Jilani, ‘Abd al-Qadir al-Ghawth al-Adham [D.1166] 'alayhi al-rahmah wa'l-ridwan
Born in Jilan, Persia. Shaykh Abd al-Qadir al-Jilani was a Sufi master and Sayyad (descendant of the Final Messenger, the Most Beloved Prophet Muhammad-Salla Allahu ta'ala 'alayhi wa Sallam) from both his father and mother, (al Hasan, w'al Husayni).
READ MORE : AL GHAWTH AL ADHAM
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:
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
bi'l ma'ruf wa nahi anil munkar (enjoining good and forbidding
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.
This kitab (book) explains matters related
to shari'a (sacred law), tariqa (spiritual path), haqiqi
ma'rifa (knowledge of spiritual realities) and tasawwuf (spiritual
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 shareef, 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:
(cited by Al-Hajj Isma’il ibn as-Sayyad Muhammad Sa'id 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
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 'ala'r 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 sirrahu'l 'aziz (may Allah sanctify his sublime innermost being)
Hadrat Abu Sa'id Mubarak bin 'Ali Makhrami Radi Allahu ta'ala anhu
Hadrat Shaykh 'Abd al-Qadir al-Jilani Radi Allahu ta'ala anhu was blessed with the allegiance (ba'yah) from his father, Hadrat Sayyadina Abu Saleh Musa Jangi Dost Rahmatullahi ta'ala alayh.
After pledging to such an allegiance, it was one year after which his Beloved father passed away on the Thursday 11th of Dhul Qa'dah, 489H. After this sad event, Sayyadina Shaykh 'Abd al-Qadir al-Jilani Radi Allahu ta'ala anhu only remained in Jilan for a further 6 months. He then travelled to acquire knowledge, and set out to visit the Ka'bah. He dwelled in the deserts of Iraq, and there he remained in seclusion at such a mountain, where the feet of any other saint had not yet touched.
It was after a period of 6 years when he had completed the 1.25 million recitations of the Names of the Essence, and it was for a period of 18 years where he made iftar of his fasts, but only with water melon.
When he had completed this seclusion, he vowed that I shall not eat until such a time, until my creator himself feeds me with His own hand. It was at this stage where he did not eat anything, nor did he drink, for a period of 1 whole year. He remained in a state of meditation (muraqibah). As he was passing this level of struggle (mujahidah), and act of pleasure for the Almighty (riyadhah), it was then when his Shaykh of his robe (Shaykh-e-khirqah), Hadrat Abu Sa'id Mubarak bin 'Ali Makhrami Radi Allahu ta'ala anhu had a Divine Inspiration (ilham), as he states:
When the Shaykh tasted some of the rice pudding, he thought that this was a deception by the satanic self (nafs), and prevented himself from eating any of it, but again he heard a voice that said : 'Oh 'Abd al-Qadir! This is no deception from the devil, until you do not consume some of it, your vow with me will not be fulfilled. When the Shaykh recited 'Bismillahir Rahamanir Rahim' and opened his eyes to consume some of the pudding, he saw the face of Abu Sa'id Makhrami Radi Allahu ta'ala anhu, and suddenly he disappeared from the Shaykh's eyes.
The success which was gained from this inward struggle, and act, solely for the pleasure of Allah (mujahidah wa riyadhah), and how he achieved his purpose through the means of Hadrat Abu Sa'id Makhrami Radi Allahu ta'ala anhu, the Shaykh mentions in his own words:
When this blessed event took place, the author of 'Haqiqat-e-Gulzar-e-Sabri' states in the following words:
This was the same robe which had been presented to Hadrat 'Ali Radi Allahu ta'ala anhu, by the Beloved Messenger of Allah Salla Allahu ta'ala 'alayhi wa Sallam, and through His means was presented to Hadrat Khawaja Hasan Basri Radi Allahu ta'ala anhu, and then to the many 'Great Masha'ikh', and then to al-Ghawth-al-A'zam Radi Allahu ta'ala anhu.
The details of the passing of the robe has been given in summary by the author of 'Mir'at-uz-Zaman', in the following words:
(Mir'at-al-Zaman, vol-1, p-266)
Birth: Taj-ud-Deen, Sayyiduna Sayyad Abdur Razzaq (alaihir rahmah) was worn in the night of 18 Dhil Qaddah 528 A.H. in the city of Baghdad Shareef. Another narration states that he was born on 14 Rajab 553 A.H. at the time of Asar. He is the fourth son of Sayyiduna Shaykh Abdul Qadir Jilani (alaihir rahmah).
