From the Layman’s Desk-6: Hazrat Sayyidina Shaykh Muhiyuddin Abdul Qaadir Jilani, Ghaus-ul Azam (Radhi Allah Anhu).
For the sake of brevity, we cannot go into all the aspects of the Saint of Jilan, Hazrat Ghaus-e-Paak ®’s childhood, his early education, his trip to Baghdad and promise to speak the truth on all occasions, his reforming of the gang of thieves while on his way to Baghdad, his education at Baghdad, or details of his religious and spiritual teachings, his paternal and maternal lineages, spiritual geneology, his ® Wazaif and spiritual blessings of his titles and the virtues of Qasida Ghausiya; about his descendents, details of his influence on the Awliya-Allah, the Ulema, and ordinary citizens and all communities, and the like. However, it is important to remember that in his childhood, the saintly mother of Ghaus-e-Paak had advised him to always speak the truth no matter what, and he always heeded her advice even in the most trying circumstances.
Hazrat Shaykh Mohiyuddin Abdul Qadir of Jilan ® (1077-1166 c.e.) was both a Hasani and Hussaini, i.e. a descendent of the Holy Prophet (sallal laahu alaihi wassallam) through his beloved daughter, Fatima az-zahra. His father, Abu Salih Musa Jangi Dost,was a direct descendant of Sayyidina Imam Hasan ibn Ali ®. His mother, Ummu’l Khayr Fatima was a saintly daughter of a saintly father Shaykh Abdullah Sawma’i who was a direct descendant of Sayyidna Imam Husayn ibn Ali ®. His shaykh in the Tariqat was Hazrat Shaykh Abu Sa’id Makhzumi ®. The prophecies of his birth and his high station in the world of saints were also predicted by Hazrat Junaid Baghdadi ®. Ghaus-ul-Azam or Ghouse-e-Paak as he is known, is the greatest Muslim saint the worlds of human beings and the Jinns and of the Arwaah (Spirits) and Malaika (Angels) as well as the world of Rijaalul-Ghaib (Men of Unseen) has ever known. Allah made Holy Prophet (sallal laahu alaihi wassallam) Rahmat-ul-Aalamin, i.e. Mercy to the Worlds. According to Dr. Tahir al-Qadri, Hazrat Shaykh Abdul Qadir Jilani is the Ghaus-ul-Aalamin, i.e. Helper of the Worlds.
We learn from Akhbarul Akhyar (Narrative about the Chosen Ones) of Shaykh Abdul Haq Muhaddis Dehlawi (d.1642 c.e.), that for forty long years Hazrat Shaykh Abdul Qadir Jilani (R) offered the Fajr (early morning) prayers with the same Wudu (ablution) that he performed for the Isha (Night) prayers, i.e. without any break. For twenty-five years this beloved Awliya of Allah roamed about in the desert and widerness of Iraq incognito. It was during this time that Hazrat Khwaja Khidhr (a.s.) met him three times. He used to fast from three to forty days without imbibing any food or drinks. He used to recite the Holy Quran after the Isha prayers and finish all the chapters by the day-break. This was his daily practice for fifteen long years. On one such night, a thought occurred to him that he should take some rest. At that time he was climbing up the stairs. He immediately discarded this thought that the body too had a right to rest, and there and then stood up just on one leg and began to recite the Holy Quran from the beginning to the end so that the thought of taking rest should never recur. During the early years of his ‘ Mujahada’ (the process of striving against ‘nafs’ or desire) he used to tie one end of the rope to his blessed body and the other end to a hook on the wall so that in case he dozed off he would be awakened by the pull of the rope that had been secured to keep him in position.
Among the prophets (a.s.), Holy Prophet (sallal laahu alaihi wassallam) has the largest number of miracles, whereas among the Awliya-Allah, most miracles are attributed to Hazrat Shaykh Abdul Qadir Jilani. According to Allama ibn Hajar Asqalani, it was the talk of the town that during the infancy of the Ghous-e-Paak this blessed saint did not suckle milk during the hours of fasting in the month of Ramadan. When, owing to poor visibility, it could not be decided whether the crescent of Ramadan had been sighted or not, the saint’s mother would decide the matter. If the infant did not suckle the milk, it meant that the month of Ramadan had begun.
