The passing away of a great man marks great transitions in the lives of men. One such great person, in the spiritual domain of our consciousness, ‘Boro Huzur Pak’, the Spiritual Head of the Quaderia Order in Greater Bengal, His holiness, Syed Shah Rashid Ali Al-Quaderi Al-Baghdadi has recently passed away in Kolkata into the world of the ‘Barzakh’ on 6th Muharramul Haram, 1443 Hijri, the 16th August 2021.
He was the 22nd generation descendant of ‘Boro Peer Sahib’, his holiness Syedena Abdul Quadir Al-Jilani Al-Baghdadi who founded the noble Quaderia Order which even today is famously known far and wide for its spiritual purity and adherence to the original teachings of the Prophet Muhammad (pbuh).
He was also the 35th generation descendant of the Prophet of Islam (pbuh). Belonging to a hereditary spiritual order, where the essence of spiritual inspiration is transferred spiritually from breast to breast to the next generation, he was known as the celebrated Peer Sahib of Taltala, Kolkata, and Midnapore. His demise was mourned by millions of devotees, followers and aficionados in Bangladesh, West Bengal, Bihar and abroad.
Six generations ago, 'Boro Huzur Pak’s' branch of the family first came to Bengal from Baghdad in the year 1766. Thereafter, for 245 years, successive generations of great saints have regenerated the faith and glory of Islam in Greater Bengal including Bangladesh through their total devotion to the Will of the Almighty, enduring affection for creation and mankind, and their unique charisma of character.
'Boro Huzur Pak' was a great scholar of the era. His time, as Head of Order, spanning four decades saw a great rise in education levels among the masses and great advances in technology specially in electronic communications, both factors playing profound roles in the understanding of religion and spirituality. Time honoured traditions were being challenged in both sides of Bengal by an unprecedented rise in the propagation of novel, provocative and sometimes aggravating doctrines, both homegrown and imported, in the interpretation of Islamic values.
Requiring vast knowledge and great tact, he masterfully approached the matter through appropriate teachings and training of his disciples and followers who carried his message to the masses through numerous sermons, and other means tying together contemporary concerns with time-honoured values.
It is common knowledge that the true saints of the Quaderia Order, through the will of Allah, provide succor and support to their disciples and followers. In this respect, his ‘darbar’ was always open to all people irrespective of race, religion or colour. It is said that, none left with empty hands after visiting him.
'Boro Huzur Pak' is survived by his brother, Hazrat Syed Shah Rowaished Ali Al-Quaderi and his nephew Hazrat Syed Shah Yasoob Ali Al-Quaderi.
In Sufi philosophy, it is said that, it is possible to light one candle from another candle, and once the candles are lit it is impossible to tell the difference between them. May the blessings of ‘Boro Peer Sahib’ and his descendent peers be upon us always.
The writer is an Islamic scholar.