Aisha Al-Manoubya

AÏsha Al-Manoubya (Arabic: عائشة المنوبية‎, ʿĀʾisha al-Mannūbiyya), also known by the honorific Al-Saida (‘saint’) or Lella (‘the Lady’) (1199–1267 CE), is one of the most famous women in Tunisia, and a prominent figure in Islam.

Souk Al Saida Al-Manoubya
ʿĀʾisha was known for her Sufism and good deeds. She was the supporter and student of Sidi Bousaid al-Baji and Abul Hasan ash-Shadhili. Her presence as a woman on the high level of education and advocacy activity and charity event was very unusual in her time.

Dates given for ʿĀʾisha’s life vary slightly, but scholarly sources give 1199–1267 CE (595–665 AH).

According to her hagiography, ʿĀʾisha was born in the village of La Manouba (al-Manūba), near Tunis, and showed signs of her saintliness already in childhood, challenging social norms and effecting miraculous deeds (karamāt). In portraying ʿĀʾisha’s socially transgressive behaviour, her saint’s life ‘aligns her with the Ṣūfī model of the “blamable ones” (ahl al-malāma), those who went about transgressing social norms on purpose’.[2] Among her most famous deeds, ‘after her father had slaughtered a bull at her request, she cooked it, distributed its meat to villagers, and brought it back to life in order to reveal her sainthood. This event is regularly commemorated in song during rituals held at her shrines’.

ʿĀʾisha studied in Tunis with Shādhiliyya Ṣūfīs, moving back and forth between her rural home and urban Tunis. Prominent influences were the female mystic Rābiʿa al-ʿAdawiyya al-Qaysiyya (c. 95/714–185/801); Abū l-Ḥassan al-Shādhilī (c. 593–656/1196–1258), who founded the Shādhilī Ṣūfī order; the Baghdadi ʿAbd al-Qādir al-Jīlānī (470–561/1077 or 1078–1166, of Baghdad, namesake and patron of the Qādiriyya); and al-Junayd (d. 297/910), a Shāfiʿī scholar associated with Baghdad but of Persian origin.

ʿĀʾisha is one of the few women to have been the subject of a written saint’s life (manāqib) in the Islamic world of her time, and ‘represents a leading figure of women’s sainthood in Islam’. Whereas it was customary for female saints in her region to be recluses, ʿĀʾisha mixed with male society, whether the poor; Sūfī scholars; or even the Ḥafṣīd sultan. She had two shrines dedicated to her, one in La Manouba (destroyed in 2012) and the other in the Gorjani district of Tunis.


Her commemoration 

The neighbourhood Saida Al Manoubya in Tunis
In popular memory, ʿĀʾisha represents a powerful and respected saint. One of the souks of the Medina of Tunis, “Souk Al-Saida Al-Manoubya”, was named after her.

A few kilometres from the Medina, a popular neighbourhood, Gourbivilles, takes her name.[4] Al-Manoubya used to retire to pray in that neighbourhood.[5]

The inhabitants of Manouba built a second mausoleum to commemorate ʿĀʾisha under the name of “The Mausoleum of Al-Saida Al-Manoubya” in her birthplace area.[6] That mausoleum is very famous and has a big value in the Tunisian national heritage and history. It was vandalised and burned after the Tunisian Revolution, on 16 October 2012.[7][8][9][10]

ibn_arabi_arab48Primary sources 
Manâqib al-Sayyida ‘Â’isha al-Mannûbiyya (Tunis 1344/1925)
Nelly Amri, La sainte de Tunis: Présentation et traduction de l’hagiographie de ‘Â’isha al-Mannûbiyya (m. 665/1267) (Arles: Sindbad-Actes Sud, 2008)
‘‘Âisha al-Mannûbiyya (v. 1198-1267)’, in Audrey Fella, Femmes en quête d’absolu: Anthologie de la mystique au féminin (Michel, 2016)

Secondary studies 
Many books and studies have discussed ʿĀʾisha’s history. So too have cinema and Sufi songs and performances.The main scholarly studies of ʿĀʾisha are:

