mausoleum of Baba Hatim was built between the 11th and 12th centuries A.D. It
is located outside the town of Emam Sahib, near Mazari Sharif, Afghanistan.
It was restored between 1978 and 1979 by the Délégation
Archéologique Française en Afghanistan and l'Institut Afghan d'Archéologie.
When the restorations began, the tomb was structurally unstable, with layers of
bricks stripped down from the top of its walls on the exterior. Excavating the
walls to reveal their original height, the restoration team replaced the missing
bricks, restoring the original cubical shape to the exterior and the four octagonal
colonettes embedded at its corners. The dome was reassembled with new mortar and
refinished on the exterior with plaster and studded with pairs of bricks protruding
in four concentric rings. The circular and octagonal drums of the dome were also
reconstructed, and a metal finial was placed atop the dome.
The Baba Hatim Tomb is also known as Baba Hatem Ziyarat, Baba
Hatom Ziarat, Tomb of Salar Khalil (Salar Kalil, Salar Chalil Sayyid.)
`Abd Allah Sofyan ibn Sa'id al-Thauri was born in 97 (715) at Kufa and studied
first under his father, and later with many learned men, attaining high proficiency
in Traditions and theology.
158 (775) he collided with the authorities and was compelled to go into hiding
in Mecca; he died in 161 (778) at Basra. He founded a school of jurisprudence
which survived for about two centuries; living a strictly ascetic life, he was
claimed by the Sufis as a saint.
Thauri and the caliphs The scrupulousness of Sofyan-e Thauri manifested itself
even before he was born. One day his mother was on the roof of her house and put
in her mouth a few pickles from her neighbour's roof. Sofyan gave such a violent
kick against his mother's womb that she thought she had lost him.
is reported that the caliph of those days was praying before Sofyan, and whilst
at prayer he twirled his moustache."This is not a proper kind of prayer,"
Sofyan called out. "Tomorrow on the resurrection plain this prayer will be
flung into your face like a dirty rag." "Speak a little more gently,"
said the caliph. "If I should hold my hand back from such a responsibility,"
Sofyan answered, "my urine would turn toblood."
caliph was angered by these remarks, and ordered him to be put on the gallows.
"Then no one else will be so bold before me," he said. On the day when
the gallows were erected, Sofyan was lying with his head in the bosom of a great
saint and his feet in the lap of Sofyan ibn Oyaina, fast asleep. The two saints,
learning that the gallows were being prepared, said to one another, "Let
us not tell him." At this point Sofyan awoke "What is happening?"
he asked. They told him, exhibiting much distress. "I am not so greatly attached
to life," Sofyan commented. "But one must discharge one's duty so long
as one is in this world."
eyes filling with tears, he prayed, "Lord God, seize them with a mighty seizing!"
The caliph at that moment was seated on his throne surrounded by the pillars of
state. A thunderbolt struck the palace, and the caliph with his ministers was
swallowed by the earth.
a well-received and quickly answered prayer!" exclaimed those two noble saints.
Another caliph sat on the throne who believed in Sofyan. It so happened that Sofyan
fell ill. Now the caliph had a Christian physician, a great master and extremely
clever. He sent him to Sofyan to treat him. When he examined his urine, he remarked,
"This is a man whose liver has turned to blood out of the fear of God. It
is flowing little by little out of his bladder. The religion which such a man
holds," he added, "cannot be false." And he immediately turned
Muslim. "I thought I was sending the physician to the bed of a sick man,"
the caliph commented. "In reality I sent the sick man to treat the physician."
of Sofyan-e Thauri One day Sofyan with a friend was passing the door of a notable.
The friend gazed at the portico. Sofyan rebuked him. "If you and your like
did not gaze so at their palaces, they would not commit such extravagance,"
he said. "By gazing you become partners in the sin of this extravagance."
A neighbour of Sofyan's died, and Sofyan went out to pray at his funeral. After
that he heard people saying, "He was a good man."
I had known that other men approved of him," said Sofyan, "I would never
have taken part in his funeral. Unless a man is a hypocrite, the others do not
approve of him!"
day Sofyan put on his clothes all awry. When this was pointed out to him, he was
on the point of adjusting them, but then abstained. "I put on this shirt
for God's sake," he said. "I do not wish to change it for the sake of
youth missed the pilgrimage, and he sighed. "I have performed forty pilgrImages,"
Sofyan told him. "I bestow them all on you. Will you bestow this sigh on
do," said the youth. That night Sofyan dreamed that a voice said to him,
"You have made such a profit on the transaction that, if it were divided
up amongst all the pilgrims at Arafat, they would be rich indeed." One day
Sofyan was eating a piece of bread when a dog happened along. He gave the bread
to the dog, bit by bit.
did you not eat it with your wife and child?" he was asked.
