Islamabad, 6 November 2021 (TDI): 5000 visas should be issued to Pakistani visitors for Sheikh Abdul Qadir Gilani’s urs in Baghdad, Iraq, requested Pakistan’s Minister for Religious Affairs and Interfaith Harmony, Noor-ul-Haq Qadri.

He met Iraq’s Ambassador to Pakistan, Hamid Abbas Lafta in Islamabad.

Both officials discussed visa issuance in order to accommodate Pakistani visitors for Sheikh Abdul Qadir Jillani’s annual Urs. The Minister requested the issuance of 5000 Visas to Pakistanis for the said purpose.

The Iraqi Ambassador responded affirmatively. He assured also to provide the greatest possible facilities to visitors during their stay.

Sheikh Abdul Qadir Gilani

Sheikh Gilani was the Persian Hanbali Sunni jurist and Sufi based in Baghdad. He was the founder of the Qadiriyya tariqa (Sufi Order), the largest spiritual lineage in the world. Sheikh Gilani is said to be the Sultan of the walis (‘friend’ in Arabic).

He was born in the town of Na’if in Gilan, Iran, on 1st Ramadan 470 AH (March 23, 1078), and died in Baghdad on 11 Rabi’ al-Thani 561 AH (February 21, 1166).

Gilani spent his early life in Gilani, which also happened to be his birthplace. He moved to Baghdad at the age of eighteen to seek knowledge and guidance. He studied Hanbali law, a more traditional Sunni jurisprudence (Fiqh).

He was given lessons on hadith by Abu Muhammad Ja’far al-Sarraj, whilst his Sufi spiritual instructor was Abu’l-Khair Hammad ibn Muslim al-Dabbas. After completing his education over the few years he was there, Gilani left Baghdad and spent twenty-five years as a reclusive wanderer in the desert regions of Iraq.

The main gate to the shrine of Sheikh Gilani.

Urs of Sheikh Gilani

Every year on 11 Rabi’ al-Thani (fourth month of the Islamic Calender), his ‘urs’ or death anniversary takes place which is called Giyarween Shareef, or Honoured Day. Thousands of people throng the shrine of Sheikh Abdul Qadir Jilani (RA) situated in Baghdad.