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Khwaja Mumshad Uluw Al-Dinawari

In your love I am fully prepared;

At your door do I lay my heart and soul.

Beside it, there is not other portal for me.

Salutations to you, Hazrat Uluw-e-Dinwar

Do hasten to the fulfillment of my heart’s desires.

Khwaja Mumshad Uluw al-Dinawari r.a , named “ the Effulgent Sun” by his peers, is regarded as being one of the greatest saints of his era. His knowledge of Allah was unparalleled; and his inner purity was admired by his fellow-travellers among the Sufis.

He was a very wealthy in his home city, and spent vast sums looking after poor and needy. Because of his great generosity he was given the title Karim ad-Din ( the kindness of the religion). After being initiated into suluk, he gave away the rest of his worldly possessions and took the path of faqiri ( spiritual contentment in material poverty)

It is reported that the day he was born, he refrained from drinking his mother’s milk until iftar. Astonish, he carried this practice of fasting during the day throughout his entire life. When asked why, he replied that he wished to break his fast on the day of Qiyamah with the vision of Allah. His nights used to be spent in deep ibadah and muraqabah (contemplation of Allah)

Khwaja Mumshad r.a was inspired to become the murid of Khwaja Amin ad-Din Hubayrah by Hazrat al-Khidr, and was given khilafat immediately after making baayah. His shaykh cast away his tawajjuh upon him, causing Mumshad Uluw to lose consciousness forty times in succession. Only after Amin ad-Din applied some of his saliva to his murid mouth did he completely recover. When asked what he had seen, he replied,” in thirty years of study and mujahadah, I did not receive what I gained from that one glance.”

Khwaja Mumshad Uluw r.a was very fond of Sema, and used to celebrate the urs of his elders with they mystical musical assembly. He explained that Sema aroused the love of Allah in the heart, leading to closeness and eventual wasul with the Lord-which was the ultimate goal of all seekers of the Truth.

He was the murshid of Khwaja Abu Ishaq Chishti r.a after whom the Chishtiya Silsila was founded, and it was he who blessed it and prophesied the impact it would wield on the course of Islamic history.

Aphorisms

· Tasawwuf is abandonment of that which is futile; tawakkul is abandonment of what the heart desires.

· The changing conditions of life do not influence the man whose goal is Allah.

· When a man goes to a shaykh with his own spiritual states, he is deprived of the benefit of that company, because he is engrossed in his own knowledge.

· A man who considers himself significant even in the company of a saint, will gain nothing from the advice of that saint.

He attained unity with Beloved Allah on 14th Muharram 299 AH and lies buried in Baghdad. At the time of his death, seeing a man making a duaa that Allah grant him Paradise, he laughed and said, “ for thirty years Jannah and all its adornments appeared before me, but I barely gave it a glance. I yearn for the Master of Paradise!” His Major Khulafa include the founder of the Chishtiya Silsilah, Khwaja Abu Ishaq Sahami Chishti.

Khwaja Amin Ad-Din Hubayrah of Basra r.a

From the tray of bounty, may I too have some blessings?

I am one of your own-regard me not as stranger!

Crown weary are my feet from constant walking.

Salutations to you, O seer of spiritual stations,

Hazrat Khwaja Amin ad-Din Hubayrah.

Khwaja Amin ad-Din Hubayrah Basri r.a is another of the early Islamic saints. His knowledge of Islam, irfan (divine illumination) and the realties of Tawhid were regarded as unequalled in his time. He was a renowned scholar of Basra, at that time still a center of intellectual activity in the Islamic Empire. Amin ad-Din’s r.a life history is somewhat sketchy except to tell of his complete bewilderment in the love of Allah and his constant striving to help others along this path.

He completed his Islamic Studies to an advance degree by the age of 17, and used to finish the recitation of the Quran four times every day. For thirty years he cried profusely, though, believing himself to be a failure in the spiritual way. Eventually, he received divine inspiration giving him glad tidings of Paradise and then instructing him to make Bayaah to Khwaja Huzaifa , in order to learn the way of perfection ( suluk). Although he made such tremendous mujahadahs throughout his life, it took him only one week in the company of his murshid to attain perfection.

