Matchless character of Shaykh Abdul Qaadir Jeelani رَحْمَةُ الـلّٰـهِ عَـلَيْه

Ahmad Raza Madani

In every era, Allah Almighty sends His Awliya to the world for the guidance of mankind. They are role models for people to follow. Some of them have such a strong and powerful influence on the world that even after their apparent demise, the world remembers them and benefits from them. In this article, we are going to talk about the exemplary character of a similar personality who lived over a thousand years ago but his teachings, followers, disciples and admirers are still present to this day. We are, of course, talking about Muhyuddin Abu Muhammad Ibn Abu Saalih Al-Hasani Al-Husaini, famously known as Shaykh Abdul Qaadir Jeelani رَحْمَةُ الـلّٰـهِ عَلَيْه. Hundreds of non-Muslims embraced Islam through him and thousands, rather hundreds of thousands of sinful people were blessed with repentance through him.

Brief introduction

Sayyiduna Shaykh Abdul Qaadir Jeelani رَحْمَةُ الـلّٰـهِ عَلَيْه was born on Friday, 1st Ramadan, 470 A.H. in Jeelan. His Kunyah is Abu Muhammad, whereas his titles are Muhyuddin, Mahboob-e-Subhani, Ghaus-e-A’zam and Ghaus Al-Saqalayn etc. His father’s name is Sayyiduna Abu Saalih Musa Jangidost رَحْمَةُ الـلّٰـهِ عَلَيْه and his mother’s name is Umm-ul-Khayr Fatimah رَحْمَةُ الـلّٰـهِ عَلَيْها. He رَحْمَةُ الـلّٰـهِ عَلَيْه is paternally a Hasani Sayyid and maternally a Husaini Sayyid. (Bahjat-ul-Asraar)

Shaykh Abdul Qaadir Jeelani رَحْمَةُ الـلّٰـهِ عَـلَيْه was one of those pious men who were Wali from birth. Therefore, his saintly miracles started taking place right after he was born. As you know that he was born on the 1st of Ramadan, he did not drink his mother’s milk from dawn to dusk. It was only after the sunset that he drank it. Moreover, at the age of five, on the occasion of his بسم الـلّٰـه ceremony, he recited 18 parts of the Holy Quran from memory to his teacher because he had memorized them even before his birth when in the womb of his mother. At the time of his birth, his lips were moving slowly and the sound of ‘Allah Allah’ could be heard. On the day of his birth, 1,100 babies were born in Jeelan; all of them were boys and became Awliya of Allah.

Early life and education

After receiving his early education, he came to Baghdad in 480 A.H. where he acquired further education from the renowned teachers and experts of that time. Amongst his teachers, there were extremely famous and renowned pious predecessors like Abu Al-Wafa Ali Ibn Aqeel Hanbali, Abu Zakariyya Yahya Ibn Ali Tabraizi, Abu Al-Ghalib Muhammad Ibn Hasan Baqillai and Abu Sa’eed Muhammad Ibn Abdul Kareem رَحِمَهُمُ الـلّٰـهُ. He pledged allegiance and received Khilafat (permission to make Mureed in a specific spiritual order or successorship) from Sayyiduna Shaykh Abu Sa’eed Mubarak Makhzoomi رَحْمَةُ الـلّٰـهِ عَلَيْه. Regarding his spiritual exercises and the hardships he faced in the path of Allah Almighty, he رَحْمَةُ الـلّٰـهِ عَلَيْه himself states: I faced the most severe hardships and difficulties in the path of Allah Almighty. If the same hardships fell on a mountain, it would crumble. (Qalaaid Al-Jawahir)

Quoting Shaykh ‘Abdul Qaadir Jilani رَحْمَةُ الـلّٰـهِ عَـلَيْه, ‘Allamah Imam Sha’rani قُـدِّسَ سِـرُّہُ الـرَّبَّـانِی writes in the book Tabqat-ul-Kubra, ‘At the beginning, I faced many hardships; when these hardships reached their peak, I lay on the ground and kept reciting verses 5 and 6 of Surah Alam Nashrah which are as follows:

فَاِنَّ مَعَ الْعُسْرِ یُسْرًاۙ(۵) اِنَّ مَعَ الْعُسْرِ یُسْرًاؕ(۶)

So indeed, with hardship, there is ease. Indeed, with hardship, there is ease.

