Karāmas of Shaikh ʿAbd al-Qādir al-Kasnazan
Shaikh ʿAbd al-Qādir was known as a “Shaikh whose life was full of karāmas. Karāmas were observed wherever he was,” as his grandson Shaikh Muḥammad al-Muḥammad al‑Kasnazan describes him. Through the nemerous karāmas of Shaikh ʿAbd al-Qādir, many sinners repented. Here are some of the karāmas of this great Sufi Master:
- An unjust feudal landlord once wronged a descendant of the Prophet (PBUH). The victim went to Shaikh ʿAbd al-Qādir and complained about the injustice. The Shaikh said to him: “Allah gives respite but never neglects anything. You stay here with us and we will pass on your complaint to our grandfather the Master of all Messengers (PBUH).” After a while, Allah started changing the body of the landlord to a woman’s body. His breasts grew and his voice and face changed. Having seen all his attempts to seek treatment fail, the man had no option but to go to Shaikh ʿAbd al-Qādir. He came to the Shaikh crying and begging, acknowledging that his condition was a blow from him because he did injustice to that man. He continued to beg until the Shaikh told him: “Repent to Allah an irreversible repentance so that you never return to injustice, and Allah is forgiving, merciful.” The man repented sincerely after which his condition returned to normal.
- A cruel feudal landlord usurped a cow from a poor man. The latter took his story of injustice to Shaikh ʿAbd al-Qādir. The Shaikh asked the wrongful landlord to return the cow, but the latter refused saying: “I cannot return the belongings of the likes of these people who are like slaves for us”. When the Shaikh heard this he condemned it, his face turned red in anger, and he said: “O you wrongful one! All people are equal like the teeth of a comb. There is no difference between the boss and the employee or the poor person and the rich one except in fearing Allah: إِنَّ أَكْرَمَكُمْ عِنْدَ اللَّهِ أَتْقَاكُمْ (The most honourable of you in the sight of Allah is the most Allah‑fearing among you) (49.13). As for you, O oppressor, you will not reform until you grow horns and eat leftovers of dogs. Go away. Allah is the Avenger.” Shortly after that, the landlord fell ill and two horns like animal horns grew on his head. His head became full of sores and abscesses and started to emit a nasty smell. He regretted his actions and asked to be taken to Shaikh ʿAbd al-Qādir saying that what happened to him was a blow from the Shaikh. When he was taken to the Shaikh he cried and pleaded saying: “O son of the Messenger of Allah, cure me!” The Shaikh told him: “Repent such that you never return to your evil deeds, and make a pledge to Allah that you return the things that you have taken unjustly and then you will recover by Allah’s permission”. After repenting at the hand of the Shaikh and pledging to abandon wrongdoing for the rest of his life the man fully recovered.
- A man from the former Soviet Union saw Shaikh ʿAbd al-Qādir al‑Kasnazan in a dream and felt spiritually attracted to the Shaikh. He headed to Iraq to meet the Shaikh, receiving help in the form of light signals that guided him to the right way. When he arrived in Sulaymāniyyah he was arrested by followers of Shaikh Maḥmūd al‑Ḥafīd, accused of spying, and sentenced to death. However, before the sentence was carried out, Shaikh Maḥmūd al‑Ḥafīd saw in a dream Shaikh ʿAbd al-Qādir al‑Kasnazan ordering him to set the Russian man free because he was a dervish who was drawn to him spiritually. Shaikh Maḥmūd al‑Ḥafīd released the man and sent with him two of his followers. When he reached Shaikh ʿAbd al-Qādir, the Russian man became Muslim and repented at the hand of the Shaikh. The Shaikh then named him “Saif Allah (the sword of Allah)” and ordered that he be taught about religion and Ṭarīqa. This dervish registered his name as “Saif Allah Shaikh Qadir” in Sulaymāniyyah where his offspring still live to this day.
- One day Shaikh ʿAbd al-Qādir was walking accompanied by a number of followers when he came across a sparrow lying dead on the road. The Shaikh asked one of the dervishes to bring it over to him. The Shaikh said that the bird was not actually dead but had merely forgotten its dhikrs. He whispered in its ear and gently blew on it, and the bird flew away.