I give bread to the dog,?' he replied, "he keeps watch over me all through
the night so that I can pray. 168 sofyan al-thauri
I give it to my wife and child, they hold me back frommy devotions."
Sofyan was travelling to Mecca in a litter. A companion was with him, and Sofyan
wept all the way.
you weep out of fear for your sins?" asked his friend. Sofyan stretched out
his hand and plucked some stubble.
sins are many," he replied. "Yet though my sins are many, they mean
no more to me than this handful of stubble. What makes me afraid is whether the
faith I am offering is really faith or no."
illustration of the compassion Sofyan showed to all God's creatures is provided
by the following story.
day he saw in the market a bird in a cage, fluttering and making a pitiful sound.
He bought it and set it free. Every night the bird would come to Sofyan's home
and watch all night while Sofyan prayed, perching on him from time to time.
Sofyan died and was being borne to the grave, that bird insisted on joining the
procession and wailed pitifully along with the rest of the mourners. When Sofyan
was committed to the dust, the bird dashed itself to the ground. A voice issued
from the tomb, "Almighty God has forgiven Sofyan for the compassion he showed
to His creatures." The bird died too, and joined Sofyan.
`Abd al-Rahman Hatem ibn `Onwan al-Asamm ("the Deaf"), a native of Balkh,
of Shaqiq al-Balkhi. He visited Baghdad, and died at Washjard near Termedh in
of Hatem the Deaf Hatem the Deaf's charity was so great that when a woman came
to him one day to ask him a question and at that moment she broke wind, he said
to her, "Speak louder. I am hard of hearing." This he said in order
that the woman should not be put to shame. She raised her voice, and he answered
her problem. So long as that old woman was alive, for close on fifteen years Hatem
made out that he was deaf, so that no one should tell the old woman that he was
not so. After her death he gave his answers readily. Until then, he would say
to everyone who spoke to him, "Speak louder." That was why he was called
Hatem the Deaf.
day Hatem was preaching in Balkh."O God," he prayed, "whoever in
this congregation today is the greatest and boldest sinner and has the blackest
record, do Thou forgive him."
there was present in that congregation a man who robbed the dead. He had opened
many tombs and stolen the winding-sheets. That night he went about his usual business
of robbing the dead. He had actually removed the earth from a grave when he heard
a voice proceeding out of the tomb. "Are you not ashamed? This morning you
were pardoned at Hatem's gathering, and tonight you are at your old business again?"
grave-robber jumped out of the tomb, and ran to Hatem. He told him what had happened,
ibn Mohammad al-Razi reports the following. For many years I was a disciple of
Hatem, and in all that time I only once saw him angry. He had gone to the market,
and there he saw a man who had seized hold of one of his apprentices and was shouting.
times he has taken my goods and eaten them, and does not pay me the price of them."
"Good sir, be charitable," Hatem interposed. "I know nothing of
charity. I want my money," the man retorted.
Hatem's pleading was without effect. Growing angry, he took his cloak from his
shoulders and flung it to the ground there in the midst of the bazaar. It was
filled with gold, all true coin. "Come, take what is owing to you, and no
more, or your hand will be withered," he said to the tradesman. The man set
about picking up the gold until he had taken his due. He could not contain himself,
and stretched out the hand again to pick up more. His hand immediately became
withered. One day a man came to Hatem and said, "I possess much wealth, and
I wish to give some of this wealth to you and your companions. Will you accept?"
am afraid," Hatem answered, "that when you die I shall have to say,
`Heavenly Provider, my earthly provider is dead.'" Hatem recalled, "When
I went out to the wars a Turk seized me and flung me to the ground to kill me.
My heart was not concerned or afraid. I just waited to see what he would do. He
was feeling for his sword, when suddenly an arrow pierced him and he fell from
me. `Did you kill me, or did I kill you?' I exclaimed."
Hatem came to Baghdad the caliph was told, "The ascetic of Khorasan has arrived."
The caliph promptly sent for him. "O caliph the ascetic," Hatem addressed
the caliph as he entered. "I am not an ascetic," replied the caliph.
"The whole world is under my command. You are the ascetic..." "No,
you are the ascetic," Hatem retorted. "God says, Say, the enjoyment
of this world is little. You are contented with a little. You are the ascetic,
not I. I will not submit to this world or the next; how then am I anascetic?"