All Praises is due to Allāh Almighty SubHanuhu wa Ta'ala, choicest Salāms and Salutations upon His Beloved Habīb, Sayyidunā Muhammadur-Rasūlullāh SallAllahu Alaihi wa Sallam, his noble family, the illustrious Sahābah and distinguished Awliya Ridwanullahi Ta'ala Alaihim Ajma'een.
A rich store of information about Gawth al-Aazam is conveniently available, to those familiar with the religious and spiritual tradition of Islam, in his names, his surnames, and the many titles conferred upon him by his devoted followers. It is not unusual for these to take up several lines in an Arabic manuscript, but let us start with the short form of His name:
A term applied throughout the Islamic world to respected persons of recognized seniority in learning, experience and wisdom. Its basic meaning in Arabic is “an elder; a man over fifty years of age.” [The spellings Sheikh, Shaikh and Shaykh may also be encountered in English-language publications.]
This is HIS personal name, meaning “Servant of the All-Powerful.” [The form ‘Abdul Qadir, which the reader may come across elsewhere, is simply an alternative transliteration of the Arabic spelling.] It has always been a common practice, in the Muslim community, to give a male child a name in which ‘Abd is prefixed to one of the Names of Allah SubHanuhu wa Ta'ala.
A surname ending in “i” will often indicate the bearer’s place of birth. Shaykh ‘Abd al-Qadir Radi ALLAHu Ta'ala Anho was born in the Iranian district of Gilan, south of the Caspian Sea, in A.H. 470/1077-8 C.E. [In some texts, the Persian spelling Gilani is used instead of the arabicized form al-Jilani. The abbreviated form al-Jili, which may also be encountered, should not be confused with the surname of the venerable ‘Abd al-Karim al-Jili Radi ALLAHu Ta'ala Anho [A.H.827/1424 C.E.], author of the celebrated work al-Insan al-Kamil, who came from Jil in the district of Baghdad.]
Let us now consider a slightly longer version of the Shaykh’s name, as it occurs near the beginning of Al-Fath ar-Rabbani :
“Our Master, the Shaykh.” A writer who regards himself as a Qadiri, a devoted follower of Shaykh ‘Abd al-Qadir Radi ALLAHu Ta'ala Anho, will generally refer to the latter as Sayyiduna , or Sayyidi .
“Reviver of the Religion.” It is widely acknowledged by historians, non-Muslim as well as Muslim, that Shaykh ‘Abd al-Qadir Radi ALLAHu Ta'ala Anho displayed great courage in reaffirming the traditional teachings of Islam, in an era when sectarianism was rife, and when materialistic and rationalistic tendencies were predominant in all sections of society. In matters of Islamic jurisprudence and theology , he adhered quite strictly to the highly “orthodox” school of Imam Ahmad ibn Hanbal Radi ALLAHu Ta'ala Anho.
“Father of Muhammad.” In the Arabic system of nomenclature, a man’s surnames usually include the name of his first-born son, with the prefix Abu [Father of……..].
Radi Allahu ‘Anhu:
“May Allah SubHanuhu wa Ta'ala be well pleased with him!” This benediction is the one customarily pronounced - and spelled out in writing - after mentioning the name of a Companion of the Prophet [Allah SubHanuhu wa Ta'ala bless him and give him peace]. The preference for this particular invocation is yet another mark of the extraordinary status held by Shaykh ‘Abd al-Qadir Radi ALLAHu Ta'ala Anho in the eyes of his devoted followers.
Finally, we must note some important elements contained within this even longer version:
“The Supreme Helper” [or, “The Mightiest Succor”]. Ghawth is an Arabic word meaning:
A cry for aid or succor.
Aid, help, succor; deliverance from adversity.
The chief of the Saints, who is empowered by Allah SubHanuhu wa Ta'ala to bring succor to suffering humanity, in response to His creatures’ cry for help in times of extreme adversity.
“The King of the Saints.” This reinforces the preceding title, emphasizing the supremacy of the Ghawth above all other orders of sanctity.
“The descendant of both Imam al-Hasan Radi ALLAHu Ta'ala Anho and Imam al-Husain Radi ALLAHu Ta'ala Anho, the grandsons of the Prophet [Allah SubHanuhu wa Ta'ala bless him and give him peace].” To quote the Turkish author, Shaykh Muzaffer Ozak Efendi [may Allah SubHanuhu wa Ta'ala bestow His mercy upon him]:
“The lineage of Shaykh ‘Abd al-Qadir Radi ALLAHu Ta'ala Anho is known as the Chain of Gold, since both his parents were descendants of the Messenger [Allah SubHanuhu wa Ta'ala bless him and give him peace]. His noble father, ‘Abdullah Radi ALLAHu Ta'ala Anho, traced his descent by way of Imam al-Hasan Radi ALLAHu Ta'ala Anho, while his revered mother, Umm al-Khayr Radi ALLAHu Ta'ala Anho, traced hers through Imam al-Husain Radi ALLAHu Ta'ala Anho.”
