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SAYYADINA SHAYKH MUHIYUDDIN ABD 'AL-QADIR AL-JILANI (Radi Allahu ta'ala anhu)


Shaykh Abd'al-Qadir al-Jilani (radi Allahu ta'ala anhu) is Both Hasani and Husayni


The most universally acclaimed saint of all times and the most celebrated in all the aalamin (worlds), among jinn and men as well as among the arwaah (souls), the malaaika (angels), and the rijaal ul ghayb (men of the unseen), the beloved of Allah Ta'ala who throughout history has been showered the titles of Muhiyuddin (reviver of the faith), Qutb Rabbani (the spiritual axis established by the Lord), and Ghawth al-A'zam (the greatest helper, the greatest saint), Sayyadi wa Imami Abu Muhammad Abd'al-Qadir al-Jilani (Radi Allahu ta'ala Anhu) was born in Ramadan 470 A.H/1077 C.E in Jilan, Persia. His father, Abu Salih, was a man of taqwa (piety) and a direct descendant of Sayyidina Imam Hasan ibn Ali (Radi Allahu Anhu). His mother, Ummul Khayr Fatima was a saintly daughter of a saintly father Shaykh Abdullah Sawma'i who was a direct descendant of Sayyad ash-shuhadaa Imam Husayn ibn Ali (Radi Allahu Anhu).

Thus Muhyiddin Shaykh Abd'al-Qadir al-Jilani (Radi Allahu ta'ala Anha)was both Hasani and Husayni, a descendant of the Beloved Prophet Muhammad (Salla Allahu alayhi wa Sallam) from his beloved daughter Sayyidatina Fatima az-Zahra (Rady Allahu Anha). For this reason, the Sindhis for example, lovingly call him "putar mithe mahbub jo" (the blessed son of the sweet Beloved Prophet - Salla Allahu ta'ala alayhi wa Sallam).

The genealogical roots of Shaykh Abd'al-Qadir al-Jilani (Radi Allahu Anhu) can be traced to Habib ul-A'zam Sayyaduna Muhammad (Salla Allahu ta'ala alayhi wa Sallam) as follows:

Gawth al A'zam Sayyadina Shaykh Abd'al-Qadir al-Jilani, son of
As-Sayyad Abu Salih Musa, son of
As-Sayyad Abdallah al-Jili, son of
As-Sayyad Yahya as-Zahid, son of
As-Sayyad Muhammad, son of
As-Sayyad Dawud, son of
As-Sayyad Musa, son of
As-Sayyad Abdallah, son of
As-Sayyad Musa al-Jawn, son of
As-Sayyad Abdallah al-Mahd, son of
As-Sayyad al-Hasan al-Muthanna, son of
Sayyadina al-Imam al-Hasan, Radi Allahu Anhu, son of
Imam ul mashariqi wal magharib, Sayyaduna Ali ibn Abi Talib, (Radi Allahu Anhu),
and of Sayyadatina Fatima az-Zahra, (Radi Allahu Anha) the blessed daughter of
Khaatam an-Nabiyyin Habibi Rabbil aalamin Sayyadina wa Mawlana Muhammad ibn Abdillah, Nurin min Nurillah, Allahumma Salli wa Sallim wa Baarik alayh.

(cited by Shaykh Abdur Rahman ibn Shaykh Umar Ali al-Qadiri, in Al-Jawhar un Nafis, The Most Precious Pearls, p. 29).

What better way is there to end this section and indeed all the remaining sections than with this hymn which is full of blessings and mercy of Allah.

Yaa Hayyu Yaa Hayyu Yaa Qayyum
Yaa Hayyu Yaa Hayyu Yaa Qayyum

O The Ever-Living, O The Ever-Living, O The Self-Subsisting by whom all subsist
O The Ever-Living, O The Ever-Living, O The Self-Subsisting by whom all subsist

 

 

Shaykh Abd'al-Qadir al-Jilani (radi Allahu ta'ala anhu) Attained The Spiritual Station of Siddiqin


The Beloved Prophet Muhammad Mustafa (Salla Allahu ta'ala alayhi wa Sallam) is the last Prophet and there is no prophet after him. But people can still aspire to spiritual progress, acquire taqwa (piety) and saintliness and become awliya Allah (friends of Allah). And the highest spiritual state after the anbiya (prophets), belongs to the siddiqin (the truthful). That is why the  Beloved Prophet Muhammad (Salla Allahu ta'ala alayhi wa Sallam) taught us to make the supplication: Allahummaj 'alnaa min-as-siddiqin (O Allah make us among the truthful). Well, Shaykh Abd'al-Qadir al-Jilani (Radi Allahu ta'ala Anhu) manifested to the world that he ranked among the siddiqin at the ripe age of 18. At that age, his thirst for knowledge and eagerness for the company of the awliya Allah (friends of Allah) took him to the city of Baghdad.

It is related that as he was about to leave home on this momentous journey, his widowed mother sewed forty gold coins inside his coat as part of his inheritance, and as parting advice told him to be forever truthful. The caravan with which he was travelling had gone as far as Hamadan when it was attacked by a gang of robbers. In the course of their loot, one of the robbers asked him whether he had anything with him and he truthfully replied that he had forty gold coins sewn in his coat. The robber obviously thought he was joking and narrated this incident to his chief who decided to see this young man. When his coat was torn open, sure enough there were forty gold coins. The gang leader was astounded. He asked Shaykh Abd'al Qadir al-Jilani (Radi Allahu ta'ala Anhu) as to why he revealed this when he could have kept it secret. Shaykh Abd'al-Qadir al-Jilani (Radi Allahu ta'ala Anhu) told him that his mother had advised him not to lie and he was duty bound to obey his mother, Hearing this, the gang leader was overtaken with remorse, repented, accepted Shaykh Abd'al-Qadir al-Jilani (Radi Allahu ta'ala Anhu) as his Shaykh and so did all his followers and they went on to acquire wilayah (sainthood) themselves. This is how Shaykh Abd'al-Qadir al-Jilani (Radi Allahu ta'ala Anhu) came to be ranked among the Siddiqin. Allahummaj 'alnaa min-as-Siddiqin, Aameen Yaa Rabbal 'Aalamin.

This incident has been narrated in almost all the biographies of the Shaykh, among them being Qalaid al-Jawahir (Necklaces of Gems, p. 33), one of the earliest and major biographies, by Shaykh Muhammad ibn Yahya at-Tadifi (Rahmatullahi alayh) (passed away 963 A.H, 1556 C.E)

Sayyad Abdur Rahim ibn Muhammad Ismail Shirazi (Rahmatullahi alayh) has captured the essence of this incident most beautifully in the following verse of his Urdu poem on the Ghawth al A'zam:

Choron pay tum nay kar kay tawajjoh
Abdal banaaya 'aali shaan
Yaa Ghawth al A'zam ajab tumhaaree shaan

Focusing your spiritual glance at the thieves
You turned them into great saints
O, the great helper, your stature is truly astounding

(Gulzare Tayyiba, The Pleasant Garden, vol. 3, p. 18)

Yaa Hayyu Yaa Hayyu Yaa Qayyum
Yaa Hayyu Yaa Hayyu Yaa Qayyum

 

 

The Tariqa of Shaykh Abd'al-Qadir al-Jilani (Radi Allahu ta'ala anhu)


Muslims follow Tariqa (spiritual path leading to Allah Ta’ala) based on Shari’ah(sacred Muslim law).

In matters of Shari’a (sacred Muslim law), 'Mehbub Subhani' Shaykh Abd'al-Qadir al-Jilani (Radi Allahu ta'ala anhu) was an authority in the Hanbali madhhab(school of sacred Muslim law) as well as the Shafi’i madhhab, and a chief exponent of the Ahl as-Sunnah wa’l Jama'ah (the people who follow the lifestyle of the Beloved Prophet Muhammad (Salla Allahu ta'ala alayhi wa Sallam) and of his blessed Companions - Radi Allahu ta'ala anhum).

The way to draw nearer to Allah Ta'ala is through the fulfilment of obligatory religious duties, additional voluntary prayers day and night, through constant remembrance (dhikr) of Allah, unceasing salawaat (invocations of blessings) on the Beloved Prophet Muhammad (Salla Allahu ta'ala alayhi wa Sallam), Sunnah fasting, charity, zuhd (abstinence) and juhd (exertion in the way of Allah Ta'ala) as exemplified by the Beloved Prophet Muhammad himself. This then is the tariqah (spiritual path leading to Allah Ta'ala) which is rooted in shari’ah (sacred Muslim Law).

Shaykh Abd'al Qadir al-Jilani (Radi Allahu ta'ala anhu) learned about the mysteries of tariqah and imbibedspiritual culture (tasawwuf) at the hands of Shaykh Hammad ibn Muslim al-Dabbas, Rahmatullahi ‘alayh. Traditionally, when someone is initiated into a tariqa, he is given a khirqa (sufi robe). Shaykh Abd'al-Qadir al-Jilani was bestowed the khirqa by Shaykh Qadi Abi Said al-Makhzumi, Rahmatullahi ‘alayh, (referred to as Al-Mukharrimi or Al-Makhrimi in some texts).

A Shaykh (spiritual master), musk-scented in shari’ah, tariqah and haqiqi ma'rifa (knowledge of spiritual realities), is able to ascertain the spiritual level of a mureed (spiritual seeker/disciple) and can assign additional awraad and azkaar (regular voluntary invocations) to be performed to attain spiritual progress. Shaykh Abd'al-Qadir al-Jilani (Radi Allahu ta'ala anhu) went on to become the epitome of such spiritual masters.

The tariqah followed by Shaykh Abd'al-Qadir al-Jilani (Radi Allahu ta'ala anhu) came to be called after him as the Qadiriyya tariqah and it came to be universally accepted as a divinely-guided path to spiritual progress through dhikr(remembrance)of Allah to cleanse one's heart of all evil, to lead a virtuous life, to attain the love of the Beloved Prophet Muhammad, (Salla Allahu ta'ala alayhi wa Sallam), the love of the Ahl al-Bayt (the Prophet's blessed Household), the love of his Sahaba (Companions) and the love of the awliya Allah (friends of Allah); and to follow the shari’ah (sacred Muslim law) according to the teachings of any one of the four Imams of madhhab, that is Imam Abu Hanifa, Imam Shafii, Imam Malik and Imam Ahmad ibn Hanbal, may Allah Ta'ala be pleased with them all.

Yaa Hayyu Yaa Hayyu Yaa Qayyum
Yaa Hayyu Yaa Hayyu Yaa Qayyum 

 

 

The Spiritual Roots of Shaykh Abd'al-Qadir al-Jilani (Radi Allahu ta'ala Anhu)


The most universally acclaimed saint of all times and the most celebrated in all the aalamin (worlds), among  jinn and men as well as among the arwaah (souls), the malaaika (angels), and the rijaal u'l ghayb (men of the unseen), the beloved of Allah (Subhanahu wa ta'ala) who throughout history has been showered the titles of Muhiyuddin (reviver of the faith), Qutb Rabbani (the spiritual axis established by the Lord), and Ghawth al A'zam (the greatest helper, the greatest saint), Sayyadi wa Imami Abu Muhammad Abd'al-Qadir al-Jilani, (Radi Allahu ta'ala Anhu) was born in Ramadan 470 A.H/1077 C.E in Jilan, Persia. His father, Abu Salih, was a man of taqwa (piety) and a direct descendant of Sayyiduna Imam Hasan ibn Ali (Radi Allahu ta'ala Anhu). His mother, Ummu'l Khayr Fatima was a saintly daughter of a saintly father Shaykh Abdullah Sawma'i who was a direct descendant of Sayyadu'sh shuhadaa Imam Husayn ibn Ali (Radi Allahu ta'ala Anhu).

Thus Muhiyuddin Shaykh Abd'al-Qadir al-Jilani (Radi Allahu ta'ala Anhu) was both Hasani and Husayni, a descendant of the Most Beloved Prophet Muhammad, (Salla Allahu ta'ala 'alayhi wa Sallam) from his beloved daughter Sayyadatina Fatima az-Zahra, (Radi Allahu ta'ala Anha). For this reason, the Sindhis for example, lovingly call him "putar mithe mahbub jo" (the blessed son of the sweet beloved Prophet - Salla Allahu ta'ala 'alayhi wa Sallam). 

The genealogical roots of Shaykh Abd'al-Qadir al-Jilani (Radi Allahu ta'ala Anhu) can be traced to Habib u'l A'zam Sayyaduna Muhammad (Salla Allahu ta'ala 'alayhi wa Sallam) , as follows:

Ghawth al A'zam Sayyiduna Shaykh Abd'al-Qadir al-Jilani, son of
As-Sayyad Abu Salih Musa, son of
As-Sayyad Abdallah al-Jili, son of
As-Sayyad Yahya as-Zahid, son of
As-Sayyad Muhammad, son of
As-Sayyad Dawud, son of
As-Sayyad Musa, son of
As-Sayyad Abdallah, son of
As-Sayyad Musa al-Jawn, son of
As-Sayyad Abdallah al-Mahd, son of
As-Sayyad al-Hasan al-Muthanna, son of
Sayyiduna al-Imam al-Hasan, (Radi Allahu ta'ala Anhu), son of
Imam u'l mashariqi wa'l magharib, Sayyaduna Ali ibn Abi Talib, (Radi Allahu ta'ala Anhu),
and of Sayyadatina Fatima az-Zahra, (Radi Allahu ta'ala Anha), the blessed daughter of
Khaatam an-Nabiyyin Habibi Rabbi'l aalamin Sayyiduna wa Mawlana Muhammad ibn 'Abdillah, Nurin min Nurillah, Allahumma Salli wa Sallim wa Baarik 'alayh.

