al-Sawād al-A’dham: Dhun Nūn al-Miṣrī

Dhun Nūn al-Miṣrī

Dhun Nūn al-Miṣrī Abu al-Fadhal Thaubān ibn Ibrāhīm’s father was a Nubian. This wise, eloquent, renowned pious man was one of the people of ṭarīqah, their leader and authoritative reference. He was unique during his age with respect to his piety and knowledge. He was the first in his lands to speak about the sequence of spiritual states and stations experienced by the people of wilāyah. Ibn al-Jallā once said, “I met six hundred shuyūkh (plural of sheikh) amongst whom there were four whose like I did not meet; one of them was Dhun Nūn.”

He was once imprisoned. Some food was brought to him from his nephew but he refused to eat it, saying, “It passed by the hands of an oppressor.”

Al-cAbbās said that he heard Dhun Nūn say, “The obedient have recognized Your grandeur and were humbled, and the sinners have heard of Your generosity and were hopeful.”

One day Dhun Nūn remarked, “Allāh’s remembering you is greater than your remembering Him because you remember Him after He remembers you. His love for you is greater than your love for Him because He loved you before He created you, and part of His love for you is rewarding your love for Him.”

“One of the signs of a lover of Allāh is following the beloved of Allāh ﷺ in his character, actions, commands, and sunan (plural of sunnah).”

On one occasion he mentioned, “It is due to companionship with the pious that life is made pleasant. All good is gathered up in a pious companion; if you forget, he will remind you, and if you remember he will assist you.”

He died in the year 245 when he was nearly in his nineties. Green birds provided shade for his funeral until he reached his grave and was buried, then they disappeared.