Sayyiduna al Ghawth al A’azam Shaykh ‘Abd ul Qadir al Jilaani
(may Allah have mercy upon him) by Shaykh ul Qur’an wal Hadith ‘Allamah Mufti Muhammad Afzal al Qadri
(may Allah protect him)
Allah’s name I begin with the most Kind the Merciful.
Sultaan al Awliyaa Qutb al Aqtaab Muhiyy al Din Shaykh al Kul Sayyiduna al Ghawth al A’azam Shaykh ‘Abd al Qadir al Jilani al Baghdadi (May Allah have mercy on him) was born in Ramadaan in 471 al Hijri in the locality of Jeel and passed away on 11th Rab’i al Awwal 560 al Hijri in Baghdad Sharif. His father Imaam al Atqiya Sayyiduna Abu Salih Sayyid Musa Jangi Dost (May Allah have mercy on him) was from the race of the Prophet’s grandson Sayyiduna Imaam Hasan (may Allah be pleased with him) his respected mother Sayyidah Ummat al Jabbar (may Allah be pleased with her) was from the family of Sayyid al Shuhadaa Sayyiduna Imaam Husain (may Allah be pleased with him). Sayyiduna al Ghawth al A’azam (may Allah be pleased with him) was a saint by birth. His Karaamat (miracles) began when he was a baby he refused to take his mother’s milk during the days of Ramadaan.
Education and Spritual training:
He received his early education from Jeel his place of birth. At the age of seventeen or eighteen he went to Baghdad, the centre of knowledge. At the age of twenty-five he completed his education in all the prevalent knowledge of his times. After this, for twenty-five years continuously, he remained busied himself in the most difficult meditations and spiritual practices in isolated caves away from distractions, and accomplished all forms of spiritual achievements.
Sermons, Preaching and Reformation:
It was in 521 al Hijri that he saw the Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) and Sayyiduna ‘Ali (may Allah be pleased with him). The Holy Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) placed his blessed saliva seven times, and Sayyiduna ‘Ali (may Allah be pleased with him) six times into the mouth of Sayyiduna al Ghawth al A’azam, and ordered him to start giving sermons and preaching. Sayyiduna ‘Ali (may Allah be pleased with him) the centre of sainthood, blessed him with the cloak of Wilaayah (sainthood).
After this, Sayyiduna Al Ghawth al A’azam started preaching, and set up a grand religious school (Madrassah) and boarding house for the students, and arranged huge gatherings (with seventy thousand attendees) and started grand spiritual training of religious students. He prepared a great number of saints, complete scholars, guides of Shari’ah (Islamic law) and Qaris (Experts in recitation of the Holy Quran), as a result of which, those that benefited from him, spread not only in Iraq, but all over the world and hailing a revival of Islam. He is known as Muhiyy al Din (reviver of the religion)
The proof of the karaamaat miracles of the Awliyaa is present in the Holy Qur’an and authentic Hadiths. The biographers (including great muhaddithin scholars of Hadith, theologists, eminent scholars) write that more karaamaat (miracles) are attributed to Sayyiduna al Ghawth al A’azam than to any other Wali saint of previous nations
Shaykh Ibn Taymiyyah (the guide of the Wahhabi sect) has written in his book al-Iqtisaar
“The Karaamaat miracles of Sayyiduna al Ghawth al A’azam are numerous and are proven from authentic narrations.
The biographers write that none of his sittings or meetings were without his karaamaat miracles.
Hakim al Ummat of the Deobandis Molvi Ashraf ‘Ali Thanvi in his book al Tazkeer part 3 has written about a karaamah miracle of Sayyiduna al Ghawth al A’azam (may Allah be pleased with him). He writes that Sayyiduna al Ghawth al A’azam placed his hand on the bones of a hen and said, “Come to life with my command; and the hen came back to life”
Sayyiduna al Ghawth al A’azam himself says in al Qaseedah al Ghawthiyyah (Poetry of al Ghawth al A’azam)
“All the universe of Allah is under my command, and my time before me was quite clear.
I saw the whole universe of Allah, like I see a small grain before me.”