(cited by Shaykh Abdur Rahman ibn Shaykh Umar Ali al-Qadiri, in Al-Jawhar un Nafis, The Most Precious Pearls, p. 29).

What better way is there to end this section and indeed all the remaining sections than with this hymn which is full of blessings and mercy of Allah.

Yaa Hayyu Yaa Hayyu Yaa Qayyum
Yaa Hayyu Yaa Hayyu Yaa Qayyum

O The Ever-Living, O The Ever-Living, O The Self-Subsisting by whom all subsist
O The Ever-Living, O The Ever-Living, O The Self-Subsisting by whom all subsist

 


The Nasiha of Shaykh Abd'al-Qadir al-Jilani (Radi Allahu ta'ala anhu) 


Shaykh Abd'al-Qadir al-Jilani (Radi Allahu ta'ala anhu) taught Muslims and preached to non-Muslims in Baghdad. His nasiha (advices) and mawa’iza (sermons, discourses) were written down by scribes as he delivered them and they have been compiled and handed down through centuries as classics of Muslim spirituality. One of the beauties of his discourses is that you feel he is addressing you directly.

His major spiritual works, that is, the kutub (books) he wrote, as well as collections of his discourses are:


  1. Al-Ghunya Li Talibi Tariqi’l Haqq (Sufficient Provision for Seekers of the Path of Truth)

    This kitab (book) is a comprehensive explanation of Arkan al-Iman (Pillars of Faith), Arkan al-Islam (Pillars of Islam), and Ihsan (Spiritual Excellence). It is a kitab (book) on Hanbali fiqh (jurisprudence) with special emphasis on salaah (obligatory five times daily prayer). It is indispensable for those who want to do tabligh (propagate Islam) as it deals with amr bil ma’ruf wa nahi anil munkar (enjoining good and forbidding evil).??

  2. Futuh al-Ghaib (Revelations of the Unseen), a collection of 78 discourses.

  3. Al-Fath ur Rabbani (The Endowment of Divine Grace).

    This a collection of 72 discourses, the main message of which is to raise yourself up to such spiritual heights as to devote your whole life in worshipful service of Allah, purely to earn His Rida (Pleasure) and His Qurb (Nearness) without hoping for any other reward in the Hereafter. In these discourses, he admonishes the munafiqin (hypocrites) who forget their religion and who cringe before kings and princes for worldly gain.

  4. Jila al-Khatir (Purification of the Mind), a collection of 45 discourses.

  5. Sirr al-Asrar (The Secret of Secrets).

    This kitab (book) explains matters related to shari’a (sacred law), tariqa (spiritual path), haqiqi ma’rifa (knowledge of spiritual realities) and tasawwuf (spiritual culture).

  6. Malfuzat (Talks and Sayings).

  7. Khamsata Ashara Maktuban (Fifteen Letters).

These were written in Persian and translated into Arabic by Ali ibn Husam ud-Din al-Muttaqi, Rahmatullahi ‘alayh (passed away 977 A.H/1569 C.E).

Besides the Qur'an al-Karim and Hadith Sharif, these can be considered to be required minimum reading for someone who aspires to be an ‘aalim (scholar).

To catch a glimpse of his nasiha (advice), perhaps the best place to begin is to see how he advises his own son Shaykh Abdur Razzaq, Rahmatullahi ‘alayh. He advised him to acquire eight character traits that are basic to tasawwuf (spiritual culture). These are:


  1. Sakha (generosity) of Nabi (Prophet) Ibrahim, ‘alayhissalam (peace be upon him)

  2. Rida (joyful contentment with whatever Allah ordains) of Nabi Is-haq, ‘alayhissalam

  3. Sabr (patience) of Nabi Ayyub, ‘alayhissalam

  4. Ishara (symbolic instruction) of Nabi Zakariyya, ‘alayhissalam

  5. Ghurba (life as a stranger in far-off lands) of Nabi Yusuf, ‘alayhissalam

  6. Lubs us suf (the wearing of Sufi clothes) of Nabi Yahya, ‘alayhissalam

  7. Siyaha (wandering travel) of Nabi Isa, ‘alayhissalam

  8. Faqr (worldly poverty with spiritual riches) of Nabiyyuna wa Habibuna wa Shafi’una Muhammad Mustafa, (Salla allahu ta'ala ‘alayhi wa Sallam).

(cited by Al-Hajj Ismail ibn as-Sayyad Muhammad Said al-Qadiri, in al-Fuyudaat ur Rabbaniyya, Emanations of Lordly Grace, p. 40).

His mawa’iza (exhortations, discourses) deal with various subjects. For example, the first few discourses in Futuh al-Ghaib (Revelations of the Unseen) are on “The essential tasks of every believer”, “Sharing good advice”, “Being tried and tested”, “Spiritual death”, “The nature of this world, detachment from which is strongly advised”, “Passing beyond the creation”, “Removing the cares of the heart”, “Drawing near to Allah”, “Disclosure and contemplation”, “The self and its states”, and “Controlling carnal desire”.

The theme of each discourse is supported with verses of the Qur’an al-Karim and Hadith Shareef. For example, in the First Discourse of Al-Fath ur Rabbani (The Endowment of Divine Grace), he quotes the following verse of the Qur’an al-Karim:

Surely, Allah is with those who are patient. (2:153)

And in the Sixth Discourse of Futuh al-Ghaib (Revelations of the Unseen, p. 17-18), he quotes this Hadith Qudsi which is dear to the heart of every Muslim (translation is by Shaykh Muhtar Holland).

In a sacred tradition (hadith qudsi) the blessed Prophet (Salla allahu ta'ala ‘alayhi wa Sallam) related that Allah (Exalted is He) says, “My servant constantly approaches Me through supererogatory acts of worship until I love him, and when I love him, I become his eyes with which he sees, his hands with which he holds, and his legs with which he walks.” In another version, the wording is: “So through Me he hears, through Me he sees, and through Me he understands.”

This Hadith Qudsi has been narrated by Hadrat Abu Hurayra, (Radi Allahu ta'ala ‘Anhu) and reported by Imam Bukhari, Rahmatullahi ‘alayh (194-256 A.H, 810-870 C.E).?

The essence of his teaching is to achieve qurb Ilallah (nearness to Allah) in the sense of achieving His love, as He is our Khaliq (Creator) and the Musabbib ul Asbab (the Original Cause of all the causes). The description of someone who has attained nearness to Allah is succinctly summarised in Futuh al-Ghaib (Revelations of the Unseen, p. 12, translation is by Shaykh Muhtar Holland).

“Gone forth from his own self out into his Master’s work, he now sees nothing but that Master and His work, and neither hears nor comprehends from any other source. If he perceives at all, if he does hear and learn, His speech is what he listens to, and His knowledge is what he comes to know. His favour he enjoys, through His nearness he prospers, through His proximity he is graced and honoured, by His promise he is pleased and reassured. With Him he feels at peace, and in His discourse he takes delight, while from all others he recoils and shrinks away. In remembrance of Him he finds refuge and support. In Him, the Almighty and Glorious, he puts his faith and in Him he places his trust. By the light of His awareness he is guided as he wraps and clothes himself therein. Strange marvels of His science he discovers, and of the secrets of His power he is apprised. To Him he listens and from Him he learns, then for all this he offers praise, gives thanks, and turns to prayer.”

The next step to take is perhaps to open another of the compilations of his mawa’iza (discourses). This is a suggested interpretation of the opening of his first discourse in Al-Fath ur Rabbani (The Endowment of Divine Grace).

In the Name of Allah, the Beneficent, the Merciful.
O Allah! O You Who know my inability to praise You,
I ask of You – for the sake of the most perfect of all those who praise You,
(that is, Sayyidina Muhammad),
to whom You unveiled the realities of Your Names and Your Attributes,
and the subtleties of the emanations of Your Essence,
so that he came to know You in a manner befitting Your Perfection,
and whom You thereupon inspired with Your praises
as You inspired none other than him,
as You will inspire him many times more
on the Day when his uniqueness will be manifested,
(that is, on the Day of Judgement),
when his glorious character will be manifested in all its glory,
(I ask of You, O Allah!)
to bestow upon him,
who is more precious than any other being,
such blessings and salutations that befit Your most Sanctified Perfection,
and let the noble blessings and peace You confer upon him,
encompass the whole of his physical being as well as his essence,
as well as everything that pertains to him
in the world of creation and in the world of the Divine Command,
so that, O our Lord, You leave out none of
Your Prophets, Your Messengers, Your Angels and Your righteous servants,
but include them all
within the compass of Your Tremendous Grace.

Sallu ‘alar Rasul
Allahumma Salli wa Sallim ‘alayh.

We find that Shaykh Abd'al-Qadir al-Jilani (Radi Allahu ta'ala ‘Anhu) begins his discourse with an exalted, inspiring and comprehensive salaat (invocation of blessings on Prophet Muhammad, peace be upon him) in which he manifests his deep love for him. In one breath he tells us that the Beloved Prophet Muhammad, (Salla Allahu ta'ala alayhi wa Sallam), praised Allah as no one else did, that he knew Allah as no one else did and that he was inspired by Allah as no one else was. He reminds us that the grandeur of Prophet Muhammad, peace be upon him, has already been manifested in this world and is yet to be revealed in all its glory on the Day of Judgement.

The salaat begins with the Name of Allah and uses the wasila (means) of the Beloved Prophet Muhammad,  (Salla Allahu ta'ala alayhi wa Sallam). In the same breath, it breathes in the Asma and Sifat of Allah, the Most Beautiful Names and Attributes of Allah, Wahdahu laa sharika lahu. The salaat is on the reality and essence of Prophet Muhammad (Salla Allahu ta'ala alayhi wa Sallam), well as everything that pertains to him or is connected with him in the world of creation and in the world of Allah’s Commad. And all the Prophets, as well as the Messengers of Allah, the angels and the pious people are connected with him. So the salaat is on all of them as well. In one sweep, both the reality and the essence of Prophet Muhammad  (Salla Allahu ta'ala alayhi wa Sallam), have been linked to the two worlds of Allah’s creation and Allah’s Command. When you have completed reciting this salaat, you know for sure that you are in the presence of a shaykh, a man of Allah, and you want to establish ta’alluq (connection) with him, as you know that following his teaching and obtaining his baraka (blessings), coming as they do from the pure fount of his blessed ancestor, will lead you to salvation. Aameen.

As we read his masterpieces, we are struck by the fact that his style of expression is different from that of any other shaykh, ‘aalim or wali. He is so much saturated with the spiritual power of Tawhid (monotheism) that his exposition and its flow has a spiritually confident personality all its own so that anyone who reads his nasiha spontaneously admits that he is the Qutb-al-aqtaab (the centre of all spiritual pillars), the Shaykh al-Mashaykh (the spiritual master of all spiritual masters), the Ghawth al A'zam (the greatest helper) and much more.... a Shaykh who epitomised mujaddidiyyah (faith revival) and wilayah (sainthood), Qaddas Allahu sirrahul ‘aziz (may Allah sanctify his sublime innermost being)

Yaa Hayyu Yaa Hayyu Yaa Qayyum
Yaa Hayyu Yaa Hayyu Yaa Qayyum

 

 

The ‘Aqidah of Shaykh Abd'al-Qadir al-Jilani (Radi'Allahu ta'ala anhu)


His ‘aqidah (tenets of belief) was that of the Ahl as-Sunnah wal Jama'ah, based on the Qur'an al-Kareem, and the Sunnah of the Most Beloved Prophet Muhammad (Salla Allahu ta'ala alayhi wa Sallam). All the sufi saints and mashaykh (spiritual masters) through centuries have expounded on and lived by this ‘aqidah, foremost among them being Imam al-A’zam Imam Abu Hanifa (80-150 A.H), Imam Abu’l Hasan al-Ashari (260-324 A.H, 874-935 C.E), and Imam Abu Mansur al-Maturidi (passed away 332 A.H, 944 C.E), Rahmatullahi ‘alayhim ajma’in. Shaykh Abd'al-Qadir al-Jilani (Radi'Allahu ta'ala anhu) has explained it in Al-Ghunya Li Talibi Tariqi’l Haqq (Sufficient Provision for Seekers of the Path of Truth).

