Shaykh Abdul Rahman Jami
All of the billions of believers since Time began have had a love for the Prophet (Sall’Allahu Ta’ala Alayhi Wa’alihi Wa’sallam) in their hearts but the heart of Abdul Rahman Jami was afflicted with such an intensely passionate love for the Beloved of Allah that few others save those amongst the Pious Predecessors can have experienced such lovely heartache and torment.
Abdul Rahman Jami was a great Sufi and also a great poet of Farsi and he assuaged his spiritual desire for Allah’s Habib by constantly reciting poems in his praise, to give some comfort to his ailing heart! These Farsi encomiums have become legendary and are recited to this day amongst the gatherings of the pious, it so happened that once this ‘ishq [noun (Arabic): ardent love] was at its peak and poor Jami became restless. He composed a wonderful poem [naat] in the praise of Allah’s Habib and in the agony of love made a vow to recite that very poem in front of the Prophet’ Mausoleum in Madina. So, gathering some of his many disciples with him, he set off on the long and arduous journey to fulfil his vow.
After many a month of travel the caravan led by the Imam of Love, Abdul Rahman Jami, reached the outskirts of the City of the Prophet and Madina was only a few miles journey away. As they camped for the day, what do they see but a rider on a horse coming towards them at a galloping pace. The strange rider stopped in their midst and asked the group, “Which of you is Jami?” The disciples pointed out Jami and said, “That is our leader, Shaykh Imam Abdul Rahman Jami!” So the rider guided his horse towards Jami and, alighting, greeted Jami with the words, “Assalamu alaykum!”
“Wa alaykum as-salam! Who are you? Where are you from and why are you here?” asked the venerable Sufi. “Jami, I have come here from Madina!”
At the mention of these words the lover of the Prophet (sal Allahu alayhi wa sallam), Jami, took off his turban and placed it the feet of the stranger saying, “May I be sacrificed for these feet! They have come from the city of my Prophet!”
Jami continued, “Good sir! Tell me, why have you come?”
The man went silent for a while and then answered, “Jami what I am going to tell you, you must promise to hear it with a stout heart.”
“Okay”, said a slightly bemused Jami, “but tell me!” “Jami”, continued the rider, “I have been sent to you by the Prophet (Sall’Allahu Ta’ala Alayhi Wa’alihi Wa’sallam) himself – “Tell me! What does my Master say?” interjected Jami. “Jami, the Prophet (Sall’Allahu Ta’ala Alayhi Wa’alihi Wa’sallam) has sent me to tell you that he has forbidden you to enter Madina and visit him!”
At these words Jami was thunderstruck, his head swam and his legs gave way beneath him andwith an agonised shriek the Shaykh fell to the ground in a swoon. The disciples were terrified that their Shaykh had passed away but after many hours Jami came back to a state of consciousness and he wept copiously. The messenger was still there and Jami asked him, “Tell me O’ bringer of such tidings! Why does my Master prevent me from entering Madina? What sin have I committed? Why is my Medinan Lord angry with me?” The messenger replied,”the Master is not upset with you. Indeed, he is very happy with you!”.”Then why does my liege-lord prevent me from visiting him?” “Jami.
The Prophet(Sall’Allahu Ta’ala Alayhi Wa’alihi Wa’sallam) said to me that tell Jami that if he comes to Madina with such love in his heart I will have no course but to come out of my tomb and greet him in person – such would be the recompense for his love! – so tell him not to enter Madina. I will visit him myself! Tell Jami not to come and visit me – I will visit him!”