Abu Ali Shaqiq ibn Ebrahim al-Azdi of Balkh, a man of wide learning, began his career as a merchant but later turned to the ascetic way. He made the pilgrimage to Mecca, and was martyred fighting in the holy wars in 194 (810).
The career of Shaqiq-e Balkhi
Shaqiq-e Balkhi was a master of many sciences, and wrote many books. He taught Hatem the Deaf, whilst he learned the Way from Ebrahim-e Adham. He claimed to have studied under I,700 teachers, and to have acquired several camels loads of books. The circumstances of his conversion were as follows.
Shaqiq went to Torkestan on a trading expedition. On the way he paused to look at a temple, where he saw an idolater worshipping an idol and making humble obeisance.
You have a Creator who is living and omnipotent and omniscient, he told the man. Worship Him. Have some shame; do not worship an idol from which neither good nor evil comes.
If it is as you say, the idolater replied, is He not able to provide you with your daily bread in your own city? Must you then come all this way here?
These words awakened Shaqiq to the truth, and he turned back towards Balkh. A Zoroastrian happened to travel along with him.
What are you engaged upon? asked the Zoroastrian.
Trading, Shaqiq replied.
If you are going in search of sustenance that has not been preordained for you, you can travel till the resurrection and you will not attain it, said the other. And if you are going after sustenance that has been foreordained for you, do not trouble to go; it will come to you of itself.
These words awakened Shaqiq still further, and his love for worldly things grew chill.
Finally Shaqiq returned to Balkh, where his friends gave him a warm welcome; for he was famous for his generosity. Now the Prince of Balkh at that time was Ali ibn Isa ibn Haman, and he kept hunting-dogs. It so happened that one of his dogs was missing.
It is with Shaqiqs neighbour, they told him.
The man was arrested and accused of stealing the dog. They beat him about, and he turned to Shaqiq for protection. Shaqiq went to the Prince.
Give me three days, and I will bring your dog back to you. Set my friend free, he begged.
The Prince set Shaqiqs neighbour free. Three days later by chance a man found and captured the dog.
I must take this dog to Shaqiq, he thought. He is a generous man, and will give me something.
So he brought the dog to Shaqiq. Shaqiq brought it to the Prince, and thus he was quit of his pledge. Thereupon he resolved to turn his back on the world entirely.
Later there was a great famine in Balkh, so that men were devouring one another. In the market Shaqiq saw a young slave laughing happily.
Slave, what occasion for merriment is this? Shaqiq demanded. Do you not see how the people are suffering from hunger?
Why should I be worried? the slave answered. My master owns a whole village and has plenty of grain. He will never let me go hungry.
Shaqiq lost all self-control on hearing this reply.
O God, he cried, this slave is so happy in having a master who owns a stack of corn. Thou art the King of Kings, and hast undertaken to give us our daily bread. Why then should we be anxious?
He thereupon abandoned all worldly occupation and made sincere repentance. He set forth on the path to God, in whom he put perfect trust. He used to say, I am the pupil of a slave.
Hatem the Deaf relates the following anecdote. I went with Shaqiq to the holy war. One day the
fighting was very fierce; the ranks were drawn up so closely that nothing could be seen but the tips of lances, and arrows were raining from the sky.
Hatem, Shaqiq called to me, how are you enjoying yourself? May be you are thinking it is last night, when you were sleeping in your bedclothes with your wife!
Not at all, I replied.
In Gods name why not? Shaqiq cried. That is how I feel. I feel as you did last night in your bedclothes.
Then night came on, and Shaqiq laid down and, wrapping himself in his gown, fell fast asleep. So completely did he rely upon God that in the midst of so many enemies he slept soundly.
One day Shaqiq was lecturing when news ran through the city that the infidels were at the gates. Shaqiq ran out and routed the unbelievers, then he returned. A disciple placed a handful of flowers near the Masters prayer rug. He picked them up and smelt them.
An ignorant fellow saw this and shouted,
An army at the gates, and the imam of the Muslims holds flowers to his nose!
The hypocrite sees the smelling of flowers all right, but he does not see the routing of the infidels, Shaqiq commented.
Shaqiq-e Balkhi before Harun al-Rashid
When Shaqiq set out on the Mecca pilgrimage and reached Baghdad, Harun al-Rashid summoned him.
Are you Shaqiq the Ascetic? Harun demanded when he came into his presence.
I am Shaqiq, he replied, but not the Ascetic.
Counsel me, Harun commanded.
Then attend, Shaqiq proceeded. Almighty God has set you in the place of Abu Bakr the Trusty, and requires trustiness from you as from him. He has set you in the place of Omar the Discriminator, and requires from you as from him discrimination between truth and falsehood. He has set you in the place of Othman of the Two Lights, and requires from you as from him modesty and nobility. He has set you in the place of Ali the Well-approved, and requires from you as from him knowledge and justice.
