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“Burn me in Hell…” – Rabia al Basri


Rabia's Prayer_colored resized for upload

We have done a couple of comics of Rabia Basri.  One’s titled The Headache and the other is Walking on Water.  Here’s yet another Sufi Comic dedicated to this spiritual lady.  She is an inspiring personality in Islamic history.  Here’s a brief excerpt from her life from the book Destiny Disrupted:

 

“In Basra, lived the poet Rabia Al Basri, whose life is now laced with legend.  As a little girl, she had been traveling somewhere with her family when bandits hit the caravan.  They killed her parents and sold Rabia into slavery.  That’s how she ended up in Basra as a slave in some rich man’s household.  Her master, the stories say, kept noticing a luminous spirituality about her that made him wonder…

One night, when she was lost in prayer, he observed a halo surrounding her body.  It struck him suddenly that he had a saint living in his house, and awe took hold of him.  he set Rabia free and pledged to arrange a good marriage for her.  He would get her connected to one of the best families in the city, he vowed.  She had only to name the man she wanted to marry, and he would upon up negotiations at once.

But Rabia said she could not marry any man, for she was already in love.
“In love?” gasped her recent master.  “With whom?”
“With Allah!” And she began to pour forth poetry of such rapturous passion that her former owner became her first and lifelong disciple.”

 

The above prayer is perhaps inspired from a similar prayer by Imam Ali (as).

 


Arif Vakil

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