One of the major wonders was the role that Allah assigned Ghous-e-Paak for promoting Islam. In 1117 c.e., on a Friday, while on his way to Baghdad, Shaykh Abdul Qadir Jilani ® was saluted by a frail and sick man in the customary Islamic greeting. As the Shaykh replied to the greeting, the frail man asked him to help him sit up. No sooner than the Shaykh helped him, that man started to grow tall in stature and informed him that he was the religion of his grandfather, adding that as a result of his help he stands revived. Later, at the Masjid where the Shaykh had gone to offer the Jummah Prayers, a man approached him and gave him a pair of shoes and addressed him as “Muhiyuddeen”, i.e. “Reviver of Religion”. Indeed, these incidents proved ominous and Islam received a great impetus owing to the guiding efforts of Hazrat Shaykh Abdul Qadir Jilani ® .
Recounting all the miracles of the Saint of Jilan ® who is also known by many titles such as Qutb-e-Rabbani, Mehboob-e-Subhani, Ghous-e-Samdani, Peeraan-e-Peer, Dastageer, is not possible in this small article as there so many. Just to refer to a few of his miracles, they include (1) Transforming the entire gang of thieves and robbers to the right path by virtue of his being truthful which placed him in the rank of ‘Siddiqeen’ at the age of 18 years; (2) Transforming a thief, who had come to rob his house, into an ‘Abdaal’ or a high-ranking saint; (3) Rescuing the 16-year old beautiful daughter of Shaykh Abu Sa’id Abdulla from the clutches of a mischievous Jinn by summoning the king of Jinns; (4) Rescuing the sinking ship from the sea by placing his hand inside his cloak at the time when he himself was delivering lessons in his convent in Baghdad; (5) His cloak that protected against illness (cloak was given to Shaykh Ali bin Haiti’s disciple who never fell sick thereafter; (6) Seeing the Holy Prophet (sallal laahu alaihi wassallam) with his physical eyes at the time Shaykh Ali bin Haiti fell asleep in his Majlis and was seeing the Holy Prophet (sallal laahu alaihi wassallam) in his dream; Tearing and killing of the Shaykh Ahmad Jaam’s lion by an old and lean stray dog that used to sit outside the home of Ghaus-e-Paak and the saint’s consequent submission before Ghous-e-Paak; On requests of the citizens of Baghdad, putting his staff in River Tigress (ad-Dijla) to keep it from flooding Baghdad; commanding the rain to stop as people had started leaving the Majlis; being clairvoyant and knowing the conditions of heart of others, predicting tomorrow, etc. Many, many other miracles have been recorded by the biographers and the readers are urged to refer them for details. There are a host of books in Arabic, Urdu, Turkish, English and other languages. A couple of books in English include:
1. Ghous Ul Azam Piran-e-Pir by Dr. Zahurul Hasan Shareeb (also known as Gudri Shah Baba)
2. World Importance of Ghawth al ‘Azam Shaykh ‘Abdul Qadir Jilani by Dr. Muhammad Haroon.
The Karaamaat (miracles) of Awliya are the manifestation of the miracles of the prophets (a.s.), and the miracles of prophets are the manifestations of the powers of Allah. Miracles of prophets (a.s.) are known by the term Mujazaat and they are declared openly by prophet (s) to show the non-believers the extraordinary power of Allah. This is not the case where Karaamaat are concerned – but this is another topic. However, as far as Hazrat Shaykh Abdul Qadir Jilani is concerned, exception is the rule for he has been permitted to reveal so many secrets and work many marvels when other Sufi Shaykhs are understandably reserved.
In short, it is important to realize that working miracles or ‘Karaamaat’ is not an end in itself for a Vali (Saint). Miracle is not Vilayat (Sainthood), and Vilayat is not miracle. Miracle is just a by-product of being a Vali because for a Vali a miracle is not a product. As Dr. Tahir al-Qadri explains, there is Ijma (consensus) among the scholars that a Karamat is “Nafs-ki-Talab” while Allah’s Talab is Isteqaamat (remaining firm on the right path, or rectitude, steadfastness). Isteqamat is higher than Karaamat. The idea of Isteqamat can be gauged from an example of Hazrat Moosa (a.s.) who had prayed to Allah that the then Pharaoh be drowned and was given the reply that his prayers have been accepted. Despite that, it took 40 long years for the Pharaoh to drown. During this time, Moosa (a.s.) did not follow-up with Allah about the status. Nor did he complain about the inordinate delay. He waited patiently with conviction, firm in the belief that the Pharaoh will inevitably drown. That was an example of Isteqamat. Or as a Hadith Shareef in Sahih Muslim explains: “Say I believe in Allah, and then remain steadfast.”
