Shaikh Abdul Qadir Jilani and his services for Islam

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Shaikh Abu Saeed Mubarak Makhzoomi and Abu’l-Khair Hammad ibn Muslim al-Dabbas are the two undoubted and indisputable Sufi masters of the time in Sufism who guided Shaikh Abdul Qadir Jilani. Both were accomplished Saints. Syed Abdul Qadir Jilani benefitted from their spiritual munificence but had yet to come in the servitude by the bond of oath of allegiance. Time had come to enter a Sufi order after eight years of mastering all forms of knowledge and twenty-five years of cleansing the innerself through spiritual endeavours. Hence according to Allah’s will he went to the court of Shaikh Abu Saeed Mubarak Makhzoomi and entered the circle of his devotees by pledging oath.

He ate food from the hands of Shaikh Abu Saeed Mubarak Makhzoomi after entering his circle. Syed Abdul Qadir Jilani said of that instance, “Each morsel which I ate from my spiritual guide’s hand enlightened my soul.”

Then his spiritual guide presented him the symbol of sainthood and said, “O Abdul Qadir Jilani! This symbol was given to Ali ibn Abi Talib by Prophet Mohammad who gave it to Hasan of Basra and ultimately it reached me after passing from one spiritual leader to the other.”

When Shaikh Abdul Qadir Jilani wore it, countless Divine lights descended on him. Shaikh Abu Saeed Mubarak Makhzoomi was very proud of his (Shaikh Abdul Qadir Jilani’s) elite and grand spiritual status about which Allah Himself had informed him. Once Syed Abdul Qadir Jilani was with him. When he left for a while Shaikh Abu Saeed Mubarak Makhzoomi said, “One day this young man’s feet will be on the neck of all the Saints and all the Saints of his age will stand humbly before him.”


In 488 AH, when Shaikh Abdul Qadir Jilani came to Baghdad, Satan and fitna had engulfed the Islamic nations. At the one end there were groups of people who were polluting faith by inviting towards monastic lifestyle of seclusion and then there were also groups of people who had forgone sharia and were raising slogans of esotericism. I seek refuge in Allah, a false belief initiated claiming Quran’s created. Undoubtedly Quran is Divine.

At the other end there was an abundance of fake scholars who were polluting Muslims. Baghdad which was the centre of Islam had become infected with immoralities, transgression, pretence and hypocrisy. The caliphate of Baghdad was deteriorating day after day. Seljuks were fighting among themselves. The ruler who raised to power in Baghdad would turn the religious sermons in his favour. Abbasid Caliphate was subdued. The followers of so-called esotericism had created major disturbances in the entire country. Pious peoples’ lives and honour were not safe.


In 496 AH when Syed Abdul Qadir Jilani completed his studies, the tumult of fake esoteric guides was at its peak to such an extent that even pilgrims of hajj were not safe from their atrocities. On the other hand first crusade had started and the Christians had united to attack the Muslim world. This was the era of Mustansir Billah who reigned from 487 AH to 512 AH. His wisdom had saved Baghdad from political upheaval and it was the same time when Shaikh Abdul Qadir Jilani was busy in academics.

In 496 AH after completion of studies he separated himself from worldly affairs and up till 521 AH he remained engrossed in spiritual endeavours. During that time political disorder in Islamic world was lessening but people’s morality and values had declined appallingly. The sparks in 488 AH had become blazing flames. That was the time when Shaikh Abdul Qadir Jilani stepped into the arena of jihad armoured with virtue and piety, well acquainted with sharia and armed with the knowledge of Quran and Sunna. He started war against satanic, false and spurious beliefs through assemblages during which he guided and persuaded towards piety, virtue and righteousness.


Prophet Mohammad’s remeberance has been exalted i.e.Warafana Laka Zikrak). On a Saturday noon, 16th Shawwal (Sacred Islamic month i.e Hurmat walay months) 521 AH, before Insan e Kamil Shaikh Abdul Qadir Jilani had adorned the throne of Divine guidance and persuasion, he dreamt that Prophet Mohammad had visited him. He said:

“Abdul Qadir! Why do you not preach and guide people away from depravity?”

He replied, “Prophet of Allah! I am a non-Arab. How can I speak before the eloquent Arabs?”

The Prophet said, “Open your mouth.”

Syed Abdul Qadir Jilani obeyed. The Prophet took his saliva and placed it seven times in Shaikh Abdul Qadir Jilani’s mouth and ordered him:

“Go! Preach and guide the umma towards the path to Allah.”


He woke up, offered noon salat and sat for sermonizing. A lot of people gathered around him. He hesitated. Suddenly engulfed by the spiritual state of unveiling of the hidden, he saw that Ali ibn Abi Talib is standing in front of him and saying, “Why have you not started the sermon?”

Shaikh Abdul Qadir Jilani said, “I am hesitant.”

Ali ibn Abi Talib said, “Open your mouth.”

He obeyed, Ali took his saliva and placed it in Shaikh Abdul Qadir Jilani’s mouth six times.

