Hazrat Shaikh Sirri Saqti (Radiallahu Ta’ala Anh) was the Imaam of the Ahle Tasawwuf and he possessed in-depth knowledge. He was an ocean of knowledge, yet he was blessed with kindness. He was amongst the students of Hazrat Fuzail ibn Ayaaz (Radiallahu Ta’ala Anh) and was also a Tabe‑Taabi’een. He was amongst the first persons to openly spread the knowledge of Tasawwuf in Iraq.
He was the maternal uncle and Peer-o-Murshid of Hazrat Junaid Baghdadi (Radiallahu Ta’ala Anh). Hazrat Junaid Baghdadi (Radiallahu Ta’ala Anh) says, “ I did not see any person as Kaamil (perfect) as my Peer-o-Murshid.” Hazrat Bishr Haafi (Radiallahu Ta’ala Anh) said, “I never used to ask anything from anyone except for Hazrat Sirri Saqti (Radiallahu Ta’ala Anh), as I was very well aware of his piety and I knew that he was always happy to give.” [Masaalikus Saalikeen]
It was his habit that he performed one thousand Nafl Salaah daily. Hazrat Junaid Baghdadi (Radiallahu Ta’ala Anh) says, “I have never seen a more greater Aabid and Zaahid than him, and I did not see this in anyone else that he had reached the age of 98 and the only time I saw him rest, was at the time of his demise.” [Masaalikus Saalikeen]
He was the perfect example of his illustrious predecessors. Once some of his devotees came to him and asked him to explain the reality of Sabr (Patience). He thus began to deliver a lecture on the topic of patience. Whilst he was delivering his lecture, a scorpion stung him on his feet. He continued delivering his lecture. Those present said, “Huzoor! Kill the scorpion and move it away.” On hearing this he said, “I am ashamed to behave contrary to that which I am discussing, in other words show impatience due to the sting of the scorpion.” [Tazkira-e-Mashaaikh-e-Qadriya Razviya]
He was the Mureed and Khalifah of Hazrat Ma’roof Karkhi (Radiallahu Ta’ala Anh). He also served Hazrat Habeeb Raa’ee (Rahmatullah Ta’ala Alaih). He says, “Once I was sitting in my shop, when Hazrat Habeeb Raa’ee (Radiallahu Ta’ala Anh) passed by my shop, and I gave him some bread. He then made Dua for me and since then, I decided to change my life for the better.” [Masaalikus Saalikeen]
He says, “Once my Murshid blessed me with the opportunity of clothing an orphan child. After I did this, he made Dua for me and said, “May Allah make the world your enemy and may He grant you freedom from this.” The power of his Dua was such that my entire life changed and I divorced myself from the world.”
He was a very kind and honourable person. He was also a very humble personality. Once he said, “Thirty years have passed now, and I am still making Tauba (Repenting) because of one thing that I made Shukr (thanks) for.” People asked what he meant and he said, “Once there was a fire in the market place and all the shops burnt down except mine. When I was informed of this, I made Shukr (thanked Allah Ta’ala). I thus make Tauba, since it meant that by saying Alhamdulillah my shop was saved, meant that I felt I was better than my Muslim brothers and that I was pleased that a worldly possession was saved.” [Masaalikus saalikeen]
Once he was delivering a lecture in Baghdad Shareef and one of the ministers of the Khalifah came with great pomp and splendour and sat in the gathering. His name was Ahmad bin Yazeed. At the time when he entered, Shaikh Sirri Saqti (Radiallahu Ta’ala Anh) was saying, “From all Allah’s creation, the weakest creation is man, yet he is so brave in committing major sins. It is sad, very sad.” These words of his entered the heart of the minister. He immediately went home and remained in silence. He did not even eat a meal that night. He remained hungry the entire night and in the morning he dressed in the clothes of a Faqeer and presented himself in the court of Hazrat Shaikh Sirri Saqti (Radiallahu Ta’ala Anh). He said, “Yesterday your lecture made a great impact on my heart, so please help me to gain closeness to Allah Ta’ala.” Shaikh Sirri Saqti (Radiallahu Ta’ala Anh) said, “The normal method is that you should read your five times Salaah with Jamaat and give Zakaat from your wealth and follow all the laws of Shariah with sincerity. The special method is this, that you should divorce yourself from the world and remain engrossed in the Ibaadat (worship) of Allah Ta’ala and that you should only desire the Pleasure of Allah Ta’ala and nothing else.” Shaikh Sirri Saqti (Radiallahu Ta’ala Anh) was still advising him, when Ahmad bin Yazeed stood up and immediately walked towards the jungle. After a few days, his mother arrived crying. She said that he was her only son and she did not know where he had gone. Shaikh Sirri Saqti (Radiallahu Ta’ala Anh) said, “O dear old woman! Your son will return soon and I shall inform you when he returns.” After a few days, he returned in the garb of a Faqeer and only stayed for a while and then left. He then came to Shaikh Sirri Saqti (Radiallahu Ta’ala Anh) once more and during that visit he passed away in the hands of Shaikh Sirri Saqti (Radiallahu Ta’ala Anh). [Masaalikus saalikeen]
Once he saw a drunk person lying on the ground, calling the name of Allah. Shaikh Sirri Saqti (Radiallahu Ta’ala Anh) washed his mouth and said, “He does not know that he is taking the most exalted name with his impure mouth.” After he left, the drunk man became sober. Those that were present told him what had happened while he was intoxicated. He was very embarrassed and he began to curse his nafs and wept bitterly. He said, “O shameless nafs! Sirri Saqti has now seen you in this sad state and he too left. Now fear Allah and repent.” That night, Hazrat Sirri Saqti (Radiallahu Ta’ala Anh) heard a voice from the unseen which said, “You washed his mouth for My Sake and I have washed his heart for your sake.” When Shaikh Sirri Saqti (Radiallahu Ta’ala Anh) went to the Masjid for Tahajjud Salaah, he found the same man who was previously drunk, now in the Masjid reading his Tahajjud Salaah. Shaikh Sirri Saqti (Radiallahu Ta’ala Anh) asked how the sudden change had occurred in him and he said, “Why do you ask me concerning this, when Allah Ta’ala has already informed you about it.” [Tazkira-e-Mashaaikh-e-Qadriya Razviya]
Hazrat Junaid Baghdadi (Radiallahu Ta’ala Anh) says, “Once I presented myself at the home of Shaikh Sirri Saqti (Radiallahu Ta’ala Anh) and I found him very sad and silent. I asked the reason for his condition and he said, “A Pari (female Jinn) from amongst the fairies came to me and asked the meaning of Haya (modesty) and when I explained the meaning to her, she melted like wax. I even saw the water from the body of the Pari.”
Hazrat Junaid Baghdadi (Radiallahu Ta’ala Anh) also narrates, “I went to visit him when he took ill. There was a fan kept close to him, so I used it to fan him. He then said, “O Junaid! Put it down. Fire is more powerful than wind.” I then asked him about his condition and asked him to advise me, and then he said, “Do not be diverted from the Love of Allah Ta’ala through the companionship of the people.” He then passed away from this world on the 13thof Ramadaan 283 Hijri at the age of 98, in Baghdad Shareef. [Tazkira-e-Mashaaikh-e-Qadriya Razviya]
May Allah Ta’ala grant us the Taufeeq to love the Awliya Allah, to learn from their lives and to practice upon their teachings, Allahumma Ameen.