HIS POSITION IN THE SILSILA: Shaikh al Itlaaq, Mamba-e-Israar, Sultan-e-Tariqat, Hazrat Shaikh Junaid Baghdadi (Radiallahu Ta’ala Anhu) is the eleventh Imam and Shaikh of the Silsila Aaliyah Qadiriyah Barakaatiyah Razaviyah Nooriyah.
BIRTH: He was born around the year 218 Hijri in Baghdad Shareef.
NAME: His name is Junaid Baghdadi (Radiallahu Ta’ala Anh). He was known as Abul Qasim and he was blessed with titles such as, Sayyidut Taaifa, Ta’oosul Ulama, Zujjaan and Lisaanul Qaum.
SHAIKH-E-TARIQAT: He is the mureed and Khalifa of Hazrat Sirri Saqti (Radiallahu Ta’ala Anh).
HIS CHILDHOOD: When he was seven years old, he went to Haramain Sharifain in the company of Hazrat Sirri Saqti (Radiallahu Ta’ala Anh). When they reached the Haram Shareef, four hundred Ulama were seated there, discussing the topic of Shukr (Gratefulness). All of the Ulama presented their views during this sitting. Hazrat Sirri Saqti (Radiallahu Ta’ala Anh) then turned to Hazrat Junaid Baghdadi (Radiallahu Ta’ala Anh) and said, “O Junaid, you too should say something.” He lowered his sight for a few moments, and then said, “Shukr is this, that you should not be disobedient through whatever bounties Allah has blessed you with, and you should not use it as a means of disobedience and causing distress.” On hearing this, all the Ulama said together, “O coolness of our eyes, whatever you have said is the truth, and you are honest in your words, we cannot say better than what you have said.” Hazrat Sirri Saqti (Radiallahu Ta’ala Anh) said, “O my dear son, from where did you learn such exemplary words?” Hazrat Junaid Baghdadi (Radiallahu Ta’ala Anh) said, “This is through the blessing of your esteem companionship.” [Masaalikus Saalikeen]
HIS EXCELLENCE: He was a great Aalim and Mufti. He was ahead of all in wisdom and eloquence. The only people who could not see the station of Hazrat Junaid Baghdadi (Radiallahu Ta’ala Anh) were those who were blind in faith. He was known as the voice of the people, but he always called himself Abdul Masha’ikh (the servant of the masters). Many of the Ulama also called him Sultanul Muhaqiqeen. He had reached very high levels in Shariat and Tariqat. Many great Shaikhs followed his silsila. He was the greatest Shaikh of his era. He spent time in the khidmat of Hazrat Muhaasibi (Radiallahu Ta’ala Anhu). Once someone asked Hazrat Sirri Saqti (Radiallahu Ta’ala Anh), “Can a mureed’s rank surpass the rank of his Shaikh?” Hazrat Sirri Saqti (Radiallahu Ta’ala Anh) said, “Yes, it is possible. The perfect example is right before you. I am the Peer of Junaid Baghdadi, but he is more exalted than me.”
Once a Sayyid who lived in Jilan, left home with the intention of Hajj. On his journey, he passed through Baghdad Shareef. He thus presented himself in the Darbaar of Hazrat Junaid Baghdadi (Radiallahu Ta’ala Anh). Hazrat asked him where he had come from and he said that he was from Jilan, and was a descendant of Hazrat Ali (Radiallahu Ta’ala Anh). Hazrat Junaid Baghdadi (Radiallahu Ta’ala Anh) then said, “Your forefather Hazrat Ali (Radiallahu Ta’ala Anh) used to draw two swords. One against the kufaar and mushrikeen, and the other against his nafs. Which sword do you draw?” When the man heard this, he went into a spiritual state and began to roll on the ground. He then said, “This is my Hajj, put me onto the path of Allah.” Hazrat Junaid Baghdadi (Radiallahu Ta’ala Anh) said, “Your heart, is the special Haram of Allah, thus you should try to the best of your ability no to allow any non-mahram to enter it.” [Kashful Mahjoob]
HIS CHARACTER AND HABITS: Even though Hazrat Junaid Baghdadi (Radiallahu Ta’ala Anh) was such a great Wali, he was very humble. He always showed great respect to others, even to those who were not as exalted as him. Once he said to his mureeds, “If only I knew that it was better to read two rakaats of nafl than being with you, then I would have not sat amongst you.” He kept fast for most of his life.