[Kanz-ul-Iman (Translation of Quran)] (Part 30, Surah Alam Nashrah, verse 5, 6)

By the blessing of these verses of the Holy Quran, all those difficulties were resolved.’ So, dear readers! If we ever get into any trouble, we should also have patience and pray to Allah عَزَّوَجَلَّ instead of wailing and complaining.

Academic and saintly stature

Sayyiduna Shaykh Abdul Qaadir Jeelani رَحْمَةُ الـلّٰـهِ عَلَيْه used to make speeches in thirteen sciences. About 70 thousand people would attend his speeches. Allamah Sha’rani رَحْمَةُ الـلّٰـهِ عَلَيْه writes at one place: At the Madrasah of Shaykh Abdul Qaadir Jeelani رَحْمَةُ الـلّٰـهِ عَلَيْه, people would study Tafseer, Hadith, Fiqh and theology. He used to teach Tafseer, Hadith, Fiqh, theology and Nahw before noon. After Zuhr, he would recite the Holy Quran with different variations of Qira’at. (Bahjat-ul-Asraar)

Shaykh Abu Abdullah Muhammad Ibn Abu Al-Fath Harawi رَحْمَةُ الـلّٰـهِ عَلَيْه has stated that I served Shaykh Muhyuddin Syed Abdul Qaadir Jeelani رَحْمَةُ الـلّٰـهِ عَلَيْه for forty years. During that time, he used to offer Fajr Salah with the Wudu of Isha and it was his routine that whenever he was not in the state of Wudu, he would instantly make Wudu and offer two Rak’aat Nafl Salah. (Bahjat-ul-Asraar)

The honourable son of Sayyiduna Ghaus Pak رَحْمَةُ الـلّٰـهِ عَلَيْه, Sayyiduna Abdul Wahhab رَحْمَةُ الـلّٰـهِ عَلَيْه has stated that His Grace Sayyiduna Shaykh Abdul Qaadir Jeelani رَحْمَةُ الـلّٰـهِ عَلَيْه advised and guided people for forty years from 521 A.H to 561 A.H. (Bahjat-ul-Asraar)

Sayyiduna Shaykh Muhyuddin Abdul Qaadir Jeelani رَحْمَةُ الـلّٰـهِ عَلَيْه has stated: Over 500 Jews and Christians embraced Islam and more than one hundred thousand robbers, thieves, sinners, transgressors and deviants repented of sins through me. (Bahjat-ul-Asraar)

Abdul Malik Zayyaal رَحْمَةُ الـلّٰـهِ عَلَيْه has said: One night, I was standing in the Madrasah of Sayyiduna Shaykh Abdul Qaadir Jeelani رَحْمَةُ الـلّٰـهِ عَلَيْه. He رَحْمَةُ الـلّٰـهِ عَلَيْه came out with a staff in his blessed hand. A thought crossed my mind: Would that Ghaus-e-Pak رَحْمَةُ الـلّٰـهِ عَلَيْه could show a saintly miracle through this staff! As the thought entered my mind, he رَحْمَةُ الـلّٰـهِ عَلَيْه sank the staff into the ground. Suddenly, the staff became bright and remained bright like a lamp for a long time. Then he رَحْمَةُ الـلّٰـهِ عَلَيْه pulled the staff out of the ground and it returned to its previous state. Afterwards, he رَحْمَةُ الـلّٰـهِ عَلَيْه said, ‘O Zayyaal! Is this what you wanted?’ (Bahjat-ul-Asraar)

Dear readers! Sayyiduna Shaykh Abdul Qaadir Jeelani رَحْمَةُ الـلّٰـهِ عَلَيْه is a great spiritual guide who, through the power granted to him by Allah Almighty, helps his disciples in this world as well as in the hereafter. He رَحْمَةُ الـلّٰـهِ عَلَيْه has said: I have been given a very big register which contains the names of all of my companions and disciples who will come until the Day of Judgement, and I have been told that all these people have been handed over to me.’

