Shaikh ‘Abd al-Qadir al-Jilani (RAA)

Praise by Scholars

A bdu’llah al-Jubba’i once said: “Shaikh ‘Abd al-Qadir had a pupil called ‘Umar al-Halawi. He left Baghdad and stayed away for several years. When he eventually returned to Baghdad, I said to him:

‘Where have you been all this time?’ He said: ‘I made the rounds of the cities and towns of Syria, Egypt, and the West (I think he also mentioned the cities and towns of Persia), and I met three hundred and sixty Shaikhs, all of them saints [awliya]. There was not a single one amongst them who did not often say: “Shaikh ‘Abd al-Qadir is our own Shaikh, and our exemplary guide toward Allah (Exalted is He).””


Shaikh ‘Umar al-Bazzaz has told us:

“I was eager to see Shaikh ‘Adi ibn al-Musafir, so I asked Shaikh ‘Abd al-Qadir for permis­sion to pay him a visit. He gave me his permission, so I traveled until I came to Mount al-Hakkar. There I found Shaikh ‘Adi, standing at the door of his convent [zawiya] in Lalish. ‘Welcome, O ‘Umar!’ he said to me: ‘You have left the ocean, and you have come to the rivulet. O ‘Umar, Shaikh ‘Abd al-Qadir is the holder of the reins of all the saints [awliya]. He is the leader and guide of the caravans of the lovers [muhibbin] in their entirety, in this day and age. May Allah be well pleased with them all!'”

It was that wise Shaikh and exemplary guide, Shaikh ‘All ibn Wahb ash-Shaibani ar-Rabi’i al-Musawi ash-Shinjari, who said:

“Shaikh ‘Abd al-Qadir is one of the outstanding figures of this world. Shaikh ‘Abd al-Qadir is one of the incomparable saints [awliya]. Shaikh ‘Abd al-Qadir is one of the priceless treasures of the universe. Shaikh ‘Abd al-Qadir is one of gifts of Allah (Exalted is He) to the realm of being. Congratulations to those who sit in his company! Congratulations to those whose thoughts and feelings arc influenced by Shaikh ‘Abd al-Qadir! May Allah be well pleased with him!”

Shaikh Yahya at-Takriti has told us:

“When Shaikh Musa ibn Haman (or maybe ibn Hamin) az-Zuwali arrived in Baghdad, he was traveling as a Pilgrim [Haj’j], and my father and I were traveling with him. When he met with Shaikh ‘Abd al-Qadir, we noticed how very respectfully Shaikh Musa treated him, and how very politely he conducted himself in his company. We had never seen him accord such deference to anyone else. As soon as we were alone with him, my father said to him:

‘I have never seen you treat anyone with anything like the profound respect you paid to Shaikh ‘Abd al-Qadir.’ To this he replied: ‘Shaikh ‘Abd al-Qadir is the best of all the people
in this time of ours. He is the Sultan of the saints [awliya], and the chieftain of those who know by direct experience [arifin] in our own day and age. How could I not be on my best behavior, with someone in whose presence the angels of heaven are always on their best behavior?’ May Allah be well pleased with Shaikh ‘Abd al-Qadir and Shaikh Musa!”

We owe this next report to the Shaikh of Shaikhs, Abu ‘l-Hasan ‘Abd al-Latif ibn Shaikh ash-Shuyukh Abu ‘l-Barakat Isma’il ibn Ahmad an-Nisaburi, who said:

“It was in Damascus, in the year [A.H.] 596, that I heard Shaikh Arslan (may Allah be well pleased with him) say, when the name of Shaikh Abd al-Qadir (may Allah be well pleased with him) had been mentioned:

‘”Shaikh Abd al-Qadir (may Allah be well pleased with him) is one of the chief ministers of the Divine Presence [Hadra], and one of the unique individuals of the universe. He has been empowered to utter words of wisdom. He has been entrusted with the decisions of effective management [tasrif], applicable to every single one of his contemporaries, both near and far, in connection with giving and receiving, acceptance and rejection. He is the deputy [na’ib] of Allah’s Messenger (Allah bless him and give him peace). May Allah be well pleased with him!”

It was the Shaikh of the Sufis, Shaikh Shihab ad-Din Umar as-Suhrawardi, who said: “In the year [A.H.] 506, together with my paternal uncle, Shaikh Abu ‘n-Najib ‘Abd al-Qahir as-Suhrawardi, I entered the presence of Shaikh ‘Abd al-Qadir. My uncle treated him with enormously deferential respect, and sat in front of him as an ear without a tongue. As soon as we had returned to the Nizamiyya University, I asked my uncle for an explanation, and he said:

“‘How could I not be on my best behavior in his company, when the entire universe is at his disposal? He has been empowered to manage the Realm of [Worldly] Dominion [Mulk], and he is glorified in the Realm of [Spiritual] Sovereignty [Malakut]. He is unique in the whole world of existence at this time. How could I not be on my best behavior, with someone to whom my Owner [Maliki] has entrusted the management of my heart and my spiritual state, and of the hearts and spiritual states of the saints [awliya’], so that he can seize them, if he wishes, and release them, if he wishes? May Allah be well pleased with them!”

–Shaikh Muhammad Ibn Yahya at-Tadifi, Necklaces of Gems [Qala’id al-Jawahir], trans. Muhtar Holland (Ft. Lauderdale: Al-Baz Publishing, Inc., 1998), 64, 336-338.

Shaykh al-Islam Abu ‘l-Abbas Ahmad ibn Taimiyyah said: “I have worn the Sufi cloak of a number of shaykhs belonging to various tariqas, among them the Shaykh `Abd al-Qadir Jilani, whose tariqa is the greatest of the well known ones”. Further on he says: “The greatest Sufi Way is that of my master, `Abd al-Qadir Jilani, may Allah have mercy on him”.

ms. al-Hadi, Princeton Library Arabic Collection, fols. 154a, 169b,171b, 172a; and Damascus University, copy of original Arabic manuscript, 985H.; also mentioned in at Talyani, manuscript Chester Beatty 3296 (8) in Dublin, fol. 67a