Huzoor Ghaus-e-Azam RadiAllahu Anh and Hunger

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Huzoor Ghaus-e-Azam Sayyiduna Shaikh Abdul Qadir Jilani (Radiallahu Ta’ala Anh) emphasised both theoretically and practically, the importance of undergoing hunger. During his Mujāhidah (spiritual struggle) in the jungles of Baghdad he underwent such levels of hunger that are astonishing, and in his discourses he often spoke about subjecting one’s lower self to the pangs of hunger. He had reached such a stage that Allah Ta’ala Himself would Give him Oaths to make him eat and drink. Huzoor Ghaus-e-Azam (Radiallahu Ta’ala Anh) himself says that  Allah Ta’ala said to Him, 

يَا عَبْدَ الْقَادِرِ بِحَقِّىْ عَلَيْكَ كُلْ وَ بِحَقِّىْ عَلَيْكَ اِشْرَبْ

O Abdul Qadir! By My Oath to you eat and By My Oath to you drink


This is why A’la Hazrat states, 

قسمیں دے دے کے کھلاتا ہے پلاتا ہے تجھے

پیارا    اللہ    تِر ا    چا  ہنے     والا    تیر  ا

He Gives you Oaths and Makes you eat and makes you drink

Your Beloved Lord is the One Who Loves you 


Huzoor Ghaus-e-Azam (Radiallahu Ta’ala Anh) states, “One day, due to extreme hunger, my condition was becoming very severe when I heard a voice from the unseen saying, “O Abdul Qadir! Get up! Obtain some bread on loan and eat it so that there is no shortcoming in you attaining knowledge and so that you can attain knowledge in solace.” I said, “I am poor, who will give me a loan and even if someone gave me a loan, how will I repay them?” The voice replied, “You do your work, we will repay it.”” After this, he went to a baker and asked him, “O Brother! If you deem it appropriate, can you give me bread on loan, with this condition that if I get something from somewhere I will repay the loan and if I die you will forgive me?” The baker was also a Faqeer and as soon as he heard this he started to cry and said, “Whatever you need you can take it from me and you do not have to worry about anything.” Huzoor Ghaus-e-Azam (Radiallahu Ta’ala Anh) then started to take one and a half bread from him everyday. Some time had passed and one day he thought to himself, “What a shameful thing! You take and eat bread from him everyday yet you do not give him anything!” As soon as he had this thought, a voice from the unseen said, “Go to so and so place.” When he reached that place he saw a piece of gold lying there. He picked it up, and went and gave it to the baker. {Seerat-e-Ghausiya}

Once, while he was studying, the city of Baghdad experienced a severe drought. The conditions in Baghdad became so severe that people became dependant on every grain that they could find and eventually began to eat plants and leaves from trees. During this time, Huzoor Ghaus-e-Azam (Radiallahu Ta’ala Anh) used to also go out in search for food. But when he saw others in search for food, he would return to the city empty-handed, as he did not feel it appropriate to impose by disturbing others whom he thought needed food more than he did. Many days had passed by without him eating anything.

Due to intense hunger, he was compelled to go out in search for food towards a market in Baghdad. As he entered the market, his hunger had made him so weak and tired, that be could not stand anymore. He saw a Masjid nearby, entered the Masjid and sat against one of its walls to recuperate. As he sat there, a person entered the Masjid. The person sat in one corner and opened a parcel in which there was fried meat and bread, which he then began to eat. Huzoor Ghaus-e-Azam (Radiallahu Ta’ala Anh) says, “The intensity of my hunger was so great that every time the person lifted a morsel of food to his mouth, my mouth would almost open uncontrollably due to intense hunger.” 

When this continued happening, Huzoor Ghaus-e-Azam (Radiallahu Ta’ala Anh) turned to his nafs and said, “What is this?! Do not be impatient. Have trust and faith in Allah Ta’ala.” After saying these words he did not feel this way anymore. After a little while, this person came to him uninvited and offered him some food. He kindly declined, but the person insisted. Upon such insistence, he joined him in his meal.