His muridin were called the Hubayriyyah, and were widely respected for their piety. Their every moment was passed in wudhu and strict mujhadas, and they used to perform their salah with complete consciousness of Allah. Never would anything be spoken of in the company of Khwaja Amin ad-Din except the dhikr of Allah. The Hubayriyyah used to spend their days and nights in the depths of the wilderness, refraining from the company of those attached to the world, and they used to make iftar with the fruits of the jungle. The ultimate aim of the master was to ensure that the internal purity of his pupils would manifest itself externally in their every action and word; that they might be held up as shining examples to the rest of the world and thus inspire them to walk upon the spiritual path.

Hazrat Khwaja Amin ad-Din Hubayrah r.a strove to lead his muridin to a complete understanding of Tawhid and perfect their absorption in the love of Allah, that it might permeate their entire lives after the Sunnah of the Holy Prophet swm. He attained unity with Beloved on 7th Shawal 279 AH and lies buried in Basra. He has several Khulafah, but most prominent among them was Khwaja Mumshad al-Dinwari

Khawaja Sadid Ad-Din Huzaifa Al-Marashi

Through my weakness am I in a state of unconsciousness,

Therefore there is no joy in my heart at all;

I feel tremendously drawn towards him.

Salautations to you, may I be intoxicated by love,

Oh Sadid ad-Din Huzaifa Marashi.

Hazrat Khwaja Sadid ad-Din Huzaifa al-Marashi r.a was a great saint of early Islamic history, known as ‘the man of secrets.’ IN his childhood, he had already mastered the seven recitations of the Holy Quraan. After completing his studies, he was directed to become the murid of Hazrat Ibrahim bin Adham by none other than Hazrat Khidr a.s himself.

Khwaja Huzaifa al-Marashi used to spend all his time serving Hazrat Khwaja Ibrahim Adham r.a and on their travels together, he met the foremost saints of his time. As one might expect, Khwaja Huzaifa r.a received intensive spiritual training from his master. During his travels he used to make dhikr aloud continuously. He never asked any favors from mortals; if he needed anything he sought the aid of Allah alone, and it was produced for him from the unseen world. He also authored several works in the science of Tasawwuf.

After completing his spiritual training, he received the Khilafat from his murshid and became his foremost successor. So great was the love between master and pupil that whatever spiritual wealth Hazrat Ibrahim bin Adham received from Khidr a.s, Imam Mohammed Baqir r.a and Hazrat Fuzail bin Ayaz r.a, he gave to him.

He was a man of great humility and filled with tremendous fear of Allah. Once he was asked, “ why do you cry so much? Do you not believe in Allah’s mercy?” He replied, “ in the Quran it is written that a group will be in Paradise, and another in Hell. I do not know which of these I will be in , therefore I cry.” He was then asked, “ if this is your case, why do you accept people’s bayaah?” Upon hearing this, he gave an anguished sigh and passed out. When he awakened, a voice was heard by all those present giving him the glad tidings of Paradise. Upon hearing this, three hundred unbelievers accepted Islam.

Khawaja Sadid ad-Din Huzaifa Maraashi attained unity with Beloved on the 14th Shawal 207 AH. His most famous khalifa was Khwaja Amin ad-Din Habayrah , but it is said that Imam ash-Shafi was another of them.

Hazrat Ibrahin Bin Adham of Balkh r.a

Either call me urgently to your door,

Or ensure that Allah grants my wishes.

With hands folded do I stand pleading.

Salutations to you, Oh leader of the saints!

Khwaja Ibrahim Bin Adham Badshah.

Hazrat Ibrahim bin Adham r.a was one of the pivotal figures in the early history of the Chishtiya Silsilah, a saint of devotion and great fame. He is the earliest documented of the great Persian Sufis, a prince of Balkh whose renounced his earthy throne for a spiritual kingdom. His epic conversion to the mystic way has been no inaptly compared to the legend of the Buddha. He is described in the Kashf-al-Mahjub as, “unique in this path; the chieftain of his contemporaries, and a disciple of al-Khidr.”

Stories enough are told of this saint to fill several volumes-indeed there are at least six extant biographies of his life—but of all these, the legend of his rebirth as a Sufi is one of the classic tales of Muslim history.

