Bayazid Bastami (Persian بايزيد بسطامى ), also known as Abu Yazid Bistami or Tayfur Abu Yazid al-Bustami, (804 – 874 or 877/8 CE) was a Persian Sufi born in Bostam (alternate spelling: Bastam), Iran. The name Bastami means "from the city of Bastam." Bayazid Bastami had great influence on Sufi mysticism and is considered to be one of the important early teachers of Sufi Islam.
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- The thing we tell of can never be found by seeking, yet only seekers find it.
Bastami's predecessor Dhul-Nun al-Misri (d. CE 859) was a murid "initiate" as well. Al-Misri had formulated the doctrine of ma'rifa (gnosis), presenting a system which helped the murid and the sheikh (guide) to communicate. Bayazid Bastami RA took this a step further and emphasized the importance of religious ecstasy in Islam, referred to in his words as drunkenness (Shukr or wajd), a means of self-annihilation in the Divine Presence of the Creator. Before him, the sufi path was mainly based on piety and obedience and he played a major role in placing the concept of divine love at the core of Sufism.
When Bayazid died, he was over seventy years old. Before he died, someone asked him his age. He said: "I am four years old. For seventy years, I was veiled. I got rid of my veils only four years ago.”
Bayazid died in 874 CE and is likely buried in Bistam. There is also a shrine in Kirikhan, Turkey in the name of Bayazid Bastami. His corpus of writings is minimal when compared to his influence. His ascetic approach to religious studies emphasizes his sole devotion to the almighty. There is some debate over his exact resting place, but this disagreement demonstrates that the love of humans is limited by envy, unlike the love of the Almighty.