- A farmer was one day returning home with his bulls after a long day’s work when one of the bulls strayed from the line and headed instead to where Shaikh ʿAbd al-Qādir al‑Kasnazan was at the time. The bull stood for some time with its head hanging low, before raising it and starting to complain about his owner in the tongue of “ḥāl (spiritual state)” to the Shaikh. When the farmer tracked down his bull, Shaikh ʿAbd al-Qādir said to him: “Your bull has complained that you burden it above its capacity, so be merciful to it”. This is how the Shaikh of Ṭarīqa should be an example of mercy and compassion towards the animals that cannot defend itself against the abuse of man.
- A tribal dispute between the people of the city of Mrīwān and the tribe of Hawāriyyīn escalated. Shaikh ʿAbd al-Qādir al‑Kasnazan delegated his son Shaikh ʿAbd al-Karīm, who was a young man at the time, to help them resolve the conflict and mend the relationship. While discussions were taking place, the situation deteriorated to the point that each party drew their guns to resume fighting, just to find that the weapons would not fire. They were astonished but recognized that this was a karāma of Shaikh ʿAbd al-Qādir. They started kissing the hand of Shaikh ʿAbd al-Qādir’s messenger, Shaikh ʿAbd al-Karīm, asking for forgiveness, and they reconciled.
- An arrogant and vein man used to show much hostility towards a poor dervish who performed dhikr so often. He likened the dervish’s performance of dhikr to the barking of a dog. When Shaikh ʿAbd al-Qādir heard of this, he prayed: “O Allah! Make this unjust man bark like a dog.” Not long after that, the man lost his mind and started uncontrollably barking aloud in front of people. His family then brought him to the Shaikh begging him to restore the man to his healthy state. The Shaikh said him: “Is this enough for you, O oppressor? How dare you compare performing dhikr of Allah to the barking of a dog? This is the will of Allah, the Revenger. So, repent to Allah and abandon wrongdoing.” After repenting, the man fully recovered and became a sincere dervish who would himself perform dhikr frequently.
- ِA policeman of Turkish origin in Kirpchina used to visit Shaikh ʿAbd al-Qādir al‑Kasnazan often. The death of his wife deeply saddened him, so he came to Shaikh ʿAbd al-Qādir carrying the Qur’an and begged the Shaikh saying: “I appeal to you, for the sake of this Qur’an, O Sultan ʿAbd al-Qādir, that you help my wife who has died!” When the Shaikh saw the man carrying the Qur’an, he immediately stood up and hurried barefooted, in honour of the Book of Allah, and asked the man: “Where is she?”. The man walked carrying the Qur’an in front of the Shaikh until they reached his home where the man’s wife was being washed in preparation for the burial. The Shaikh asked for the body to be covered with only the eyes being left exposed. He stepped towards her and pointed at her face with his blessed staff and repeated three times: “She is not dead, Allah willing.” The woman then opened her eyes and came back to life. When she was later asked about the incident, she said: “My spirit departed from my body and they took it to heaven. Then a caller called: ʿReturn it back to her body because Shaikh Sultan ʿAbd al-Qādir al‑Kasnazan wants it.’ The next thing I knew is that I was awake among you all here.”
- A herd of cattle was returning from the grazing ground to Kirpchina. One cow left the herd to help itself to some fresh pasture that was on the top of the house of an orphan. When the Shaikh saw it he shouted loudly at it: “What have you done, this is property of an orphan?” The cow threw what it has grabbed with its mouth and run away. The Shaikh was thus protective of the property of the orphan even against animals, because taking it is prohibited: “Do not approach the property of the orphan, save in the fairer manner” (6.152).
- One day a group of dervishes were performing the circle of dhikr in an area on the Iraqi-Iranian borders when they suddenly saw Shaikh ʿAbd al-Qādir, who was in Kirpchina at the time, standing right in the middle of the circle. One dervish was so touched having seen his Shaikh, so he moved towards him to touch him. His hand touched the upper button of the Shaikh’s shirt, so the button was cut off and remained in the hand of the dervish whereas the Shaikh disappeared. But the dervish’s hand remained closed, holding the button, and he could not open it after the dhikr. The dervish had no option but to travel to Kirpchina to see the Shaikh. When he met the Shaikh, he noticed that he was wearing the same shirt he had on when he appeared in the circle. He also noticed that the shirt was missing the upper button. When the Shaikh saw him he spoke to him first: “Give me the button.” at which point the dervish’s hand opened immediately.