SULTAN-UL-AWLIYA SHAYKH SYED ABDUL QADIR JILANI (RA)
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The Blessed Birth Of Hadhrat Shaikh Abd al-Qadir Al-jilani (RA)
According to the two Qur’an memorizers (hafiz), adh-dhahabi and Ibn Rajab, Hadhrat Shaikh Abd al-Qadir’s father was Abu Salih Abdullah (ra), the son of Jangi Dost (ra). The name Jangi Dost is a Persian expression, meaning “he who loves fighting”.
His mother was Umm al-khair (ra) (mother of goodness) Amat al-jabbar (maidservant of the all compelling one) Fatima, the daughter of Shaikh Abdullah as-sawma I-al-hussaini as-zahid. She had an abundant share of goodness and righteousness. It is related of her that she used to say : “When I gave birth to my son, Hadhrat Shaikh Abd al-Qadir Al-jilani (ra), he would not suck my breast during the daytime of Ramadhan. The new moon of Ramadhan was hidden by clouds, so people came and asked me about him, and I told them : “He has not sipped a breast today”. It thus became obvious that the day was the first day of Ramadhan. The word then spread throughout the towns of Jilan, that a son had been born to the nobles, and this was a child who refused to be suckled during the daytime in Ramadhan. It was also said that his mother had become pregnant with him when she was sixty years of age. It is said that no woman of sixty carries a child, unless she be a woman of Quraish, and no woman of fifty carries a child, unless she be an arab woman.
When she gave birth to Hadhrat Shaikh Abd al-Qadir Al-jilani (ra), he was received by the hand of gracious favor, and he was surrounded by enabling guidance, both behind him and in front of him. He never ceased to be nurtured in the lap of noble kindness, nourished with the milk of blessings, guarded in safekeeping, watched over with providential care.
Childhood Of Hadhrat Shaikh Abd al-Qadir Al-jilani (ra)
Hadhrat Shaikh Abd al-Qadir Al-jilani (ra) realised that he was a wali (friend of Allah – exalted is he) at the age of 10. When he used to leave the house in Jilan, to go to elementary school, he could see angels walking around him. When he used to arrive in school, the angels would say: “Clear a space for the saintly friend (wali) of Allah, so that he can sit himself down”.
One day a man passed by Hadhrat Shaikh Abd al-Qadir Al-jilani (ra) on the road, who he did not recognise. Hadhrat Shaikh Abd al-Qadir Al-jilani (ra) heard the angels saying something to him and the man asked the angels: “Who is that boy?”. So one of the angels replied: “This is a member of the house of the nobles for whom a role of tremendous importance lies in store. This is someone who will give and not withhold, who will enable and not raise obstacles, who will be close (to the truth) and not prone to being cheated or deceived”. Forty years later, Hadhrat Shaikh Abd al-Qadir Al-jilani (ra) realised that the man on the road was one of the spiritual deputies (abdal) of that historical time.
Whenever Hadhrat Shaikh Abd al-Qadir Al-jilani (ra) went outside, as a child, intending to play with other children, he heard a voice telling him: “(come) towards me, o blessed one (ilayya ya mubarak)”. Hadhrat Shaikh Abd al-Qadir Al-jilani (ra) would run away in a panic and hurl into his mother’s lap.
As a youngster Hadhrat Shaikh Abd al-Qadir Al-jilani (ra) once went out to the rural area of Jilan on the day of Arafat (climax of Hajj – pilgrimage). He followed a cow which was plowing the fields. Another cow turned to Hadhrat Shaikh Abd al-Qadir Al-jilani (ra) and said: “O Abd al-Qadir, it is not for this that you have been created”. Hadhrat Shaikh Abd al-Qadir Al-jilani (ra) ran back to the house, feeling utterly terrified, and climbed onto the roof of the house. Once on the roof, Hadhrat Shaikh Abd al-Qadir Al-jilani (ra) could actually see the people performing the pilgrim rite of standing at Arafat (thousands of miles away, in the neighbourhood of Mecca). Hadhrat Shaikh Abd al-Qadir Al-jilani (ra) then went to see his mother and said to her: “Give me as a present to Allah (almighty and glorious is he), and grant me your permission to make the journey to Baghdad, where I shall strive to acquire knowledge, and where I shall visit with the righteous”.
His mother enquired the reason for this request, and when Hadhrat Shaikh Abd al-Qadir Al-jilani (ra) told of what had occurred on that day, she burst into tears. She fetched eighty dinars (gold coins), which Abu Salih (ra) had left her as an inheritance. She placed forty Dinars in the lining of Hadhrat Shaikh Abd al-Qadir Al-jilani’s (ra) coat, and gave permission for him to leave Jilan for Baghdad. Hadhrat Shaikh Abd al-Qadir Al-jilani’s (ra) mother asked him to promise to commit to truthfulness (sidq), in whatever circumstances and conditions. When she bid farewell to Hadhrat Shaikh Abd al-Qadir Al-jilani (ra) she said: “O my son, away you go, for I have detached myself from you for the sake of Allah (almighty and glorious is he), knowing that I shall not see this face of yours again, until the day of resurrection (yawm al-qiyaama).
Hadhrat Shaikh Abd al-Qadir Al-jilani (ra) leaves Jilan for Baghdad
Hadhrat Shaikh Abd al-Qadir Al-jilani (ra) travelled with a small caravan of people bound for Baghdad. When they reached the vicinity of Hamadhan, they entered a stretch of rugged terrain. They suddenly found themselves being attacked in an ambush by sixty men on horseback, who seized the caravan. One of the brigands turned to Hadhrat Shaikh Abd al-Qadir Al-jilani (ra) and said: “Hey there poor beggar, what do you have with you?”. Hadhrat Shaikh Abd al-Qadir Al-jilani (ra) replied: “I have forty dinars”. “Where are they?” he said. Hadhrat Shaikh Abd al-Qadir Al-jilani (ra) replied: “Stitched in the lining of my coat, underneath my armpit”. The brigand assumed that his sense of humour was being tested. A second brigand passed and asked the same question, and the same answer was repeated to him.
The pair of them got together in the presence of their leader, and they told him what had happened. “Bring him to me”, said the leader, so Hadhrat Shaikh Abd al-Qadir Al-jilani (ra) was taken to him. They were up on a hill sharing out the goods that had been robbed already. “What do you have with you”, he asked Hadhrat Shaikh Abd al-Qadir Al-jilani (ra). The same reply was given to the leader of the brigands. The leader then took the coat and ripped the stitching apart, and discovered that it indeed did contain forty dinars. Hadhrat Shaikh Abd al-Qadir Al-jilani (ra) was asked what had prompted him to make the confession, and he explained that his mother had made him promise to commit himself to truthfulness, and that he would never betray his binding covenant with her.
Upon hearing this, the chief brigand began to weep and he said through his tears: “You did not betray your mothers covenant, whereas I, for so many years up to this present day, have been betraying the covenant of the Lord”. He thereupon repented at the hands of Hadhrat Shaikh Abd al-Qadir Al-jilani (ra). His fellow brigands said to him: “You have been our leader in highway robbery, and now you shall be our leader in repentance (tawba)”. So they all repented at the hands of Hadhrat Shaikh Abd al-Qadir Al-jilani (ra), and they returned all items that had been seized from the travellers. They were the very first of all those who repented at the hands of Hadhrat Shaikh Abd al-Qadir Al-jilani (ra).
According to Shaikh Imam Taqiyyu ‘d-din Muhammad al-wa’iz al-lubnani (ra), in his book entitled “the garden of the pious and the virtues of the excellent” (Rawdat al-abrar wa mahasin al-akhyar), this is what happened when:
Hadhrat Shaikh Abd al-Qadir Al-jilani (ra) was about to enter Baghdad, he was stopped by al-khidr (ra), who prevented him from entering the city, and told him: “I have no instruction to allow you to enter for the next seven years”. Hadhrat Shaikh Abd al-Qadir Al-jilani (ra) therefore settled on the bank of the river Tigris for seven years, gathering vegetables of the kind permissible to eat, to the point that his neck was becoming tinged with the colour green. Then he got up one night and heard a voice addressing him with the words : “O Abd al-qadir, enter Baghdad”.
He thereupon entered the city. The night was rainy and cold, so he approached the convent of Shaikh Hammad ibn mslim ad-dabbas, but the shaikh said: “lock the door of the convent and put out the light!”. Hadhrat Shaikh Abd al-Qadir Al-jilani (ra) just sat down by the door, and Allah cast sleep upon him. When dawn was at hand, the door opened and Hadhrat Shaikh Abd al-Qadir Al-jilani (ra) stepped inside. Shaikh Hammad came forward to welcome him, embraced him and gave him a hug. There weree tears in his eyes as he said to him : “O my son, Abd al-qadir, today it is our turn to be in charge here, but tomorrow it will be your turn. So when you have taken charge, deal fairly with this old head of grey hair”.
The following is a quotation from the “Splendour of the Mysteries” (Bahjat Al-Asrar):
All hail to a newcomer, upon whose arrival the first showers of blissful good fortune began to arrive, for a land in whosae towns he alighted, and where the clouds of mercy came in succession, to the general benefit of its modern and its ancient districts, and right guidance was multiplied therein, so that light was shed by it’s spiritual deputies (abdal) and its mainstays (awtad), and the delegations of good tidings arrived there on another’s heels, so that all it’s propitious times and festivals dawned brightly, and the heart of Iraq began to glow with the light of his love, ecstatic with joy, while the tongue of it’s frontier access road responded to the advent of his countenance by uttering encomiums in praise of Allah.
Upon his arrival the clouds gave forth refreshing rain
And green grass covered the whole of Iraq
Sinful transgression passed away,
And the right direction was made quite clear.
Its palm trees flourished, it’s deserts became a haven,
Its pebbles turned into pearls, and it’s lights shone plain to see.
