(Ghawth al-Alam Mehboob-e-Yazdani Hazrat Mir Auhad’uddin
Sultan Saiyed Makhdoom Ashraf Jahangir Semnani r.d.)

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Mehboob-e-Subhani Ghawth al-A’zam, Sultan al-Awliya,Saiyedina Shaikh Abu Muhammad Muhyi’d-Din Abd al-Qaadir al-Jilani (R.A)

Family background and genealogy :-

Relating to his Birth early Childhood completion of Education striving and Endurance the court of his Pir-o-Murshid the Muslims of Baghdad his Karamaat (Miracles) His wives and Children his Enlightening Lectures incidents relating to his Demise Genealogy. 

Name:- His name was Abd al-Qaadir.

Titles:- His title was “Abu Muhammad” He is famously known as Muhyi’d-Din, al-Ghawth al-A’zam, Sultan al-Awliya, Ghaus-e-Paak,etc. He was a descendant of the Holy Prophet Muhammad (S.A.W). from both his mother’s (al-Husaini) and father’s side (al-Hasani). (Imam Hasan and Imam Husain (R.A) being the grandsons of the Holy Prophet Muhammad (S.A.W) Sayyid Abu Saleh Moosa (R.A) was his father and Sayyidah Ummul Khair Faatima (R.A) was his mother. 

Place of Birth:- According to authentic narrations, Sayyiduna al-Ghawth al-A’zam Shaikh Abd al-Qaadir al-Jilani (R.A)was born in a place called Neef, which is situated in Gilan (Persia). According to Imam Yaaqoot Hamwi (R.A) Shaikh Abd al-Qaadir al-Jilani (R.A)was born in a place called Bashteer. Most historians agree that Neef and Bashteer were differrent names for the same place. Since he was born in Gilan, al-Ghawth al-A’zam Shaikh Abd al-Qaadir (R.A)is known as al-Jilani. Concerning his birth, al-Ghawth al-A’zam (R.A)personally states the following in his “Qasida-e-Ghausia”: “I am a citizen of Jeel and my name is Muhyi’d-Din and the flag of my exaltedness is planted firm on mountains.” 

Event Relating to his Birth:-

There are two narrations concerning the date of birth of al-Ghawth al-A’zam Shaikh Abd al-Qaadir al-Jilani (R.A)The first narration is that he was born on the 1st of Ramadaan 470 A.H.. The second narration is that he was born on the eve of the 2nd of Ramadaan 470 A.H. The second narration seems to be the one more favoured amongst the learned scholars. The birth of al-Ghawth al-A’zam Shaikh Abd al-Qaadir al-Jilani (R.A)was a great blessing to the Ummah.

It was the arrival of the Sultaanul Awliya (King of the Awliya), which had been foretold for centuries before his birth. Sayyidah Ummul Khair Faatima (R.A)was 60 years old when Shaikh Abd al-Qaadir al-Jilani (R.A)was born. It is widely known that women at this age are usually incapable of having children. This alone was one of the astounding facts relating to the birth of the great Saint. 

Miraculous Events Surrounding his Birth:-

Apart from this, there were many other miraculous events surrounding the birth of Shaikh Abd al-Qaadir al-Jilani (R.A)Shaikh Sayyiduna Shahabud-Din Suharwardi (R.A)quoted the following five miracles (Karamahs) relating to the birth of al-Ghawth al-A’zam (R.A)in his distinguished book, “Manaqib-e-Ghausia”: (1). On the eve his birth, his father saw the Holy Prophet Muhammad (S.A.W)in his dream. The Holy Prophet Muhammad (S.A.W) gave him the following glad tidings: “O Abu Saaleh! Almighty Allah has blessed you with a pious son. He is my beloved and the beloved of Almighty Allah. He is the most exalted amongst the Awliya and Aqtaab”. (2). When he was born, he had the impression of the footprint of Rasoolullah, (S.A.W) on his shoulder.

This alone was the proof of his Wilayah (Sainthood). (3). Almighty Allah gave glad tidings to his parents in their dream that their son would be the Sultaanul Awilyahand those who oppose him would be Gumrah (misled). (4). On the eve of his birth, approximately eleven hundred males were born in Jilan. Every one of them was a Wali Allah. (5). He was born on the eve of Ramadaan and during the entire month of Ramadaan he never drank milk after the time of Sehri and before the time of Iftaar. In other words, he kept fast from the day he was born. His mother said that he never cried for milk for the entire day and he would only drink milk at the time of Iftaar! 

Demise of his Father:-

After the demise of his father, his grandfather, Shaikh Abdullah Soom’ee, r.a., took care of him. It was his grandfather that was responsible for the marriage of the parents of the great Saint. He moulded Shaikh Abd al-Qaadir al-Jilani (R.A)from childhood into the personality that he was to be. He blessed Shaikh Abd al-Qaadir al-Jilani (R.A)with gems of spiritualism. He nurtured him with gentleness and showered him with words of wisdom. 

Voice from the unseen:-

Al-Ghawth al-A’zam Shaikh Abd al-Qaadir al-Jilani (R.A)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. If he at any time ever intended to join the other children, then a Voice from the Unseen would be heard to say, “Come towards Me, O blessed one.” At first, Shaikh Abd al-Qaadir al-Jilani (R.A)would become afraid when he heard this voice. He would go to his mother and sit on her lap. As time passed, he became accustomed to this voice. Instead of going to his mother, he would abandon the thought of playing and occupy himself in the remembrance of Almighty Allah. 

Beginning Education:-

When al-Ghawth al-A’zam Shaikh Abd al-Qaadir al-Jilani (R.A)was four and a half years old, and according to certain narrations, five years old, his mother enrolled him into a local Madrassa in Jilan. He studied at this Madrassah until the age of ten. During this period, a certain amazing event occurred.

Whenever Shaikh Abd al-Qaadir al-Jilani (R.A)would enter the Madrassa he would see bright figures walking ahead of him saying, “Give way to the Friend of Allah.” His son, Sayyidi Abdur Razzaq r.a., reports that once Shaikh Abd al-Qaadir al-Jilani (R.A)was asked when he first came to know of his Wilayahand the great Ghaus (R.A)replied: “When I was ten years old, I found Angels walking beside me on my way to the Madrassa. When we reached the Madrassa I would hear them say, ‘Give way to the Wali Allah, Give way to the Wali Allah.’ It was when this continued that I knew that I had been blessed with Wilayah”. 

