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Al-Syed Tahir Alauddin – A Model of Islamic Spiritualism
Islam is a divine movement of peace. The ultimate objective of Islam is to create an atmosphere of justice and kindness at all levels of life, both individual as well as collective. The Holy Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessing of Allah be upon him) is prophet of mercy for whole universe. He is last messenger of Allah. The chain of prophets has completed on his advent. He is prophet for mankind till Day of Judgment. The Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessing of Allah be upon him) left a glorious book (Al-Quran), a prophetic commentary on Quran (Hadith), a noble family (Ahle Bait), and a group of excellent companions (Sahaba) for the guidance of mankind. These are permanent sources of light for mankind. A living saint or scholar is inevitably linked with these sources of light. The prime motive of saints/scholars is to complete the prophetic mission, both intellectually as well as practically. They work at all levels of human struggle; travel on all places of earth, and exists in all moments of time. Earth is always adorned with these noble personalities. The stability, growth, and development of Muslims depend, chiefly, on their persistent efforts towards propagation / glorification of Islam. They are linked with each other, directly or indirectly. They arrive and provide guidance to humanity and Muslims on all aspects of human struggle, now and then.
SIGNIFICANCE OF SPIRITUAL SET-UP & OUR SHEIKH
A person is highly dependent on others in his early phase of life, first 20 years. The next 20 years of an individual are spent on development of a fully matured attitude towards diverse and conflicting life affairs. The second phase of life, 20 to 40, is filled with multiple, multi-layered, and multi-dimensional observations / experiences. It is phase of thinking and rethinking, finally, a person is matured, generally, at the age of 40. A fully matured generation is responsible of all affairs of a nation. However, the life affairs are extremely complex, even a matured individual is, sometime, unable to solve/tackle the riddles of life. A responsible generation, belongs to any temporal-spatial environ, too, has strong tendency or need or demand for some reverent personality for proper and merciful guidance. Consequently, a Divine Mercy is activated and a reverent personality is sent by God for the guidance of mankind, now and again. A transcendental guidance appears in a shape of a prophet or a saint. A divine guidance provides a complete and comprehensive roadmap towards peace and happiness at all aspects of life, material as well as spiritual. The reverent personalities are demand of every individual, followers as well as leaders or young as well as mature. Muslims follow the footprints of the life patterns of reverent personalities. Consequently, a judicious and merciful civilization is shaped. Muslim civilization is chiefly outcome of righteous and noble personalities.
A civilization must face survival/growth challenges. Muslim civilization faced/managed manifold challenges, both internal as well as external, during her lifetime. Islamic World endured hard times and enjoyed glorious periods. A recurrent rise and fall phenomena remained with Muslims, however, a permanent decline or fall or disintegration of Muslims is impossible due to Qaranic verdict about sustainability of Islam and Muslims. In addition, Muslims are stability factor for mankind because they are custodian & follower of last message/messenger of Allah. They have faith on Unity of God and unity of mankind. A recent decline or fall phenomenon occurred with Islamic world at first half of 20th century. The Ottoman Empire collapsed in 1920s due to our collective blunders and conspiracies of imperial forces. The whole Muslim world was facing cruel and inhuman control of Western Powers. Peril of socialism had also come into being and devouring the Muslim world. There were only few waves of awakening among Muslims but it was not possible for any Muslim region/country to live or survive without the shelter of capitalism or socialism. After the so-called World War II, the world has been categorically divided into two imperial blocs – Red (Socialist) & White (Capitalist). At this critical moment of time, there was no politically strong and economically powerful voice among Muslims against this imperial setup. However, according to their traditional approach, the Muslim saints / scholars were doing their work. They were purifying the individuals and developing a thought among Muslims for interlinked structure of Islamic World based on Quranic maxims of Unity of God, unity of believers, and unity of mankind. The struggle was steady and gradual, however, penetrating and stable. It is noteworthy that Sufi struggle is not for hegemony, rather the struggle nurtures peace, affection, and simplicity among her followers. There are many spiritual groups working for purification of self and society. An effective group of saints/scholars that was working (and also presently working) for individual purification and unity of Muslims / mankind was SILSILA QADRIAof Abdul Qadir Gillani(Allah bless his soul).
