He sought the company of holy men and was intimate with them. After completion of his studies, he became more severe on his ownself. He began to deny himself the many cravings of life, except the barest minimum merely to sustain life.
When his devotion towards "Mujahida" increased, he left Baghdad and went to a place called Sauster. Hazrat has said ?Do not expect to be included in the company of spiritual people, unless you have become an enemy of your whole-self and have become absolutely separated from all the organs of your body and all your limbs, and have cut off all connections with your existence, your movements, your speaking your hearing and seeing, with your efforts and your intelligence, and with every thing that proceeds from you, before your spiritual existence come into bring in you?.
He explained "All that will be found in you, after spiritual existence is breathed into you, because all these things constitute a screen between you and your Lord. You should consider your whole being and your parts as idols together with the rest of the creation and you should not obey any of them. Then you will learn the secrets of divine knowledge and acquire extraordinary powers".
"Then you will truly become a manifestation of the powers of God; you will hear, see, speak, and understand through God, and will have comfort and rest through Him. Thus you will be blind and deaf to any thing besides Allah, so that you will not find anything existing besides Him".
For one year, he lived mainly on vegetables. In the next year, he mainly lived on liquid. In the third year, he barely ate drank or slept. Gravings were thus brought to the very minimum. This ?Mujahida? was undertaken to assume the attributes of Allah, who neither eats nor drinks nor sleeps. Hazrat wandered in the jungles of Iraq in a state that neither he knew anything about the people nor anybody knew anything about him. People thus took him for a dumb and insane person. He lived for many years in the ruins of Madain in Jazab. He moved about alone for about twenty-five years amidst the ruins of Iraq.
Thought insane and taken for treatment, his condition would worsen and outwardly to those around him he would appear to be dead. When the people prepared to wash his body prior to burial, he would suddenly regain consciousness and movements. Such was his physical state.
For about forty years he performed morning prayers with the ablution (wuzoo) taken for the previous night prayers. After night prayers, he would stand holding a post to avoid sleep and recite the Quran till the time for morning prayers. Hazrat Sheikh said, ?whoever preferred sleep to wakeful prayers at night would lose alertness, towards approach to Allah, who nor his angels needed sleep. Thus merit lies in keeping awake for prayers at night, denying slumber?.
For eleven years he lived in a tower, which on account of his long stay, was known as Burje-Ajami. Once in this tower he vowed to God that he would not eat nor drink unless food was put into his mouth. He began to fast. After completion of forty days of fast, some one came and kept near him some food. Since it was not put into his mouth, he did not eat it, although the animal desire in him was eager to devour it. He spiritually heard loud cries of "Hunger". "Hunger" at this time Hazrat Abu Said Mokkarimi happened to pass by the place and inquired what the matter was. Hazrat Sheikh replied that his ?nafs? was greedy but his soul was serene in the contemplation of God. Hazrat Abu Said asked him to join him in Baghdad. But Hazrat Sheikh did not leave for Baghdad until Hazrat Khizer had gone and requested him to go to Hazrat Abu Said who was waiting for him. He then left and upon reaching there, was fed by Hazrat Abu Said. Hazrat Sheikh Abdul Qadir took a ?khirqa? from Hazrat Abu Said and the latter also requested Saiyidena Abdul Qadir to put a "khirqa" on him.
Satan disturbed the Hazrat but with the grace of Allah he resisted. Once he was in a jungle without food or water being available. After a few days, Hazrat felt extremely thirsty. Then a cloud appeared over his head and burst into rain and the Sheikh quenched his thirst with it. A luminous figure appeared on the horizon and said, ?I am your God. I now make all unlawful things, lawful to you.? At this the Sheikh recited the words ?I seek the protection of God from Satan the accursed.? On hearing this, the figure changed into a cloud and it was heard saying, ?By your knowledge and by the grace of God you have been saved from my deception.? Then Satan asked the Sheikh how he had recognized him so quickly. The Sheikh replied that his announcement of making unlawful things lawful betrayed him, because such an announcement could not have been from God.
There is also another version that one day, Satan appeared before him introducing himself as angel Jebreel and with him appeared to be ?Buraq? which was associated with the spiritual ascension (Mihraj) of the Holy Prophet and inviting the Hazrat to make a similar ascension and said that he had brought ?Buraq? from Allah. To this he promptly replied that the speaker could be none other than Satan himself, because neither Hazrat Jibreel nor ?Buraq? could come on to the world for any person other than the Holy Prophet Muhammed (peace be upon him). Satan however was provoked to say ?Well Abdul Qadir, you have saved yourself by dint of your knowledge? ?Be off Satan.? The Sheikh retorted ?do not tempt me any further, it is not through my knowledge but through the Grace of Allah, that I have escaped from your trap.?
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Few amongst the masses use to object that to utter "Ya Shaykh Abd al Qadir Jilani" is Shirk because one is making partnership with Allah Ta’ala (committing Shirk) by asking for assistance from the creation of Allah Ta'ala. They say that one can only ask directly from Allah Ta’ala. The Ahle Sunnah Wal Jama'at believes that it is absolutely permissible to say "Ya Sheikh Abd al Qaadir Jilani".
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