Hadhrat Hasan Basri رحمة الله عليه

His name was Hasan and his nickname was Abu Saeed. Another two nicknames are also attributed to him- Abu Muhammed and Abu Nasr. His fathers name was Yasar who was the free Maula (emancipated slave) of Hadhrat Zaid Bin Thabit Radhiyalluhu Anhu. His mother’s name was Khairah who was the Baandi (slave girl) of Hadhrat Umm-e-Salmah Radhiyalluhu Anha, the noble wife of Rasullullah ﷺ. His father had embraced Islam in the 12 Hijri at the hands of Hadhrat Abu Bakr Radhiyalluhu Anhu.

Hadhrat Hasan Rahmatullahi Alaihi was born in Medina Munawwarah during the Khilaafat of Hadhrat Umar Radhiyalluhu Anhu, two years before the Hadhrat Umar’s Radhiyallahu Anhu’s demise.

When he was born, he was taken to Hadhrat Umar Radhiyalluhu Anhu who carried out the tahneek rite.

He instructed,

Name him Hasan because his face is Hasan (beautiful)’

Hadhrat Umm-e-Salmah رضي الله عنها played a prominent role in his upbringing and moral training. According to Hadhrat Abu Zar’ah, at the age of 14 years Hadhrat Hasan became the mureed of Hadhrat Ali Radhiyallahu Anhu. Thereafter Hadhrat Hasan migrated to Kufa and Basrah.

Hadhrat Hasan had three sons- Ali, Muhammed and Saeed.

Hadhrat Hasan was an embodiment of all the lofty attributes necessary for a Wali-e-Kaamil (A perfect saint). A very large segment of the Ummah has always glowingly praised him. Among his contemporaries he was incomparable. Hajaaj Bin Iriat says that when he asked Ata Bin Abi Rabaah concerning Hadhrat Hasan, he said,

‘Cling to him strongly. He is a great Imaam who is followed (by the Ummah)

Hammaad Bin Salmah said,

We have seen many Fuqaha. But we have not seen anyone with such a high moral culture as Hasan Basri.”

“Hasan Basri always accumulated hikmat (wisdom) , then disseminated it.”

Hadhrat Baqir would say,

“Hadhrat Hasan Basri’s speech resembled the speech of the Ambiya.”

He remained perpetually in the state of wudhu. One night his sleep was disturbed more than 70 times. Each time he awoke, he performed wudhu and two raka’ts Namaaz. In taqwa he was unique. In this regard he would frequently say,

“Taqwa is the basis of Deen. Desire and greed destroy this basis”

His relationship with the Sunnah of Rasulullah ﷺ was one of burning love and devotion. He went to extremes in following the Sunnah and instructing others to also follow the Sunnah.

Khauf (Divine Fear) was excessive in him. Frequently this fear would reduce him to tears because he feared that Allah Ta’ala may rebuff him on account of sin which he had committed and reject his ibaadat. Once he accompanied a janaazah to the qabrustaan. After the burial, he stood at the graveside shedding tears in abundance.

Then he said,

“People, beware! The end of the world and the beginning of the Aakhirah is this grave. The Hadith says that the grave is the first of the stations of the Aakhirah. Why love such a world, the end of which is the grave. Why do you not fear Qiyaamah? The inception of which is this grave?

The moving eloquence of his naseehat reduced the gathering to fears.He said that when a person dies and the inmates of the house begin to cry, then Malakul Maut, standing in the doorway, says,

“I did not consume his provisions (rizq). He has completed his provisions. I have not decreased his age. Remember. I have to repeatedly visit this house.”

“Hadhrat Hasan then said,

“I swear by Allah! If the house folk could see the Angel at this time and hear him, they would forget about the dead person and worry about themselves.”

Humility was overwhelming in him. He always regarded himself to be the most contemptible person.

Once when someone asked him,

“Hasan, are you or the dog better?”,

he responded,

“If I am saved from Allah’s punishment, I am better than the dog. But if I am apprehended by Allah’s punishment, the dog is a thousand times better.”

At times when seeing a dog. he would supplicate,

“O Allah! Accept me through the medium of this dog.”

According to Hadhrat Hasan, the omission of Tahajjud Salaat is because of a sin committed. He therefore advised observance of muhaasabah before going to bed and repentance for any sin committed during the day to ensure the acquisition of Tahajjud Salaat.

(Muhaasabah means to take stock of oneself. This exercise entails thinking about the day’s acts and utterances. For every good act recalled, be grateful to Allah Ta’ala and for every sinful or futile deed committed, regret and repent. When a man who regularly performs Tahajjud Salaat misses this Salaat, the omission, after deep reflection, can be traceable to some sinful deed. In relation to the Sulahaa (Pious) even futility and idle talk are tantamount to sins which produce spiritual darkness-Translator)

Tahajjud is difficult for a person who indulges in transgressions.

Allah Ta’ala had bestowed to him a wonderful ability in lecturing. His lectures were most eloquent. He would deliver a wa’z (lecture) once every week. A very large number of people laymen and even Auliya attended his discourses. However, if Hadhrat Rabiyah Rahmatullahi was not present, he would not deliver his discourse. When asked to explain the reason for this, he said, “The drink which fills the water-trough of elephants cannot bepoured for ants.”

Once when Hadhrat Ali Radhiyalluhu Anhu visited Basrah, he attended one of Hadhrat Hasan’s discourses.

Hadhrat Ali Radhiyalluhu Anhu asked,

“Hasan, are you an Aalim or a Searcher of Knowledge?”

Hadhrat Hasan responded. “I am neither. However, I deliver (to others whatever has reached me from Rasulullah Sallallahu Alaihi Wa Sallam)

Hadhrat Ali Radhiyalluhu Anhu then said, “This young man is qualified to deliver discourses.”

So saying. Hadhrat Ali Radhiyallahu Anhu departed and banned all other incompetent lecturers from lecturing.

Once it was reported to Hadhrat Hasan Basri that in the city was a man who loved to live in solitude. One day Hadhrat Hasan visited him and enquired.

“You appear to love solitude. Why do you not meet people?”

He replied, “The duty in which I am occupied does not permit me to meet people.”

Hadhrat Hasan said, “In this place resides Hasan Basri. You should frequent him.” (The man was unaware that it was Hasan speaking to him). The man said, “The duty which keeps me away from others, also restrains me from visiting Hasan Basri.’

Hadhrat Hasan: “What is this duty?”

The Man: ‘When I contemplate, I see Allah’s bounties and my sins. I am thus occupied in rendering shukr for the bounties and repenting for my sins.

Hadhrat Hasan: “You are more intelligent than Hasan Basri. It suffices that you remain occupied in your duty.”

Once when Hadhrat Hasan Basri saw a youth indulging in laughter, he said.

“Have you already crossed the Siraat?” (The Bridge over Jahannum)

Youth ‘No’

Hadhrat Hasan: Do you know whether you are going to enter Jannat or Jahannum?”

Youth: “No!”

Hadhrat Hasan: “Why then this laughter?”

The narrator says that the youth was never again seen laughing.

Mashaaikh of Chist By Hadhrat Shaikh Moulana Zakariyya Kandhlawi Rahmatullahi Alaihi (Translated by Majlisul-Ulamaa)

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