Hazrat Shaykh Abdul Qadir Jilani is the founder of the Qadriyah Order. Hazrat Ghaus-e-Pak attained lofty spiritual heights so that in 1165 c.e., he made a well-known declaration in a Majlis (religious gathering) in the presence of more than forty spiritual masters : “My foot is on the neck of every Wali-Allah (Friend of Allah or saint).” This status of his had already been predicted by many Awliya-Allah, including Shaykh Hammad al-Dabbas. All those who were present in the Majlis and even those who were far away submitted to this declaration. According to one account, there were 300 Awliya-Allah and 700 Rijaal-ul-Ghaib (Men of Unseen) present in that Majlis. His son, Shaykh Abdallah was also present there.
When the statement “My foot is on the neck of all the Awliya”, was made in Baghdad by Shaykh Abdul Qadir Jilani, all the Awliya bent their neck, including Shaykh Abu Madyan (1126-1198 c.e.). Shaykh Abul Abbas Mursi is of Mursiyah Silsila. He is Mureed of Abu Madyan. He said: If I do not see the face of Holy Prophet (sallal laahu alaihi wassallam) for a moment, I won’t remain a Muslim. He too bent his neck on the said announcement of Ghous-e-Paak. Then there is the Rifai Silsila. Sayyid Ahmed ar-Rifai ® is the Qutubul Aqtaab, i.e. the Qutub of Qutubs. He also bent his neck at the time of that announcement of Ghous-e- Paak. Shaikh Abu ‘n-Najib as-Suhrawardi, tilted his head so low that it almost touched the ground, as he exclaimed: ‘[That foot is] upon my head!’ Regarding Bahaudin Shah Naqshband ®, Shaykh Abdul Qadir Jilani predicted while travelling through Bokhara that 157 years after a son of mine will be born in Bokhara. So Bahaudin Shah Naqshbandi got the ‘faiz’ of that blessing. Chishtiya are also the Mureeds of Ghaus-e- Pak. Hazrat Khwaja Moinuddin Hasan Chishti Sanjri Ajmeri, Sultan-e- Hind, was in Muraqaba (contemplation) in Khorasan mountains. He heard the announcement of Hazrat Shaykh Abdul Qadir Jilani in Baghdad that his foot is on the neck of all Awliya. He said: “But your blessed foot is on my eyes and on my head.” Khwaja Ajmer, who was then in the prime of his youth, met him in Baghdad and remained with him for 57 days, deriving the ‘faiz ‘ from him. We are told that he asked Ghous-e-Paak for Iraq. Ghous-e-Paak said: Moinuddin, Iraq has been given to Shahabudin Omar Sohrawardi. I give you Hind. Hazrat Moinuddin Chishti ® became the Sultan-e-Hind. Thus Chishtiya Silsila too is a branch of Qadriyah Order.
Therefore, Hazrat Shaykh Abdul Qadir Jilani’s influence has been so great that many schools of Sufi Tariqas trace their origin to him as we have seen above. Imam Abul Hasan Shadhili (Founder of Shadhili Order) whose shrine is in Egypt, is the Khalifa of Abu Madyan Ghaus al-Maghribi. Abu Madyan is the Khalifa of Gause-Pak. Thus Shadhiliyah is the branch of the Qadiri Silsila. The Qadiri Order commands the highest number of followers in the Muslim world. If anyone says that he is the Mureed of Ghaus-e-Paak, he gets admitted among his mureeds by virtue of verbal admission. Therefore all the Orders are actually the branch of Qadiriyah Silsila.