Hazrat Junaid Baghdadi (Radiallahu Ta’ala Anh) initially had a business, and used to sell mirrors. His manner was that he used to enter his shop and then read four hundred rakaats of Nafl Salaah. This, he continued for many years. He then left his shop and sat in the khidmat of his Peer-o-Murshid. He took a room in the house of his Peer and then spent his time there cleansing his heart. When he used to enter the state of Muraqiba (spiritual ecstasy), he would remove the musalla from under him as he did not wish to concentrate on anything. He only engrossed himself in the love of Allah and His Rasool (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam). He spent forty years in Muraqiba. For thirty years, he stood after Esha until Fajr and make Zikrullah. He used to make his Fajr Salaah with the wudhu of Esha. He says, “For twenty years, I did not miss the Takbeer-e-Oola (First Takbeer of Namaaz in Jamaat), and if the thought of any worldly thing entered my mind during Namaaz, then I would repeat my Salaah, and if I thought of Jannat or the Hereafter in my Salaah, then I used to make Sajdah-e-Sahw.”
HIS EXCELLENCE IN THE COURT OF RASOOLULLAH (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam): A Buzroog narrates, that once he dreamt of the Holy Prophet (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) and Hazrat Junaid Baghdadi (Radiallahu Ta’ala Anh) was also seated in the Mehfil of the Holy Prophet (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam). He then saw that a person came and presented a query to the Beloved Prophet (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) and the Prophet (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) said, “Hand it over to Junaid. He will write the answer.” The person then said, “Ya Rasoolallah (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) may my parents be sacrificed at your feet. How can it be given to Junaid in your presence?” The Prophet (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) said, “Just as the Prophets are proud of their entire Ummah, I am proud of Junaid.” [Khazinatul Asfiyah, Vol.1]
HIS LECTURES: Hazrat Junaid Baghdadi (Radiallahu Ta’ala Anh) spent his entire life, serving the Deen of Allah and His Beloved Rasool (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam). Once his Peer-o-Murshid asked him to deliver a lecture and he said that he did not find it ethical to lecture in the presence of his Peer. One night, he dreamt of the Holy Prophet (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) who commanded him to lecture. When morning came, he went to his Peer and found that his Peer was already awaiting his presence. As he entered the Khanqah, his Peer said, “We have all been asking you to lecture. Now the Beloved Rasool (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) has given you the command to speak.” He asked his Peer how he had known of his dream, and he said, “Last night I made Deedar of Allah Subhaanahu Wata’ala and I heard a voice which said that the Holy Prophet (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) had already commanded Junaid to lecture.” He agreed to lecture on condition, that there were not more than forty people in his lectures. It was agreed and he delivered his first lecture. During his first lecture, eighteen people passed away. He then stopped his lecture and went back home. [Kashful Mahjoob]
A SINCERE MUREED: Hazrat Junaid Baghdadi (Radiallahu Ta’ala Anh) had various mureeds, but there was one particular mureed, towards whom he paid special attention. A few disciples were not pleased with this and asked him why he gave preference to the mureed over others. Hazrat said that he is the most intelligent and wise amongst all of them, and it was for this reason that he gave preference to him. Hazrat then said, “Let me prove this to you.” He gave a chicken and a knife to each mureed, and asked them to sacrifice it where none would be able to see them. Each of the mureeds found a very quite and secluded area, and sacrificed the chicken. This one mureed, came back without slaughtering the chicken. Hazrat asked why he did not slaughter the chicken, and he said, “Huzoor, wherever I went, I found the Qudrat of Allah present there, and I knew that He is All Seeing. It is for this reason that I had no option but to return without success.” Hazrat then said, “Now, did you hear his answer? This is the reason he is so dear to me.”
KARAAMATS: Hazrat Junaid Baghdadi (Radiallahu Ta’ala Anh) says, “The greatest Karaamat is to remain firm on the Shariat-e-Mustafa (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam).” There is no doubt, that Hazrat Junaid Baghdadi (Radiallahu Ta’ala Anh) was very firm on the Shariah, and his every action was the reflection of the Sunnah of the Holy Prophet (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam). A few of his Karaamats are mentioned below.
