Famous Caravan Incident

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Sheikh Abdul Qadir’s journey to Baghdad took him to a vast forest where he and his caravan (Qafila) were attacked by a sixty man band of highwaymen. The travellers did not have the means to defend themselves against the bandits and were forced to surrender their belongings to them.
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After bidding farewell to his mother, Sheikh [[Abdul Qadir Jilani]] (ra) joined a caravan, which was on its way to Baghdad. In those days, people travelled in groups for the sake of safety. The caravan of al-Ghawth al-A’zam (ra) reached the city of Hamdaan without incident. After leaving Hamdaan, they journeyed further.  
  
After looting the travellers, the bandits gathered what they had stolen and began to distribute it amongst themselves. While all this was happening, Sheikh Abdul Qadir was standing very calmly amongst the travellers. Unknown to the bandits, Sheikh Abdul Qadir was carrying the forty gold coins which his mother had sown to the inside of the garment he was wearing for safekeeping.
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The journey took them into a vast forest wherein they were attacked by sixty bandits. The leader of this band of robbers was a very notorious person called Ahmad Badawi. The travellers did not have the means to defend themselves against the bandits and were forced to surrender their belongings and valuables to them. After raiding the travellers, the bandits gathered together all the loot and began to distribute it amongst themselves. Whilst all this was happening, al-Ghawth al-A’zam (ra) was standing very calmly amongst the travellers.  
  
When one of the highwaymen approached him asking if he had anything valuable in his possession, Sheikh Abdul Qadir replied by saying that he had forty dinars sewn into his garment. The bandit did not believe him and walked away. A second bandit asked the same question, which was met with the same reply. He too dismissed Sheikh Abdul Qadir’s claim.  
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None of the bandits approached him as he was regarded as just a young boy, until one of them decided to approach him. He went up to Sheikh Abdul Qadir Jilani (ra) and asked him if he had any valuables. Sheikh Abdul Qadir Jilani (ra) said that he had in his possession forty Dinars. When he heard this, the robber laughed at the young Sheikh Abdul Qadir Jilani (ra) and walked away, thinking that he was lying.  
  
When the leader of the highwaymen heard of what Sheikh Abdul Qadir had said, he ordered that the stitching be undone and to his utter astonishment the coins were there. This great act of honesty reduced the leader of the highwaymen to a state of great humility and he asked Sheikh Abdul Qadir,
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After some time, another robber asked him the same question and he received the same answer. He too dismissed the reply of al-Ghawth al-A’zam (ra) as a joke. When the bandits gathered together, then both these bandits began to joke about the young boy who said he had forty Dinars. Their leader, Ahmed Badawi, asked them to bring the young Sheikh Abdul Qadir Jilani (ra) to him. When he was brought before Ahmed Badawi, the leader of the bandits asked him if he had any valuables in his possession. The young Sheikh Abdul Qadir Jilani (ra) replied that he had forty Dinars on him.
  
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Ahmed Badawi asked for the forty Dinars and Sheikh Abdul Qadir Jilani (ra) showed him where he had hidden it. When they tore open the coat of Sheikh Abdul Qadir Jilani (ra) they found the forty Dinars sewn under the armpits. When they saw this, Ahmed Badawi and his bandits were taken aback. Ahmed Badawi asked:
When your money was safe, what compelled you to insist that you had it and say where it was hidden?
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The great Sheikh replied,
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I must tell the truth under any circumstances, as I promised to my mother.
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O young man, none of us knew that you had any money. Knowing that we are bandits, why did you still tell us where the money was hidden?
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The leader was reduced to tears and in the spirit of repentance he said,
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The young Sheikh Abdul Qadir Jilani (ra) replied by saying:
  
 
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I reneged on my promise to the One Who created me. I stole and killed. What will happen to me? |20px|20px}}
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When I had left on this journey, I had promised my elderly and pious mother that I would never lie. How then could I break this promise just for the sake of sixty bandits?
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Before the great Sheikh could reply the other highwaymen, filled with the fear of Allah, interjected and uttered the most unpredictable words,
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When Ahmed Badawi heard this, he felt great shame and, in tears, said,  
  
 
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You have been our leader all these years in sinning. Now also be our leader in repenting. |20px|20px}}
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Oh young boy! You are so loyal in your promise to your mother. Shame on me, that for years I have been disloyal to my promise with my Creator Almighty Allah.
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The highwaymen then took the hand of Sheikh Abdul Qadir al-Jilani and offered their bay’ah (pledge of allegiance) and sought the repentance of Almighty Allah.  
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After saying these words, the bandit cried bitterly and then fell to the feet of Sheikh Abdul Qadir Jilani (ra) and repented for his sins. When his accomplices saw this, they too did likewise and repented sincerely from all their sins. They then returned all the belongings of the travellers and escorted them out of the jungle.  
  