In Maktubat Shareef, Mujaddid Alf Sani mentions that after the coming of Ghaus-e -Paak, all the Awliya coming after him fall under the banner of Hazrat Shaykh Abdul Qadir Jilani ®. Shah Ismail Dehelvi, the grandson of Shah Waliullah writes that no one can become a Wali without the sanction of Ghause-Pak and Hazrat Ali ®. (Ismail Dehelvi is said to be the founder of Wahabism in India.) According to leading scholars and sufis, if someone is a Vali and refuses to be under the foot of Hazrat Shaykh Abdul Qadir Jilani ® he will not remain a Wali.
Shaikh Muwaffaq ad-din ibn Qudama al-Maqdisi (r.a.) described Ghaus-e- Paak as under:
“Our Shaikh Muhyuddin Abdul Qadir (may Allah be well pleased with him) was of slender build, of medium height, and broad in the chest. He had a full beard, which was brown throughout its 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. May Allah be well pleased with him.”
The following are some of the major works of Hazrat Shaykh Abdul Qadir Jilani in spiritual field:
1. Sirr al-asrar (The secret of secrets)
2. Futuh al-ghayb (Revelations of the Unseen)
3. Ghunyat al-talibeen (Wealth for Seekers)
4. Al-Fat’hu Rabbani (The Endowment of Divine Grace)
Many secrets have been revealed in Sirr al-asrar. For example, Ghous-e-Paak points out about
the proof that the Holy Qur’an was revealed directly to the Prophet is in the Qur’an itself.
And thou art surely made to receive the Qur’an from the All-Wise, the All-Knowing. (Sura Naml, 6)
Since the Holy Prophet (sallal laahu alaihi wassallam) had received revelation before the angel Gabriel brought it to him, each time Gabriel delivered the holy verses, the Prophet (sallal laahu alaihi wassallam) found them in his heart and recited them before they were given. That is the reason for the verse: And make not haste with the Qur’an before its revelation is made complete to thee … (Sura Ta Ha, 114). Ghous-e-Paak points out further that the place of the Holy Prophet (sallal laahu alaihi wassallam), whose light is the first of Allah’s creation, is described in his own words, ‘I am from Allah and the believers are from me’. And Allah, speaking through His Prophet, says: ‘I have created the light of Muhammad from the light of My own existence’. The meaning of Allah’s own existence is His divine Essence manifested in His attribute of the Most Compassionate. This He declares through His Prophet (sallal laahu alaihi wassallam), saying: ‘My compassion far surpasses My punishment’. The beloved Messenger of Allah is the light of the Truth, for Allah says, We sent thee not but as a mercy to the whole creation. (Sura Anbiya’, 107) and Indeed Our Messenger has come to you, making clear to you much of that which you concealed of the Book and passing over much. Indeed, there has come to you from Allah a light … (Sura Ma’ida, 15)
Next, Futuh al-Ghaib contains selected discourses of Ghaus-e-Paak on varied topics that are of interest today as they were several hundred years ago. Such is the impact of those discourses for even a lay man centuries apart it feels on just reading the translation, as if he or she is being addressed pesonally. He ® says that three things are essential for a Momeen: (1) Obedience to Allah; (2) Abstaining from things forbidden; and (3) Being content with the fate. He says: In whatever condition you may find yourself, do not desire any higher or any lower than that. According to him, the foundation of Tasawwuf rests on eight things: Generosity of Ibrahim (a.s.); to be contented and happy in all conditions like Ishaq (a.s.); to be patient like Ayyub (a.s.); To weep all night and pray to Allah like Zakariya (a.s.); to dress up like Moosa (a.s.); To walk and give sermons and invite to the ways of Allah like ‘Isa (a.s.); to give up hearth and home like Yahya (a.s.); To remain abstinent, like the Holy Prophet (sallal laahu alaihi wassallam) for he gave up everything except Allah.
Ghunyat al-talibeen cover a wide range of topics including ways of supplications, cure for illnesses, in addition to discussing Wudu (ablution) Salaat (ritual prayers), fasting, Zakat, Haj, etc. It also discusses ‘Akhlaq’ and says at one place that no one should call any Ahl-e-Qibla as Kaafir (disbelievers), Mushrik (polytheist) or Munafiq (hypocrite).