As for the many other surnames, titles and honorific appellations that have been conferred upon Shaykh ‘Abd al-Qadir al-Jilani Radi ALLAHu Ta'ala Anho, it may suffice at this point to mention al-Baz al-Ash’hab .
There are 11 names from amongst the names of Hadrat Ghawth al-Aa'zam (Radi ALLAHu Ta'ala Anho) that are a means of gaining blessings and freedom from hardships. If these names are recited during calamities, illness or in one's home and business then the reciter will gain much benefit.
These names are as follows:-
سید محی الدین سلطان رضی اللہ تعالی عنہ
1. Sayyid Muhiy'yud'deen Sultaan (Radi Allahu Ta'ala Anho)
محی الدین قطب رضی اللہ تعالی عنہ
2. Muhiy'yud'deen Qutub (Radi Allahu Ta'ala Anho)
محی الدین خواجہ رضی اللہ تعالی عنہ
3. Muhiy'ud'deen Khwaja (Radi Allahu Ta'ala Anho)
محی الدین مخدوم رضی اللہ تعالی عنہ
4. Muhiy'yud'deen Makhdoom (Radi Allahu Ta'ala Anho)
محی الدین ولی رضی اللہ تعالی عنہ
5. Muhiy'yud'deen Wali (Radi Allahu Ta'ala Anho)
محی الدین بادشاہ رضی اللہ تعالی عنہ
6. Muhiy'yud'deen Baadshah (Radi Allahu Ta'ala Anho)
محی الدین شیخ رضی اللہ تعالی عنہ
7. Muhiy'yud'deen Shaykh (Radi Allahu Ta'ala Anho)
محی الدین مولانا رضی اللہ تعالی عنہ
8. Muhiy'yud'deen Mawlana (Radi Allahu Ta'ala Anho)
محی الدین غوث رضی اللہ تعالی عنہ
9. Muhiy'yud'deen Ghawth (Radi Allahu Ta'ala Anho)
محی الدین خلیل رضی اللہ تعالی عنہ
10. Muhiy'yud'deen Khalil (Radi Allahu Ta'ala Anho)
محی الدین رضی اللہ تعالی عنہ
11. Muhiy'yud'deen (Radi Allahu Ta'ala Anho)
[Fatawa Radawiyyah Sharif, Vol 26, Page 432]
Whose eyes can towards your head rise? ... Mystics kiss your feet with their eyes
The most learned scholar,
The pious abstainer,
The dutiful worshipper,
The knower by direct experience,
The avoider of excess,
The Shaykh of Shaykhs,
The proof of Islam [hujjat al-Islam],
The axis of the human race [qutb al-anam],
The upholder of the Sunna,
The suppressor of heretical innovation,
The crown of those who know by direct experience,
The love of those who tread the spiritual path,
The pillar of the Shari'ah ,
The mainstay of the Haqiqah ,
The signpost of the Tariqah ,
The chief of the saints,
The leader of the pure,
The lantern of those who travel the spiritual way,
The captain of those who are devoted to their duty,
The lamp of the people of devotion and purity,
Shaykh Muhyi ‘d-Din Abu Muhammad ‘Abd al-Qadir Radi ALLAHu Ta'ala Anho,
The son of Abu Swalih Musa al-Jili Radi ALLAHu Ta'ala Anho
The grandson of 'Abdullah The Hermit Radi ALLAHu Ta'ala Anho.
May Allah SubHanuhu wa Ta'ala sanctify his spirit and illuminate his mausoleum. May He (SubHanuhu wa Ta'ala) gather us at the Resurrection as members of his company, and may He (SubHanuhu wa Ta'ala) grant that we die in the embrace of his affection. May He (SubHanuhu wa Ta'ala) allow us to enjoy the benefit of his blessed grace and of his spoken words, both in this world and in the Hereafter. And may Allah SubHanuhu wa Ta'ala bless our Master Muhammad SallAllaho Alaihi wa Sallam and his family SubHanuhu wa Ta'ala and his companions SubHanuhu wa Ta'ala, each and every one of them, and may He SubHanuhu wa Ta'ala grant them peace in great abundance. And praise be to Allah SubHanuhu wa Ta'ala, Lord of All the Worlds.