His Mother’s suggestion :-

It was such a time where parents in their old age usually depend on their children for moral and financial support, but this pious and pure servant of Allah only wanted the pleasure of Almighty Allah and His Rasool ((S.A.W)). Whilst she was very attached to Shaikh Abd al-Qaadir al-Jilani r.a., she did not let her personal feelings come before the pleasure of Allah. She wanted her son to be a man of knowledge and wisdom. In those days, people used to travel either by foot or by camel or another animal.

The roads passed through dense forests and jungles and there was always the danger of travellers being robbed and killed by bandits. Sayyidah Ummul Khair Faatima (R.A)knew of the dangers but still supported her son’s. She wished him well with her Du’as. She said: “O my dear son! I have now become very old and I do not think I will ever get to see you again, but my Du’as will always be with you. May Almighty Allah grant you success in your quest for academic and spiritual knowledge.” She then said: “Your deceased father left eighty Dinars from which I am giving you forty Dinars for your journey and forty Dinars I will keep for your younger brother, Sayyid Abu Ahmad Abdullah.” She took the forty Dinars and sewed them under the arm of his coat.

 She once again made Du’a for him. On bidding him farewell, she gave him the following advice: “O’ my beloved son! Let this advice, which I am about to give you be an important part of your life. Always speak the truth! Do not even think of lies.” The young Shaikh Abd al-Qaadir al-Jilani (R.A)said, “My dear mother! I promise from my heart that I will always act upon your advise.” Sayyidah Faatima (R.A)then embraced the apple of her eye with love and motherly gentleness for the last time, and with the words, “Go! May Allah be with you. It is He who is your Helper and Protector”. The journey to Baghdad began. 

Achieving  and completion of Academic Knowledge :-

After a few days in Baghdad Shareef, al-Ghawth al-A’zam Shaikh Abd al-Qaadir al-Jilani (R.A)enrolled for academic studies at the famous Jamia Nizamia, which was the centre of learning and spiritualism in the Islamic world. Teachers of great calibre and piety tutored here. 

Shaikh Abd al-Qaadir al-Jilani (R.A)studied with great sincerity and dedication.

Amongst his teachers were: Abul Wafa Ali bin Aqeel, Abu Zakariyah Yahyaa bin Ali Tabrezi, Abu Saeed bin Abdul Kareem, Abul Anaa’im Muhammad bin Ali bin Muhammad, Abu Sa’eed bin Mubaarak Makhzoomi, and Abul Khair Hamaad bin Muslim Al Dabbas (R.A)He attained the knowledge of Qirah, Tafseer, Hadith, Fiqh, Shari’ah and Tareeqah from the above-mentioned Ulama.

He also excelled in all these subjects. In the field of Adab, his teacher was Allama Abu Zakariyah Tabrezi (R.A)who was a great Aalim of his time. He was also the author of various Kitaabs such as “Tafseerul Quraan Wal E’raab”, “Sharah Qasaa’idul Ashr”a“Sharah Diwaan Abi Tamaam”. In the field of Fiqh and Usool-e-Fiqh, his teachers were: Shaikh Abul Wafa bin Aqeel Hambali, Abul Hassan Muhammad bin Qaazi Abul Ulaa and Shaikh Abul Khataab Mahfooz Hambali, and Qaazi Abu Sa’eed Mubaarak bin Ali Makhzoomi Hambali (R.A)

In the field of Hadith, he attained knowledge from the following Ulama: Sayyidi Abul Barkaat Talhaa Al Aaqooli, Abul Ana’im Muhammad bin Ali bin Maimoon Al Farsi, Abu Uthmaan Ismaeel bin Muhammad Al Isbihaani, Abu Ghaalib Muhammad bin Hassan Al Baaqilaani, Abu Muhammad Jaafar bin Ahmad binil Husaini, Sayyidi Muhammad Mukhtaar Al Haashmi, Sayyidi Abu Mansoor Abdur Rahmaan Al Qaz’zaaz, Abul Qaasim Ali bin Ahmad Ban’naan Al Karghi After intense studies, Shaikh Abd al-Qaadir al-Jilani (R.A)qualified from Jamia Nizamia. During this period, there was no Aalim present on the earth who was more knowledgeable and pious than Shaikh Abd al-Qaadir al-Jilani (R.A)

A Lion of Allah :-

Shaikh Abdullah Salmi (R.A)states that he heard the following astonishing incident from Al-Ghawth al-A’zam Shaikh Abd al-Qaadir al-Jilani (R.A)The Great Ghawth said: “Once during my studies in Baghdad, I had nothing to eat for many days. One day, in this condition, I was on my way to a small street called ‘Qat’eeya Sharfiya’. Here, there was a Musjid, which used to be empty. I used to sit there by myself and revise my lessons for the next day.

On my way to Mohalla Qat’eeya, I met a stranger who gave me a piece of paper and asked me to take it to a certain shop. Very surprised, I did as he asked. When I got to the shop, I gave the piece of paper to the owner, who in turn kept this piece of paper and gave me roti (bread) and halwa (sweets). I took this roti and halwa and went into the Musjid where I used to revise my lessons. I sat down for a while and decided to eat a piece of bread and some halwa when I saw a piece of paper beside the wall.

I picked it up and saw the following words written on it, ‘Almighty Allah has stated in one of the past Books, that the Lions of Allah have no desire for the pleasures of this world. Desires and pleasure (in food) are for the old and weak who depend on this to gain strength for Ibadah. When I read this my entire body began to tremble in the fear of Allah causing all the hair on my body to stand on end. I immediately removed the desire of eating from my mind and read two Rakahs of Salaah and then left the Musjid without eating.” 

