Abu al-Hassan al-Kharaqani

Abu 'l-Hassan Ali ibn Ahmad (or ibn Jaʿfar) ibn Salmān al-Kharaqāni (Arabic: شیخ ابوالحسن خرقانی) is one of the master Sufis of Islam. He was born in 963 (352 Hijri year) from Persian[1][2] parents in Khorasan in a village called Kharaqan (today located in Semnan Province, Iran near Bastam) and died on the day of Ashura in 1033 (10th Muharram, 425 Hijri).

He was the disciple of Abul-Abbas Qassab Amoli but claimed a deep spiritual relation with Bayazid Bastami, a well-known Sufi Master who died almost a century before him but had spoken about the personality and state of Kharaqani. He was also influenced by Abul Hasan Hankari. His school of jurisprudence was Shafi‘i.

Attar of Nishapur, a famous Persian poet and Sufi, devoted a large part of his book Tadhkiratul-Awliya (Biography of the Saints) about the personality, state and stories of Kharaqani. Attar has called him as Sultān-e Salāteen-e Mashāyekh (The King of the kings of Sufi Masters), Ocean of the spiritual knowledge, Sun of the Lord, Mystery of the Lord and Qibla (focus of attention) of his people.

Kharaqani was the Master or Sheikh of the famous Persian Sufi and poet, Khwaja Abdullah Ansari. Avicenna (Ibn Sina), Mahmud of Ghazni, Abū-Sa'īd Abul-Khayr and Nasir Khusraw traveled to Kharaqan to meet him and expressed their deep admiring feelings and respect for him.

Rumi, Attar of Nishapur, Khwaja Abdullah Ansari, Jami and others have narrated many poems about Shaikh Abul Hassan and have reported his several stories.

He was illiterate but had wide inspirational knowledge about the Quran and Hadith; his sayings and speeches are significantly magnificent due to their philosophical views.

The book Nūr al-ʿUlūm ("Light of the Sciences") is dedicated to Abu 'l-Hassan Kharaqani. It is believed to have been written by his murids after his death. A single manuscript copy is currently held in the British Museum,


  1. Frye, ed. by R.N. (1975). The Cambridge history of Iran (Repr. ed.). London: Cambridge U.P. p. 446. ISBN 978-0-521-20093-6. many Persian Sufis, such as Abu'l-Hasan al-Kharraqani, were considered as the supreme pole (qutb) of their time.
  2. S.H. Nasr, "Iran" in History of Humanity: From the Seventh to the Sixteenth Century, edited by Sigfried J. de Laet, M. A. Al-Bakhit, International Commission for a History of the Scientific and Cultural Development of Mankind History of mankind, L. Bazin, S. M. Cissco. Published by Taylor & Francis US, 2000. pg 368
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