There was a mureed of Hazrat who used to live in Basra. He once intended to commit a sin. The moment this thought entered his heart, his entire face turned black. When he looked into the mirror, he was amazed to see his condition. He was very ashamed and stayed in doors. After three days, the blackness disappeared and his face returned to its original colour. On the same day, a person delivered a letter to him, which was from his Peer-o-Murshid, Hazrat Junaid Baghdadi (Radiallahu Ta’ala Anh). When he opened the letter, he found the following written inside, “Keep your heart in control, and remain respectfully as a servant (of Allah). For three days and three nights, I had do to the job of a laundryman, so that I may wash away the blackness of your face.” [Masaalikus Saalikeen]
Once a majoosi (fire worshipper) put on a zanaar (a so-called sacred thread worn by fire worshippers), and then disguised himself as a Muslim by putting on the Arabian garb. He then presented himself before Hazrat Junaid Baghdadi (Radiallahu Ta’ala Anh) and said, “I have come to ask the meaning of a Hadith Shareef, which says, “Itaqu bi firaasatil Mo’min Fa Innahu yanzuroo bi Noorillaahi” (Beware of the spiritual sight of a true believer, for he sees with the Noor of Allah). Could you explain the meaning of this Hadith?” Hazrat Junaid Baghdadi (Radiallahu Ta’ala Anh) heard his question and smiled. He said, “It means that you should break your zanaar, leave kufr and accept Islam.” When he heard Hazrat’s reply, he was astonished, and immediately recited the Kalima Shareef and accepted Islam. [Tazkiratul Awliya]
Once, there was a mureed of Hazrat Junaid Baghdadi (Radiallahu Ta’ala Anh), who felt that he had perfected himself (become Kaamil). He thus, began to live in total seclusion. At night, he used to dream of an angel, which used to present a camel before him. He used to then sit on the camel, and the angel would take him on a journey of Jannat. He used to enter a place that was very beautiful. He used to partake in delicious food and drinks, and he saw the most handsome people there. After a while, he would return to his home. He reached such a state, that he began to tell people, “I am amongst those who visits Jannat daily.” This message reached Hazrat Junaid Baghdadi (Radiallahu Ta’ala Anh). Hazrat then went to visit him, and found him sitting with great pomp and splendour. Hazrat asked him about his claims, and he explained everything in detail. Hazrat said, “Tonight, when you reach this place, you must read Laa Howla wa Laa Quwwata illa Billaa Hil Aliyil Azeem.” That night, when he had the dream and he reached the so-called Jannat, he read as Hazrat instructed him to. The moment he read this, all those in his dream began to shriek and flee from him. He then saw that he was sitting on a donkey, and there were skeletons in front of him. On seeing this be became afraid, and realised his mistake. All that he was seeing was an illusion of Shaitaan. He immediately rushed to Hazrat Junaid Baghdadi (Radiallahu Ta’ala Anh) and repented for his behaviour. He also learnt, that for a mureed to be by himself is like taking poison.
HIS JALAAL: Due to his piety and knowledge, Hazrat Junaid Baghdadi (Radiallahu Ta’ala Anh) became very famous in Iraq. There were however those, who were jealous of his fame. They continuously made accusations against him, and also complained against him to the Khalifa. The Khalifa said that they could not do anything to him as long as there was no evidence against him. The Khalifa then said that he had purchased a very beautiful slave girl, whose beauty outshone all the women of the city. He thus commanded that she be dressed in the most beautiful clothes and adorned with precious pearls and diamonds.
Once she had been dressed, he called her and said, “I want you to go to where Junaid is and remove your veil from over your face and tell him that you want to be his, and that you have become weary of the world. All that you want is to live with him, and for him to help you to gain closeness to Allah.” The Khalifa then appointed a servant to go with her, so that he may be witness to whatever may transpire. The woman presented herself before Hazrat and removed her veil, saying what the Khalifa had commanded.
Hazrat Junaid Baghdadi (Radiallahu Ta’ala Anh) looked up at her once and said something. The woman, could not bear the sight of the Jalaal of Hazrat Junaid Baghdadi (Radiallahu Ta’ala Anh) and fell to the ground and died. When this message reached the Khalifa, he was very sad. He said, “Some people say things about the Masha’ikh which they should not say. The Shaikh has reached a level that he is able to see that which our sights cannot venture.” [Shajratul Kaamileen]
GEMS OF WISDOM: Some of his beautiful and wise sayings are being presented, so that we may read and make Amal upon them.
