Rabia Basri

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Small drawing of Rābiʻa

Rābia al-Adawiyya al-Qaysiyya (Arabic: رابعة العدوية القيسية; 717 – 801 AD) was a female Muslim saint and Sufi mystic. She was born in Basra, and is therefore also called Rābia al-Basrī (Arabic: رابعة البصري).

She was the fourth daughter of her family and therefore named Rābi’a, meaning "fourth". Her family was very poor. She was very devoted to God. When Rābia's father died, she became an orphan. She was captured by thieves and sold into slavery. During the day, she worked for her master. During the night, she prayed to God. Once her master learned about her passionate faith, he immediately released her. He decided to serve her instead.

Rābia became an ascetic. Over time, many came to follow her. Even though Rābia did many favors for them and lived in poverty and hardship, she is said to have never asked for anything, even from God.

The name Rābia is used to describe women of the highest type of spirituality. She is considered one of the most devoted Sufi saints. She is highly revered.[1]

Notes[change | change source]

  1. The names al-Adawiyya and al-Qaysiyya come from the name of her tribe, Qais b. ‘Adi.Hassan, Riffat. "Rabi'a." Encyclopedia of Women and World Religion. Ed. Serinity Young. New York: Macmillan Reference USA, 1999. World History In Context. Web. 4 Dec. 2013.