Scholars of all spiritual circles benefited from him:
Sanad al Muhaddithin Sayyiduna Shaykh ‘Abd al Haq Muhaddith al Dehlawi (may Allah have mercy upon him) declares in Akhbaar al Akhyaar:
Sayyiduna al Ghawth al A’azam is the proof of the path of belief
Verily the great man of Islam and a great religious guide. He enjoys a unique status among all the saints. As the Holy Prophet peace and blessings of Allah be upon him enjoys a unique status among the Prophets
(In “Nafhaat al Uns” page 357)
Mawlana Jaami has written that when the uncle (Shaykh ‘Abd al Qaahir al Suharwardi) of Shaykh Shihaab al Din ‘Umar al Suharwardi (the chief inheritor of Tariqah al Suharwardiyyah) presented me before al Ghawth al A’azam, and Sayyiduna al Ghawth al A’azam placed his hand on my chest, at that very moment, Allah filled my chest with al‘Ulum al Ladunniyah and I started talking of knowledge and wisdom, and he said to me that I would gain great fame in Baghdad in the end.
In the same way, the chief inheritor of the Chishtiyyah Spiritual Tariqah, Khawajah Shaykh Sayyid Hasan Mu’in al Din al Ajmeri (may Allah have mercy on him) obtained many blessings from Sayyiduna al Ghawth al A’azam, and sought permission to work in Iraq. Sayyiduna al Ghawth al Azam said: I have given Iraq to Shaykh Shihaab al Din al Suharwardi, you go to Hind to work for Islam.”
So Khawajah Shaykh Sayyid Hasan Mu’in al Din al Ajmeri (may Allah have mercy on him) did much work for the Propagation of Islam in Hind, and brought millions of non-believers into the fold of Islam.
It is mentioned in authentic books that while delivering a sermon in Muhallah Halba of Baghdad, Sayyiduna al Ghawth al A’azam said in a condition of spiritual enlightenment: “This foot of mine is on the neck of every saint.” Khawajah Shaykh Sayyid Hasan Mu’in al Din al Ajmeri who was at that time busy in meditation in the mountains of Khurasaan) bowed his neck so much that his forehead touched the ground, and he said: “O, al Ghawth al A’azam, both of your feet are on my head and my eyes.” In Baghdad, at the same time, Sayyiduna Al Ghawth al A’azam said “Ghiyaath al Din’s son has excelled in bowing his neck, so, very soon, he would be blessed with the sainthood of Hind.”
Shaykh Sayyid Hasan Mu’in al Din al Ajmeri wrote in an eulogy in praise of Sayyiduna al Ghawth al A’azam:
The feet of the Holy Prophet peace and blessings of Allah be upon him are the crown of your head, and your feet are the crowns of the head of the whole world
The great saints of the world are lying at your door, as the beggars before the king.
Sayyiduna Shaykh Shams al Din (may Allah have mercy on him) says: al Ghawth al A’azam said, “This foot of mine is on the neck of every saint” was the command of Allah.
(Anwar al Shamsiyyah page: 7, 9)
In “Khawaariq al Akhbaab fi Ma’arifaat al Aqtaab” Shaykh Abdullah al Balkhi writes that during a meeting Sayyiduna al Ghawth al A’azam said, “After 157 years, one Muhammadi al-Mashrab Muhammad Bahaa al Din Naqshband will be born in Bukhara who will receive a special bounty from us.
When Sayyiduna Khawaja Bahaa al Din Naqshbandi entered the field of wilaayah (sainthood), he went to visit Sayyiduna al Ghawth al A’azam at the beck of Sayyiduna Khidar (peace be upon him) and went to sleep, saying “al-Giyyaath, al Ghiyyath Ya Mahbub al Subhaani” he saw Sayyiduna al Ghawth al A’azam in his dream, and was gifted with many blessings.
It is in Tafreeh al Khatir fi Manaqib al Shaykh ‘Abdul Qadir of al Arbili” and other authentic books that when Sayyiduna Shaykh Bahaa al Din Naqshband started his spiritual journey, and at the beck of Sayyiduna Khidar, attended to Sayyiduna al Ghawth al A’azam, he went to sleep saying “al-Ghayyaath, al-Ghayyaath”. He saw Sayyiduna al Ghawth al A’azam in dream and was blessed by him. According to “Tafreehal Khatar Arbli” and other authentic books that when he was asked about Sayyiduna Al Ghawth al A’azam’s saying” This foot of mine is on the neck of all the saints” he said without hesitation:
Your foot is on my eye and heart.
Even today, the following poetic verses of Sayyiduna Khawaja Baha-ud-Din Naqshbandi (Allah bless him) are present in the holy shrine of Sayyiduna al Ghawth al A’azam.
Sayyiduna Shaykh Abdal Qadir is the king in both Worlds,
Sayyiduna Shaykh Abdal Qadir is the king of the offspring of Sayyiduna Aadam”.