Achivement of Spiritual Knowledge :-

After the completion of his academic studies, Al-Ghawth al-A’zam (R.A)did not cease in his quest for in-depth spiritual knowledge. To quench this spiritual thirst, Almighty Allah presented him with the opportunity of coming under the guidance of Shaikh Ham’maad bin Muslim Ad Dab’baas (R.A)He was amongst the superior Mashaa’ikh of Baghdad Shareef.

Shaikh Abd al-Qaadir al-Jilani (R.A)states that there came a time in Baghdad when there was an abundance of fitna (fighting) and fasaad (trouble). Since he did not want any part of this, he decided to leave Baghdad Shareef for a more peaceful environment. Al-Ghawth al-A’zam (R.A)says: “I made my intention to leave Baghdad due to the unsuitable conditions and I was on my way out of Baghdad, when from the Unseen, some great strength pushed me so hard that that I fell to the ground. Then, I heard a Voice from the Unseen say, ‘Do not leave here.

The creation of Allah will gain benefit through you.’ On hearing this, I said, ‘What do I have to do with the people? All that I want is to protect my Deen (Imaan).’ The Voice then said, ‘No, No, It is of utmost importance for you to remain here. No harm will come to your Deen (Imaan).’ “I immediately changed my mind and I remained in Baghdad for the Pleasure of Allah. The very next day, as I was passing through a street, a man opened the door of his house and called to me. He said: ‘O Abd al-Qaadir! What did you ask from your Creator yesterday?’ With these words and in great Jalaal, he closed the door of his house.

I walked for some time and then realised that I had made a grave error. This person was a Wali. If he wasn’t then he would not have known what had happened the previous day. I went in search for his door but was unsuccessful. Thereafter, I looked for him wherever I went, until one day I saw him in a Majlis. I stayed in his company from then onwards. This personality was Sayyidi Ham’maad bin Muslim Ad’ Dab’baas (R.A) Shaikh Abd al-Qaadir al-Jilani (R.A)gained deep spiritual knowledge from Shaikh Ham’maad r.a., who was originally from Syria. He was born in a village near Damascus. He travelled to Baghdad and lived in a place called Muzaffariyyab until his demise in 525 A.H. His Mazaar is in the Shawneezia Cemetery in Baghdad Shareef.

Apart from Sayyidi Ham’maad r.a., al-Ghawth al-A’zam (R.A)also gained spiritual education from Shaikh Abu Saeed Mubaarak Makhzoomi (R.A)This will be detailed a little later in this book. 

Meeting with Hazrat Khidr (A.S) :-

Sayyiduna al-Ghawth al-A’zam Shaikh Abd al-Qaadir al-Jilani (R.A)states that when he had just commenced his spiritual exercises in the jungles of Baghdad, he met a person who was very handsome, had a pious and bright face. The person asked him if he would like to stay with him. Shaikh Abd al-Qaadir al-Jilani (R.A)said that he would. The person then said that this could only be done if Shaikh Abd al-Qaadir al-Jilani (R.A)promises to be obedient to his commands, and to never question his sayings or actions.

Shaikh Abd al-Qaadir al-Jilani (R.A)immediately agreed to this. This person then commanded al-Ghawth al-A’zam (R.A)to sit at a prescribed spot and not to move until he returned. The person left and only returned after one year to find Shaikh Abd al-Qaadir al-Jilani (R.A)still seated at the prescribed spot. He spent a few moments with al-Ghawth al-A’zam (R.A)and then asked him to sit there and wait for him to return once more.

 This person left and returned after another year. He once again spent some time with the great Saint and then left again giving him the same command as he had done twice before. He returned after another year, this time bringing with him milk and roti (bread). He then said, “I am Hadrat Khidr a.s. and I have been asked to share this meal with you.” They sat together and ate this blessed meal. Hadrat Khidr a.s. then asked, “O Abd al-Qaadir! What did you eat for the three years while sitting in one spot?” He replied, “Whatever the people had thrown away.” 

His First Hujj:-

Shaikh Abd al-Qaadir al-Jilani (R.A)performed his first Hajj in the prime of his youth. It is recorded in the distinguished book “Azkaarul Abraar” that al-Ghawth al-A’zam (R.A)stated: “I performed my first Hajj in the prime of my youth. On my journey for Hajj, I came to the ‘Tower of Quroon’, where I met Shaikh Adi bin Musaafir (R.A)He was also very young during this time. He asked me if he could accompany me on my journey. I happily agreed. Thus, we both began to travel together.

“After some time, I saw an Abyssinian woman in a veil standing in front of me and looking at me very attentively. She then asked my name and origin. I replied by giving her my name and old her that I was from Jilan. She then said, ‘O Young man! You have made me tired searching for you. I was in Abyssinia when I was spiritually informed that Almighty Allah has filled your heart with His Noor (Light) and has blessed you with such excellence that no other Wali Allah has ever received. After I was informed of this, I left in search of you. Now that I have seen you, my heart desires that I should travel with you today and make Iftaar with you. “When evening came, I saw that a tray descend from the skies. On this tray were six rotis, gravy and vegetables.

When the Abyssinian woman saw this she said, ‘O Allah! You have protected my respect. Usually You send two rotis for me every night, but today You sent enough for all three of us. After we had eaten, the tray ascended into the skies, and another tray descended with three containers of water. This water was sweet and delicious and I have never before nor since tasted such water. After this, the lady left. Shaikh Musaafir and myself continued our journey till we reached Makkatul Mukarramah.

Once, while making Tawaaf in the Haram, the Noor of Allah descended on Adi bin Musaafir causing him to fall unconscious. By looking at him, it seemed as if he had passed away. I was still going towards him when I saw the same pious Abyssinian woman beside him. She shook him and said, ‘That Allah Who caused you to die, is the same Allah Who will bring you back to life; that Allah before Whose Noor, none is equal. The world would have not come into existence and cannot exist without His Command. All this never was before He created it. Now, the Light and Power of Allah has filled the hearts and minds of the People of Intelligence and knowledge and this has caused their eyes to close’.

