By Laury Silvers
The advance of early Islamic mysticism and metaphysics is gifted in the course of the lifestyles and paintings of theologian Abu Bakr al-Wasiti.
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Additional info for A Soaring Minaret: Abu Bakr Al-Wasiti and the Rise of Baghdadi Sufism
311/923–24), who succeeded Junayd as shaykh of his community, and Hallaj. There are several reports of Junayd’s instructions to his companions, which indicate the practices Wasiti would have undertaken with him. Junayd emphasized spiritual struggle over discussion. In the following saying, Junayd emphasizes the importance of a sincere struggle with one’s soul on the Sufi path over discussion in order to purify one’s interactions with God. We do not take Sufism from idle talk, but rather from hunger, abandoning this world, cutting off all that is familiar and agreeable, because Sufism is making [one’s] interactions with God limpid.
So be likewise in your speech. In order that you should be a mercy for the people and a trial for yourself, come out of your own state to their state, so that when you speak with them you speak in their state, measure, and capacity. And address them in that situation, in accordance with how you find them. Thus I speak penetratingly to you. 23 Along with his outspokenness, Wasiti had a reputation for being impatient with the shortcomings he perceived in his contemporaries. In a poem lamenting the loss of the great Sufis of the past, Baqli pairs each Sufi with the feature for which he is well known, such as Junayd’s steadfastness or the martyrdom of Hallaj.
One could offer a good deal of Sarraj’s Kitab al-lumaº as an example of criticism of the errors of other Sufis. Over all, Sarraj complains about the trouble such language causes when directed to the community at large instead of being kept within Sufi circles. 17 Wasiti’s manner of expressing himself is a good example of why he needed to do so. 18 An ironic complaint to be sure given the richness of Wasiti’s comments on the character of the Prophet. 20 He writes of Wasiti’s work, “I find within his WASITI AND SUFI DISCOURSE 49 discourse an opening for the quarrelsome to defame and deny [the Sufis].
A Soaring Minaret: Abu Bakr Al-Wasiti and the Rise of Baghdadi Sufism by Laury Silvers