“He himself states: I faced the most severe hardships and difficulties in the path of Allah Almighty. If the same hardships fell on a mountain, it would crumble.”
BY HAROON RASHID BHAT
Almighty Allah sends His Awliya to the world for the guidance of mankind. They have powerful influence on the world that even after their physical death, they have been remembered all over the world for their unprecedented contributions. Muhyiddin Abu Muhammad Ibn Abu Saalih Al-Hasani Al-Husaini, famously known as Shaykh Abdul Qaadir Jeelani RA is one among them. It is his immense contribution that he is regarded as the spiritual pole in the mystical world and has been given the special title “Sardar-E-Awliya” His writings deal with both the fundamentals of Islam and the mystical experience of Sufism. This spiritual Icon, great Islamic scholar, preacher, worshipper, and an ardent follower of Shariah was born in Ramadan AH 470 (about AD 1077) in the Persian province of Gilan (Iran) south of the Caspian Sea. Since he was Wali from birth. Therefore, his saintly miracles started taking place right after he was born. As he was born on the 1st of Ramadan, he did not drink his mother’s milk from dawn to dusk. It was only after the sunset that he drank it. Moreover, at the age of five, he recited eighteen parts of the Holy Quran from memory to his teacher as he had memorized them even before his birth when in the womb of his mother. At the time of his birth, his lips were moving slowly and the sound of ‘Allah Allah’ could be heard. After receiving his early education, he came to Baghdad in 480 A.H. where he acquired further education from the renowned teachers and experts of that time. Amongst his teachers, there were extremely famous and renowned pious predecessors like Abu Al-Wafa Ali Ibn Aqeel Hanbali, Abu Zakariyya Yahya Ibn Ali Tabrizi, Abu Al-Ghalib Muhammad Ibn Hasan Baqillai, and Abu Sa’eed Muhammad Ibn Abdul Kareem He pledged allegiance and received Khilafat (permission to make Mureed in a specific spiritual order or successorship) from Sayyiduna Shaykh Abu Saeed Mubarak Makhzoomi Regarding his spiritual exercises and the hardships he faced in the path of Allah Almighty, he himself states: I faced the most severe hardships and difficulties in the path of Allah Almighty. If the same hardships fell on a mountain, it would crumble.
Underscored the importance of education, he established the Madarsa where he used to teach Tafseer, Hadith, Fiqh, theology, and Nahw before noon and after Zuhr, he would recite the Holy Quran with different variations of Qira’at. Allama Sharani RA noted that about seventy people would attend his speeches and penned down the same for future guidance. It was the impression of his character that hundreds of Jews and Christians embraced Islam and more than one hundred thousand robbers, thieves, sinners, wrongdoers and deviants repented of sins and started afresh and meaningful life.
He was a prolific writer. His grand works like Fathu-Al-Ghaib (The Revelations of the Unseen), is a remarkable book on Tasawwuf. His other well-known book ‘Ghunyat-ul-Talibeen’ is a comprehensive book dealing with the principles of Shariah and Tariqat and the third one “Fath Al- Rabbani” contains the summaries of his lectures and discourses. Scholars and knowledge seekers take these books as the source of knowledge to acquire a divine path. As the founder of Sislila Qadiriya, he strongly advocated that three things are indispensable for a believer “he should the commandments of Allah; he should abstain from the forbidden things, and he should be pleased with the decrees of providence. Abdul Qadir attracted a large number of people to his fold who popularized the teachings of their Shaikh in Syria, Egypt, and yamen. Their follower’s subsequent generations disseminated his teachings to other corners of the world. According to available information, Saiyid Nimatullah Shah Qadri (the direct descendant of Shaikh Abdul Qadir Jilani) was the first Sufi personality who introduced the Silsila Qadiriya in Kashmir in the second half of the sixteenth century. Since then it has been prevailing here despite many odds. The people of Kashmiri remembered this legendary Sufi Saint in many ways. The most popular Sufi practice is called Kahiem or Eleventh, which is performed by his Mureeds after his name. It is observed by distributing a special Kashmiri tea called “Kehwa” (sugar tea without milk) on the eleventh of every month of the Muslim calendar. This Kehwa is prepared using dry fruits as well as saffron powder as the chief ingredients to add to the taste and fragrance. It is prepared in a traditional Kashmiri tea-pot called ‘Samovar’ and is usually distributed among children and adults. But unfortunately, such rich tradition has been dying day by day because of the introduction of deviant philosophies. The people of Kashmir hold the shrine of Dastgeer Sahib in high esteem and celebrated his annual Urse with great favor and gaiety.
This noble soul -and eponymous founder of the Qadiri Sufi order passed away on 11th Rabi-Ul-Saani, 561 A.H. in Baghdad at the age of 91. His funeral prayer was led by Sayyid Sayfuddeen Abdul Wahhab and was attended by countless people. His blessed shrine is situated in Baghdad which remains all the time crowded with visitors. May Allah Almighty shower countless blessings on him!
The author is a teacher by profession and can be reached at [email protected]