Al-`arif biAllah
Sari al-Saqati
(b. in Baghdad – d. 251 or 253 or 257 H. in Baghdad)

He was Abu al-Hasan Sari (al Sirri) b. al-Maghallis al-Saqati, the imam of Baghdad of his day, and one of the first formultators of sufi sayings. He was a student of Ma`aruf al-Karkhi, and one of the companions of Bishr al-Hafi. He was the maternal uncle of al-Junayd and his teacher. He took hadith from al-Fadil. From him narrated al-Junayd and Abu al-`Abbas b. Masruq, the first in Baghdad to speak about al-haqa’iq wa al-isharat. – He was born and died in Baghdad. He passed away in 253 H. at the age of ninety-eight.

Bio from Al-Risala al-Qushayriyya
References in arabic - المصادر بالعربية
His silsila

Biography of
Sari al-Saqati
from: Al-Risala al-Qushayriyya
Abu-l-Hasan Sari bin al-Mughallis al-Saqati

The uncle and teacher of Junayd, he was the student of Maruf al-Karkhi. He was unique in his time for moral attentiveness, states in harmony with the Sunnah, and the sciences of unity. I heard Muhammad bin al-Husayn say that Abul-l-Abbas Ahmad bin Muhammad bin Masruq said, “It was reported to me that while Sari was one of the companions of Maruf al-Karkhi, he used to do business in the marketplace. One day Maruf went to him accompanied by an orphan boy, and said, ‘Clothe this orphan.’

‘So I clothed him,’ Sari related. ‘And Maruf was pleased by this. He said, May God make this world hateful to you, and free you from the state in which you find yourself!’ ‘So I got up from the shop, ‘Sari continued. ‘And indeed there is nothing more hateful to me than this world, and the whole of my state is through the blessing of Maruf”’

I heard Shaykh Abu Abd-al-Rahman al Sulami say that Junayd said, “I never say anyone more devoted to service than Sari, ‘Ninety-eight [years of life] passed over him; he was not seen lying down except in his final illness.

It is related that Sari said, “Sufism is word with three implications. A person is a Sufi when the light of his realization does not extinguish the light of his moral evaluation of his acts; when de does not discuss esoterically a knowledge invalidated by the practical application of the Book and the Sunnah; when miracles do not induce him to tear the veils of God´s hidden secrets.” Sari died in the year 257 H.

I heard Abu Ali al-Daqqaq relate that Junayd said, “One day Sari asked med about love. I said, ‘Some people say it is to act in harmony with one´s beloved; some people say it is to prefer the beloved to oneself; some people say…’ and so on and on.

Sari took hold of the skin of his arm and pulled it, and it did not stretch. Then he said, “By the might of the Exalted, if you had said, “This skin has dried to these bones from love,’ you would have spoken the truth!” He fainted, and his face became like a rising moon. He shone white.

It is said of Sari that he said, “For thirty years I have been asking forgiveness for saying ‘May God be praised!’ once.” When asked “How can this be?” he replied, “A fire broke out in Baghdad. A man came to see me and said to me, ‘Your shop has been saved.’ I said, ‘May God be praised!’ For thirty years I have regretted what I said, because I wanted for myself something better than what had befallen the Muslims.” Abd Allah bin Yusuf told me about this, saying that Abu Bakr al-Harbi said, “I heard Sari say that.”

It is related that Sari said, “I look at my nose time after time each day, for fear that it will have become black. I am afraid that God will darken my face because of [the disgrace of] the things with which I occupy myself.”

I heard Muhammad bin al-Husayn say that Junayd said that he heard Sari say, “I know a special road that goes direct to Paradise.” “What is it?” I asked him. “Do not ask anything from anyone, do not take anything from anyone, and do not keep with you anything that you can give to anyone,” he said.
I heard Abd Allah bin Yusuf al-Ispahani say Junayd bin Muhammad said that he heard Sari say, “I wish to die in a land other than Baghdad. “Asked “Why is that?” he answered, “I am afraid that my grave will not receive me [on account of my sins], and I would be publicly disgraced.”

I heard Abd Allah bin Yusuf al-Ispahani say Sari prayed, “O God, however much you may punish me with something, do not punish me with the humiliation of the veil [between You and me].”

I heard Abd Allah bin Yusuf al-Ispahani say that Junayd said, One day I came In on Sari while he was weeping. I asked, “What is making you cry?” He said, “Yesterday my little girl came to me and said, “Father, it is a hot night; I will hang this jug here.’ Then drowsiness overcame me and I slept. [In my dream] I saw a serving-maid of the greatest beauty descend from the sky. I asked, “To whom do you belong?’ ‘To the one who does not drink cold water in jugs!’ she answered- Then she picked up the jug, struck it against the earth, and broke it.”

Junayd said, {I saw the shards. He did not pick them up, or touch them, until they had been completely covered over by dust.”

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سري بن المغلس السقطي

سري بن المغلس السقطي ، علم من أعلام الصوفية ببغداد، قال فيه ابن أخته الجنيد : ما رأيت أعبد من السري، أتت عليه ثمان وتسعون سنة ما رؤي مضطجعا إلا في علة الموت، توفي رحمه الله ببغداد سنة 253هـ، أنظر ترجمته في الطبقات الكبرى للشعراني ج 1 ص 74، وفي طبقات الصوفية لأبي عبد الرحمن السلمي ص 48-55 وفي حلية الأولياء لأبي نعيم ج 10 ص 116 وفي الأعلام لخير الدين الزركلي ج 3 ص 82 وفي لسان الميزان لابن حجر العسقلاني ج 3 ص 13

Silsila of
Sari al-Saqati

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