I learned a little about the life and times of the legendary Shaykh Abdul Qadir Jilani today. Very interesting stuff. One of the things that I found very interesting indeed is that he was always in trouble with the rulers / governments of his time. And secondly he was very, very harsh with the scholars who he deemed as not doing justice to their lofty position — to the extent he was overtly hostile and even showed enmity towards them. It was a surprise to read this aspect about him, given all the inspiring stories of his saintly actions, spiritual rank and immense wisdom.
But when I think about it, it makes complete sense. Any scholar worth his salt, let alone someone with as high rank and reputation as that, is driven by ultimate truth, over all. He is unshakeable in that regard. Nothing is more precious to him than the integrity of the truth and he is unashamed in his actions to preserve and pursue this. Unless the leadership of the age is ruling upon righteous foundations, there will naturally come a time where there is intense conflict between the regime and your religion. How one reacts in this situation maketh the man, as it were. Which side he chooses, and guides people to.
In the same way, this is why he was so harsh with those scholars who made poor choices, as their position is so important for the guidance of everyday people, who, in their ignorance come to rely on the spiritual decisions and precedents the scholars set for them with their actions. If they’re not on point — it can cause absolute havoc for the guidance of the community and even the next generation.
Fast forward to today, and against this backdrop, I feel I need not say any more, when we look at our present times amidst Covid pandemonium. I just sigh and wonder what the great Shaykh Abdul Qadir Jilani would make of the world we live in today.
A lifelong learner, avid reader and passionate writer, I am the founder of KNOW and a serial entrepreneur.
I am a huge believer in personal development and am also the co-founder of Muslim CEO.