Whilst eating, the person asked Huzoor Ghaus-e-Azam (Radiallahu Ta’ala Anh) about himself. He explained to the person that he was from Jilan and that he was in Baghdad to attain knowledge. The person then said that he was also from Jilan and asked if he knew a person by the name of Abdul Qadir Jilani. Huzoor Ghaus-e-Azam (Radiallahu Ta’ala Anh) answered by saying, “Yes, that is me.”

When the man heard this, with tears in his eyes, he stood before Huzoor Ghaus-e-Azam (Radiallahu Ta’ala Anh) and said, “Please forgive me for I have misused that which was given to me in trust.” He then said, “When I was leaving Jilan, I met an old woman, who gave me eight dirhams in trust that I should give it to her son, Abdul Qadir, who is studying in Baghdad. O Abdul Qadir! The food that I was eating was from the eight dirhams that your mother had given for you. I had been searching for you but could not find you and due to this, my stay in Baghdad was extended. This caused my money to run out and out of extreme hunger I used some of your money to purchase this food that we ate. O Abdul Qadir! It is not I who fed you, but it is you who has fed me. Please forgive me for abusing that which was given to me in trust.” Huzoor Ghaus-e-Azam (Radiallahu Ta’ala Anh) with great gentleness and affection held the stranger to his heart and praised him for his honesty and his sincerity. He then gave the remainder of the food and a portion of the eight dirhams to the stranger and bid him farewell. {Qalāid-ul-Jawāhir}

On another occasion he says, “Once I entered into a deep spiritual condition in which I made a vow with Allah Ta’ala that I will not eat or drink anything unless someone puts a morsel of food or a drop of water into my mouth with their own hands. After taking this vow, forty days had passed without me eating or drinking anything. After forty days, a stranger arrived, placed some food and bread  in front of me and left. Due to intense hunger, my nafs wanted to have the food, but my soul stopped me and reminded me of my vow with Allah Ta’ala. Then, I heard a loud noise inside me saying, “Hunger! Hunger!” I paid no attention towards this as it was my nafs, and I continued making the Zikr of Allah Ta’ala.

It was during this time that Shaikh Abu Saeed Makhzoomi (Radiallahu Ta’ala Anh) was passing by me. With his spiritual strength, he heard the noise from inside my stomach. He came close to me and said, “O Abdul Qadir! What is this noise?” I replied, “This is the impatience of the nafs, otherwise the soul is content.” He then said, “Come to my house,” and left. In my mind, I said that I would not go until I am commanded to do so. Just then Hazrat Khidr (Alaihis Salaam) arrived and said, “Stand up and go to the house of Abu Saeed Makhzoomi (Radiallahu Ta’ala Anh).”

Thus, I stood up and went to the house of Shaikh Abu Saeed Makhzoomi (Radiallahu Ta’ala Anh) and found him standing at the door of his house. On seeing me he said, “O Abdul Qadir! Was my saying not sufficient for you that Hazrat Khidr (Alaihis Salaam) had to command you to come to my house?” Saying this, he then took me into his house and fed me with his own hands until I had eaten and drank enough. He also took my pledge of allegiance and blessed me with a Khirqah (robe).” {Qalāid-ul-Jawāhir; Al Haqāiq Fil Hadāiq}

Shaikh Abu Muhammad Jawni (Alaihir Rahmah) states, “I entered the presence of my master, Shaikh Abdul Qadir, one day when I was in dire need, and my family had not eaten anything for several days. I saluted him with the greeting of peace, and he greeted me in return. He then said to me, “O Jawni! Hunger is one of the treasures of the Lord of Truth. He grants it to none but those whom He loves. When the servant has eaten nothing for three whole days, Allah Ta’ala says to him, “O My servant, you have endured with patience for the sake of My Countenance, My Might and My Majesty, so I will surely feed you and quench your thirst, morsel by morsel and sip by sip.”” {Qalāid-ul-Jawāhir}

May Allah Ta’ala grant us the ability to practice on the teachings of Sayyiduna Shaikh Abdul Qadir Jilani, Allahumma Ameen.

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