esplanade has an underground entranceleading to the ancient souk underneath,where traditional items, such as rosaries,Korans and some prayer and dhikr booksare sold. It is endowed with three minarets:the most recent has a marble basedecorated with granite; one of the other twohas a beautiful clock on top, installed in 1898by Abdul-Rahman Al-Naqib, Prime Ministerof the first Iraqi government. This imposingclock, 30m in height, was made in Mumbai.There are two gates at the western andeastern ends of this esplanade, which havebeen restored recently: the western gateleads to Bab Al-Sheik, and the eastern gateto Bab Al-Sharji zone.
The pavilion and themausoleum
Before entering the mausoleum, there is avast hall where one finds the Hanafi prayerroom. It is about 225 m
and capable ofwelcoming 800 persons. The hall has abeautiful mihrab decorated with Koranicverses, and an original minbar, with sevensteps, covered with marble, which replacedthe wooden one. Some criticized thechange, believing it weakened theconsecrated minbar which was used bymany sheikhs and scholars. There are alsoguest rooms for the the sheikhs, and for"Dhikr" sessions. Friday prayers are usuallyheld in this hall. This holy place has aninternal door that leads to the Shafii andMaleki Harams. The outside door of thisharam is made of beautifully engraved wood.Women are also catered for with a haramcapable of accommodating 500worshippers.It is characterized by the large number ofmarble columns and beautiful motifsdecorating the ceilings and the top of thewalls.At the end of a small alley crossing themiddle of this hall is the mausoleum. It isinside a small room and women enterthrough a lateral door. It appears that theausterity to which Sheikh Abdul-Qader Jilanihad become accustomed when he was alivestayed with him after his death. Themausoleum only has a square silver wirefencing over the tomb, surrounded by an ironwall at its left base in order to separate maleand female visitors. It may be small but thisdoes not detract from the feeling ofsacredness and serenity. The mausoleum isvisited by thousands of pilgrims from Iraq,India, Pakistan and Bangladesh. There is alarge influx of visitors during Mouloud andthe birthday of Sheikh Abdul-Qader Al-Jilani- one month after the birthday of the Prophet- as well as on the Night of Destiny, the Nightof Al-Israa wa Al-Mi'raj, the night of themiddle of Shaaban, the 10th day ofMoharram and on Friday nights.
Famous personalitiesburied at Al-Jilanimausoleum
A number of famous Iraqi personalities andreligious figures are buried in thismausoleum, among them the two sons ofSheikh Abdul-Qader Al-Jilani, Abdul-Jabbarand Salih. They are buried in separatemausoleum closed by an iron door and onlyaccessible to certain visitors. Themausoleum is also the burial place of Abdul-Rahman Al-Naqib Al-Jilani, the first IraqiPrime Minister during the time of themonarchy and Rashid Aali Al-Jilani, anotherprime minister and instigator of the 1941coup which carried his name. Abdul-MuhsinAs-Saadoun, another prime minister duringthe time of the monarchy, is also buried here.
The Kadirya Library
There are a number of other importantbuildings at the end of the summer haram onthe ground floor, the most important of whichis the Kadirya library, the oldest library inIraq, dating back to the beginning of the 6thcentury Hejri (beginning of the 12th century).It was first established within a Hanafite
May-June / 2005 For more information, visit our website www.islamictourism.com
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Sheik Abdul-Qadir Al-Jilani school.The administration Office.
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