One, night, asleep on his royal couch, he was awakened by the wound of someone walking on his roof. Irritably he demanded to know what the person thought he was doing. He was told, “I am a friend. I have lost my camel, and am searching for it.” “Fool!” he cried, “Do you search for your camel on a roof?” The reply he received filled him with terror and bewilderment. “Oh heedless one!” came the voice, “do you search for God in silken clothes, and upon a golden couch?

Visions followed by day, with visitations at night, increasing his confusion and anguish until he could no longer bear it. He decided to go hunting, in order to banish these tormenting pursuers; but while doing so he was separated from his retinue. Four times he heard a voice crying, “Awake!” but he steadfastly ignored it. At the fourth cry he spied a deer and prepared to give chase. However, the deer turned around and spoke to him,” You can not hunt me; I have been sent to hunt you. Was it for this that you were created, and is this what you have been commanded?” At this last revelation Ibrahim r.a gave a great cry and made sincere repentance. The heavens were opened to him; he exchanged his royal garb and princely steed for the poor man’s ragged clothes. “What a kingdom has come to the son of Adham !” exclaimed the angels, “ he has cast away the filthy garments of this world and donned the glorious robes of poverty.”

Hazrat Ibrahim Adham r.a left the lands of men to concentrate on spiritual discipline. He made a cave upon High Mountain his adobe for nine years, dwelling there alone by night. Every Friday he would collect a bundle of firewood to sell in Nishapur. After Jummah, he would buy a loaf of bread and give half to a beggar, using the other half to break his fast in the evening. His fame spread inexorably, and he decided to perform Hajj—partly to escape the attention.

As he approached the city, he saw the great crowd approaching. “The elders of the city have come to greet Ibrahim bin Adham r.a he was told, for no-one recognized him. “ What do you want with that heretic?” he cried. Upon saying this, of course, he was set upon and beaten. He settled in Makah, becoming a murid of Hazrat Fuzail bin Ayaz upon receiving divine inspiration. He remained there, working as a humble cleaner of the Kaabah for fifty years, and a circle of disciples formed around him. One man who greatly admired and respected him was none other than Imam Abu Hanifah r.a . The great khwaja Junaid al-Baghdadi said, “ Ibrahim is the key to the mystical sciences.” He had two major Khulafah: Khwaja Huzaifa al-Maraashi ad Khwaja Shaqiq al-Balkhi.

Now when Hazrat Ibrahim r.a had renounced his kingdom, he had left behind a young son. That child, now grown to a pious young man, decided to perform the pilgrimage in the hope of meeting his father. He came upon his father selling bread in the market, and brought his mother to confirm his suspicions. As soon as she saw him, she cried, “this is your father!” pandemonium erupted; all the bystanders and his companions burst into tears. Ibrahim r.a himself in tears, called his son to him. He embraced him, and the boy would not let go. After discovering that he was a pious Muslim and a scholar besides, Hazrat Ibrahim r.a turned his face heavenward and cried,” Oh Lord, save me!” Immediately his son fell down dead. He explained that at the moment he embraced his son, he felt love stir in his heart, and had heard Allah tell him, “You claim to love Me, but you love another along with Me.” So he had prayed, “Lord of Glory, save me! He will so occupy my heart that I will forget to love You. Either take his life away, or mine.”

Aphorisms

· Once a man bought Ibrahim r.a a thousand dirhams; but he was told, “ I do not accept anything from beggars.” “ But I am wealthy,” the man protested. “ Do you want more than you have?” asked the saint. “ Of course!” replied the man, to which Hazrat Ibrahim r.a answered , then you are the chief of beggars ! Indeed, this is not beggary, but abject destitution.”

· Hazrat Ibrahim r.a let down a bucket into a well; it came up filled with gold. He emptied it and let it down again; this time it returned full of pearls. Once again he emptied it. “ Oh Allah.” He laughed, “ You are offering me a treasury. Give me water, that I might make my wudhu !”

· He once said, “ to attain the rank of salihin, first close the door of plenty and open the door of hardship. Second, shut the door of respect and open the door of disgrace. Next, close the door of comfort and open that of hardship. Then, close the door of sleep for that of wakefulness. Lastly, close the door of wealth and open the door of poverty.”

· People asked him once why their duas were not accepted. He replied, “ you know Allah, but you do not worship him. You eat his bounties, but you do not give thanks. You make no preparations to attain Janat and avoid Jahanam. You know that death is coming, but you remain unconcerned. You bury your dead, but learn no lesson from it. You know you have defects, but you search for faults in others. How can your duaas be accepted?

