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5.1.3 - Shaykh Abu-Ibrahim Majduddin Ishaq Ibn Muhammad al-Rumi

In Mecca, Shaykh Muhyiddin met with Shaykh Majduddin Ishaq Ibn Yusuf Ibn Ali al-Ubbadhi al-Andalusi, or al-Rumi, who will have a major role in this stage of his life and voyages to the North. Shaykh Majduddin is originally from southeastern Anatolia, from a city of Malatya. He played an important role in reviving the spiritual life of Islam in Baghdad and elsewhere, when he worked as an assistant to the Abbasid Caliph al-Nasser (???/1158-???/1225). Together with Shihabuddin al-Suhrawardi, whom we shall mention in section

efsuhrawardi below, Shaykh Majduddin was credited for the allocation of places for the poor, to became known as “al-futuwwat”, which later became the places for Sufis.

Likewise, Shaykh Majduddin was also an important person, with a statutes of a minister, in the Seljuk state, where he tried to apply his experience in Baghdad there, benefiting from his position as a teacher of the royal princes, one of whom was the Prince Abul-Fateh Ghiath al-Din Kaykhusraw I Ibn Qilij Arslan II, who took over the rule of the Seljuk state in 589/1192. Consequently, Shaykh Majduddin became one of his close advisers. However, when Suleiman Shah II turned against his brother Ghiyathuddin Kaykhusraw in 593/1196, and took over the power in his place, Shaykh Majduddin was forced to flee to Damascus for a few years, and from there he went to Mecca for the pilgrimage, where he later met with Shaykh Muhyiddin in 600/1204, as we mentioned in section

efishaq-al-rumi-mecca of Chapter IV. Shortly thereafter, in 601/1205, Kaykhusraw took over the rein again after King Izzuddin Qilij Arslan III Ibn Suleiman Shah II, whose reign lasted only one year after his father Suleiman Shah who died in 600/1204.

Therefore, after taking over again, King Kaykhusraw sent to Shaykh Majduddin inviting him to be his adviser, and thus the latter was accompanied by the Greatest Shaykh as we just stated above.

Through the only available reference to the biography of Shaykh Majduddin Ibn Ishaq, the historian Ibn Babi stated in al-Awamir al-Alaiyah fi al-Umour al-Alaiyah [Ibn Babi, p. 157], that he was a gentle, compassionate and spiritual man, and he described him as “the honor of the Wedges”. In a letter to King Kikaws, the Abbasid Caliph al-Nasser referred to him as “the mayor of the knowing” [Ibn Babi, pp. 91-3]. But more importantly, it is evident from Ibn Babi’s speech that Majduddin had a high status with King GHayathuddin Kaykhusraw, who wrote a poem inviting him to return to his country after he left for Syria when Kaykhusraw was removed from the throne. Hence, he was received royally when he returned, and no doubt Shaykh Muhyiddin Ibn al-Arabi was with him, as we shall see in section

efkonya602 below.

However, some researchers citep[???]bayram000 explained that Shaykh Majduddin extbfIbn Muhammad Ibn Yusuf al-Rumi may have come originally from Andalusia before he settled in Anatolia. This conclusion is based on the various evidences that one of the companions of Shaykh Muhyiddin, Ismail extbfIbn Muhammad Ibn Yusuf al-Ansari, and in another certificate: al-Rumi, whose name is recorded on many audition certificates registered on various manuscripts when they read before Shaykh Muhyiddin in Malatya and Konya, and also Damascus. On the other hand, Sadruddin al-Qunawi is said to have mentioned on one of the manuscripts that he has an uncle whose name is "Ismail" citep[pp. 28-30]abulfadel000.

In hagiography books we find the name of Abu Ibrahim Burhanuddin Ismail Ibn Muhammad Ibn Yusuf al-Ansari al-Andalusi al-Ubbadhi (d. muharram 656/???). He heard in Damascus from al-Hafiz Ibn Tuburzud (d. 516/1123-607/1210), and he was pious poet and the Imam of al-Sakhhra mosque in al-Quds [al-taj al-mukallal min jawahir al-tiraz al-awaal, by muhammad al-quniji, p. 202] [al-wafi bil-wafiyat, Asad al-Bandaqdar, v. 9, p. 127].

Based on these information, it is possible that Ismail is the brother of Ishaq, and that they originally came from Andalusia, and that Shaykh Muhyiddin may have known them there before he departed Andalusia. One more reason why this might be the case it that, in Muhadarat al-Abraar, Shaykh Muhyiddin mentioned that he once wrote a letter to his friend "Ishaq Ibn Muhammad", who was "the companion of Sultans, and whom the state is under his service..." and then he mentioned a poem in which he advised him not to be deceived by his statues with the Sultans, thus he recommended to him that he leaves them and seek refuge in the Grand Mosque in Mecca, which he seems to have been forced to do when Suleiman Shah II turned against his brother Ghiyathuddin Kaykhusraw in 593/1196 as we have seen. Also we notice that in this poem, Shaykh Muhyiddin calls him by "my son" [Muhadarat: v.1, p.204]. In this same book, the Greatest Shaykh gives a precious piece of information about his friend Majduddin that he was a disciple of Najmuddin Kubra (d. 617/????) whom Shaykh Muhyiddin calls him by "the Cleansed Pole" and "the Preacher of Ajam", "who was eloquent in the Persian tongue" [Muhadarat: v.1, p.223].

Therefore, Shaykh Muhyiddin began his journey to the north accompanied by Shaykh Majduddin as well as his old companion, Badruddin Abdullah al-Habashi, who never departed him after the met in Fez as we mentioned in section

efal-habashi in Chapter III. But before they went to Malatya and Konya, they passed through Medina, Baghdad and Mosul, where Shaykh Muhyiddin spent with his friends some beautiful times of worship, teaching and writing some books.