Amri, Nelly, ‘Femmes, sainteté et discours hagiographique au Maghreb médiéval: Naissance à la sainteté, naissance à l’histoire; Le case d’une sainte de Tunis, ‘Â’isha al-Mannûbiyya (m. 665/1267)’, in Histoire des femmes au Maghreb: Réponses à l’exclusion, ed. by Mohamed Monkachi (Morocco: Faculté des Lettres de Kénitra, 1999), 253-74. Amri, Nelly, Les Femmes soufies ou la passion de Dieu (St-Jean-de-Bray: Dangles, 1992)
Abū ‘Abd al-Raḥmān al-Sulamī, Early Sufi Women: Dhikr an-Niswa al-Muta’abbidat as-Sufiyyat, trans. by Rkia Cornell (1999)
Katia Boissevain, Sainte parmi les saints. Sayyida Mannūbiya ou les recompositions cultuelles dans la Tunisie contemporaine (2006)


After her father had slaughtered a bull at her request, she cooked it, distributed its meat to villagers, and brought it back to life. This is one of her most famous deeds which is regularly commemorated in song during rituals held at her shrine. She is one of the famous figures in Tunisia and a major figure in Islam. She was the student of Imam Abu Hassan ash-Shādhilī ق. She is Lella ‘Ā’isha al-Manoubya ash-Shādhilī (1199-1267 CE) ق known by the honorific al-Saida [Saint] or Lella [The Lady].

Tunisia, red, located in northern Africa. Image courtesy of Creative Commons

Sufi Master of the Shadhili Path
Lella ʿĀʾisha ق is one of the few women to have a manāqib [written biography of a saint’s life] in the Islamic world of her time, and represents a leading figure of women’s sainthood in Islam. Whereas it was customary for female saints in her region to be recluses, LellaʿĀʾisha ق mixed with society, the poor and rich; the unlearned and scholars; the laymen and the Ḥafṣīd sultan of her time. Biographies have described her as having a high level of education, engaged in much advocacy and charitable activities, performing a large number of miracles and being among the awliya [righteous saints].

Her Life
LellaʿĀʾisha ق was born in the village of La Manouba, near Tunis, and showed signs of her saintliness already in childhood, challenging social norms and effecting karamāh [miraculous deeds]. Her life aligns with the Ṣūfī model of the ahl al-malāmah [blamable ones], those who went about transgressing social norms on purpose.

Growing up in the 13th century Hafsid era in Tunis, LellaʿĀʾisha ق exhibited exceptional intelligence and great intuition. Her father was a teacher of the Quran encouraging her in her education. She was clearly different and not abiding by the constraints imposed on women in her time. When she was informed that she was going to be married to a relative, she refused and decided to move out, an option that is still frowned upon in present-day Tunisia, let alone back in the 1200s. By leaving Manouba for Tunis and sacrificing her family life, she was not only leaving behind the confines of a loveless marriage and traditional social constraints, but also seeking freedom, financial independence and education. According to historians, education during that period was only available to certain women: foreigners coming from the Mashreq, Al-Andalus or to the elite women of the ruling family. She was neither of those.


Her Studies
LellaʿĀʾisha ق continued to defy the social standards of her time. Settling down in Montfleury, she started knitting and spinning wool to support herself. She studied the Quran, mindfully interpret it to understand its meanings, choosing questioning as a path towards faith. She would leave her house and meet with men in order to preach and debate. She quickly rose from student to teacher and soon became a student of the great Imam Abu Hassan ash-Shadhili ق. Her debates with her mentor, Imam ash-Shadhili ق, became an attraction for Sufi scholars and rulers. Pursuing her education at that time was an impressive feat by itself. But pursuing and teaching Islamic studies and religion, a field that is mostly dominated by men, was an even greater achievement.

LellaʿĀʾisha ق took her rightful place as a leading religious figure in Tunis, with access to the highest religious circles. She would accompany her mentor to different prayer locations situated on tops of mountains and hills, considered as a privilege in Sufi circles. She became close to prince Abou Mouhamad Abdel Wahed and subsequently to Sultan Abou Zakariyah, gaining access to prayer areas that were previously restricted to men, like Mousalla Al-Idayn, built by Abou Zakariya in 1229 CE. Preaching in the Mosque of Safsafa (the location is now the shrine of Abdallah Chrif), she shocked and amazed people, as her eloquent style and sophisticated language skills were then only expected of distinguished male scholars.