The sun, the moon, the ’Arsh, Kursi (the chair) and Qalam (The pen)
The light of the heart is because of the light of Sayyiduna Al Ghawth al A’azam
(Bahjaat al Asraar, Qalaaid al Jawaahir)
It is mentioned in Tafseer Ruh al Ma’ani the head of Silsilah Naqshbandiyyah Mujadadiyyah Imaam al Rabbani Mujaddid Alf al Thaani Sayyiduna Shaykh Ahmad al Sirhindi has attributed grand wilaayah sainthood to Sayyiduna al Ghawth al A’azam till the appearance of Sayyiduna Imaam al Mahdi. Sayyiduna Mujaddid writes in one of his letters “Suns of the earlier people set, but your sun will ever remain high and shall never set. In this way, all the saints get blessings through him, because nobody enjoys this status except him, that is why, he said, “The suns of the previous ones set, but our sun will ever remain shining in the sky, and will never set”.
al Haaj Muhammad Imdaadullah Muhaajir al Makki, the religious leader of the scholars of Deoband writes the following about al Ghawth al A’azam:
O, Allah! Through the king of Jilaan, and the Qutb (pole saint) of the ages, who is the reviver of Islam, Purge me of all thoughts, except that which is because of you.
Shuyukh (scholars) of all spiritual circles have received blessing from al Ghawth al A’azam directly or indirectly, and the entire world has benefited from the blessings of Sayyiduna Al Ghawth al A’azam. Shaykh al Islam Imam Ahl al Sunnah Mujaddid Imam Ahmed Rida Khan (may Allah have mercy upon him) says:
“You are such a Ghawth that every Ghawth is fond of you
You are that cloud that every cloud quenches its thirst from you
What is the relation of the saints with you!
Only that person is a saint who is your servant”
Khatam on the eleventh of every month Giyaarhawin Sharif:
Khatam Giyaarhawin Sharif is a training system with many benefits, consisting of the recitation of the Qur’an, praise of the Prophet sall Allahu ‘alaihi wa Aalihi wasallam, sermons and advice, preaching of Islam, dhikr (rememberance) of Allah, Muraaqabah meditation, purification of the soul, food for the scholars and general people, meeting the pious, iysaal al thawaab (transferring of reward) sending peace and salutations on the prophet sall Allahu ‘alaihi wa Aalihi wasallam , supplications.
Shaykh al Mashaaykh Sayyiduna Shaykh Muhammad Sulayman al Tawnsawi (mayAllah have mercy upon him) says that al Ghawth al A’azam himself used to hold this event on the eleventh of every month. He says that to some scholars the holding of this celebration by Sayyiduna al Ghawth al A’azam, was with regard to the ‘Urs anniversary of the Holy Prophet sall Allahu ‘alaihi wa Aalihi wasallam. (Intikhaab Manaaqib Sulaymani Page: 130)
After the passing away of Sayyiduna al Ghawth al A’azam on 11th of Rabi al Aakhir 560 al Hijri, his successors continued the noble Khatam on the eleventh of every month.
Sanad al Muhaddithin Sayyiduna Shah ‘Abd al ‘Aziz al Dehlawi (may Allah have mercy upon him) in Malfuzaat e ‘Azizi page 62, writes:
The King and the grand personalities of the city would gather at the shrine of Sayyiduna al Ghawth al A’azam (may Allah be pleased with him), and recite the Holy Quran after ‘Asr Prayers to Maghrib, read eulogies in praise of Sayyiduna al Ghawth al A’azam. After Maghrib the successors, surrounded by their followers, would conduct circles of the rememberence of Allah and their mureed students would sit around them making Dhikr out loud, and in that state some would feel a sense of spritual ecstacy. After this a sweet dish that was prepared was distributed and after ‘Ishaa Prayers the people would leave.
Sayyiduna Shaykh Abd al Haq Muhaddith al Dehlawi (may Allah have mercy upon him) has mentioned Giyaarhawin Sharif in his book Ma Thabata bi al Sunnah and says that this teacher and spiritual guide Imaam ‘Abd al Wahaab Mutaqi (Allah be pleased with him) and his esteemed Shuyukh also used to hold Khatam on the eleventh of every month. He writes that Giyaarhawin Sharif was introduced in our country (Hind) by the offspring of Sayyiduna al Ghawth al A’azam and the esteemed Shuyukh.
