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There once lived in the city of Jilan, in Iraq, a great Muslim saint called ‘Abd-ul-Qadir Jilani [rh]. He was renowned for his piety and service to Islam and respected by all.

There lived a Jew in his neighbourhood. Whenever the great Shaykh offered his Salah or recited the holy Qur’an, the Jew made a tremendous racket, clashing and clattering, so as to disturb him in his prayers. The Shaykh bore all this nuisance with great patience. He never once uttered a single word of protest, nor did he allow anybody else to confront the Jew on his behalf.

Once, his Jewish neighbour was arrested by the police and locked up. The Shaykh was not aware that this had happened and for a number of days he did not hear any noise from his neighbour. “I wonder what has happened to my neighbour?” he thought to himself. “I must find out if he is well. Perhaps he has taken ill.”

And so Shaykh ‘Abd-ul-Qadir Jilani [rh] went over to his neighbour only to discover, to his horror, that the Jew was in prison.

The Shaykh was very concerned indeed. He immediately hurried over to the court and appeared before the judge. Now everyone knew ‘Abd-ul-Qadir Jilani [rh] had great respect for him, and this included the judge who who rushed over to kiss the hands of the pious Shaykh. “How can I be of service to you my respected master,” he asked.

“I am here to pay the fine of my neighbour, the Jew. I ask that you release him immediately.” To the relief of the Shaykh the Jew was set free.

The Jew was very surprised by the kind behaviour of ‘Abd-ul-Qadir [rh]. He went over and apologised for all the trouble he had caused him in the past. “I have been tormenting you for a long time and disturbing you in your prayers. You should have been very pleased over my arrest. But instead of avenging the trouble I caused you, you came to my rescue. Please forgive me. I shall never be a nuisance again.”

Shaykh ‘Abd-ul-Qadir [rh] smiled and said, “I have not done anything special. It was my duty to help you as my neighbour. In fact Allah commands us to honour, respect and help our neighbours. I am rather sorry that I did not come to your assistance earlier.”

The Jew was so impressed by the teachings of Islam and the noble behaviour of its followers that he recited the Shahadah there and then, “Ash-hadu al-la ilaha illa-llahu wa ash-hadu anna Muhammadan ‘abduhu wa rasuluh. I testify that there is no god except Allah and I testify that Muhammad is His servant and messenger.” And with that he accepted Islam as his way of life.

Such was the excellent character displayed by the Muslims of that time who by there personal example taught mankind the beautiful religion of Islam. Through good character and kind behaviour the hearts of the most bitter enemies are quickly conquered.

Vocabulary

Saint

Renowned

Service

Offered

Racket

Bore

Nuisance

Uttered

Protest

Confront

Behalf

Arrested

Aware

Concerned

Appeared

Release

Surprised

Behaviour

Apologised

Tormenting

Pleased

Arrest

Avenging

Duty

Honour

Assistance

Impressed

Noble

Testify

Personal

Bitter

Conquered