“A Sufi is like the earth, onto which all the dirt is thrown and yet it blossoms into a green pasture.”
“Tasawwuf is that which kills you and lives by itself. The most powerful relationship is that of the servant to his Creator. When he tries to understand the secrets of Tauheed, all roads are sealed to the creation, except the road to the Beloved Prophet (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam).”
“Do not follow him, who follows the Qur’an and leaves the Holy Prophet (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam).”
“The evil thoughts (waswasah) of the nafs are worse than the waswasah of Shaitaan. Shaitaani waswasah can be neutralized by reciting La Houla… but it requires struggle to overcome the waswasah of the nafs.”
“A person becomes a human being by virtue of character, not by appearance.”
“Obedience to the nafs is the foundation of corruption.”
“One who considers his nafs to be evil is a good servant of Allah.”
“He who does not complain and patiently bears hardships is noble.”
“Blindness is better for the eye which does not derive lesson from the creation of Allah Ta’ala. Dumbness is better for the tongue which does not make the Zikr of Allah Ta’ala. Deafness is better for the ear which does not listen to the truth. Death is better for the body which does not worship Allah Ta’ala.”
“Ikhlaas (sincerity) demands that you deem your good deeds not worthy of acceptance in the Exalted Court of Allah Ta’ala.”
“By renouncing the world and adopting seclusion, Imaan remains safe, the body healthy and the heart happy.”
“One who guards his heart, guards the Deen.”
HIS KHULAFA: Some of his most respected Khulafa are: Hazrat Abu Bakr Shibli, Hazrat Mansoor Abraar, Hazrat Shah Muhammad bin Aswad Dinoori and Hazrat Shah Isma’il Al Aziz (Ridwaanullahi Ta’ala Alaihim Ajma’een).
WISAAL: When Hazrat became aware of his passing away, he asked for those present to assist him in wudhu, which they did. They had forgotten to make khilaal of his beard, so he reminded them of this. He then went into Sajdah and began to weep profusely. Those present asked, “Hazrat, why do you weep so much inspite of having worshipped so much?” Hazrat replied, “Junaid has never been in so much need as he is now.” He then began to recite the Qur’an, so one mureed said, “Hazrat, are you reciting Qur’an Shareef ?” Hazrat said, “What better time is there than now, when my book of deeds will soon be closed. I am seeing my deeds before me, hanging in the air by a thin thread as it sways from the wind blowing against it. I am not sure if this wind is one of union, or one of absolution. On one hand, I am seeing the angel of death, and on the other hand I am seeing the Pul Siraat. There is the Most Supreme Judge, and the path is there. I am not sure of which path I will pass through.” After saying this, he completed the recitation of the Qur’an. He read seventy verses of Surah Baqarah. He then began reading a Tasbeeh on his fingers. When he reached the Shahaadat finger (index finger), he lifted his finger and said, “Bismillah Hir Rahman Nir Raheem”. He then closed his eyes, and the soul left his body, allowing him to travel from this mundane world into the glorious hereafter, on Friday, the 27th of Rajab, 297 or 298 Hijri.
After his wisaal, those giving him ghusl wished to put water on his eyes, when they heard an unseen voice saying, “Do not touch the eyes of My beloved, since those eyes that have closed in My remembrance, shall not open before they see Me.” They then tried to open his fingers, and the voice said, “Those fingers that have been closed in My name, shall only open on My command.” [Masaalikus Saalikeen, Vol.1].
MAZAAR SHAREEF: His Mazaar Shareef is in a place called Shaunizia, which is in Baghdad Shareef. Once someone asked Hazrat Abu Bakr Shibli (Radiallahu Ta’ala Anh) a masla (religious query) whilst he was at the Mazaar of Hazrat Junaid Baghdadi (Radiallahu Ta’ala Anh). He said, I feel ashamed to answer in front of the Mazaar of Hazrat as I felt ashamed to answer in his presence, for I still feel that his sight is upon me.
AFTER HIS WISAAL: After his wisaal, a pious person dreamt of him and asked about the questions of the Angels Munkar and Nakeer. Hazrat Junaid Baghdadi (Radiallahu Ta’ala Anh) said, “The angels came to me and asked me who is my Lord, and I smiled and said, “My Lord is He, Who took the pledge from me on the first day, thus what need is there for me to answer to the servants, after I have already answered to the King.” The angels then left me and said, “He is still drowned in love and is resting in the same love.””