It was an unlikely place for the faithful to run into their revered leader, but for these weak-hearted Muslim patients from the middle east and other nations, Bagdhad-based Sufi saint Sheikh Abdul Rahman Zuhair Al Din Al Jilani’s visit to Frontier Lifeline hospital here was nothing short of a miracle.
Leaving their hospital beds, dozens of patients and their relatives gathered to pay their respects to the leader, who had visited the hospital along with his wife Shaikha Iftekar Ibrahim Hassan for a health check up.
The US-educated, suit-clad cleric also made the long journey to India to acknowledge cardiologist K.M. Cherien’s support in operating on thousands of Iraqi patients over the years. In 2010 alone, the hospital had received 531 Iraqis for heart surgeries.
“The American invasion of our beautiful country has left us in shambles — they have bred deprivation, hate and anger,” said the 76-year-old descendant of the first Sufi saint Khader Gilani, who is a direct descendant of the holy prophet.
Observing that he wished Bagdhad could be more like Chennai, Jilani said the harmony and tolerance between people of many different religions here, was magical.
Dr Cherien said his first 20 patients, when he had just built his hospital in Mogappair in 2004, were Iraqi children.
Picture: Dr K.M. Cherien on a chat with Sufi saint Sheikh Abdul Rahman Zuhair Al Din Al Jilani and his wife at the hospital on Thursday. Photo: DC.