ABŪ TORĀB NAḴŠABĪ, ʿASKAR B. ḤOSAYN (or B. MOḤAMMAD B. ḤOSAYN), noted 3rd/9th century ascetic. Although apparently born in Naḵšab near Bokhara, he is counted as one of the great shaikhs of Khorasan. His teacher is said to have been Ḥātem al-Aṣamm. Abū Torāb traveled extensively, heard Aḥmad b. Ḥanbal in Baghdad, lived in Syria for a time, and several times made the pilgrimage to Mecca. He died in 245/859 in the desert (some sources say between Mecca and Medina, others say near Baṣra, stating he was torn by lions). He left no literary works, although he is said to have written down Traditions. He was remembered, rather, for exemplifying ʿelm “understanding”, fotūwa “liberality,” tawakkol “trust in God,” zohd “asceticism,” and waraʿ “temperance.” As is also true for some other noted Sufis of his time, the scattered sayings of his which survive in the sources do not permit reconstruction of a distinct personal doctrine.


Solamī, Ṭabaqāt al-ṣūfīya, p. 136.

Abū Noʿaym Eṣfahānī, Ḥelyat al-awlīāʾ, Cairo, 1351-57/1932-38, X, pp. 45-51.

Tārīḵ-e Baḡdād XII, p. 315. Sobkī, Ṭabaqāt1 II, pp. 55-60.

Ebn al-Jawzī, Ṣefat al-ṣafwa, Hyderabad, 1355-56/1936-37, IV, p. 172.

Qošayrī, Resāla (numerous editions, e.g., Cairo, 1330/1911), chap. Bāb ḏekr al-mašāʾeḵ. Hoǰvīrī, Kašf al-maḥǰūb, ed. V. A. Zhukovskiĭ, Leningrad, 1926, pp. 151ff.; tr. R. A. Nicholson, Leiden and London, 1911, pp. 121f.

ʿAṭṭār, Taḏkerat al-awlīāʾ, I, pp. 294-98.

Jāmī, Nafaḥāt, p. 51.

(B. Radtke)

Originally Published: December 15, 1983

Last Updated: July 21, 2011

This article is available in print.
Vol. I, Fasc. 4, pp. 391-392

Cite this entry:

B. Radtke, “ABŪ TORĀB NAḴŠABĪ,” Encyclopædia Iranica, I/4, pp. 391-392; an updated version is available online at http://www.iranicaonline.org/articles/abfi-torb-nak6abi-zaskar-h (accessed on 31 January 2014).