1st Qutb

His Holiness

Sheikh Junaid Baghdadi




The First Qutb in the Era of Absence and the Master of the Clan and Swimmer of the Seas of the Truth and the Sheikh of Tarighah, Sheikh Junaid Baghdadi. His patronymic name Abol Qasem and his respectable name Junaid bin Mohammad bin Junaid al-Khazzazi Al Qawareeri. Chronologically, his birthdate has been recorded in the year 207 Hijri (823 AD). He was originally from Nahavand and born in Baghdad. Due to the occupation of his father as a glass merchant, was well known as “Qawareeri” and because sometimes used to sell fur also, was known as “Khazzaz” and likewise it is said that His Holiness after returning back from Mecca, was at the services of His Holiness Sari, and was also engaged in glass-selling.

His Holiness started studying sciences from the age of seven and learned and completed religious jurisprudence from Abu Ali Soori, a student of Imam Shafei. At the age of twenty started religious decree, and in a very short time his fame in excellence reached such a degree that he was said to be a Shafei jurisprudent and the jurists of that age were proud to be his students. Such that Abol Abbas bin Sareej, a Shafei jurist, whenever delivered speech on principles or branches of religion which was amazing to those present used to say: This is a blessing from the outcome of the companionship with Abol Qasem Junaid.

His Holiness was unique in the science of exegesis and references and oration and rhetoric of the minutest delicateness of the Glorious Koran. For sometime used to preach in the school (Jamih) of Baghdad, but due to the severity of dissimulation used to pretend to be a follower of  Sofyan Soori, till under the inner esoteric training and spiritual generosity of His Eminence Sari reached the degree of perfection in Sufism and obtained the permission to guide and leading people on behalf of His Eminence Sari and was approved and honored by the presence of His Holiness Imam Ali Al Naqi (AS) and after that Imam, his permission accordingly was approved by His Holiness Imam Hassan Askari (AS) and finally was illumined to the position of vicegerent and successor of His Eminence Sari and sat on the throne of guidance.

At the onset the condition of His Holiness was as such that he came home from school and saw his father crying, asked for the reason. His father said: I took alms of my possession to your maternal uncle Sari today and he did not accept it, it is evident that my offering is not worthy for the friends of God. Junaid said: give it to me to take that, he may accept it. He picked up the dirhams and went to Sari's house and knocked at the door. Sari called who is it? Said: I am Junaid, open the door and accept the due offering of the alms. Said: I do not accept it. Junaid said: accept it for the sake of God, who has dealt so generously with you and so justly with my father. Sari said: How did God deal graciously with me and justly with your father? Said: God was gracious to you in giving you spiritual dervishhood and to my father in occupying him with worldly affairs. You are the one who can accept or reject it as you please, but if he (my father) does not want, he must give the alms of his possession to deserving needy. Sari was pleased with the answer, opened the door and said, come in, after the alms, I accepted you. Then accepted the alms from Junaid and placed him under his spiritual patronage and training and took him to Mecca and trained him and reached him to perfection. After sometime appointed him to guide the people and finally during the time of his death handed over the spiritual guardianship to him and entrusted him with the robe of sincerity and sat him on the throne of guidance.

The demise of His Holiness Junaid as a result of differences of narrations was in the year 297 Hijri (910 AD) to 299 Hijri (912 AD) and handed over his spiritual guardianship and succession to Sheikh Abu Ali Rudbari. It is said that His Holiness lived for a period of ninety to ninety two years and the period of his spiritual guardianship on the throne of guidance and pole was between thirty six to forty four years. His Holiness’ grave is in Shunizieh in Baghdad near to the grave of His Holiness Sari Saqati.


Those authorized to guide on behalf of His Holiness:

1)                  Sheikh Abu Ali Rudbari, his vicegerent and successor

2)                  Abu Amr Zojaji

3)                  Hussain bin Mansour Hallaj

4)                  Amr bin Othman Makki

5)                  Sheikh Abubakr Shebli

6)                  Sheikh Mohammad Ruyam

7)                  Sheikh Abdullah Khafif

8)                  Sheikh Abubakr Vaseti

9)                  Mamshad Dinvari

10)Abu Mohammad Hariri


Contemporaries of His Holiness from the divine Imams:

His Holiness Imam Ali al-Naqi (AS) and His Holiness Imam Hassan Askari (AS) and also he was alive for a period of time during the Minor Occultation and his permission to guide was approved by His Holiness Imam of the age, Hazrat Sahib (AS).


From Sheikhs of Gnosticism and spiritual path, other than those who were granted permission by him:

1)                  Mohammad bin Fazl Balkhi

2)                  Mohammad bin Hamid Tarmezi

3)                  Mohammad bin Ebrahim Misri

4)                  Mohammad bin Ali Qassab

5)                  Mohammad bin Ebrahim Zojaji

6)                  Yahi bin Ma’az

7)                  Abu Yazid Bastami[1]

8)                  Zonnoon Misri


From the “Four Deputies” appointed by His Holiness Imam Mahdi:

1)                  Abu Amr Othman bin Saeed Asadi Ziat

2)                  Abu Jafar Mohammad bin Othman


From Caliphs:

1)                  Mamoon Abbasi

2)                  Vasigh

3)                  Matevakkil

4)                  Montaser

5)                  Mostaien

6)                  Mohtadi

7)                  Motamed

8)                  Maktafee

9)                  Moqtadir Billah Abbasi, and the demise of His Holiness was during the caliphate of Moqtadir Abbasi.


