The Beauty of the Righteous & Ranks of the Elite
Hilyat-ul Awliya Wa Tabaqat al-Asfiya
By Imam Abu Na'im al-Asfahani (948-1038 C.E.)
Trans. by Shaykh Muhammad Al-Akili
© 1996-2016 Pearl Publishing House
All praises belong to Allah, the Creator and Sustainer of the universes, and the unfathomable Lord of grace.
May we all delve to join the everlasting praises His angels and the blessed ones are constantly celebrating, and may His eternal and most effulgent blessings shower upon His last messenger and the seal of His prophets, Muhammad (sal), upon whom and upon all of God's prophets and messengers be peace.
This is the first attempt to bring the work of the renowned 10th century Imam al-Hãfiz Abu Na'im al-Asfahãni, God bless his soul, into English, and I am extremely thankful to my Lord for allowing me to share these jewels of testimonies of the chosen ones and the elite, the blessed companions of God's messenger (sal), upon whom be peace, whose knowledge, testimonies, and deeds are the true map for those aspiring for the eternal gardens of bliss.
The sincere godly reader will surely recognize this work as a guidebook for the seekers on God's path, a shield to win the battle against the trials and adversities of this world, and a strong warning for the heedless and the innovators, to spare themselves the just and afflictive eternal punishment in hell-fire.
The knowledge of the enclosed over 1000 accounts, prophetic traditions, and sayings of the blessed companions was given to their hearts by none other than God's messenger (sal), upon whom be peace, himself, a task he was sent by Almighty Allah, blessed be His Name, to deliver to humanity. Having delivered the divine message to his companions, in turn, God's messenger (sal) also asked them to disseminate the revelation to all nations. Hence, these testimonies, which represent an important episode of human history, were first transmitted through oral traditions by the illustrious companions, and then by the scholars, the shaykhs, and the pious ones who remain to this day our strong link to the blessed era of the last and final divine revelation, and therefore, our path becomes illumined and most inspiring by their commitment and love for their Lord, and by their continuous efforts to deliver the authentic divine message to humanity until the last day.
This work represents a drop in the ocean of knowledge the blessed companions cherished, and their testimonies will surely help polish a tarnished heart, as well as they will beautify a pious one. In fact, although the legacy of our righteous predecessors (salaf sãlih) is unique and their devotion surpasses the common, yet, their wisdom, example, and teachings will surely fill a yearning heart with the love and grace of Allah.
The exalted model (sunna) of our righteous predecessors provides us