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Sunday, September 27, 2020

Abdul Qadir Jilani

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Abu Muhammad Muhiyuddin Sheikh Abdul Qadir Jilani (also spelled Jeelani, Gilani, Gillani, Al-Gilani) was a Sufi sheikh and the founder of the Qadiri Sufi order (Silsila). He was born in the month of Ramadan in 470 AH (1077-78 AD) in the Persian province of Jilan (Iran), south of the Caspian Sea. His contribution to Sufism and sharia was so immense that he became known as the spiritual pole of his time, al-Ghawth al-A’zam.

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One of his many titles is ‘al-Hasani wal Husseini’ because he was blessed with direct lineage to the Holy Prophet through his father Sheikh Abu Saleh Moosa who was a direct descendant of Imam Hassan. He was a very pious and humble person as well as a master in the tactics of Jihad and it was due to this that he was given the title of “Jangi Dost”. Sheikh Abdul Qadir Jilani was also blessed with direct lineage to the Holy Prophet through his mother Sayyida Bibi Ummul Khair Fatima who was a direct descendant of Imam Hussein Ra.gif. She was also a very pious person. The circumstances surrounding the blessed marriage of Hazrat Abu Saleh Moosa and Hazrat Bibi Ummul Khair were quite miraculous to say the least. 

Sayyidi Abdullah Sauma’ee was the maternal grandfather of Sheikh Abdul Qadir Jilani. He was a very patient, humble, kind and sincere person. Sayyida Aisha Zaahida was the paternal aunt of Sheikh Abdul Qadir Jilani. She was a very kind and pious woman. Her entire life was spent in the remembrance of Almighty Allah. Sheikh Abdul Qadir Jilani was not like other children who spent their time in play and amusement. From a tender age he spent his time in the remembrance of Almighty Allah. 

After completing his academic studies, Sheikh Abdul Qadir Jilani did not stop in his quest for in-depth spiritual knowledge. 

There came a time in Baghdad when there was abundance of trouble. Since he did not want any part of this, he decided to leave Baghdad for a more peaceful environment. 

By the year 496 AH, Sheikh Abdul Qadir Jilani had completed his academic and spiritual studies. Between 496 AH and 521 AH, he underwent a period of deep reflection and seclusion during which he distanced himself from all worldly affairs. His twenty-five year-long spiritual journey saw him travel across the barren desert and ruins in the area around Baghdad living in complete seclusion where he would experience extreme physical hardships. During this time he would be in constant remembrance of Almighty Allah. 

During these 25 years, he engrossed himself in such intense spiritual exercises that just by reading about them one can only but marvel at the dedication of this Great Saint. His sincerity and dedication in controlling his nafs took him swiftly to the levels of “Fana-fi Rasool” and “Fana Fi Allah”. He was now totally drowned in the sea of love of Allah and His prophet. He turned himself into a strong mountain of patience and firmness that could not be moved. The notable events that took place during this part of his life are numerous. If they are recorded, then this alone would fill volumes. 

Some of Sheikh Abdul Qadir Jilani’s well-known works include: 

Futuh al-Ghaib (Revelations of the Unseen) – 78 discourses, fairly short and to the point but very powerful. 

Al-Fath ar-Rabbani (The Sublime Revelation) – 62 discourses definitely longer, given in the Ribaat and Madrasa in Baghdad AH 545-546. 

Jala’ al-Khawatir (The Removal of Cares) – 45 discourses, also in the same locations, given in the year AH 546. 

Kitab Sirr al-Asrar wa Mazhar al-Anwar (The Book of the Secret of Secrets and the Manifestation of Lights) 

Malfuzat (Utterances) – This is a collection of various sayings of Sheikh Abdul Qadir Jilani. Generally it is found at the end of the hand copied Arabic manuscripts of Fath ar-Rabbani. 

Al-Ghunya li-Talibi Tariq al-Haqq (Sufficient Provision for Seekers of the Path of Truth) – also known in the Indian sub-continent as Al-Ghunya li-Talibin. These five volumes, written by the Sheikh, at the request of one of his murids, is a comprehensive guide to all aspects of Islam, both the inward and the outward. 

Khamsata ‘Ashara Maktuban (Fifteen Letters) – These are 15 letters originally written in Persian by Sheikh Abdul Qadir to one of his murids. 

Al-Fuyudat al-Rabbaniyya (Emanations of Lordly Grace) 

Bashair al-Khairat (Glad Tidings of Good Things) – A Salawat by Sheikh Abdul Qadir by way of inspiration from Allah. 

Answers to Various Important Questions  – Contains many concise answers to very important questions regarding a variety of topics. 

Special Prayers – Contains many special invocations taught to us by the Sheikh for their special blessings. 

Gate of Poverty – Contains the story excerpted from Necklaces of Gems of the Sheikh’s struggle with the Devil Armies, Iblis himself, and his lower self (nafs).

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