When LellaʿĀʾisha’s ق mentor, Imam ash-Shādhili ق was leaving Tunisia, he gave her his cloak, ring and the title of Qutb [pole] in an official ceremony, calling her an “imam of men”. She was indeed a pole of knowledge and religion in her lifetime and beyond.

Her Leadership
In addition to her scholarly and religious attributes, Lella Aisha ق was a communal leader in the 12th century. She paid special attention to women in her community. She was known for being generous to the poor, being a philanthropist, using her income to survive and giving away the rest to them. She would provide poor women with jobs and help widows financially. There is also some historical evidence that she bought several Tunisian slaves that were being sent to Italy only to set them free, six centuries before slavery was officially abolished in Tunisia in 1846.Saida_manoubia_,_Tunis_pic1 (1)

Places built in her name
In popular memory, Lella ʿĀʾisha ق represents a powerful and respected saint. One of the markets in the City of Tunis, “Souk Al-Saida Al-Manoubya”, was named after her. A few kilometres from the city, a neighbourhood where she used to retire to pray in that neighbourhood takes her name.

In the governorate of Manouba, west of Tunis, her shrine stands as a historical and cultural landmark of the city commemorating her under the name of “The Mausoleum of Al-Saida Al-Manoubya” in her birthplace area. Her shrine is famous and is in the Tunisian national heritage and history. Many women went to her shrine to participate in gatherings. Poor and homeless women find refuge in the chambers of the shrine which are always open to the public. It is a place for local gatherings and musical celebrations. Visitors join in eating, chatting and enjoying the folk songs praising the saint and singing her qualities. Gatherings of remembrance are conducted by the shrine’s female congregants on every Monday.


SERMON 164 About the wonderful creation of birds

ومن خطبة له
يذكر فيها عجيب خلقه الطاووس

[خلقة الطيور]

ابْتَدَعَهُمْ خَلْقاً عَجِيباً مِنْ حَيَوَان وَمَوَات، وَسَاكِن وَذِي حَرَكَات، وَأَقَامَ مِنْ شَوَاهِدِ الْبَيِّنَاتِ عَلَى لَطِيفِ صَنْعَتِهِ، وَعَظِيمِ قُدْرَتِهِ، مَا انْقَادَتْ لَهُ الْعُقُولُ مُعْتَرِفَةً بِهِ، وَمُسْلِّمَةً لَهُ، وَنَعَقَتْ  فِي أَسْـمَاعِنَا دَلاَئِلُهُ عَلَى

وَحْدَانِيَّتِهِ، وَمَا ذَرَأَ  مِنْ مُخْتَلِفِ صُوَرِ الاَْطْيَارِ الَّتِي أَسْكَنَهَا أَخَادِيدَ  الاْرْضِ، وَخُرُوقَ فِجَاجِهَا ، وَرَوَاسِي أعْلاَمِهَا ، مِنْ ذَوَاتِ أَجْنِحَة مُخْتَلِفَة، وَهَيْئَات مُتَبَايِنَة، مُصَرَّفَة فِي زِمَامِ التَّسْخِيرِ، وَمُرَفْرِفَة  بِأَجْنِحَتِهَا فِي مَخَارِقِ الْجَوِّ  المُنفَسِحِ وَالْفَضَاءِ المُنفَرِجِ.

كَوَّنَهَا بَعْدَ إِذْ لَمْ تَكُنْ فِي عَجائِبِ صُوَر ظَاهِرَة، وَرَكَّبَهَا فِي حِقَاقِ  مَفَاصِلَ مُحْتَجِبَة ، وَمَنَعَ بَعْضَهَا بِعَبَالَةِ  خَلْقِهِ أَنْ يَسْمُوَ  فِي الْهَوَاءِ

خُفُوفاً ، وَجَعَلَهُ يَدِفُّ دَفِيفاً ، وَنَسَقَهَا  عَلَى اخْتِلاَفِهَا فِى الاْصَابِيغِ بِلَطِيفِ قُدْرَتِهِ، وَدَقِيقِ صَنْعَتِهِ; فَمِنْهَا مَغْمُوسٌ فِي قَالَبِ  لَوْن لاَ يَشُوبُهُ غَيْرُ لَوْنِ مَا غُمِسَ فِيه، وَمِنْهَا مَغْمُوسٌ فِي لَوْنِ صِبْغ قَدْ طُوِّقَ  بِخِلاَفِ مَا صُبِغَ بِهِ.


