How the Mashaayikh Praise Shaykh ‘Abdul Qadir Jilani
Imam Muhyiddin an-Nawawi Rahmatullahi ‘alayh (631-676 A.H) wrote the following about Shaykh ‘Abdul Qadir Jilani Rady Allahu ‘Anhu in his kitab (book) entitled Bustan u’l ‘Arifin (Garden of the Spiritual Masters):
“In all that has reached us from trustworthy reporters, concerning the charismatic talents of the saints (karamat al-awliya), we learn of none more numerous than the charismatic talents of the Cardinal Pole (Qutb), the Shaykh of Baghdad, Muhyi’d Din ‘Abd al-Qadir al-Jili (may Allah be well pleased with him).
He was the Shaikh of the principle Shafi’i and Hanbali authorities in Baghdad. Leadership in the sphere of knowledge devolved upon him in his day and age. More than a few of the notable figures received their education in his fellowship, and most of the preeminent Shaikhs of ‘Iraq became affiliated with him. His teaching was propagated by a host of those endowed with splendid spiritual states. His countless students included many of the masters of exalted spiritual stations. The Shaikhs and scholars (may Allah be well pleased with them all) were unanimous in declaring him worthy of the greatest honour and respect, in confirming his authority, in referrring to his statements, and in having recourse to his judgement…..
He had an exalted way of speaking about the esoteric sciences (‘ulum al-ma’arif). His anger was intense whenever the sanctuaries of Allah (Glory be to Him and Exalted is He) were violated. He was openhanded and magnanimous in the most beautiful way. To put it in a nutshell, there was none like him in his day and age.
May Allah be well pleased with him!” (Here ends this abridged quotation.)
(Qalaid al-Jawahir, Necklaces of Gems, p. 555-556, translated by Shaykh Muhtar Holland, whose translation has been adopted henceforth).
Once Shaykh Abu Madyan Shu’ayb al-Maghribi Rahmatullahi ‘alayh asked Hadrat Khidr ‘alayhissalam about Shaykh ‘Abdul Qadir Jilani, Rady Allahu ‘Anhu to which he replied:
“He is the leader of the champions of truth, and the competent authority of those who know by direct experience. He is a breath of life in the sphere of direct knowledge, and his business is intimate converse between all the saints (may Allah be well pleased with them all)”. (Qalaid al-Jawahir, p. 325-326).
The following is a very short excerpt of what Shaykh ‘Afif ud-Din al-Yafi’i al-Yamani Rahmatullahi ‘alayh had to say about Shaykh ‘Abdul Qadir Jilani in his Ta’rikh (History).
“He roamed inside the natures (nufus) of human beings as freely as breaths roam in their breasts, and he made their hearts fragrant with the scent of gardens showered by rain. He cured their natures of their sicknesses, and cleared their minds of their illusions. No one who heard him failed to declare his commitment to repentance, or to make his eyelids sore from weeping.
How many a sinner he brought back to Allah (Exalted is He)! How many a fainthearted weakling he reinvogorated! How many drunkards he rescued from the wine of passion! How many prisoners he released from the shackles of their lower selves (nufus)! How many mainstays (awtad) and spiritual deputies (abdal) did Allah choose because of him! On how many men did Allah confer a spiritual station because of him! The thoroughbred steeds of spiritual talents never ceased to ride toward him. My Allah (Blessed and Exalted is He) bestow His mercy upon him!” (Qalaid al-Jawahir, p. 551-552).