Because of him, the bosom of Iraq swelled with an ardent longing,
And in the heart of Najd his virtues were the cause of ecstasy.
In the east the sparks of his light were seen as lightning flashes,
And in the west the mention of his splendour was heard as the clap of thunder.
The quest for Knowledge
Hadhrat Shaikh Abd al-Qadir Al-jilani (ra) had come to understand that the pursuit of knowledge (‘ilm) is an obligatory religious duty for every muslim, and that it is the cure for sick souls, since it is the most explicit route to true devotion, the most effective evidence thereof, the clearest guidance thereto, the highest of all the ladders of certainty, the loftiest of all the degrees of conviction, the most magnificent of all the ranks of religion, and the most splendidof all the stations held by those who are rightly guided.
Because he understood this well, he rolled up the sleeve of earnestness and serious endeavour in the effort to acquire it, and wasted no time in the pursuit of it’s branches and it’s roots. He sought out the leading sheikhs, the signposts of right guidance, the scholars of the Islamic community. He embarked on the study of Islamic jurisprudence (fiqh), after reading the glorious qur’an until he was thoroughly familiar with it.
In studying both the inner content and the obvious meaning of Islamic legal doctrine, he derived benefit from the wise instruction of Abu ‘l-wafa ‘Ali ibn Uqail al-hanbali, Abu ‘l-hassan Muhhamad ibn al-qadi Abu Ya La-muhammad ibn al-hassan ibn Muhammad al-farra al-hanbali, the Qadi (judge) Abu Sa’id, and also according to some accounts, Abu Sa’id al-mubarak ibn Ali al-Mukharrimi al-hanbali. He learned to recognise the established doctrine of a school of law (madhab), as well as areas where expert opinions differ, and he mastered both the branches and the roots of the subject.
He studied customary good manners under Abu Zakariyya Yahya ibn Ali at-tabrizi, and heard the prophetic tradition (hadith) from a number of experts, including Abu Ghalib Muhammad ibn al-hasan al-Baqilani, Abu Sa’id Muhammad ibn Abd al-karim ibn Khashisha, Abu ‘l-ghana im Muhammad ibn Muhammad ibn Ali ibn Maimun al-farsi, Abu Bakr Ahmad ibn al-muzaffar, Abu Ja’far ibn Ahmad ibn al-husain al-qari as-sarraj, Abu ‘lQasim Ali ibn Ahmad ibn bannan al karkhi, Abu Talib Abd al-qadir ibn Muhammad ibn Yusuf, his paternal cousin Abd ar-rahman ibn Ahmad, Abu ‘lbarakat Hibatu’llah ibn al-mubarak, Abu ‘l-Izz Muhammad ibn al-mukhtar, Abu Nasr Muhammad, Abu Ghalib Ahmad and Abu Abdi’llah Yahya, Abu ‘l-hasan ibn Mubarak ibn at-tuyuri, Abu Mansur Abd ar-rahman al-qazzaz, Abu ‘l-barakat talha al-aquli and yet others besides.
Hadhrat Shaikh Abd al-Qadir Al-jilani (ra) became the pupil of Abu’l-Khair Hammad ibn Muslim ibn Duruh ad-dabbas (ra) and from him he acquired knowledge of the spiritual path (tariqa). He received basic training, and with his help Hadhrat Shaikh Abd al-Qadir Al-jilani (ra) set out on the spiritual journey. Hadhrat Shaikh Abd al-Qadir Al-jilani (ra) took to wearing the noble tattered cloak (khirqa), which he received from al-qadi Abu Sa’id al mubarak al mukharrimi. Al Mukharrimi had worn it after receiving it from Shaikh Abu’l-hasan Ali ibn Muhammad al-quraishi, who acquired it from Abu ‘l-faraj at-tartusi, to whom it was handed down by Abu ‘l-fadl Abd al-wahid at-tamimi, who had received it from the hand of his own shaikh, shaikh abu bakr as-shibli. As-shibli had acquired it from Abu ‘l-qasim al junaid, and al-junaid had received it from his maternal uncle, assari as-saqati, upon whom it had been bestowed by shaikh Ma’ruf al-karkhi. Al-karkhi had received it from Dawud Ta’I, who had obtained it from, Habib al-ajmi. Al-ajmi received it from Shaikh al-hasan al-basri, and al-basri had received it from our patron, the commander of the believers (amir al-mu’minin), Ali ibn Talib (ra), who had received it from the chieftain of all the messengers, the beloved of Allah, Muhammad (saw). As for Muhammad (saw), he had received it from Gabriel (ra), and Gabriel had received it from the Lord of truth – the almighty Allah.
Hadhrat Shaikh Abd al-Qadir Al-jilani (ra) continued to gain great knowledge and according to al-hafiz Imad ad-din ibn kathir: “Hadhrat Shaikh Abd al-Qadir Al-jilani (ra) attended lectures on hadith, and concentrated on the subject until he became extremely proficient in it. He occupied a commanding position in the fields of Hadith and Fiqh, and religious exhortation (wa’z), and in sciences concerned with the facts of real experience”.
The Life Of Hadhrat Shaikh Abd al-Qadir Al-jilani (ra)
Hadhrat Shaikh Abd al-Qadir Al-jilani (ra) had an excellent bearing, and he normally maintained a dignified silence (samt), except when it came to enjoining what is right and fair, and forbidding what is wrong and unfair, whether his targets were the Caliphs, the Viziers, the sultans, the judges, the privileged few, or people at large. He used to address them openly and frankly on such matters, in public situations, from the pulpits and at special gatherings. He was noticed for a considerable degree of pious abstinence (zuhd), and he was endowed with supernatural states and revelatory disclosures. May Allah sanctify his innermost being, and may he illuminate his mausoleum – Ameen”
Physical Build And Bearing
According to Shaikh Muwaffaq ad-din ibn Qudama al-maqdisi (ra): Hadhrat Shaikh Abd al-Qadir Al-jilani (ra) was of slender build, of medium height, and broad in the chest. He had a full beard, which was brown throughout it’s length, and his eyebrows were joined, though almost imperceptibly. He was endowed with a clearly audible voice, a dignified bearing, a noble character, and a total comprehension.
Hospitality & Remarkable Patience
Every night Hadhrat Shaikh Abd al-Qadir Al-jilani (ra) would order the spreading of the table mat. He would eat with guests, and sit in the company of the handicapped. He was very patient with the seekers of knowledge, so that no one who sat with him could imagine himself being treated more generously by anyone else. He would miss any friends who were absent, and make enquiries about their situation, preserving his affection for them, and pardoning their bad deeds. If someone made him a solemn assurance, on oath, he would take him at his word, while concealing what he actually knew about him.
Hadhrat Shaikh Abd al-Qadir Al-jilani (ra) had a supply of wheat, cultivated as lawful food (halal) by one of his companions from the rural outskirts, who planted it for him every year. Another friend of his used to grind it and bake it for him, producing four or five flat loaves of bread, which he would bring to him at the end of each day. Hadhrat Shaikh Abd al-Qadir Al-jilani (ra) would then distribute some of the bread among those present in his company, piece by piece. Then he would store the rest for his own purposes. His manservant, Muzaffar , would stand at the door of his house, holding the bread on a tray in his hand, and calling out: “Who would like some bread? Who would like to eat supper? Who would like a place to shelter for the night?”. If the Shaikh received a gift, he would distribute it, or part of it, among those present in his company, and he would find some way to compensate the giver. He would also accept a votive offering, and eat some of it himself.
In his ta’rikh (history), the highly erudite scholar Ibn Najjar informs us that it was al-jubba’I who said: “Hadhrat Shaikh Abd al-Qadir Al-jilani (ra) once told me:” “I made a thorough scrutiny of all human actions, and I did not find any deed amongst them more meritorious than the providing of food, nor anything more noble then good moral character. I would love to hold this world in my hand so that I could feed it to the hungry. All I need is a sieve that keeps nothing from passing through. If a thousand dinars (gold coins) came my way, they would not even spend the whole night in my company”.
It was Ahmad ibn al-mubarak ar-marfa’ani who said: “Among those who took tuition in Islamic Jurisprudence (fiqh) from Hadhrat Shaikh Abd al-Qadir Al-jilani (ra), there was a Persian called Unayy. He was totally absent minded, devoid of intellectual capacity, and he could hardly understand a thing, except after wearisome trouble and toil. He was there in our class one day, reading aloud to the Shaikh (ra), when in came Ibn as-samhal, who had just arrived to pay the Shaikh (ra) a visit. The visitor was amazed at the Shaikh’s (ra) patience with his student, and as soon as Ubayy had got up and left the room, Ibn as-samhal turned to the Shaikh (ra) and said: “I am truly astonished by your patience with this would-be jurist (mutafaqqih)”. To this the Shaikh (ra) replied: “My tiresome Labor with him will soon be over. Before the week is out, he will have passed on to Allah (exalted is he).”
Ubayy died on the last day of that week. Ibn as-samhal was in attendance that day, in order to join the funeral prayer, and he expressed his amazement at the Shaikh’s announcement of his death, before the arrival of his appointed term.
Life And Exploits
To quote the words of Shaikh Talha ibn Muzaffar al-Althami, Hadhrat Shaikh Abd al-Qadir Al-jilani (ra) said: “I stayed in Baghdad for twenty years, but I could not find the means to sustain my survival. I could not find permissible food to eat, so I went out to the Great Porch Of Chosroes (Iwan Kisra), searching for permissible subsistence. There I encountered seventy men from among the saints (awliya), all of them searching for the same thing. I said to myself: “It is not in keeping with chivalry (muru’a), for me to compete with them”. I therefore returned to Baghdad, where I met a man whom I did not recognise, though he was an inhabitant of my own hometown (Jilan). He gave me some clippings and filings of precious metal, and told me: “Your mother sent those to you, with me as the carrier.” I paused long enough to take out a portion, and set it aside for myself, then I hurried off to the wasteland around the Great Porch, where I distributed the rest among those seventy. “What is this?” they asked, so I explained: “This just came to me as a present from my mother, and I did not see fit to keep it all for myself, instead of sharing it with you”. Then I went back to Baghdad, and used the portion I still had with me to buy some food. I invited the poor folk to join me, and we ate together”.