The foundation of this aqidah is the belief that Allah Ta’ala is the only One worthy of worship and that the Beloved Prophet Muhammad (Salla Allahu ta'ala alayhi wa Sallam) is His Divinely Ordained Final Prophetic Messenger (Rasul). Its nurturing is with Asma al-Husna and mahabba (love) of the Beloved Prophet Muhammad (Salla Allahu ta'ala alayhi wa Sallam), his Pure Household and Blessed Companions. Its manifestation is the spontaneous pride felt in the achievements of the Khulafa ar-Rashidun, that is, Sayyaduna Abu Bakr as-Siddiq, Sayyaduna Umar al-Faruq, Sayyadana Uthman Dhun-Nurayn, and Sayyadana Ali al-Murtada, (Radi Allahu ta'ala anhum).Its daily life is governed by shari’ah (sacred Muslim law). Its spread is through nasiha (good advice), dhikr of Allah Ta'ala and Salawaat and Salaam on the Beloved Prophet Muhammad, (Salla Allahu ta'ala alayhi wa Sallam). Its peak is jihad (battle within oneself, inner struggle), and its ultimate is fana Fillah (annihilation of oneself for the sake of, and in the love of Allah Ta'ala), after which Allah Ta'ala showers you with Baqa Billah (spiritual life everlasting) in His Rida (Pleasure).

So you begin with ridal waalidayn (living in the pleasure of your parents) and end with Ridallah living to please Allah (Subhanahu wa Ta'ala). And the Sahaba (Companions) of the Beloved Prophet Muhammad are referred to as (Radi'Allahu ta'ala anhu) (Allah is well pleased with them and they are pleased with Him as their Lord). And according to Shaykh Abd'al-Qadir al-Jilani (Radi'Allahu ta'ala anhu), his own position is equal to the dust under the feet of the Sahaba. If that is the case, then what is the stature of the blessed Sahaba of the Beloved Prophet Muhammad (Salla Allahu ta'ala alayhi wa Sallam) ? Their spiritual stature derives from the fact that they were blessed with the opportunity of beholding the Beloved Prophet Muhammad (Salla Allahu ta'ala alayhi wa Sallam) with the eyes of iman (faith). That being the case, how can anyone be capable enough to explain in full the sifat (attributes) of Muhammad ‘Arabi, Rasuli Rabbil ‘Aalameen, Rahmatullil ‘Aalamin. Only Allah Ta’ala is aware of what He bestowed on His Beloved Prophet Muhammad, Allahumma salli wa sallim ‘alayh.

Yaa Hayyu Yaa Hayyu Yaa Qayyum
Yaa Hayyu Yaa Hayyu Yaa Qayyum

 

The Salawaat of Shaykh Abd'al-Qadir al-Jilani (radi'Allahu ta'ala anhu) 


Shaykh Abd'al-Qadir al-Jilani (radi'Allahu ta'ala anhu) has composed so many salawaat on the Beloved  Prophet Muhammad Mustafa (Salla Allahu ta'ala alayhi wa Sallam) that their compilation would fill a volume. His three most well-known salawaat are:


  1. As-Salaat al-Ghawthiyya, named after him as it is the most famous.

  2. As-Salaatu Kibritil Ahmarwhich means red sulphur or “the Philosopher’s Stone”, or something that is very rare to come by.

  3. As-Salaat al-Kubraor the “big salaat”. This looks like a bouquet of flowers straight from Paradise consisting of 33 salawaat, and du’a (supplication), all richly interspersed together with 25 verses of the Qur’an al-Kareem.

Muslims love these salawaat so much that they make them their wazifa (regular voluntary devotion). For this reason, spiritual masters as well as spiritual seekers include them in their books of salawaat. Two such great Muslim luminaries who have included As-Salaat al-Ghawthiyya in their compilations of salawaat are Imam Muhammad ibn Sulayman al-Jazuli (passed away870 A.H/1465 C.E) in Dalaail u’l Khayraat (Proofs of Good Deeds), and Hadrat Mulla Ali al-Qaari (passed away1014 A.H/1606 C.E) in Hizb u’l Azam (The Exalted Supplication).

Some of the kutub (books) that contain all three of these salawaat (and more) are:


  1. Al-Fuyudaat u’r Rabbaniyya (Emanations of Lorldly Grace) of al-Hajj Ismail ibn as-Sayyad Muhammad Said al-Qadiri,

  2. Awraad u’l Qadiriyya (Regular Voluntary Invocations of the Qadiriyya) of Muhammad Salim Bawwab, and

  3. As-Salawaat li’l Awliya wa’s Salihin (Invocations of Blessings by the Saints and the Pious), published by Iqra Islamic Publications in Toronto.

At this juncture, let us seize the opportunity of reciting his most famous salaat, that is, As-Salaat ul Ghawthiyya.

Allahumma Salli ‘alaa Sayyidina Muhammad-in
as-Saabiqi lil khalqi nuruhu
wa Rahmatullil ‘aalamina zuhuruhu
‘adada man madaa min khalqiqa wa man baqiya
wa man sa’ida minhum wa man shaqiya
Salaatan tastaghriqul ‘adda wa tuhitu bil haddi
Salaatan laa ghaayata lahaa wa laa muntahaa wa lanqidaaa
Salaatan daaimatan bi-Dawaamika? ?
wa ‘alaa aalihi wa sahbihi
wa sallim tasleeman mithla dhaalik.

O Allah! Bestow blessings on our master Muhammad
whose light was created first,
and whose appearance is a mercy for all the worlds,
as many times as the number of Your creations past and yet to come
among those that are blessed and those that are unfortunate;
such blessings that are unlimited and unbounded,
countless, endless, never finishing;
such blessings that are permanent by virtue of Your permanence,
and on his family and companions,
and in the same manner complete salutations as well.

Yaa Hayyu? Yaa Hayyu Yaa Qayyum
Yaa Hayyu Yaa Hayyu Yaa Qayyum

 

The Dhikrand Du’a of Shaykh Abd'al-Qadir al-Jilani(Radi'Allahu ta'ala anhu)


The Qadiriya tariqah is one of Zikrullah, remembrance of Allah. The plural of zikr is azkaar. The azkaar and du’a (supplications) of Shaykh Abd'al-Qadir al-Jilani (radi'Allahu ta'ala anhu) have been compiled in many kutub (books), one of which is al-Fuyudhaat ur Rabbaniyya (Emanations of Lorldly Grace). It gives the invocations and supplications of Shaykh Abd'al-Qadir al-Jilani to be recited after every salaah (regular obligatory prayer), for each day of the week, as well as for various special occasions.

The dhikr mainly consists of the recitation of the Kalima Shahada (Declaration of Faith), Asma al-Husna (the Most Beautiful Names of Allah) and of salawaat (invocation of blessings on the Beloved Prophet Muhammad (Salla Allahu ta'ala alayhi wa Sallam). One of the voluntary dhikrrecommended to be recited individually after every salaah (regular obligatory prayer) is as follows:

After Fajar: Yaa ‘Azizu Yaa Allah (100 times)
(O The Mighty, O Allah)

After Zuhar: Yaa Karimu Yaa Allah (100 times)
(O The Generous, O Allah)

After Asar: Yaa Jabbaru Yaa Allah (100 times)
(O The Compeller, O Allah)

After Maghrib: Yaa Sattaru Yaa Allah (100 times)
(O The Concealer of faults, O Allah)

After Isha: Yaa Ghaffaru Yaa Allah (100 times)
(O The Forgiver, O Allah)

A short article such as this one cannot explain in any detail all the invocations and supplications of the Shaykh. But we can perhaps benefit from reciting at least one of his du’a (supplications). His du’a entitled Du’a al Jalalah (The Majestic Supplication) is so rich and rewarding that many mashaykh choose to include it in their kutub (books), among them being Imam Muhammad ibn Alawi al-Maliki al-Hasani of Makka who has included it in his Duru u’l Wiqaya bi Ahzaabi’l Himaaya (Armours of Protection For Security Forces, p. 58).

Bismillah ir Rahman ir Rahim
Allahumma inni asaluka
bi-Sirri-dh-Dhaati wa bi-Dhaat-is-Sirri
Huwa Anta wa Anta Huwa
ihtajabtu bi-Nurillah
wa bi-Nuri ‘Arshillah
wa bi-kulli Ismillah
min ‘aduwwee wa ‘aduwwillah
bi maa
ati alfi
Laa hawla walaa quwwata illaa Billah
khatamtu ‘alaa nafsi wa ‘alaa ahli
wa ‘alaa kulli shay-in A’taaneehi Rabbi
bi-Khaatamillahi’l manee’illadhi
khatama bihi aqtaar-as-samaawaati wa
l ard, wa
Hasbunallahu wa Ni’mal Wakil
Ni’mal Mawlaa wa Ni’man Naseer
Wa laa hawla walaa quwwata illaa Billahi’l ‘Aliyyi’l ‘Azim
wa Sallallahu ‘alaa Sayyaduna Muhammad-in
wa ‘alaa aalihi wa sahbihi wa sallama ajma’een. Aameen

In the Name of Allah, the Beneficent, the Merciful. (1:1)
O Allah! I ask of You
for the sake of the Mystery of the Essence
and for the sake of the Essence of the Mystery,
both the Essence and the Mystery being Yours,
that may I be protected by the Sacred Light of Allah,
by the Light of the Throne of Allah
and by all the Names of Allah
from my enemies and from all the devils (enemies of Allah),
(I supplicate to You O Allah)
with a hundred thousand times recitation of (this glorification of Yours):
“There is no strength nor power except with Allah”.
I have sealed myself and my family
and all the things that my Lord has given me,
with the impregnable seal of Allah with which
He has sealed all the regions of the heavens and the earth, and
Allah is sufficient for us and what an excellent Trustee is He. (3:173)
What an Excellent Patron and what an Excellent Helper. (8:40)
“And there is no strength nor power except with Allah, the Exalted, the Almighty”.
And may Allah bestow blessings and peace on our master Sayyaduna Muhammad,
on his family and all his companions, Aameen.

Such was the spiritual status of Shaykh Abd'al-Qadir al-Jilani (radi'Allahu ta'ala anhu) that in response to his du’a (supplication), Allah would turn a shaqiy (unfortunate person) into a sa’id (someone destined for salvation). Indeed he has so spiritually transformed the lives of so many Muslims in such significant ways that they never forget to mention him in their du’a (supplications to Allah). May Allah, the Glorified and the Exalted make us benefit from him, Aameen.

Yaa Hayyu Yaa Hayyu Yaa Qayyum
Yaa Hayyu Yaa Hayyu Yaa Qayyum

 

The Qasaaid of Shaykh Abd'al-Qadir al-Jilani (Radi Allahu ta'ala‘Anhu)


In his Qasaaid (religious poems), Shaykh Abdul Qadir Jilani (Radi Allahu ta'ala‘Anhu) talks mainly about the spiritual station of being intoxicated with the love of Allah. Nine of his Qasaaid are given in Al-Fuyudaat u’r Rabbaniyya (Emanations of Lordly Grace). Of these, Qasida Ghawthiyya, his nazm (didactic poem) on the Asma al-Husna, and his mathnawi perhaps call for more comment.

Allah, the Glorified and the Exalted, says in the Qur’an al-Kareem:

Allah’s are the Most Beautiful Names, so invoke Him by them. (7:180)

In fulfilment of this Command, Shaykh Abd'al-Qadir al-Jilani (Radi Allahu ta'ala ‘Anhu) has invoked Him in both prose and in verse, using the wasila (means) of the Asma Allah al-Husna. His emphasis in immersing yourself in the Asma Allah al-Husna until they run through your veins is breathtaking. He has composed a nazm (didactic poem) in which the Asma al-Husna appear in the same sequence as they do in the Hadith Shareef. His nazm is a laamiyya: all its 63 verses end and rhyme in the letters “laam-alif “. Each verse invokes Allah (Subhanahu wa ta'ala) with one or more of His Names in such a way that the true meanings of these Names of Allah are also conveyed and understood. The opening verses of this nazm are:

Shara’tu bi Tawhidil Ilaahi mubasmilaa
Sa akhtimu bi-dh-dhikril Hamidi Mujammilaa

Wa Ash-hadu Annallaha laa Rabba Ghayruhu
Tanazzaha ‘an hasril ‘uquli Takammulaa

I begin to expound on monotheism with the Name of Allah
I will end with the Praiseworthy and beautiful remembrance of Allah

And I bear witness that there is no Lord but He
Transcendant is He, completely beyond human understanding

Next, we come to Qasida Ghawthiyya which is universally popular. It is an exposition on some of the spiritual powers that Allah has granted him so that people may be educated about spiritual matters and Muslims may gain confidence in themselves. It is chanted from Rabat to Lahore and from Mombasa to Toronto, that is world-wide. Some of the kutub (books) which contain this qasida are:

  1. Hadaaiqi Bakhshish (The Gardens of Gifts), with a poetic translation in Urdu by Imam Ahmad Raza Khan, Rahmatullahi ‘alayh.

  2. Al-Fuyudaat u’r Rabbaniyya (Emanations of Lordly Grace), translated by Shaykh Muhtar Holland.

  3. Abd'al-Qadir Fee Iydaah-it-Tasawwuf (Shaykh Abd'al-Qadir in Clarifying the Subject of Spiritual Culture), of Nur-ud-Din ibn ash-Shaykh Husayn Mahmud al-Ghasani.

  4. Majmuah Mushtamila (A Compendium of Writings), of Shaykh Abdur Rahman ibn Ahmad al-Qadiri az-Zaylai, Rahmatullahi ‘alayh of Somalia.

  5. Majmuah Wazaaif (A Compendium of Regular Voluntary Invocations), compiled by Women Islamic Mission, Karachi, with an Urdu translation.

