Abdul Qadir Jilani was a renowned Islamic scholar and spiritual leader from the 11th century.
Following is an account about him reflecting his unwavering trust in God and his consciousness about his intentions and feelings about all actions.
One day he was teaching his students when a messenger came to tell him that one of his ships loaded with merchandise that recently set sail had sunk.
On hearing this, Abdul Qadir was quiet and, after some contemplation, said, “Alhamdulillah,” and started teaching again. His students were amazed that even after hearing about such a devastating financial loss, Abdul Qadir has such trust in Allah.
After a while, the messenger came back to Abdul Qadir’s class and told him that the message about his ship sinking was in error and his ship had not sunk. On hearing this, Abdul Qadir was quiet again and, after some contemplation, said, “Alhamdulillah,” and started teaching.
Again his students were impressed with the attitude of their teacher. But they didn’t want to leave any incident to their own understanding. So they asked Abdul Qadir what was going through his mind before he said “Alhamdulillah,“ when he was contemplating the first time and second time.
Abdul Qadir Jilani explained that the first time he received the news that his ship had sunk, he searched within his heart to see if there was any sadness. When he was completely convinced that there was no sadness for the loss of the merchandise, for that, he said Alhamdulillah.
The second time when he received the news that his ship did not sink he searched within his heart to see if there was any happiness. When he was completely convinced that there was no happiness for not losing the merchandise, for that, he said Alhamdulillah.
It is only natural that the aspect of material loss or gain can make a person sad or happy. Believers can eventually be resolved to the fact that loss or gain is God’s will.
This unparallel example shows us that Abdul Qadir Jilani was not thinking of the material loss or gain. He was more concerned about his heart. To perfect our God-consciousness, we need to continually evaluate our intentions and feelings. Only that can guide us towards sincere faith and submission to Allah the Almighty.