It was Abu Bakr at-Taimi who said: “I once heard our master Hadhrat Shaikh Abd al-Qadir Al-jilani (ra) say: “I found myself in truly critical predicament, due to the extremely high cost of living in Baghdad. I spent several days there without having any food to eat. As a matter of fact, I resorted to scavenging for bits of food that had been thrown away. On one particular day, since my hunger was terribly acute, I went out of town to the river bank, in the hope of finding some lettuce leaves and herbs, and maybe some other foodstuffs dumped out there, on which I could nourish myself. I soon arrived at a likely spot, but only to find that others had beaten me to it. If I came across something worth picking up, I immediately found myself rubbing shoulders with a bunch of paupers, and I did not feel good about competing with them for the item concerned. I therefore retreated, walking through the centre of the city, but I failed to notice any site where food had been dumped, apart from the one to which other folk had beaten me.”
“By the time I arrived at a mosque (masjid) in the perfume sellers bazaar, my hunger had reduced me to complete exhaustion, and I was simply too weak to stay on my feet any longer, so I entered the mosque and sat down towards one side of it. Just when I was at the point of shaking hands with death, in came a young fellow, clearly a non-arab who brought with him a stick of bread and a helping of grilled meat. He sat down and started to eat, and each time he raised a morsel with his hand, I almost opened my mouth, my hunger being so intense. I managed to check myself, however, saying: “What is this? What have we here, except Allah and whatever he has decreed in the way of death?”. At that very moment, the young foreigner turned towards me, and noticed my presence. “In the name of Allah, O my brother” he said (meaning, please share my meal with me), but I showed no immediate reaction. He became insistent, however, so my appetite responded to his invitation, and I ate a few bites.
He started asking me questions, like What is your occupation and Where are you from, and Whom are you well acquainted with?. “As for my occupation I am an aspiring jurist (mutafaqqih). As for where I am from, I am from Jilan”. “Well I never” he exclaimed, “I am also from Jilan! Do you happen to know a young man, a fellow Jilani, by the name of Abd al-Qadir?” “Yes Indeed”, said I “for I am he”.
“This left him utterly dumbfounded and his complexion became completely altered. “By Allah, O my brother!” he gasped, as he began to tell me his tale: “When I arrived here in Baghdad, I still had some funds left over from my travel expenses, so I made enquiries about you. I met no one who would direct me to your whereabouts, and I eventually ran out of funds. For three days after reaching that point, I could not find the price of my basic sustenance, apart from something belonging to you, which I still had with me. When this day came, the third of three, I finally said: ‘I will soon have spent three whole days without eating any food, and that will mean that the lawgiver (shari) has given me permission to eat carrion (maita)’. I then took from your deposit the price of this bread and the grilled meat. So eat and enjoy, for it actually belongs to you, while I am your guest, although it would appear to be mine, and you would seem to be my guest!”.
“What on earth are you talking about?” I asked him, so he explained: “Your mother entrusted me with eight dinars, for delivery to you, so I took enough out of them to pay for this meal. I am now referring to it as your own, as a way of apologising for my having betrayed you, for I admit to feeling guilty, even if the sacred Law (shariat) does exonerate me, at least to a certain extent”. “I made him feel comfortable and set his mind at rest. He really enjoyed the rest of our meal, which I gave to him as a present. I also offered him part of the gold, so he accepted it and went on his way.
We are told by Shaikh Abdu’llah as-simli:”I once heard our master Hadhrat Shaikh Abd al-Qadir Al-jilani (ra) say: “I had spent several days there (in Baghdad) without finding any food to eat. Then, while I was in the quarter known as the Aristocratic Fiefdom (al-Qati at ash-sharifa), I was suddenly approached by a man who thrust a bound sheaf of paper into my hand, before making an equally sudden departure. I kept the paper with me for a while, as I strolled on through the streets, then I handed it over to one of the local grocers, in exchange for a cake of semolina, or maybe a mixture of dates and clarified butter. Then I went to an out-of-the-way mosque , in which I used to seek seclusion, in order to go over my lessons. I set the cake down in front of me, in the niche marking the Qibla (direction of Ka’ba in Mecca), while I pondered the question: “Shall I eat it, or not?”
“It was then that I noticed a rolled-up sheet of paper, in the shadow of the wall, so I picked it up and examined it. Lo and Behold, it had these words written upon it:
What have the strong to do with passionate appetites? I have only assigned passionate appetites to the weak among the believers, so that they may use the energy they provide for acts of worshipful obedience”
“I promptly picked up the handkerchief (in which the cake was wrapped), and left it’s contents in the niche marking the Qibla. I performed two cycles of ritual prayer, and then off I went.
Shaikh Abu Muhammad al-jubba’I says: “Hadhrat Shaikh Abd al-Qadir Al-jilani (ra) once told me: “It occurred to me that I should leave the city of Baghdad, because it contained so many trials and temptations, so I took my copy of the Qur’an and hung it over my shoulder. Then I walked to the Racetrack Gate (Bab al-halba), intending to go through it into the desert. Just as I was about to do so, however, I heard someone saying to me: “Where are you strolling off to?”The speaker gave me a shove, so hard that I toppled to the ground. I suppose he was standing there over my back, as I heard him say: “You must return at once, for the people derive benefit from your presence in their city.” To this I responded by saying: “What obligation do Ibear to my fellow creatures ? I am only seeking to ensure the integrity of my religion.” He said: “Go back, and the integrity of your religion will be ensured for you.” I never saw the physical form of the speaker.”
“Then not long after that, I experienced the visitation by night of spiritual states (ahwal), which I found difficult to understand, so I wished that Allah would provide me with someone who could disclose their meaning to me. When the next day came, I passed through the quarter known as al-Muzaffariyya, where a man opened the door of his house, and said to me: “O Abd al-qadir, come over here!” So I went and stood in front of him, and he said: “What were you looking for yesterday evening?” Or maybe the words he used were: “What did you ask of Allah during the night?” I kept silent, not knowing what I should say, so he became exasperated with me. He slammed the door in my face with a truly mighty slam, so that the dust from the edges of the door flew straight into my face.
“Then, when I had walked on a little way, I remembered what I had asked of Allah, and it occurred to me that he might well be one of the righteous (salihin) (or the Shaikh may have said: “One of the saints (awliya), so I went back and tried to find the door. I could not identify it anywhere, so I felt a painful tightness in my breast. I did eventually recognise the door, and that man turned out to be none other than Shaikh Hammad ad-dabbas. I became his pupil, and he unveiled for me the significance of what I had found so hard to understand.
“When I was absent from him for some time, in the pursuit of knowledge, and then returned to him, he would say to me: “What has you brought back here to us? You are an expert jurist (faqih) so go off and join your fellow jurists (fuqaha)!”. I would keep silent, while he spoke to me in a seriously hurtful and offensive manner, and lashed me with his tongue. On another occasion, when I was absent from him in the pursuit of knowledge, and then came to see him again, he might say: “Today we received a large delivery of bread and honey-cake, and we ate our fill, but we did not keep anything at all for you.”
“His companions were keen to see me arrive, because they noticed how often he offended me, and they would get a thrill out of saying things like: “You are supposed to be a jurist, so what are you doing here?” or, “Whatever brings you here to us?” But then,, as soon as he saw them trying to hurt me, Shaikh Hammad would spring zealously to my defence, and he would say to them: “O you dogs, you must not hurt his feelings! By Allah, there is not a single one like him amongst you. When I try to offend him, I only do so in order to test his mettle, for I see him as a mountain that cannot be shaken”
It was Shaikh Abu Abd’illah an-Najjaar who said: “Our master Hadhrat Shaikh Abd al-Qadir Al-jilani (ra) once told me: “I would sometimes feel the weight of many burdens, heavy enough to make the mountains disintegrate, if they had been laid upon them. So, when those pressures multiplied upon me, I would set my forehead on the ground, and say (in the words of the qur’an):
So truly with hardship comes ease,
Fa-inna ma’a l-usri yusraa
Truly with hardship comes ease
Inna ma’a l-usri yusraa
“Then I would raise my head, and to my great relief, I would always find that those heavy pressures had been chased away from me”
Shaikh Abu Abd’illah an-Najjaar also says: “Hadhrat Shaikh Abd al-Qadir Al-jilani (ra) once told me: “During the time when I was engaged in the study of Islamic jurisprudence (fiqh), attending the classes held by the sheikhs, I would go into the desert, instead of lodging in Baghdad. I would sit in the wasteland by night and by day. I used to wear a jubba (long outer garment) made of wool (suf), to cover my body, and on my head I wore a cap like a miniature tattered cloak. I used to stroll barefoot among the thorns and other hazards. For nourishment, I used to eat carob beans, plucked from the thornbushes, as well as vegetable waste and lettuce leaves, collected from the side of the stream and the bank of the river. If anything scared me at all, I would venture into it. I would subject my lower self (nafs) to strict discipline, until an unseen visitor (taariq) came from Allah (almighty and glorious is he) to visit me, and I would experience such visits by night and by day. I would go into the desert, utter loud screams, and feel a glowing sensationon my face. My condition could only be diagnosed as a form of dumbness and insanity.”
