Ghawth al-Azam, Mehboob-e-subhani

The founder of popular Sufi order "Qadri" is Shaykh Abu Mohammad Muhyi al-Din Abd al-Qadir bin Mosa al-Gilani al-Hasani Known as Ghawth al-Azam,Mehboob-e-subhani. He was born on 11th rabi al-Thani (or, 11th Ramadan) 470/1177-78 in "Niq" or "Nif" in the province named Gilan in Iran.

Long before his birth many renowned Sufis especially Sayyid Al-Taifa Abu al-Qasim Junaid Bin Muhammad Al-Baghdadi (D. 298/910) predicted his birth and his greatness. In "Munaqib-e-Ghawthia" it stated that, on the night his birth took place, his father saw the great Prophet Muhammad in his dream. The Holy Prophet (S.A.W) along with his companions came and said "O, Abi Saleh God has, through his kindness, gifted you a pious and well fortuned son, he will be like my son and beloved of Allah, and his states in all the "Awliya" (Sufis) will be the top most and pre-eminent". His line of descent (through his father) is traced to Imam Hasan bin Ali (the grand son of The Holy Prophet) and through his mother traced to Imam Hussain Bin Ali (The Younger Brother of Imam Hasan).

Abd al-Qadir's father having died early, suma'i, his maternal grandfather, sayyid abd allah suma'i, a pious and saintly person, looked after the orphan's upbringing. When he became five years old he was enrolled in a local school. It was the age of eighteen in (488/1095), that Abd al-qadir left home to Baghdad, which was then humming with unprecedented intellectual activity and where the renowned Nizamiyyah college, founded in (457/1065), was in its full bloom. He did not, however, like to study at this seminary and completed his education with other teachers in Baghdad. His truthful character and the impact that it was to make on those who happened to come into contact with him were evident from his very early years.

It is said that when he left his native place for Baghdad, his mother gave him forty gold coins; his share in the patrimony and safely stitched them in his cloak. Her parting advice to her son was to always be truthful and honest. Abd Al-Qadir promised to abide by this. On the way robbers intercepted the caravan and plundered it. One after the other robbers asked Abd Al-Qadir if he had any thing with him. He replied that he had forty gold coins. The robber did not believe him and moved on. One after the other robbers asked him and he gave the same reply. The leader of the gang interrogated him further and asked him to show where the money was. He placed his cloak before him and the robber found the money concealed there. Startled and puzzled at this truthfulness, the robber asked him why he had disclosed them; he could have said that he had nothing and thus save this money Abd Al-Qadir replied that he had made a promise to his mother to be truthful under all circumstances. The revelation came as a terrible shock to the leader of the gang and he fell at his feet and repented for his conduct saying: "You keep the promise you made to your mother and we forget the promise that we made to our creator." The gang returned the entire plunder to the owners and repented for their sins.

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