The Drowning Maiden

بِسۡمِ ٱللهِ ٱلرَّحۡمَـٰنِ ٱلرَّحِيمِ

There are so many miracles of Shaykh ‘Abd al-Qadir al-Jilani (q.s.).  This is one of the most profound and grants a glimpse as to his status.

There was a wise and influential priest in Baghdad who had many followers.  He knew Islam and the Holy Qur’an and had great love and respect for Rasulullah (s.a.w.).  He was ready to accept Islam except for one thing; he could not understand and therefore accept the physical Ascension, the Mi’raj, of Rasulullah (s.a.w.) to the heavens and beyond.  The caliph introduced all the wise men and teachers of the time to the priest, but none could remove his doubts.  The caliph then sent word to Shaykh ‘Abd al-Qadir (q.s.), who was then, the Mufti of Baghdad, requesting him to speak to the priest.

When Shaykh ‘Abd al-Qadir (q.s.) came to the palace, he found the caliph and the priest playing chess.  As the priest lifted a chess piece to move, his eyes met with those of the shaykh.  He blinked his eyes… and as he opened them he found himself drowning in a river.  He was shouting for help when a young shepherd jumped into the water and saved him.  As he came out of the water, he realised that he was naked and had been transformed into a young girl.

The shepherd asked the girl where she was from and she answered from Baghdad.  The shepherd said that they were at a distance of a few months journey from Baghdad.  He honoured and protected her but as she had nowhere to go he eventually married her and had three children who grew up.

One day as she was washing laundry in the same river where she had appeared many years earlier, she slipped and fell in.  As she opened her eyes… the priest found himself sitting across the caliph, holding the chess piece and still looking into the eyes of Shaykh ‘Abd al-Qadir (q.s.), who said to him, “Now venerable priest, do you still disbelieve?”

The priest was unsure of what had happened and thinking that it was a dream.  He asked, “What do you mean?”

The shaykh asked, “Perhaps you would like to see your family?” and as he opened the door, there stood the shepherd and the three children.  Seeing this, the priest immediately believed, and his followers and he became Muslim.


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