Monday, 11 June 2012

How the Mashaykh Praise Shaykh ‘Abd al-Qadir al-Jilani (q.s.)

بِسۡمِ ٱللهِ ٱلرَّحۡمَـٰنِ ٱلرَّحِيمِ

Imam Muhyi ad-Din an-Nawawi (q.s.) wrote the following about Shaykh ‘Abd al-Qadir al-Jilani (q.s.) in his kitab, Bustan al-‘Arifin, “Garden of the Spiritual Masters”: “In all that has reached us from trustworthy reporters, concerning the charismatic talents of the saints, we learn of none more numerous than the charismatic talents of the Quthb, the Shaykh of Baghdad, Muhyi ad-Din ‘Abd al-Qadir al-Jilani.

He was the shaykh of the principle Shafi’i and Hanbali authorities in Baghdad.  Leadership in the sphere of knowledge devolved upon him in his day and age.  More than a few of the notable figures received their education in his fellowship, and most of the preeminent shuyukh of Iraq became affiliated with him.  His teaching was propagated by a host of those endowed with splendid spiritual states.  His countless students included many of the masters of exalted spiritual stations.  The shuyukh and scholars were unanimous in declaring him worthy of the greatest honour and respect, in confirming his authority, in referring to his statements, and in having recourse to his judgement.”

He continued, “He had an exalted way of speaking about the esoteric sciences.  His anger was intense whenever the sanctuaries of Allah (s.w.t.) were violated.  He was openhanded and magnanimous in the most beautiful way.  To put it in a nutshell, there was none like him in his day and age.  May Allah be Well Pleased with him.”

Here ends this abridged quotation from Qala’id al-Jawahir, “Necklaces of Gems”.  This was from the translation by Shaykh Mukhtar Holland, whose translation is adopted henceforth here.

It is recorded in Qala’id al-Jawahir that once, Shaykh Abu Madyan Shu’ayb al-Maghribi (q.s.) asked Khidhr (a.s.) about Shaykh ‘Abd al-Qadir al-Jilani (q.s.), to which he replied, “He is the leader of the champions of truth, and the competent authority of those who know by direct experience.  He is a breath of life in the sphere of direct knowledge, and his business is intimate converse between all the saints, may Allah be Well Pleased with them all.”

The following is a very short excerpt of what Shaykh ‘Afif ad-Din al-Yafi’i al-Yamani (q.s.) had to say about Shaykh ‘Abd al-Qadir al-Jilani (q.s.) in his Tarikh as reproduced in Qala’id al-Jawahir: “He roamed inside the natures of human beings as freely as breaths roam in their breasts, and he made their hearts fragrant with the scent of gardens showered by rain.  He cured their natures of their sicknesses, and cleared their minds of their illusions.  No one who heard him failed to declare his commitment to repentance, or to make his eyelids sore from weeping.  How many a sinner he brought back to Allah (s.w.t.)!  How many a fainthearted weakling he reinvigorated!  How many drunkards he rescued from the wine of passion!  How many prisoners he released from the shackles of their lower selves!  How many awtad and abdal did Allah (s.w.t.) Choose because of him!  On how many men did Allah (s.w.t.) Confer a spiritual station because of him!  The thoroughbred steeds of spiritual talents never ceased to ride toward him.  May Allah (s.w.t.) Bestow His Mercy upon him.”

It is recorded, in Qala’id al-Jawahir, that Shaykh al-Mu’ammar al-Jarrad (q.s.) once said, “These two eyes of mine have never set sight on anyone of better moral character, nor of broader inner feeling, nor of nobler personality nor of kinder heart, nor of greater loyalty and affection, than Shaykh ‘Abd al-Qadir.  Without regard for the majesty of his stature, the exalted nature of his rank, and the vast extent of his knowledge, he would support the lowly and challenge the great.  He would always be the first to offer the salam, and treat the poor with humble respect, though he would not stand up for any of the high and mighty and the notables, nor would he go knocking at the doors of any minister or ruler.”

It is recorded in Qala’id al-Jawahir that Shaykh Baqa’ ibn Batu (q.s.) said that the thariqa’ of Shaykh ‘Abd al-Qadir (q.s.) consists of “the unifications of word and deed, the unification of the nafs and the moment, the embracing of sincere devotion and submissive resignation, harmonious compliance with the Book and the sunnah in every thought, every glance, every state, as well as steadfast constancy in relation to Allah (s.w.t.).”

Hafizh Imad ad-Din ibn Katsir (q.s.) described the admonitions of Shaykh ‘Abd al-Qadir al-Jilani (q.s.) in his tarikh entitled al-Bidayah wa an-Nihayah saying, “He enjoined the people to do what is good and abstain from what is evil.  His admonitions addressed caliphs, ministers, people in authority, judges, companions and the masses.  Standing on the pulpits of the mosques, he reprimanded them in the presence of witnesses as well as during his public addresses.  He disavowed the civil appointment of any unjust person, chose Allah's (s.w.t.) Blessings over anyone else’s wrath, and was not affected by any reproach."  This was quoted by Shaykh Muhammad al-Akili (q.s.) in the preface to his translation of al-Fath ar-Rabbani.

Imam Shihab ad-Din ‘Umar ibn Muhammad as-Suhrawardi (q.s.) in his universally acclaimed classic Awarif al-Ma'arif, “The Gnosis of the Gnostics”, referred to Shaykh ‘Abd al-Qadir al-Jilani (q.s.) as “Our Shaykh” and quoted his advice.

al-Baz Publishing company which has taken the lead in translating and publishing the works of Shaykh ‘Abd al-Qadir al-Jilani (q.s.) quoted the following words of Shaykh Muzaffar Ozak Efendi from Ziynat al-Qulub, “The Adornment of Hearts”, in introducing the works of the Shaykh ‘Abd al-Qadir al-Jilani (q.s.) to the public, “The venerable ‘Abd al-Qadir al-Jilani (q.s.) passed on to the Realm of Divine Beauty in 561 A.H. / 1166 C.E, and his blessed mausoleum in Baghdad is still a place of pious visitation.  He is noted for his extraordinary spiritual experiences and exploits and wise teachings.  It is rightly said of him that ‘he was born in love, grew in perfection, and met his Lord in the Perfection of Love.’  May the All-Glorious Lord Bring us in contact with his lofty spiritual influence!”


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