Hazrat Abdul Qadir Jilani

Sheikh Abdul Qadir Jelani was a noted Hanbali preacher, Sufi sheikh and the eponymous founder of the Qadiri Sufi order (selsela). He was born in Ramadan AH 470 (about AD 1077) in the Persian province of Gilan (Iran) south of the Caspian sea.

His contribution and renown in the sciences of Sufism and Sharia was so immense that he became known as the spiritual pole of his time, al-Gauth al Azam (the “Supreme Helper” or the “Mightiest Succor”).

His writings were similar to those of al-Ghazali in that they dealt with both the fundamentals of Islam and the mystical experience of Sufism

Parents and Early Life:

Abdul Qadir Jilani was a Sufi master and Syed (descendant of the Prophet Muhammad) from both his father and mother. His father Abu Saleh Jangidost, was an illustrious and God-fearing man. Once while engrossed in meditation by the bank of a river he saw an apple floating down the river. He picked it up and ate it. It struck to him that he ate the apple without paying for it, so he set out in search of the owner, on the bank of the river and at last reached the owner of the apple orchard “Abdullah Somai” whom he requested to tell him the price of the apple, Abdullah Somai replied that it was an expensive thing. Syed Abu Saleh replied that he had not much by way of worldly material, but he, could serve him for compensation. Abdullah Somai then asked him to work for a year in the orchard. In course of time the duration was extended several times. In the end Abdullah Somai admitted that he had served him in excess of the price and desired to reward him.

Abu Saleh hesitated in accepting it but when Abdullah Somai persisted, he relented. He said he had a daughter, blind of eyes, handicapped of hands and feet and wanted to give her in marriage to him. In this way Abu Saleh was married to Abdullah Somai’s daughter, Syeda Fatimah. To his astonishment found her wondrously beautiful and wholesome. He complained to his father-in-law that he found her exactly the opposite to what he had described her. Abdullah Somai insisted on the truthfulness of his statement. She was blind because she had not seen any Ghair Mehram (a man who could marry her). She was mute because she had not uttered a word repugnant to the Shariah (Islamic law). She was deaf because she had not heard anything inconsistent with the Shariah. She was handicapped of hand and feet because she had never moved in the direction of evil.

Abdul Qadir Jilani’s father died soon after and the young orphan was reared up by his mother and his grandfather, Abdullah Somai.

Shajrah-e-Nasab (Family Tree):

From Father’s side:

  1. Hazrat Shaykh Syed Abdul Qadir Gillani (RA) (in Arabic Jillani).
  2. Hazrat Syed Abu Salih As-Syed Mosa (RA)
  3. Hazrat Syed Abdullah Jeeli (RA)
  4. Hazrat Syed Shah Muhammad Yahaya Zahid (RA)
  5. Hazrat Syed Abu Muhammad, Abu-ul-Qasim, Shams-ud-Din Muhammad Moris (RA)
  6. Hazrat Syed Abu Muhammad, Siraj-ud-Din, Daud Amjad (RA)
  7. Hazrat Syed Mosa Sani (RA)
  8. Hazrat Syed Abdullah Sani (RA)
  9. Hazrat Syed Mosa Jaon (RA)
  10. Hazrat Syed Abdullah Al-Mahz (RA)
  11. Hazrat Syed Hassan Musanna (RA)
  12. Hazrat Syed Imam Hassan Mujtaba (AS)
  13. Sayyidina Hazrat Ali (KAWK) Hazrat Bibi Sayyada Fatima (SA)
  14. Sayyidina Hazrat Muhammad Mustafa (SAWAW)

From Mother’s side:

  1. Hazrat Bibi Umm-ul-Khair Fatima, the mother of Hazrat Shaykh Syed Abdul Qadir Gillani (RA), (in Arabic Jillani).
  2. Umm-ul-Kair Fatima’s father, Hazrat Syed Abdullah As-Somaei Az-Zahid
  3. Hazrat Syed Muhammad (RA)
  4. Hazrat Syed Mehmood (RA)
  5. Hazrat Syed Abul Attaar Abdullah (RA)
  6. Hazrat Syed Kamal-ud-din Esa (RA)
  7. Hazrat Syed Abu Ala-ud-din Muhammad Aljawaad (RA)
  8. Hazrat Syed Imam Ali Raza (RA)
  9. Hazrat Syed Imam Mosa Kazim (RA)
  10. Hazrat Syed Imam Muhammad Jaffar Sadiq (RA)
  11. Hazrat Syed Imam Muhammad Baqir (RA)
  12. Hazrat Syed Imam Zain-ul-Abideen (RA)
  13. Hazrat Syed Imam Hussain (AS)
  14. Sayyidina Hazrat Ali (KAWK) Hazrat Bibi Sayyada Fatima (SA)
  15. Sayyidina Hazrat Muhammad Mustafa (SAWAW)

Shaikh Abdul Qadir Jillani (ra) is najeeb-ut-tarafain, which means hasni and husaini syed.

