Home Views & Opinions Teachings of Syed Abdul Qadir Jeelani (R.A)

Teachings of Syed Abdul Qadir Jeelani (R.A)

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Mohi-ud-Din Abu Muhammad Abu Saleh Abdul Qadir al-Jeelani (Al-Jeelani) was an illustriousascetic and mystic who became famous for being the eponymous founder of Qadriyah order of Sunni Sufism. Al-Jeelani was born in a place called Neef, situated in Gilaan or Jeelan (Persia), and for this reason; he is remembered as Al-Jilani or Geelani. There are two narrations about his date of birth. According to the first one, he was born on 1st Ramazan 470AH, and the second narration says it was 2nd Ramazan; however, there is consensus on the second narration. He bade adieu to worldly existence in 561AH on the 11th of Rabi-us-Sani in Baghdad, where his mausoleum is located.
Besides a spiritual personage, he was a great scholar and jurist who learned at Jamia Nizamia (in Baghdad): the world-renowned prestigious institute of its time. Al-Jeelani spent his entire life in religious preaching and authored several books, which continue to serve as a guideline for humans. His conversation would be always engaging, effective to yield positive change in character, and an elixir to enliven the dead hearts. Sheikh Umar Kaisani writes that there would not be a single meeting of Al-Jeelani, which did not witness non-Muslims embracing Islam, criminals making repentance, and the misguided finding guidance. About his depth of knowledge, well-known jurist of the Hanbali school of thought Ibn-e-Qudamah says: “I did not see anyone more respected than him. Kings and ministers considered it their honor to attend his lectures, not to mention the scholars and jurists. A minimum of 400 inkpots were used to record his discourses. Though he was a savant with profound knowledge, wisdom, and deep insight yet he had a humble personality”.
Al-Jeelani attributes all his grandness to knowledge and says: I acquired knowledge until I became a polar star and attained good luck through the greatest lord. Polar star refers to guiding star used in celestial navigation, admitting himself as the guide for the ummah to bring them close to Almighty Allah.
However, a question arises- constituting the theme of my writing- that in contemporary times we all acquire knowledge but hardly anyone of us reaches his stature. Interestingly, Al-Jeelani answers this question beforehand and says; which one can get from his books that for achieving height there are some qualities that a person needs to develop besides gaining knowledge.
Let us have a quick overview of these qualities that Al-Jeelani wants us to evolve with. By two qualities of Allah he refers to “Al- Ghafaar and Al-Sataar”. A person must produce an attribute of Allah – repeatedly forgiving and concealing other’s flaws. The name Ghafir is from Quran, present in many of its verses like; “And your lord is Al-Ghafoor (the Oft-forgiving), the owner of mercy (18: 58)”,While as the name “Al-Sataar” finds mention in the hadith of Abu Dawud (4012), In which Prophet SAW says: Allah is characterized by modesty (al-Hayee) and Concealment (As-Sitteer).Al-Jeelani asks his followers for being Qutb (the universal man) these two attributes of Allah have to be created within. According to Al-Jeelani; the two characters of Prophet (SAAW) that can lead a person to perfection are;”Compassion and companionship”. Allah describes the compassionate/Kinddemeanor of Prophet (SAAW) in Quran as: “There has certainly come to you a Messenger from among you. Grievous to him is what you suffer, for he is concerned for you and to the believers, he is kind and merciful”(2:143). About friendship/genteelness of Prophet (SAAW) Quran says: “Thus it is due to mercy from God that you deal with them gently, and had you been rough, hard-hearted, they would have dispersed from around you”(3:159).And at another place Allah says: “And truly you (Muhammad) possess great morals”(68:4).Al-Jeelani says following these etiquettes will raise a person’s stature higher before Almighty Allah. Likewise, Al-Jeelani suggests aspirants of spiritual development, to produce the characters of four companions of Prophet (SAAW), for which they are known i.e., Truthfulness, and Acknowledger of Truth: the identifying characteristic of Abu Bakr Al-Sideeq (R.A.).Enjoining what is right and forbidding what is reprehensible: Crux of Umar-Ibn-Khitab.Worship, submission, and devotion to the god and generosity like Uthman ibn Affan and last two are; Knowledge and Bravery; idiosyncratic to Ali Ibn Abi Talib. But it is noteworthy that here bravery doesn’t mean suppressing others rather it entails standing against falsehood, injustice for the sake of Almighty Allah.
All the saints had a mission of purifying masses spiritually to raise them to the level wherein words of Iqbal, Allah would ascertain: ‘what is your wish?’ Syed Abdul Qadir Jeelani pioneered this assignment and changed the lives of numerous. His teachings are before us that we ought to adopt before making claims of being his disciples. Rightly, if the message of Syed Abdul Qadir Jeelani and his ilk is imbibed and embraced, radical changes in the world can be visualized. Those changes will off-course invigorate love, peace, and harmony.
May Allah guide us towards the rightpath, calling towards which is also the mission of his close friends; Saints.