It was Abu ‘s-sa’ud al-huraimi who said: “I once heard our great master, Hadhrat Shaikh Abd al-Qadir Al-jilani (ra) say:
“I stayed in the deserts and ruined areas of Iraq for 25 years, as a solitary wanderer. I did not get to know my fellow creatures, and they did not get to know me. My only visitors were groups of men from the invisible realm (ghaib), as well as some of the jinn. I used to show them the way to Allah (almighty and glorious is he)”
“The charms of this world, it’s ornaments, and it’s desires kept coming to me, in all their shapes and forms, but Allah (almighty and glorious is he) would always shield me from being influenced by their attraction. The devils would also come to me in various disturbing guises, and they would engage me in combat, but Allah would always strengthen me against them. My own lower self (nafs) would adopt a certain attitude towards me: at one time it would humbly beseech me to let it have what it wanted, then at another time it would engage in a fight with me, but Allah would always help me to keep it under control. I took my lower self sternly to task, and whenever a particular method of spiritual discipline proved effective for this purpose, at an early stage, I would embrace it, grasp it firmly with both my hands, and continue to apply it on a regular basis”.
“I stayed for a long period of time in the ruin areas of the big cities, taking my lower self (nafs) to task by applying the method of spiritual discipline. Thus I spent one year eating food from the dumps, without drinking any water, and one year drinking water. Then I spent a whole year drinking water, but without eating any food from the dumps, and another year without eating, drinking or sleeping. I did fall asleep once, in the great porch of chosroes (Iwan Kisraa) on a bitterly cold night. I experienced a seminal emission in my sleep, so I got up and went to the bank of the river, where I performed a major ritual ablution. In the course of that night , I experienced forty seminal emissions, and I performed the major ritual ablution forty times on the bank of the river. Then I climbed back onto the porch, afraid of falling asleep yet again. I also stayed for two years in the ruins of al-karkh (an ancient suburb of Iraq), when my only nourishment was the papyrus plant (bardii). At the beginning of each year, a man would come to me with a jubba made of wool”.
“I entered into a thousand different states of being (alf fann), in order to obtain relief from this world, and my condition could only be diagnosed as dumbness (takhaarus), a craziness (balam) and insanity (junun). I used to walk barefoot amid the thorns and other hazards. If anything scared me, I would venture straight into it. Never did my lower self (nafs) prevail upon me, in the effort to get what it wanted, nor did anything ever seduce me with it’s worldly charm”.
Shaikh Umar said: “I once heard our master, Hadhrat Shaikh Abd al-Qadir Al-jilani (ra) say: ”Spiritual states (ahwaal) used to come upon me unexpectedly, in the early stage of my wandering, so I would adopt to them, take possession of them and disappear into them, away from my ordinary existence. I would run at high speed, though quite unaware that I was doing so, and then, when the unusual condition left me, I would find myself in a place far removed from the place that I had been t the outset. On one such occasion, the spiritual state (haal) came upon me while I was in the ruined area of Baghdad. I ran for the space of an hour, quite unaware that I was running. When I recovered my normal consciousness, I found myself in the region of Shashtar, where the distance between me and Baghdad was that of a twelve day journey. As I stood there reflecting on my situation, a woman came up to me and said: “Does this really strike you as something surprising, when you are none other than Hadhrat Shaikh Abd al-Qadir Al-jilani (ra)?”.
It was Shaikh Uthman as-siraafini who said: “I once heard our master, Hadhrat Shaikh Abd al-Qadir Al-jilani (ra) say: “I used to sit in the ruined areas by night and by day, and I did not take a lodging in Baghdad. The devils used to come to me in ranks, in the guise of men bearing weapons of various kinds, and assuming the most alarming shapes and forms. They would engage me in combat, pelting me with fire. Yet even in the face of these terrifying assaults, I would find within my heart an inexpressible sense of reassurance. I would hear a voice saying from somewhere deep inside: “Stand up and attack them, O abd al-qadir, for we have already reinforced your strength, and we have come to your support with our invincible assistance.!” Sure enough, as soon as I launched a resolute attack against them, they would flee away to right and left, returning to wherever they had came from.
“Then a single devil would come to me from amongst them, all by himself, and would say to me: “Go away from here, or else I shall do this, and I shall do that”. He would warn me of many dreadful consequences, so I would slap him with my hand, and he would flee away from me. I would then say: “There is no might, and no strength, except with Allah, the all high, the all glorious (laa hawla wa laa quwwata, illa billahi l-aliyyi l-azim)”, and he would be consumed by fire, as I watched him burn.
“On one accasion, I was approached by a figure whose appearance was utterly repugnant, and who had a disgusting stench about him. “I am iblis,” said he, “and I have come to you in order to act as your servant, for you have thwarted all my efforts, and you have thwarted all the efforts of my followers.” I said to him: “go away, for I do not trust you.” At that very moment, a hand came down from above him and struck him on the skull, with such force that he plunged right into the ground.
“Then he came to me a second time, holding in his hand a dart of fire, with which he attacked me. Just in the nick of time, a man wearing a veil rode up to me on a gray mare, and handed me a sword. Iblis immediately beat a quick retreat.
“When I saw him a third time, he was sitting at some distance from me, shedding tears and heaping dust on his head, as he said: “I have totally despaired of you, O abd al-qadir!” I responded to this by telling him: “Be off with you, O accursed one, for I shall never cease to be on my guard against you!” He said: “This is far more agonising then the grappling irons of the torment of Hell!”
“I was then made witness to the disclosure of my snares, traps and illusions, so I said: “What are these?” and I was told: “These are the snares of this world, which iblis sets to catch the likes of you.” So I chased him off with angry words, and he turned away in flight.
“I devoted one whole year to addressing the problems posed by those snares and traps, until I found a solution to them all. ThenI was made witness to the disclosure of many influences, affecting me from every direction, so I said: “What are these?” and I was told: “These are the influences exerted on you by your fellow creatures, and you are affected by them.” I therefore devoted another year tackling the problems posed by those influences, until I had found solutions from them all, and achieved detachment from them.
“Next I was made witness to the disclosure of my own inner content (baatin), and I saw my heart was dependant on many attachments. “What are these?” I enquired, and I was told: “These are your self-will (iraada) and your personal preferences (ikhtiyaarat).” I therefore devoted another year to problems posed by those factors, until I had found solutions to them all, and my heart was safely delivered from them.
“Then I was made witness to yet another disclosure, this one concerning my lower self (nafs). I could see that it’s sicknesses were still thriving, it’s passionate desires were still alive, and it’s devil was still rebellious, so I devoted another year to tackling that state of affairs. The sicknesses of my lower self were therefore cured, the passion died, the devil surrendered, and the whole affair became the business of Allah (exalted is he). I was left in a state of isolation, with all existence (wujuud) left behind, and I had not yet arrived at my goal.
“I was therefore attracted to the gate of absolute trust in the Lord (tawakkul), through which I might enter to reach my goal. As soon as I came to that gate, I found a huge crowd milling around it, so I moved on past it. Then I was attracted to the gate off thankfulness (shukr) through which I might enter to reach my goal. At this gate too, I encountered a huge crowd, so I moved on past it. I was then attracted to the gate of affluence (ghinaa), through which I might enter to reach my goal. Here again, I encountered a huge crowd, so I moved on past it. I was then attracted to the gate of nearness (qurb), through which I might enter, to reach my goal. As before, I encountered a huge crowd, so I moved on past it. Then I was attracted t the gate of direct vision (mushaahada), through which I might enter, to reach my goal. The gate was likewise surrounded by a huge crowd, so I moved on past it.
“I was next attracted to the gate of poverty (faqr), and lo and behold, it was quite empty! When I entered inside it, I rediscovered everything that I had left behind. The greatest treasure was laid open to me there, and I came across the mightest splendour, wealth everlasting, and pure freedom. All relics of the past were obliterated, all previous attributes were annulled, and the second ecstasy (wajd) arrived”
It was Shaikh Abu Muhammad al-jubba’I who said: “Hadhrat Shaikh Abd al-Qadir Al-jilani (ra) once told me: “I was sitting one day on a spot in the desert going over my lessons in Islamic jurisprudence (fiqh. I found it difficult to concentrate on my studies at that time, since I was suffering great hardship due to poverty. Suddenly, I heard someone speaking to me, though I could not see his physical form. He said: “You should borrow enough to help you in the study of jurisprudence,” or maybe he used the expression, “the pursuit of knowledge.” To this I responded by saying: ”How can I expect to get a loan, when I am a pauper, and have no means of paying it back?” He then said: “You just do the borrowing, and we shall accept responsibility for settling the debt incurred.” I thereupon went to a man who sold groceries, and I said to him: “I must ask you to do business with me on the following terms: Whenever Allah makes things easy for me, I shall give you (what I owe you), and If I die, you will consider me clear of any obligation. Each day, you will give me one whole loaf of bread, as well as some garden cress (rashaad) in another half loaf.”
“As soon as he heard my proposal, the grocer burst into tears, and he said: “O my master, I am entirely at your disposal, whatever you may wish!” He insisted on treating me as if he was my servant, so I used to receive from him, each and every day, one whole loaf of bread and some garden cress in another half loaf. I kept this up for a certain period of time, but a day came when I felt a pain in my breast, because of my inability to give him anything. At that point I heard myself told: “Go to such-and-such place, and whatever you happen to see there, lying on the pile of rubble, take it and hand it over to the grocer,” or the invisible speaker may have used the expression, “settle your debt with it.” When I went to that place as instructed, I noticed a big chunk of gold on the pile of rubble, so I picked it up and gave it to the grocer.”
It was also Shaikh Abu Muhammad al-jubba’I who said: “Hadhrat Shaikh Abd al-Qadir Al-jilani (ra) once told me: “I used to utter commands and prohibitions, in my sleep as well as when I was awake. Speech would arise in me spontaneously, with overwhelming urgency, and it would exert a great pressure on my heart. If I did not speak out, I would almost choke to death, and I simply could not keep silent. Two or three men used to sit in my company, listening to my speech, then word got around among the people, and my fellow creatures began to crowd around me.
