Hadhrat Abu Hafs Hadaad’s Reformation

Prior to his reformation and taking to the Path of Tasawwuf, he had fallen in love with a woman. He was beyond himself, pining away for the woman. He was advised to go to Nishapur where there was a Yahudi magician who would solve his problem. He went and explained his condition to the Yahudi who said that he would have to abandon all kinds of ibaadat for forty days, and constantly reflect on evil so that the magic will be effective. In this way will he achieve his objective.

Hadhrat Abu Hafs did as he was instructed. However, even after forty days he was not successful in attaining fulfilment of his desire. The woman still spurned him. He complained to the Yahudi who said: “Most assuredly you must have practised an act of virtue which had neutralized the effect of the magic. Reflect!” Hadhrat Abu Hafs said: “In these forty days I had not done any deed of virtue except removing impediments from the road where I would walk.” The Yahudi said: “Do not grieve. How merciful is That Allah Who, despite your forty days of disobedience, has shown His mercy merely on account of your slight act of virtue.”

This statement of the Yahudi exercised a profound effect on Hadhrat Abu Hafs. Spontaneously, he repented and thereafter engaged in his profession. He was a blacksmith. He concealed from others his repentance and reformation. He would secretively distribute the day’s earnings to the Fuqara and widows. He would pass by the huts where widows lived and throw the money into the hut. He would hurry on without them being aware of his identity. After Isha’ Salaat he would beg. In this manner he completely concealed himself from the people.* One day whilst he was working at his furnace, he heard a blind Faqeer reciting an Aayat of the Qur’aan Majeed. He became so enraptured by the Aayat that a state of ecstasy overcame him. In this state he thrust his hand in the blazing furnace and extracted a red hot iron, placed it on the anvil and instructed the workers to strike it. However he held the red hot iron in his hand. Soon he came to his senses. When he saw the burning iron in his hand, he threw it down. He realized that those present had witnessed the scene. He therefore, immediately closed down his business and gave everything away. He adopted seclusion and henceforth involved himself in ibaadat and riyaadhat in entirety. He had now abandoned his profession. He commented: “I had desired much to remain in concealment, but to no avail.”

In his neighbour’s house some people would gather to listen to Hadith. The neighbour invited Hadhrat Abu Hafs Haddaad to come and listen to the Ahaadith. He said: For the past 30 years I have desired to do justice to one Hadith, but have failed. How will I be able to do justice to more Ahaadith?”

They asked him for the Hadith. He said:

“The beauty of a man’s Islam is that he shuns futility.”

The Saadiqeen by Majlisul Ulama

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