The observation of Shaykh al Mashaaykh Sayyiduna Mirza Mazhar Jan Janaan:
Sanad al Muhaddithin Sayyiduna Shah Wali Allah Muhaddith Dehlawi (may Allah have mercy upon him) in his book Kamaalaat Tayyibaat (in Persian) page: 78, writes:
In his “Maktubaat (letters) Sayyiduna Mirza Mazhar Jaan Janaan (may Allah have mercy upon him) says, “I saw dream in which I saw a wide platform on which there were many Awliyaa of Allah sitting meditating in a circle, with Sayyiduna Shaykh Naqshband sitting among them, and Sayyiduna Shaykh Junaid sitting leaning against a cushion. They were in a state of istighnaa maa siwa Allah and kayfiyaat al fanaa in being free from all but Allah and in states of annihilation. Then all these people stood up and left. I asked him what the matter was. One of them told me that Amir al Muminin Sayyiduna Ali al Murtada the Lion of Allah (may Allah enoble his face) came, accompanied by somebody, wearing a garment made of a goat’s hair, bare-headed, bare-footed, entangled hair. Sayyiduna Ali (Allah be pleased with him) was holding his hand with great respect. I asked who that man is? Sayyiduna Ali replied that this is Khair al Tabi’een the best of the followers Sayyiduna Awais al Qarni (may Allah be pleased with him) Then there appeared a room, that was extremely clean and and light was showering on it. All of the eminent scholars entered it. On my asking about all this, one of them replied:
Today is the ‘Urs anniversary of the eleventh of Sayyiduna Ghawth al Thaqalain and he has gone to attend the ceremony of the‘Urs.
Objections against Giyaarhawin Sharif:
1. Allah says “With regard to this verse, the prayer or action of a Muslim cannot do any good or benefit to another Muslim”.
2. The prevalent form of Giyaarhawin Sharif was not in the time of the Prophet sall Allahu ‘alaihi wa Aalihi wasallam or his Companions. Therefore, it is an innovation, misguidance and an addition in the religion.
3. Neither Allah or His Prophet sall Allahu ‘alaihi wa Aalihi wasallam fixed a date for Giyaarhawin Sharif, so it is an innovation and an addition in the religion.
4. In Khatm Giyaarhawin Sharif “ Ya Shaykh Abd al Qadir Jilani Shaian liAllah” and statements lie “Imdaad kun, imdaad kun” are words of shirk polytheism. Because asking for help from the deceased or calling someone from the unseen is shirk polytheism.
5. It is shirk polytheism to give something in the name of anyone except Allah. Where as it is said that this offering is in the name of Sayyiduna al Ghawth al A’azam.
6. ‘wa ma uhilla bihi li ghayrillahi’ and the animal that has been slaughtered by calling a name other than Allah Surah Al-Baqara : Ayat 173 So Giyaarhawin Sharif is haraam unlawfal because the name of Sayyiduna al Ghawth al A’azam is called upon.
7. al Ghawth al A’azam means the greatest helper . This is a statement of shirk because Allah is the greatest helper.
The Khatam of Giyaarhawin Sharif and Answers to objections
” And that the man will not get but what he endeavors.” Surah An-Najm : Ayat 39
The M’utazilah Sect and their followers objected at that time that with regard to the above-mentioned verse, a man can benefit only from his own effort and action. His prayers or rewards cannot do any good to others:
It is wrong to take this verse in this sense, because it opposes many Hadiths and verses;
The Holy Quran says:
” And those who came after them submit, O our Lord! Forgive us and our brothers who preceded us in the faith, and put not into our hearts any rancor towards those who believe. O our Lord! Undoubtedly, you are the Beneficent the Merciful.” Surah Al-Hashr : Ayat 10
The Quran says: “O, Allah! Forgive me, my parents and the believers on the day of Judjement.” Surah Ibrahim Ayat 41 This is the prayer of Sayyiduna Ibrahim Alai Salaam, and all the Muslims say it during the prayers. This proves like the clear day, the prayer of one Muslim for the other.