Just as she said these words, Shaikh Adi came back to his senses and stood up. “Then, while making Tawaaf Almighty Allah sent his blessed rays of light on me and I heard a voice from the Unseen which said, ‘O Abd al-Qaadir, forget the physical world and remember your Creator. We will show you signs from amongst Our wonders. Do not join your worldly thoughts with Our thoughts. Remain steadfast. Do not look for the pleasure of none other than that of Mine. Be prepared to be of benefit to the creation of Allah, since they are certain chosen servants of Mine who will reach Me through your Wasila’. “When this happened, 

I heard the voice of the Abyssinian woman saying, ‘O Abd al-Qaadir! You have been blessed with a great gift today. I see an umbrella of light above your head and I see Angels all around you. Today, all the Awliya Allah are looking towards you’. After saying these words, she disappeared and was never to be seen again.”

His Pir & Bait (Spiritual Allegiance):-

Shaikh Abd al-Qaadir al-Jilani (R.A)gained his spiritual training in Baghdad from two of the greatest Mystics of their time - Shaikh Sayyidi Abul Khair Ham’maad bin Muslim Ad Dabbaas (R.A)and Shaikh Qaazi Abu Saeed Mubaarak Al Makhzoomi (R.A)Although he had gained many blessings from both these personalities, he had not yet pledged his spiritual allegiance to a spiritual guide (Peer-o-Murshid). 

Finally, the time had come and according to the Will of Almighty Allah, he presented himself in the court of Shaikh Qaazi Abu Saeed Al Makhzoomi (R.A)and became his disciple (Mureed) thus joining his Halqa and spiritual order.

Shaikh Abu Saeed (R.A)showed much love and attention to this unique disciple and blessed him with gems of spiritualism and mysticism. 

Once while Shaikh Abd al-Qaadir al-Jilani (R.A)and others where seated in front of the Shaikh, he asked Shaikh Abd al-Qaadir al-Jilani (R.A)to fetch something. While he was gone, Shaikh Makhzoomi (R.A)addressing those present said, “One day, the foot of that young man will be on the shoulders of all the Awliya Allah and all the Awliya of his time will humble themselves before him”. 

Initiation into the Spiritual Order :-

After Sayyidi Abu Saeed Makhzoomi (R.A)admitted Shaikh Abd al-Qaadir al-Jilani (R.A)into the spiritual order, he fed him a meal with is own hands. Concerning this, Shaikh Abd al-Qaadir al-Jilani (R.A)says, “For every morsel of food that my Shaikh-e-Tareeqat put into my mouth, my heart began to fill with the light of Marifah.” 

Shaikh Abu Saeed Makhzoomi (R.A)then dressed Al-Ghawth al-A’zam (R.A)in the Garb of Sainthood (Khirqa) and said: “This Khirqa was given to Sayyiduna Ali-e-Murtaza (R.A)by Sarkaar-e-Do Aalam, (S.A.W) He in turn gave it to Khwaja Hassan Basri (R.A)and from him through generations it reached me”. Once Shaikh Abd al-Qaadir al-Jilani (R.A)had been dressed in this Garb, the rays of Noor could be seen descending upon him. The Khirqa (Saintly Garb) that was bestowed upon the great Saint had been handed down from generation to generation. A tree depicting how the Khirqa Mubarak reached Shaikh Abd al-Qaadir al-Jilani (R.A)is shown below. 

Propagation of Islam :-

As it has been stated earlier in this book that Shaikh Abd al-Qaadir al-Jilani (R.A)had come to Baghdad when it was a city full of corruption and misled persons. It was also during this time that the misled sought to “debate” their contention that the Holy Quran was allegedly “a creation”. It was a very testing time for Muslims all over the world, since the Crusades had begun, where the entire Christian world was bent on destroying the Muslim Empire. The passage of time during which al-Ghawth al-A’zam (R.A)had completed his studies and undertaken twenty-five years of spiritual exercises, had resulted in the condition in Baghdad becoming even worse.

Falsehood and cults were beginning to spread at an alarming rate. The respect for knowledge and for the people of knowledge was wearing thin in the hearts of the people of Baghdad. It was a time of great deterioration in the following of the Sunnah. It was a time when there was a dire need for a Reformer of the ways of the people and a Reviver of the true Faith.

This Reformer and Reviver was none other that Imam-ul-Awliya Shaikh Abd al-Qaadir al-Jilani (R.A)He entered the arena at this time of corruption and conflict and within a short space of time, he once again turned the blessed city of Baghdad into the center of learning and spiritualism. The enlightened event that led to Shaikh Abd al-Qaadir al-Jilani’s (R.A)first lecture to the people of Baghdad is detailed below: 

Ziyarah of Holy Prophet Mohammed (S.A.W):-

On the 16th of Shawaal 461 A.H. Hijri, close to midday, the King of the Awliya, al-Ghawth al-A’zam Shaikh Abd al-Qaadir al-Jilani (R.A)saw in his dream the King of the Ambiya and Rasool, Sayyiduna Rasoolullah (S.A.W) The Holy Prophet (S.A.W) said to him, “O Abd al-Qaadir! Why do you not lecture and give advice to the people so you may save them from being misled”? He replied: “Ya Rasoolallah, (S.A.W)! I am a non-Arab. What am I going to say in front of the fluent-speaking Arabs?” The Holy Prophet (S.A.W) said, “Open your mouth”. He placed his blessed Saliva seven times into the mouth of Shaikh Abd al-Qaadir al-Jilani (R.A)and then said, “Lecture and give advice to the people and bring them towards the path of Almighty Allah”.

His First Lecture:- After waking from this spiritually enlightening dream, Shaikh Abd al-Qaadir al-Jilani (R.A)performed his Zohr Salaah and sat down to deliver his first lecture to the people of Baghdad. At once, people began to gather around him.

