Rabia Basri

Tajunnisa Hazrat Rabia Bint e Ismail al Adawiyya al Qaisiyya aka Rabia Basri, was a female Sunni Muslim mystic from Basra, Iraq. She is regarded as one of the member of "Dhai Qalandaralong with Hazrat Lal Shahbaz Qalandar and Hazrat Bu Ali Shah Qalandar Rahmatullah Alaih. 


The name "Rabia" is derived from Arabic word الرابع, which means "fourth", she got this name because she was the fourth daughter of Hazrat Ismail Rahmatullah Alaih. "Basri" in her name denotes her home town as she was from "Basra" (city in Iraq). Adawiyya and Kaisiyya denote her genealogy, whereas "Tajunnisa" is an honorific epithet which means "Crown of the Ladies".

Birth and Early Life 

Rabia Basri was born in 717 A.D. or 99 Hijri in Basra to a very needy but deeply religious family. Her father was a practicing Muslim deeply inclined towards Islam. Basri was highly influenced by the lifestyle of her father, which motivated her to live a pure Muslim life from the onset. 

After the Wisal of her parents, Rabia was kidnapped and captivated, sources claim that the very first miracle of Bibi Rabia Basri was seen in this captivity when Bandits/kidnappers tried to torture her. This incident frightened those bandits, and they sold her as labor to one of the cruel men. That cruel master, after realizing her miraculous personality, freed Rabia. It is worth noting that Almighty Allah Save Rabia from every sexual molestation either by miraculous events or others, thereby protected her honor (virginity). Author Margaret mentioned Hazrat Rabia Basri in one of his books as "second spotless Marry".

Bibi Rabia Basri again went to her home after having such a troublesome life. In her interest, she again started doing "Riyazat" in her home to please Allah. Because of her piousness and miraculous personality, she was soon renowned as a Sufi Saint. Even the then caliph, "Harun-ur-Rashid" was inspired by her growing fame and sent her various gifts, but she refused to accept. This incident further made her famous and her simple house had been converted into "Khanqah" and Madrasa. Many local females used to visit Bibi Rabia Basri to receive her guidance. Her notable students include Bibi Mariyam Basri and Maazato Adawiyya or Ma'za Adawiyya.

Sufi Ideologies 

Bibi Rabia Basri clearly emphasized on the principle of "Love of Allah for the sake of Allah", this can be witnessed by one of her incident where she took "a glass of water" in one hand and fire in another to burn the heaven and extinguished the hell so that the greedy people will not worship Allah in the greed of heaven or in the fear of hell but just for Allah.

Meeting with Hasan Basri 

Incident of meeting of Rabia Basri with Hasan Basri mentioned several times by the subject experts, the similar incident has mentioned by Sunni Scholar Sayyed Aminul Qadri in one of his lecture which says, once Hasan Basri approaches Rabia Basri and stand behind her, he asked behind the curtain about her opinion to marry him. To which Rabia replied, “first you have to answer my four questions. Based on your answers, I will decide whether to marry you or not".

The first question she asked Hasan Basri was, whether she was Heavenly (Jannati) or Hellish (Jahannumi), to which Hasan did not reply; she further asked him a second question, whether her balance sheets of deeds (Nama e Aamal) will be on the right side or left side. Her third question to Hasan was, when the deeds will be counted on Meezan (balance) what will be her conditions whether her good deeds will be more or bad deeds will be more, still Hasan was quiet, Rabia continued with her fourth question, what will be my conditions when I will pass through “Pulsirat” (kind of bridge leading to Jannah) whether I will swiftly cross that bridge or will fell into the hellfire.

After Remaining silent for a few minutes, Hasan replied, “Rabia, how can I tell about your fate when I am unsure about my own fate” to which Rabia requested Hasan to leave her to let her practice Islam sincerely till she got assurances of her fate, she continued she don’t have ample time to waste in marriage and all, rather she wants to invest her time in the preparation of Akhirat.


She received Wisal on 185 Hijri 801 A.D. at the age of 86. Scholars and subject experts have contrasting opinions about her resting place. Some believe she is resting in Basra, whereas others considered her resting place to be in Jerusalem.  


* Research work  of  Allama Mukhtar Shah Naeemi Ashrafi on Rabia Basri. Retrieved 16 August 2021.

* Meeting of Hasan Basri with Rabia Basri by     Sayyed  Aminul Qadri. Retrieved 16 August 2021.

* Smith, Margaret (1984-10-04). Rabi'a The Mystic and Her Fellow-Saints in Islam: Being the Life and Teachings of Rabi'a Al-Adawiyya Al-Qaysiyya of Basra Together with Some Account of the Place of the Women Saints in Islam. CUP Archive. ISBN 978-0-521-31863-1.