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A symbol of faith

A symbol of faith
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By: Syed Majid Gilani

Hazrat Sheikh Syed Abdul QadirJilani also known as Gilani was born in the beautiful region of Gilan or Jilan, Iraq in 471 Hijri (1077 A.D.) He came from the respected family with a strong lineage.

His parents were descendants of Hazrat Moula Ali (R.A.), with his father’s roots tracing back to Hazrat Imam Hassan (A.S) and his mother’s to Hazrat Imam Hussain (A.S.) Tragedy stuck at a young age when Hazrat Ghousul Azam’s father passed away, leaving his mother to raise him alone. Despite this hardship his mother was determined to provide him with the best education.

By the age of eight, Hazrat had not only learned the Holy Quran but also memorized the Holy Quran, becoming Hafiz-e-Quran. When he turned eighteen, he sought his mother’s permission to travel to Baghdad, the renowned center of education at that time.

Despite the potential dangers of the journey, his mother wholeheartedly permitted him to go and even hid forty dinars in his shirt pocket, as an extra precaution. She advised him to always speak the truth and made him promise to do so. During their journey their caravan was attacked and looted in Hamadan.

When questioned about his possessions, Hazrat fearlessly spoke the truth without any hesitation. Surprisingly, the attackers brought him to their chief, who was astonished to receive the same truthful response about the hidden dinars.

Intrigued, the chief asked Hazrat, why he chose to tell the truth even in such dire circumstances, without a moment’s hesitation. To this Hazrat explained that his mother had commanded him to always speak the truth and he could never dare to disobey her orders.

The chief was deeply moved by Hazrat’s unwavering commitment to his mother’s teachings, overwhelmed with emotion, realized the errors of this misguided and disobedient life. He felt ashamed for disobeying the orders given to him by Allah. In a life changing moment, the chief ordered the return of all the looted belongings to the travellers. Inspired by his encounter with Hazrat Ghousul Azam, the chief pledged to abide by the orders of Allah and the Holy Prophet from that point onwards.

Following a significant event in his life Syedna Hazrat Ghousul Azam, a knowledgeable and spiritually inclined individual began spreading the teachings of Islam with qualities of love, compassion, and by capturing the hearts of the people. Hazrat Ghousul Azam successfully propagated the religion of peace, Islam.

It is important to note that Islam was spread purely through love and compassion, without any force or coercion. Many types of non-Muslims, inspired by Hazrat’s teachings, willingly embraced Islam, including a considerable number of Christians and Jews,who were deeply influenced by his preaching.

Hazrat’s fame as a scholar and theologian spread far and wide, attracting people from various parts of the world seeking answers  to religious queries, which were always satisfyingly addressed. Even rulers became his disciples, respecting his simplicity, humanity, and unwavering determination. Hazrat’s saintly mother had instilled in him the values of truthfulness, honesty which her son followed diligently throughout his life. For twenty-five years, Hazrat lived as a wandered in the desert regions of Iraq performing countless miracles.

One of these miracles occurred when he was just an infant during the month of Ramzan. He did not consume milk during the daytime, a highly unusual occurrence, considered a miracle. This news quickly spread throughout the area and on 29th of Ramzan, when the crescent could not be sighted due to cloudy skies, the people sought confirmation from Hazrat’s mother regarding his milk consumption. Taking this as a sign, they observed the day as the 30th of Ramazan and kept a fast. Hazrat displayed great wisdom throughout his life. These miracles served as a testament to the divine blessings bestowed upon Hazrat, further solidifying his influence and teachings.

Throughout his life, Hazrat Sheikh Syed Abdul Qadir Gilani (RA) left an indelible mark on humanity through his teachings, literary works and contributions. Even though he left this immortal world, his teachings continue to be a guiding light for all. His shrine, located on the east bank of the Tigris in Baghdad, Iraq, remains a place of reverence and pilgrimage. Hazrat Gilani (RA) was known by numerous titles, including  Mohiud din, Mehboobi Subhani, Quttub-i.Rabbani, Sheikhul JinWal Ins, Ghousul Azam, GhousulS akalain, Peerani Peer, etc. These titles were bestowed and conferred upon him due to his exceptional contributions to Islam and humanity.

