Becoming a murid


Najmuddin Kubra at a certain stage in his life was in search of a Sufi shaykh. He was one who had had a thorough education in Islam and he was very much aware thereof, so when he met Sufi teachers he was critical of them as he knew more about Islam than they did.

During one of his journeys he came to a new town wherein he was a complete stranger. No one showed any hospitality to him. Moreover he was in difficulties as he needed rest because of an unpleasant illness. Because of this illness he approached one of the people on the street and made it clear that he needed some place to rest.

He was referred to a Sufi centre at the edge of the town and indeed there he was given a place to rest. As he was ill he immediately tried to rest. In the evening something unpleasant took place. He heard the sounds coming from the samaa’ of the Sufis and because of his prejudices he was very much against Sufi music. He was even more annoyed with the sounds coming from the Sufis in their musical meeting than with his illness.

Then suddenly the shaikh entered and asked him if he wanted to come to the musical session. Najmuddin Kubra did not want to be impolite so he said yes, but because of his weakness he had to be supported to go to the place where the samaa’ took place.

He was placed with his back against the wall, but he was feeling so weak that any moment he was afraid to fall down, unconscious. And then suddenly the illness was gone and immediately full strength returned. The next day he asked to be initiated by the Sufi shaykh and he was accepted as a murid.

However because of his greater knowledge of Islam than his shaykh and because of his critical attitude in general he was having difficulties in relating to his shaikh. His shaikh then sent him to another one, who again sent him to shaykh Ruzbihan in Cairo.

When he arrived in Cairo he saw shaykh Ruzbihan taking ablutions and according to Najmuddin Kubra he did it with too little water. Najmuddin again thought in a critical way about this shaykh who was teaching people but was not aware of the basic rules of Islam. The shaykh then went on and started to pray and Najmuddin Kubra was allowed to take rest in the room reserved for guests, where he fell asleep.

When asleep he was having a dream wherein he was seeing humanity on the Day of Judgment. Angels were taking people either to hell or to heaven. The ones who were taken to heaven were people who were the associates of a man who was standing further away. When the angels came to Najmuddin and wanted to take him to hell he protested and he said that he was also an associate of the man over there and he could go to those people who were accepted in heaven.

Immediately he walked in the directed of the man and then he saw to his surprise that this was shaykh Ruzbihan of Cairo. The shaikh saw him, slapped him tree times in his neck and said to him that he should not have such a critical attitude towards Sufi shaykhs. Then he woke up and when Najmuddin went to shaykh Ruzbihan with whom he was staying the shaykh slapped him three times in his neck and then said to him that he should not have such a critical attitude towards Sufi shaykhs. He used the same words and did the same thing as in his dream!

This proved to be a turning point for Najmuddin who then was sent back to his first shaykh, the one who accepted him in the Sufi order. The power which was in him to resist Sufism was then used in full for positive pursuits and you know the end result. Shaykh Najmuddin Kubra is one of the foremost Sufi shaykhs of all times.