ABU NASR HADHRAT HABIB 'AJMI (RA)
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Hadhrat Habib ‘ajmi (ra) was a persian who settled in Basra. His conversion from a life of ease and self-indulgence was brought about by Hadhrat Hasan Basri (ra). Hadhrat Habib ‘ajmi (ra) was a frequent attendant of his lectures, and became one of his closest disciples.
Hadhrat Habib ‘ajmi (ra) was a man of property and a usurer. He dwelt in Basra, and everyday he made the rounds to collect from his clients. If he got no money, he would demand payment for his shoe leather. In this manner he covered his daily expenditure.
One day Hadhrat Habib ‘ajmi (ra) had gone to look for a certain debtor. The man was not at home, so failing to find him, he demanded shoe leather payment. “my husband is not home” the debtors wife told him. “I myself have nothing to give you. We had slaughtered a sheep, and only the neck is left. If you like I will give you that”."That is something” Hadhrat Habib ‘ajmi (ra) replied, thinking that he would take the sheeps neck and take it home. “Put a pot on the fire”. I have neither fuel or bread” she replied”. “very well” said Hadhrat Habib ‘ajmi (ra), “I will go and fetch fuel and bread, and it can be charged to shoe leather”. So Hadhrat Habib ‘ajmi (ra) went off and fetched the fuel and bread, and the woman set the pot. When the pot was cooked the woman was about to pour it’s contents into a bowl when a beggar knocked on the door.
Hadhrat Habib ‘ajmi (ra) shouted at him, “If we give you what we have, you will become rich, and we will become poor”.
The beggar despairing, petitioned the woman to put something in his bowl. She lifted the lid of the pot, and found that the contents had turned to black blood. “look what has happened to us because of your usury and and shouting at the beggar” she cried. “What will become of us in this world, not to mention the next?”. On seeing this, Hadhrat Habib ‘ajmi (ra) felt a fire within him which never afterwards subsided. He said to the woman “I repent of all I have done”.
Next day, Hadhrat Habib ‘ajmi (ra)went out to look for his clients. It happened to be a Friday, and there were children playing in the street. When they say Hadhrat Habib ‘ajmi (ra) they started to shout, “here comes habib the usurer. Run away, lest his dust settles on us and we become as cursed as he”. These words hurt Hadhrat Habib ‘ajmi (ra) very much. He took off and went to a meeting ball, where he heard certain phrases from Hadhrat Hasan Basri (ra), these phrases struck Hadhrat Habib ‘ajmi (ra) in the heart and he fainted. realising what had happened, Hadhrat Hasan Basri (ra) took him by the hand and calmed him. As Hadhrat Habib al-‘ajmi (ra) returned from the meeting, he was spotted by one of his debtors who ran away from him. “do not run away, till now it was for you to flee from me; now I must run from you”. As he passed on, the children were still playing in the street. When they saw him they shouted “here comes habib the penitent. Run away lest the dust settles on him, for we are sinners against god”. Hadhrat Habib ‘ajmi (ra) cried « My god and master – because of this one day that I have made peace with thee, thou hast beaten the drums of mens hearts for me and noised my name abroad for virtue ».
Hadhrat Habib ‘ajmi (ra) then issued a proclamation, " whoever wants anything from me, come and take it”. The people gathered and he gave away all his possessions so that he was left penniless. Another man came with a demand. Having nothing left, Hadhrat Habib ‘ajmi (ra) gave him his wifes chaddur. To another claimant, he gave his own shirt, and he was left naked.
Hadhrat Habib ‘ajmi (ra) then set up a hermitage on the banks of the euphrates, and gave himself up to the worship of god. Every night and day he studied under Hadhrat Hasan Basri (ra). Time passed and Hadhrat Habib ‘ajmi (ra) became destitute. His wife constantly asked for money, for house keeping, so Hadhrat Habib ‘ajmi (ra) left for the hermitage to resume his devotions.