وَمِنْ أَعْجَبِهَا خَلْقاً الطَّاوُوسُ، الَّذِي أَقَامَهُ فِي أَحْكَمِ تَعْدِيل، وَنَضَّدَ أَلْوَانَهُ فِي أَحْسَنِ تَنْضِيد ، بِجَنَاح أَشْرَجَ قَصَبَهُ ، وَذَنَب أَطَالَ مَسْحَبَهُ.

إذَا دَرَجَ  إلَى الاُْنْثَى نَشَرَهُ مِنْ طَيِّهِ، وَسَمَا بِهِ  مُطِلاًّ عَلَى رَأْسِهِ  كَأَنَّهُ قِلْعُ  دَارِيّ  عَنَجَهُ نُوتِيُّهُ .

يَخْتَالُ  بِأَلْوَانِهِ، وَيَمِيسُ بِزَيَفَانِهِ ، يُفْضِي  كَإفْضَاءِ الدِّيَكَةِ، وَيَؤُرُّ بِمَلاَقِحِهِ [أَرَّ الْفُحُولِ الْمُغْتَلِمَةِ  لِلضِّرَابِ ]

أُحِيلُكَ مِنْ ذلِكَ عَلَى مُعَايَنَة ، لاَ كَمَنْ يُحِيلُ عَلى ضَعِيف إسْنَادُهُ، وَلَوْ كَانَ كَزَعْمِ مَنْ يَزْعُمُ أَنَّهُ يُلْقِحُ بِدَمْعَة تَسْفَحُهَا  مَدَامِعُهُ، فَتَقِفُ في ضَفَّتَي جُفُونِهِ ، وأَنَّ أُنْثَاهُ تَطْعَمُ ذلِكَ ، ثُمَّ تَبِيضُ لاَ مِنْ لِقَاحِ فَحْل  سِوَى الدَّمْعِ الْمُنبَجِسِ ، لَمَا كَانَ ذلِكَ بَأَعْجَبَ مِنْ مُطَاعَمَةِ الْغُرَابِ! .

تَخَالُ قَصَبَهُ  مَدَارِىَ  مِنْ فِضَّة، وَمَا أُنْبِتَ عَلَيْهَا مِنْ عَجِيبِ دَارَاتِهِ ،

وَشُمُوسِهِ خَالِصَ الْعِقْيَانِ ، وَفِلَذَ  الزَّبَرْجَدِ. فَإنْ شَبَّهْتَهُ بِمَا أَنْبَتَتِ الاَْرْضُ قُلْتَ: جَنِىٌّ  جُنِىَ مِنْ زَهْرَةِ كُلِّ رَبِيع، وَإنْ ضَاهَيْتَهُ بِالْملابِسِ فَهُوَ كَمَوْشِىِّ  الْحُلَلِ أَوْ كَمُونِقِ عَصْبِ الَيمَنِ ، وَإنْ شَاكَلْتَهُ بِالْحُلِيِّ فَهُوَ كَفُصُوص ذَاتِ أَلْوَان، قَدْ نُطِّقَتْ بِاللُّجَيْنِ الْمُكَلَّلِ .

يَمْشِي مَشْيَ الْمَرِحِ الْـمُخْتَالِ ، وَيَتَصَفَّحُ ذَنَبَهُ وَجَنَاحَهُ، فَيُقَهْقِهُ ضَاحِكاً لِجَمَالِ سِرْبَالِهِ ، وَأَصَابِيغِ وِشَاحِهِ ; فَإذَا رَمَى بِبَصَرِهِ إِلَى

قَوَائِمِهِ زَقَا  مُعْوِلاً  بِصَوْت يَكَادُ يُبِينُ عَنِ اسْتِغَاثَتِهِ، وَيَشْهَدُ بِصَادِقِ تَوَجُّعِهِ، لاِنَّ قَوَائِمَهُ حُمْشٌ  كَقَوَائِمِ الدِّيَكَةِ الْخِلاَسِيَّةِ .

