Abu Hafs the blacksmith of Nishapur showed signs of strange endowments through the power of his attention, from the early days of his discipleship. He was accepted as a pupil by Sheikh Bawardi, and returned to his smithy to continue his work. While his mind was concentrated, he pulled a piece of red-hot iron from the forge with his bare hand. Although he did not feel the heat, his assistant collapsed at this unprecedented sight.
When he was Grand Sheikh of the Sufis of Khorasan, it was noted that he did not speak Arabic and used an interpreter in speaking to Arab visitors. Yet, when he visited the great Sufis of Baghdad, he spoke the language so well that the purity of his speech was unsurpassed.
When the sheikhs of Baghdad asked him to tell them the meaning of generosity, he said: ‘I will hear another define it first.’
The Master Junaid then said: ‘Generosity is not identifying generosity with yourself, and not considering it.’
Abu Hafs commented: ‘The sheikh has spoken well. But I feel that generosity means doing justice without requiring justice.’
Junaid said to the others: ‘Stand, all of you! For Abu Hafs has transcended Adam and all his race.’
Abu Hafs used to say: ‘I abandoned work and then went back to it. Then it abandoned me, and I never went back to it.’
Hujwiri: The Revelation of the Veiled
The Way of the Sufi
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