Al-`arif biAllah
al-Junayd al-Baghdadi
(d. 298 H. in Baghdad)

He was al-Junayd b. Muhammad b. al-Junayd al-Nehawandi al-Baghdadi, al-Khazzâr Abul Qasim. Sufi and one of the `ulema, he followed the fiqh of Abu Thawr. He took tasawwuf from his maternal uncle Sari al-Saqati and from al-Harith al-Muhasabi. He was called al-Khazzar because he was working with khazz (silk). He was the head of a large and influential school in Baghdad.


Bio by G. F. Haddad
Adab al-Suhba p. 60f4, Tabaqat al-Sufiyya, Tabaqat al-Awlia, al-Kawakib al-Durriyya, al-Sha`rani's al-Tabaqat al-Kubra, al-A`lam .

Anecdotes about
al-Junayd al-Baghdadi

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The son of a glass-merchant, he took up selling glasses in Baghdad. Every day he would go to the shop and draw down the blind and perform four hundred rak'as. After a time he abandoned the shop and withdrew to a room in the porch of Sari's house, where he busied himself with polishing his heart.


"I learned sincere belief from a barber," Jonaid recalled, and he told the following story.

Once when I was in Mecca, a barber was trimming a gentleman's hair. I said to him, "For the sake of Allah, can you shave my hair?"

"I can," he said. His eyes filling with tears, he left the gentleman still unfinished.

"Get up," he said. "When Allah's name is spoken, everything else must wait."

"Get up," he said. "When Allah's name is spoken, everything else must wait."

He seated me and kissed my head, and shaved off my hair. Then he gave me a screw of paper with a few small coins in it.

"Spend this on your needs," he said.

I thereupon resolved that the first present that came my way I would give him in charity. Not long afterwards a bag of gold arrived from Basra. I took it to the barber.

"What is this?" he asked.

"I made up my mind," I explained, "that the first present that came my way I must give to you. This has just arrived."

"Man," he exclaimed, "have you no shame before Allah? You said to me, `For the sake of Allah, shave my hair.' Then you give me a present. Have you ever known of anyone doing a deed for the sake of Allah and taking payment for it?"


One night a thief entered Jonaid's room. Finding nothing there but a shirt, he took that and fled. Next day Jonaid was passing through the bazaars when he saw his shirt in the hands of a broker who was selling it to a customer.

"I require an acquaintance who will testify that it is your property, before I buy it," the prospective purchaser said.

"I am ready to testify that it belongs to him," said Jonaid, stepping forward.

The man then bought the shirt.

[i.e. Imam al-Jonaid did not make a false witnessing in this story rather he was concearned about the welbeing of the marchant in the Akhira  and he thus donated his shirt to him so that to avoid him earn haram money and ended punished in Hell]


An old woman came to Jonaid and said, "My son is missing. Say a prayer that he may return."

"Be patient," Jonaid told her.

The woman waited patiently for several days. Then she returned.

"Be patient," Jonaid repeated.

This happened several times. At last the old woman came and announced, "My patience is exhausted. Pray to Allah."

"If you speak the truth," said Jonaid, "your son has returned. Allah says, He who answers the constrained, when he calls unto Him."

Jonaid then offered up a prayer. When the woman returned to her house, her son had come.

[i.e. Imam Al-Jonaid was not unhelpful in this story rather he guided the mother to the proper right attitude towards the tests that Allah subject us to and he directed her to learn from these experiences through patience. Imam al-Jonaid also was a knower of Allah and he knew how Allah treats His servants. When al-Junaid finally noticed that the patience of the mother was exhausted he knew that Allah would answer or already had answered the prayers of the mother. This is mentionned in the verse: "27.062 Who listens to the (soul) distressed when it calls on Him, and Who relieves its suffering, and makes you (mankind) inheritors of the earth? (Can there be another) god besides Allah? Little it is that you heed!". La ilaha illa Allah!]


A disciple of Jonaid's was dwelling in seclusion in Basra. One night a sinful thought entered his mind. He looked in a mirror and saw that his face had turned black. Stupefied, he tried every device he could think of, but in vain. He was so ashamed that he showed his face to no one. Three days went by, then the blackness gradually grew less.

Unexpectedly a knock came on his door.

"Who is it?" the disciple asked.

`I have come with a letter from Jonaid," said the caller.

The disciple read the letter.

"Why do you not conduct yourself becomingly in the presence of Glory? For three days and nights I have had to work as a fuller, to change your face from black to white."

[i.e. The disciple sinned and Imam Al-Jonaid was inspired about the state of his disciple and helped him with his prayers. This has been mationned in many hadiths where sahabas were inspired about things that no one know about.]


There was a certain disciple of Jonaid's who was taken to task one day over a small matter. Shamefaced, he fled and came no more to the convent. Several days later Jonaid was passing through the market with his companions when he suddenly espied that disciple. The disciple in shame took to his heels.

"A bird of ours has flown from the snare," said Jonaid, turning back his companions, and following on the disciple's heels.

Looking back, the disciple saw the shaikh coming, so he quickened his pace. Presently he reached a place where there was no exit, and in shame he turned his face to the wall. Presently the shaikh appeared on the scene.

"Where are you making for, master?" the disciple asked.

"When a disciple is up against the wall, there the shaikh can be of use," replied Jonaid.

He then led the disciple back to the convent. The disciple fell at his feet and begged Allah's forgiveness.

Those who witnessed the spectacle were deeply moved, and many repented.