Adult life:

At the age of 18 he went to Baghdad on AH 488 (1095 AD), where he pursued the study of Hanbalite law under several teachers. His mother sewed 40 gold coins in his quilt so that he might spend them when needed. The dacoits struck the caravan on the way, and looted all the travelers of their belongings. They asked him what he had. He replied that he had 40 gold coins. The dacoits took his reply for a joke and took him to their chief, who asked him the same question, and he again replied that he had 40 gold coins. He demanded him to show, upon whom he tore away, the quilt and produced the gold coins. He was surprised and asked him why he had given the hidden gold coins when he could have kept them hidden. Young Abdul Qadir Jilani replied that he was traveling to Baghdad to receive education and his mother had instructed him to speak the truth. This left a deep effect on the chief of the dacoits, and he gave up looting.

Abdul Qadir received lessons on Islamic Jurisprudence from Abu Said Ali al-Mukharrimi, Hadith from Abu-Bakra-bin-Muzaffar, and commentary (tafseer) from the renowned commentator, Abu Muhammad Jafar.

In Sufism, his spiritual instructor was Shaikh Abu’l-Khair Hammad. From him, he received his basic training, and with his help he set out on the spiritual journey. Abu Shuja’ was also a disciple of Shaikh Hammad, once he said: “Shaikh Abdul Qadir was in the company of Shaikh Hammad, so he came and sat in front of him, observing the best of good manners, until he stood up and took his leave. I heard Shaikh Hammad say, as soon as Shaikh Abdul Qadir had left: ‘This non-Arab has a foot that will be raised, when the proper time comes, and placed upon the necks of the saints. He will surely be commanded to say: This foot of mine is upon the neck of every saint of Allah. He will surely say it, and the necks of all the saints will surely be bent at his disposal.'” Hazrat Junayd Baghdadi (died AD 910), who died about 167 years before the birth of Shaikh Abdul Qadir Jilani, predicted about him on one occasion, when he was performing meditation & during that he said: “His foot will be over all Saints’ necks.” After finishing meditation, his disciples asked him about his words, he replied: “One Sufi would be born in the future, who would be greater than all saints.” Thus, Shaikh Hammad proved the words of Hazrat Junayd as right. The historians say that, later Shaikh Abdul Qadir Jilani also repeated the same words on many occasions by himself.

Spiritual Lineage, Shajra Mubarik

  • Prophet Muhammad (SW)
  • The Caliph Ali ibn Abi Talib
  • Hazrat Imam Hassan(AS)
  • Hazrat Imam Hussain (AS)
  • Imam Zain-ul-Abideen
  • Imam Muhammad Baqir
  • Imam Jaffar Sadiq
  • Imam Mosa Kazim
  • Imam Ali Mosa Raza
  • Sheikh Ma’ruf Karkhi
  • Sheikh Sari Saqati
  • Sheikh Junayd al-Baghdadi
  • Sheikh Abu Bakr Shibli Hadi
  • Sheikh Abdul Aziz al-Tam?m?
  • Sheikh Abu al-Fadl Abu al-Wahid al-Tamm
  • Sheikh Abu al-Farah Tartusi
  • Sheikh Syed Ibrahim Abu al-Hasan Ali Hakari
  • Sheikh Abu Sa’id al-Mubarak Mukharrami
  • Sheikh Syed Abdul Qadir Jilani
  • Radi Allaho Anhum

Popular Sufi Sheikh:

After completion of education, Hazrat Abdul Qadir Jilani abandoned the city of Baghdad, and spent twenty-five years as a wanderer in the desert regions of Iraq as a recluse.[2] He was over fifty years old by the time he returned to Baghdad, in AH 521 (AD 1127), and began to preach in public. His hearers were profoundly affected by the style and content of his lectures, and his reputation grew and spread through all sections of society. Not only Muslims, but also Jews and Christians, not only caliphs and viziers but also farmers, merchants and traders allegedly altered their lives in response to Abdul Qadir’s perorations.[3] He moved into the school belonging to his old teacher al-Mukharrimii, there he engaged himself in teaching. Soon he became popular with his pupils. In the morning he taught hadith and tafseer, and in the afternoon held discourse on mysticism and the virtues of the Qur’an. The number of students increased so much that the seminary could no more contain them. He, therefore, decided to extend the premises of the seminary. The students and the people willingly came forward with their wholehearted contributions. The campus buildings were ready in AH 528 and thereafter it came to be known as Madarsai-e-Qadriya.

Hazrat Abdul Qadir Jilani was a Non-Arab (ajami), so he wasn’t fluent in Arabic and was having some difficulties because of it. Once The Prophet Muhammad came to him in a dream, before the time of the midday prayer (Zuhr), and he said to him: “O my dear son, why do you not speak out?” He replied: “O dear father, I am a Non-Arab man. How can I speak fluently in the classical Arabic language of Baghdad?” Holy Prophet said: “Just open your mouth!” He opened his mouth, and The Holy Prophet put his saliva seven times in his mouth. A few moments later, Hazrat Ali ibn Abi Talib also came & did the same to him six times. And from that time, Hazrat Abdul Qadir Jilani spoke classical Arabic language with fluency, his memory increased, and he felt some great positive spiritual changes in him.

Once someone asked Shaikh Abdul Qadir Jilani about Mansur Al-Hallaj, he replied: “His claim extended too far, so the scissors of the Sacred Law (Shari’a) were empowered to clip it.”

He busied himself for forty years in the service of the Islam from AH 521 to 561. During this period hundreds embraced Islam because of him and organized several teams to go abroad for the purpose. He arrived in Indian sub-continent in AD 1128, and stayed at Multan (Pakistan). He died in AH 561 (AD 1166) at the age of 91 years, and was buried in Baghdad.