From Amirs:

1)                  Taher bin al-Hussain, famed as Zoalyaminain

2)                  Yaqub Lais Saffari

3)                  Amro Lais Saffari

4)                  Amir Ismail Samani


From religious authorities and jurists:


From the Shiitte religious authorites:

1)                  Abu al-Hassan Ali bin Hussain bin Musa bin Babevaih, who is known as Ibne Babevaih

2)                  Mohammad bin Yaqub al-Kulayni, author of Usool-e-Kafi.


From the Sunni religious authorities:

1)                  Mohammad bin Ismail Bukhari, author of Sahih Bukhari.

2)                  Sulayman bin Ashas, famed as Abu Dawood, author of the book of "Sunan" (Traditions).


From Sages:

Abu Nasr Mohammad bin Tarkhan Farabi, well known as Second Teacher.


In his greatness it suffices to say that in the book of “Rejal Mamaghani” in praise of Junaid it is mentioned that Junaid is the slayer of Faris bin Hatam Qazvini, who on the command of Hazrat Imam Askari (AS) killed him and his act is an obvious reason for his glory and magnanimity.[2] Now, as a benediction a short account of the statements of His Holiness narrated from the book Nafahat-ul-Ons will be mentioned. Sheikh Junaid was asked question: From where did you acquire all this knowledge which you proclaim? Said: If it was from somewhere it would not be acquired and said: Consent with friends is better than compassion[3], and said: To melt religious conduct (behavior) into joy (attraction) and return to learning (religious conduct behavior) is better than learning to melt into joy and to remain in joy. And said: the most honorable and most sublime assembly is to sit with contemplation in the arena of monotheism.[4]

He was asked question: What is Calamity? He said: Calamity is Heedlessness of the cause of calamity. Junaid was asked: What are the things, bestowal from God without any action from the servant. Said: action is also bestowal from God.

It is said when he was seven years old, his maternal uncle and spiritual guide Sari took him to the pilgrimage of Hajj with himself. In the mosque of Sanctuary (Masjid al-Haram), among four hundred Sheikhs the question of thankfulness was being discussed. Sari said: O Junaid you also say something. He lowered his head for a few moments and said: Thankfulness is this, the favors that God has bestowed on you, you should not be disobedient to that favor nor make His favor a means of disobedience. All of them applauded him. And said: this path is deserving to be travelled by someone, who holds the Book of God in his right hand and the traditions of the Holy Prophet in his left hand and moves with the light of both these lamps, such that not fall in bewilderment nor in religious innovation. And said: Our Sheikh in the principles and minor aspects of religion and in enduring calamities is Ali ibn AbiTaleb (AS). And said: Circumstances were such that denizens of the sky and earth used to cry for me, and for a period of time I used to cry for all. Now I am as such that neither I am aware of them, nor from myself. And said: Ten years I was guarding my heart and ten years my heart was guarding me. Now it is for twenty years that neither I am aware of my heart, nor my heart from me.

One of the miracles of His Holiness which has been mentioned in most biographies will be mentioned as blessing. His Holiness for sometime used to sell mirrors, everyday he would draw down the curtain and perform four hundred rokaats of prayers (units of prayers) after sometime he would leave the shop and withdraw to a room in the porch of Sari’s house, where he would busy himself guarding his heart. For thirty years he performed prayers before sleeping, then stand on his feet repeating Allah, Allah until dawn, saying the dawn prayers with the ablution he had.

The slanderous infidels informed the Caliph about him and eavesdropped on his work. The Caliph said: he cannot be inhibited without proof. They said: the people are being tempted by his work. The Caliph had a slave girl who he had purchased for three thousand dinars and was unrivalled in beauty. Said: that you should wear precious jewelry and must go to Junaid, unveil your face and offer yourself to him and tell him that you have much wealth and that my heart has become weary from the affairs of this world. I have come so that you accept me and I may devote myself to the service of God through your companionship, my heart finds tranquility in no one but you, strive your upmost to incline him to you. Then sent the slave girl with a servant so that he be witness to whatever transpires. The slave girl came to Junaid and unveiled her face; Junaid involuntarily looked at her and then put his head down. The slave girl started speaking and carried out instructions as she was told to do and started crying endlessly. Junaid remained silent and raised his head and said “Ah” and breathed on the slave girl. The slave girl fell down on the ground and passed away. The servant returned to the Caliph and reported what had happened. Fire fell upon the Caliph’s soul and he repented of what he had done and said: whoever does what he should not do with him, will get what he ought not to get. He got up and came to Junaid because for one such as Junaid he cannot summon to himself and said: O’ Sheikh, how did your heart allow to put to death such a beautiful girl?

Junaid said: O’ Prince of believers, your compassion for the believers is as such that you wanted to cast to the winds my forty years of discipline and mortification. Do not do, till the others not to do so.

[1] From the honorable mystics, there were two persons with the names of Teyfur well known as Abu Yazid, that there was Abu Yazid senior, contemporary of Imam Jafar Sadiq (AS) and Abu Yazid junior contemporary of Sheikh Junaid Baghdadi and incidentally both of them were given the name Abu Yazid Bastami.

[2] Explanation that Faris claimed exaggerated that Imam Askari is God. Hazrat (Askari) said whoever kills him, I promise heaven to him. His Holiness Junaid killed him on the command of Hazrat.

[3] Joy and learning according to Gnostics terminologically, in other terms are attraction and religious conduct (behavior).

[4] It appears that the meaning of the nobles of the Sufi assembly is the same as the Divine Circle of the remembrance of God which has reached through narrations.


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