Say more, Harun cried.
God has a lodging-place called Hell, Shaqiq said. He has appointed you its doorkeeper, and has equipped you with three thingswealth, sword and whip. With these three things, He commands, keep the people away from Hell. If any man comes to you in need, do not grudge him money. If any man opposes Gods commandment, school him with this whip. If any man slays another, lawfully exact retaliation on him with this sword. If you do not these things, you will be the leader of those that enter Hell.
Say more, Harun repeated.
You are the fountain, and your agents are the rivulets, said Shaqiq. If the fountain is bright, it is not impaired by the darkness of the rivulets. But if the fountain is dark, what hope is there that the rivulets will be bright?
Say more, Harun said again.
Suppose you are thirsting in the desert, so that you are about to perish, Shaqiq went on. If in that moment you come upon a draught of water, how much will you be willing to give for it?
As much as the man demands, said Harun. And if he will not sell save for half your kingdom?
I would give that, Harun replied.
And suppose you drink the water and then it will not come out of you, so that you are in danger of perishing, Shaqiq pursued. Then someone tells you, I will cure you, but I demand half your kingdom. What would you do?
I would give it, answered Harun.
Then why do you vaunt yourself of a kingdom, said Shaqiq, the value of which is one draught of water which you drink, and then it comes out of you?
Harun wept, and sent Shaqiq away with all honour.
Ek Martaba Khaja Shafiq Balkhi Rahmatullahi ‘Alayh Kee Mulaaqaat Mehtar Hazrat Khizar ‘Alayh Al-Salam Se Hu’i Aap Ne Ajib-o Gharib Sawaal Ki’e Min-Jumla Ek Yeh Bhi Ki Mein Ne Suna Hai Ki Qiyaamat Ke Din Aboo Talib Dozakh Me Nahin Ja’enge.
Farmaya: Thik Hai Main Ne Sarware Ka’enat SallAllahu ‘Alayhi Wa-Aalihi Wa-Sallam Kee Zabaane Mubaarak Se Suna Hai Jo Farmaate Hain Ki Aboo Talib Qiyamat Ke Din Behisht Me Ja’enge.
Khaja Shafiq Balkhi Ne Puchha! Dalil?
Farmaya: Ek Dalil To Yeh Hai Ki Jab Aap RadiyAllahu ‘Anhu Faut Hu’e Hain To Dunya Se Baa Imaan Ga’e Hain Us Din Se Shaitaan Ghamnaak Hai Aur Jab Us Kee Qaum Ghamnaaki Kee Waj’h Puchhi To Us Ne Kaha Ki Is Waaste Ki Woh (Ya’ni Hazrat Aboo Talib RadiyAllahu ‘Anhu) Dunya Se Baa Imaan Ga’e Hain.
[Rahat Al-Muhibbin, Mutarjim, 02/116.]
Aap ki wilaadat Balkh me hui.
Aap ke waalid ka naam Ibrāheem al-Azdi hai.
Ek martaba Aap tijaarat ke liye safar kar rahe the. Aap Turkstan pahunche to waha but-parast ko but ki pooja karte dekha. Aap ne un se farmaaya ‘Hamara khaaliq wo hai jo hamesha Qayyoom [zinda rehne waala], qaadir e mutlaq aur Razzaaq hai. Us ki hi ibaadat karo. Is but ki ibaadat kyun karte ho jis se hume na koi nafa hota hai na koi nuqsaan.’ Us shakhs ne kaha ‘Agar jaisa tum kehte ho waisa hi hai to wo tumhe tumhare mulk me bhi rizq pahuncha sakta hai. Tumhe safar karke itna door aane ki kya zaroorat hai.’ Ye sunkar Aap apne watan Balkh ki taraf waapas safar karne lage.
Raaste me ek Majoosi mila. Us ne Aap se puchha ‘Tum kya karte ho?’ Aap ne kaha ‘Tijaarat.’ Us ne kaha ‘Agar tum us Rizq ke talaash karte rahoge jo tumhari qismat me nahi hai to wo kabhi bhi nahi milega aur jo rizq muqarrar hai wo to tumhe kisi bhi maqaam par mil jaayega.’
Ye sunkar Aap ke dil se dunyaawi cheezo ki mohabbat door ho gai aur Aap Balkh waapas aakar wahi sukoonat pazeer ho gaye.
