Rabia Basria - Mystic Saint
Hazrat Rabbia Basri Rahmatullahe alayha is one of the earliest mystic saints of Islam. She left her worldly life and devoted herself for Islam.
Born in a humble family in Basra in 713 AD, she was the fourth daughter of her parents. A strange story is related about her birth. On the night of her birth, there was nothing in the house, not even oil, with what they could light a lantern, or a small rag to swaddle the newly born child. Her mother asked her father to borrow some oil from a neighbour. This was a moment of trial for the poor father, who had promised to Allah not to extend his hand for help before any mortal being. Reluctantly, he made his way to a neighbours house, tapped his door, but there was no answer He thanked Allah for keeping his promise. He came back and went to sleep. That night, he had a dream in which he saw the Prophet Muhammad congratulating him on his newly born child, who was destined to rise to become a great outstanding spiritual position of Islam.
Hazrat Rabbia Rahmatullahe Alayha lost her parents at an early age. Her three sisters also died in a famine, which ravaged Basra . Rabbia fell into the hands of a tyrant who sold her as a slave for a small sum. Her new master was no less a tyrant.
Little Rabbia Rahmatullahe Alayha spent most of her times carrying out orders for her master. She spent the nights in praying. One night her master detected her spiritual greatness. She was praying to Allah saying, “Almighty! You have made me the slave of a human being and I am duty bound to serve him. Had I been set free, I would have devoted every second of my life worshipping you”. Suddenly a halo of sacred light had encircled her head and her master was awe stricken to see this sight. The next morning he set her free.
Rabbia being free retired to a secluded place, for a life of meditation. Later, she moved to a cell near Basra . A worn out mat, an earthen pot and a brick formed her entire belongings. She devoted herself for Allah, only having a wink of sleep and even this much was regretted.
Rabbia had many eminent disciples including Malik Bin Dinar, Raba of Kais and Hasan of Basra. A number of good offers of marriage were made to her. These included those from the governor of Basra and the celebrated mystic saint Hasan Basri, but Rabbia was so much devoted to Allah, she had very little time for worldly matters.
Once Hazrat Sufiyan Soori Rahmatullahe Alayh, a well-respected and devout Muslim came to Rabbia Rahmatullahe Alayha and raised his hands saying, “Almighty! I seek worldly welfare from thee” Rabbia wept over it, she replied, “The welfare is attained after renouncing the world and I find it that you seek it in this world only”
A person once sent forty dinars to her, she wept and raised her hands towards the sky and said, “You know it well that I never seek worldly welfare. Therefore, how can I then accept money from a person who is not the real owner of it”?