Dhu-l Nun the Egyptian meets an Old Woman on the Road

Salaam and Greetings of Peace:

“Dhu-l Nun al-Misri, called the Egyptian, relates that as he was journeying from Jerusalem to Egypt he saw in the distance someone advanving towards him and he felt compelled to ask a question. When the person came near he perceived that it was an old woman carrying a staff and wearing a woolen cloak. He asked her from where she came. She answered ‘from God.’ ‘And where are you going?’ ‘To God.’ Dhu-l Nun then drew forth a piece of gold which he had with him and offered it to her, but she shook her hand in his face and cried, ‘O Dhu-l Nun, the notion which has arisen in your mind of me is from the feebleness of your intelligence. I work for God’s sake, and accept nothing unless from Him. I worship Him alone and take from Him alone.’ With these words she went on her way.”

–  Hujwiri, in the Kashf al-Mahjub, the Revelation of the Mystery (trans. Nicholson, with minor edits)

Ya Haqq!


6 Responses to Dhu-l Nun the Egyptian meets an Old Woman on the Road

  1. rosalindawijks says:

    He wasn’t just a great man, he was a Nubian from Southern Egypt & a black man. This is relevant because even in Islamic history, black folks & blackness are erased. (Aside from Hazrat Bilal)

    The Prophet, peace be upon him, had many black companians, like Baraka, Zaid ibn Haritha, Julaybib, etc. Some of the later ahl ul bayt were also black.

    And in practice, many born muslims as diverse as Arabs, Imazighen, Turks, Pakistanis, Afghans, Persians, Malaysians are steeped in anti-black racism.

    A tip: Google Dawud Walids amazing project: “Centering Blackness in Early Islamic history.”

    And these hashtags:

    #BlackLivesMatter #BlackMuslimGirlMagic #beingblackandmuslim

  2. Irving says:

    Thank you for pointing out the legacy of black Islamic history in Sufism and the Prophetic companions. It is a subject worthy of much more attention and scholarship :) Ya Haqq!

  3. rosalindawijks says:

    And thank YOU for appreciating my post. :-)

  4. reiner2013 says:

    Good evening Irving and all searchers for truth!

    A fascinating question is: How do we worship God alone?

    Many people misunderstand what true worship of God involves, so they focus on external actions and before long a new ceremony has come about.

    The best approach is to go on a journey of discovering the truth, for only if our worship of God is truth-based can it honour God.

    True worship involves loving Our Creator with our soul, heart and mind, yet only if our worship of God is truth-based can it honour God.

    Josef Sefton

  5. lampless says:

    That was an interesting read…

  6. farrahanjum says:

    Salaam. Interesting article!

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