  6. Majmuah Wazaaif, compiled by Qari Ridaa al-Mustafa Azami, with an Urdu translation.

  7. Qadiri Ridwi Majmuah Wazaaif (A Compendium of Regular Voluntary Invocations of the Qadiriya), compiled by Iqbal Ahmad Nuri and Anis Ahmad Nuri, with an Urdu translation by Allamah Shams Brelwi.

  8. Khatam Sharif Sarwari Ghawthi Qadiri (The Completion of the Noble Dhikr Among The Sarwari Qadiriya).

There are various refrains or congregational responses when this qasida is recited. A popular response in Arabic is:

Mawaali yaa mawaali yaa mawaali
Wa Muhyiddin-i Sultan ur rijaali

O freedmen emancipated from (the) slavery (of your passions)
The reviver of the faith (Shaykh Jilani) is the Sultan of men

A well-known refrain in Urdu is:

As-salaam ay Nur-e chashmay Anbiya
As-salaam ay Baadshah-e Awliya

Salaams to you, O fountain of the lights of the Prophets
Salaams to you, O Sultan of the saints

One of the qasaaid of Shaykh Abd'al-Qadir al-Jilani is a mathnawi A mathnawi is a poem in which the two hemistich (half verses) of a verse rhyme, and the rhyme keeps on changing from one verse to the next. Shaykh Abd'al-Ghani Nabulsi Rahmatullahi ‘alayh (1641-1731 C.E) has composed a takhmis of this Qasida. A takhmis is the augmentation of a couplet to a quintent, in other words the quintification of a couplet!

So far, we have talked about his qasaaid from Al-Fuyudaat ur Rabbaniyya which are very popular. Now we come to an appreciation of much shorter pieces of a few verses each from Qalaid al-Jawahir (Necklaces of Gems).

It is a tradition among the mashaayikh (spiritual masters) to explain about matters pertaining to the religion of Islam in both prose and poetry. For example, when Shaykh Abdul Qadir Jilani Rady Allahu ‘Anh was asked to explain the meaning of the word faqir (poor, needy before Allah), he said that the word faqir is formed with four letters, “faa”, “qaaf, yaa”, and “raa”, as cited in Qalaid al Jawahir (Necklaces of Gems). Then he explained the significance of each of these letters in four verses to convey the meaning and the essence of the word faqir.

faa-ul faqiri fanaa-u-hu fee Dhaatihi
wa faraaghu-hu min na’tihi wa sifaatih
wal qaafu quwwatu qalbihi bi-Habibihi
wa qiyaamuhu Lillahi fee Mardaatih
wal yaayu yarju bihi wa yakhaafuhu
wa yaqumu bit taqwa bi-haqqi tuqaatih
war raau riqqatu qalbihi wa safaauhu
wa ruju’uhu ‘an shahawaatih

The letter faa in the word faqir stands for his annihilation for the sake of Allah
and getting rid of his own description and attributes

The qaaf stands for the strength of his heart that is with his Beloved Allah
and his standing up for the sake of Allah is purely for His Good Pleasure

The yaa stands for his hope in Him and his reverential awe of Him
and he performs his duty as true devotion demands

The raa stands for the softness of his heart and its purity
and its return to Allah from its carnal desires.

Allahu Akbar!

We notice that when he talks about the letter “faa”, the Shaykh uses two words that begin with the letter “faa”. These are fanaa and faraagh. Similarly, when he comes to the letter “qaaf”, he uses three words – quwwah, qalb and qiyaam – that begin with the letter “qaaf” . The words associated with the letter “yaa” are yarju, yakhaafu and yaqumu while those that go with the letter “raa” are riqqah and ruju’. Shaykh Abd'al-Qadir al-Jilani (Radi Allahu ta'ala ‘Anhu) was for sure not only a master of the religion of Islam but a master of the Arabic language as well.

Yaa Hayyu Yaa Hayyu Yaa Qayyum
Yaa Hayyu Yaa Hayyu Yaa Qayyum

 

How Shaykh Abd'al-Qadir al-Jilani (Radi'Allahu ta'ala anhu) Spread Islam


Shaykh Abd'al-Qadir al-Jilani, (Radi Allahu ta'ala‘Anhu) as the model of a Sufi saint, through his nasiha, azkaar and salawaat, through giving a living reality to Islam, in his complete surrender to the Will of Allah (Subhanhu wa ta'ala) and in his showing of tawakkul (trust in Allah) and through his teaching and preaching converted more than five thousand Jews and Christians to Islam while more than a hundred thousand ruffians, outlaws, murderers, thieves and bandits repented and became devout Muslims and gentle dervishes, explains Shaykh Tosun Bayrak al-Jerrahi al-Halveti in his “Introduction” to the translation of Sirr al-Asrar (The Secret of Secrets, p XXXI). Shaykh Abd'al-Qadir al-Jilani (Radi Allahu ta'ala‘Anhu) says in the 35th Discourse (khutba) in Al-Fath-ur-Rabbani (The Endowment of Divine Grace) that this was among the blessings of our beloved Prophet Muhammad, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him.

Shaykh Abd'al-Qadir al-Jilani, (Radi Allahu ta'ala‘Anhu) had four wives, each a model of virtue, and devoted to him. He had forty-nine children, twenty-seven sons and twenty-two daughters. Four of his sons, Shaykh Abdul Wahhab, Shaykh Isa, Shaykh Abdul Razzaq and Shaykh Musa became famous for their education and learning, and they and their descendants spread Islam in other parts of the world.

Shaykh Abd'al-Qadir al-Jilani (Radi Allahu ta'ala‘Anhu) passed away with the dhikrof Allah (Subhanhu wa ta'ala) on his lips on 11 Rabi’ al-Akhir 561 A.H, 1166 C.E, at the age of 91. A special dhikrsession is held that night. It is variously known as Khatm Ghawthiya, Ziyara Shaykh ‘Abdul Qadir Jilani, ‘Urs Shareef, or Giyarwee Shareef. In Eastern Africa, a whole night dhikrsession is held in congregation ending with Fajar salaah after which breakfast is served. In some places, dhikrsessions continue for days. These dhikrsessions draw murideen (spiritual seekers) in their thousands who come out spiritually rejuvenated, with their characters transformed and refined, ready to sacrifice everything they have for the sake of Allah. And these halaqa (gatherings) of dhikrin Tariqat al-Qadiriya have continued to attract millions of people to Islam through centuries and will continue to do so, Insha-Allah, till the Day of Judgement, Aameen.

Besides this annual dhikrcongregation, dhikrsessions are also held on the eleventh of every month (hence called Giyarwee Shareef in Urdu), as well as every Thursday night, as the night before Jumua is considered auspicious. The murideen (spiritual seekers) also do dhikreveryday individually in a mosque or at home. This then is one of the enduring legacies of Shaykh Abd'al-Qadir al-Jilani, (Radi Allahu ta'ala ‘Anhu).

Other mashaykh (spiritual masters)came who continued with the work of Shaykh Abd'al-Qadir al-Jilani (Radi Allahu ta'ala‘Anhu). A few examples suffice to illustrate this. The first example is that of Khawaja Mu'inuddin Chishti Ajmeri Rahmatullahi ‘alayh (passed away 627 A.H/1230 C.E), who acknowledged Shaykh Abdul Qadir Jilani as his Shaykh and spread Islam in India. He achieved such a high spiritual status that he is called Sultan al-Hind (the Sultan of saints in the Indian sub-continent) and all the saints in that region are under his banner while he is under the banner of the Ghawth al A'zam. In the same way Shaykh Uways ibn Muhammad Rahmatullahi ‘alayh (1263-1326 A.H, 1847-1909 C.E) of Somalia became a khalifa (vicegerent) in Tariqat al-Qadiriya at the shrine of Shaykh Abd'al-Qadir al-Jilani (Radi Allahu ta'ala‘Anhu)in Baghdad and spread Islam in the whole of Eastern Africa through congregations of dhikr. And Shaykh Hamzah Fansuri, Rahmatullahi ‘alayh, considered to be one of the greatest saints in Indonesia in the 16th century C.E. proudly proclaimed that he learned Islam from Shaykh Abd'al-Qadir al-Jilani (Radi Allahu ta'ala‘Anhu) .

It can truly be said that the muhibbin (loving disciples) of Shaykh Abd'al-Qadir al-Jilani (Radi Allahu ta'ala ‘Anhu) have spread Islam throughout the world through dhikr. The barakaat (blessings) of dhikr are truly unending. May Allah Ta'ala make us among the zakirin (those who remember Him), Aameen.

And the granting of wilayah (the status of a saint) by Allah Ta'ala to the zakirin (those who remember Him), ‘abidin (those who worship Him), salihin (pious), and muhibbin (those who love Him and the Beloved Prophet Muhammad) is in all instances mediated by the Beloved Prophet Muhammad (Salla Allahu ta'ala ‘alayhi wa Sallam), Shaykh Abd'al-Qadir al-Jilani (Radi Allahu ta'ala‘Anhu) and one's own Shaykh. After all, the awliya Allah (Friends of Allah) and the ‘ulama (learned scholars) are the Khalifatullah, vicegerants of Allah. Allahummaj’alnaa fee zumratil awliya was salihin (O Allah! Keep us in the company of the saints and the pious), Aameen Yaa Rabbal ‘Aalamin.

Yaa Hayyu Yaa Hayyu Yaa Qayyum
Yaa Hayyu Yaa Hayyu Yaa Qayyum

 

 

 

The Biographies of Shaykh Abd'al-Qadir al-Jilani (Radi Allahu ta'ala anhu)


Some scholars have written whole books of biography on Shaykh Abd'al-Qadir al-Jilani (Radi Allahu ta'ala ‘Anhu). Some have written articles on him while others have mentioned him in their writings by way of illustration. A preliminary survey reveals the following biographies of the Shaykh in various languages.

A: In Arabic

Biographies which deal with the virtues and the glorious deeds of a Muslim luminary are called manaqib in Arabic. Some of the learned scholars who have written the manaqib of Shaykh Abd'al-Qadir al-Jilani
(Radi Allahu ta'ala ‘Anhu), expounding on his exemplary character, his achievements in piety, and his miracles are:


  1. Imam Muhiyuddin an-Nawawi (631-676 A.H), in Bustan u’l Arifin (Gardens of the Spiritual Masters).

  2. Shaykh Abu’l Hasan Ali ash-Shattanawfi of Egypt (passed away713 A.H, 1314 C.E), in Bahjat al-Asrar (Splendour of the Mysteries). This is the first major biography of the Shaykh from which others have benefited.

  3. Shaykh Afif u’d Din al-Yafii ash-Shafii of Yemen (718-768 A.H, 1318-1367 C.E), in Khulasat al-mafakhir fi’ktisar manaqib ash-Shaykh Abd al-Qadir (A Biography of Shaykh Abdul Qadir summarising his glorious qualities), and in Mir’at al-Jinan (The Mirrors of Paradises).

  4. Al-Hafiz Imad-ud-Din ibn Kathir (701-774 A.H, 1302-1373 C.E), in his Tarikh (History) entitled Al-Bidaya wa’n Nihaya (The Beginning and the End).

  5. Shaykh Muhammad ibn Yahya at-Tadifi (passed away963 A.H, 1556 C.E), in Qalaid al-Jawahir (Necklaces of Gems), translated by Shaykh Muhtar Holland. In this major biography, Shaykh at-Tadifi records, in addition to the ones mentioned above, more than 40 great Imams and mashaayikh who have expounded on the spiritual achievements of Shaykh Abdul Qadir Jilani, among them being:

     

    - Shaykh As-Sayyad Ahmad ar-Rifai (passed away578 A.H, 1182 C.E),

    - Shaykh Abu Madyan Shuayb (520-594 A.H, 1126-1198 C.E),

    - Shaykh Shihabuddin Umar as-Suhrawardi (539-632 A.H, 1145-1234 C.E),

    - Imam Ahmad ibn Hajar al-Asqalani (773-852 A.H)

    He also quotes from about a dozen biographies of the Shaykh by various well-known ‘ulama (learned scholars).

  6. Shaykh Hasan ibn Umayr ash-Shirazi in Iqd al-Iqyan. This is a manaqib (biography) of 17 chapters in poetic prose in which the verses alternatively rhyme in the letters “yaa”, and “alif”.

  7. Shaykh Abdur Rahman ibn Ahmad al-Qadiri az-Zaylai, entitled “Fayd ur Rahmani” (“The Grace of the Beneficent”), consisting of 11 chapters in Majmua Mushtamila (A Compendium of Writings).

  8. Habib Muhammad ibn ash-Shaykh Sidq Muhammad Ibrahim al-Qahiri, given in Al-Fuyudaat u’r Rabbaniyya (Emanations of Lordly Grace),

Rahmatullahi ‘alayhim ajma’een.

B: In Urdu, by


  1. Mawlana Muhammad Ilyas Attar Qadiri, in Jinnat Ka Baadshah (The King of Jinns and Other Marvels of Ghawth al-A'zam), in which he has primarily referenced the original source, that is the biography of the Shaykh entitled Bahjat al-Asrar of Shaykh ash-Shattanawfi. He also quotes a few verses from Shah Waliyullah Dehlawi Rahmatullahi ‘alayh (passed away 1176 A.H, 1762 C.E) in honour of the Shaykh.

