Abu Madyan (1126–1198), also known as Abu Madyan Shu’ayb Al-Ghawth, or Abū Madyan, or Sidi Bou-Mediene, or SidiAbu Madyan Shuayb ibn al-Hussein al-Ansari, was an influential Andalusian mystic and a great Sufi master.
Some even refer to him as the national figure of Maghreb mysticism as he was such a forerunner of Sufism in this geographical area. Devoted to the fervent service of God, he helped introduce looking into oneself and harmonizing internal occurrences with the external observances through asceticism.
Abu Madyan was born in Cantillana (Arabic: قطنيانة), a small town about 35 km away from Seville, in 1126. He came from an obscure family and his parents were poor. As he grew up, he learned the trade of a weaver as it was a popular practice at the time. His insatiable hunger for knowledge, however, piqued his interest in the Qur’an and the study of religion and mysticism.
Soon after, Abu Madyan traveled to Fes to complete his education. He left for Fes at about the end of the Almoravid era or at the beginning of the founding of the Almohad state.There, he studied under Abu Ya’azza al-Hazmiri, ‘Ali Hirzihim, and al-Dakkak. It was al-Dakkak that provided him with the khirka, the cloak passed from Master to student in the study of Sufism. During his time studying in Fes, Abu Madyan became familiar within the works of Al-Ghazali, one of the most prominent, if not the most prominent theologian, philosopher, and mystic of Sunni Islam regarded as one of the renewers of the religion.
Abu Madyan was particularly fascinated with mysticism by Sidi Ali Ibn Harazem. They fasted and prayed together in a continuous fashion as the ideal Sufi, practicing very strict asceticism. Abu Madyan, who came from a poor background, didn’t have a hard time distancing himself from such pleasures. Because of his strict practices, he reached the rank of Qutb and Ghawth. Abu Madyan went to Mecca where he met the great Muslim saint, Jilani, and completed his spiritual training under him. On his return,he went to the town of Béjaïa where he practiced very strict asceticism and acquired an honorable reputation for his knowledge. People would come far to both listen to his public lectures and consult him on certain manners. People believed he could even perform miracles.
His beliefs were in opposition to the Almohade doctors of that town. The Almohades were disturbed at his increasing reputation and wanted to get rid of him.
Eventually, Madyan settled in the town of Béjaïa where he established a mosque-school (zawiya). The sheer amount of fame and influence that Abu Madyan evoked raised serious concern from the political powers of the time. The Almohad Caliph Ya’qub al-Mansur summoned Madyan to Marrakech for this reason so he could talk to Madyan himself. Upon his summoning to Marrakech, Abu Madyan was taken ill and died before he reached his destination in 594/1198, near the river of Ysser His last sigh was supposedly “Allah al-Hakk.” He was buried in al-‘Ubbad near Tlemcen, Algeria. His funeral was widely commemorated by the people of Tlemcen and he has been considered the patron saint and protector of Tlemcen ever since. A mausoleum was built by the order of the Almohade sovereign, Muhammad al-Nasir, too shortly after his death. Many princes and kings of Tlemcen have contributed to this mausoleum since his demise. Many monuments, a good number of them still well preserved, were built in his honor next to his tomb by the Marinid kings, who controlled Tlemcen in the 14th century. One such monument is the Mosque of Madrasa. His tomb became the center of fine architecture and is still a place of pilgrimage for many Sufis today.
The basic principles and virtues taught at Madyan’s school in Bejaia were repentance (tawba), asceticism (zuhd), paying visits to other masters, and service to experienced masters. He emphasized futuwa (youth/chivalry) but only when accompanied by the obedience of devotees to their master, the avoidance of disagreements between devotees, justice, constancy, nobility of mind, the denunciation of the unjust, and a feeling of satisfaction with the gifts of God. Because of his focus on the acceptance of one’s emotions, Madyan and his followers refused to confine themselves to only asceticism and meditation alone, but instead lived day to day by maintaining close relationships with the people around them. Along with sharing his knowledge and ideas with his disciples, Abu Madyan wrote many poems and spoke in proverbs in order to connect with the masses and not just the intellectuals.
According to Yahya B. Khaldun, Abu Madyan’s teachings may all be summed up in this verse which he often repeated, “Say Allah! and abandon all that is matter, or is connected with it, if though desirest to attain the truth goal.”
Aside from attaining Ghawth status and teaching hundreds and hundreds of disciples, Abu Madyan left his mark in more ways than one. He gained immense popularity because he was relatable, despite his high scholarly status. He had a personality and way of speaking that united people from all walks of life, from the common people to the academics. Even to this day, scholars say that no one of the time surpassed him in religious and intellectual influence. His school produced hundreds of saints and out of the 46 Sufi saints in the Rif region, 15 were his disciples. People still visit his tomb today for asking god through him they call it tawasoul , they visit him from all around the world.