The most successful and powerful among Qadri group of saints were Al-Gillani Al-Azizi family of Iraq. They are custodians of sanctuary of Abdul Qadir Gillani (Allah bless his soul). One of the saints of Gillani family was Abdur Rahman Al-Qadri. He was chosen in 1920 to head the Iraqi Council of Ministers following the dissolution of the Ottoman Empire.Sir Percy Cox states in page 128 of the HAND BOOK OF MESOPOTAMIA that he was the most influential “Sunni” and official head of the Arab Community. After the death of Abdur Rahman Qadri his noble son, Mahmood Hisamudin Qadri succeeded him. He had six sons. The youngest one was Al-Syed Tahir Alaudin Al-Qadri. He was born on 18th Rabi Awal 1352 A.H. / 1932 A.D. in Baghdad, capital of Iraq. He is the 17th descendant of Abdul Qadir Gillani (Allah bless his soul) and 28th descendant of The Holy Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessing of Allah be upon him).
SIGNIFICANCE OF SILSILA QADRIA & SPIRITUAL RANK OF SHEIKH
ALLAH has created mankind for His worship. It is our duty to follow His decrees relating to all aspects of life but we often ignore His orders, fruitful for us, and chase only materialistic well being neglecting the spiritual urges. The materialistic/selfish attitude towards life creates unrest in our individual personality and produces turmoil in our social network, exploitation in our economic structure, chaos in our political field, and degeneration in our cultural outlook. The ultimate outcome of materialistic/selfish approach is continuous and gradual decline of society / civilization. To harness the aforesaid outcome / process, Allah sent His prophets and continuously sending His saints for the guidance of His beautiful creation – man & woman – actually materialist but potentially spiritual. The saints, basically, follow the life pattern of prophets. They relentlessly pursue the prophetic mission with the help of Muslims / mankind. Quran categorically states the existence and effectiveness of saints:
And of those whom we created there is a nation (or groups) who guide with the truth and establish justice therewith
(Al-Quran VII – 181)
According to Quran, it is necessary on Muslims/mankind to follow the life pattern of divinely rewarded groups, i.e., Prophets, saints, martyrs, and righteous. They are rightly guided and bestowed personalities of Allah.
O ye believe! Be careful of your duty to Allah, and be with the truthful
(Al-Quran IX – 119)
In addition, Quran said to Muslims that there should be a group of persons among the believers for the guidance of Muslims / mankind.
And there may spring from you a nation who invite to goodness, and enjoin right conduct and forbid indecency. Such are they who are successful.
(Al-Quran – II – 104)
The early Muslims strictly followed the guidelines provided by Quran towards preaching of Islam, consequently, a range of noble groups developed to provide guidance and to distribute Mercy of Allah. These groups essentially follow the basic principles of Islam. There is no difference among saints on basic tenets of Islam. The pious effort towards goodness by reverent personalities is permanent feature of Muslims; however, the effort was not centrally organized. At the start of 6th century (Islamic calendar), a great Sufi saint arrived in noble progeny of the holy prophet Muhammad (peace and blessing of Allah be upon him). His name was Abdul Qadir (Allah bless his soul). He chose Baghdad, a centre of Muslim Civilization, for his struggle. He gave a sophisticated and organized look to the work of earlier saints and developed an effective system of guidance and purification for Muslims/mankind. The system is continuously working under the spiritual guidance of Abdul Qadir Gillani (Allah bless his soul). Al-Syed Tahir Alaudin was considered highest in spiritual rank by the sheiks of the age.During his lifetime, he was giving right guidance and effective help to countless people through his spiritual strength.