Ek martaba Balkh ke shehzaade Ali bin Eisā ka ek shikaari kutta gum ho gaya. Shehzaade ke sipaahiyo ne Aap ke padosi par chori ka ilzaam lagakar use giraftaar kar liya aur use maarte hue darbaar me le jaane lage. Aap ko dekhkar us shakhs ne bachaane ke liye iltija ki. Aap ko raham aaya. Aap darbaar me gaye aur farmaaya ‘Mere dost ko chhod do. Mujhe 3 din ka waqt do, in shaa Allāh main us kutte ko dhundhkar tumhare hawaale kar dunga.’ Shehzaade ne Aap ke dost ko riha kar diya.
Teesre din wo kutta ek shakhs ko mila. Us ne socha ke ‘Main is kutte ko Shafeeq ke paas le jaata hu. Shaayad is ke badle mujhe kuchh maal mil jaaye.’ Is tarah Aap wo kutta lekar darbaar me aaye aur apna waada pura kiya.
Is ke baad Aap ne Hazrat Sultaan Ibrāheem bin Ad’ham al-Balkhi rahmatullāhi alaihi ki sohbat me Tareeqat wa Sulook ki ta’aleem haasil ki.
Aur kaṡeer ta’adaada me Mashai’kh se Shariat wa Tasawwuf ki ta’aleem haasil ki.
Ek martaba Shahere Balkh me qahet-saali ho gai. Aap ne bazaar me ek ghulaam ko bahot khush dekhkar puchha ke ‘Log qahet se barbaad ho gae he aur tu is qadr khush nazar aata hai?’ Us ne jawaab diya ke ‘Mere Aaqa ke yaha bahot galla (anaaj) maujood hai aur wo mujhe kabhi bhuka na rakhega.’
Aap ne ALLAH ta’ala se arz kiya ‘Aye ALLĀH! Jab ek Ghulaam ko apne aaqa par is qadr aitemaad hai to teri zaat par main kyu aitemaad na karu jab ke tu to Maalik-ul-mulk hai.’
Is ke baad Aap ne Dunya se kinaara-kashi ikhtiyaar kar li. Hatta ke Aap Tawakkul me me’araaje kamaal tak pahunch gaye. Aap akṡar farmaaya karte the ke ‘Mera Ustaad to ek Ghulaam hai.’
Ek martaba Aap wa’az farma rahe the. Khabar mili ke shaher par kaafiro ne hamla kar diya hai. Aap foran shaher ke darwaaze ki taraf gaye aur dushmano ka muqaabala karke unhe bhaga diye. Aap jab waapas aaye to Aap ke kisi shaagird ne Aap musalle ke paas gul-dasta rakha tha. Aap ne us gul-daste ko uthaaya aur sooghne lage. Ye dekhkar kisi ne kaha ‘Shaher ke darwaaze par lashkar khada hai aur musalmano ke Imaam phool soongh rahe hain.’ Ye sunkar Aap ne framaaya ke ‘Munaafiq ko phool soonghna dikhaai deta hai magar dushmano ka muqaabala karna dikhaai nahi deta.’
Jab Aap Hajje Baitullāh ada karne ke liye nikle to raaste me Baghdad me Khalifa Hāroon al-Rasheed ne Aap ko apne darbaar me bulaaya.
Jab Aap us ke darbaar me pahunche to Hāroon al-Rasheed ne puchha ‘Aap Zaahid Shafeeq hain?’ Aap ne farmaaya ‘Main Shafeeq Balkhi hu magar Zaahid nahi hu.’
Hāroon al-Rasheed ne kuchh naseehat ke liye kaha to Aap ne irshaad farmaaya ‘ALLĀH ta’ala ne tumhe Hazrate Abu Bakr Siddeeq radiy-Allāhu ta’ala anhu ki maqaam par bithaaya hai to tum se Sidq ka muzaahira hona chaahiye. ALLĀH ta’ala ne tumhe Hazrate Umar Faarooq radiy-Allāhu ta’ala anhu ki maqaam par bithaaya hai to tum haq wa baatil me farq karo. ALLĀH ta’ala ne tumhe Hazrate Uṡmaan Ghani Zun-Noorain radiy-Allāhu ta’ala anhu ki maqaam bithaaya hai to Haya aur Karam ko ikhtiyaar karo. Hazrate Ali Murtaza radiy-Allāhu ta’ala anhu ki maqaam bithaaya hai to tum Ilm wa amal ko apnaao.’
Hāroon al-Rasheed ne kuchh aur naseehat ke liye kaha to Aap ne irshaad farmaaya ‘ALLĀH ta’ala ne ek saraay [Dozakh] banai hai. Tum us ke darbaan ho. ALLĀH ta’ala ne tumhe 3 cheeze di hai : Maal, Talwaar aur Durra(whip). Un 3 cheezo se logo ko dozakh se door rakho. Zaroorat-mando ko maali imdaad do, Sarkasho ko Durra /Taazyaan se taadib karo, talwaar ke istemaal se mazloomo ko zaalimo se najaat dilaao.’
