By Ibn Sabbagh
ابن الصباغ : درة الأسرار وتحفة الأبرار في أقوال وأفعال وأحوال ومقامات ونسب وكرامات وأذكار ودعوات سيدي أبو الحسن الشاذلي
English transl. Elmer H. Douglas as "The Mystical Teachings of al-Shadhili"
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.
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. ”
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.