  2. Miya Umar Din, in Anwar-e-Qadiriya (The Lights of the Qadiriya). This is a comprehensive biography of about 200 pages. In it, Miyan Umar Din has given an Urdu translation of 412 selected pieces of advice from the discourses of Shaykh Abdul Qadir Jilani which he considers constitute the core of this teaching. He has also included biographical accounts of the Shaykh written by

    - Mujaddid Alfi Thani Shaykh Ahmad Faruqi as-Sirhindi, Rahmatullahi ‘alayh (972-1034 A.H, 1564-1625 C.E) who has written about Shaykh Abdul Qadir Jilani in Maktub Number 123 in his Maktubat (Letters).

    - Shaykh Abdul Haqq Muhaddith Dehlawi Rahmatullahi ‘alayh (passed away 1052 A.H, 1642 C.E), in Akhbar al-Akhyar (Narratives About The Chosen Ones). He translated the Futuh al-Ghaib of the Ghawth al-A’zam into Persian.

  3. Allamah Abdur Rahim Khan Qadiri, in Sirat-e-Ghawth-e-Azam (The History of the Ghawth al-Azam). This is another comprehensive biography of about 250 pages.

  4. Mawlana Ashiq Ilahi Mirthi, in the “Introduction” to his translation of Al-Fath-ur-Rabbani.

  5. Mawlana Sayyid Abd ud Daim Jilani , in the “Introduction” to his translation of Al-Ghunya Li Talibi Tariqi’l Haqq.

C: In Turkish, by

Shaykh Muzaffar Ozak Effendi, in Ziynet ul Qulub (The Adornment of Hearts), translated by Shaykh Muhtar Holland.

D: In English, by


  1. Dr. Zahurul Hasan Sharib, Rahmatullahi ‘alayh, entitled Ghawth al Azam Pirane Pir (The Greatest Spiritual Helper, The Shaykh of Shaykhs).

  2. Dr. Muhammad Haroon, Rahmatullahi ‘alayh, “The World Importance of Ghawth Al Azam Shaykh Abdul Qadir Jilani”.

  3. Shaykh Tosun al-Jerrahi al-Halveti, in the “Introduction” to his translation of Sirr al-Asrar (The Secret of Secrets).

  4. Shaykh Muhtar Holland, in the “Introduction” to his translation of Futuh al-Ghaib (Revelations of the Unseen).

  5. Shaykh Muhammad al-Akili, in the “Preface” to his translation of Al Fath-ur- Rabbani (The Endowment of Divine Grace).

  6. Professor Shetha al-Dargazelli and Dr. Louay Fatoohi, in the “Introduction” to their translation of Jila al-Khatir (Purification of the Mind).

Yaa Hayyu Yaa Hayyu Yaa Qayyum
Yaa Hayyu Yaa Hayyu Yaa Qayyum

 

 

 

How the Mashaykh Praise Shaykh Abd'al-Qadir al-Jilani (Radi Allahu ta'ala anhu)


Imam Muhiyuddin an-Nawawi Rahmatullahi ‘alayh (631-676 A.H) wrote the following about Shaykh Abd'al-Qadir al-Jilani (Radi Allahu ta'ala ‘Anhu) in his kitab (book) entitled Bustan u’l Arifin (Garden of the Spiritual Masters):

“In all that has reached us from trustworthy reporters, concerning the charismatic talents of the saints (karamat al-Awliya), we learn of none more numerous than the charismatic talents of the Cardinal Pole (Qutb), the Shaykh of Baghdad, Muhyi’d Din Abd al-Qadir al-Jilani (may Allah be well pleased with him).

He was the Shaykh of the principle Shafii and Hanbali authorities in Baghdad. Leadership in the sphere of knowledge devolved upon him in his day and age. More than a few of the notable figures received their education in his fellowship, and most of the preeminent Shaykhs of Iraq became affiliated with him. His teaching was propagated by a host of those endowed with splendid spiritual states. His countless students included many of the masters of exalted spiritual stations. The Shaykhs and scholars (may Allah be well pleased with them all) were unanimous in declaring him worthy of the greatest honour and respect, in confirming his authority, in referrring to his statements, and in having recourse to his judgement…..

He had an exalted way of speaking about the esoteric sciences (‘ulum al-ma’arif). His anger was intense whenever the sanctuaries of Allah (Glory be to Him and Exalted is He) were violated. He was openhanded and magnanimous in the most beautiful way. To put it in a nutshell, there was none like him in his day and age.

May Allah be well pleased with him!” (Here ends this abridged quotation.)
(Qalaid al-Jawahir, Necklaces of Gems, p. 555-556, translated by Shaykh Muhtar Holland, whose translation has been adopted henceforth).

Once Shaykh Abu Madyan Shuayb al-Maghribi Rahmatullahi ‘alayh asked Hadrat Khidr ‘alayhissalam about Shaykh Abd'al-Qadir al-Jilani (Radi Allahu ta'ala ‘Anhu) to which he replied:

“He is the leader of the champions of truth, and the competent authority of those who know by direct experience. He is a breath of life in the sphere of direct knowledge, and his business is intimate converse between all the saints (may Allah be well pleased with them all)”. (Qalaid al-Jawahir, p. 325-326).

The following is a very short excerpt of what Shaykh Afif ud-Din al-Yafii al-Yamani Rahmatullahi ‘alayh had to say about Shaykh Abd'al-Qadir al-Jilani (Radi Allahu ta'ala ‘Anhu) in his Ta’rikh (History).

“He roamed inside the natures (nufus) of human beings as freely as breaths roam in their breasts, and he made their hearts fragrant with the scent of gardens showered by rain. He cured their natures of their sicknesses, and cleared their minds of their illusions. No one who heard him failed to declare his commitment to repentance, or to make his eyelids sore from weeping.

How many a sinner he brought back to Allah (Exalted is He)! How many a fainthearted weakling he reinvogorated! How many drunkards he rescued from the wine of passion! How many prisoners he released from the shackles of their lower selves (nufus)! How many mainstays (awtad) and spiritual deputies (abdal) did Allah choose because of him! On how many men did Allah confer a spiritual station because of him! The thoroughbred steeds of spiritual talents never ceased to ride toward him. My Allah (Blessed and Exalted is He) bestow His mercy upon him!” (Qalaid al-Jawahir, p. 551-552).

Shaykh al-Muammar al-Jarrad once said:

“These two eyes of mine have never set sight on anyone of better moral character, nor of broader inner feeling, nor of nobler personality nor of kinder heart, nor of greater loyalty and affection, than Shaykh Abd al-Qadir. Without regard for the majesty of his stature, the exalted nature of his rank, and the vast extent of his knowledge, he would support the lowly and challenge the great. He would always be the first to offer the greeting of peace (salam), and treat the poor with humble respect, though he would not stand up for any of the high and mighty and the notables, nor would he go knocking at the doors of any minister (wazir) or ruler (sultan).” (Qalaid al-Jawahir, p. 80)

Shaykh Baqa ibn Batu, Rahmatullahi ‘alayh, said that the tariqa (spiritual path) of Shaykh Abd al-Qadir consists of “the unifications of word and deed, the unification of the self (nafs) and the moment, the embracing of sincere devotion (ikhlas) and submissive resignation (taslim), harmonious compliance with the Book and the Sunna in every thought, every glance, every state, as well as steadfast constancy in relation to Allah (Almighty and Glorious is He)” (Qalaid al-Jawahir, p. 87)

Al-Hafiz Imad-ud-Din ibn Kathir Rahmatullahi ‘alayh described the admonitions of Shaykh Abd'al-Qadir al-Jilani (Radi Allahu ta'ala ‘Anhu) in his Ta’rikh (History) entitled Al-Bidaya wa’n Nihaya, saying: "He enjoined the people to do what is good and abstain from what is evil. His admonitions addressed caliphs, ministers, people in authority, judges, companions and the masses. Standing on the pulpits of the mosques, he reprimanded them in the presence of witnesses as well as during his public addresses. He disavowed the civil appointment of any unjust person, chose Allah's blessings over anyone else's wrath, and was not affected by any reproach." (Quoted by Shaykh Muhammad Al-Akili in the “Preface” to his translation of Al-Fath-ur-Rabbani, p. X)

Imam Shihabuddin Umar ibn Muhammad as-Suhrawardi Rahmatullahi ‘alayh in his universally acclaimed classic Awarif ul Ma'arif (The gnosis of the gnostics) refers to Shaykh Abd'al-Qadir al-Jilani as "Our Shaykh" and quotes his advice.

Al-Baz Publishing company which has taken the lead in translating and publishing the works of Shaykh Abdul Qadir Jilani (Radi Allahu ta'ala ‘Anhu), quotes the following words of Shaykh Muzaffar Ozak Efendi fromZiynet ul Qulub (The Adornment of Hearts), in introducing the works of the Shaykh to the public:

“The venerable Abd al-Qadir al-Jilani (Radi Allahu ta'ala ‘Anhu) passed on to the Realm of Divine Beauty in 561 A.H/1166 C.E, and his blessed mausoleum in Baghdad is still a place of pious visitation. He is noted for his extraordinary spiritual experiences and exploits and wise teachings. It is rightly said of him that ‘he was born in love, grew in perfection, and met his Lord in the perfection of love.’ May the All-Glorious Lord bring us in contact with his lofty spiritual influence!” Aameen. (Qalaid al-Jawahir, back cover).

This is how Brother Ruslan Moore introduced Futuh al-Ghaib (Revelations of the Unseen) to the readers in his “Publisher’s Preface”.

“The words of Shaykh Abd al-Qadir al-Jilani (Radi Allahu ta'ala ‘Anhu) can undoubtedly be considered among the most precious treasures of Islam. Indeed, Al-Baz Publishing was founded with the intention of providing fine English translations of his works for the benefit of English-speaking Muslims everywhere, in the spirit of wishing to share the benefit and blessing we have received ourselves at his hand.

I became first interested in Shaykh Abd al-Qadir (Radi Allahu ta'ala ‘Anhu) in learning from my own spiritual guide and benefactor Bapak Muhammad Sumohadiwidjojo, founder of the Subud brotherhood (may Allah be well pleased with him) that Allah had bestowed on the Shaykh the same opening and contact that Bapak himself received from Allah, and which he has passed on to us.

Anyone familiar with the latihan kejiwaan of Subud will understand that to be so honoured by Almighty God is an unusual occurrence in the history of mankind, such grace usually being bestowed on very few of His creatures. My interest thus being aroused, I sought out the surviving manuscripts from their various repositories around the world, and began the task of having them translated. From the very first reading it was apparent to me that what Bapak had said about the Shaykh was true.”

Yaa Hayyu Yaa Hayyu Yaa Qayyum
Yaa Hayyu Yaa Hayyu Yaa Qayyum

 

 

 

The Marvels of Shaykh Abd'al-Qadir al-Jilani (Radi Allahu ta'ala anhu)


Sayyadi wa Imami, Imam Abdallah ibn Alawi al-Haddad, Rady Allahu ‘Anhu, (1044-1132 A.H) in expounding on tawakkul (trust and reliance on Allah) in his spiritual masterpiece Risalat u’l Muawanah (The Book of Assistance) explains the signs of tawakkul and supports his position with the example of Shaykh Abd'al-Qadir al-Jilani, (Radi Allahu ta'ala ‘Anhu) whom he calls “sayyadi” (“my master”).

“The one whose reliance is sincere has three marks. The first is that he neither has hopes in nor fears other than God. The sign of this is that he upholds the truth in the presence of those in whose regard people usually have hope or fear, such as princes and rulers. The second is that worrying about his sustenance never enters his heart, because of his confidence in God’s guarantee, so that his heart is as tranquil when in need as when his need is fulfilled, or even more. The third is that his heart does not become disturbed in fearful situations, knowing that that which has missed him could never have struck him, and that which has struck him could never have missed him. An example of this was related of my lord Abdal-Qadir al-Jilani (Radi Allahu ta'ala ‘Anhu), may God spread his benefit. He was once discoursing on Destiny when a great viper fell on him, so that his audience panicked. The viper coiled itself around the shaykh’s neck, then entered one of his sleeves and came out from the other while he remained firm and unperturbed, and did not interrupt his discourse”. (Risalat al-Muawanah, The Book of Assistance, translated by Dr. Mostafa al-Badawi, p. 121-122).

This incident demonstrates that Shaykh Abd'al-Qadir al-Jilani (Radi Allahu ta'ala ‘Anhu) was matchless in a very special way. It also reminds us about the following verses of the Qur’an al-Kareem on the Awliya Allah (friends of Allah):

Surely, on the friends of Allah, there is no fear, nor do they grieve. Those who believed and guarded (against evil). For them are glad tidings in this world’s life and in the Hereafter; there is no changing the words of Allah; that is the Supreme Triumph. (10:62-64)

It has been narrated in the biographies of Shaykh Abdul Qadir Jilani (Radi Allahu ta'ala ‘Anhu) that once he saw a dazzling light which filled the whole sky. Then a human frame appeared in it and told him he was his lord and that he had made everything that was prohibited in Islam lawful for him. Shaykh Abd'al-Qadir al-Jilani (Radi Allahu ta'ala ‘Anhu) recognized him as the devil and told him to get lost. Then the sky turned dark and the human frame fizzled out into smoke. Following this, Shaykh Abd'al-Qadir al-Jilani(Radi Allahu ta'ala ‘Anhu) heard someone say to him that he had misled seventy people in this way but that his knowledge and piety had saved him. To this the Shaykh responded that it was through the Grace of Allah that he had been saved! The machinations of shaytan could obviously never make Shaykh Abd'al- Qadir al-Jilani (Radi Allahu ta'ala ‘Anhu) abandon the shari’ah (sacred Muslim law).