وَقَدْ نَجَمَتْ  مِنْ ظُنْبُوبِ سَاقِهِ  صِيصِيَةٌ  خَفِيَّةٌ، وَلَهُ فِي مَوْضِعِ الْعُرْفِ قُنْزُعَةٌ  خَضْرَاءُ مُوَشَّاةٌ ، وَمَخْرَجُ عَنُقِهِ كالاْبْرِيقِ، وَمَغَرزُهَا  

إلَى حَيْثُ بَطْنُهُ كَصِبْغِ الْوَسِمَةِ  الْـيَـمَانِيَّةِ، أَوْ كَحَرِيرَة مُلْبَسَة مِرْآةً ذَاتَ صِقَال ، وَكَأَنَّهُ مُتَلَفِّعٌ بِمِعْجَر أَسْحَمَ ; إلاَّ أنَّهُ يُخَيَّلُ لِكَثْرَةِ مَائِهِ، وَشِدَّةِ بَرِيقِهِ، أَنَّ الْخُضْرَةَ النَّاضِرَةَ مُمْتَزِجَةٌ بِهِ، وَمَعَ فَتْقِ سَمْعِهِ خَطٌّ كَمُسْتَدَقِّ الْقَلَمِ فِي لَوْنِ الاُْقْحُوَانِ ، أَبْيَضُ يَقَقٌ ، فَهُوَ بِبَيَاضِهِ فِي سَوَادِ مَا هُنَالِكَ يَأْتَلِقُ .

وَقَلَّ صِبْغٌ إلاَّ وَقَدْ أَخَذَ مِنْهُ بِقِسْط ، وَعَلاَهُ  بِكَثْرَةِ صِقَالِهِ وَبَرِيقِهِ،

وَبَصِيصِ  دِيبَاجِهِ وَرَوْنَقِهِ ، فَهُوَ كَالاَْزَاهِيرِ الْمَبْثُوثَةِ ، لَمْ تُرَبِّهَا  أَمْطَارُ رَبِيع، وَلاَ شُمُوسُ قَيْظ . وَقَدْ يَنْحَسِرُ  مِنْ رِيشِهِ، وَيَعْرَى مِنْ لِبَاسِهِ، فَيَسْقُطُ تَتْرَى ، وَيَنْبُتُ تِبَاعاً، فَيَنْحَتُّ  مِنْ قَصَبِهِ انْحِتَاتَ أَوْرَاقِ الاَْغْصَانِ، ثُمَّ يَتَلاَحَقُ نَامِياً حَتَّى يَعُودَ كَهَيْئَتِهِ قَبْلَ سُقُوطِهِ، لاَ يُخَالِفُ سَالِفَ أَلْوَانِهِ، وَلاَ يَقَعُ لَوْنٌ فِي غَيْرِ مَكَانِهِ!

وَإذَا تَصَفَّحْتَ شَعْرَةً مِنْ شَعَرَاتِ قَصَبِهِ أَرَتْكَ حُمْرَةً وَرْدِيَّةً، وَتَارَةً خُضْرَةً زَبَرْجَدِيَّةً، وَأَحْيَاناً صُفْرَةً عسْجَدِيَّةً .

فَكَيْفَ تَصِلُ إلَى صِفَةِ هذَا عَمَائِقُ  الْفِطَنِ، أَوْ تَبْلُغُهُ قَرَائِحُ الْعُقُولِ، أَوْ تَسْتَنْظِمُ وَصْفَهُ أَقْوَالُ الْوَاصِفِينَ؟!

وَأَقَلُّ أَجْزَائِهِ قَدْ أَعْجَزَ الاَْوهَامَ أَنْ تُدْرِكَهُ، وَالاَْلْسِنَةَ أَنْ تَصِفَهُ! فَسُبْحَانَ الَّذِي بَهَرَ الْعُقُولَ  عَنْ وَصْفِ خَلْق جَلاَّهُ  لِلْعُيُونِ، فَأَدْرَكَتْهُ مَحْدُوداً مُكَوَّناً، وَمُؤَلَّفاً مُلَوَّناً، وَأَعْجَزَ الاَْلْسُنَ عَنْ تَلْخِيصِ صِفَتِهِ، وَقَعَدَ بِهَا عَنْ تَأْدِيَةِ نَعْتِهِ!

