Here we present glimpses of another eminent saint in the line of believers who were able to witness the group of believers that had witnessed the Sahaba, also known as Taba Taba’een.
Hazrat Habeeb Ajmi (r.a) was a strict adherent to the injunctions of Shariah and was linked to the sufi discipline as well. His status amongst the friends of Allah Almighty is undoubtedly remarkable.
According to traditions, Hazrat Habeeb Ajmi (r.a) was used to committing all sorts of wrongdoings, including the provision of loans to people on interest which is strictly prohibited in Islam. But then Allah Almighty blessed him with the light of guidance and he made a true repentance for all of his sins at the hands of a renowned sufi saint Hazrat Hasan Basri (r.a). After giving up his old ways, Hazrat Habeeb Ajmi (r.a) turned his attention towards Allah Almighty and he learned the sufi ways and basic religious education from Hazrat Hasan Basri (r.a).
Because Hazrat Habeeb (r.a) was an Ajmi or non-Arab, his accent of Arabic was far from perfect.
So, once it so happened that Hazrat Hasan Basri (r.a) was passing by the room
where Hazrat Habeeb (r.a) used to pray. Hazrat Hasan (r.a) heard the proclamation of “Allah is the greatest!” from Hazrat Habeeb (r.a) who had just began the prayer, but Hazrat Hasan (r.a) instead of joining the prayer under his lead, chose to pray alone because of his accent of Arabic which was not satisfactory.
When Hazrat Hasan Basri (r.a) slept that night he was bestowed with the vision of the Creator of the Heavens and Earth Himself!
So Hazrat Hasan Basri asked the Almighty:
“O Allah! What should I do to win your favor?”
The Almighty said to Hasan Basri (r.a):
“O Hasan! You had almost won Our favor today but you did not value it! If you had joined the prayer under the lead of Habeeb and not leave the prayer under the false assumption about his intent, you would have surely won Our favor!”
In another famous tradition, it is said that once Hazrat Hasan Basri (r.a) escaped from the soldiers of Hajaj bin Yousuf and took refuge in the place of worship of Hazrat Habeeb (r.a). When the soldiers came there looking for Hasan Basri (r.a), they asked Hazrat Habeeb (r.a):
“O Habeeb! Have you seen Hasan Basri (r.a) around here?”
Hazrat Habeeb (r.a) replied in the affirmative, and when the soldiers asked where he was, Hazrat Habeeb (r.a) nonchalantly replied:
“He can be found in my place of worship!”
So the soldiers went into his place of worship and searched the whole place but they didn’t found anyone there. It was empty!
The soldiers thought that Hazrat Habeeb (r.a) was playing a joke with them, so they uttered some harsh words to him but Hazrat Habeeb (r.a) assured them that he was telling the truth. So the soldiers went back into his place of worship and thoroughly searched it but still found no one inside.
They returned empty-handed from his place.
Then Hazrat Hasan Basri (r.a) came out of the place of worship and said to Habeeb (r.a):
“O Habeeb! I know that Allah Almighty hid me from the eyes of these soldiers due to your status with the Almighty, but why did you say that I was in there?”
Hazrat Habeeb (r.a) replied:
“O Respected Master! The soldiers were unable to see you not because of my status but only due to the blessing of Allah Almighty for the truth I spoke.
If I had spoken a lie to the soldiers then both of us would have surely been humiliated!”