ʿABD-AL-VĀḤED B. ZAYD, d. 177/793, Sufi, the leading personality among the ascetics trained in the school of Ḥasan Baṣrī (Lesān al-mīzān IV, p. 80). He established at ʿAbbādān (modern Ābādān) a Sufi house (rebāṭ) which Abu’l-ʿAtāhīa praised as a “beneficent innovation” (Dīvān, Beirut, 1909, p. 218). There Sufis gathered in a more or less stable community dedicated to prayer “in renunciation of the world” and, no doubt, in assemblies for recollection of God’s name (maǰāles al-ḏekr, Abū Noʿaym Eṣfahānī, Ḥelyat al-awlīāʾ, Cairo, 1932-38, VI, p. 157). ʿAbd-al-Vāḥed went on to travel in Fārs and Jerusalem. A persuasive preacher, he came to be regarded as a miracle-worker and efficacious in his intercession (moǰāb al-daʿwa).

ʿAbd-al-Vāḥed is among the theologians whose propositions are cited by Ašʿarī (Maqālāt, ed. H. Ritter, Wiesbaden, 1963, pp. 214, 216, 286; see Massignon, Essai, p. 219). Those relevant to Sufism include the following: In the hereafter, a person’s vision of God will be in proportion to the value of his works. At the last judgment, God will manifest himself through a visible image (ṣūra) by which he will address his servants. Saints are honored with miraculous gifts (moʿǰezāt) and, already in this world, enjoy the rewards of paradise, behold angels, and enjoy houris. The last point was denied by Sarrāǰ (Lomaʿ, ed. R. A. Nicholson, Leiden, 1914, p. 429); but it is based on dream visits to ʿAbd-al-Vāḥed by beautiful slaves (Ḥelya, pp. 157-58, 161). It may be noted that the Ḥelya shows he used the word maḥabba for “love” and did not prefer ʿešq (as stated by Massignon, Essai, p. 214).

Bibliography: Given in the text.

(P. Nwyia)

Originally Published: December 15, 1982

Last Updated: July 15, 2011

This article is available in print.
Vol. I, Fasc. 2, pp. 167-168

Cite this entry:

P. Nwyia, “'Abd-Al-Vahed B. Zayd,” Encyclopædia Iranica, I/2, pp. 167-168; an updated version is available online at http://www.iranicaonline.org/articles/abd-al-vahed-b-zayd-d-177-793-sufi (accessed on 17 January 2014).