Shaikh Abu Muhammad al-jubba’i also states that he once heard Hadhrat Shaikh Abd al-Qadir Al-jilani (ra) say: “I once saw Allah’s Messenger (saw) before the time of midday prayer (zuhr), and he said to me: “O my dear son, why do you not speak out?” So I replied: “O my dear father, I am a non-arab man. How can I speak fluently in the classical Arabic language of Baghdad?” He (saw) then told me: “Just open your mouth”! So I opened it wide, and he spat into it seven times. Then he (saw) told me: “You must speak to the people, and summon them to the way of your Lord, with wisdom and good counsel.” I then performed the midday prayer (zuhr), and remained seated after it. Many people gathered in my company, but I was at a loss for words.
“It was then that I caught sight of Ali (ra), and he said: Open your mouth!” So I opened it wide, and he spat into it six times. “Why do you not complete the full seven spits?” I asked him, and he explained: “As a matter of good manners, in relation to the Messenger of Allah.” Then he vanished from my sight. I said to myself: “The diver of the minds dives deep into the ocean of the heart, to gather the pearls of those insights that can only be obtained by direct experience (durar al-ma’arif). Then when he when he has brought them out onto the shore of the breast, a commercial agent (simsaar) summons the tongue’s translator (tarjumaan) to interpret their worth, and so thay come to be traded for extremely precious and costly items. How excellent is worshipful obedience in houses which Allah has allowed to be constructed!” This poetic verse was also recited:
“For the like of laylaa, a man could kill himself, and to him the bitter pills of death would taste delightfully sweet”
“I used to sit in the place reserved for prayer (masallaa) by the Racetrack Gate (baab al-halba), but then the space became too cramped to accommodate the throngs of people, so they removed the lectern, and installed it inside the sandy plots of land between the clay-lined pits used as baking ovens. The people used to come there in the nighttime, finding places for themselves by the lights of candles and torches. Then, when that space also became too constricted to accommodate all the people, the lectern was transported outside the city, where it was installed in the are set aside for prayer. The people would ride out there on horses, mules, donkeys and camels, then they would use their beasts as elevated couches, while they attended to whatever transpired in the session (majlis). The number of those present at the session was usually in the region of seventy thousand.”
It was al-khattaab, the personal servant of Hadhrat Shaikh Abd al-Qadir Al-jilani (ra) who said: “One day, while the Shaikh (ra) was giving a talk to the people, he suddenly took several steps, through the air, and he exclaimed: “O Israelite (yaa israa’ili), stop and listen to the speech of the Muhammadan (muhammadi)!” then he returned to his place. When asked to explain what had happened, he said: “Abu’l abbas al-khidr (as) was up there, about to pass us by, so I stepped up towards him and said to him what you heard me say, and he came to a halt”
It was our master, Shaikh Abd al-wahaab (ra), who said: “My father, Hadhrat Shaikh Abd al-Qadir Al-jilani (ra), used to give lectures 3 times a week: twice at the schoolhous (madrassa) – early in the morning on Friday, and in the evening on Tuesday – and once in the guesthouse (raabita), early in the morning on Sunday. His lectures were regularly attended by the religious scholars (ulamaa), the jurists (fuqahaa) and the sheikhs, as well as many others. His public speaking was maintained for a period of forty years, starting in the year (AH) 521, and ending in the year (AH) 561. As for the period during which he also engaged in academic teaching (tadris) and the issuing of legal opinions (fatwaa), that lasted for thirty three years, starting in the year (AH) 528, and ending in the year (AH) 561.
“In the course of his regular public session (majlis), some of the brethren used to perform Qur’anic recitation (qira’a), in a plain and simple style, without the modulations of chanting (alhaan). Qur’anic recitation was also performed at the session by ash-sharif mas’ud al-hashini. It was often the case that two or three men would die during the his session. Four hundred inkwells were used, by learned men and others, to write down what he was saying in his discourse. He would often walk through the air, at some point during his session, taking several steps over the head of his audience, then returning to his lectern”.
Shaikh Umar al-kimaani says: “The public sessions of our master, Hadhrat Shaikh Abd al-Qadir Al-jilani (ra), were not devoid of Jews and Christians who came to embrace Islam; nor of repentant criminals, such as former highway robbers, murderers, and perpetrators of other forms of wickedness; nor of converts from some heretical doctrine. A Christian monk (raahib) once came to him and accepted Islam at his hands, in the course of his public session. He then turned to the people in the audience, and said: “I am a man from the people of Yemen. The seed of Islam became planted in my soul, and I developed a strong determination to declare myself a muslim, but only at the hands of the person I considered the best of the people of Yemen. I sat on the ground thinking this over. Then sleep overwhelmed me, and I saw a vision of Jesus, the son of Mary, saying to me: “O Sinaan, you must go to Baghdad, and embrace Islam at the hand of Shaikh Abd al-qadir, for he is the best of all the people on earth at this time!”
“On another occasion, thirteen men from the Christian community came to him and embraced Islam at his hands, in the course of his discourse of exhortation. They said: “We are from the community of Arab Christians (nasaara l-arab). We wished to embrace Islam, but we hesitated for some time, wondering who we should approach in order to declare ourselves muslims at his hands. Then a mysterious voice (haatif) called out to us. We could hear the speakers words, but we could not see his physical form. He was telling us: “O riders in the caravan bound for salvation! You must go to Baghdad, and embrace Islam at the hands of Shaikh Abd al-qadir, for the faith (Imaan) that will be lodged in your hearts, in his presence and through his blessed grace, will be unlike any that could be lodged in them, in the presence of any other person, at this historical time.
“While speaking from the lectern in Baghdad, in the year (AH) 558, our Master Hadhrat Shaikh Abd al-Qadir Al-jilani (ra), told us: “I spent fifteen long years in complete isolation, wandering about in the deserts and wastelands of Iraq. For forty years, I would perform the dawn prayer (fajr) with the ritual ablution (wudhu) of the late evening prayer (Ishaa). Then after the late evening prayer, I would recite the Qur’an from the opening sura, standing perched on one leg, and with my hand in a socket in the wall, for fear of falling asleep – until I came to the end of the Qur’an, around the approach of daybreak (sahar). One night, I was climbing a steep flight of stairs, and my lower self (nafs) said to me: “Why not catch an hours sleep?” So I held myself erect, and came to a halt at the very spot where this had occurred to me. Then I balanced myself on one foot, and recited the entire Qur’an from start to finish, while still in this rather awkward situation”.
Hadhrat Shaikh Abd al-Qadir Al-jilani (ra) once said: “I saw Allahs messenger (saw) in Baghdad, while I was at the lectern. He was mounted on a riding beast, and Moses (as) was riding by his side. “O Moses,” he said, “Is there, in your community (ummah), any man such as this one here?” The answer was “No!” so he said to me “O Abd al-qadir, (did you hear that?)!” He was airborne, so he embraced me, lifted me up, and conferred upon me a robe of honour that he had been wearing. He said: “This is the robe of honour that marks the rank of Cardinal Poleship (Qutbiyya) over the men of valor and the spiritual deputies (ar-rijaal wa ‘l-abdal).” Then he spat in my mouth three times, before returning me to the pulpit. I thereupon intoned these verses of poetry:
I shall sip that drink in every chapel and synagogue,
And demonstrate my religion and doctrine to the lovers.
For the sake of it’s goblets, I shall beat the tambourine
On the rooftop, in plain view, not hiding away in corners.
sa-ashrabu-haa fi kulli dairin wa bi atin
wa uzhiru li’l ushshaaqi dini wa madhhabi
wa adribu fawqa ‘s-sathi bi’d duffi jilwatan
li-kaasaati-haa laa fi ‘z-zawaayaati mukhtabi
The GREAT Status Of Hadhrat Shaikh Abd al-Qadir Al-jilani (ra)
According to Abu Shujaa ibn ad-dahhaan (in his own hand writing), Hadhrat Shaikh Abd al-Qadir Al-jilani (ra) was in the company of Shaikh Hammaad ad-dabbaas, so he came and sat in front of him, observing the best of manners, until he stood up and took his leave. I heard Shaikh Hammaad say, as soon as Hadhrat Shaikh Abd al-Qadir Al-jilani (ra) left: “This non-arab has a foot that will be raised, when the proper time comes, and placed on the neck of the saints (awliya) of that time.”
Al-haafiz Abu’l’izz Abd al-mughith ibn Harb al-baghdadi says: “We were present at the regular session (majlis) held by Hadhrat Shaikh Abd al-Qadir Al-jilani (ra), at his guesthouse (ribaat) in the racetrack district of Baghdad. Most of the Shaikhs of Iraq were in attendance at his session on that particular day. When Hadhrat Shaikh Abd al-Qadir Al-jilani (ra) addressed them, his heart was present in full awareness, as he declared: “This foot of mine is upon the neck of every saint of Allah (qadami haadhihi alaa raqabati kulli waliyyi ‘illah)”
“Shaikh Ali ibn al-hiti sprang to his feet at once, then climbed the steps up to the lectern, where he grasped the Shaikhs foot and set it upon his neck, as he placed his head beneath the hem of the Shaikh’s robe. All of those present extended their necks in the same manner”
There was not one single Saint of Allah on the entire earth, at that moment in time, who did not bend his neck in humble recognition of him, and in acknowledgement of his special status. Nor was there one single circle, of all the circles of the righteous amongst the jinn, assembled at that moment in time, in which mention of it was not made. Delegations of those righteous jinn set forth to visit him, from all the horizons. Saluting him with the greeting of peace, and repenting at his hand, they gathered in a throng at his door.