The shaikh Jonaid had a disciple whom he loved above all the others. The other disciples were moved to jealousy, a fact which the shaikh realized by his intuition.

"He is superior to you in manners and understanding," he told them. "That is what I had in view; let us make an experiment, so that you may also realize it."

Jonaid commanded twenty birds to be brought to him.

"Each of you take one," he told his disciples. "In a place where no one can see you kill it, then bring it back."

All the disciples went off and killed and brought back the birds˜all, that is, except that favourite disciple.

He brought his bird back alive.

"Why did you not kill it?" Jonaid asked him.

"Because the master said it must be done in a place where no one can see," the disciple answered.

"Wherever I went, Allah saw."

"You see the measure of his understanding!" Jonaid exclaimed. "Compare that with that of the others."

All the other disciples begged Allah's forgiveness.


Jonaid had eight special disciples who carried out his every thought. One day the notion occurred to them that they must go to the holy war (Jihad). Next morning Jonaid ordered his servant to make all preparations for the wars. He then set out to fight together with those eight disciples.

When the lines of battle were drawn up, a champion stepped forth from the ranks of the infidels and martyred all eight.

"I looked up to heaven," said Jonaid, "and I saw nine litters standing by. As each of the eight was martyred his spirit was lifted up on a litter, until one remained over empty. `That one must be meant for me,' I thought, and I joined the battle-ranks once more. Then the champion who had slain my eight companions came up and addressed me. `Abo'l-Qasem, that ninth litter is for me.

You return to Baghdad, and be the shaikh of the community. Offer me Islam.'

"So he became a Muslim. With the same sword with which he had slain the eight disciples, he slew a like number of infidels. Then he achieved martyrdom himself.

His soul," Jonaid concluded, "was also placed in that litter, and all vanished."

The death of Jonaid

When death was near at hand Jonaid bade them to lay the table and to set out a meal.

"I wish to give up the soul whilst my companions are eating a bowl of soup."

The first agony assailed him.

"Give me the water of ablution," he said.

By chance they forgot to let the water run between his fingers. At his behest this slip was made good, and he then proceeded to the prostration, weeping.

"Chief of the Order," his disciples protested, "with all the service and obedience to Allah which you have sent ahead of you what time is this for prostration?"

"Never was Jonaid more in need than now," he replied.

Straightway he began to recite the Koran, and went on reciting.

"What, you recite the Koran?" asked a disciple.

"Who has the better right to than I, seeing that this hour the scroll of my life will be rolled up, and I shall see my seventy years' obedience and service suspended in the air by a single thread? Then a wind will come and swing it to and fro, so that I shall not know whether it is a wind bringing separation or union. On one side of me will stretch the causeway between Heaven and Hell and on the other side the Angel of Death. The Judge whose attribute is justice will be there awaiting me, unwavering in perfect equity."

Jonaid continued, "A road has been laid before me, and I know not by which road I shall be taken."

He completed the whole Koran, then he recited seventy verses of the Sura of the Cow. The second agony seized him.

"Say Allah," they prompted him.

"I have not forgotten," he replied. He grasped the rosary until four of his fingers were crooked about it, and one let it go.

"In the Name of Allah, the Merciful, the Compassionate," he cried.

And he closed his eyes and yielded up the soul.

When they lifted up his body on the bier, a white dove perched upon a corner of the bier. For all that they sought to drive it away, it would not go. At last the dove cried, "Trouble not yourselves and me. My claws have been fastened to the corner of the bier by the nail of Love. That is why I am perched here. Do not trouble yourselves; today his body passes to the care of the cherubim.  Were it not for your clamour, his body would have flown with us in the sky like a white

Source: unknown
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الجنيد البغدادي

الجنيد بن محمد بن الجنيد البغدادي ، مولده ونشأته ووفاته ببغداد، قال فيه أحد معاصريه : ما رأت عيناي مثله، الكتبة يحضرون مجلسه لألفاظه، والشعراء لفصاحته، والمتكلمون لمعانيه، وهو أول من تكلم في علم التوحيد ببغداد، توفي بالمدينة المذكورة سنة 297هـ أنظر ترجمته في الطبقات الكبرى للشعراني ج 1 ص 84 وفي حلية الأولياء لأبي نعيم ج 10 ص 255 وفي تاريخ بغداد للخطيب البغدادي ج 7 ص 241 وفي الأعلام لخير الدين الزركلي ج 2 ص 141 وفي صفة الصفوة لابن الجوزي ج 2 ص 235  

Silsila of
al-Junayd al-Baghdadi

Abu’l Qasim, Junayd al-Baghdadi (d. 298 H. in Baghdad)
As-Sari as-Saqati (d. 251 H. In Baghdad)
Ma´ruf al-Karkhi (d. 201 H.)
Imam `Ali al-Rida (d. 203 H.)
ImamMusa al-Kazim (d, 182 H.)
Imam Ja`far as-Sadiq (b, 83 - d. 148 H.)
his father Muhammad al-Baqir ibn Ali (b. 59 - 114 H.)
his father Zayn al ‘Abidin ‘Ali ibn Husayn (b. 38 - d. 94H.)
his father Sayyid al-shuhadaa Imam Husayn ibn Ali (b. 4 - d. 61 H.)
Imam al-Anbiya, Sayyiduna wa Mawlana Muhammad ibn `AbdAllah (d 11 H.)
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Latest aupdate: 2008-03-27