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Abu, Suaud Ajarhi - The Potter and Sultan of the Sufis

Issue 1
Abu, Suaud Ajarhi - The Potter and Sultan of the Sufis

Ashraf ‘Auwais

This paper focuses on the character of Shaikh Al ‘arf Billah Abu As-Suaud Aijarhi , one of the prominent Sufis of Egypt in the Tenth Hijri Century He was a descendent of Imam Hussain and one of the excellent disciples of Shaikh Shehab Uddin Almarhomi. He died in circa the year 930 A.H. and was buried in his small mosque (Zawiyah) in Kaum Aljareh near the Mosque of Amre bin Al ‘Ass in the cellar where he used to recluse. He was one of the mentors of the renowned masters of Sidi Abdul Wahab Ashsha ‘rani.

Aljarhi was known for his tendency to loneliness and finding joy in the Divine Lord alone. It was reported that he used to go down into a cellar on the first night of the holy month of Ramadan and stays there until six days after the end of the month. He went down into his recluse having had only one ablution (Wudhu’) without being offered any food. Tt was mentioned that he sustained himself on just little water. He was also known for his miraculous acts (Karamat) as it was reported that he used to write numerous pamphlets in the dark as well as in the broad day light without any distinction. His shrine is one of the spacious blessed ones where the sick used to visit praying for cure from Almighty God with the blessing of this holy saint. He had several disciples who learnt Islamic jurisdiction under him and he advised them to uphold uprightness and belief in God. He also advised the youth to practice the fast as a cure for lust.

The paper describes the shrine of Aljarhi by mentioning that the moment you inter in, you will be received by sweet smell that fells the shrines of holy men. Then you shall see the large vow chest ornamented with Islamic inscription tied with chains to the brassy sepulcher that contains the green shrouded coffin The shrine is in the center of a small area roofed by a high dome On the right there is a small wooden shrine roofed by small domes with a sign board reading “This is the shrine of Alsayedah Habibhah, the wife of Sidi Abus-Su’aud”.

The writer mentions that Alj arhi was not only a potter but also someone who played a real role in history. The Egyptian Novelist, Jamal Alghaytani mentioned part of this role in his novel “Alzayni Barakat”. The novel shows how Shaikh Abus Su’aud confirmed religious legality on the rule of Alzayni Barakat and showed his content and pledged allegiance to him. At Alzhar mosque, Barakat bin Mousa declared in the presence of Shaikh Abus Su’aud his concept of the tax system and his intention to apply justice on all and to chase cheats among traders.

The status of Shaikh Abus Su’aud and his power reached an extent to nominate the Sultan of Egypt when Sultan Qunsuwah Alghuri was assassinated and Toman Bay refused to assume power as Sultan. Shaikh Abus Su’aud was highly regarded by Sultan Toman.

The paper asserts that Aljarhi was the most important Sufi of his time in Cairo. He had great influence on the people. He used to sack any leader that he did not like. In fact he discharged Alzayni Barakt as mentioned by Jamal Alghaytani in his novel. Sultan Toman Bay trusted him immensely and he was his favorite Shiakh.

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