chapter  XVII
3 Pages

THE FESTIVAL OF THE SAINT PĪR-I-DASTAGĪR

THE festival of the Saint Pir-i-dastagir or Pir-i-dastgir is helrl on the Gyarahvin, or eleventh day of the fourth month, Rabi'u-1-sani. His Excellency-May God sanctify his beloved sepulchre !-has no less than ninety-nine names. But the chief and best lmown are : Piran-i-Pir, ' chief of Saints ', Ghausu-1-a'zam, 'the great Saint', Ghausu-s-samdani, 'the eternal Saint', Mahbiib-i-subhani, 'the beloved, divine', Miran Muhiyu-d-din, 'the reviver of religion', Sayyid or Shaikh 'Abdu-1-qadir Jilani, Hasaniu-1-Husaini, the founder of the Qadiriya Order of mendicants, taking his name, Jiliini, from his birthplace, Giliin or Jilii.n, properly Kil o Kilii.n, in western Persia. He was born in A.D. 1078.and died at Baghdad February 22, 1166, where his tomb is still held in great veneration. He is esteemed the chief Wali or Saint, a worker of miracles, who appears at times to his disciples and gives them instruction. In the Panjab he is venerated by the Hijras or eunuchs. 1 The Author, Ja'far Sharif, speaks from experience, because when oppressed in mind concerning things which he desired he used to repeat his ninety-nine names, and make a vow before God Almighty imploring His aid by the spirit of Pir-i-dastagir, and, by the mercy of God, His Excellency Ghausu-1-a'zam presented himself to him in his sleep, relieved him from his perplexities, and accomplished his desires. Let men of my faith disbelieve this assertion if they please, or think that I make it in order to enhance the dignity of my Pir or to aggrandize myself. lfit proves true, may God's curses descend on those who disbelieve it, and may their religion and livelihood be annihilated ! Sunnis consider Pir-i-dastagir a great personage and have a fervent belief in him, but some Shi'as in their ignorance slander him by asserting that this Pir, Mahbiibi-su bhiini-May God have mercy on him !--occasioned the

death of His Excellency Imam Ja'far-May God bless him!- by causing him to swallow molten lead. This charg~ is based on malice, for no less than 250 years elapsed from the days of His Excellency Imam Ja'far Sadiq,' the Just', the sixth Imam (A. n. 702-63) and those of His Excellency Mahbfi.b (A.D._10781166).1