Mittwoch, 27. November 2013


Ein Artikel aus der EI² via A.I.M.... ;)

Rābiʿa al-ʿAdawiyya al-Ḳaysiyya
[von Margaret Smith; überarbeitet von Charles Pellat]

Rābiʿa al-ʿAdawiyya al-Ḳaysiyya (a double nisba because she was attached to a family, the Āl ʿĀtik, of ʿAdī b. Ḳays (of Ḳurays̲h̲; see Ibn al-Kalbī-Caskel, tab. 35)), famous mystic and saint of Baṣra.

One cannot go so far as to throw into doubt her historical existence, but the traditions about her life and teachings include a very large proportion of legend which today can hardly be distinguished from authentic information. With this qualification borne in mind, one may nevertheless be permitted to present a portrait of the saint as it was conceived by her coreligionists over the course of the centuries.

She is said to have been born in 95/714 or 99/717-18 and to have breathed her last at Baṣra in 185/801, where her tomb was shown outside the city (see al-Harawī, Ziyārāt , ed. and tr. J. Sourdel-Thomine, 81/88). In the evolution of Ṣūfī mysticism, she became one of the three most famous female mystics of Baṣra, the two others being Muʿād̲h̲a al-ʿAdawiyya, wife of the “ascetic” ʿĀmir b. ʿAbd al-Ḳays al-ʿAnbarī [q.v.], and a certain Umm al-Dardāʾ (see Pellat, Le milieu baṣrien , 104).

Born into a poor home, she was stolen as a child and sold into slavery (she is even sometimes made into a ḳayna [q.v.]), but her sanctity secured her freedom, and she retired to a life of seclusion and celibacy, at first in the desert and then in Baṣra, where she gathered round her many disciples and associates, who came to seek her counsel or prayers or to listen to her teaching. These included ʿAbd al-Wāḥid b. Zayd (d. 177/793; see Pellat, Milieu , 102-3 and index), Mālik b. Dīnār [q.v.], the ascetic Rabāḥ al-Ḳaysī, the traditionist Sufyān al-T̲h̲awrī [q.v.] and the Ṣūfī S̲h̲aḳīḳ al-Balk̲h̲ī. Her life was one of extreme asceticism and otherworldliness. Asked why she did not ask help from her friends, she said, “I should be ashamed to ask for this world’s goods from Him to Whom they belong, and how should I seek them from those to whom they do not belong?” (it should be noted that al-D̲j̲āḥiẓ, more conscious of the neatness of this reply than of its deeper sense, cites it at least twice (in Ḥayawān , v, 589, and Bayān , iii, 127) and does not mention any other details concerning Rābiʿa, which seems to show that, in the 3rd/9th century, the legend around her had not yet totally crystallised. On the other hand, this tradition, perhaps authentic, is contradicted by a piece of evidence according to which she possessed a k̲h̲ādim/k̲h̲ādima and by the mention, in al-Ḥusaynī, of another saint called Maryam al-Baṣriyya, her servant and disciple, to whom she had communicated her doctrine of pure love, ʿilm al-maḥabba ).

To another friend she said, “Will God forget the poor because of their poverty or remember the rich because of their riches? Since He knows my state, what have I to remind Him of? What He wills, we should also will.” Miracles were attributed to her as to other Muslim saints. Food was supplied by miraculous means for her guests, and to save her from starvation. A camel, which died when she was on pilgrimage, was restored to life for her use; the lack of a lamp was made good by the light which shone round about the saint. It was related that when she was dying, she bade her friends depart and leave the way free for the messengers of God Most High. As they went out, they heard her making her confession of faith, and a voice which responded, “O soul at rest, return to thy Lord, satisfied with Him, giving satisfaction to Him. So enter among My servants into My Paradise” (sūra LXXXIX, 27-30). After her death, Rābiʿa was seen in a dream and asked how she had escaped from Munkar and Nakīr [q.v.], the angels of the tomb, when they asked her, “Who is your Lord?”, and she replied, “I said, return and tell your Lord, ‘Notwithstanding the thousands and thousands of Thy creatures, Thou hast not forgotten a weak old woman. I, who had only Thee in all the world, have never forgotten Thee, that Thou shouldst ask, Who is thy Lord?’”