Bunnān al-Hammāl (RA)

Bunnān al-Hammāl (ra) was a great ascetic, scholar and worshipper and is notably known for being imprisoned with a lion! He was especially recognised for ordering the good and forbidding the evil and was reported not to take anything from the state. He was a man attributed with certain wonders and having strong belief in Allah.

One day, he ordered the good on an issue which angered the governor of Egypt, Ibn Tulūn. As was the way of punishing people back then, Bunnān was thrown into the cage of a lion which had not been fed for a while. 

The lion came close to Bunnān al-Hammāl and started to smell him but didn’t harm him. In another version, when the guards came the next day, to their surprise they saw Bunnān (ra) sitting facing the qiblah and the lion was licking him.

When he was released, he was asked; ‘What was in your heart when the lion was sniffing you’? He responded, ‘I was thinking of the scholarly differences of opinion on the saliva of the lion – would it be pure or impure?!’

May Allah grant us such trust in Allah and indifference to what we face!