When he saw this, he paused. Just then he entered a spiritual condition in which he saw Sher-e-Khuda Sayyiduna Ali al-Murtadha (Kar’amallahu ta’aala Wajhahul Kareem) standing in front of him and saying, “Why are you not commencing your lecture?” Shaikh Abd al-Qaadir al-Jilani (R.A)said, “I feel nervous”. Sayyiduna Ali (R.A)then said, “Open your mouth!” and he placed his blessed saliva six times into the mouth of Shaikh Abd al-Qaadir al-Jilani (R.A)Al-Ghawth al-A’zam (R.A)then asked. Why did you not place your blessed saliva seven times into my mouth?” Sayyiduna Ali (R.A)answered, “Out of respect for the Holy Prophet, (S.A.W) Saying these words, Sayyiduna Ali (R.A)disappeared. Shaikh Abd al-Qaadir al-Jilani (R.A)then commenced his lecture in such pure and fluent Arabic that authorities of the Arabic language seated in his lecture where astounded by his lecture. Thus, commenced Shaikh Abd al-Qaadir al-Jilani’s (R.A)reformation of the people of Baghdad

His Reformation Progress :-

Shaikh Abd al-Qaadir al-Jilani (R.A)usually delivered lectures thrice a week - on Wednesday evenings, Fridays,and on Sunday mornings. This blessed practice continued for forty years, from 521 A.H. to 561 A.H. At first, he began delivering lectures and teaching people in the Madrassah belonging to Sayyidi Shaikh Aby Saeed Makhzoomi (R.A)

The people of Baghdad and neighboring cities began flocking to the lectures of Shaikh Abd al-Qaadir al-Jilani (R.A)in such great numbers that the Madrassah became too small for these gatherings.

There would often be no place inside the Madrassah, forcing people to sit out on the streets to listen to his lectures and advice. In 568 A.H. a few houses around the Madrassah were purchased and incorporated to make the Madrassah bigger. After some time, even this proved to be too small. The Mimbar of Shaikh Abd al-Qaadir al-Jilani (R.A)was then carried and placed in a massive open area (Eid Gaah) where more than 70,000 people would present themselves in each of his lectures. In each of his gatherings, there would be four people recording his lectures in writing and two Qaaris, who recited the Holy Quran. His lectures became so famous in a very short space of time that it attracted people from all parts of the world, thus making Baghdad Shareef the centre of learning and spiritualism once again. 

Effect of his Lectures :-

His lectures were full of knowledge and wisdom. They were so influential and powerful that listeners would go into spiritual ecstasy. Some of them would tear their clothes. Others would fall unconscious. On some occasions, certain listeners would become so lost in the gems of love for Allah and His Rasool (S.A.W) that the great Saint  presented in his lectures, that they would even pass away in this condition. On various occasions, even non-Muslims came to his lectures.

After listening to his lectures they would find that they could not refute anything he said and they would willingly accept Islam. In addition to the ordinary members of the public, Rijaal-ul-Ghaib and Jinns also frequented his blessed gatherings. Akaabireen and Mashaa’ikh also frequented his gatherings. It was a training school for the young, a place to repent for the sinful, a place of guidance for the misguided, and a bank of spiritualism for the spiritually bankrupt. 

His voice was very stern and sharp.

One of the miracles of his Majlis was that each and every person sitting there heard him alike, even though in those times, there was no means of voice amplification, such as microphones and the like. Al-Ghawth al-A’zam’s (R.A)close student, Sayyidi Abdullah Jabaa’ee r.a., states that during this era of his lectures, more than 100,000 sinners repented at the blessed hands of al-Ghawth al-A’zam (R.A)and thousands of Jews and Christians accepted Islam at his hands. 

All the great scholars agree that during that era the majority of the people in Baghdad repented from their wrongs at the hands of the great Saint and also became his disciples.

Once, thirteen Christians accepted Islam in the Majlis of Shaikh Abd al-Qaadir al-Jilani (R.A)When they were requested to explain their acceptance of Islam, they said that they heard of the religion of Islam and that their hearts were pleased with this Deen but they had been in search of a true servant of Allah who would, by looking at them, dispel the darkness of their hearts.

While they were in search of this true servant of Allah, they heard a Voice from the Unseen saying, “Go to Shaikh Abd al-Qaadir in Baghdad and bring Islam on his hands, for it is he who will cleanse your hearts and fill it with light of Imaan (Faith)”. When the thirteen Christians received this message from the Unseen, they travelled to Baghdad and accepted Islam on the hands of Shaikh Abd al-Qaadir Jilani (R.A) On one occasion, a monk named “Sanaan” presented himself in the gathering of Shaikh Abd al-Qaadir al-Jilani (R.A)and accepted Islam on the hands of the great Saint. After bringing Imaan, he stood up in the gathering and said: “O people! I am a citizen of Yemen and for many years I lived in seclusion as a Christian Monk.

For some time now, I have realised the truth of Islam, but after looking at the ways of the present Muslims, I delayed my acceptance of Islam and made a vow that I will accept Islam on the hands of a person who is the most pious amongst people. After making this vow, one night, I dreamt of Sayyiduna Esa Masih a.s. who said, ‘O Sanaan! Go to Baqhdad and accept Islam on his hands. At the present moment, there is none on this earth that is more pious and firm on religion than he is, and there is none more exalted than him in this time.’ After this dream, I came here today and accepted Islam and I have found him to be as I have heard.

Al-Ghawth al-A’zam’s (R.A)lectures were inspiring to all who frequented his Majlis. His words were kind but firm. He was not swayed by the power or status of anyone. If they were wrong, he did not hesitate to correct them in his Majlis or anywhere else. He feared none but Allah and made those who were in his Majlis aware of this. Once, one of the close ministers of the Khalifa Azeezud’deen came to the Majlis of Shaikh Abd al-Qaadir al-Jilani (R.A)When he saw him, the great Saint said, “The condition of those like you is such, that one man is lost in the slaveship of another. Who then is the true slave of Allah?” He then addressed Azeezud’deen directly and said, “Stand up! Keep your hand on my hand so that you may distance yourself from this mundane world and run towards your Creator.”

