The learned scholar and pious ascetic Shaikh Abū Naṣr Muḥammad al-Baghdādī, is one of the main spiritual inheritors of his father, Imādu-d Dīn Abū Ṣāliḥ Naṣr al-Baghdādī (may Allah be pleased with them both). He studied Islamic jurisprudence under his father and other experts in the field. He also received traditional instruction from his father and from other scholars.

His Appearance & Epithets

He bore a striking resemblance to his great-grandfather, sayyiduna-sh shaikh ‘Abdu-l Qadir al-Jilani (may Allah be well pleased with him). Conseqently, he was addressed as Muhyu-d Din by some who had seen sayyidina-sh sheikh in his lifetime. This can be seen in some of the initiatic chains [silsila]. More commonly though, he is anointed with the epithet: “honour of creation” [Fakhru-d Dīn].

His Teachers

In his Generations [ṭabaqāt], al-Ḥāfiẓ Ibn Rajab al-Ḥanbalī states:

Shaikh Abū Naṣr Muḥammad received traditional instructions from his father, as well as from many other scholars, incluing al-Ḥasan ibn ‘Alī ibn al-Murtaḍā al-‘Alawī, Abū Isḥāq Yūsuf ibn Muḥammad ibn al-Faḍl al-Armawī, ‘Abdu-l ‘Aẓīm al-Iṣfahānī, and Ibn al-Mushtarī. He was an active seeker of knowledge and a student of Islamic jurisprudence.

His Knowledge and Love for it

He was without doubt a learned scholar, endowed with piety and led an ascetic life. He held classes in his great-grandfather’s schoolhouse, and engaged in a constant pursuit of knowledge till he died.

His Students

He was a narrator of Tradition and one of his students was al-Hāfiẓ ad-Dimyāṭī, who has mentioned him in his Alphabetical Encyclopaedia [Mu’jam]. Ibn ad-Dawālībī mentions that he also took traditional instruction from him.

His Offical Appointment and Resignation

When his blessed father, Shaikh Abū Ṣāliḥ Naṣr was appointed to the office of Chief Justice [qaḍā’ al-quḍāt], he appointed his son to a judicial and administrative position in the seat of the Caliphate. He attended only one session in the courtroom, however, before tendering his resignation.

He then moved into their family schoolhouse by the Portico Gate and never returned to that official post. In taking that decision, he was motivated by a sense of aloofness from passing judgement, and an inclination towards pious detachment.

His Children

He fathered three children: Shaikh ‘Abdu-l Qādir, Shaikh ‘Abdu-Llāh, and Shaikh Aḥmad (see next chapter).

His Passing

He returned to his Lord in Baghdad on the night of Monday the 12th of Shawwal, in the year 656 A.H. He was buried beside his great-grandfather, sayyidina-sh shaikh ‘Abdu-l Qādir al-Jīlānī (may Allah be pleased with them both), within the confines of his schoolhouse. His death occurred shortly before the catastrophe of the invasion and sacking of Baghdad.

May Allah bestow His mercy and be well pleased with Shaikh Abū Naṣr Muḥammad and the narrators mentioned above, and bless us for their sake.

Adapted from: Holland, M [Al-Tadifi, M] (1998). Necklaces of Gems [Qala’id al-Jawahir]. Florida: Al-Baz Publishing, Inc.