· “Take Allah as your companion, and leave mankind behind.”

· “Companionship of Allah is sincerity in fulfilling his commands, and sincerity in devotion springs from purity od love; and purity in love springs from hatred of Passion and lust.”

· Ibrahim r.a narrates that once he bought a slave. “What is your name?” he asked. “Whatever you command,” was the reply. Finally Ibrahim r.a asked, “But what do you desire?” The answer filled him with awe, for the slave asked, “What does a slave know of desire?” “Wretch that you are!” cried Ibrahim r.a to himself, “ all your life have you called yourself a servant of God. Now learn what it means to be a servant!”

Hazrat Ibrahim bin Adham r.a attained unity with Beloved in Damascus in 162AH. Although some scholars are of the opinion that he was martyred in 165 AH in a naval expedition against Byzantium. On his death a voice was heard proclaiming, “ now has indeed passed away the Imam of the world”

Hazrat Khwaja Fuzail Ibn Ayaz r.a

Far too long the pages of my heart been sealed.

Illuminate it now-as shine the gardens-

Heads prostrate are the dwellers of the gardens.

Salutations to you, Oh Fuzail Ibn Ayaz !

Do grant me devotion and abstinence,

Hazrat Khwaja Fuzail Ibn Ayaz began his career somewhat ignominiously as a highwayman, playing the prosperous trade route between Bavard and Merv. As the chief of a group of bandits, he would wear the woolen garb of a dervish and tie a tasbih around his neck, while dividing the spoils of his gang amongst themselves. He was the epitome of the chivalrous highwayman; women in the caravan he would leave with dignity and belongings intact, he would never steal from one of small means, and he always left the merchants with some portion of their goods. Once a rich caravan was headed for the region, and its leader decided to hide a bad of gold with Fuzail r.a who looked for all the world to be a holy man.

“I entrusted you with my money,” he told the highwayman, “If we do get robbed, at least I will have something to fall back on.” The caravan proceeded and sure enough was waylaid by the robbers. The merchant then returned to the tent of Fuzail r.a, only to see him casually dividing up the spoils ! However, his astonishment redoubled when the highwayman told him to claim his gold, which was where he left it. “ Ah!” Fuzail’s peers,” we did not find one gold dhiram in the caravan, and there you go and return ten thousand to him!”

“ He had a good opinion of me” Fuzail r.a replied, “ I have always had a good opinion of Allah, that he will cause me to repent my ways one day.” And such proved to be the case; for Allah accepts sincere prayers, even the prayers of a sinner. That day came, when, approaching a caravan, he heard a man reciting the following verse from the Holy Quran,

“ Has the time not come for the healers of those who believe to be humbled in the remembrance of God?”

Those words pierced him like an arrow, and he fell to the ground in tears of repentance. Immediately he discarded his evil ways and, by means of absoloution, he sought out every single one of his vicitims, repaying each them what he had taken from them. He then went to the court of the sultan, confessing his crimes and begging that judgement be meted out of him. However, the sultan, seeing upon him the marks of righteousness, refused to punish him.

Hazrat Khwaja Fuzail r.a then took his family and departed for the holy lands, working as a water-carrier to earn a living. He settled for a while in Kufah, where he spent time in the company of Imam Abu Hanifa r.a. Hearing the tremendous reputation of Imam al-Hassan Basri, he travelled to Basra hoping to become his murid. However, when he arrived, he found that the Imam ahd already passed away, and he took Baya’h with his Khalifa, Hazrat Khwaja Imam Abd al-Wahid.

The gates of oratory were opened to him, and he began to preach in a manner that soon the entire Islamic world knew of him. One of his most famous pupils was Imam Ahmad bin Hanbal. He becale the greates disciple of his murshid, and also acquired Khilafat from Abu Iyadh ibn Mansur, whose silsilah reaches Sayyidina Abu Bakar r.a. Thus, through Hazrat Khwaja Fuzail, the chain of the Chishtiya order arises from both the great Sahaba Imams of Tasawwuf, Prince of faithful Hazrat Imam Ali and Hazrat Abu Bakar r.a

Khwaja Fuzail was one of the greatest of the early Sufis, who in that formative period of Islam, were distinguished not specialized action or formal designation, but by the loftiness of their characters and their closeness to Allah. It was about one of Khwaja Fuzail’s Khalifa, Hazrat Bashr al-Hafi, that Imam Ahmed Hanbal said, “ I know fiqh, tafsir, logic, Hadith and linguistics better than he, but he knows my Lord better than I.” What was true fo the pupil was even more true for the master. The Sufis were held in awe by all around them by virtue of their tremendous piety, even though their peers were the greatest of Imams of religion. It was said of Imam Abu Hanifah, “ how could he possibly have lapsed into error or impiety, with a companion like al-Fuzail to guide and correct him?”

