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It is mentioned that once, someone took a turkey belonging to Hadrat Sayyiduna Shaybaan – may Allah be pleased with him – and placed it in front of a wild animal. The intention was for the wild animal to eat this turkey. However, when this turkey was placed in front of this wild animal, the wild animal began to shake its tail and smelt the turkey instead of eating it. When people asked him what he had read when he had released the turkey, he mentioned that he had not read anything specific but had carefully studied the words of the Jurists who had mentioned the words one should read when he releases his animal.

 

It is also mentioned that once Hadrat Sayyiduna Shaybaan – may Allah be pleased with him – went to Hajj with Hadrat Sayyiduna Sufyan Thouri – may Allah be pleased with him. On the road, they were confronted by a lion. When he saw this lion, Hadrat Sayyiduna Shaybaan – may Allah be pleased with him – grabbed its ear and turned it away from the road. He then said to Hadrat Sayyiduna Sufyan Thouri – may Allah be pleased with him, “If I did not fear publicity, name and fame, I would have placed my shawl on this lion and allowed it to walk with us until we reached Makkah Shareef.”

 

It is reported that once, Hadrat Sayyiduna Imam Shafe’i – may Allah be pleased with him – and Hadrat Sayyiduna Imam Ahmed bin Hambal – may Allah be pleased with him – were walking past Hadrat Sayyiduna Shaybaan – may Allah be pleased with him. Hadrat Sayyiduna Imam Ahmed bin Hambal – may Allah be pleased with him – informed Hadrat Sayyiduna Imam Shafe’i – may Allah be pleased with him – that he wanted to ask this shepherd a few questions. However, Hadrat Sayyiduna Imam Shafe’i – may Allah be pleased with him – suggested to him that he should not do so. In spite of this caution, Hadrat Sayyiduna Imam Ahmed bin Hambal – may Allah be pleased with him – continued. He asked, “O Shayban! What do you have to say about the person who performs four Rak’ah of Salaah and makes a mistake in all four Sajdah? What becomes necessary upon this type of Musalli?”

 

Hadrat Sayyiduna Shaybaan – may Allah be pleased with him – replied, “Are you asking me these questions based upon your Madhab or my Madhab?”

 

Hadrat Sayyiduna Imam Ahmed bin Hambal – may Allah be pleased with him – then asked him to explain the difference.

 

He replied, “According to your madhab, two Rak’ah becomes necessary upon this Musalli and because he had made mistakes, Sajdah Sahw will also become necessary upon him. However, according to our madhab, that Musalli will have to reprimand his heart and inner being so that in future, he does make a mistake.”

 

Hadrat Sayyiduna Imam Ahmed bin Hambal – may Allah be pleased with him – then asked him, “What do you have to say about that person who owns forty camels and one complete year has passed?”

 

Hadrat Sayyiduna Shaybaan – may Allah be pleased with him – replied, “According to your Madhab, he will have to give a single sheep. However, according to our Madhab, a slave never owns anything which belongs to his Master.”

 

When Hadrat Sayyiduna Imam Ahmed bin Hambal – may Allah be pleased with him – heard this reply, he fell on the floor and lost consciousness. When he regained his consciousness, both eminent Imams departed from that place.

 

As we have said in the past, all four Imams of the Ahle Sunnah wa Jamaah were not only Jurists of their era but they were eminent Awliya as well. The type of questions which were presented merely highlight this fact. Hadrat Sayyiduna Imam Shafe’i – may Allah be pleased with him – realized the spiritual status of Hadrat Sayyiduna Shaybaan – may Allah be pleased with him – and had clearly cautioned Hadrat Sayyiduna Imam Ahmed bin Hambal – may Allah be pleased with him – not to question him in the first place.

 

It is mentioned that in the house of Hadrat Sayyiduna Abdullah Qushayri Shafe’i – may Allah be pleased with him, there was a special room which was called “Baitus Saba’a”. It is mentioned that many wild animals used to come in this room and the great Saint used to feed them and only after this, they used to leave this room and return to the wilds.

(Risaalah Qushayriyyah, Nawaadir Al Qalyubi)

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