).”
I asked: “What is your father’s name?”
He replied: “Abdullah (Servant of Allah)”
I asked: “Everyone is a servant of Allah. But what is your real name.”
He replied: “My father name me Sa’doon.”
I asked: “Are you then not he who is know as ‘Sa’doon, the mad one?”
He replied: “Yes, I am he.”
I asked: “Who are those saintly ones through whom you prayed to Allah?”
He replied: “They are the ones who walk towards Allah in a similar manner as he who walks that has made the attaining of Allah’s love their aim in life. And they have separated themselves from this world in the same manner as him whose heart has been snatched away.

Then he continued: O Zun Noon, I have heard you say that you would like to know the Asbaabe Ma’rifat.”
I replied: “Yes, for I want to benefit from your knowledge.”

Then he recited two couplets in Arabic:
The hearts or the Aarifeen are sunk in the remembrance of the Lord at all times;
And so does the heart become involved that near Him it makes it home.
And I have with such sincerity fallen love with Him;
That nothing can now remove from my heart the love I bear for Him. (Rowdh-23)

Story - 2

It is related that Hishaam bin Abdul Malik, before he became the Khalifa once performed tawaaf. Numerous times did he try to kiss the Hajarul Aswad, but because of the vast crowd he could not do so. Then Syaidina Zainul Aabideen rah. the son of Syaidina Husain r.a who was the son of Syaidina Ali r.a, came along to kiss the Black Stone and all at once everyone moved away so that he could do so in peace and comfort. 

Someone asked him: “Who is this person, (that is so honored)?” Hishaam knew who it was but would not say because of the ill feeling borne by Banu Umayya towards the family of Rasulullah s.a.w household. Thus he said: “I do not know.”
The famous Arabic poet Farazdaq who was present then stepped forward and said: “I know who he is.” Then he read the following poetic verse:
He is the son of the most virtuous of men,
This is he, who is God-fearing, holy and a leader,
This is he whose footsteps all Mecca knows,
Whom the Ka’bah knows, the Hill and the Haram.
This is he that when he moves to kiss the Hajar, indeed does the Hajar almost move to receive his hand.
Never said he Laa ( no) to anyone save in the Kalima,
Had it not been for that, never would he say it?
When noble Quraish sees his like they exclaim; this is the holder of true nobility.
When the saintly assemble, he is their imaam.
And when asked the best of them, to him they point.
This O Hishaam, is the son of Fatima if you know not.
Through his grand father was prophethood sealed.
And never be thy denial of him a fault with him,
Him who is known amongst Arab and Ajam.
In modesty does he cast down his eyes; and in awe of him do men look down before him.
And then they speak not save when he smiles.

It is said that when Hishaam heard this praise of Zainul Aabideen rah, he became so angered that he had Farazdaq imprisoned. Zainul Aabideen rah. was indeed a very saintly, noble person. So many are the incidents illustrating his noble qualities that it is difficult to mention them all. He used to perform one thousand nafl salaah daily. When he performed wudhu his face used to turn yellow. And when he stood ready for salaah his whole body started trembling. Someone asked the reason for that and he replied: “Do you not realize in whose presence I stand?”
Once while in sajdah, his house caught fire. He, however continued his salaah as if nothing happened. When he completed his salaah people had already extinguished the fire. Someone asked him about it and he said: “The fear of a much greater fire (jahannam) did not allow me to be distracted.”
It was a noble habit of his to disguise himself at night and go secretly to people’s houses to help them and many households only subsisted through charitable gifts, while they never knew where it came from and who this person was. It was only after his death that they knew who the generous giver was. Then it was discovered that one hundred households were maintained by him. For this reason Farazdaq did not exaggerate when he recited those lines. (Rowdh)
Imam Malik rah. says: “Of all the people that I have known among the Hashimi family, Zainul Aabideen rah. was the most virtuous.’

Saeed bin Mussayyib rah. says: “I have not seen anyone more righteous than him.”
In spite of all that, when he put on his ihraam for Haj, his face used to turn yellow out of fear, so much so, that he could not utter the Labbaik. Someone asked: “Why did you not recite the Talbiya?’
He replied: “I fear that when I say it, and answer of Laa Labbaik will be heard.”
People insisted that he recite the ward, because it is necessary to recite it, whereupon he obliged. As the words went forth from his lips, he fell down from his animal unconscious. And so it continued until the end of the Haj.

Imam Malik rah. relates: ‘When Zainul Aabideen rah. intended to recite Labbaik, he fell down from his camel unconscious and broke a bone.” (Tahzeeb)
Many words of wisdom are also quoted from him. It is reported that he said:
“Some people worship Allah out of fear. Some worship Him for His great reward. This is the Ibaadah of merchant. The Ibaadah of the free ones is the Ibaadah of those who are grateful.”

Baaqir rah., his son said: “My father, Zainul Aabideen rah, advised me not to associate with five types of people, not even to have them as fellow travelers on an journey. 
- Firstly the evil one who will sell and betray you in exchange for a morsel of food or even less. I asked him what is the meaning of even less and he said: “He will betray you in the hope that he will receive something and in the end receive nothing.”
- Secondly, the stingy one, who when you are in dire need will avoid you.
- Thirdly, the liar, who is like the sand of the desert, from afar it, appears to be water. Things, which are near, he will show to be far and those things, which are far, he will show as near.
- Fourthly, the foolish one who although intending to be of benefit causes harm. It is said, the cleaver enemy is better than a stupid friend.
- Fifthly, that person who cuts himself off from his family. Stay clear of him because thrice in the Qur’an have I found these people mentioned as cursed.” (Rowdh)

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