From Kashmir to Kurdistan
Syed Salahuddin Ayubi (RA) and Syed Abdul Qadir Jeelani (RA) represent two strands of the revival
DR. JAVID IQBAL
While moving through the length and breadth of Gilan and Mazandaran (northern Iran—Shomal) where Ghaus-al-Azam was born, I would often get deeply lost in the thought of saint and his times during decade and a half of my Iranian sojourn,. Thought of the historical impact of the times on Hazrat Sheikh Syed Abdul Qadir (R.A) and in turn how he influenced belief of the times he was born in, as well on the generations since then. Especially so in Kashmir, where I was born and bred and where the impact of the saint is so profound, as to evoke cry of ‘Ya Peer-e-Dastgeer’ or ‘Ya Ghaus-al-Azam’ in stressful times. And stress more often than not wears off. So profound is the belief. The believers may call it unseen help; a psychologist may label it a psychic relief. Call it what you may, label it whatever you may…what is beyond doubt is the impact.
My mind would wander into similarities between Gilan and Mazandaran…the northern Iranian provinces where Ghaus-al-Azam was born and bred, and Kashmir (Shomal of Indo/Pak sub-continent) the place where his impact maximizes. Natural beauty sparkles in both. While as Himalayan heights surround the vale of Kashmir, Alburz heights remain a feature of north Iranian (Shomali) landscape. While Kashmir has rivers and streams, north Iran stands on Caspian Sea coast…mountain on one side, sea on the other. In these breathtaking surroundings, Ghaus-al-Azam was born on Wednesday, the 18th March 1077 A.D (470 A.H) to Abu Saleh and Umm Khair Fatima in the township of Amol (Mazandaran). Others attribute his birth to Naïf in District Gilan. Either wouldn’t make a difference, Gilan and Mazandaran are in close proximity. Gilan though would be more to the mark, Jilani being one of his multiple attributes. The day was auspicious, first of Ramadan. Austerity thus formed a feature of day one of his life, austerity he continued to practice throughout his life…a frugal life style marked by abstinence. His spirit imbibed the beauty of the surroundings, he was born in. It is matter of regret that he is not much known in his birthplace except in extreme north, townships bordering central Asian states (in seventies, during my visits, satellite states of United Soviet Socialistic Republic). Thus he shares with Hazrat Shah-e-Hamadan (R.A) another revered Sufi saint of Kashmir the fate of remaining unknown to people, he was born amongst. To discover his roots, I had to move west. Fortunately for about five years, I got posted in those parts, in Kirmanshah western province of Iran bordering Iranian Kurdistan. Further ahead is Iraqi Kurdistan…the northern province of Iraq. Moving further west of Asia, about four hours drive from Kirmanshah lays Baghdad. Shah-e-Baghdad is another attribute of Ghaus-al-Azam. In Kurdistan… Iranian and Iraqi, he is revered. The fact is not widely known that Kurds consider him to be one of their own, though his lineage is Arab. On paternal side, he is a descendent of Hazrat Imam Hassan (R.A) and on maternal side, a descendent of Hazrat Imam Hussain (R.A) hence a Sayyid (from Sadat…the family of Prophet Mohammad (SAW)).
The complete name of Ghous-al-Azam is al-Sayyid Mohi-ud-Din Abu Muhammad Abdul Qadir al-Jilani al-Hasani wal-Hussaini. Sayyid denotes his descent from Prophet Muhammad (A.S) Mohi-ud-Din the title ‘Reviver of Religion’ al-Jilani his home region, al-Baghdadi (Baghdad, he was now resides in) and al-Hasani wal-Hussaini affirming his lineal descent from both Imam Hasan (R.A) ibn Hazrat Ali (R.A) and Imam Hussein (R.A) ibn Hazrat Ali (R.A) the grandsons of Prophet Muhammad (A.S)
Such an intermingling of ethnicities was a marked feature of early centuries of Islam…the result of Prophet Mohammad (A.S)’s sermon on mount Arafat that Arabi (an Arab) and Ajmi (non-Arab) would be measured not by their ethnicity but the scale would be faith (Taqwa). This was then the lesson; he was born with and genetically disposed to. His father helped groom him. Faith in abundant measure he imbibed from Abu Saleh Musa al-Hasani. He was a Sharief, an acknowledged saint of his day popularly known by sobriquet ‘Jangi Dost’ because of his love for Jihad. In fact cry of Jihad denoted the times. The Abbasid Caliphate after centuries of glory of Caliphs…Mansoor, Haru’n Rashid and Mamu’n Rashid was weakening and tottering. The Islamic world was beset with worries of containing the onslaught of Christian crusaders and scourge of Mongols was about to commence. The tottering Caliphate had resulted in rise of sultanates. While most of them were regional satraps in the world of Islam, some strove fearlessly and sincerely to revive the earlier glory. One of them was Noor-ud-Din Zangi, another Alp Arsalan and the one with profound impact…the great Salah-ud-Din Ayubi (Saladin).
Saladin (1138-1193 A.D) regained Jerusalem. Coincidentally, he was almost a contemporary of Ghaus-al-Azam (1077-1166 A.D). Also a stand noted is their shared ethnicity. Both were Kurds, however of greater importance is the fact that in Ghaus-al-Azam and Sultan Salah-ud-Din Ayubi, Islam got two of its greatest servants. The servants who served the cause of Islam, they lived by its revival…Saladin in battlefield and Ghaus-al-Azam by reviving its spirits. In dwindling times, they restored it. Saladin’s regained Jerusalem has slipped yet again into enemy hands, the spirit to regain it once more lives on, as faith stands supported by the Ghous-al-Azam and his ilk…by Mahboob-al-Alam—Hazrat Hamza Makhdum (RA) Hazrat Mir Syed Ali Hamdani (R.A) and Hazrat Sheikh Noor-ud-Din Noorani (R.A). In Qaseedat-ul-Gausia Ghous-al-Azam states “I am Hassani and my abode is my cell, and my feet are on the neck of each Saint. Abdul Qadir is my famous name. And my ancestor is one possessed of an insight Perfect" Fire might have consumed a historic-religious site, there is a fire burning within enough to put into shame an incident or an intrigue involved in what consumed the site.
Yaar Zinda, Sohbat Baqi (Reunion is subordinate to survival)
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Lastupdate on : Thu, 28 Jun 2012 21:30:00 Makkah time
Lastupdate on : Thu, 28 Jun 2012 18:30:00 GMT
Lastupdate on : Fri, 29 Jun 2012 00:00:00 IST
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