When night came he returned to his wife, who asked “where have you been working, not to bring anything home with you?”. Hadhrat Habib ‘ajmi (ra) replied "the one I have been working for is so generous that I am ashamed to ask him for anything. When the proper time comes, he will give. For he says, “every ten days I pay the wages””. So Hadhrat Habib ‘ajmi (ra) returned to the hermitage to worship, and remained there for ten days.
On the tenth day, at the time of midday prayer, a thought entered his mind ‘What can I take home tonight, and what shall I tell my wife’. And he pondered this deeply. Immediately, almighty god sent a porter to his house with an ass-load of flour, another with a skinned sheep, and another with oil, herbs and seasonings. There was also a young handsome man with a purse full of three hundred dhirms. The young man knocked on the door. “what do you want” asked Habib’s wife. The young man replied “The master has sent all this, and tell Habib ‘you increase your output, and we will increase your wages’”, and he departed.
At nightfall, Hadhrat Habib ‘ajmi (ra) proceeded homeward, ashamed and sorrowful. As he approached his house, the aroma of bread and cooking assailed his nostrils. His wife ran to greet him and wiped his face, she was very gentle with him, like never before. “Husband” she cried. “The man you are working for is a very fine gentleman, generous and full of loving kindness. See what he sent by the hands of a handsome young man. And the young man also said ‘ When Habib comes home tell him, you increase your output and we will increase the wages”. Hadhrat Habib ‘ajmi (ra) was amazed and surprised. He thought “I worked for ten days, and I got all this kindness. If I work harder, who knows what he will do?”. Hadhrat Habib ‘ajmi (ra) turned his face wholly away from wordly things and gave himself up to God’s service.
The Miracles Of Hadhrat Habib ‘ajmi (ra)
One day an old woman came to Hadhrat Habib ‘ajmi (ra) and, falling at his feet, wept bitterly. “I have a son who has been absent for a long time. I can no longer endure to be parted from him. Please say a prayer to God – It may be that by the blessing of you prayer, God will send my son back to me”.
Hadhrat Habib ‘ajmi (ra) asked « have you any money ? “. “Yes two dirhams” she replied. She was advised to bring them and give them to the poor by Hadhrat Habib al-‘ajmi (ra). A prayer was then recited, and Hadhrat Habib ‘ajmi (ra) told the woman “be gone, your son has returned to you”.
The old woman had not yet reached the door of her house, when she beheld her son.
The woman brought her son to Hadhrat Habib ‘ajmi (ra) who enquired “what happened to you?”
The son replied “I was in kerman and my teacher had sent me to look for some meat. I obtained the meat and was returning when the wind seized hold of me and I could hear a voice saing ‘Wind, carry him to his home by the blessing of Habib’s prayer and the twi dirhams’s given in alms’”.
One year on the eighth day of Dhul-Hijja, Hadhrat Habib ‘ajmi (ra) was seen in Basra, and on the ninth day he was seen at Arafat.
Once a famine was raging in Basra. Hadhrat Habib ‘ajmi (ra) purchased many provisions on credit and gave them away as alms. He fastened his purse and placed it under his pillow. When the tradesmen came to demand payment, he would take out his purse, which would be full of dirhams, which he gave away as loans.
One day officers of hajjaj were searching for Hadhrat Hasan Basri (ra), and he was hiding in the hermitage of Hadhrat Habib ‘ajmi (ra). The officers asked habib if he had seen hasan and he advised that he HAD seen hasan. When they asked where, he advised that hasan was in his hermitage. The officers entered the hermitage of Hadhrat Habib ‘ajmi (ra), and could not see Hadhrat Hasan Basri (ra).
Hadhrat Hasan Basri (ra) later asked Hadhrat Habib ‘ajmi (ra), “what did you recite that they did not see me?”. Habib replied “Ten times I recited : The messenger believes, and ten times : Say, he is god, One. And then I said : O God, I have committed Hasan to thee, please watch over him”.
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