[صغار المخلوقات]

فَسُبْحَانَ مَنْ أَدْمَجَ قَوَائِمَ  الذَّرَّةِ  وَالْهَمَجَةِ  إلَى مَا فَوْقَهُمَا مِنْ خَلْقِ الْحِيتَانِ وَالاَْفْيِلَةِ! وَوَأَى  عَلَى نَفْسِهِ أَلاَّ يَضْطَرِبَ شَبَحٌ مِمَّا أَوْلَجَ فِيهِ

الرُّوحَ، إِلاَّ وَجَعَلَ الْحِمَامَ  مَوْعِدَهُ، وَالْفَنَاءَ غَايَتَهُ.

[منها: في صفة الجنة]

فَلَوْ رَمَيْتَ بِبَصَرِ قَلْبِكَ نَحْوَ مَا يُوصَفُ لَكَ مِنْهَا لَعَزَفَتْ نَفْسُكَ  عَنْ بَدَائِعِ مَا أُخْرِجَ إِلَى الدُّنْيَا مِنْ شَهَوَاتِهَا وَلَذَّاتِهَا، وَزَخَارِفِ مَنَاظِرِهَا، وَلَذَهِلَتْ بِالْفِكْرِ فِي اصْطِفَاقِ أَشْجَار  غُيِّبَتْ عُرُوقُهَا فِي كُثْبَانِ  الْمِسْكِ عَلَى سَوَاحِلِ أَنْهَارِهَا، وَفِي تَعْلِيقِ كَبَائِسِ اللُّؤْلُؤِ الرَّطْبِ فِي عَسَالِيجِهَا)وَأَفْنَانِهَا ، وَطُلُوعِ تِلْكَ الِّثمارِ مُخْتَلِفَةً فِي غُلُفِ أَكْمَامِهَا ، تُجْنَى  مِنْ غَيْرِ تَكَلُّف فَتأْتي عَلَى مُنْيَةِ مُجْتَنِيهَا، وَيُطَافُ عَلَى نُزَّالِهَا فِي أَفْنِيَةِ قُصُورِهَا

بِالاَْعْسَالِ الْمُصَفَّقَةِ ، وَالْخُمُورِ الْمُرَوَّقَةِ.

قَوْمٌ لَمْ تَزَلِ الْكَرَامَةُ تَتََمادَى بهِمْ حَتَّى حَلُّوا دَارَ الْقَرَارِ، وَأَمِنُوا نُقْلَةَ الاَْسْفَارِ.

فَلَوْ شَغَلْتَ قَلْبَكَ أَيُّهَا الْمُسْتَمِعُ بِالْوُصُولِ إلَى مَا يَهْجُمُ عَلَيكَ مِنْ تِلْكَ الْمَنَاظِرِ الْمُونِقَةِ ، لَزَهِقَتْ نَفْسُكَ شَوْقاً إِلَيْهَا، وَلَتَحَمَّلْتَ مِنْ مَجْلِسِي هذَا إِلَى مُجَاوَرَةِ أَهْلِ الْقُبُورِ اسْتِعْجَالاً بِهَا. جَعَلَنَا اللهُ وَإِيَّاكُمْ مِمَّنْ يَسْعَى بِقَلْبِهِ إِلى مَنَازِلِ الاْبْرَارِ بِرَحْمَتِهِ.

تفسير بعض ما في هذه الخطبة من الغريب

قَوْلُهُ(عليه السلام): «ويَؤُرُّ بِمَلاقِحِهِ» الاْرُّ: كِنَايَةٌ عَنِ النّكَاح، يُقَالُ: أرّ المَرْأةَ يَؤُرّهَا، إذَا نَكَحَهَا. وَقَوْلُهُ(عليه السلام): «كَأنّهُ قلْعُ دَارِيّ عَنَجَهُ نُوتيّهُ» الْقلْعُ: شِرَاعُ السّفِينَةِ، وَدَارِيّ: مَنْسُوبٌ إلى دَارِينَ، وَهِيَ بَلْدَةٌ عَلَى الْبَحْرِ يُجْلَبُ مِنْهَا الطّيبُ. وَعَنَجَهُ: أَيْ عطفه. يُقَالُ: عَنَجْتُ النّاقَةَ أَعْنُجُهَا عَنْجاً إذَا عَطَفْتُهَا. وَالنّوتي: الْمَلاّحُ. وَقَوْلُهُ: «ضَفّتَيْ جُفُونِهِ» أَرَادَ جَانِبَيْ جُفُونِهِ. وَالضّفّتَانِ: الجانِبَانِ. وَقَوْلُهُ: «وَفِلَذَ الزّبَرْجَدِ» الْفِلَذُ: جَمْعُ فِلْذَة، وَهِيَ القِطْعَةُ. وَقَوْلُهُ: «كَبَائِسِ اللّؤْلُؤِ الرّطْبِ» الْكِبَاسَة: الْعِذْقُ . وَالْعَسَالِيجُ: الْغُصُونُ، وَاحِدُهَا عُسْلُوجٌ.