The status of Hadhrat Shaikh Abd al-Qadir Al-jilani (ra) was so great that the Shaikh himself would say: “The sun does not rise until it has saluted me with the greeting of peace, nor does the year begin, nor the month, nor any of the days, without first giving me that greeting, and informing me of what is to happen in them. The wretched and fortunate are paraded before me in review. My eye is on the well kept tablet (al lawh al-mahfuz), and I am deeply immersed in the oceans of it’s knowledge and witnessing. I am a proof against you. I am the deputy (na’ib) of Allah’s Messenger (saw), and his heir (waarith) on earth”.
He also used to say: “Every saint (wali) is treading in the footsteps of a prophet (nabi), and I am treading in the footsteps of my forefather (Muhammad – saw). Wherever he raised a foot, I have set my own foot in it’s place, unless it is one of the footsteps peculiar to the office of Prophethood.”
“I am the Shaikh of the angels, of human beings and the Jinn. If you ask Allah (exalted is he) for something, ask it of him on my account. O people of the earth, both east and west, come hear and learn from me! O people of Iraq, the states of spiritual progress are here with me, like clothes suspended on hangers in a wardrobe. Whichever of them you wish to wear, you are welcome to try them on! You had better make peace, otherwise I shall come to you with troops, which you have no power to resist.
“You must make a journey of a thousand years, in order to hear a word from me! The offices of sainthood (wailaayat) are here, and the degrees of spiritual status (darajaat) are here! The robes of honour are distributed during my session, and there is no Prophet created by Allah (exalted is he), nor any saint, who has not attended this session of mine – the living in their physical bodies, and the dead in their spirits (arwaah). Remember to ask munkar and nakir about me, when they come to you in your grave, for they will tell you all about me”.
Some people once said to the Shaikh: “We keep the fast, just as you keep the fast. We perform the ritual prayer, just as you perform the ritual prayer. We exert our faculties with diligence, just as you exert your faculties with diligence. Yet we do not experience any elements of your spiritual states!” Hadhrat Shaikh Abd al-Qadir Al-jilani (ra) responded by saying: “You have vied with us in actions, so now you must vie with us in talents. By Allah, I never eat until I hear the command: “In accordance with my right over you, eat up!” I never drink until I hear the command: “In accordance with my right over you, drink up!” I never do anything at all, unless I am ordered to do it (By my Lord).”
Hadhrat Shaikh Abd al-Qadir Al-jilani (ra) also said: “During the time of my spiritual struggle, whenever a bout of slumber overtook me, I would hear a speaker saying to me: “O Abd al-qadir, I did not create you for sleep! We brought you to life when you were nothing, so do not neglect us now that you are something!”
It was Sahl ibn Abdi’llah at-tustari (ra) who said: “On one accasion the people of Baghdad were puzzled by the absence of my master Hadhrat Shaikh Abd al-Qadir Al-jilani (ra). They could not find him anywhere, until someone told them: “he was last seen heading towards the river Tigris (ad-dijla)”, so they set off in that direction, looking out for him along the way. Then, lo and behold, he came walking towards us on the water! The fishes were swimming towards him, shoal upon shoal, offering him the greeting of peace. While we were watching him, and observing how the fishes were kissing his hands, the prescribed time arrived for the midday ritual prayer (zuhr). At that very moment, what should suddenly appear but an enormous prayer rug. It was green in colour, studded with gold and silver, and embroidered upon it were two lines of script. The first read:
As for the friends of Allah,
a-laa inna awliyaa a’llahi
Surely no fear shall be upon them,
Laa khawfun alai-him
Nor shall they grieve
Wa laa hum yahzanoon (10:62)
While the second line read:
The mercy of Allah and his blessings
Rahmatu ‘llahi wa barakaatu-hu
Be upon you, O people of the house!
Alai-kum ahla ‘lbayt
He is praiseworthy, Glorious!
Inna-hu Hamidun Majid (11:73)
The huge prayer rug was spread out between the sky and the earth, above the river Tigris, as if it were the flying carpet of Sulaymaan (as) (bisaat Salaimaan). A troop of knights arrived on the scene, as if they were a pack of lions. They were led by a knight possessing a dignified bearing, an awe-inspiring appearance, and a sense of profound tranquillity (sakina). He advanced until he and his comrades came to a halt, and stood facing the prayer rug. They stood with their heads bowed, weeping, and remained quite motionless, as if they were held in check by the rein of Divine Power (qudra).
“Then, when the ritual prayer (zuhr) was about to begin, Hadhrat Shaikh Abd al-Qadir Al-jilani (ra) stepped forward, wrapped himself in the garment of reverential awe, and performed the prayer on the rug. The knights and their leader, and the people of Baghdad, all prayed behind the Shaikh. Whenever he proclaimed the Supreme Greatness of Allah, the angelic bearers of the Heavenly Throne (hamalat al-arsh) declared “Allahu Akbar!” together with him. Whenever he proclaimed the glory of Allah, the angels of the seven heavens also proclaimed his glory. Whenever he praised Allah, a ray of green light beamed from his mouth, till it reached the clouds high up in the sky.
“When he had concluded the performance of the ritual prayer, he raised his hands, and we heard him say, as he offered his prayer of supplication (du’a): “O Allah, for the sake of my ancestor, Muhammad (saw), your beloved friend and your choice out of all your creatures, and for the sake of all my forefathers, I beg you not to snatch away the spirit (ruh) from any male or female seeker of my fresh butter (murid aw murida ‘li-idwaabi), unless he or she is in a state of repentance!” Then we heard the chorus of the angels, as they said “Amin” to his prayer of supplication, so we joined in harmony with the angels, as we added our own “Amin”, to the supplication. It was then that we heard the call from on high: “Rejoice in the good news, for I have answered your plea!”
Hadhrat Shaikh Abd al-Qadir Al-jilani (ra) had a pupil called Umar al-halaawi. He left Baghdad and stayed away for several years. Upon his return he was asked: “Where have you been all this time?”. He said: “I made the rounds of the cities and towns of Syria, Egypt, and the west, and I met three hundred and sixty sheikhs, all of the Saints (awliya). There was not a singleone amongst them who did not often say: “Hadhrat Shaikh Abd al-Qadir Al-jilani (ra) is our own Shaikh, and our exemplary guide toward Allah”.
It was Shaikh abu ‘l-hassan al-jawsaqi who said: “Present in the company of our master Hadhrat Shaikh Abd al-Qadir Al-jilani (ra), on one occasion, were Shaikh Ali al-hiti and Shaikh Baqaa ibn Baatu. They heard Hadhrat Shaikh Abd al-Qadir Al-jilani (ra) say: “From every stable, I own a stallion that cannot be matched in strength. In every land, I own horses that cannot be beaten in the race. In every armed force, I have a commander who cannot be disobeyed, and in every administrative office, I have a deputy who cannot be dismissed.” Shaikh Ali al-hiti promptly assured him: “O my Master, I and all my companions are your loyal servants!”
The grand Mufti of Iraq, Muhyi ‘d-din Abu Abd’illah Muhammad ibn Maamid al-baghdadi (ra) said: “Hadhrat Shaikh Abd al-Qadir Al-jilani (ra) was quick to shed tears, intensely affected by fear (of the Lord), and imbued with a great sense of awe. He was someone whose prayer was sure to be answered. His entire bearing was aglow with reverence. He was honourable in his traits of character.and noble in his lines of descent. He was the furthest of all people from immoral behaviour, and the nearest of all people to the truth. He was extremely stern in his response, whenever the sanctuaries of Allah (almighty and glorious is he) were violated. He was never angry on his own account, and he never supported the cause of anyone other than his Lord.”
“He never turned the beggar away empty handed, even if all he had to give him was one of his only pair of shirts. Enabling grace (tawfiq) was his guiding principle, and readiness to help was his mainstay. Knowledge (ilm) was his instructor, and nearness (to the Lord) was his educator. Mutual conversation (muhaadara) was his treasure, and direct experience (ma’arifa) was his stronghold. Preaching was his couselor, and observation was his ambassador. Intimate friendship (uns) was his confidant), and entertainment was his breath of fresh air. Truthfulness was his banner, openness was his stock-in-trade, and tolerance was his professional occupation. Remembrance (dhikr) was his chief minister, and reflection (fikr) was his entertaining companion. Spiritual disclosure (mukaashafa) was his nourishment, and direct witnessing (mushaahada) was his medicine. The good manners of the sacred law (aadaab ash-sharia) were his outward form (zaahir), and the attributes of reality (awsaaf al-haqiqa) were his innermost contents (sara’ir)”.
Expressing himself in poetry, The grand Mufti (ra), had this to say about Hadhrat Shaikh Abd al-Qadir Al-jilani (ra):
For Allah’s sake you have earned a rank of dignity,
And you are noble by pure ancestry and origin.
Your splendid stature towers so high, that the rainbow
Forms a stirrup for the soles of your feet.
You have built a house in the heights above,
And the planets are like flowers on the trellis around it.
O robe of this world, by the splendour of whose glory
Old age has turned into freshness of youth!
The virgins on high sought after you, the star of guidance,
And they are ones who baffle the seeker!
When they saw you at last, the beauties proposed to you
But only to have their proposal rejected.
Then there came to you, as the mark of leadership,
Exploits that even a master could hardly perform.
Miracles (Qaraamaat) Performed By Hadhrat Shaikh Abd al-qadir(ra)
Abu’l-Hijr Haamid al-harraani al Khatib says: “I once entered the presence of Hadhrat Shaikh Abd al-qadir (ra) at his schoolhouse in Baghdad. I sat down beside him on a prayer rug of mine, so he looked at me and said: “O Haamid, one of these days, you will surely sit on the carpet of kings.” As soon as I returned to Harraan, Sultan Nur ad-din ash-shahid (the martyr) insisted on keeping me in constant attendance in his court. He treated me as a close confidant, seated me on his royal carpet, and put me in charge of the Department of Religious Endowments. Needless to say, I would often recall the words of Hadhrat Shaikh Abd al-qadir (ra).