Many stories are told of his extreme discipline. He used to perform the continous fast that became a hallmark of the zahidin (ascetics), eating only after several days. He also used to perform up to 500 nawafil salah in a day and night. One of the titles afforded to Hazrat Khwaja Fuzail and his contemporaries was ‘al-Bakkaa’in—the Weepers—for they used to spend nights awake weeping out of fear of displeasing Allah. Such was his adherence to the Sunnah that, when he once forgetfully washed his arm twice instead of three times in wuduh, Rasulullah swm himself came to remind him of his lapse. He achieved wide repute also as an authority on hadith, and in the biographical dictionaries he is noted as narrator of the highest reliability and trustworthiness.

Once the Caliph Harun al-Rasheed came to him for advice. His words left the emperor beside himself with sorrow. Harun declared, “ it is Fuzail (not I) which is a king among men. His boldness is extreme, and the very world is contemptible in his eyes.”

Aphorism

· Imam bin Hanbal heard Khwaja Fuzail say, ‘whoever pursues leadership will be disgraced. Remain insignificant, and do not live as though you are a great man.’

· He who acquires masifah billah ( true knowledge of Allah) without love will be destroyed by pride. He who acquires Khauf ( fear of Allah) without love, terror and despondency will stop him attaining closeness to his Lord.

· More surprising than seeing a person crying in paradise, is the sight of a person laughing on earth.

· One day Hazrat Khwaja Fuzail was standing at Arafat, witnessing all the thousands of pilgrims weeping and calling upon God for mercy. “ Subhanallah !” he exclaimed. “ if all these thousand went to one man and asked him together for a single penny, do you think he would refuse? “ No,” came the response. “ Well, it is easier for Almighty Allah to forgive them all, than for that man to give them a penny. Surely he is most bountiful.”

Hazrat Khwaja Fuzailibn Ayaz r.a attained unity with Beloved in 187 AH in Makkah whilst listening to the recitation of Surah al-Qariah , he gave a fearful cry and died. Hazrat Abdullah bin Mubarak r.a reported that, at the moment of his death, a cry was heard from ehaven and silence settled over the earth. He is buried in Janaat al-Maala, near the resting place of Hazrat Khatija al-Kubra r.a. The most famous of his Khulfa were Hazrat Bashr Hafi and Hazrat Khwaja Ibrahim bin Adham.

IMAM AL HASSAN OF BASRA

IMAM AL HASSAN OF BASRA

Imam Al-Hassan ubn Yasar Abu Saed al-Basri, the great faqih of Basra, leader of the ascetics and scholars of his time. He became known for his strict and encompassing embodiment of the Sunnah; famous for his immense knowledge, asceticism , fearless remonstration of the authorities, and his power of attraction both in discourse and appearance. One of the early formal Sufis in both the general and the literal sense, he wore all his life a cloak of wool. (Suf).

Upbringing

Both his parents were freed slaves, yet his lineage and childhood could not possibly have been more exalted. He was raised in the household of Zayd ibn Thabit r.a, who was not only one of the seven sahaba fuqaha (jurists), but also the one to whom the compilation of the Quran was entrusted. He was nursed by Umm Salamah r.a, the wisdom filled wife of Rasulullah swm, who played a crucial role in his upbringing and moral instruction. At his birth, Sayyidna Umar r.a blessed him, saying ‘Oh Allah ! Make him wise in religion and beloved to the people.’ Furthermore, he became the murid of Sayyidina Ali r.a at the age of fourteen. A childhood surrounded by such titanic figures unsurprisingly left and indelible impression upon the great Imam. He one remarked,

“ By Allah ! I have met seventy veterans of Badar. Most of their garments were wool. Had you seen them you would have said they were insane. Had they seen the best among you they would have said, ‘these people will have no part in the Hereafter;’ and had they seen the worst among you they would have said, ‘these people do not believe in the Day of Reckoning,’”

Knowledge and Piety

In his uncompromising search for Allah, he became one of the greatest saints of his era and was named “ Bab al Wilayah” ( the gateway of sainthood).