Describing the wonderful creation of the peacock
About the wonderful creation of birds

Allah has provided wonderful creations including the living, the lifeless, the stationary, and the moving. He has established such clear proofs for His delicate creative power and great might that minds bend down to Him in acknowledgement thereof and in submission to Him, and arguments about His Oneness strike our ears.

He has created birds of various shapes which live in the burrows of the earth, in the openings of high passes and on the peaks of mountains.

They have different kinds of wings, and various characteristics. They are controlled by the rein of (Allah’s) authority. They flutter with their wings in the expanse of the vast firmament and the open atmosphere.

He brought them into existence from non-existence in strange external shapes, and composed them with joints and bones covered with flesh.

He prevented some of them from flying easily in the sky because of their heavy bodies and allowed them to use their wings only close to the ground. He has set them in different colours by his delicate might and exquisite creative power.

Among them are those which are tinted with one hue and there is no other hue except the one in which they have been dyed. There are others which are tinted with one colour, and they have a neck ring of a different colour than that with which they are tinted.
About the Peacock

The most amazing among them in its creation is the peacock, which Allah has created in the most symmetrical dimensions, and arranged its hues in the best arrangement with wings whose ends are inter-leaved together and whose tail is long.

When it moves to its female it spreads out its folded tail and raises it up so as to cast a shade over its head, as if it were the sail of a boat being pulled by the sailor. It feels proud of its colours and swaggers with its movements. It copulates like the cocks. It leaps (on the female) for fecundation like lustful energetic men at the time of fighting.

I am telling you all this from observation, unlike he who narrates on the basis of weak authority, as for example, the belief of some people that it fecundates the female by a tear which flows from its eyes and when it stops on the edges of the eyelids the female swallows it and lays its eggs thereby and not through fecundation by a male other than by means of this flowing tear.

Even if they say this, it would be no amazing than (what they say about) the mutual feeding of the crows (for fecundation). You would imagine its feathers to be sticks made of silvers and the wonderful circles and sun-shaped feathers growing thereon to be of pure gold and pieces of green emerald.

If you likened them to anything growing on land, you would say that it is a bouquet of flowers collected during every spring. If you likened them to cloths, they would be like printed apparels or amazing variegated cloths of Yemen. If you likened them to ornaments then they would be like gems of different colour with studded silver.

The peacock walks with vanity and pride, and throws open its tail and wings and laughs admiring the handsomeness of its dress and the hues of its necklace of gems.

But when it casts its glance at its legs it cries loudly with a voice which indicates its call for help and displays its true grief, because its legs are thin like the legs of Indo-Persian cross-bred cocks. At the end of its shin there is a thin thorn and on the crown of its head there is a bunch of green variegated feathers.

Its neck begins in the shape of a goblet and its stretch up to its belly is like the hair-dye of Yemen in colour or like silk cloth put on a polished mirror which looks as if it has been covered with a black veil, except that on account of its excessive lustre and extreme brightness it appears that a lush green colour has been mixed with it.

Along the openings of its ears there is a line of shining bright daisy colour like the thin end of a pen. Whiteness shines on the black background.

There is hardly a hue from which it has not taken a bit and improved it further by regular polish, lustre, silken brightness and brilliance.

It is therefore like scattered blossoms which have not been seasoned by the rains of spring or the sun of the summer.

It also sheds its plumage and puts off its dress. They all fall away and grow again. They fall way from the feather stems like the falling of leaves from twigs, and then they begin to join together and grow till they return to the state that existed before their falling away.