It was Ahmad ibn Saalih al-jili who said: “On one occasion, I was with our master Hadhrat Shaikh Abd al-qadir (ra) at the Nizaamiyya University (in Baghdad), where he attracted a large gathering of spiritual paupers (fuqaraa) and Islamic jurists (fuqahaa). He gave them a lecture on the subject of divine decree and destiny, and while he was speaking, an enormous snake dropped down from its hole in the roof. All the members of his audience immediately left their seats and scurried away in flight, and Hadhrat Shaikh Abd al-qadir (ra) was left there all alone. The snake slithered underneath his clothing, wriggled up over the length of his body, emerged through his collar, and then coiled itself around his neck. In spite of this apparent distraction, Hadhrat Shaikh Abd al-qadir (ra) did not interrupt his lecture for an instant, nor did he make the slightest adjustment to his sitting posture.
“Then the snake slithered down to the ground, reared up on its tail in front of Hadhrat Shaikh Abd al-qadir (ra), and emitted a hissing sound. Hadhrat Shaikh Abd al-qadir (ra) thereupon addressed the creature, in a form of speech that none of us could understand. Then the serpent went away, so the people came back. When they asked Hadhrat Shaikh Abd al-qadir (ra) to explain what it had said to him, and what he had said to it, Hadhrat Shaikh Abd al-qadir (ra) told them: “It said to me: “I have tested the mettle of so many saints (awliya), but I have never seen the like of your peculiar stamina!” I replied by telling it: ”When you dropped down on me, I was speaking about the divine decree and destiny. And what are you? You are nothing but a little crawling creature, set in motion or put to rest by the divine decree and destiny, so I did not wish to let my actions contradict my words”.
It was Hadhrat Abd ar-razzaaq, the son of Hadhrat Shaikh Abd al-qadir (ra) who said: “I once heard my father say: “I was performing the ritual prayer (salat) one night, in the al-mansuri congregational mosque, when I heard the sound of something moving about on the reed mats. Then along came a huge viper! With its jaw open wide, the serpent poised its head at the spot where I would set my forehead in the act of prostration (sujud). As I moved to perform the prostration, my hand brushed the creature aside, and I was able to lower my head to the floor. When I sat up to pronounce the final testimony (tashahhud) it slithered onto my thigh, then wriggled up and coiled itself around my neck. I saw no sign of it, however, when I came to perform the final salutation (taslimaa).
“At some point during the following morning, I went inside a ruined building near the mosque, and there I spied the figure of a man. His eyes were two long slits, so I knew he must be a jinni. He turned to me and said: “I am that viper, the serpent you saw last night. I have tested the mettle of so many saints (awliya), by putting them through the experience I inflicted upon you, but not one of them handled the situation with anything remotely resembling your steadfast composure. Some of them were utterly distracted, both outwardly and inwardly, while some were inwardly disturbed, yet managed to preserve their external composure. As for you, I could see that you were not at all disoriented, neither outwardly nor inwardly.” The jinni then begged me to let him repent at my hand, so I assured him that his repentance was accepted.”
“They once brought to Hadhrat Shaikh Abd al-qadir (ra) a man who was suffering from dropsy. He was one of the close relatives of Imaam al-mustanjid. His stomach was horribly overswollen, so Hadhrat Shaikh Abd al-qadir (ra) passed a hand over him. When he stood up after this treatment, he was as slim and lean in the stomach as if he had never had any problem.
“Abu ‘l-ma’ali Ahmad al-baghdadi al-hanbali once came to Hadhrat Shaikh Abd al-qadir (ra), and said to him: “I am worried about my son Muhammad. For fifteen months now, the fever has not left him”. Hadhrat Shaikh Abd al-qadir (ra) told him: “You must go and say in his ear: “O Mother of the fever bug, Hadhrat Shaikh Abd al-qadir (ra) is telling you: “Leave my son alone, and ride off to al-hilla!” When we next saw the boys father, and asked him about his sons health, he replied : “The fever left him as soon as I said what Hadhrat Shaikh Abd al-qadir (ra) told me to say, and it has not come back to my son.” Several years later, when we asked him the same question, he told us: “It has never returned to Baghdad, though rumour has it that the people of al-hilla quite often come down with the fever!”
“Shaikh Abu ‘l-hasan Ali al-ajazi once fell sick, so Hadhrat Shaikh Abd al-qadir (ra) came to visit him. Inside his house, he noticed a cooing pigeon and a turtledove. “O my master” the sick man said, “ six months have gone by since this cooing pigeon last laid an egg. As for the turtledove, the last time it sang a note was likewise six months ago.” Hadhrat Shaikh Abd al-qadir (ra) stood looking at the pigeon and said to it: “provide for your owner!” Then he turned to the turtledove and said: “Glorify your creator!” The turtledove immediately sang forth, so sweetly that the people of Baghdad soon came in droves to hear it’s song. The cooing pigeon kept laying eggs and hatching chicks, from then till the day it died. Such was the blessed grace of Hadhrat Shaikh Abd al-qadir (ra) – Sub Haa n-allah.
It was al-khadir al husaini al-mawsili who said: “I worked as the personal servant of Hadhrat Shaikh Abd al-qadir (ra) for thirteen years, and I know, from my own experience, that he was endowed with extraordinary talents (khaariqaat). For instance, when a sick patient seemed incurable, as far as the medical doctors were concerned, they would bring him along to Hadhrat Shaikh Abd al-qadir (ra), who would offer a prayer of supplication on his behalf, and pass his hand over the patient. The invalid would promptly stand up in front of Hadhrat Shaikh Abd al-qadir (ra), already basically cured. He would continue to shed any lingering symptoms of illness, until, in the fastest possible time, he was he was perfectly fit and well.
“In the year (AH) 560, Hadhrat Shaikh Abd ‘al-qadir Jilani (ra) said to me: “O Khadir, you must go back to (your native town of) Mosul, for in the loins you carry the seed of offspring, who will eventually be born there. The first of them will be a male child, whose name is Muhammad. When he is seven years old, a blind man called ‘Ali will teach him the qur’an, here in Baghdad, and he will learn it all by heart in the space of seven months. The grand total of your life span will be ninety-four years, one month and seven days. You will die in the town of Irbil, while you are still sound of hearing and sight, and still in full possession of your energy and strength.”
His son, Abu Adbi’llah Muhammad, has told us: “My father came home to Mosul, and I was born there on the first of the good month of Safar, in the year (AH) 561. My father introduced me to a blind man, who would teach me to memorize the qur’an really well. When my father asked him about his name and his native town, the blind man said: “My name is ‘Ali, and my native city is Baghdad.” This reminded him of what Hadhrat Shaikh Abd ‘al-qadir Jilani (ra) had once told him. My father died in Ibril, on the ninth of the month of Safar in the year (AH) 625, at the age of ninety-four years, one monthe and seven days. Allah ensured that all his faculties remained fully at his disposal, until the moment he died.”
‘Umar ibn Mas ‘ud al-Bazzaaz once said: “ These eyes of mine have never seen anyone more thoroughly well versed, in the sciences based on real experience (‘ulum al-haqaa’iq), then my master, Hadhrat Shaikh Abd ‘al-qadir Jilani (ra). Someone told him that one of his pupils was saying that he could see Allah (almighty and glorious is he) with the eye of his head. He promptly summoned the pupil concerned, and asked him if he was actually making such a statement. The answer was yes, so Hadhrat Shaikh Abd ‘al-qadir Jilani (ra) scolded him and forbade him to talk like that. He also made him promise that he would not do so again.
“When someone asked him: “Is that pupil telling the truth, or is he a liar?” Hadhrat Shaikh Abd ‘al-qadir Jilani (ra) replied: “He is essentially truthful, but he is somewhat confused. That is because he witnesses with his spiritual insight (baseera), and the rays of his insight connect with the light of his ordinary vision. This leads him to suppose that he has perceived, with his ordinary faculty of sight (basar), what he actually witnessed with his spiritual insight. His ordinary vision perceives his spiritual insight, and that is all there is to it, though he does not realise that this is the case. As Allah (exalted is he) has told us:
He has portioned the two seas
They meet, (but) between them
there is a barrier that they do not overpass.
barzakhun laa yabghiyaan. (55:19,20)
“At his behest, and by means of his gracious favors, Allah (almighty and glorious is he) sends forth the radiant lights of His Majesty (jalaal) and His Beauty (jamaal) toward the hearts of his servants. Those lights then assume whatever forms they assume, or take no shapes at all. Behind all that hangs the veil of His SupremeGrandeur (kibriyaa), which no-one can find a way to rend asunder.” “A group of Shaikhs and scholars were present at the time, and they were highly delighted to hear what Hadhrat Shaikh Abd ‘al-qadir Jilani (ra) had to say on this subject. They marvelled at the beauty of his eloquence, in explaining the spiritual state of that man.”
Shaikh al-mu ‘ammar Jaraada has told us: “One day, I was in the private apartment of our master, Hadhrat Shaikh Abd ‘al-qadir Jilani (ra). He was sitting there, transcribing a manuscript , when some dust fell upon him from the ceiling. He shook it off three times, but more of it fell down upon him, and again he shook it off. Then, on this fourth occasion, he raised his head and looked up at the ceiling. He noticed that a rat was scurrying about up there, so he said: “May your head fly off!” The creature dropped down at once, with it’s carcass falling in one direction, and it’s head in another direction. Hadhrat Shaikh Abd ‘al-qadir Jilani (ra) stopped transcribing, and began to weep, so I said: “O my master, what can be making you weep?” He replied: “I am sorely afraid that a muslim might offend my heart, and so be afflicted with the disaster that has just befallen that rat!”