EDUCATION – Acquisition & Preaching
Al-Syed Tahir Alaudin Al-Qadri got his early education from the mosque of Sultan Ali, situated at bank of river Dajla, Baghdad. Then he moved to the institution situated at sanctuary of Abdul Qadir Gillani (Allah bless his soul). His teachers were renowned scholars of the time such as Mullah Syed Asad Afundi, Mufti Qasim, and Sheikh Khalil. During his stay in this institution, he also acquired knowledge of Quran, prophetic commentary, and jurisprudence from Grand Mufti of Iraq. However, he remained fond of scientific and divine knowledge throughout his life. He was well aware about the living events confronting the Muslims/mankind. He had extremely good knowledge about the geo-strategic, socio-economic, and political conditions of all regions / nations. He adopted multiple ways and means to acquire a piece of information about nations / regions. He visited different regions of the world and interacted with persons having diverse cultural background. He used to acquire world news and latest events through latest media. In addition, he used some unique means to acquire information about regions / nations. For example, stamp collection and coin collection were his hobbies. These hobbies indicate his thrust and love for knowledge and give a clue to his area of effect. He was very well informed about social, economic, political, and cultural conditions of world/nations. His information was up to date and authentic. He can speak on any topic relating to any discipline or region or nation.
He used his knowledge for the guidance of people. His analysis was based on his knowledge, intuition, and insight. We describe a few examples to introduce the reader about his knowledge and wisdom. Once Hakim Saeed (A world renowned educationist and authority on eastern medicine) visited him, he discussed on eastern medicine with Hakim Sahib and Hakim Sahib was amazed on his knowledge, information and memory about eastern medicine. Once Nasim Shah, a bank officer, visited him and asked a few questions on astrology/numerology, he gave very comprehensive and eye-opening comments on its history and background. An officer of Pakistan Printing Press discussed on printing process and the officer was impressed by his information on printing and distribution process of notes and stamps. Once an owner of a shoe factory visited him, he discussed with him on manufacturing process and types of shoes, the visitor was very impressed by his knowledge of shoe manufacturing. An army officer discussed on ammunition and the officer was astonished on his information about ammunition. A student visited him and discussed his psychological / philosophical confusion, he proposed a very simple but comprehensive solution; the student commented that a very experienced psychologist perhaps can understand/solve the confusion in such a short period of time. The aforesaid examples indicate that he was fully aware about temporal disciplines and their implications. His approach was motivational towards knowledge-lovers/knowledge-seekers.
SPIRITUAL TRAINING – Acquisition & Transference
He got spiritual training from his father who was also his Sheikh – spiritual teacher. He was very fond of worship from his early life. On his early childhood, he used to mediate at sanctuary of Abdul Qadir Gillani (Allah bless his soul) during whole night, although he was fully occupied, during day time, in various activities of the sanctuary. It is noteworthy that his father was the chief patron and custodian of the sanctuary of Abdul Qadir Gillani (Allah bless his soul). He also remained administrator of the sanctuary from 1948 to 1953. Due to psychological inclinations, spiritual potential, and physical strive, he covered his spiritual journey very quickly and got “Kharqa” (a formal dress indicating spiritual position) from his father in his early youth. After this, he came into practical life and devoted himself for the preaching of Islam and growth of Islamic Spiritualism.
He was true example of the life pattern of the Holy Prophet Muhammad(peace and blessing of Allah be upon him) in our time. He never compromised on Islamic values and worked only for the sake of Allah. He disliked fame and worldly recognition. He was far away from lust for wealth / power and very close to Allah. Once, Mr. Ayub Khan (president of Pakistan in 1960s) offered him land and money for his personal use, he replied that he can take only when the treasures of Allah will be exhausted, i.e., it is not possible. He was very humble and polite whenever a person enters/leaves his meeting he welcome/see-off him by standing. However, it was not possible to have eye contact with him due to his psycho-spiritual dignity; moreover, mind-wandering or satanic influence on heart was impossible in his presence due to his spiritual influence and psychological power. A state of contentment is felt on his presence.
