Ruzbihan Baqli was born in 1128 to a family of Dailamite origin in the town of Fasa in Fars Province. Although Ruzbihan Baqli had religious visions at ages three, seven, and fifteen, he claims that his family was unfamiliar with any sort of religion. At age fifteen, these visions, also described as dreams and powerful ecstasies in his own text (The Unveiling of Secrets) caused him to abandon his trade as a grocer (the name Baqli is derived from the word for grocer) and take refuge in the desert. He spent a year and a half in the desert, all the while receiving visions. After he left the desert, he joined a Sufi sect.
In The Unveiling of Secrets, Ruzbihan Baqli says he had his first “unveiling” in his training with the Sufi sect. He then returned to Fasa to seek a master and spiritual guide; there he met and became a disciple of Shaykh Jamal al-Din Abi al-Wafa’ ibn Khalil al-Fasa’I. While there are no sources to confirm this, it is speculated that Ruzbihan Baqli spent the next years travelling. He went to Syria, Iraq, Kirman, Arabia, and made the hajj (pilgrimage to Mecca) twice. He returned to Shiraz in 1165 and set up a hospice where he taught for 50 years until his death. His center for Sufi training and his teachings remained popular several generations after his death. He married several wives and had two sons and three daughters. Ruzbihan Baqli died in 1209 in Shiraz and was placed in a tomb in his ribat. For several generations after his death, Ruzbihan Baqli’s legacy as a Sufi master continued and Shiraz became a place of pilgrimage. However, the popularity of his order waned and eventually disappeared and his tomb fell into disrepair. In 1972, his tomb was restored by the Iranian Department of Antiquities.