This is the prayer of Sayyiduna Sayyiduna Ibrahim, and all the Muslims say it during their prayers. This proves that the prayer of a Muslim for another Muslim gives him benefit:
The Hadith goes: – There is no such a Muslim in whose funeral prayer forty people stand who are not infidels, Allah accepts their recommendation for that dead body. Sahih Muslim Kitaab al Janaaiz Bab man Salla ‘alaihi arbaun Hadith 1577
There is another Hadith:
The Holy Prophet peace and blessings of Allah be upon him said, “The deceased in the grave is like a person who is drowning, who cries for help. The deceased waits for the du’aa supplication which his parents, brother or friend make for him. When the deceased receives the supplication, it is more dearer to him than the world and all its blessings and verily Allah due to the the supplications of the people of the earth descends his mercy upon the dead in as mountains. And undoubtedly the gift of the living for the deceased, is their prayers for their forgiveness. Mishkaat al Masaabih Bab al Istighfaar wa al Tawbah al Fasl al Thalith page 206 wa Sh’uab al Imaan Imaam Bayhaqi
There is another Hadith:
On the Day of Judgment a man’s good deeds will follow him like the mountains, and he will say where have all of these good deeds come from? He will be told that all this is from your children for your forgiveness. Bukhari fi al Adab al Mufrad page 9 and Mishkaat al Masaabih.
It is clearly proven from these hadith that Du’aa is useful:
A Hadith states that Aas Ibn Waayl (who was an infidel) made a will to set free 100 slaves. His son Hishaam set free 50 slaves. His other son, ‘Amar, intended to set free the other 50 slaves and said that I shall ask the Prophet peace and blessings of Allah be upon him about it. He went to the Prophet peace and blessings of Allah be upon him and said, “My father made a will to set free 100 slaves. My brother Hishaam has set free 50 slaves, and there are 50 remaining. Shall I set them free on my father’s behalf?
The Holy Prophet peace and blessings of Allah be upon him said:
“Verily If he was a Muslim, your setting the slaves free, or charity or performing the Hajj on his behalf, would have given him benefit.” Sunan Abu Dawud Kitaab al Wasaayaa Hadith 2497 and Mishkaat al Masaabih.
In another Hadith Sayyiduna Jaabir (may Allah be pleased with him) reports that the Holy Prophet peace and blessings of Allah be upon him sacrificed a ram and said:
“It is on my behalf and on behalf of every such person from my Ummah (nation) who has not given sacrifice.” Sunan al Tirmidhi Hadith 1425.
In another Hadith, Sayyiduna Anas (Allah be pleased with him) reports “I asked the Holy Prophet peace and blessings be upon him that we pray for the dead, give charity and perform Hajj on their behalf. Do these things reach them (give them any benefit)?” The Holy Prophet replied: Translation: These things definitely reach them and they are delighted, just as anyone of you is delighted on receiving a gift.
Musnad Ahmad Hadith 313
In this Hadith the Holy Prophet peace and blessing of Allah be upon him has given the final decision about the dead receiving the reward (prayers, charity or any other good deed done on their behalf by their living ones). The Holy Prophet peace and blessings of Allah be upon him also said that the deceased are pleased when they receive the reward of prayers, charity and Hajj on their behalf.
It is clear that Ahl al Sunnah wa al Jama’ah send the reward to the Holy Prophet peace and blessings be upon him and all the pious people of Allah in the Khatam Ghiraayhawien Sharif and other Khatams. So according to this Hadith the Holy Prophet peace and blessings of Allah be upon him and all the pious people of Allah, are pleased with those who arrange the Khatam for them.
It is narrated that Imam Sha’bi says, when anyone from Ansaar passed away, they used to visit his grave and recite the Holy Quran.”
Tafseer al Mazhari wa Sharh al Sudur by Imam al Suyuti.
The commentator of the Holy Quran Qadi Thanaaullah (may Allah have mercy upon him) says:
“Hafiz Shams al Din Ibn ‘Abd ul Wahid says that the Muslims of every city always gather and recite the Holy Quran together for their deceased. And nobody has ever objected to it so it has the Ijmaa consensus of the Muslim Ummah on it.
There are many proofs on prayer for forgiveness and sending of reward (Sending the reward of one’s own good deeds to others) but keeping in view the brevity, we think that the proofs given are adequate for a person seeking the truth.
In the same way, the performing of Hajj by heirs for the deceased or paying the debts by the heirs. That the actions of one Muslim can benefit the deceased Muslims. The companion of the Holy Prophet peace and blessings of Allah be upon him Sayyiduna ‘Abdullah Ibn ‘Abbas has declared this verse as abrogated (Tafseer al Baghawi) and many mufassirun commentators have said that “Sa’aa” (effort) in this verse means faith, and it means that a man can get benefit only from his own faith. Meaning if he is a kaafir he will not be able to benefit from another’s imaan. In the same way the commentators have made other interpretations to abolish the apparent outward objection of the verses.
Muhammad Qasim al Qadri al Ridwi ghufira lahu