He was very affectionate and sober during interaction. His doors were open for the whole community and for every type of person. There was no difference between rich and poor. Friday was fixed for general meetings / guidance. Every one can access him on each Friday for spiritual guidance and pray. For special guidance or meeting, he was available after appointment. His followers belong to every group of life.
TRAVELING & MIGRATION- Rationale & Scope
Traveling, migration and settlement of prophets and saints at different places of the world is part of divine scheme of creation/evolution, when He wants to reward a region He sends His prophets and saints for guidance. Opposite to this, prophets and saints of one region are migrated and settled to some other area before the wrath / justice of Allah descends on a particular region or nation. It was good tiding for the people of Pakistan that Allah sent the noblest person of the time and a pious son of Abdul Qadir (Allah bless his soul) in Pakistan. His very first visit to Pakistan was in 1956, later he decided to settle in Quetta, Pakistan.
It is an important teaching of Islam for Muslims to travel on earth for acquisition/distribution of knowledge. He followed the Quranic injunction on travelling with letter and spirit. Although, he had settled in Pakistan, he remained active and moving preacher throughout his life. He visited different areas of the world for the preaching of Islam and growth of Islamic Spiritualism.
DEMISE & FINAL RESTING PLACE
Trial & Testing is essential aspect of Divine Scheme of Creation. Allah tests His servants with multiple afflictions. Finally, Allah showers manifold blessing on patient and steadfast. He faced multiple trials, both physical as well as psychological, during his lifetime. However, he remained contented and grateful during hardships. At physical level, he was suffering with kidney trouble from many years. Doctors were suggesting transplantation and many people were ready to donate it but he was not prepared. He said that life and death is in control of Allah why I create trouble for someone by putting one’s life in danger. Moreover, he preferred local treatment as compared to foreign treatment. However, there were pressure of doctors and other concerned persons for foreign treatment. At last, he decided to move abroad, Germany, for medical treatment; he moved to Germany on 11th may, 1991 A.D., however, he did not change his mind about transplantation. The problem was becoming more and more severe. People around him were feeling that his REAL FRIEND, ALLAH, is calling him. Like other saints, he was fond of this meeting. He recited the Kalama at the moment of death. On Friday, 23rd Zequa’d 1411 A.H. / 7th June 1991 A.D., he moved from this world to eternal world. It was decided by his family that he would be buried in Township, Lahore. Pir Karam Shah offered his final prayer. A beautiful sanctuary of sheikh and spacious boarding facility for spiritual travelers is under construction. The sanctuary of sheikh has design similar to the design of sanctuary of Abdul Qadir Gillani (Allah bless his soul).
PEARLS OF WISDOM
· Divine cognizance is acquired only through following the path of the holy prophet;
· Observance of the life of Muhammad (peace and blessing of Allah be on him) is a way to achieve Love of Allah;
· A person who doesn’t offer pray is like dead;
· If uniformity and unity through Islam is developed in our inner and outer life then it can lead us towards singularity and unity of Muslim World;
· The message of saints is uncontaminated with hatred, friction, prejudice, and strife, on the contrary, their message is totally based on love and kindness, that is why, their efforts can create unity in Muslim World if they fulfill their right role and they can provide a revolutionary service to Islam and the Muslim World up to the level that cannot be achieved by any other group;
· If heart is filled with duplicity, jealousy, hatred, hypocrisy one cannot get reward of his good deeds;
· Socialism, Communism, and Capitalism are three different colors and three different aspects of Satanism;
· Communists are not only enemy of religion but also enemy of humanity;
· Islamic economic and political system is a complete and comprehensive system.
· A hungry man considers every one hungry and a non-respected person considers every one non-respected;
· Through cheating, stealing, and lying, one may get required results but finally one becomes disrespectful and destroys himself.
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