LAHORE - The main ceremony of 851st death anniversary of Hazrat Sheikh Abdul Qadir Gilani started in Baghdad on Thursday.

His successor Syed Hashim Uddin Al-Gilani inaugurated the ceremony and offered prayer in the shrine of Hazrat Sheikh Abdul Qadir Gilani.

“Every year more than 50,000 pilgrims from Pakistan participate in the ceremony. Previous year this count touched to 135,000,” said Sabir Liaqat, spokesman for Syed Hashim Uddin Al-Gilani.

He further said that Syed Hashim’s elder brother, Syed Afeefuddin Gillani, who is Mufti Azam Bagdad, presided over World Sufi Conference in India last year. Besides Pakistan, India, Afghanistan and Arab countries, a large number of Kurds also participate in the death anniversary of Hazrat Sheikh Abdul Qadir Gilani. Hazrat Sheikh Syed Abdul Qadir Gilani, founder of the Qadiri Sufi order, was born in the month of Ramadan in 470 AH (1077-78 AD) in Iraq’s Jilan. His contribution to Sufism and Sharia was so immense that he became known as the spiritual pole of his time, al-Ghaus al-Azam. He passed away in 561 AH (1166 AD), at the age of 91.