There are very few surviving writings from Abu Madyan, and of those that do still exist, there are mystical poems, a testament (wasiyya) and a creed (akida). He encouraged the free expression of emotions rather than rigidity, but also made known his support of asceticism complete devotion to God and a minimalist lifestyle.
- Bidayat al Mouridin, Ms 938, Bibliot. Nat. Alger.
- Diwan, (collection of his poems) édit. Chaouar of Tlemcen, Damascus, 1938.
- Ouns al Wahid, Ms 2-105 (8) fol. 337–343, Bibliot. Nat. Paris, ed. in Cairo 1301–1884, with a commentary by Ahmed Bâ’chan.
- Tahfat al Arib, pub. et trad. in Latin par F. de Dombay, Vindobonae, Ebn Médirai Mauri Fessani Sentenciae quaedam arabicae, 1805
- The Way of Abu Madyan, bilingual collection, Islamic Texts Society, Cambridge, 1996. Transl by Vincent Cornell.
Hazrat Shaikh Abu Madyan, Shoaib Ansaari al-Maghribi rahmatullāhi alaihi :
Aap ki wilaadat 520 Hijri (1126 A.D.) me Seville ke qareeb Cantillana (Andalusia) me hui.
Aap ke waalid ka naam Husain al-Ansaari hai.
Aap ka pariwaar bahot ghareeb tha.
Aap bachpan me hi yateem ho gaye.
Bade hokar Aap ne kapde bunne ka kaam sikhkar shuru kiya.
Magar Aap ke bhai Aap ko jaanwar charaane bhejte the. Aap kisi ko tilaawate Qur’an karte sunte to Aap bahot ranj hota ke kaash main bhi Qur’an ki tilaawat karna jaanta hota.
Ek martaba Aap ne waha se bhaagne koshish ki magar aap ke bhai ne Aap ko pakad liya aur apna neja aage karke kaha ‘Agar phir se tum ne bhaagne ki koshish ki to main tumhe jaan se maar dunga.’ Kuchh din baad Aap ne dobaara raat ko bhaagne ki koshish ki magar subah hone se pehle aap ke bhai ne Aap ko pakae liya aur talwaar se Aap par hamla kiya. Aap ne khud ko bachaane ke liye ek lakdi uthaai. Jaise hi talwaar us lakdi se takraai to wo talwaar toot gai aur ALLĀH ta’ala ke fazl se Aap mehfooz rahe. Ye dekhkar Aap ke bhai ne Aap ko chhod diya.
Phir Aap Marrakech gaye aur waha lashkar me saamil hue aur shaher ki hifaazat ka kaam karne lage.
Magar Aap ko ilm ki aisi talab thi ke Aap ne Qur’an ki aur deegar bunyaadi ta’aleem haasil ki.
Phir Aap Fes aaye aur Hazrat Abu Yaaza Yalnoor, Hazrat Abul Hasan Ali ibn Harzihim aur Hazrat Abu Abdullāh al-Dakkak rahmatullāhi alaihi se ta’aleem haasil ki.
Aap ne Hazrat Muhammad al-Ghazaali rahmatullāhi alaihi ki kitaabo ki ta’aleem haasil ki.
Aap Hazrat Shaikh Ali ibn Harzihim rahmatullāhi alaihi ki khidmat me rehkar ibaadat wa riyaazat karte rahe.
Phir Aap safar karke Makka mukarrama tashreef laaye. Yaha Hazrat Ghauṡ-ul-aazam Sayyed Shaikh Muhiy-ud-deen Abdul Qaadir Jilani radiy-Allāhu ta’ala anhu ki sohbat me rehkar faiz wa ta’aleem haasil ki.
Phir Aap Bejaia (Algeria) tashreef laaye. Aap ne ek khaanqaah ‘Rabitat az-Zayyat’ taamir ki aur ibaadat wa riyaazat karte rahe aur logo ta’aleem wa tadrees karte rahe. Log Aap ki mehfil me wa’az aur taqreer sunne ke liye aur Aap ki baargaah se faiz haasil karne aane lage.
Jab Hazrat Ghauṡ e aazam Shaikh Sayyed Mohiy-ud-deen Abdul Qaadir Jilani radiy-Allāhu ta’ala anhu ne Baghdad me farmaaya ke ‘Qadami haazee hi ala raqabati kulli Waliyillāh ya’ni Mera qadam tamaam Auliya Allāh ki gardano par hai’ tab Aap ne Dayaare Maghrib me apni gardan jhuka li aur kehne lage ke ‘Ilahi! Main tujh ko gawaah karta hu is baat par ke maine un ka qaul suna hai aur un ki Itaa’at karta hu.’
