By Laury Silvers
The advance of early Islamic mysticism and metaphysics is gifted in the course of the lifestyles and paintings of theologian Abu Bakr al-Wasiti.
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Additional resources for A Soaring Minaret: Abu Bakr Al-Wasiti and the Rise of Baghdadi Sufism
Spiritual disciplines such WASITI IN IRAQ 29 as fasting, late night prayer vigils, seclusion, close observation of the soul to root out shortcomings, and the repeated recitation of sacred formulae such as “There is no god but God,” might be required or suggested by the shaykh. The shaykh might advise his students on proper company and proper conduct. The shaykh would also explain and offer advice on the states, stations, and hazards experienced on the Path. The texts record that instruction was often inspired by direct questions from companions or others.
Question the scholars with regard to what is lawful and unlawful. Befriend the Wise who wayfare by means [of wisdom] on the path of truthfulness and clarity. 27 Coincidentally, al-Husayn b. Mansur al-Hallaj (d. 309/921) also lived for a time in Wasit (249/863–258/871). 30 But there is no evidence that Wasiti and Hallaj were schoolmates. In any case, after leaving Wasit the surviving reports put Wasiti only in the company of the Sufis. 1 Junayd was his primary guide on the Sufi path. The traditional sources identify Wasiti as a companion of both Junayd and Nuri or only of Junayd.
In fact, as I will discuss later, Junayd became concerned when he heard about it long after Wasiti left Baghdad. Leaving Baghdad Wasiti kept silent regarding his own opinions on spiritual matters while in Baghdad. 42 It is never considered proper conduct to teach in the presence of one’s shaykh. Recall that Junayd would not speak in the presence of his teachers until he was urged to do so by the Prophet in a dream. 43 No one reported why Wasiti left Baghdad, but the hostile atmosphere must have been at least part of the reason.
A Soaring Minaret: Abu Bakr Al-Wasiti and the Rise of Baghdadi Sufism by Laury Silvers