Sayyiduna Shaykh Abdul Qaadir Jeelani رَحْمَةُ الـلّٰـهِ عَلَيْه has said: I asked Sayyiduna Malik عَـلَيْـهِ الـسَّـلَام, the Custodian of Hell, ‘Is any of my disciples in the fire of Hell?’ He عَـلَيْـهِ الـسَّـلَام replied, ‘No.’ Sayyiduna Shaykh Abdul Qaadir Jeelani رَحْمَةُ الـلّٰـهِ عَلَيْه further said, ‘I swear by Allah Almighty that my helping hand shelters my disciples in the same way as the sky shelters the earth. Even if my disciples are not virtuous, I am virtuous and I swear by the One Who has created me that I will not leave the court of my Lord until I make every disciple of mine enter Paradise.’ (Bahjat-ul-Asraar)

Lesson to be learnt

Dear readers! What lesson are we going to learn from the blessed life of Sayyiduna Shaykh Abdul Qaadir Jeelani رَحْمَةُ الـلّٰـهِ عَـلَيْه? He رَحْمَةُ الـلّٰـهِ عَـلَيْه was a great Islamic scholar, preacher, worshipper and an ardent follower of Shari’ah. He رَحْمَةُ الـلّٰـهِ عَـلَيْه also made many sacrifices and struggled hard in order to attain the closeness of Allah عَزَّوَجَلَّ and to follow the Holy Prophet صَلَّى الـلّٰـهُ عَلَيْهِ وَاٰلِهٖ وَسَلَّم, overcome Nafs and Satan, remain safe from sins and distant from the love of the world, promote the ‘call to righteousness’ and gain many rewards by preaching and thus bringing countless unbelievers into the fold of Islam. Following in his footsteps, we should also acquire Islamic knowledge, preach Islamic teachings and perform worship, refraining from each and every sin. Surely, one has to make sacrifices to achieve something. Although we cannot bear as many hardships as our Ghaus-e-A’zamرَحْمَةُ الـلّٰـهِ عَـلَيْه did, we can at least make a little effort without giving up hope.

O those who have utmost devotion to Shaykh ‘Abdul Qaadir Jilani رَحْمَةُ الـلّٰـهِ عَـلَيْه! He رَحْمَةُ الـلّٰـهِ عَـلَيْه spent twenty-five years in the jungles of Iraq enduring extreme hunger and thirst in order to please Allah Almighty. If only we also travel with the Madani Qafilahs of Dawat-e-Islami to propagate Islamic teachings and Sunnahs of the Holy Prophet صَلَّى الـلّٰـهُ عَلَيْهِ وَاٰلِهٖ وَسَلَّم throughout the world!


The spiritual leader of the Qadiriyyah Sufi order, Sayyiduna Shaykh Abdul Qaadir Jeelani رَحْمَةُ الـلّٰـهِ عَـلَيْه passed away on 11th Rabi-us-Saani, 561 A.H. in Baghdad at the age of 91. His funeral prayer was led by Sayyid Sayfuddeen Abdul Wahhab رَحْمَةُ الـلّٰـهِ عَـلَيْه and was attended by countless people. His blessed shrine is situated in Baghdad which remains crowded with visitors day and night.

May Allah Almighty shower His countless blessings on the shrine of Sayyiduna Shaykh Abdul Qaadir Jeelani رَحْمَةُ الـلّٰـهِ عَلَيْه, grant us Taufeeq to follow his teachings, forgive us without accountability for his sake and resurrect us among his devotees on the Day of Judgement! Ameen!




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