Abdalqadir Jilani (k.s.)

He was born in the town of Jilan in Taberistan in the years of 470 according to the Islamic Lunar Calendar. He is Sharif (Sharif is descendants of the Prophet BPUH from his grandson Hasan) from his father‟s side and Sayyid (is descendants of Prophet BPUH from his grandson Hussain) from his mother‟s side. He has been known for his honesty and good manners. He has started his learning of ilim with his grandfather and continued by coming to Bagdat which was the centre of ilim at the time. After learning hadith (hadith is sayings and behaviours of the Prophet BPUH), fiqh (fiqh is Muslim canonical jurisprudence) and Sufism from famous alims there, Jilani became one of the most important authorities on those ilims and started teaching in the age of 28.

After teaching and illuminating people and telling the truth and wisdom of truth for a while, Abdulqadir-i Jilani has stopped teaching and preaching. He has gone into retreat and chosen loneliness. Later, he has gone out to deserts. He has started to live in the Kerb ruins of Bagdat. He has started to spend all his life to oppose desires and needs of his nafs (nafs is a very important concept in Sufism. It is assumed to be something like ego but nafs has a wider meaning to it. Human in its simplest form is made of the worldly side which is called nafs and a heavenly side which is soul. Nafs and soul are the two most important components of a human. Nafs is not altogether a bad thing as ego. The whole idea in Sufism is taming nafs so that it does good. Human in Sufism seen as the representative of Allah in the world. There are four domains of existence on which Allah’s existence, works, attributes and names are manifested. The fourth one is this universe of material existence. Human has existence in all those four domains. Human material existence is his body which belongs to this material universe. Nafs is anything to do with Humans worldly and material existence and qualities.) and to do what his nefs disliked by riyazat(riyazat is a very important term in Sufis. It is in its most simplest form about reducing food and drink. It is to do with reducind things that might give one comfort and pleasure which might involve avoiding eating things that one would like …etc.) and mujahada (mujahada is used for struggle. It again takes the form of ones struggle against his own nafs, ego, his own desires, anger etc. It is about struggling with yourself to make yourself a nice person. )

He has stated that:
“I have stayed away from people in the deserts and ruins of Iraq. I was not aware of anyone and nobody was aware of me. Sometimes, I was not eating for long periods and I used to hear the voice of my inner-self as „I am hungry, I am hungry‟. Sometimes, such spiritual states of pressures used to come over me that, if they were to be put over mountains, it would not be able to put up with it and would be fragmented into pieces. When I have recited the fifth and the sixth verses of the chapter of Inshirah in the meaning of „verily there is relief with difficulty, undoubtedly, there is relief with difficulty‟ those states of pressures on me used to disperse and go.”
Training thousands of students in his dargah (place where spiritual training is carried out in Sufism.) which was a pavilion of Ilim and enlightenment, he has continued to spread light until the age of 91. He was given the name “Muhyiddin” meaning “reviver of religion” for the reason of his mastery of material and spiritual ilims and for he having revived the principles of religion again with spiritual favour and divine bounty and help. He has emigrated to the everlasting home in 561 according to Islamic Lunar Calendar. His tomb is in Bagdat.

Jilani who had countless qaramat (God given powers of working miracles) has disciplined Sufism in a manner that is understandable to everyone. His teachings have been called “Qadiriyyah” in honour of his name. His last words to his son Abdulrazzak are the best summary of his view of Sufism and the world:

“O my son! May Allah Most High bestow divine help of accomplishment, success and achievement upon me, you and all the Muslims! I advice you to fear Allah, and to obey him, to observe commands and prohibitions of him, and to observe his boundaries.

O my son! May Allah Most High give us, to you, and Muslims the divine help of accomplishment. This way of ours has been built upon the book of Allah and Sunnah of the prophet. Our way has been founded upon the peace of heart, helping others with material means, generosity, putting up with difficulties and troubles and forgiving the faults of our brothers in faith.
O my son! I advice you! Be with dervishes who are people of Allah. Be mindful of respecting to Sheiks, masters of Sufism! Get on well with your brothers in faith! Give good advice to your seniors and younger ones. Do not treat anyone as enemy apart from it being for religion!

O my son! May Allah Most High give us, to you the divine help of accomplishment. The truth of being poor is not being in need of someone like you, and, the truth of being rich is not asking for anything from someone like you. Sufism is spiritual experience not word, it is not obtained by word. From dervishes, if you see one that is not in need of anyone but Allah, treat him not with knowledge but with friendliness, softness, smiling face and sweet words! Because, knowledge scares him, friendliness and softness pulls and brings closer.

O my son! In your conversation with the rich, let your meeting be with honour and you not valuing them, your meeting with poor on the other hand, let it be you not valuing yourself.
Be on ikhlas! Ikhlas is, not remembering the seeing of people, on the other hand not forgetting the constant seeing of the Creator. Do not extend your tong toward Allah due to events and happenings of the world. In any case, be content with Allah Most High and be silent. Be in those three attributes in front of people who dedicated themselves to Allah: Humility, getting on well and a heart that is free of bad things. Real life is with your killing of your nafs, not attending to the desires of your nafs, and its disallowed and harmful wishes.