Al Fat’hu Rabbani contains some 63 of Baghdad discourses made by Hazrat Shaykh Abdul Qadir Jilani, Ghaus-ul-Azam ®. He says it’s a pity that you satisfy your hunger to fullest, while your neighbor sleeps hungry, and you call yourself a Momeen. This is not the right Imaan. Entertain Fear of Allah in your heart, for if you do that then your external conditions will change also. Then Allah will favour you and change your clothes of gloom into those of joy, your grief and sorrow He will change into happiness. He will transform your poverty and make you wealthy. Your troubles will be changed into rest and peace!
In general, Ghaus-ul-Azam ® says regarding ‘Shukr’ (Thankfulness) that the true nature of thankfulness [haqiqat ash-shukr] is the acknowledgment of the benefaction of the Benefactor [ni'mat al-Mun'im], with an attitude of humility, an overt recognition of the blessing, and a reverential confession of one’s inability to give adequate thanks. Regarding ‘Sabr’ (Patience) he stated that patience means coping with misfortune by remaining on one’s best behavior which means welcoming His decrees, and accepting them in accordance with the ‘ahkam’ (statutes) of the Book and the Sunna. Regarding ‘Khawf’ (Fear) he said that there are several kinds of fear such as the fear that applies to those who are guilty of sin [mudhnibin]. There is the ‘Rahba’ (anxiety) that applies to ‘Abidin’ i.e. those who practice worshipful service. There is the ‘Khashya’ (apprehension) that applies to the ‘alimin’ i..e. the learned. Then there the ‘Wajal’ (timidity) that applies to the ‘Muhibbin’ (lovers). There is also the ‘Haibat’ or Awe that applies to ‘Arifin’ i.e. those who know by direct experience. Concering ‘Raja’ (Hope) Hazrat Shaykh Abdul Qadir Jilani ® said:
Hope cannot exist without fear, because, if someone hopes to achieve something, he is bound to fear that it may escape him. To have a good opinion of Allah Subhaan Ta’la means recognizing Him in the beauty of His attributes (sifaat), then basing your expectation [amal] of Him on what is relevant to Him, not on what relates to His servant. That expectation must be based on the knowledge that His attributes include Beneficent (Muhsin), Generous (Karim), Compassionate (Rahim), Gracious (Latif), and Kind (Ra’uf).
In one of his discourses Hazrat Shaykh Mohiyuddin Abdul Qadir Jilani said that the Shaikhs having put their knowledge into practice truthfully and sincerely, they are the doors to the True One and His ways to His nearness. They are the heirs and deputies of the Prophets and Messengers. They are the ambassadors between Him and their creatures. Hinting at the arrogance of the ignorants he says:
“You have no knowledge of the spiritual states of Allah’s people and you do not believe in their sayings…If you were truthful in seeking the people of Allah, you would have seen them and derived benefits from their words.”
All his earthly life, Hazrat Shaykh Abdul Qadir Jilani, Ghaus-ul-Azam worked for the betterment and upliftment of mankind in general and the Muslim nation in particular through preachings, precepts and examples by drawing inspiration from the command of the Holy Prophet Muhammad Mustafa (sallal laahu alaihi wassallam). His role as a preacher, lecturer, theologist and a master orator as well as his hundreds of miracles have been well documented by his biographers. Shaykh Ahmed Kabeer (r.a.) says regarding Ghaus-e-Paak:
“On his right is the Sea of Shari’ah and on his left is the Sea of Tariqah. From this, he gives whom he desires. In this era, there is none equal to him.”
Far and wide spread his fame. He was flooded with questions on religion and the matters of fiqh. The answers he gave always impressed them and were to their entire satisfaction. He never failed to admonish rulers in case they were tyrants or if they appointed tyrants to top positions. He was known for his truth and courage as well as deep learning, piety, and humility, so that he was held in veneration by the rulers as well as the laity. In the sub-continent of India and Pakistan, the Gyaarvih Shareef in the month of Rabbi-ul-Sani is celebrated with faith, zeal, Quranic recitations, prayers and the Fateha.
“Allahuma Salle Ala Sayyedina Wa Maulana Muhammadim Ma’dinil Joodi Wal Karami Wa Aalihi Wa Baarik Wa Sallim. (DUROOD-E-GHAUSIYA)
Allah and His Rasool (S) know best.