Professor Shetha al-Dargazelli and Dr. Louay Fatoohi explain in their “Introduction” to the translation of Jila al-Khatir how Shaykh Abd'al-Qadir al-Jilani (Radi Allahu ta'ala ‘Anhu) came to be called Muhiyuddin. Once on a Friday in the year 511 A.H, Shaykh Abd'al-Qadir al-Jilani (Radi Allahu ta'ala ‘Anhu) came across a frail old invalid who greeted him and asked him to help him to sit up. When he helped him to sit up, he became well again and his whole condition improved. He told Shaykh Abd'al- Qadir al-Jilani (Radi Allahu ta'ala ‘Anhu) that he was the religion of Islam which had been forgotten but which he had helped to revive. Following this incident, Shaykh Abd'al-Qadir al-Jilani (Radi Allahu ta'ala ‘Anhu) went to the congregational mosque where people greeted him as “Muhyid Din” (Reviver of Religion). He had never been called by that name before!

All the biographers of Shaykh Abd'al-Qadir al-Jilani (Radi Allahu ta'ala ‘Anhu) marvel at his miracles. Dr. Muhammad Haroon Rahmatullahi ‘alayh of the Raza Academy in England has described the miracles of the Shaykh in detail in "The World Importance of Ghawth al Azam Hadrat Shaykh Muhiyuddin Abd'al-Qadir al-Jilani". To gain baraka (blessings), let us at this juncture recall one of these miracles which relates to fasting in the month of Ramadan. It is related that as it was cloudy, the new moon had not been sighted and people were confused whether to fast or not to fast. They came to Ummul Khayr and asked if the child had taken milk that day. As he had not, they surmised that they had to fast. His mother relates; "My son 'Abd'al-Qadir was born in the month of Ramadan. No matter how hard I tried he refused to suckle in the daytime. Throughout his infancy he would never take food during the month of fasting." (Sirr al-Asrar, “Introduction” by Shaykh Tosun al-Jerrahi al-Halveti, p. XIII)

This is how Shaykh Tosun al-Jerrahi al-Halveti explains about the daily life of Shaykh Abd'al Qadir al-Jilani (Radi Allahu ta'ala ‘Anhu): "He himself had given all of himself to Allah. His nights passed with little or no sleep in secluded prayer and meditation. He spent his days like a true follower of the Beloved Prophet (Salla Allahu ta'ala alayhi wa Sallam) in the service of humanity. Three times a week he would deliver public sermons to thousands of people. Every day in the morning and the afternoon he gave lessons in Qur'anic commentary, Prophetic traditions, theology, religious law and sufism. He spent the time after the midday prayer giving advice and consultation to people, whether beggars or kings, who would come from all parts of the world. Before sunset prayers, rain or shine, he took to the streets to distribute bread among the poor. As he spent all his days in fasting he would eat only once a day, after sunset prayer, and never alone. His servants would stand at his door asking passers-by if they were hungry, so that they could share his table." (Sirr al-Asrar, p. XLIV)

Shaykh Hammad al-Dabbas Rahmatullahi ‘alayh had predicted that one day Shaykh Abd'al-Qadir al-Jilani (Radi Allahu ta'ala ‘Anhu)would be commanded to proclaim that his foot is on the neck of every Waliyallah (friend of Allah). This prediction was fulfilled when Shaykh Abd'al-Qadir al-Jilani (Radi Allahu ta'ala ‘Anhu) declared at one of his majalis (religious sessions) in the presence of more than forty mashaykh (spiritual masters) of Iraq that his foot was on the neck of every Waliyallah. All the mashaykh, those that were present as well as those in far off lands and places acknowledged and accepted this fact. Qutb ul Irshad Imam Abdallah ibn Alawi al-Haddad has versified on this spiritual reality in one of his qasaaid (eulogies) in Ad-Durr ul Manzum li Dhawil Uqul wa’l Fuhum (Poetic Pearls For Discerning and Understanding Minds). A’la Hadrat Imam Ahmad Raza Khan Rahmatullahi ‘alayh has versified on it in his Salaams”, while Shaykh Abdul Haqq Muhaddith Dehlawi (Radi Allahu ta'ala ‘Anhu) has expounded on its spiritual reality in Akhbar u’l Akhyar (Narrations About The Chosen Ones).

But the initiate sometimes wonders why Shaykh Abd'al-Qadir al-Jilani (Radi Allahu ta'ala ‘Anhu) revealed so many spiritual secrets when most other shuyukh (spiritual masters) are reticent. To answer this question, we will need to turn to Sayyidi wa Imami Qutb ul Irshad al-Habib Mawlana ‘Abdallah ibn Alawi al-Haddad (Radi Allahu ta'ala ‘Anhu). In It-haaf i’s-saail (Gifts for the Seeker), he explains that Shaykh Abd'al-Qadir al-Jilani, Radi Allahu ‘Anhu had received permission to divulge these spiritual secrets - "for the man who receives such permission is under an order which he can but obey - and the secret of the permission granted in such matters is itself one that cannot be divulged." (Gifts for the Seeker, translation by Dr. Mostafa al-Badawi, p.11).

Yaa Hayyu Yaa Hayyu Yaa Qayyum
Yaa Hayyu Yaa Hayyu Yaa Qayyum

 

Those Who Have Eulogized on Shaykh Abd'al-Qadir al-Jilani (Radi Allahu ta'ala anhu)


Given these realities of history, is it any wonder then to find that more qasaaid (poems, called manqabat in Urdu) have been composed in praise of Shaykh Abd'al-Qadir al-Jilani (Radi Allahu ‘ta'ala Anhu) than on any other saint. A preliminary survey of these eulogies in various languages yields the following results:

A: In Arabic

Some of the mashaykh who have eulogised on Shaykh Abd'al-Qadir al-Jilani (Radi Allahu ‘ta'ala Anhu) in their Qasaaid (religious poetry) in Arabic are:


  1. Imam Abdallah ibn Alawi al-Haddad, in Ad-Durr u’l Manzum Li-Dhawi’l Uqul wa’l Fuhum, p. 240.

  2. Shaykh Afif ud-Din Muhammad al-Yafii al-Yamani, quoted in Qalaid al-Jawahir, p. 552.

  3. Qadi Abu Bakr ibn al-Qadi Ishaq of Egypt, widely known as Ibni al-Fattah al-Misri, quoted in Qalaid al-Jawahir, p. 557.

  4. Shaykh Uways bin Muhammad al-Qadiri of Somalia.

    Two of his poems on the Shaykh are given in Jawhar un Nafis (p. 102-107). The first one, consisting of 45 verses is on Baghdad, in the poetical meter of waafir. The second, which has 34 verses, is a Nuniyya in that all the verses rhyme in the letter “nun”. It is also a hurufiyya; the first verse begins with “alif”, the first letter in the Arabic alphabet; the second with the letter “baa”; the third with the letter “taa”; and so on until we come to the last letter “yaa”, after which a few more verses are added. In this way, all the letters or “huruf” of the Arabic alphabet are used. Hence, it is a “hurufiyya”.


  5. Shaykh Abdur Rahman bin Ahmad az-Zaylai of Somalia (compiled in Majmua Mushtamila, p. 83-85, 116-119, 121-124).

    He has three qasaaid, one a “laamiyya” with 31 verses rhyming in the letter “laam”, the second a “raaiyya” with 41 verses rhyming in the letter”raa”, and the third an “alifiyya”, with 28 verses rhyming in the letter “alif”.

  6. Shaykh Abdur Rahman bin Shaykh Abdallah of Somalia in Dalil i’l Ibaad ilaa Sabil i’r Rashad (A Guide For Servants To The Path of Allah, p. 115-117). His qasida is a “raaiyya” with 22 verses in the poetical meter of “raml”.

  7. Shaykh Abdallah bin Muallim Yusuf al-Qutbi al-Qadiri, in his compendium entitled Al-Majmua al-Mubaraka al-Mushtamila alaa Kutubi Khamsa (A Blessed Compendium of Five Books).

    He composed two eulogies on the Shaykh, one of which is a “Nuniyya hurufiyya” in which the verses begin in alphabetical order and rhyme in the letter “nun”. It is in the poetical meter of “al-hajaz”. The second qasida is a “Raaiyya hurufiyya” in which the verses begin in alphabetical order and rhyme in the letter “raa”. It is in the poetical meter of “al-rajaz”.

  8. Shaykh Qasim al-Barawi al-Qadiri.

    He composed three qasaaid, a “raaiyya”with 16 verses, another “raaiyya” with 65 verses, and a “nuniyya” with 41 verses. This “nuniyya” contains all the attributive names and titles of praise of Shaykh Abd'al-Qadir al-Jilani (Radi Allahu ta'ala ‘Anhu). These qasaaid are given in Al-Majmua al-Mubaraka al-Mushtamila alaa Kutubi Khamsa mentioned above.

  9. Shaykh Abdul Aziz bin Abdul Ghani al-Umawi.

    He composed a few verses on Shaykh Abdul Qadir Jilani (Radi Allahu ‘ta'ala Anhu) which are given inAl-Majmua al-Mubaraka al-Mushtamila alaa Kutubi Khamsa mentioned above.

  10. Various anonymous mashaayikh,whose qasaaid, 27 of them, all handwritten, are given in the Diwan (Collected Religious Poems) in Tariqatul Qadiriyya, This was gifted to me by Janab Abdul Shakur Hobaya of Mombasa, Kenya,

Rahmatullahi ‘alayhim ajma’in.

B: In Urdu, Farsi, Punjabi and Sindhi

  1. Miya Umar Din has compiled in his book entitled Anwar-e-Qadiriya (The Lights of the Qadiriya) the manqabat (poetic praise) of Shaykh Abd'al-Qadir al-Jilani (Radi Allahu ‘ta'ala Anhu)  in Urdu, Persian and Punjabi that has been composed by the awliya Allah, the mashaayikh and the ‘ulama, all Hanafi, among whom are:

    - Hadrat Khawaja Qutb ud Din Bakhtiyar Kaki (passed away 569-633 A.H, 1174-1235 C.E)
    - Hadrat Khawaja Bahauddin Naqshbandi (717-791 A.H, 1317-1389 C.E)
    - Hadrat Makhdum Alauddin Ali Ahmad Sabir Kalyari (born 592 A.H)
    - Hadrat Baha ul Haqq Zakariya Multani (passed away 1276 C.E)
    - Hadrat Shah Abu’l Maali
    - Hadrat Mawlana Abdur Rahman Jami (passed away 898 A.H, 1492 C.E)
    - Shaykh Abdul Haqq Muhaddith Dehlawi (passed away 1052 A.H, 1642 C.E)
    - Sultan u’l Arifin Sultan Bahu (1039-1102 A.H; 1631-1691 C.E)
    - Ala Hadrat Imam Ahmad Raza Khan (1272-1340 A.H, 1856-1921 C.E)
    - Hadrat Warith Shah saheb
    - Hadrat Miyan Muhammad Bakhsh,

    Rahmatullahi ‘alayhim ajma’in.

    The other manqabat that Miya Umar Din has included are by Mawlana Hasrat Mawhani, Hadrat Hasan Raza Barelwi, Hadrat Daagh Dehlawi, Hamid Warthi, Waqif Jallendri, and Baydam Warthi.

  2. Of all the mashaykh who have composed the manqabat on the Shaykh, Imam Ahmad Raza Khan Rahmatullahi ‘alayh, occupies pride of place in that he has composed the greatest number of manqabat. In all, he composed 11 manqabat which are given in Hadaaiqi Bakhshish (The Gardens of Gifts). He also composed the “Shajarah Qadiriya” in verse which gives the spiritual roots of Shaykh Abd'al-Qadir al-Jilani (Radi Allahu ‘ta'ala Anhu) , and he rendered a poetic translation of Qasida Ghawthiya in Farsi.

  3. Gulzare Tayyiba (The Pleasant Garden), compiled by Sayyad Muhammad Ismail Shirazi, contains 17 manqabat in Urdu composed by Sayyad Abdur Rahim Muhammad Ismail Shirazi and various other scholars.

  4. Sirat-e-Ghawth-e-Azam (The History of the Greatest Saint) of al-Allama Abdur Rahim Khan Qadiri has 4 manqabat in Urdu composed by himself and various other scholars.

  5. Nur Namu (An Exposition on the Light of Prophet Muhammad, peace be upon him) of Abu’l Hasan has one manqabat in Sindhi.

  6. Various anonymous manqabat.

And we must not forget all the qawwalis in honour of the Shaykh in Urdu, Farsi and Punjabi.

C: In Indonesian

By Shaykh Hamzah Fansuri, Rahmatullahi ‘alayh, as quoted by Professor Sayyad Muhammad Naquib al-Attas in Some Aspects of Sufism as Understood and Practiced Among the Malays.