Aap Ghauṡ-e-zamaan, Aarif billāh, aur Imaam-ul-Asfiya the.
Aap farmaate hain ke
(1) Soofi ke liye sirf Mujaahida aur Muraaqaba hi zaroori nahi balke logo se ta’alluq rakhna aur un ko ta’aleem dena bhi zaroori hai.
(2) Nafsaani khwaahisaat aur takabbur roohaani kaamyaabi me rookaawat banti hai. Is ke khilaaf sab se muṡir hathiyaar Nafs ko bhuka rakhna hai. Chunaanche Roza ke zariye nafs kamzor karke kaamyaabi haasil karo.
(3) Gunaahgaar ki Nadaamat Ibaadat guzaar ke Ghuroor se behtar hai.
(4) Insaan ka qalb jab ek simt rooju karta hai to us ke liye dusri tamaam simt par parda ho jaata hai.
Aap ki likhi hui mash’hoor kitaaben :
(1) Ek roz Aap dariya ke kinaare par jaa rahe the ke Firangi kaafiro ke giroh ne Aap ko giraftaar kar liya aur ek kashti me bithane lage. Us kashti me kuchh aur Musalman bhi qaidi the. Jab Aap kashti par baithe to kaafiro ne jaane ke liye kashti ke baadhaan (rassiya) khole.
Un logo ne bahot koshish ki magar kashti apni jagah se zarra bhar bhi na hil saki jab ke hawa bahot tez thi. Wo Aap ka martaba jaan gaye. Unho ne Aap ko kashti se utaara aur jaane ke liye kaha. Aap ne farmaaya ke ‘Jab tak tum log in sab musalmano ko rihaa nahi karoge main hargiz kashti se baahar nahi jaaunga.’
Aakhir kaar un kaafiro ne sab Musalmano ko chhod diya. Us ke baad kashti chalne lagi.
(2) Ek din Aap samundar ke kinaare baithkar wuzu kar rahe the. Aap ki angoothi paani me gir gai. Aap ne bargaahe Rab me dua ki ke ‘Ya Rab! Meri Angoothi mujhe waapas de de.’
Foran samundar se ek machhli apne munh me Aap ki angoothi lekar zaahir hui. Aap ne us se apni angoothi le li aur machhli waapas paani me chali gai.
Aap Hazrat Shaikh Ali ibn Harzihim rahmatullāhi alaihi ke mureed aur khalifa hain.
Hazrat Ghauṡ e aazam Shaikh Sayyed Mohiy-ud-deen Abdul Qaadir Jilani radiy-Allāhu ta’ala anhu, Hazrat Shaikh Abu Saeed Andalusi rahmatullāhi alaihi, Hazrat Shaikh Abu Abdullāh al-Daqqaq rahmatullāhi alaihi ne bhi Aap ko khilaafat ata farmai hai.
Aap se ‘Maghribi’ silsila jaari hai.
Aap ke khulfa :
(1) Hazrat Abu Mohammad Saalih al-Majiri rahmatullāhi alaihi,
(2) Hazrat Mohammad ibn Qaasim al-Tameemi rahmatullāhi alaihi,
(3) Hazrat Abdur Rahmān Attaar Az-Zayyaat al-Madani rahmatullāhi alaihi,
(4) Hazrat Abu Abdullāh Mohammad ibn Harzihim rahmatullāhi alaihi,
(5) Hazrat Abdur Razzaaq al-Jazuli rahmatullāhi alaihi,
(6) Hazrat Malik Baqqiwi Rifa’i rahmatullāhi alaihi,
(7) Hazrat Yousuf al-Qumi rahmatullāhi alaihi,
(8) Hazrat Sayyed Muhammad bin Ali Ba-Alawi rahmatullāhi alaihi.
Aap ki shohrat badhne lagi to Al-Mohad khalifa Ya’aqoob al-Mansoor ne Aap ko Marrakech apne darbaar me bulaaya. Raaste me Aap beemaar hue aur Yasser nadi ke qareeb inteqaal farmaaya.
Aap ka wisaal 28 Moharram 594 Hijri (10 December 1197 A.D.) me hua.
Aap ka mazaar al-Ubbad, Tlemcen (Algeria) me hai.
ALLĀH ta’ala us ke Habeeb sallallāhu alaihi wa sallam ke sadqe me
Aur Hazrat Shaikh Abu Madyan, Shoaib al-Maghribi 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.