Book | Ibn Sabbagh: Durrat al-asrar | ابن الصباغ : درة الأسرار وتحفة الأبرار

The Pearl of Secrets and the Treasures of the Righteous

About Imam Abul Hasan al-Shadhili
By Ibn Sabbagh
ابن الصباغ : درة الأسرار وتحفة الأبرار في أقوال وأفعال وأحوال ومقامات ونسب وكرامات وأذكار ودعوات سيدي أبو الحسن الشاذلي

Documenting Sayings and Doings, States and Stations, Miracles and Prayers of Imam Abul Hasan al-Shadhili

Arabic: Maktaba Misriyya lil-Turath
English transl. Elmer H. Douglas as "The Mystical Teachings of al-Shadhili"
Look inside on
Contents: [1] [2] [3] [4] [5]
Excerpts: page 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 26, 27-28
See also Bio of Imam Abul Hasan alShadhili

The Author

About the author and his sources

The author, Ibn al-Sabbagh, was writing a little more than six decades after the death of Imam Abul Hasan al-Shadhili. He received his information from the master’s disciples in Tunisia and Egypt, and from their companions and disciples. In his endeavor to record narrations of sayings and supplications of Imam Abul Hasan, he made efforts to meet anyone who might be acquainted with them. He says:

“Some I received directly in Tunis from the righteous Shaykh Abu ale`Azai’m Abu Madi ibn Sultan, pupil and servant of Abu al-Hasan. Some of them I secured in the eastern lands, of Abu ‘Abd Allah Muhammad, called Sharaf al-Din, son of Yaqut al-Habashi. Some of them I received from still other devotees of the Sufi Path of our shaykh and from companions of his companions from among the people of the East and the West, until – ”

there was brought together in my possession material the hearing of which is a source of delight, and the collection of which is something rare.


About the book

He continues: “I have divided it into five chapters. Contents: [1] [2] [3] [4] [5]

  • Chapter 1 concerns his noble lineage, his origin, his receiving instruction in the Way and authority from his teacher, his travels from the Maghrib (Morocco) to the Province of Ifriqiya (Tunis) and to the land of the East (Egypt), and his attainment there to the rank of Khalifa and Qutb. Read page 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 26, 27-28
  • Chapter 2 concerns his correspondence with his disciples in the Province of Ifriqiya.
  • Chapter 3 contains an account of his supplications (da´awat), his devotional recitations (adhkar), and his prayers or orientation (tawajjuhat).
  • Chapter 4 treats his opinions, his teaching on sufism and the inner reality (haqiqa) of the faith, and his injunctions upon his companions.
  • Chapter 5 speaks of his death and his prior appointment of my master Abu al-`Abbas al-Mursi as his successor, of whom I shall recall some splendid anecdotes. Read Excerpt
    I have entitled the work Durrat al-asrar wa tuhfat al-abrar [The Pearl of Mysteries and the Treasure of the Righteous], concerning the states and stations, extraordinary powers and divine gifts, supplications and devotional recitations that have been attributed to our master, the shaykh, the saint, the gnostic, the one with true knowledge, the trustworthy, the Qutb, the Ghawth, Abu al-Hasan ‘Ali, in order that its appellation may be in accord with the work indicated by the name and conformable to its significance.

    From God, I hope for approval and the attainment of the object of my expectations, because He is the preserver from error in narration and the One who brings felicity by His help in lucidity of expression. There is no Lord at all other then He, and no good except His. ”

    There is, likewise, internal evidence that the author borrowed much from the Lata’if al-minan of Ibn ‘Ata’ Allah as-Sakandarani – may Allah be pleased with them all.

    The author divides his book into five chapters.
    Chapter 1 recounts the story of al-Shadhili’s career.
    Chapter 2 reveals correspondence with his disciples.
    Chapter 3 contains litanies and prayers attributed to al-Shadhili.
    Chapter 4 the longest, is composed of the master’s teachings that resemble, in general, those of early Muslim mystics—for example, al-Qushayri.
    Chapter 5 indicates al-Shadhili’s death, and relates many deeds and teachings of his Epyptian successor, Abu al-`Abbas al-Mursi.

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