His Karamat(Miracles)

The month of the year presenting themselves to Al-Ghawthal-azam :-

Hadrat Shaikh Abul Qaasim (R.A)states that once Shaikh Abu Bakr, Shaikh Abul Khair, Shaikh Ibn Mahfooz, Shaikh Abu Hafs Umar, Shaikh Abul Aas Ahmad Imkaani, Shaikh Abdul Wahab (R.A)and himself (R.A)were all in the presence of the great al-Ghawth al-A’zam (R.A)It was a Friday, the 30th of Jamadi-ul-Aakhir 560 A.H. During this time, Shaikh Qaasim (R.A)states that a young handsome youth came into the blessed court of the great Saint. He sat with great respect, and then said: “O Friend of Allah! May there be Salaams upon you. I am the month of Rajab, and I have come to give you glad tiding that this is a good month for the people. They should thus do many good deeds in this month.” Shaikh Qaasim (R.A)states that on another occasion, a youth again came to the Darbaar of al-Ghawth al-A’zam (R.A)and with great respect said, “I am the month of Shabaan. I have not brought any glad tidings, but have come to inform you that in this month the people of Arabia will be in difficulty. There will be wars fought in Khurasaan and there will be sickness in Iraq through which many people will die.” Shaikh Qaasim (R.A)states that after a few days, news reached Baghdad of these happenings in Arabia and Khurasaan and he states that during that time a disease spread in Iraq killing scores of people. 

His Power on Jinn :-

Shaikh Abu Futoob Muhammad bin Abil Aas Yusuf bin Ismaeel bin Ahmad Ali Qarshi Tameemi Bakri Baghdadi (R.A)reports that once Shaikh Abu Saeed Abdullab bin Ahmad bin Ali bin Muhammad Baghdadi Azja’ee (R.A)came to Shaikh Abd al-Qaadir al-Jilani (R.A)and complained to him about his sixteen-year old daughter, Faatima.

Faatima, who was very beautiful, had gone onto the roof of the house and she suddenly disappeared from there. When Shaikh Abd al-Qaadir al-Jilani (R.A)heard this he comforted him and told him not to worry. 

The great Saint then asked him to a certain jungle at night. On entering this jungle, Shaikh Abd al-Qaadir al-Jilani (R.A)told him that he would see many sand heaps. He should sit on the fifth sand heap that he passed. Shaikh Abd al-Qaadir al-Jilani (R.A)then told him that he should draw a circle around him saying “Bismillah”and that he should then say “Abdul Qaadir”. The great Saint then said: “Towards the third portion of the night, you will find an army of Jinns passing by. They will look really frightening and fierce, but you should not fear. You should remain seated and wait.

Exactly at the time of the first light, the most powerful King of the Jinns will pass that way and he will personally come to you and ask your problem. On his request, you should explain to him your situation and then tell him that Shaikh Abd al-Qaadir al-Jilani (R.A)has sent you. You should then tell him about your daughter’s disappearance.” 

Shaikh Muhammad Baghdadi (R.A)states: “I did as al-Ghawth al-A’zam Shaikh Abd al-Qaadir al-Jilani (R.A)said. I sat on the sand heap, drew a circle around me and waited. After some time, I saw armies of Jinns in frightening forms passing by.

They were very upset with me sitting in their path, but they passed without saying a word, as they did not have the courage to enter the circle. In the morning, the King passed and asked my request. When I explained my problem to him and told him that Shaikh Abd al-Qaadir al-Jilani (R.A)had sent me, he got off his horse and stood with respect listening to me. He then sent the Jinns to summon back a Jinn who had captured my daughter. My daughter was brought back and the mischievous Jinn was punished for his doing.” 

A Thief become an Abdaal :-

Once a thief entered the house of Shaikh Abd al-Qaadir al-Jilani (R.A)with the intention of stealing. On entering the house, he became blind and could not see anything. He was unable to find his way out of the house and he eventually sat in one corner of the house. In the morning, he was caught and brought before Shaikh Abd al-Qaadir al-Jilani (R.A). When Al-Ghawth al-A’zam (R.A)saw him, he placed his blessed hands on the thief’s eyes. The thief’s eyesight was immediately restored. Shaikh Abd al-Qaadir al-Jilani (R.A)then said, “He came to steal materialistic (worldly wealth), I will bless him with such a treasure that it will remain with him forever.” On saying these words, Shaikh Abd al-Qaadir al-Jilani (R.A)placed his blessed sight on the thief once and elevated him to the status of Wilayat (Sainthood). It was also during this time that one of the appointed Abdaals had passed away. Shaikh Abd al-Qaadir al-Jilani (R.A)took the thief, now a Wali, and sent him out as the replacement for the Abdaal that had passed away. Subhan-Allah! 

Transportation from one place to Another:-

Once whilst Shaikh Abd al-Qaadir al-Jilani (R.A)was delivering one of his spiritually enlightening lectures, a person by the name of Abul Mu’aali was present in this gathering. He was seated directly in front of the great Saint. During the course of the lecture, Abul Mu’aali found that he needed to answer the call of nature (relieve himself). He tried to suppress this need because he found it disrespectful to leave the gathering of al-Ghawth al-A’zam (R.A)He controlled the urge to the best of his ability, but when he could not do so any longer, he decided to leave.

As he was about to stand, he saw the great Ghawth (R.A)walking down the first stair of the pulpit (Mimbar) onto the second stair. As the Saint came to the second stair, Abul Mu’aali saw an image of the great Saint on the mimbar. Shaikh Abd al-Qaadir al-Jilani (R.A)came down to him and threw his shawl over him.

As this happened, Abul Mu’aali found that he was no longer in the gathering, but rather in a valley with beautiful lush vegetation. It was beautified even more by a stream, which flowed through it. He immediately answered the call of nature, performed Wudhu and then prayed two Rakaats Salaah. As he completed the Salaah, Shaikh Abd al-Qaadir al-Jilani (R.A)pulled the shawl off him. When Abul Mu’aali looked, he found to his amazement that he was still in the gathering of the great Saint (R.A)and he had not even missed one word of the lecture of the great Saint. However, much later Abul Mu’aali discovered that he did not have his set of keys with him. He then remembered that when he was transported to the valley by Shaikh Abd al-Qaadir al-Jilani r.a., he had hung his key ring on the branch of a tree beside the stream.

Abul Mu’aali states that some time after this incident, he had the opportunity to go on a business expedition. During this journey, Abul Mu’aali reached a valley and rested there. He then noticed, that the valley was the exact same place where the great Saint had transported him during his lecture. When he went beside the tree, he found that his missing keys were still hanging on the branch of the tree. Subhan-Allah! The business trip took fourteen days to complete. This miracle of al-Ghawth al-A’zam (R.A)shows that not only did he transport Abul Mu’aali spiritually, but also physically. 