He embodied the principles of Shariah, the Islamic law, and emphasized the importance of following it steadfastly.

In one of Hazrat Gilani’s congregations held on the 19th of shawal, 545 Hijri, he made it clear that nothing outside the boundaries of Shariah was acceptable to him. This serves as valuable lesson for us all. We should strive to make Hazrat Gilani’s personality and teachings as our role model.

Just as travelers explore new places, we can also explore the teachings and wisdoms of Hazrat Gilani (R.A.) by delving into his books, which may quench our inner thirst for knowledge and guidance. Hazrat Dastgeer Sahib Jilani (RA) may have left this moral world, but his legacy lives on inspiring us, to live peacefully in the world, and to abide by the principles of Shariah. Let us embrace his teachings and strive to make a positive impact in our own lives and the lives of others.

The relation between Hazrat Ghousul Azam RA and  Dastgeer Sahib Shrine,Khanyar, Srinagar is a testament to the power of faith and its impact on people. As we step into the sacred Dastageer Sahib shrine, we are surrounded by the aura of the presence of holy relics.

The shrine houses a copy of Quran handwritten by Hazrat Moula Ali (RA) and the holy strand of the hair of Hazrat GhousulAzam (R.A.).The holy relic of GhouseAzam (R.A.) is displayed on special occasions like the Urs days. The majestic Dastgeer Sahib shrine was built to honour his memory in 1806 A.D. This Shrine was constructed in Srinagar city in the Khanyar locality and was enlarged and renovated by Khwaja Sonaullah Shawl in 1877A.D. As we walk through this shrine, let us strive to cultivate HazratGhousulAzam’s virtues in our lives, making his legacy as our guide.

The arrival of the Gilani famly in Srinagar dates back to Aurangzeb’s rule in 1095 Hijri, (1322 A.D.), with the arrival of Hazrat Syed Sakhi Shah Gilani at Khanyar. From the very beginning Kashmir has been a great center of spirituality. The great saints blessed this land with spiritual generosities from time to time.

The hospitable Kashmiri’s have safeguarded and conserved their places of meditation and holy tombs as the sacred sites. The history of sacred shrine of Hazrat Sheikh Syed Abdul QadirJeelani (RA) located at Khanyar, Srinagar, begins from the year 1095 Hijri of the Islamic Calendar, when Hazrat Syed Mohammed Fazil Gilani (RA) popularly known as Sakhi Shah and his brother Syed Abul Hassan Gilani (RA) came to Kashmir. It was due to the permanent stay of HazratSakhi Shah Mohammed Fazil Sahib in Kashmir that thousands of people including the contemporary religious scholars, nobles, landlords, and leaders joined “Silsilai-Qadria” and Khanyarbecame itscenter.

Hazrat Syed Mohammed Fazil Gilani (RA) has his ancestral links directly with Hazrat Sheikh Syed Abdul QadirJeelani (RA).This family came to Srinagar from Thatha, Sakhar, Sindh but originally from Gilan or Jilan, Baghdad. It is important to note that  Hazrat Gousul Azam (RA) who was from Baghdad, Iraq never came to Srinagar, instead it was his great grandson Hazrat Syed Sakhi Shah Fazil Gilani (RA) who came to srinagar and settled here permanently.

His grave is located within the main central portion of the Dastgeer sahib shrine, Khanyar, Srinagar. The shrine is particularly renowned for housing the holy relics of Jinabi Ghous-e-Azam( RA). These historical facts can be found in a “AainayFitrat”, book authored by late Syed Mubarak Shah Gilani of KhanquahMoulla, Srinagar, who was a famous Persian poet and author. He also served as the first founding President of “ВаzmeSadate Gilani, Jammu & Kashmir

(The author is a GST Inspector, Govt of Jammu & Kashmir)

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