This paper presents a mode of suggesting examples of life to a religious community, which is that of hagiography: the story of the lives of the saints. In the Christian world, the life of Jesus was the example against which saints were measured, and the lives of saints were the examples against which the general population measured itself. In the Middle Age hagiography became a literary genre par excellence for teaching a largely illiterate audience.
An example of Muslim hagiography is Tadhkirat al-Awliya, Muslim Saints and Mystics: Episodes by the famous poet Attar (c. 1145 c. 1221). This paper will propose a brief comparison between the two works, using the example of a two biographies in Attar's work RÄbi'a Al-'Adawiyya and Shaykh Bayazid al-Bistami and two from 'Abdu'l-Bahá's Memorial of the Faithful, that is MishkÃn Qalam, and Shams-i-á¸Œuhá, to show that hagiography offers examples for people to imitate.