Shaqeeq Balkhi (rahimahullah)

[d. 194 H] was among the leading saints of his era. He was the contemporary of Ebrahim bin Adham (rahimahullah), the teacher of Haatim Asam (rahimahullah) and the student of Imaam Zufar (rahimahullah).

Once, Balkh was struck by severe drought due to which everyone was in a state of great worry and anxiety. Despite these severe conditions, Shaqeeq (rahimahullah) had seen a cheerful and happy slave boy strolling through the market place. Shaqeeq (rahimahullah) said to him, “O slave! Is this the time to be happy? Have you not seen that the people are dying out of starvation?” The slave boy responded, “What do I have to worry about? My master is so wealthy that he owns an entire village which supplies us all that we require. He will never let me go hungry.”

This statement struck the heart of Shaqeeq (rahimahullah) and he said, “O Allah, this slave of a wealthy person is in such high spirits and has no worries at all. You are the king of kings and the Sustainer! With You being our Master, why do we need to be troubled and uneasy about sustenance.” He then immediately bid farewell to worldly activities and sincerely repented to Allah Ta‘ala. He treaded the Straight Path and reached the highest levels of tawakkul. Often he would say, “I am the student of a slave.” (Taareekh Ibni ‘Asaakir vol. 23, pg. 135 & Tazkiratul Awliyaa – Jawaahir Paare, vol. 2, pg. 179)

Lesson: Although we may not be able to reach the highest levels of tawakkul like these great individuals, together with adopting the permissible means, we must always keep our gaze on Allah Ta‘ala. There is a great level of happiness, peace and satisfaction kept in this. Having one’s hopes in anyone or anything besides Him will result in uneasiness, depression and even suicide.