Ship Protected from storm :-

The students of the great Ghawth (R.A)state that once he was delivering his lessons as usual to them when suddenly his blessed face turned red and beads of perspiration covered his blessed forehead. He then placed his hand into his cloak and remained silent for a short time. The students state that after he removed his hand from inside his cloak, drops of water began to drip from his sleeves.

Due to his spiritual state, the students say that they did not ask him any questions but rather, they recorded the date, day and time of this astonishing event. The students say that two months after this incident, a group of traders, who had come by sea to Baghdad, arrived and presented various gifts to al-Ghawth al-A’zam (R.A)The students were very confused by this as they had never seen these traders in Baghdad before.

They asked the traders the reason for them bringing the gifts. The traders said that two months previously, whilst they were sailing to Baghdad, their ship was caught in a fierce storm. 

When they realised that there was a real danger of sinking, they called out the name of “Shaikh Abd al-Qaadir al-Jilani” (R.A). When they called out his name, they found that from the Unseen a hand lifted their ship to safety.

When the students compared this narration to the incident in the Madrassa, it was confirmed that it was the same date, day and time in which the great Saint (R.A)had put his hand into his cloak. Suhban-Allah! This incident shows that although Shaikh Abd al-Qaadir al-Jilani (R.A)seemed to be placing his hand into his cloak, but in reality, he was stretching his hand into the sea to assist those who called for his assistance! 

Disappearing into the sun :-

The wet-nurse of al-Ghawth al-A’zam (R.A)states that when he was a child, she would carry him in her arms but would suddenly find that he was no longer there. She reports that she noticed that he used to fly into the sky and hide behind the rays of the sun. Once, when Shaikh Abd al-Qaadir al-Jilani (R.A)was much older, the wet-nurse (S.A.W) went to him and asked if he still did as he used to do when he was a child, in other words, hide behind the sun. Shaikh Abd al-Qaadir al-Jilani (R.A)replied, “Then I was a child, and it was a time of weakness, and I used to hide in the rays of the sun. Now my strength and power is so immense, that if a thousand suns have to come then they would all be hidden in me rather than me being hidden by them.” 

Protection from illness :-

Shaikh Ali bin Idrees Yaqoobi (R.A)states that once his spiritual guide, Shaikh Ali bin Haiti (R.A)took him to al-Ghawth al-A’zam (R.A)and presented him in the court of the great Saint. Shaikh Ali bin Idrees (R.A)states: “Al-Ghawth al-A’zam Shaikh Abd al-Qaadir al-Jilani (R.A)was wearing a shawl during this time. He removed the shawl and placed it over me and said, ‘From now on, you will be protected from all illnesses’. From that day on until now, and I am 65 years old, I have never been ill.” 

My foot is on the Shoulders of all Saints :-

Once whilst he was delivering a lecture, Shaikh Abd al-Qaadir al-Jilani (R.A)entered a spiritual state and said, “My foot is on the shoulders of all the Awliya Allah (Saints).” When he uttered these words there were many Awliya Allah in his presence. Each one of them immediately lowered their necks.

Shaikh Ali bin Haiti (R.A)who was also present in this gathering, immediately went to Shaikh Abd al-Qaadir al-Jilani (R.A)and physically placed the foot of the great Ghawth on his neck. Shaikh Sayyidi Maajid (R.A)states: “When al-Ghawth al-A’zam (R.A)said these words, then every Wali on earth bowed his neck.” He also states, “There were 300 Awliya Allah and 700 Rijaalul Ghaib (Men of the Unseen) present in that gathering, and every one of them lowered their necks before him.” Shaikh Makaarim (R.A)states: “The day on which al-Ghawth al-A’zam (R.A)made this statement, every Saint knew that the flag of Kingship was now planted before Shaikh Abd al-Qaadir al-Jilani (R.A). On this day, all the Saints from East to West lowered their necks on his command.” Sayyidi Shaikh Khalifatul Akbar (R.A)states: “I saw the Beloved Rasool, (S.A.W) in my dream and I asked him about the statement of al-Ghawth al-A’zam - ‘My foot is on the shoulders of all the Saints.’” He says that the Holy Prophet ((S.A.W) )said, “Abd al-Qaadir al-Jilani (R.A)has spoken the truth and why should he not say this when he is the Qutb, and I am his Guardian”. 

Sultanul Hind Khowaja Moinuddin Chishty:-

When Shaikh Abd al-Qaadir al-Jilani (R.A)said, “My foot is on the shoulders of all the Saints”, Shaikh Khwaja Mueenud’deen Chishti Hassani Sanjari Ajmeri (R.A)was at this moment in the prime of his youth. He was deep in the remembrance of Allah on a mountain in Khurasaan. As soon as Shaikh Abd al-Qaadir al-Jilani (R.A)said these words, Khwaja Mueenud’deen Chishti (R.A)heard this and lowered his neck and said, “But your blessed foot is on my eyes and on my head.” It was through the blessing of this act of submission that (R.A)Khwaja Mueenud’deen Chishti (R.A)was made the King of the Saints of India and is known as “Sultaanul Hind”. 

Imam Ahmed Bin Hambal:-

Shaikh Sayyidi Baqaa (R.A)states that once he accompanied Shaikh Abd al-Qaadir al-Jilani (R.A)to the tomb of Imam Ahmed bin Hambal (R.A). He says: “I saw Shaikh Imam Ahmed bin Hambal’s (R.A)grave split open, and I saw him emerge from his blessed grave. He embraced al-Ghawth al-A’zam (R.A)and then said, ‘Even I am dependent on you in Tariqah’”. 

Shariyat and Tariquat :-

Once Shaikh Bataa’ihi (R.A)presented himself in the court of Shaikh Ahmed Kabeer (R.A)He states that Shaikh Ahmed Kabeer (R.A)said, “Do you know anything about the condition of al-Ghawth al-A’zam (R.A)?” Shaikh Ahmed (R.A)states: “On hearing this, I began to praise al-Ghawth al-A’zam (R.A)and say what I knew concerning him. I said as much as I knew and then remained silent.” Shaikh Ahmed Kabeer ( (R.A)) then said: “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.” 