Education: Taaj-ud-Deen was endowed with knowledge by his great father, Sultanul Awliya, Qutbul Aqtaab, Shaykh Abdul Qadir Jilani (alaihir rahmah). He also took Bai'at (Oath of Allegiance) and received Khilafat (Spiritual Successorship) from his father. Almost his entire knowledge was gained at his father's feet. He also increased his knowledge by associating with learned scholars of his time. He used to listen to Ahadith from the Masha'ikhs and eventually compiled his own book of Ahadith.
General Achievements: Sayyaduna Sayyad Abdur Razzaq (alaihir rahmah) is the eleventh Shaykh-e-Tariqat of the Silsila Aaliya Qadiriya Radawwiyah. He was a Hafiz-al-Quran and Shaykh-ul-Hadith. Due to his immense knowledge, he attained the position of Mufti of Iraq. He held an extremely high status in respect to Islamic Jurisprudence. He was a very polite, hospitable and humble person. He was known for his gratefulness, patience, gratitude and excellent character. Piety and keeping silent were an integral part of his character. Besides attending the Jumma prayer and attending to special needs, he was never seen out of his house. Although he lived a life of poverty and hardship, he was noted for his generosity. He had great love and affection for his students. Sayyaduna Abdur Razzaq (alaihir rahmah) was a follower of Sayyaduna Imam Ahmad bin Hanbal (alaihir rahmah).
Piety: He feared Almighty Allah completely. He had the same features and qualities as his father. He was so modest and repentant that for three years he never looked up into the skies. This act was performed due to his fear for Almighty Allah.
Literature: His famous Kitab, "Jalaa-ul-Khawaatir" is available. The majority of his works are not mentioned.
Children: He had 5 sons and 2 daughters: Sayyiduna Shaykh Abu Swaleh Nasr, Sayyaduna Shaykh Abul Qasim Abdur Raheem, Sayyaduna Shaykh Abu Muhammad Ismail, Sayyiduna Shaykh Abdul Muhasin Fazlullah, Sayyaduna Shaykh Jamalullah, Sayyaduna Bibi Sa'ada and Sayyaduna Umme Muhammad (radi Allahu anhum ajma'in).
Demise: Sayyaduna Sayyad Abdur Razzaq (alaihir rahmah) passed away on Friday, 6 Shawwal 623 A.H. His Janazah Salaah was performed at seven different places because of the large number of people. He was buried in the same area of his Imam, Sayyaduna Imam Ahmad bib Hanbal (alaihir rahmah), in Baghdad Shareef
Muslims follow Tariqa (spiritual path leading to Allah Ta’ala) based on Shari’a (sacred Muslim law).
In matters of Shari’a (sacred Muslim law), Mahbub Sub-hani Shaykh ‘Abdul Qadir Jilani Rady Allahu ‘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 u’s-Sunnah wa’l Jama'ah (the people who follow the lifestyle of the Beloved Prophet Muhammad and of his blessed Companions).
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 (zikr) of Allah, unceasing salawaat (invocations of blessings) on the Holy Prophet Muhammad Sallallahu ‘alayhi wa Sallam, Sunnah fasting, charity, zuhd (abstinence) and juhd (exertion in the way of Allah Ta'ala) as exemplified by the Holy Prophet Muhammad himself. This then is the tariqa (spiritual path leading to Allah Ta'ala) which is rooted in shari’a (sacred Muslim Law).
Shaykh ‘Abdul Qadir Jilani learned about the mysteries of tariqa and imbibed spiritual 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 ‘Abdul Qadir Jilani was bestowed the khirqa by Shaykh Qadi Abi Sa’id al-Makhzumi, Rahmatullahi ‘alayh, (referred to as Al-Mukharrimi or Al-Makhrimi in some texts).
A Shaykh (spiritual master), musk-scented in shari’a, tariqa and haqiqi ma'rifa (knowledge of spiritual realities), is able to ascertain the spiritual level of a murid (spiritual seeker/disciple) and can assign additional awraad and azkaar (regular voluntary invocations) to be performed to attain spiritual progress. Shaykh ‘Abdul Qadir Jilani went on to become the epitome of such spiritual masters.
The tariqa followed by Shaykh ‘Abdul Qadir Jilani Rady Allahu ‘Anhu came to be called after him as the Qadiriyya tariqa and it came to be universally accepted as a divinely-guided path to spiritual progress through zikr (remembrance) of Allah to cleanse one's heart of all evil, to lead a virtuous life, to attain the love of the Most Beloved Prophet Muhammad, Sallallahu ‘alayhi wa Sallam, the love of the Ahl u’l 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’a (sacred Muslim law) according to the teachings of any one of the four Imams of madhhab, that is Imam Abu Hanifa, Imam Shafi’i, 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
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:
al-Ghawthiyya, named after him as it is the most
Kibriti'l Ahmar which means red
sulphur or "the Philosopher’s Stone", or something that
is very rare to come by.