The new hues do not change from the previous ones, nor does any colour occur in other than its own place. If you carefully look at one hair from the hairs of its feather stems it would look like red rose, then emerald green and then golden yellow.

How can sharpness of intellect describe such a creation, or faculty of mind, or the utterances of describers manage to tell of it. Even its smallest parts have made it impossible for the imagination to pick them out or for tongues to describe them.

Glorified is Allah who has disabled intellects from describing the creation which He placed openly before the eyes and which they see bounded, shaped, arranged and coloured. He also disabled tongues from briefly describing its qualities and also from expanding in its praise.
The magnificence of the Creator in great and small creation

Glorified is Allah who has assigned feet to small ants and gnats and also to those above them, the serpents and the elephants. He has made it obligatory upon Himself that no skeleton in which He infuses the spirit would move, but that death is its promised place and destruction its final end.
A part of the same sermon
Describing Paradise

If you cast your mind’s eye at what is described to you about Paradise, your heart would begin to hate the delicacies of this world that have been displayed here, namely its desires and its pleasures, and the beauties of its scenes, and you would be lost in the rustling of the trees whose roots lie hidden in the mounds of musk on the banks of the rivers in Paradise and in the attraction of the bunches of fresh pearls in the twigs and branches of those trees, and in the appearance of different fruits from under the cover of their leaves.

These fruits can be picked without difficulty as they come down at the desire of their pickers. Pure honey and fermented wine will be handed round to those who settle down in the courtyards of its palaces.

They are a people whom honour has always followed till they were made to settle in the house of eternal abode, and they obtained rest from the movement of journeying.

O’ listener! If you busy yourself in advancing towards these wonderful scenes which will rush towards you, then your heart will certainly die due to eagerness for them, and you will be prepared to seek the company of those in the graves straight away from my audience here and hasten towards them. Allah may, by His mercy, include us and you too among those who strive with their hearts for the abodes of the virtuous.
Note explaining some of the wonderful and obscure portions of this sermon

As-Sayyid ar-Radi says: In Amir al-mu’minin’s words “ya’urru bimalaqihihi”, “al-arr” implies “copulation”, e.g. when it is said “arra’r-rajulu al-mar’ata ya’urruha”, it means “He copulated with the woman.”

In his words “ka’annahu qal`u dariyyin `anajahu nutiyyuhu”, “al-qal`” means the sail of a boat. “dari” means belonging to Darin which is a small town on the coast from where scents are bought. And “`anajahu” means “turned it”. It is said “`anajtun’n-naqata – like nasartu – a`najuha `anjan”. “When you turn the she-camel.” And “an-nuti” means sailor.

His words “daffatay jufunihi” means edges of the eyelids, since “ad-daffatan” means the two edges. His words “wa filadhu’z-zabarjadi”: “al-filadh” is the plural of “al-fildhah” it means piece. His words “ka ba’isi’l-lu’lu’i’r-ratibi”. “al-kibasah” means bunch of dates. “al-`asalij” means twigs. Its singular is “`usluj”.

Hadith Koi Banda Momin Nahi Ho Sakta


Hazrat Anas (Razi Allahu Tala Anhu) Se Riwayat Hain Ki Huzoor Nabi e Akram (Sallallāhu Ta’ala Alaihi wa Aala Aalehi wa Sallam) Ne Farmaya:- Koi Banda Momin Nahi Ho Sakta Jab Tak Me Uske Nazdeek Us Ke Ghar Walo, Uske Maal Aur Tamaam Logo Se Mehboob Tar Na Ho Jau…

📚 Reference 📚

1. Muslim As-Sahih, 01/67, Raqam-44..

2. Ahmad Bin Hanbal Al-Musnad, 05/162, Raqam-21480..

3. Aboo Ya’la Al-Musnad, 07/06, Raqam-3895..

4. Bayhaqi Shuab-ul-Iman, 02/129, Raqam-1375..

5. Ibn Hayyan Al-Azmah, 05/1780, Raqam-282..

6. Daylami Musnad-ul-Firdaws, 04/53, Raqam-6169..

7. Ibn Mansur Kitab-us-Sunan, 02/204, Raqam-2443..

8. Al-Minhaj-us-Sawi, Safah-93, 94, Raqam-05.

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