Stations Of The Wayfarers
By Shaikh-Al-Islam Abdullah Al-Ansari
Translated By Hisham Rifa'i
Paperback 246 Pages
ISBN : 9782841614912
Publisher : Albouraq / Raqim Foundation (2011)
Arabic - English
About The Book
"Stations of the Wayfarers" has always been one of the pillars of Sufi studies for Arabic-speaking scholars and students. For generations, "seekers" and novices have depended on it to build up their knowledge.
English-speaking scholars and students will find in it an authoritative, detailed and inspiring description of the spiritual stages leading to "annihilation and union" with the Supreme Being. The depth of its concepts is astounding, yet Al-Ansari is invariably rational and devoted to Orthodox Islam, as represented by Hanafi School.
The book has a structure that is unique, both in form and content. The Shaikh dictated it as a manual under a format designed to facilitate memorizing by students. It follows a mnemonic system, each chapter being divided into three levels, indication the degrees of the spiritual experience, as well as the "hierarch" of the candidates for the experience. A verse of the Qur'an introduces each chapter.
It is noteworthy that Al-Ansari from Herat, Afghanistan was already blind when he dictated the treatise in 1082 A.D. (475 H.)
The Stations consists of the following Parts or Sections :
1. The Beginnings, comprising chapters on
- Turning to God
- Taking Shelter
- Retreat or Inurement and Audition.
2. The Gates, comprising chapters on
- Capitulation or Humility
- Consecration or Devotion
- Hope and Aspiration.
3. Behavior, comprising chapters on
- Trust and Submission.
About The Author
Shaikh-Al-Islam Abdullah Al-Ansari was born in the Kohandez, Afghanistan on May 4th 1006. His father Abu Mansur, was a shopkeeper who had spent several years of his youth at Balkh. Abdullah was the disciple of Shaikh Abul Hassan Kharaqani, for whom he had deep respect and faith, as he has said: "Abdullah was a hidden treasure, and its key was in the hands of Abul Hassan Kharaqani.
He practiced the Hanbali fiqh, one of the four Sunni schools of law or jurisprudence. His shrine, built during the Timurid Dynasty, is a popular pilgrimage site. He wrote several books on Islamic mysticism and philosophy in Persian and Arabic. His most famous work is "Munajat Namah (literally 'Litanies or dialogues with God'), which is considered a masterpiece of Persian literature. After his death, many of his sayings that had been transmitted by his students along with others that were in his written works were included in the Tafsir of Maybudi, Kashf al-Asrar (The Unveiling of Secrets). This is among the earliest complete Sufi Tafsirs of Quran and has been published several times in 10 volumes.
He also wrote in Arabic Manazir alsairin (stations of the wayfarers) He excelled in the knowledge of Hadith, history, and Ilm ul-Ansab. He used to avoid the company of the rich, powerful and the influential. His yearly majlis-e-wa'az was attended by people from far and wide. Whatever his disciples and followers used to present to him was handed over to the poor and the needy. He is said to have had a very impressive personality, and used to dress gracefully. Khwaja Abdullah Ansari of Herat was a direct descendant of Abu Ayyub al-Ansari, and was the ninth in line from him.
The lineage is described, and traced in the family history records,as follows; Abu Ismail Khajeh Abdollah Ansari, son of Abu Mansoor Balkhi, son of Jafar, son of Abu Mu'aaz, son of Muhammad, son of Ahmad, son of Jafar, son of Abu Mansoor al-Taabi'i, son of Abu Ayyub al-Ansari. In the reign of the third Caliph amongst the Khulafaa-e-Rashideen of Islam, Uthman ibn Affan, Abu Mansoor al-Tabi'i took part in the conquest of Khorasan, and subsequently settled in Herat, his descendant Khwaja Abdullah Ansari died there in 1088.
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