Abul-Hassan Kharaqani was one of the greatest Sufi masters. He was born in 963 AD, in a village called Kharaqan, in Iran. He was a follower of the teachings of the famous Sufi Master, Bayazid Bastami.
Attar, one of the most famous Iranian Sufi poets, devoted a large part of his book in “Biography of the Saints” to stories about Kharaqani. Attar referred to him as The King of Kings, Ocean of Spiritual Knowledge, Focus of Attention and Sun of the Lord.
It has been said that Avicenna, Shah Mahmood of Ghazna, Naser Khosrow and Abul-Khair visited him in Kharaqan to express their deep feelings of respect and admiration toward him. His teachings influenced many renowned Sufis such as Rumi, Attar, Khajeh Abdullah Ansari and Jami.
Kharaqani refused all titles and aspirations, respected all faiths and religions, and put the needs of others and service to fellow human beings before anything else. Once Sultan Mahmud sent a message to Kharaqani saying, “Quran tells us to obey God, follow his prophet and heed your ruler’s order.” Kharaqani told the messenger to tell the Sultan, “Abul-Hassan is so profoundly in love with God, that he is embarrassed for his negligence of the prophet, let alone heeding the orders of rulers.”
He also used to say, “I am not a rahib (hermit). I am not a zahid (ascetic). I am not a speaker. I am not a Sufi. O God, You are One, and I am one in Your Oneness.”
The book Noorul-Uloom (The Light of Science), which is believed to have been written by Kharaqani’s disciples, is dedicated to him. Only a single manuscript copy remains which is held in the British Museum.