Abu Bakr an-Nabulsi: The Flayed Martyr

He was Abu Bakr Muhammad bin Ahmad bin Sahl bin Nasr ar-Ramli, the martyr commonly known as an-Nabulsi. He was a devout and pious worshipper who was not attached to the pleasures of this world. He always stood for the truth. He would fast every other day, and was an influence on all people around him.

He was a scholar of Fiqh and Hadith. He was considered to be one of the greatest scholars of Hadith of his time, as he narrated from the likes of at-Tabarani and Ibn Qutaybah. Also, he taught the likes of ad-Daraqutni, al-Midani, and ‘Ali bin ‘Umar al-Halabi.

‘Ubaydillah al-Mahdi established the Fatimid state, and took the city of al-Mahdiyyah – after which he is named – as its capital. This city is located on the coast of Tunisia, and it is about 16 miles from the southeast section of the city of Qayrawan. Then, the sons of ‘Ubaydillah al-Mahdi continued his expansionist policy until Abu Tamim bin Isma’il – also known as al-Mu’iz li-Dinillah – conquered Egypt. He entered it on Friday, on the 8th of Ramadan in the year 362 H, and established the city of Cairo . The rulers of this Fatimid state ascribed themselves to the Shiite ideology, while the people of Egypt and Palestine were Sunnis.

The tribulations presented by the Fatimid dynasty were a great trial for the Muslims. When they colonized Palestine, the righteous and poor people escaped from Jerusalem because the Fatimids would force the scholars of the Muslims to curse all of the Companions of the Prophet (peace be upon him) during their speeches and sermons. From these scholars who escaped the Fatimids was al-Imam an-Nabulsi, who escaped to Damascus. When al-Mu’iz li-Dinillah arrived in Syria and conquered it, he began to personally call to his heretical ideology, forbidding people from praying the Tarawih and Duha prayers, and forcing them to make Qunut during the Dhuhr prayers.

As for an-Nabulsi, he was from Ahl us-Sunnah wal-Jama’ah, and he considered it an obligation to fight these Fatimids. He said in regards to these Fatimid rulers: “If I had ten spears in my possession, I would throw one of them at the Romans, and I would throw the other nine at these tyrannical Fatimids.”

When the ruler of Damascus – Abu Mahmud al-Kitami – was able to defeat the Qaramitah (who were the enemies of the Fatimids), he arrested al-Imam an-Nabulsi and put him in prison in Ramadan. When the commander of the army of al-Mu’iz li-Dinillah arrived in Damascus, an-Nabulsi was handed over to them and taken to Egypt. When he arrived in Egypt, he was taken to al-Mu’iz li-Dinillah, who said to him: “I have been informed that you said that if a man has ten spears, then he should throw one of them at the Romans, and nine of them at us!”

So, an-Nabulsi said:
“I did not say this!!”

The Fatimid ruler smiled, and assumed that the Imam would retract his statement. So, he asked him: “What did you say, then?”

So, an-Nabulsi responded to him – with strength and boldness –
“If a man has ten spears, then he should throw nine of them at you, then he should throw the tenth one at you as well!!!”

So, al-Mu’iz asked him, in shock:
“And why is that?”

So, the Imam answered him back with the same boldness: “Because you changed the religion of the Ummah, and you killed the righteous people, and you put out the divine light of guidance, and you usurped that which did not belong to you!”

So, the Fatimid ruler ordered for him to be brought out in front of the public. The next day, he was whipped severely. On the third day, an-Nabulsi was nailed to a cross, and a Jewish butcher was brought out to peel off his flesh after the Muslim butchers had refused to do so. By the time the flesh was peeled from the top of his head down to his face, he was still patiently engaging in the remembrance of Allah and repeating the verse from the Qur’an: {“…and that is written in the Book of Our Decrees.”} [al-Isra’; 58]. When the butcher had finally gotten to an-Nabulsi’s arms, he decided to put him out of his misery, and took a knife of his and stabbed it into an-Nabulsi’s heart, after which he died.

It was later reported by eyewitnesses that while an-Nabulsi was on the cross, the recitation of the Qur’an could be heard coming from his dead body.

Also, Ibn ash-Sha’sha’ al-Misri narrated that he saw an-Nabulsi in a dream after he had been killed, looking very beautiful and joyous. So, he asked him: “What has Allah done with you?”

So, an-Nabulsi replied:

My Lord Loved me in eternal honor * And He Promised me closeness and friendship to Him

And He brought me close to Him * And Said: “Rejoice in an everlasting life next to Me.”

13 Responses to “Abu Bakr an-Nabulsi: The Flayed Martyr”

  1. “So, an-Nabulsi said: “I did not say this!!””

    But he said that right?

  2. what’s the reference of this story… jazaak Allah khair…

  3. Librería islámica Says:

    That was an amazing story! jazakhallah khair

  4. Anonymous Says:

    I read this story in Arabic and read sum of Tarjamat Annabulsi..It brought tears to my eyes cuz I now know the real Math-hab of tyrannical rulers..Ya Rab forgive Al-hafidh Annabulsi and place him and us sumwhere close to our Imam and Habib Rasul Allah saaw.Jazakum Allahu khair for this very nice translation ya akhe

  5. Anonymous Says:

    Very Inspiring Masha’allah. May Allah (Subhana Wa ta’ala) be pleased with an-Nabulsi.

  6. amir koshin Says:

    would anyone doubt shia being the worst enemy of Islam and muslims look what have they done to such a great scholar and a pious man what is crime nothing at all but to defend the sunnah. may gant him the highest place in jannah

  7. amir koshin Says:

    would anyone doubt shia being the worst enemy of Islam and muslims look what have they done to such a great scholar and a pious man what is his crime nothing at all but to defend the sunnah. may Allah grant him the highest place in jannah

  8. sunnah…

    […]Abu Bakr an-Nabulsi: The Flayed Martyr « معالم في الطريق[…]…

  9. God it really is disgusting but let’s not catergorise all shiia based on the actions of afew, just as we would expect not to be judged based on the actions of afew muslims/sunni/or whatever ‘sect’ you belong too…. if we stop focusing on the segregations between our umma (as hard as it may be), and start focusing on the true enemies of islam that are initiating and encouraging war between us, maybe we can stop the wars in our countries. far out. look at the big picture people.

  10. he is a righteous devoted scholar and faithful to his religion i respect him very much

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