Hāroon al-Rasheed ne kuchh aur naseehat ke liye kaha to Aap ne irshaad farmaaya ‘Tum ek chashma ho tumhare Aamil us ki nehre hain. Agar chashma saaf hoga to nehro me bhi paani saaf aayega aur agar chashma hi saaf nahi hoga to nehro me kaise saaf paani aayega?’
Hāroon al-Rasheed ne kuchh aur naseehat ke liye kaha to Aap ne farmaaya ke ‘Tum tanha kisi registan me jaa rahe ho aur tumhe shiddat se pyaas lage aur jaan bachaane ke liye tumhe ek piyaala paani khareedna pade to kitni qeemat ada karoge?’ Hāroon al-Rasheed ne kaha ke ‘Us paani ke badle main apni aadhi saltanat dekar apni jaan bachaaunga.’ Aap ne farmaaya ke ‘Agar us ke baad ittefaaq se wo paani peshaab rook jaaye aur wo paani peshaab ke zariye baahar na nikle aur tumhe pait me shadeed dard hone lage aur koi shakhs tum se kahe ke is ka ilaaj kar sakta hu magar apni aadhi saltanat deni hogi to tum kya karoge?’ Hāroon al-Rasheed ne kaha ‘Main apni aadhi saltanat use de dunga aur ilaaj karaake apni jaan bachaaunga.’ Aap ne farmaaya ke ‘To phir tum apni saltanat par kaise naaz kar sakte ho jis me se aadhi ek piyaala paani farokht karne ke badle chali jaaye aur aadhi us paani ko baahar nikaalne ke badle chali jaaye.’
Ye sunkar Hāroon al-Rasheed ro pada aur kaha ‘Waaqa’i Aap zaahid ho aur sache ho.’
Aap farmaate hain :
(1) ALLĀH ta’ala ki Raza-mandi 4 cheezo me hai :
 Rizq se Mutmaeen hona,
 Har kaam me Ikhlaas,
 Shaitaan se Adaawat,
 Aakhirat ka toshe me jama karte rehna.
(2) Jis Shaks me 3 cheezen nahi us ko Dozakh se nijaat nahi :
 Aman,  Khauf,  Ijtiraar.
(3) 3 baato par amal kiye baghair faa’ida nahi hota khwaah wo be-shumaar kitaaben padh le :
 Dunya se mohabbat na rakhe, Kyun ki yeh musalman ka Ghar nahi.
 Shaitaan se dosti na kare, Kyun ki yeh musalman ka Rafeeq nahi.
 Kisi ko takleef na de, Kyun ki yeh musalman ka Pesha nahi.
(4) Log 4 cheezo ka daawa karte hain magar un ka amal un ke daawe ke khilaaf hai :
 Wo kehte hain ke hum ALLĀH ke bande hain, magar un ke aamal aazaad jaise hain.
 Wo kehte hain ALLĀH ta’ala hi hamari Rozi ka kafeel hai magar wo bahot saara maal o daulat jama kar lene ke baad bhi mutmaeen nahi hote.
 Wo kehte hain ke Dunya se aakhirat behtar hai magar wo sirf dunya hi ki behtari ke liye koshish karte hain.
 Wo kehte hain ke hum eek din zaroor marna padega zindagi ka andaaz aisa hai ke goya kabhi marna hi nahi hai.
(5) Sachi Tauba ki alaamat ye hain ke apne gunaaho aur khataao par roye, Dobaara Gunaah ki taraf jaane se dare, Buri sohbat se door rahe aur Nek logo ki sohbat ikhtiyaar kare.
Aap Hazrat Khwaja Sultaan Ibrāheem bin Ad’ham rahmatullāhi alaihi ke mureed aur khalifa hain.
Hazrat Imaam Sayyed Moosā al-Kaazim rahmatullāhi alaihi ne bhi Aap ko khilaafat ata farmai hai.
Aap ke khalifa Hazrat Khwaja Haatim Asam rahmatullāhi alaihi hain.
Aap ka wisaal 9 Ramazaan 194 Hijri (810 A.D.) ko hua.
Aap ka mazaar Khatlon (Tajikistan) me hai.
ALLĀH ta’ala us ke Habeeb sallallāhu alaihi wa sallam ke sadqe me
Aur Hazrat Khwaja Shafeeq al-Balkhi rahmatullāhi alaihi aur tamaam Auliya Allāh ke waseele se
Sab ko mukammal ishq e Rasool ata farmae aur Sab ke Eimaan ki hifaazat farmae aur Sab ko nek amal karne ki taufiq ata farmae.
Aur Sab ko dunya wa aakhirat me kaamyaabi ata farmae aur Sab ki nek jaa’iz muraado ko puri farmae.