Rabia : The good deeds of Death

Rabia al Adawiyya (714? — 801 CE) was born in Basra, Iraq, and therefore is sometimes called Rabia al Basri. She came from a very poor family, and became an ascetic who lived in semi-seclusion. She left no writing of her own, but her pure love for the One influenced many Sufis, and many anecdotes are told of her.

It is said that once Rabia al Basri came upon the Angel of Death, and when she asked him who he was, he replied, “I am the destroyer of all joys. To the orphans, I am the killer of their parents, and to the widows, I am the abductor of their spouses.”

Then Rabia said, “Why speak of your bad deeds only? Why not say, ‘I am the one who brings the lover to the Beloved?'”

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