D: In Turkish

An anonymous poem on the Tarikat-i Aliyye-i Rifaiyye web-site at www.rifai-kadiri.org/Kadiri.html

there is so much religious poetry in honour of Shaykh Abd'al-Qadir al-Jilani (Radi Allahu ‘ta'ala Anhu) , then how much more religious poetry must there be on the family and companions of Prophet Muhammad, peace be upon him, and on the Beloved Prophet Muhammad Mustafa (Salla Allahu ‘ta'ala alayhi wa Sallam) himself Allahumma salli wa sallim wa baarik ‘alayh.

Yaa Hayyu Yaa Hayyu Yaa Qayyum
Yaa Hayyu Yaa Hayyu Yaa Qayyum

 

 

The Qasaaid on Shaykh Abdul Qadir Jilani (Radi Allahu ta'ala anhu)


In a short article like this, it is not possible to give any detailed appreciation of all the poetry in honour of Shaykh Abd'al-Qadir al-Jilani (Radi Allahu ‘ta'ala Anhu). It suffices to give a sprinkling of a few verses from some of the mashaykh in various languages beginning with Arabic.

In a qasida raaiyya of 33 verses which rhyme in the letter “raa”, Imam Abdallah ibn Alawi al-Haddad, (Radi Allahu ‘Anhu) praises Allah, the Glorified and the Exalted; invokes the blessings of Allah on the beloved holy Prophet Muhammad, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him, on his family and companions; and then eulogizes on Shaykh Abd'al-Qadir al-Jilani (Radi Allahu ‘ta'ala Anhu) in 11 verses, four of which are:

Wa bi sibtihim wa hafidihim wa salilihim
Ash-Shaykh Muhyiddin-i Abdul Qadiri

Al-Jiliyyil mash-huri fardu zamanihi
Shaykh ush shuyukhi bi-batinin wa bi-zahiri

Ghawth ul bilaadi wa Ghaythuha wa Mughithuha
‘An idhn Sayyidi-hil Malikil Qahiri

Tawdush-shari’a wa
t tariqa wal hudaa
Bahrul Haqiqal Khadmiz zakhiri

(Ad-Durr u’l Manzum li-Dhawi’l Uqul wa’l Fuhum, p. 240)

For the sake of his (The Prophet’s) grandson, his descendant,
The Reviver of the faith, Shaykh Abdul Qadir

The famous Jilani, unmatched in his time
The master of the spiritual masters, hidden as well as manifest

The helper of the country and its refreshing rain and succour
With the permission of his Lord, Allah, who is The King, The Supreme

A towering peak of sacred law, the spiritual path and guidance
A vast overflowing ocean of spiritual realities

Next we come to Shaykh Afif ud-din al-Yafii al-Yamani Rahmatullahi ‘alayh who overflows in superlative praise of the Shaykh in his book entitled Ta’rikh (History). He has perhaps identified his main quality as the ‘abid (worshipper) of Allah, that is why he begins with the word ‘abduka (Your servant, O Allah).

‘abduka fawqal ma’ali rutbatan
wa lahul mahasinu wal fakhar al-afkharu

wa lahul haqaiqu wat taraiqu fil mada
wa lahul ma’arifu kal kawakibi tazharu

wa lahul fadailu wal makarimu wan nida
wa lahul manaqibu fil mahafili tunsharu

wa lahut taqaddumu wal ma’ali fil ‘alaa
wa lahul maratibu fin nihayati takthuru

ghawthul waraa gaithun nada nurul huda
badr ud duja shams ud duha bal anwaru

qata’al ‘uluma ma’al ‘uquli fa-asbahat
atwaruha min dunihi tatahayyaru

ma fee ‘ulahu maqalatun li-mukhalifin
fa-masailul ijma’i feehi tusattaru

Your servant is above the highest heights in rank
and his are all the virtues and the finest glory

The realities and the paths are his to the fullest extent
and the intimate forms of knowledge shine for him like stars

His are all the merits, the graces and the call
and in his gatherings, his marvels are renowned

Preeminence is his and the high points in nobility
and many are his degrees in ultimate achievement

The helper of mankind, the rain of generosity, the light of guidance
the full moon of the night, the sun of the fore-noon – nay, even brighter

He traversed all the sciences with the faculties of reason
so their mountain peaks are in confusion far below him

No one can bring an argument, disputing his high standing
for consensus of opinion on the matter has duly been recorded

(Transliteration and translation by Shaykh Muhtar Holland, in Qalaid al-Jawahir, p. 552). ???

Let us conclude the recitation of the poetry in Arabic with a very popular chorus of an anonymous Qasida in the Diwan of Tariqatul Qadiriyya.

Bi Rasulillahi wal Jilan
Wa Rijaalin min Bani Adnan
Salaku fee Manhaj ir Rahman
Bi Rasulillahi wal Jilan.

For the sake of the Beloved Prophet and Shaykh Jilani
And those in the tribe of Adnan
They have treaded the Path of the Merciful Lord
For the sake of the Beloved Prophet and Shaykh Jilani.
(O Allah hear our prayers)

Next, let us savour the following four lines in the Indonesian language from Shaykh Hamzah Fansuri, Rahmatullahi ‘alayh, as given by Prof. Sayyad Muhammad Naquib al-Attas in Some Aspects of Sufism as Understood and Practiced Among the Malays, p. 22.

Hamzah nin asalnya Fansuri
Mendapat wujud ditanah Shahar Nawi
Beroleh Khilafat ilmu yang ali
Daripada Abdul Qadir Sayyid Jilani

I Hamzah who am of Fansur a son
At Shahar Nawi my being have won
The knowledge sublime I acquired from one
Called Abd'al-Qadir Sayyad of Jilan.

This is the opening couplet of a Turkish poem on the internet web-site Tarikat-i Aliyye-i Rifaiyye.

Medhi mumkin olmadi Sultan Abdulkadirin
Gun gibi bak asikar burhani Abdulkadirin

It is impossible to adequately praise Shaykh Abd'al-Qadir
As clear as daylight is the Proof of Shaykh Abd'al-Qadir

Now we come to the translation of the abyaat (couples) of Sultan al ‘Arifin Sultan Bahu, Rahmatullahi ‘alayh in Champay Dhee Bootee (The Jasmine Plant, p. 33), a classic in kalaamul ma'rifa in the Punjabi language.

Taalib Ghawthu’l A'zam waalay
Shaalaa kadhay na howan paandhay hu

Jendhay andhar ‘ishq dhee rattee
Rayn sadha kur landhay hu

Jenun shawq dha howay
Lay khushyaan nit aandhay hu

Dhono jahan naseeb tunhandhay Bahu
Jehray zaati alam kamaandhay hu

Followers of the Gawth al-A'zam:
Would God, they are never ill!

Those who have one grain of loving,
Ever are in pang and chill.

Lured by chances of a meeting
Hopeful in their joyous drill

Lucky in both worlds are Bahu!
Lovers who gain Allah's Will.

(Translation by Maqbool Elahi, The Abyat of Sultan Bahu, p 103)

There is so much manqabat on the Ghawth al-A’zam (Radi Allahu ‘ta'ala Anhu) that it is not possible to do justice to it all. But perhaps we can get the blessings of the opening quatrain of this “Salaam” (Salutations) on him by an anonymous poet.

Abu Salih kay ghar may woh Ghawth-e-zamaan
Laa-aye tashrif woh hadiye ins-o-jaan
Warith-e anbiyaa shaahe kawno makaan
Jaane iman awr nur-e jaan-e-jahaan

Ghawth-e A’zam ki hurmat pay lakhon salaam
Qutb-e-‘alam ki nusrat pay lakhon salaam

In the house of Abu Salih arrived
The Spiritual Helper of the age, the guide for humans and jinns
The inheritor of the Prophets, the prince of the planets
The life of faith and the light of the soul of existence

A million salutations in honour of the greatest saint
A million salutations to the help of the spiritual pillar of the world.

It is fitting to conclude this section with an appreciation of at least some of the manqabat of A’la Hadrat Imam Ahmad Raza Khan, Rahmatullahi ‘alayh on the Ghawth al A’zam. Some of these manqabat are so popular that they are recited in all the majalis (spiritual gatherings). The opening verses of one of these manqabat are:

Tu hay wo Ghawth kay har Ghawth hay shayda teraa
Tu hay wo Ghayth kay har Ghayth hay pyasa teraa

You are the spiritual helper for whom every spiritual helper melts in admiration
You are the refreshing rain for whom every rain-shower thirsts

Finally, let us benefit from the SalaamsofImam Ahmad Raza Khan(Radi Allahu ta'ala anhu). He composed Salaams on the Beloved Prophet Muhammad (Salla Allahu ‘alayhi wa Sallam) in which after profuse salutations on the Beloved Prophet (Salla Allahu ‘alayhi wa Sallam), he also sent salaams on the Ahl al-Bayt and the Sahaba (Radi Allahu ta'ala ‘Anhum), as well as on the Imams of madh-hab, the awliya Allah and the salihin (the pious), Rahmatullahi ‘alayhim ajma'een.

Consider just two verses from A'la Hadrat on the Ghawth al A'zam to appreciate his love for the Shaykh.

Ghawth al A'zam Imam ut tuqaa wan-nuqaa
Jalwa-aye Shaanay Qudrat pay lakhon salaam

Jis ke minbar banay gardanay awliya
Us qadam ki karamat pay lakhon salaam
(Hadaaiq-i-Bakhshish, p 149)

Ghawth al A'zam Imam of the saints and the pious
A million salutations on him who was pure by nature

The one for whom the necks of saints became a pulpit
A million salutations on the miracle of his feet

Tazkiratul awliya (the dhikr of the friends of Allah) is truly unending. May Allah (Subhanahu wa Ta'ala) forgive us and give us the hidaya (guidance) to live Islam according to the Qur'an al-Kareem and the lifestyle of the Beloved Prophet Muhammad (Salla Allahu ta'ala ‘alayhi wa Sallam) as explained and exemplified by Ghawth al A'zam Shaykh Abdul Qadir Jilani (Radi Allahu ‘ta'ala Anhu), Aameen Yaa Rabbal ‘Aalamin.

Yaa Hayyu Yaa Hayyu Yaa Qayyum
Yaa Hayyu Yaa Hayyu Yaa Qayyum

 

1414 A.H, 1993 C.E, Toronto.
Augmented, 1422 A.H, 2001 C.E, Toronto.

 

 

References

(Above articles courtesy of Iqra.net)


Classics of Muslim Spirituality by Shaykh Abd'al-Qadir al-Jilani, (Radi Allahu Anhu)

1.Al-Ghunya li-Talibi Tariq al-Haqq (Sufficient Provision for Seekers of the Path of Truth), Dar al-Albab, Damascus, n.d. Translated. by Shaykh Muhtar Holland, Al-Baz Publishing, Ft. Lauderdale, Florida, 1997. Urdu translation by Mawlana Sayyad Abd ud Daim Jilani, Darul Isha'ah, Karachi, 1990.

2.Futuh al-Ghaib (Revelations of the Unseen), Dar al-Albab, Damascus, 1986. Translated by Shaykh Muhtar Holland, Al-Baz Publishing, Florida, 1992.

3.Al-Fath ar-Rabbani (The Sublime Revelation), Dar al-Albab, Damascus, n.d. Translated by Shaykh Muhtar Holland, Al-Baz Publishing, Houston, Texas, 1992. Also translated by Shaykh Muhammad al-Akili as The Endowment of Divine Grace, Pearl Publishing House, Philadelphia, 1990. Urdu translation by Mawlana Ashiq Ilahi Mirthi, Madina Publishing Company, Karachi, 1976.

4.Jala al-Khawatir (The Removal of Cares), Maktaba Nabawiya, Lahore, n.d. Translated by Shaykh Muhtar Holland, Al-Baz Publishing, Hollywood, Florida, 1997. Also translated as Jila al-Khatir (Purification of the Mind) by Professor Shetha Al-Dargazelli and Louay Fatoohi, published by A. S. Noordeen, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, 1999.

5.Sirr al-Asrar (The Secret of Secrets), interpreted by Shaykh Tosun Bayrak al-Jerrahi al-Halveti, The Islamic Texts Society, Cambridge, England, 1992.

6.Malfuzat (Talks and Sayings), Translated by Shaykh Muhtar Holland, Al-Baz Publishing, Houston, Texas, 1992.

7.Khamsata Ashara Maktuban (Fifteen Letters). Translated from Persian into Arabic by Ali ibn Husam ad-Din al-Muttaqi, and from Arabic into English by Shaykh Muhtar Holland, Al-Baz Publishing, Hollywood, Florida, 1997.

Other Classics of Muslim Spirituality

1. Imam Shihabuddin Umar ibn Muhammad Suhrawardi, Awarif al Ma'arif (The Gnosis of the Gnostics), Dar ul Kutub al-Ilmiyya, Beirut, 1413/1993.

2. Imam Abdallah ibn Alawi al-Haddad, Risalat al Mu'awana (The Book of Assistance), translated by Dr. Mostafa al-Badawi, The Quilliam Press, London, 1989.

3. Imam Abdallah ibn Alawi al-Haddad, It-haaf-is-Saail (Gifts For The Seeker), translated by Dr. Mostafa al-Badawi, The Quilliam Press, London, 1992.

4. Abu'l Hasan, Nur Namu (An Exposition On The Light of Prophet Muhammad, peace be upon him), in Sindhi, Matba'a Muhammadi, Mumbai, n.d.

