Syedina Ghous-ul-Azam is not only known as the greatest of all helpers, but was also a great preacher, a great educationalist, a great moralist and a great doctor of Muslim law. He was the glory of the learned and the light of Islam; the Spokesman of theologians, the Interpreter of men of spiritual knowledge, the unique Leader of Leaders; the Leader of nations; the Chief of the chiefs; the Succourer of men and the Jinn; the Reviver of Religion; possessed of very high and perfect spiritual knowledge; and hailed as the Honour of Religion.
In Persia, in a place called Naif in the district of Jilan, in the South of the Caspian Sea, there lived a pious and God fearing man. He was Hazrat Abu Saleh Jangi Dost. He used to spend most of his time in the contemplation and love of Allah (God).
Once he was sitting on the bank of a river in deep contemplation, when upon opening of his eyes, he saw an apple floating down the river. The apple, which reached him near the bank, was taken up and eaten by him. Soon after, his conscince questioned the propriety whether the apple eaten by him was lawful. He got up and walked along the bank of the river towards the sides from where the apple had come, in order to find out the owner of the garden where from the apple had fallen into the river. Hazrat intended to pay him the price for the apple in order to make the energy derived from that apple lawful, since he had eaten it, without his permission.
After a long journey, he reached a spot where appeared a large garden on the bank of the river, which convinced him that the apple eaten by him had fallen from that garden. Upon inquiry he learnt that the garden belonged to Hazrat Abdullah Sawmai. Hazrat Abu Saleh approached him and begged his pardon for eating the apple of his garden without his prior permission. Such approach made Hazrat Abdullah Sawmai to perceive that Hazrat Abu Saleh was a pious and a noble man. He therefore, asked him to pay the price of the apple before his request for pardon was considered. The price was to serve under him as long as he desired. Hazrat Abu Saleh agreed to serve Hazrat Abdullah Sawmai for as long a period as his service was considered necessary.
After a few years service, Hazrat Abu Saleh asked the owner of the garden to grant him pardon and release him. Hazrat Abdullah Sawmai, before pardoning and allowing him to leave, asked Hazrat Abu Saleh to agree to marry his daughter who, he was told, was blind, deaf, lame and paralytic of hands. After marriage he was also to stay with them until a child was born to them. These were the qualifying conditions of his release.
In order to obtain his pardon, Hazrat Abu Saleh Jangi Dost agreed to the proposal and the marriage was accordingly fixed up. When he entered the chamber of the bride, he saw instead a beautiful and healthy lady. He turned his eyes from he assuming that he had entered a wrong chamber because the lady before him did not tally with the description given to him.
By his Kashf (Clairvoyance) Hazrat Abdullah Sawmai understood the predicament of Hazrat Abu Saleh about his bride. He called him and explained to him that he had stated that his daughter was blind, because her eyes never fell upon any outsider other than members of their family; she was said to be deaf, because she had never heard untruthful statements; she was supposedly lame, because she never undertook and stepped on towards committing acts, alien to the laws of Islam.
Such a description of his wife enlightened Hazrat Abu Saleh with a new light and he began to live happily with his wife whose name was Umul Khair Fatima. She was the pious daughter of Hazrat Abdullah Sawmai, who was himself a great Sufi and Saint of his time and was a direct descendent of Hazrat Sayidina Imam Hussain (R.A)
In this Saiyed family of Saints, Hazrat Umul Khair Fatima gave birth to a son in 470 Hijri during the month of Rabi-ul-Akhir. The child was named Abu Muhammad Abdul Qadir. Abu Muhammad was his Kuniet that is the name by which he was familiarly called by relatives and neighbours.
Some of the Saints of the time of foresaw the birth of his Imam-ul-Auliya Saiyidina Abdul Qadir Jilani. Hazrat Abu Bakar Bin Hawara once told some of his disciples that in the near future a great Wali (Saint) would be born in Ajam a non-Arab country who would be God fearing and highly respected by the people of his time and thereafter. His foot will be on the neck of all Walis (Saints) and Walis of his time would testify to the truth of his claim. Another Saint, Hazrat Ahmed Abdullah Bin Ahmed stated about 468 AH, that shortly a child would be born in Ajam whose miracles would be numerous and whose rank among Walis (Saints) would be very high.
From the above details, it will appear that Saiyidina Abdul Qadir Jilani was a direct descendent of Hazrat Imam Hassan Ilaihe-salam (R.A) on his father's side. From his mother's side he descended from Saiyidina Imam Zainul Abedin Ilaihe-salam son of Hazrat Imam Hussain Ilaihe-salam. He was therefore both a Hassani and Hussaini Saiyed tracing his lineage thereby to the two grandsons of Nabi Muhammad Mustafa (Sallalahu Alaihi Wa Sallam).
All the writers agree that the age of Hazrat's mother was much above the normal age of child bearing, when this great Saint of Jilan was born to her. Despite having taken birth in such an advanced age of his mother, he was nevertheless, possessed of all the good faculties normally expected of a healthy child. The child was a born Wali (Saint). From the very birth, he was endowed with germs of Psychic powers. His Wilayat was obviously felt from his infancy.