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 away 870 A.H/1465 C.E) in Dalaail u'l Khayraat (Proofs of Good Deeds), and IMAM MULLA ALI AL QARI (passed away 1014 A.H/1606 C.E) in Hizb u'l A'zam (The Exalted Supplication).
Some of the kutub (books) that contain all three of these salawaat (and more) are:
Rabbaniyya (Emanations of Lorldly Grace) of al-Hajj
Isma'il ibn as-Sayyad Muhammad Sa'id al-Qadiri,/
Awraad u'l Qadiriyya
(Regular Voluntary Invocations of the
Qadiriyya) of Muhammad Salim Bawwab, and
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 u'l Ghawthiyya.
Allahumma Salli 'alaa
as-Saabiqi li'l khalqi nuruhu
wa Rahmatulli'l 'aalamina zuhuruhu
'adada man madaa min khalqiqa wa man baqiya
wa man sa'ida minhum wa man shaqiya
Salaatan tastaghriqu'l 'adda wa tuhitu bi'l haddi
Salaatan laa ghaayata lahaa wa laa muntahaa wa lanqidaa’a
Salaatan daaimatan bi-Dawaamika''
wa 'alaa aalihi wa sahbihi
wa sallim tasleeman mithla dhaalik.
O Allah! Bestow blessings on our
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 Hayyu' Yaa Hayyu Yaa Qayyum
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
radi'Allahu ta'ala anhu 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 dhikr recommended to be recited individually after every salaah (regular obligatory prayer) is as follows:
After Fajr: Yaa 'Azizu Yaa Allah (100
('O The Mighty, 'O Allah)
After Zuhr: Yaa Karimu Yaa Allah (100
('O The Generous, 'O Allah)
After 'Asar: Yaa Jabbaru Yaa Allah
('O The Compeller, 'O Allah)
After Maghrib: Yaa Sattaru Yaa Allah
('O The Concealer of faults, 'O Allah)
After 'Isha: Yaa Ghaffaru Yaa Allah
('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, p. 58).
Bismillah ir Rahman ir Rahim
Allahumma inni as’aluka
bi-Sirri-dh-Dhaati wa bi-Dhaat-is-Sirri
Huwa Anta wa Anta Huwa
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
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
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.
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 Tawhidi'l Ilaahi mubasmilaa
Sa akhtimu bi-dh-dhikri'l Hamidi Mujammilaa
Wa Ash-hadu Annallaha laa Rabba
Tanazzaha 'an hasri'l '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
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:
There are various refrains or congregational responses when this qasida is recited. A popular response in Arabic is:
Mawaali yaa mawaali yaa
Wa Muhyiddin-i Sultan ur rijaali
O' freed men emancipated from (the) slavery (of
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 mashayikh (spiritual masters) to explain about matters pertaining to the religion of Islam in both prose and poetry. For example, when Shaykh 'Abd 'al-Qadiral-Jilani Radi Allahu ta'ala 'anhu 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.
faqiri fanaa-u-hu fee Dhaatihi
wa faraaghu-hu min na'tihi wa sifaatih
wa'l qaafu quwwatu qalbihi bi-Habibihi
wa qiyaamuhu Lillahi fee Mardaatih
wa'l yaayu yarju bihi wa yakhaafuhu
wa yaqumu bi't taqwa bi-haqqi tuqaatih
wa'r raa'u 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.
Yaa Hayyu Yaa Hayyu
Yaa Hayyu Yaa Hayyu Yaa Qayyum
'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.
'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.
'Abd'al-Qadir al-Jilani Radi Allahu ta'ala' anhu passed away
with the dhikr of 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 dhikr session is held that night. It is variously
known as Khatm Ghawthiya, Ziyara Shaykh 'Abdul Qadir Jilani, 'Urs
Shareef, or Ghiyarwee Shareef. In Eastern Africa, a whole
night dhikr session is held in congregation ending with Fajar
salaah after which breakfast is served. In some places, dhikr
sessions continue for days. These dhikr sessions 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 dhikr in 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.
this annual dhikr congregation, dhikr sessions are also
held on the eleventh of every month (hence called Ghiyarwee Shareef
in Urdu), as well as every Thursday night, as the night before
Jumu'ah is considered auspicious. The murideen (spiritual
seekers) also do dhikr everyday 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.
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
Mu'inuddin Hasan 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 .
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.
Hayyu Yaa Hayyu Yaa Qayyum
Yaa Hayyu Yaa Hayyu Yaa Qayyum