Download PDF: [S] The Saint who Taught a Lesson on Sustenance

It is reported from Hadrat Sayyiduna Abu Bakr Shibli – may Allah be pleased with him – that one day he went outside with his Mureeds and at that moment there were forty of them.


He then said to them, “There is no doubt that Allah Almighty is the Divine Being Who has nominated the sustenance of every person and when a person fears Allah Almighty then he would get sustenance from a place where does not even know. Therefore, all of you people should remember this and concentrate on this and do not think of anyone.”


He then left them there and departed from that spot. These people remained at this spot for three days, however, nothing appeared to them from anywhere. On the fourth day, Hadrat Sayyiduna Abu Bakr Shibli – may Allah be pleased with him – came and said to them, “O people! Allah Almighty has also made it Mubah upon people to seek for the cause and means of sustenance. Therefore, you should choose someone among you who is considered as truthful and there is hope that perchance, he would be able to bring some sustenance for all of you.”


They then chose that person from among them who was considered as the poorest. This person then walked towards Baghdad Shareef. He began to walk around Baghdad Shareef. However, he could not find anything from anyone. In fact, he became so hungry then he even found it difficult to walk.


He then sat outside the surgery of a Christian doctor and there were many people that used to come to this dispensary. In fact, this doctor also used to diagnose the problems of all of these people within a few seconds.


A few minutes later, this doctor also noticed this poor person who was sitting outside his dispensary. He then approached this poor person asked him what was his problem. However, since this was a Christian, the poor person did not think it proper to reveal his real problem. However, the doctor took his hand and checked his pulse and he then said, “I have now diagnosed your problem and I also know the cure for your problem”.


He then advised this person to sit there and then called his servant. He ordered his servant to go to the bazaar and purchase some bread, some kabab and some sweet meat. The servant then went to the bazaar and returned with all of these items. This doctor then took these items and presented it to the poor person and said to him, “It is my opinion that this is the cure which will fix your problem.”


The poor person then said to him, “If you are truthful in what you are saying, then there are also forty other people who are also suffering from the same sickness.”


The doctor then informed his servant to again go to the bazaar and buy the same food for another forty people. He informed his servant to take this tray of food and follow this poor person. He informed the poor person to lead the way to these forty people.


As they began to walk, the doctor also silently followed them without being noticed. He also wanted to see whether the poor person had spoken the truth to him.


When they reached this cave, the doctor hid behind in a small section without being seen. They then placed all of this food on the floor and called out to Hadrat Sayyiduna Abu Bakr Shibli – may Allah be pleased with him. When the great Saint arrived, as he sat in front of the food, he withdrew his hands and said, “O Mureeds! There is something strange about this food”.


He then turned to the poor Mureed who had brought this food and asked him to explain how he had acquired this food. This person then explained the entire incident to him and also explained that he certainly did not have the means to repay the person for this food. When Hadrat Sayyiduna Abu Bakr Shibli – may Allah be pleased with him – heard this, he declared, “Before we eat, we should make Du’a for the person who gave us this.”


When the doctor saw this, he was also shocked to see that in spite of all of them being extremely hungry, they had restricted themselves from eating and had waited for their great Shaikh to give them advice. He then knocked on the door and after entering, he broke the cross from around his neck and declared, “O Shaikh! Please bring forward your hand because I wish to sincerely accept the religion of Islam”. He then read the Kalimah in front of everyone and accepted Islam. (Roudatur Riyaahen)