His first Karamat was witnessed, when as an infant child during the month of Ramzan, he would take his mother's milk only at night and not during daytime. This fact has been proved on the evidence of his mother. Once the new moon of the month of fasting was not visible in the evening on account of clouds. In the morning people came to his mother to inquire whether the day was the first of Ramzan. She replied that her child did not take her milk during daytime, which indicated that the day was the first of Ramzan.
As a child, Saiyidina Hazrat Abdul Qadir would not play with other children. The Psychic powers, which were exhibited by him in his infancy, naturally developed as he grew up, and were visible in all the stages of his holy life. Once the children of the vicinity, where Saiyidina Abdul Qadir with his mother was living, invited him to play. He led the game and asked all the children to say IL-LAL-LAH, when he would recite LA-ILAHA. This play of the children reciting LA-ILAHA-ILLALLAH (There is no God but God) could very well show the inclination and pursuits of the Leader.
He was quiet and sober from his early childhood and was generally disposed towards contemplation. His mother and his maternal grandfather, who themselves were, Walis (aulia karaam) naturally gave him the training that was necessary for a Wali. It may be said, that he was brought up in the cradle of Sufism. Whenever he thought of playing, he will hear a voice questioning him where he was going. At this, he would be frightened and would run back to take shelter in his mother's lap.
At the age of ten, however, he attended school. The teacher would ask his fellow students to make room for the Wali of Allah to sit in the class. He lived in Jilan up to the age of 18 years. In one day Hazrat would learn by heart as much of his lessons as others would take a week to master. One day, he was going to the fields for an excursion. A plough bullock was ahead of him. The animal suddenly turned round and seemed to tell him that he was not born for the purpose of utilising his time on excursions. Frightened at this incident, he turned back to his house and climbed its roof. With his spiritual vision, he saw vast assembly standing on Jabl-ul Arafat.
He then requested his mother to dedicate him to ALLAH (GOD) and also allows him to proceed to Baghdad, which was then famous in the Muslim World as a great seat of learning for the acquisition of knowledge. The desire to acquire knowledge was intensely burning in the Hazrat's heart and he overcame the love his mother, his hearth and home, for the sake of ALLAH. He was not deterred by the prospect of hardships of a long and dangerous journey, and residence in a remote city without friends or relatives.
When his mother heard the proposal, she shed silent tears as she perceived that on account of her old age, she was not destined to see her dear son again, whom she had brought up so carefully and tenderly, after the death of her husband long age. But the Saintly Lady would not stand in the way of his devotion of ALLAH.
She sewed forth dinars (Gold Coins) into his garment, so that they might not easily be lost. It was his half share of the money left by his father. The other half was kept for his brother. He soon joined a small caravan, which was going to Baghdad.
From the time of his childhood, he had never uttered falsehood, but despite this trait of his character, his mother at the time of parting, took a vow from him that he should not tell even one lie under any circumstances. They then parted with heavy hearts. The separation between the son and the mother was pathetic and sublime. It was no less similar to that of the leading of Hazrat Ismail by his father, Saiyidina Hazrat Ibrahim for sacrifice under divine orders, as the separation in either case was not for wealth, rank or fame, but for the sake of ALLAH.
The caravan passed quite safely as far as Hamadan, but beyond that place, a gang of sixty robbers fell upon the caravan and plundered it, but none laid violent hands upon Hazrat, taking him to be a penniless, religious youth. One robber however, questioned him whether he had anything with him. He readily said he had forty dinars sewed into his garment. The man took it as a joke and went away. Another robber also asked the same question from Hazrat, and on receiving the same reply, moved off. They reported the incident to the leader of the gang, who ordered the production of they youth before him. Accordingly, when he was taken before the gang leader, he said the same thing, which he had stated before. The garment was then cut open and the forty dinars were found.
On seeing the "dinars" the leader was astounded and asked Hazrat what had made him to tell the truth when he knew that he too would be robbed. He replied that he had promised his mother not to tell a lie under any circumstances. Hazrat added that if he had told a lie on the very first stage of his journey undertaken for the sake of acquiring knowledge of religion, he would obviously have no chance of acquiring any real knowledge of religion at subsequent stages of his career. Upon this, the robber realizing the felonous life he and his companions lad led, burst into tears and said that he had been breaking the commands of God throughout his life, while a youth was so conscientiously fulfilling his vow made to his mother.
By placing his hands upon the hands of Hazrat, the leader of the robbers solemnly vowed to give up robbery. The other robbers also followed their leader and repented. The robbed belongings were returned to their owners. The conversion of the gang of robbers was not only due to Hazrat's strict adherence to truth but to his psychic powers also. Most of the authorities are of the opinion that this incident showed the greatness of Syedina, in the making. Had his nature not been truthful in origin, such a courageous and unwavering stand for truth, even in the face of such heavy odds, would not have been possible for him.