He was a hadith narrator of the highest grading, and over 1400 hadith in the nine books have chains running through him. He was also one of the authorized fuqaha among the taabain, having learnt in the household of Zayd bin Thabit, as well as others. His links to Sayyidna Ali r.a , are evident in all his fields of mastery; hadith, fiqh and tasawwuf. Some hadith masters assert that he related hadith directly from Hazrat Ali r.a ; according to Abd ar-Razzaq r.a , the great Khalifah once accepted his recommendation in a judicial case. Finally, of course, it is the consensus judgment of the great Imams of the Way that Sayyidna Ali r.a transmitted the knowledge of tasawwuf to him with a single look.

He lived most of his life in Basra (Southern Iraq), which was at that time the cultural and intellectual center of the Islamic world. It was also here that many theological and metaphysical controversies raged. It was al-Hassan r.a , a staunch defender of Orthodox Islam, who first mounted a systematic and comprehensive rebuttal of Persian and Greek beliefs. This defense was later continued by such men as the Imam Abu Hanifa, Imam Hanbal r,.a, and al-Ashari r.a. Infact , his interpretation of Allah attributes from key components of the aqidah ( doctrinal belief) of the Ahl as-Sunnah wa’l Jamaah.

He developed a wide circle of disciples and students and became renowned as a brilliant orator. Arab scholars have preserved many of his speeches, letters and aphorisms. He made, during his time, the acquaintance of many Sufi saints. To some he was a guide, to others a fellow-traveler, and to very few, a pupil. Perhaps the most revered of these was the legendary Hazrat Bibi Rabia of Basra, a female saint whose sanctity and love for God reached mythical dimension.

He was famed and respected not only for his knowledge and wisdom, but also for his tremendous humility and piety. It is reported that for forty years he did not laugh, so completely was he consumed by fear of Allah. Once a man mockingly asked him whether he (al-Hassan) was better or worse than a dog. He replied, “if I am saved from Allah’s punishment, then I am better than the dog; but if His punishment overtakes me, then the dog is thousand times better.” When he saw a dog, he used to supplicate, “ Oh Allah ! Forgive me through the wasilah of this dog.”

Aphorisms

· We laugh and yet-who knows? –perhaps Allah has looked at some of our works and said: “ I will not accept anything from you.” Woe to you, son of Adam ! Can you fight Allah? Whoever disobeys Allah is fighting Him.

· Two thoughts roam over soul, one from Allah and one from the enemy. Allah shoes mercy on a servant who settles at the thought that comes from Him.

· Whoever knows his Lord loves Him, and whoever knows the world does without it.

· Humility is to consider everyone nobler than you.

· The world is a vehicle for you. If you drive it, it will deliver you to your destination. If it drives you, it will lead you to destruction.

Once the great Imam visited his dying neighbor, a Magian Fire worshipper named Simeon. Al-Hassan r.a approached his deathbed and advised him to become Muslim, but the man replied that there were three things stopping him.

“Firstly,” he said, “Muslims speak ill of the world, but day and night pursue worldly things. Secondly, you say death is a inevitability, but yet make no preparations for it. Thirdly, you say that God’s face shall be seen, but you do everything contrary to his good pleasure.”

Al-Hassan r.a conceded the fact, but replied that at least Muslims worship God, and not fire. “Fire is but a servant of Allah,” said the saint. “ and if Allah wishes it will not burn one particle of my body.” So saying, he thrust his hand directly into the burning flame. There it remained, unaffected by the heat, and true knowledge dawned upon Simeon. He converted to Islam, and later died. Al-Hassan r.a saw him in dream walking through the gardens of Paradise wearing a cloak of light. “Lord God!” he cried, “such is your mercy! If you can forgive and unbeliever of seventy years because of one utterance, how will you exclude a believer?”

He attained unity with Beloved in Basra in 110 AH, leaving five Khalifa, one of whom was Hazrat Imam Abd Al-Wahid ibn Zayd.