Shaykh al-Mu’ammar al-Jarrad once said:
“These two eyes of mine have never set sight on anyone of better moral character, nor of broader inner feeling, nor of nobler personality nor of kinder heart, nor of greater loyalty and affection, than Shaykh ‘Abd al-Qadir. Without regard for the majesty of his stature, the exalted nature of his rank, and the vast extent of his knowledge, he would support the lowly and challenge the great. He would always be the first to offer the greeting of peace (salam), and treat the poor with humble respect, though he would not stand up for any of the high and mighty and the notables, nor would he go knocking at the doors of any minister (wazir) or ruler (sultan).” (Qalaid al-Jawahir, p. 80)
Shaykh Baqa ibn Batu, Rahmatullahi ‘alayh, said that the tariqa (spiritual path) of Shaykh ‘Abd al-Qadir consists of “the unifications of word and deed, the unification of the self (nafs) and the moment, the embracing of sincere devotion (ikhlas) and submissive resignation (taslim), harmonious compliance with the Book and the Sunna in every thought, every glance, every state, as well as steadfast constancy in relation to Allah (Almighty and Glorious is He)” (Qalaid al-Jawahir, p. 87)
Al-Hafiz Imad-ud-Din ibn Kathir Rahmatullahi ‘alayh described the admonitions of Shaykh ‘Abdul Qadir Jilani in his Ta’rikh (History) entitled Al-Bidaya wa’n Nihaya, saying: "He enjoined the people to do what is good and abstain from what is evil. His admonitions addressed caliphs, ministers, people in authority, judges, companions and the masses. Standing on the pulpits of the mosques, he reprimanded them in the presence of witnesses as well as during his public addresses. He disavowed the civil appointment of any unjust person, chose Allah's blessings over anyone else's wrath, and was not affected by any reproach." (Quoted by Shaykh Muhammad Al-Akili in the “Preface” to his translation of Al-Fath-ur-Rabbani, p. X)
Imam Shihabuddin ‘Umar ibn Muhammad as-Suhrawardi Rahmatullahi ‘alayh in his universally acclaimed classic Awarif ul Ma'arif (The gnosis of the gnostics) refers to Shaykh ‘Abdul Qadir Jilani as "Our Shaykh" and quotes his advice.
Al-Baz Publishing company which has taken the lead in translating and publishing the works of Shaykh ‘Abdul Qadir Jilani, quotes the following words of Shaykh Muzaffar Ozak Efendi from Ziynet ul Qulub (The Adornment of Hearts), in introducing the works of the Shaykh to the public:
“The venerable ‘Abd al-Qadir al-Jilani passed on to the Realm of Divine Beauty in 561 A.H/1166 C.E, and his blessed mausoleum in Baghdad is still a place of pious visitation. He is noted for his extraordinary spiritual experiences and exploits and wise teachings. It is rightly said of him that ‘he was born in love, grew in perfection, and met his Lord in the perfection of love.’ May the All-Glorious Lord bring us in contact with his lofty spiritual influence!” Aameen. (Qalaid al-Jawahir, back cover).
This is how Brother Ruslan Moore introduced Futuh al-Ghaib (Revelations of the Unseen) to the readers in his “Publisher’s Preface”.
“The words of Shaikh ‘Abd al-Qadir al-Jilani can undoubtedly be considered among the most precious treasures of Islam. Indeed, Al-Baz Publishing was founded with the intention of providing fine English translations of his works for the benefit of English-speaking Muslims everywhere, in the spirit of wishing to share the benefit and blessing we have received ourselves at his hand.
I became first interested in Shaikh ‘Abd al-Qadir in learning from my own spiritual guide and benefactor Bapak Muhammad Sumohadiwidjojo, founder of the Subud brotherhood (may Allah be well pleased with him) that Allah had bestowed on the Shaikh the same opening and contact that Bapak himself received from Allah, and which he has passed on to us.
Anyone familiar with the latihan kejiwaan of Subud will understand that to be so honoured by Almighty God is an unusual occurrence in the history of mankind, such grace usually being bestowed on very few of His creatures. My interest thus being aroused, I sought out the surviving manuscripts from their various repositories around the world, and began the task of having them translated. From the very first reading it was apparent to me that what Bapak had said about the Shaikh was true.”
Yaa Hayyu Yaa Hayyu Yaa Qayyum
Yaa Hayyu Yaa Hayyu Yaa Qayyum