It was Shikh ‘Umar Mas’ud al-Bazzaaz who said: “My Master Hadhrat Shaikh Abd ‘al-qadir Jilani (ra) was performing the minor ritual ablution (wudhu), one day at the schoolhouse, when a sparrow urinated on him. Hadhrat Shaikh Abd ‘al-qadir Jilani (ra) raised his head as the bird was flying away, and it dropped down dead. As soon as he finished his ablution, he washed the spot of urine off his garment. He then divested himself of that piece of clothing, and gave it to me. He instructed me to sell it, and give away the price as a charitable offering. “That is to pay for this!” said he.”
Hadhrat Abu ‘l-Fadl Ahmad ibn al-Qasim ibn Ubdaan al-Qurashi al Baghdadi al Bazzaaz says: “Hadhrat Shaikh Abd ‘al-qadir Jilani (ra) used to wear clothes of high quality fabric. His personal servant came to me one day, bringing some gold, and he said: “I wish to acquire a gown, for the price of one dinar per cubit of cloth – not a penny less and not a penny more.” So I gave him what he wanted. When I asked him: “Who is it for?” he replied: “For my master Hadhrat Shaikh Abd ‘al-qadir Jilani (ra)”. I said to myself: “A true shaikh does not leave the choice of clothing to a mere representative!”
“Even before the sentence was completely formulated in my mind, I noticed that an ugly corn had developed on my foot. It was so agonisingly painful that I seemed to be staring death in the face. People gathered around me, attempting to remove the corn, but all their efforts were in vain, so I cried: “Carry me to Hadhrat Shaikh Abd ‘al-qadir Jilani (ra)!” As soon as they had deposited me in his presence, directly in front of him, Hadhrat Shaikh Abd ‘al-qadir Jilani (ra) said: “O abu ‘l-Fadl, this is what comes of criticising us within your inner being (baatin)! By the might and Glory of the only one who deserves to be worshipped (al-ma’bud), I did not know what I should wear, until I heard a voice tell me: “For the sake of my right over you, you must wear a gown that is priced at one dinar per cubit of cloth!” O abu ‘l-fadl, this is the shroud of death (kafan al-mawt), and the shroud of death will envelop this body of mine after a thousand deaths.”
“Then Hadhrat Shaikh Abd ‘al-qadir Jilani (ra) passed his hand over my foot, and the corn disappeared at once, along with the pain it had caused me. By Allah, I know neither whence it came, nor whither it went, and I have never seen the like of it on any foot other then my own. As I jumped up and started to run, I heard Hadhrat Shaikh Abd ‘al-qadir Jilani (ra) say to his audience: “His hostile criticism of us became solidified for him, in the shape of a corn on his foot!”
IMPORTANT NOTE: THE ABOVE INFORMATION HAS BEEN TAKEN FROM THE GREAT BOOK: NECKLACES OF GEMS (QALAA’ID AL-JAWAAHIR) – A BIOGRAPHY OF THE CROWN OF SAINTS – SHAIKH ABD ‘AL-QADIR AL-GILAANI (RA) – BY SHAIKH MUHAMMAD IBN YAHYA AT-TAADIFI – TRANSLATED BY MUHTAR HOLLAND
Wise advice offered by Hadhrat Shaikh Abd ‘al-qadir Jilani (ra)
to his son, ‘Abd ar-Razzaq (ra)
The reader should know that our venerable master and our revered Shaikh, the venerable Shaikh ‘Abd ar-Razzaq (may Allah the Exalted sanctify his innermost being) asked his father for advice, and that the venerable Helper [al-Ghawth] (sanctified be his innermost being) responding by saying:
"O my son, may Allah (Exalted is He) bestow His enabling grace upon us, and upon you and all the Muslims. min.
"This you must know and understand: I am advising you to practice true devotion [taqwa] to Allah, and obedience to Him, and adherence to the Sacred Law [Shar’ ], and careful observance of the limits [hudud] set by Him.
"O my son, may Allah (Exalted is He) bestow His enabling grace upon us, and upon you and all the Muslims. You must also know that this Spiritual Path [Tariqa] of ours is founded upon the Book and the Sunna, and integrity of [the feelings within] the breasts, the generosity of the hand, the giving of liberal donation, abstinence from crudity, endurance of injury, and readiness to pardon the mistakes of our spiritual brethren [ikhwan].
"I am also advising you, O my son, to make a practice of spiritual poverty [faqr], which means preserving the ordinances of the Shaikhs, maintaining good relations with spiritual brethren, giving sincere counsel to juniors and seniors alike, and refraining from argument, except where matters of religion are at stake.
"O my son, may Allah (Exalted is He) bestow His enabling grace upon us, and upon you. You must also know that the true significance of spiritual poverty [faqr] is that you are not in need of anyone like yourself, while the true significance of spiritual affluence [ghina] is that you are independent of anyone like yourself. As for spiritual culture [tasawwuf], it is a state that does not belong to anyone who indulges in idle talk and gossip. When you have an opinion to offer, you should not begin by expressing it in terms of knowledgeability. You should rather present it initially as an expression of sympathetic friendliness. This is because knowledgeability tends to alienate the listener, whereas friendliness makes him feel comfortably at ease.
"O my son, may Allah (Exalted is He) bestow His enabling grace upon us, and upon you and all the Muslims. You must also know that spiritual culture [tasawwuf] is built on eight fundamental qualities, namely:
Liberal generosity [sakha’]
Symbolic instruction [ishara]
Living away from home [ghurba]
The wearing of wool [suf]
Wandering travel [siyaha]
Spiritual poverty [faqr]
Liberal generosity [sakha’] is the special virtue of Allah's Prophet
Abraham [Ibrahim] (peace be upon him).
Contentment [rida’] is the special virtue of Allah's Prophet Isaac
[Ishaq] (peace be upon him).
Patience [sabr] is the special virtue of Allah's Prophet Job [Ayyub]
(peace be upon him).
Symbolic instruction [ishara] is the special talent of Allah's Prophet
Zachariah [Zakariyya] (peace be upon him).
Life in exile [ghurba] is the special characteristic of Allah's Prophet
Joseph [Yusuf] (peace be upon him).
The wearing of wool [suf] is the special property of Allah's Prophet
John the Baptist [Yahya] (peace be upon him).
Wandering travel [siyaha] is the special feature of Allah's Prophet
Jesus [‘Isa] (peace be upon him).
Spiritual poverty[faqr] is the special characteristic of Allah's Prophet
and Messenger, our dear friend, our chieftain and our intercessor [shafi’] the owner of vast respect, Muhammad the Chosen [al-Mustafa] (may Allah bless him and give him peace, and may He ennoble, honor, glorify and exalt him).
"You must also regard it as your duty, O my son, to maintain a dignified detachment in the company of the rich, and an attitude of humble self-effacement in the company of the poor. You must practice sincere devotion [ikhlas], which means forgetting about the impression you may be making on your fellow creatures [khalq], and paying constant attention to the view of the Creator [Khaliq].
“You must not entertain suspicious doubts about Allah, where the material means (asbab) are concerned. You must rely on him with confidence in all circumstances and conditions. You must not entrust your needs to anyone else, on the basis of some connection between you and him, such as kinship, affection and friendship.
"It is incumbent upon you to provide the spiritual paupers with three forms of service. The first of these is modest humility. The second is good moral conduct. The third is a complete lack of selfishness. You must put your lower self [nafs] to death, so that you may come to life. The nearest of all creatures [khalq] to Allah (Exalted is He) is the one who is richest in good character [khuluq], and the most meritorious of all deeds is the preservation of the innermost being [sirr] from paying attention to anything apart from Allah.
"It is also incumbent upon you, when you are together with the spiritual paupers [fuqara’], to engage in the mutual counseling of patience [sabr] and the mutual counseling of truth [haqq]. As far as this world is concerned, two things should be enough for you: the fellowship of a spiritual pauper [faqir] and the respect of a saint [wali].
"You must also know, O my son, that the spiritual pauper [faqir] has absolutely no need of anything apart from Allah (Exalted is He).
"You must also know, O my son, that aggressive behavior toward someone below you is actually a form of weakness, while such behavior toward someone superior to you is a form of boastful pride. Spiritual poverty [faqr] and spiritual culture [tasawwuf] are two very serious matters, so you must not mix them with any kind of frivolity.
"This is my advice to you, and to anyone else among the seekers [muridin] who is capable of heeding it. May Allah (Exalted is He) cause them to multiply, and may He enable you, and us, to succeed in fulfilling all that we have mentioned and explained. May He include us among those who follow in the footsteps of the righteous forebears [salaf], and who follow in their footsteps in honor of our master, our Prophet and our intercessor [shafi’] Muhammad. May Allah bless him, his family and his Companions, and may He grant them abundant peace, until the Day of Judgment [Yawm ad-Din]. Praise be to Allah, Lord of All the Worlds."
Source: As-Sayyid Isma’il Muhammad Sa’id al-Qadiri, Al-Fuyudat ar-Rabbaniyya (Emanations of Lordly Grace), translated from the Arabic by Muhtar Holland, Al-Baz Publishing Inc, Ft. Lauderdale, Florida, 2000, p. 62-65.
Only one conclusion can be drawn from the above information: Hadhrat Ghaus-ul-Aazam (ra) is truly the Sultan of all the Awliya-Allah, he is blessed with a rank which is beyond what the ordinary human can describe or try to imagine. Those who are fortunate to have love and respect for Hadhrat Ghaus-ul-Aazam (ra), are indeed prosperous and will rise with dignity on the day of judgement. Around the world, wherever there is Sunni muslims, you will certainly hear of the Great Saint of Baghdad (ra), you will see gathering of people to remember his greatness and you will see people gain barakat from such gatherings. May Allah give us guidance and keep our hearts filled with love and respect for the Great Ghaus-ul-Aazam (ra) – Ameen
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