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Compiled & edited: Mohammed Ali Vakil Mohammed Arif Vakil

Art & Storyboard: Rahil Mohsin

Colour: Mohammed Ali Vakil Abdul Gafur Madinal

Calligraphy: Muqtar Ahmed


Copyright 2012 by Sufi Studios First Edition 2012 All rights reserved. No part of this book may be reproduced in any manner without written permission. For additional information write to: Sufi Studios #78, Koramangala Industrial Area Jyothi Nivas College Road Bangalore - 560095 India contact@sufistudios.com 'Sufi Comics - The wise fool of Baghdad' is a publication of Sufi Studios. ISBN 978-93-5087-229-1

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Contents Origins: Playing the Fool

4

The Poor Caliph

22

Would your dress, be my guest?

28

Dust to dust

38

The three questions

46

You don't even know how to talk!

58

Baghdad Legal

74

An attitude of gratitude

86

The sound of justice

100

What's in a Mosque's name?

110

Daddy's little girl

122


Shaykh Junayd Baghdadi, a great Sufi master of Iraq,

while on a walk with his students, he asked, “tell me about Bahlool”.

He is crazy, O Shaykh! What do you want of him? Take me to him, for I need him. 58


His students looked for Bahlool everywhere,

and found him in a desert.

By the time they brought Shaykh Baghdadi to Bahlool, they were surprised...

...for, he was lying with a brick under his head as a pillow.

59


Salaam-un-alaikum*

Who are you? I am Shaykh Junayd Baghdadi.

The same Shaykh Junayd Baghdadi who gives spiritual advice?

Yes!

Ha! Do you even know how to eat? * an Arabic-Islamic greeting meaning, Peace be with you.


I say “Bismillah”* before eating. I eat what is in front of me, I take small bites, put them in the right side of my mouth, slowly chew. I don’t stare at others while they eat. I remember Allah while eating. I thank Him for whatever I eat. I wash my hands before and after eating.

You want to be the spiritual teacher of the world but don’t even know how to eat! * A phrase from the Quran, which means, “in the name of Allah”.


He’s crazy, O Shaykh, Let him be.

He appe yet he ars mad, br spiritua ims with l insight .

I need Bahlool!

62


Who are you?

Shaykh Baghdadi who doesn’t even know how to eat! Do you know how to talk?

* Pronounced ‘Allahu Allahu’, A common chant of Sufis and Mystics calling upon the Divine Lord.


I speak clearly so that the listener can understand. I do not talk so much so the people would get bored. I call the people towards Allah and his Prophet. I don’t speak without purpose or too much. I talk in moderation and to the point.

Forget about eating you don’t even know how to talk!

O Shaykh! You saw he’s crazy. What would you expect from a lunatic? I see what you don’t see. I need Bahlool! 64


O Bahlool!

What do you want from me? You don’t even know how to eat or speak. Do you know how to sleep? Yes! Yes I know O Bahlool!

Well, then tell me 65


When I am finished with the night prayer, I don my sleepwear. I perform the Wudhu (ablution) as I would before Prayer. I sleep on my right side with my right palm under my cheek. I recite the Supplications and blow onto my palms and do chant the names of Allah until I sleep.

As expected... you do not know how to sleep either.

O Bahlool, I don’t know anything so for the sake of Allah please teach me.

66


You claimed knowledge and said you knew so I was avoiding you. Now that you accept your lack of knowledge I will teach you.

The truth behind eating is that you eat lawful morsels.

If you eat forbidden food even with a hundred good manners, It won’t benefit.

And will only lead to the blackening of the heart.

67


The heart must be pure and have good intentions before you talk. Your conversation must be to please Allah. If it is for any useless work, then however you express yourself, it will be a calamity for you. That is why silence and quietude would be best.

The truth behind sleep is that your heart should be free from enmity, jealousy and hate. Your heart should not be greedy for this world or its wealth and remember Allah when going to sleep.

68


69


Reflections An action is only as good as the intention behind it. The same lessons that Bahlool teaches of eating, speaking and sleeping can be applied to all of our daily activities, especially prayer. One may be observing all the external niceties of prayer, but if there isn’t God in one’s heart and one isn’t cognizant of Who he is bowing down to, how meaningful is that prayer? How worthy is it? In our prayers, we call out “Allahu Akbar”, that, God is the Greatest, but in our hearts if there is none but ourselves, is God really the Greatest for us then? A dear friend and mentor of ours, Dr. Mateen, calls this the difference between Legal Islam and Real Islam. A Muslim, may have a Muslim name, pray five times a day, recite the Quran, eat Halaal meat but so what? If he doesn’t ensure that the food he’s eating is lawfully obtained, if he doesn’t have God in his heart for all the actions that he does, if he is obsessed with form but has forgotten the spirit and purpose of his actions, he may still qualify as a Legal Muslim but how much of a Real Muslim is he? Remember, God wants Spiritual Fruit not Religious Nuts.

70


Allah will not call you to account for thoughtlessness in your oaths, but for the intention in your hearts; and He is Oft-forgiving, Most Forbearing. (Qur’an 2:225)

The Prophet Muhammad (s) has said

O Abu Dharr, you should have a righteous intention in everything you do, even in Sleeping and Eating.


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