Lifting the souls

Greater Kashmir

A la Imam Ghazali, Ghous-al-Azam provided symbioses of ShariaH & Tariqah

Urs Ghous-al-Azam, an annual event of significance in the Vale of Kashmir tunes-up the spirit of Pir-e-Veur. The valley of saints has been an abode of wandering sages. The splendor of snow peaked mountain, the salubriousness of the climate, the sneak of the cloud cover, the sublimity of the river, the stillness of the water body, the serpentine dance of mountainous stream, and the song of the bird was too compelling to escape notice of sages seeking salvation of sprit. As birds in millions do, they migrated and made the enchanting Vale their abode. Though some as migrant birds do sang their song and returned albeit leaving a lasting effect a la Amir-e-Kabir Mir Sayyid Ali Hamdani [RA]. As Mulla Tahir Ghani related:
Khat-e-Sabaz ba Rang-e-Sabz Mara Karde Aseer
Daam Humrang Zameen Bhood Girftar Shudum
Green-land coloured green held me a captive,
Net cast was of same colour, I fell in the trap!
A study of Baghdad in middle ages relates a tale of religious discourses, of well-honed cultural exchanges, of quality scientific empiricism, and of artistic pursuit. And in this high bred social milieu grew two significant scholars—Imam Ghazali [Algazel: 1058-1112 A.D] and Hazrat Sheikh Sayyid Abdul Qadir [RA—1077-1166 A.D]. Though contemporaries, living in the same city, there is no record of twosomes ever having met, yet the harmony in their spiritual make-up relates a tale. The tale needs to be recorded and related widely, as it clears the haze between Shariah & Tariqah. In 1095, Imam Ghazali, aged 47 years left the headship of high seat of learning in Baghdad–Nizamiah, and went to his ancestral town—Nishapur in Khorasan, dispossessed himself of all his belongings and got engaged in spiritual exercise called Tariqah. By coincidence, Hazrat Sheikh Sayyid Abdul Qadir left Baghdad, a la Imam Ghazali, on a similar exercise in the year 2002 AD. He wandered in deserts of Iraq until 1127 A.D and returned to teach Islamic texts in Shariya. Imam Ghazali had done it earlier, he returned to Baghdad to resume his renowned lectures in Shariah. While Shariyh is for masses to follow in word and deed, Tariqah is an intensely personal experience, better left to those experiencing it. It defies description, like Shariya, it has no definite form.
Western academic studies in Islam relate to study of HOLY BOOK—QURAN, a study of word and deed of Prophet Mohammad [PBUH] Imam Ghazali’s works and discourses of Allama Iqbal. Though Imam Ghazali was highly critical of Greek discourses on reason, belief for him rated higher, and he saw reason in belief, west continues to tune into his works for understanding significance of belief in Islamic realm. Imam Ghazali’s view helps in understanding the Baghdad discourse, marked also in life and works of Hazrat Sheikh Sayyid Abdul Qadir [RA]. Baghdad discourse was product of challenges that Islamic faith faced. The challenges were met by philosophizing the discourse. Before embarking on a study of the said discourse, we may study multiple attributes of Sheikh Sayyid Abdul Qadir [RA].
Sheikh Sayyid Abdul Qadir [RA] stays prefixed with Ghous-al-Azam [the prime saint] and suffixed with Jelani/Gilani [his birthplace] further suffixed with Al-Baghdadi. He was born in township of Naif. However some do contend it, relating Amol in Taberstan being the birthplace. Wider consensus though remains on Gilan. Al-Baghdadi relates to Baghdad, Abbasid capital in the epoch he was born in, the city where his scholarly instincts were honed. And where his mausoleum is located, the place remains much visited by millions holding Sheikh Sayyid Abdul Qadir in high esteem. Qadrriya is his patronym, a name that relates to the Sufi sect, of which he is the acknowledged leader. There are other attributes.
Ghous-al-Azam Sheikh Sayyid Abdul Qadir Jelani Al-Baghdadi is also known as Al-Hassani Wal-Hussaini, on his paternal side a descendent of Imam Hassan [RA] and on his maternal side, descendent of Imam Hussain [RA]. The revered Imams being sons of Syedena Ali [RA] and Syeda Fatima [RA] makes Ghous-al-Azam Sheikh Sayyid Abdul Qadir Jelani Al-Baghdadi Al-Hassani Wal-Hussaini a direct descendent of Prophet Mohammad [pbuh]. The added value makes him, ‘Najib-ul-Tarfain’ a noble lineage on either side. Noble lineage stands compounded by yet another deserved attribute, borne of his own efforts—Mohi-ud-Din [a reviver of religion] an attribute with reasons to back it.
Baghdad in the midst of Abbasid rule [750-1258 A.D] was influenced by Greek thought of Aristotelian hue, neo-platonic thought of Alexandrian school also influenced the stream of thought that was nevertheless distinctly classified as Baghdad discourse. Islam never denied logic [Mantiq in Arabic] even reason found space, however faith remained and continues to remain supreme. Nevertheless influenced by Greek stress on reason, a stream of thought did develop in Baghdad that put faith to the test of reason. Labeled as Mutzalite school, Mutzalites were much encouraged by Caliph Mamu’n son of most renowned Abbasid—Caliph Haroon-al-Rashid.
Mamu’n was a free thinker, so was the school he helped grow. Before Mutzalite thought would influence masses widely, scholars like Imam Ghazali and Ghous-al-Azam [RA] provided intellectual ferment to faith. Their argument rested on faith having its own reason, the reason being the very substance of faith, the substances that pervades the universe. And the universe in recent times called the multiverse  with its multiple planets, and the cosmic pattern provides enough reason for the faith in creator, who created it, who is omnipresent [al-Samad] and omnipotent [Qadir-e-Mutalaq] Belief makes him known, and knowing him has reason inherent in the interaction. “Knock and the door will open” so said Jesus Christ. Secrets get revealed to believers, they join Aarfeen [the knowers] only that non-believers do not believe it.
Not for nothing is Ghous-al-Azam Sheikh Sayyid Abdul Qadir Jelani Al-Baghdadi Al-Hassani Wal-Hussaini known as Mohi-ud-Din [reviver of religion]!
Yaar Zinda, Sohbat Baqi [Reunion is subordinate to survival]

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