Maruf Karkhi

Maruf Karkhi

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Maruf Karkhi known also by his full name Abu Mahfuz Maruf Ibn Firuz al-Karkhi, was a Sufi Saint
Saint
A saint is a holy person. In various religions, saints are people who are believed to have exceptional holiness.In Christian usage, "saint" refers to any believer who is "in Christ", and in whom Christ dwells, whether in heaven or in earth...

 who is a pivotal figure in Sufism
Sufism
Sufism or ' is defined by its adherents as the inner, mystical dimension of Islam. A practitioner of this tradition is generally known as a '...

. He came from a Christian
Christian
A Christian is a person who adheres to Christianity, an Abrahamic, monotheistic religion based on the life and teachings of Jesus of Nazareth as recorded in the Canonical gospels and the letters of the New Testament...

 background and the story of his conversion to Islam
Islam
Islam . The most common are and .   : Arabic pronunciation varies regionally. The first vowel ranges from ~~. The second vowel ranges from ~~~...

 is one of the most famous in Islamic lore.

Biography


Maruf was born in the district of Wasit or Karkh in Baghdad
Baghdad
Baghdad is the capital of Iraq, as well as the coterminous Baghdad Governorate. The population of Baghdad in 2011 is approximately 7,216,040...

. His father's name was Firuz, which suggests that he was of Persian origin. His original religion is usually understood to have been Christian
Christian
A Christian is a person who adheres to Christianity, an Abrahamic, monotheistic religion based on the life and teachings of Jesus of Nazareth as recorded in the Canonical gospels and the letters of the New Testament...

, which may mean that the Armenian
Armenians
Armenian people or Armenians are a nation and ethnic group native to the Armenian Highland.The largest concentration is in Armenia having a nearly-homogeneous population with 97.9% or 3,145,354 being ethnic Armenian....

 Islamic preacher and mystic, Farqad Sabakhi
Farqad Sabakhi
Farqad Sabakhi was an Armenian Islamic preacher and an associate of Hasan al-Basri. He was thus one of the Tabi'een . Farqad as-Sabakhi was formerly a Christian. It is noted that Farqad as-Sabakhi may have mentored Maruf Karkhi, who was a pivotal figure in Sufism...

, may have mentored Maruf Karkhi. Attar
Attar
Abū Hamīd bin Abū Bakr Ibrāhīm , better known by his pen-names Farīd ud-Dīn and ‘Attār , was a Persian Muslim poet, theoretician of Sufism, and hagiographer from Nīshāpūr who had an abiding influence on Persian poetry and Sufism.-Biography:Information about Attar's life is rare...

 narrates in his Memorial of the Saints
Tadhkiratul Awliya
Tadhkiratul Awliya by Farid al-Din Attar of Nishapur is regarded as one of the most important works of Sufism. It is acclaimed as of the rare collection of the biographies of Muslim Sufi saints between the 6th and 13th century....

 that Maruf converted to Islam
Islam
Islam . The most common are and .   : Arabic pronunciation varies regionally. The first vowel ranges from ~~. The second vowel ranges from ~~~...

 at a young age at the hands of Ali ibn Musa, after rejecting all forms of polytheism
Polytheism
Polytheism is the belief of multiple deities also usually assembled into a pantheon of gods and goddesses, along with their own mythologies and rituals....

. Tradition recounts that he immediately went and told his father and mother, who rejoiced at his decision and became Muslims themselves. After accepting Islam, Maruf became a student of Dawud Ta'i, and underwent a severe trial of his discipleship. Maruf, however, remained steadfast and proved himself so devout that his righteousness became locally famous.

Sufi tradition


In Sufism
Sufism
Sufism or ' is defined by its adherents as the inner, mystical dimension of Islam. A practitioner of this tradition is generally known as a '...

, those of the order of Marufi are those connected to Maruf Karkhi. Maruf thus forms a penultimate link in what is known as the Golden Chain (silsilah
Silsilah
Silsila is an Arabic word meaning chain, often used in various senses of lineage. In particular, it may be translated as " order" or "genealogy". It is derived from the notion of apostolic succession.- Historical importance :...

) of Sufism, the initiation line which forms an unbroken chain to Muhammad
Muhammad
Muhammad |ligature]] at U+FDF4 ;Arabic pronunciation varies regionally; the first vowel ranges from ~~; the second and the last vowel: ~~~. There are dialects which have no stress. In Egypt, it is pronounced not in religious contexts...

. Maruf, being the freed slave and disciple of Ali ar-Ridha, formed part of that lineage, while at the same time maintaining the teachings of his master Dawud Ta'i and thus being his successor as well. Sufis venerate Maruf highly for the multiple spiritual chains which interlock in his teachings.

See also