The Golden Chain

4. Qasim ibn Muhammad

Imam Abu Abdur Rahman Qasim ibn Muhammad ibn Abu Bakr as-Siddiq (may God sanctify his inner most being) is the fourth Shaykh in the Naqshbandi Golden Chain.

Born in 650 A.D., his family and friends were some of the leading figures in the history of Islam. He was the grandson of Abu Bakr as-Siddiq and his mother was the daughter of the last king of Persia, Yazdagird. His cousin was Zayn al-Abideen, the great grandson of the Prophet (peace & blessings upon him).

When his father, Muhammad, was martyred in Egypt, he was left an orphan at six years of age. His aunt, Aisha, the wife of the Prophet, daughter of Abu-Bakr and the ‘Mother of the Believers’ then raised and taught him. He related stories of his life with her, such as on the Day of Arafat she would shave his head, send him to the Mosque and perform the sacrifice in front of him the next day. Al-Qasim liked to visit the Prophet’s grave and at times Aisha would open the door to the room in which it was located, for him to enter. He would visit her every morning upon leaving his house.

The Companions of the Prophet of Medina, including Ibn Abbas, the cousin of the Prophet, Abu Hurairah, Ibn Omar and Salman al-Farsi, from whom he received the secret of the Golden Chain, specially taught him, making him one of the leading righteous men and scholars of his generation of the Followers (Tabi’een). He became an authority on Hadith (the Account of the Prophet’s life) and Fiqh (Islamic law).

Al-Qasim was one of the Seven Jurists of Medina, who were largely responsible for the transmission of knowledge from Medina to the wider Muslim community and were the source of much of the information of Islam and the Sunnah that is still current today. Imam Malik narrated that Umar ibn Abdul-Aziz, considered the fifth rightly guided Caliph, said, “If it were in my hands, I would have made Al-Qasim the Caliph in my time”.

Abu al-Zinad said about him, “I have never seen anyone who knows and applies the Sunnah of the Prophet better than Al-Qasim. Study at that time consisted of learning and living the Sunnah.”

Some of his sayings are:-

“One of the greatest sins is to belittle one’s sins.”

“Almighty God bestowed a mercy on people through different opinions of the Companions. Whichever of the Companions’ opinion you take, you will not be distressed.”

He died in al-Qudayd in Arabia in 726 A.D. while he was on pilgrimage. Al-Qasim passed the secret of the Golden Chain to his successor, his grandson, Imam Jafar as-Sidiq.


Extracts from “The Naqshbandi Way – History and Guidebook of the Saints of the Golden Chain”, by Mawlana Shaykh Hisham.