5. Shaykh Abdallah bin Mu'allim Yusuf al-Qutbi al-Qadiri, Al-Majmu'a al-Mubaraka al-Mushtamila 'alaa Kutubi Khamsa (A Blessed Compendium of Five Books), al-Maktaba al-Islamiyya, Mogadishu, n.d.


Biographies

1. Shaykh Muhammad ibn Yahya at-Tadifi, Qalaid al-Jawahir (Necklaces of Gems), A Biography of the Crown of the Saints, Shaikh Abd' al-Qadir al-Jilani, translated by Shaykh Muhtar Holland, Al-Baz Publishing, Fort Lauderdale, Florida, 1998.

2. Shaykh Hasan bin Umayr ash-Shirazi, Iqd al-Iqyan, as-Sayyad Muhammad Umar Qullatayn, Zanzibar, 1362 A.H.

3. Shaykh AbdurRahman bin Ahmad az-Zaylai, Fayd ur Rahmani, in Majmu'a Mushtamila (A Compendium of Writings), al-Maktaba Islamiya, Djibouti, 1972.

4. Hazrate Mawlana Muhammad Ilyas Attar Qadiri, Jinnat Ka Baadshah (The King of Jinns and Other Marvels of Ghous-e-Azam), Maktabat ul Madeenah, Shaheed Masjid, Karachi, n.d.

5. Miya Umar Din, Anwar-e-Qadiriyya, (The Lights of the Qadiriyya), Miyan Muhammad Bakhsh Trust, Faisalabad, 1985.

6. Al-Allama AbdurRahim Khan Saheb Qadiri,Sirat-e-Ghawth-e-A'zam (The History of the Ghawth al-Azam), Maktaba Nuriyya, Lahore, 1996.

7. Dr. Zahurul Hasan Sharib,Ghawth ul Azam Piran-e-Pir (The Greatest Spiritual Helper, The Shaykh of Shaykhs), Asma Publications, Sharib House, Ajmer, 1961 and 1989.

8. Dr. Muhammad Haroon, The World Importance of Ghaus Al Azam, in The Islamic Times, Raza Academy, Stockport, England.

Dhikr and Du'a

1. Al-Hajj Ismail ibn Sayyid Muhammad Said al-Qadiri, Fuyudaat ur Rabbaniyya, A Compendium of Invocations and Supplications of Shaykh Abd'al-Qadir al-Jilani (Radi Allahu Anhu), Maktaba Ishaah al-Islam, Delhi, n.d; translated by Shaykh Muhtar Holland as Emanations of Lordly Grace, Al-Baz Publishing, Ft.Lauderdale, Florida, 2000.

2. Muhammad Salim Bawwab, Al-Awraad ul Qadiriyya (The Regular Voluntary Invocations of Shaykh Abd'al Qadir al-Jilani), Dar al-Abwab, Damascus, 1413/1992.

3. Hadrat Mulla Ali al-Qaari, Hizb ul Azam (The Exalted Supplication), Taj Company, Karachi, n.d.

4. Shaykh AbdurRahman ibn Shaykh Umar Ali al-Qadiri, Al-Jawhar un Nafis (The Most Precious Pearls), Maktaba Isha'ah al-Islam, Delhi, 1383/1964.

5. Shaykh AbdurRahman ibn Ahmad az-Zaylai, Majmua Mushtamila (A Compendium of Writings), al-Maktaba al-Islamiyya, Djibouti, n.d.

6. As-Sayyad Muhammad bin Alawi al-Maliki al-Hasani, Duru'ul Wiqaya bi Ahzabil Himaya (Armours of Protection For Security Forces), Dar Wihdaan Lit-taba'a, 1414.

7. Nur ud Din ibn ash-Shaykh Husayn Mahmud al-Ghasani, Maktaba Mustafa al-Babi al-Halabi, Cairo, 1972/1392.

8. Al-Hajj Pir Husayn Shah Saheb Qadiri, Khatam Sharif Sarwari Ghawthi Qadiri (The Completion of the Noble Zikr Among The Sarwari Qadiriyya), Shawqat Book Depot, Karachi, n.d.

9. Qari Ridaa al-Mustafa Azami, Majmu'a Wazaaif (A Compendium of Invocations), Dar ul Ulum Amjadiya, Maktaba Ridwiyya, Karachi, 1397/1978.

10. Iqbal Ahmad Nuri and Anis Ahmad Nuri, Qadiri Ridwi Majmu'a Wazaaif (A Compendium of Invocations of the Qadiriyya), Maktaba Nuriyya Ridwiyya, Sikhkhir, 1994.

11. Women Islamic Mission, Majmua Wazaaif (A Compendium of Invocations), Khawatin Islami Mission, Karachi, n.d.


Salawaat

1. Imam Muhammad ibn Sulayman al-Jazuli, Dalaail ul Khayraat (Proofs of Good Deeds), Maktaba Isha'ah al-Islam, Delhi, n.d.

2.As-Salawaat wal Madaih Fee Hubbir Rasul (Blessings and Eulogies for the Love of the Beloved Prophet Muhammad, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him), Iqra Islamic Publications, Toronto, 1418/1997.


Diwan (Collected Religious Poems)

1. Imam Abdallah ibn Alawi al-Haddad, Ad-Durrul Manzum li Dhawil Uqul wal Fuhum (Poetic Pearls For Discerning and Understanding Minds), unpublished, 1405.

2. Shaykh AbdurRahman bin Shaykh Abdallah, Dalil il Ibaad Ilaa Sabil ir Rashad (Guide For Servants To the Path of Allah), Matba'a al-Kaylani, Somalia, n.d.

3. Diwan (Collected Religious Poems in Tariqatul Qadiriyya), Mombasa, Kenya, n.d, unpublished, anonymous.

4. Sultan ul Arifin Sultan Bahu, Champay Dhee Bootee (The Jasmine Plant), Malik Ghulam Nabi and Sons, Lahore, n.d.

5.Imam Ahmad Raza Khan, Hadaaiqi Bakhshish (The Gardens of Gifts), Chishti Kutub Khana, Faisalabad, n.d.

6. Sayyad Muhammad Ismail Shirazi, Gulzare Tayyiba (The Pleasant Garden), Shirazi Book Depot, Jamnagar, 1979.


Other Scholarly Works

1. Professor Sayyid Muhammad Naquib al-Attas, Some Aspects of Sufism As Understood and Practiced Among The Malays, Malaysian Sociological Research Institute, Singapore, 1963.

2. Maqbool Elahi, The Abyat of Sultan Bahu, Lahore, 1976.

Related Web-Sites

1. Salawaat of Gawth ul Azam Muhyiddin Shaykh Abdul Qadir Jilani, Radi Allahu Anhu,
Iqra Islamic Publications,
www.iqra.net/Salawaat/gauth/index.html

2.Asma Allah ul Husan in Verse by Shaykh Abdul Qadir Jilani, Radi Allahu Anhu,
Iqra Islamic Publications,
www.iqra.net/Qasseda/asma_in_verse.html

3.About Shaikh Abd al-Qaadir Al-Jilani,
Shaikh Abd al-Qadir Al-Jilani Home Page,
www.islam.co.za/abdalqadirjilani/about.htm

4. Jila al-Khatir (Purification of the Mind), by Shaikh Abd Al-Qadir Al-Gaylani, translated by Professor Shetha Al-Dargazelli and Louay Fatoohi, published by A.S. Noordeen, Kuala Lumpur, 1999,
Al-Tareqa Al-Aleya Al-Qadiriya Al-Kasnazaneya
http://home.clara.net/al-carrar/jilaal-khatir.htm

5. Poem on Shaykh Abdul Qadir Jilani in Turkish,
Tarikat-i Aliyye-i Rifaiyye, Tarikat-i Aliyye-i Kadiriyye, Tarikat-i Aliyye-i Arusiyye
www.rifai-kadiri.org/Kadiri.html

 

The Shaykh's Life in Baghdad


Through the mists of legend surrounding the life of Shaykh 'Abd al-Qadir
al-Jilani (Radi Allahu ta'ala anhu, it is possible to discern the outlines of
the following biographical sketch:

In A.H. 488, at the age of eighteen, he left his native province to become
a student in the great capital city of Baghdad, the hub of political,
commercial and cultural activity, and the center of religious learning in
the world of Islam.  After studying traditional sciences under such
teachers as the prominent Hanbali jurist [faqiih], Abuu Sa'd 'Ali al-
Mukharimi, he encountered a more spiritually oriented instructor in the
saintly person of Abu'l-Khair Hammad ad-Dabbas.

Then, instead of embarking on his own professorial career, he abandoned
the city and spent twenty-five years as a wanderer in the desert regions
of 'Iraq.  He was over fifty years old by the time he returned to Baghdad,
in A.H. 521/1127 C.E., and began to preach in public.  His hearers were
profoundly affected by the style and content of his lectures, and his
reputation grew and spread through all sections of society.  He moved
into the school [madrasa] belonging to his old teacher al-Mukharimi, but
the premises eventually proved inadequate.

In A.H. 528, pious donations were applied to the construction of a
residence and guesthouse [ribaat], capable of housing the Shaykh and his
large family, as well as providing acommodation for his pupils and space
for those who came from far and wide to attend his regular sessions
[majaalis]. 

He lived to a ripe old age, and continued his work until his very last
breath, as we know from the accounts of his final moments recorded in
the Addendum to Revelations of the Unseen.

In the words of Shaykh Muzaffer Ozak Efendi:  "The venerable 'Abd'
al-Qadir al-Jilani (Radi Allahu ta'ala anhu) passed on to the Realm of
Divine Beauty in A.H. 561/1166 C.E., and his blessed mausoleum in
Baghdad is still a place of pious visitation.  He is noted for his
extraordinary spiritual experiences and exploits, as well as his
memorable sayings and wise teachings.It is rightly said of him that 'he
was born in love,grew in perfection, and met his Lord in the perfection
of love.'  May the All-Glorious Lord bring us in contact with his lofty
spiritual influence!"

 

The Shaykh's Names and Titles

A rich store of information about the author of these discourses and
Sufficient Provision for Seekers of the Path of Truth 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 the author's name as it appears on the cover and title page of
these books.


Shaykh

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 and Shaykh may also be encountered in English
language publications.)


'Abd'al-Qadir

This is the author's personal name,meaning "Servant [or Slave] 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.


Al-Jilani

A surname ending in -i will often indicate the bearer's place of birth.
Shaykh 'Abd al-Qadir 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, 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 [The Sublime
Revelation]:Sayyiduna 'sh-Shaykh Muhiyu'd-Din Abu Muhammad 'Abd
al-Qadir (Radi allahu ta'ala 'anhu).


Sayyidunaa 'ash-Shaykh

"Our Master, the Shaykh."  A writer who regards himself as a Qadiri, a
devoted follower of Shaykh 'Abd al-Qadir, will generally refer to the
latter as-Sayyiduna [our Master], or Sayyidii [my Master].


Muhiyud-Din

"Reviver of the Religion."  It is widely acknowledged by historians, non-
Muslim as well as Muslim, that Shaykh 'Abd al-Qadir displayed great
courage in reaffirming the traditional teachings of Islaam, 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 [fiqh] and theology [kalaam], he adhered quite strictly to
the highly "orthodox" school of Imaam Ahmad ibn Hanbal.


Abu Muhammad

"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
Abuu [Father of–].


Radi allahu ta'ala 'anhu

"May Allah 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 Most Beloved Prophet (Allah 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 in
the eyes of his devoted followers.

Finally, we must note some important elements contained within this
even longer version:al-Ghawth al-A'zam Sultan al-Awliya' Sayyiduna 'sh-
Shaykh Muhiyi'd-Din 'Abd al-Qadir al-Jilani al-Hasani al-Husayni (Radi
alla
hu ta'ala 'anhu).


Al-Ghawth al-A'zam

"The Supreme Helper" (or, "The Mightiest Succor"). Ghawth is an Arabic
word meaning: 

(1) A cry for aid or succor.
(2) Aid, help, succor; deliverance from adversity.
(3) The chief of the Saints, who is empowered by Allah to bring succor to
suffering humanity, in response to His creatures' cry for help in times of 
extreme adversity.


Sultan al-Awliya'

"The Sultan of the Saints."  This reinforces the preceding title, emphasizing
the supremacy of the Ghawth above all other orders of sanctity.


al-Hasani al-Husayni

"The descendant of both al-Hasan and al-Husayn, the grandsons of the
Most Beloved Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace)." To quote
the Turkish author, Shaykh Muzaffer Ozak Efendi (may Allaah bestow
His mercy upon him):  "The lineage of Shaykh 'Abd al-Qadir is known as
the Chain of Gold, since both his parents were descendants of the Most
Beloved Messenger (Allah bless him and give him peace).  His noble
father, 'Abdullah, traced his descent by way of Imam Hasan, while
his revered mother, Umm al-Khair, traced hers through Imam Husayn."

As for the many other surnames, titles and honorific appellations that
have been conferred upon Shaykh 'Abd al-Qadir al-Jilani, it may suffice
at this point to mention al-Baz al-Ashhab [The Gray Falcon].

 

 

Ref: www.islam786.org/silsilaeqadiriya