Here, it is necessary to pause for a moment and reflect upon a beautiful observation. Towards the end of the life of Sheikh Abdul Qadir, saints and friends of Allah would flock to him in great numbers so as to offer their allegiance to him yet the first people to offer their bay’ah at his blessed hand were sixty thieves and killers. Indeed almighty Allah’s Mercy knows no limit.
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It has been stated that the tauba (repentance) of these bandits was so sincere that they were blessed with Wilayah, through the Sadqa of Sheikh Abdul Qadir Jilani (ra) Referring to this incident, Sheikh Abdul Qadir Jilani (ra) stated: “This was the first tauba (repentance) that a group of misled persons had made at my hands.

Latest revision as of 22:08, 26 August 2012

After bidding farewell to his mother, Sheikh Abdul Qadir Jilani (ra) joined a caravan, which was on its way to Baghdad. In those days, people travelled in groups for the sake of safety. The caravan of al-Ghawth al-A’zam (ra) reached the city of Hamdaan without incident. After leaving Hamdaan, they journeyed further.

The journey took them into a vast forest wherein they were attacked by sixty bandits. The leader of this band of robbers was a very notorious person called Ahmad Badawi. The travellers did not have the means to defend themselves against the bandits and were forced to surrender their belongings and valuables to them. After raiding the travellers, the bandits gathered together all the loot and began to distribute it amongst themselves. Whilst all this was happening, al-Ghawth al-A’zam (ra) was standing very calmly amongst the travellers.

None of the bandits approached him as he was regarded as just a young boy, until one of them decided to approach him. He went up to Sheikh Abdul Qadir Jilani (ra) and asked him if he had any valuables. Sheikh Abdul Qadir Jilani (ra) said that he had in his possession forty Dinars. When he heard this, the robber laughed at the young Sheikh Abdul Qadir Jilani (ra) and walked away, thinking that he was lying.

After some time, another robber asked him the same question and he received the same answer. He too dismissed the reply of al-Ghawth al-A’zam (ra) as a joke. When the bandits gathered together, then both these bandits began to joke about the young boy who said he had forty Dinars. Their leader, Ahmed Badawi, asked them to bring the young Sheikh Abdul Qadir Jilani (ra) to him. When he was brought before Ahmed Badawi, the leader of the bandits asked him if he had any valuables in his possession. The young Sheikh Abdul Qadir Jilani (ra) replied that he had forty Dinars on him.

Ahmed Badawi asked for the forty Dinars and Sheikh Abdul Qadir Jilani (ra) showed him where he had hidden it. When they tore open the coat of Sheikh Abdul Qadir Jilani (ra) they found the forty Dinars sewn under the armpits. When they saw this, Ahmed Badawi and his bandits were taken aback. Ahmed Badawi asked:

O young man, none of us knew that you had any money. Knowing that we are bandits, why did you still tell us where the money was hidden?

The young Sheikh Abdul Qadir Jilani (ra) replied by saying:

When I had left on this journey, I had promised my elderly and pious mother that I would never lie. How then could I break this promise just for the sake of sixty bandits?

When Ahmed Badawi heard this, he felt great shame and, in tears, said,

Oh young boy! You are so loyal in your promise to your mother. Shame on me, that for years I have been disloyal to my promise with my Creator Almighty Allah.

After saying these words, the bandit cried bitterly and then fell to the feet of Sheikh Abdul Qadir Jilani (ra) and repented for his sins. When his accomplices saw this, they too did likewise and repented sincerely from all their sins. They then returned all the belongings of the travellers and escorted them out of the jungle.

It has been stated that the tauba (repentance) of these bandits was so sincere that they were blessed with Wilayah, through the Sadqa of Sheikh Abdul Qadir Jilani (ra) Referring to this incident, Sheikh Abdul Qadir Jilani (ra) stated: “This was the first tauba (repentance) that a group of misled persons had made at my hands.”

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