One Hundred Jurists Humbled :-

It is well known that the lectures of al-Ghawth al-A’zam (R.A)attracted scores of scholars to Baghdad from all over the world. Once, a hundred Jurists formed a group and each one chose a difficult question. They all decided to present themselves in the gathering of Shaikh Abd al-Qaadir al-Jilani (R.A)and each would ask his question during the lecture in an attempt to cause Shaikh Abd al-Qaadir al-Jilani (R.A)to be confused. The one hundred Jurists chose what they thought to be the most difficult question and travelled to Baghdad. They sat in the gathering of Shaikh Abd al-Qaadir al-Jilani (R.A)waiting for the appropriate time to ask their questions.

It was during this gathering that a bright ray of light emerged from the blessed chest of al-Ghawth al-A'zam (R.A)and travelled into the heart of each of the one hundred Jurists. This light could only be seen by them and to those whom Almighty Allah desired to see. As this light entered their hearts, each one of them entered a state of spiritual ecstasy. Each one of them fell at the feet of al-Ghawth al-A'zam (R.A)and repented from their improper intentions. The great Saint, with great compassion, embraced each one of them, filling their hearts with Noor, and at the same time answering every one of their questions, even though they had not asked. 

His Enlightening Lectures:-

Shaikh Abd al-Qaadir al-Jilani (R.A)delivered thousands of lectures in his lifetime on various topics. His gatherings were frequented by thousands of ordinary people, learned scholars and great Saints. It has been stated in authentic sources that during his lectures there would be approximately four hundred scribes who recorded his lectures in writing. Two such lectures, which were then recorded are being presented below for your perusal. 

Advice to his Children:-

Just before al-Ghawth al-A’zam’s (R.A)demise, his son, Shaikh Saifud’deen Abdul Wahab r.a., requested his father for advice. On his request, Shaikh Abd al-Qaadir al-Jilani (R.A)said, “Fear Almighty Allah. Fear none but Allah. Always turn towards Him. Ask all your wishes from Allah. Do not turn to any besides Allah. Do not have faith in any but in Allah. Remain firm on Tauheed (belief in One Allah). There is no salvation without Tauheed. When the heart becomes linked with Allah then nothing else seems to look good to him. I have reached the level of True Love. It is a domain where worldly love has no place”. 

Presence of other beings:-

Just before his demise, he turned to the rest of his sons and said, “Move away from me. Right now, you seem to be before me, but in reality you are not the only ones here. With the exception of your selves, there are other creations of Allah here as well. Give enough space for them. Show respect to them. Give way. This is now a place of exalted pardon and forgiveness. Do not crowd this place.” After saying these words, he would continue saying, “And may there be peace, blessings and Allah’s Mercy upon you. May Allah forgive us all and may He bestow His Mercy upon us.” This was his reply to the greetings of the Angels that had presented themselves before him. It is stated that he replied to their greetings for a full twenty-four hours. 

His Illness :-

His son, Sayyidi Abdul Aziz r.a., asked him concerning his illness and what type of illness be had. He replied: “None of you know about my illness. No person, Jinn or Angel even is aware of the kind of illness I have”. 

The Condition of his Heart:-

His son, Sayyidi Abdul Jabbar r.a., asked him if he was in any pain and discomfort. He said: “My entire body is in pain except my heart. My heart is protected as it is the treasure chest of the remembrance of Allah Almighty and the Madina (City) of the Rays of the Holy Prophet (S.A.W)” 

His Last Moment:-

In his last moment on this physical earth, Sayyidi (R.A)Shaikh Abd al-Qaadir al-Jilani (R.A)said: “I ask assistance from Allah. I bear testimony that there is none worthy of worship but One Allah. He is the Exalted and the only True Existing Who does not die. Pure is He, Who through His Powers is superior over His servants, and has caused death for them. There is none worthy of worship but Allah. Muhammad (S.A.W)is the Prophet of Allah”. 

His Demise:-

On the eve of his demise, Shaikh Abd al-Qaadir al-Jilani (R.A)said: “I am sorry for you all. Do you know who I am? I fear no man, Jinn or even the Angel of Death. O Angel of Death! Take me into the Exalted Court of My Creator, Who has given me the opportunity of being his chosen servant (Wali) and Who is the Superior One Who is responsible for my commands.” In the month of Rabi-ul-Aakhir 561 A.H. (as per various narrations, either on the 11th or 17th), the Beloved of the Holy Prophet (S.A.W),the Bright Shining Star of Sayyidina Ali (R.A)the Comfort of the Heart of Sayyidah Fatima r.a., the Splendour of Imam Hassan r.a., the Beaming Light of Imam Husain r.a., the Light of the Eyes of Sayyidi Abu Saaleh (R.A)and Sayyida Ummul Khair Faatima r.a., the Torch of Guidance and Knowledge, the Representative of the Beloved Nabi, (S.A.W), the Point of Salvation for all Disciples, the Qutb of Qutbs, The Ghawth of all Ghawth’, The Saint of Saints, The King and Greatest of all Saints, The Reviver of the Religion, The Ghawth of both Humans and Jinns, Ghawth al-A’zam, Shaikh Sayyidina Shaikh Muhiy’yuddeen Abd al-Qaadir al-Jilani al-Baghdadi (R.A)shone for the last time on this physical earth. The Luminous And Distinguished Saint had travelled from this world over the bridge of death, which causes the Lover (Devotee) to meet the Beloved. “Inna lil laahi wa inna alaihi Raaji’oon”

His Blessed Shrine:-


His blessed shrine (Mazaar) is situated in the city of Baghdad in Iraq. It is frequented throughout the year, by devotees, great and learned scholars and, no doubt, by the Awliya of their times. May Almighty Allah keeps us firm on the path of the Ahle Sunnat Wal Jamaat. May we always truly love al-Ghawth al-A’zam Shaikh Abd al-Qaadir al-Jilani (R.A)and remain as his and our Master’s loyal servants. Aameen.