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Abdul Qadir Gilani & the Fruits of Paradise

One Ramadan, Abdul Qadir Gilani stayed in the town called Riyadha. LIke all Muslims he fasted by day; unlike them, he did not break his fast with food, but drank only water during the night. Towards the twenty-seventh evening of that month, the sky above Abdul Qadir's head suddenly split open. Through it an angel descended with a golden pitcher in one hand and a silver platter in the other, overflowing wioth delicious fruits from Paradise. Abdul Qadir asked the angel if the pitcher were made of gold. The angel answered, "Yes, the Generous One commanded me to bring you these, for you are His friend and servant."

Detail from The Mir'aj: Muhammad on Buraq, from the Khamsa of Nizami, Persian, mid-16th century CE. Click for complete painting.

Abdul Qadir knew that this was a test, so he answered, "Please return these precious things; I have no use for gold or silver. The Holy Prophet, peace and blessings upon him, never ate from precious trays, and I will not indulge in luxuries rejected by the Prophet himself. I will follow his example."

The angel vanished but returned after sunset with an earthenware pitcher and a wooden platter full of the fruits of Paradise. Abdul Qadir accepted this and said: "Alhamdulillah! He graciously feeds all His creatures. he knows what they eat. We must never worry about our sustenance." Her invited his friends and neighbors to share in this gift. After performing the evening prayer, they began to eat, and the food lasted until all had eaten their fill.