Syed Abdul Qadir Jilani said, “O Respectful! Why did you not place it seven times?”

He replied, “It is only in the honour of the Holy Prophet.”

Ali left and Shaikh Abdul Qadir Jilani started the sermon. People astonished by his eloquence were also speechless.


He started to teach, guide and sermonize from the madrasa of his spiritual guide, Shaikh Abu Saeed Mubarak Makhzoomi. People from Baghdad and outside would gather to listen to his sermons. In no time he became famous not only in the entirety of Baghdad but in other Muslim countries as well. Madrasa was always overcrowded and people had to sit outside. In 528 AH it was extended by adding surrounding buildings. Yet it became insufficient and then his sermons were held on the ground outside the city reserved for salat on Eid. Often listeners exceeded seventy-thousand in number.

Four hundred scribes were present there to record his sermons and two reciters to recite Quran in every congregation. His repute attracted people from distant areas. He usually delivered sermon thrice every week on the evenings of Friday and Wednesday and Monday morning.

These successful sermons continued from 521 AH to 561 AH.


Once a disciple of Syed Abdul Qadir Jilani, Abdullah Jilani said that more than one lakh immoral and sinful people have repented, pledging allegiance on his hands and thousands of Jews and Christians did the same after his impressive sermons.


Shaikh Abdul Qadir Jilani himself once said:

“It was my wish to stay isolated from everyone neither any person would see me nor I would see anyone as well as wilderness be my abode but Allah wanted goodness and welfare of his creation. More than five thousand Jews and Christians have pledged allegiance on my hands. More than one lakh people have repented for their sins before me and pledged allegiance too. This is a great blessing of Almighty which he bestowed on me.”

All historians have consensus that many people of Baghdad repented, pledging allegiance to Shaikh Abdul Qadir Jilani. Many Jews, Christians and people of other religions accepted Islam because of him. There was not a single sermon where sinful people would not pledge allegiance to him or non-Muslims would not accept Islam.


Once during his sermon, Arabs thirteen Christians accepted Islam because of him. They said after allegiance that they wanted to accept Islam but were in search of a man of Truth who would cleanse the darkness of their inwards. Then one fateful day they heard a voice from the hidden:

“You should go to Baghdad where Syed Abdul Qadir Jilani will make you Muslims and cleanse darkness of your inwards.”

Hence, we visited Baghdad with the same desire and now light of faith has entered our inwards.


Once a Christian priest visited him. His name was Sanan. He was an excellent scholar of Divine books. He accepted Islam on the hands of Shaikh Abdul Qadir Jilani and said to the crowd.

“I live in Yemen and for many years I have been living the life of a monk. One day the reality of Islam enlightened me but hesitated because of the conditions of its followers. I had decided that I will accept Islam on the hands of its most pious man. One day I dreamt that Prophet Christ visited and said, ‘Sanan go to Baghdad and accept Islam on the hands of Shaikh Abdul Qadir Jilani. There is no one on earth more pious than him in this age. Right now he is the most exalted among all mankind.’


Muwaffaq al-Din ibn Qudamah said he had not seen anyone more respectful and honoured than Syed Abdul Qadir Jilani. Kings, wazirs, rich and needy all would attend his sermons. They all sat among each other and remained silent. There were also countless scholars.

 He absolutely did not favour anyone and was also not partial during his sermons and would only say the Truth even if that might aim at any important person. His courageousness demeanour and exalted sermons were like lightening for the sinful and the rebellious.


Once an administrator of Caliph’s palaces attended Shaikh Abdul Qadir Jilani’s sermon with pomp and ostentation. He was also a confidant and intimate friend of the Caliph. Hence he was an influential person. As soon as he arrived, Shaikh Abdul Qadir Jilani changed the subject of the sermon and said while pointing towards him, “All of you are the same. One worships the other. Who will worship the Lord?”

He further said, “Stand! Submit yourself to me so that you may divert from this mortal world towards the Lord. Hold onto (the rope of) Allah, as soon you will have to return towards Him. And he will be the judge of your deeds.”

He was unparalleled and brave when advising and sermonizing. At times he was fast and fearsome. He said that people’s inwards were rusty and unless they were jolted, they would not cleanse. My strong words will become eternal life for them. Once he said of his sermon,

“To appoint me to sermonize was for your purification and not for diverting the truth or merely to play with words. Do not run away from my strong words. They are so because I was trained by the One who himself is strict when it comes to religion. My sermons are strict and strong. That person will not be redeemed who runs away from me or those who are like me. If you are disrespectful towards religion, I will not forgive you and neither will I say to continue your foul deeds. I do not care if you come or do not come. My strength comes from Lord and not you. I am indifferent to your numbers and designations.”


Syed Abdul Qadir Jilani is Mohiyuddin, the reviver of Islam in the Muslim world. His enormous achievement is unprecedented struggle for revival of the religion. Whether it was sermons, gatherings at his khanqah, lectures of madrasa or the throne of Divine guidance and persuasion. His life revolved around glorifying Islam again. The condition of Islamic world is evident from his following manuscript.

“People! Islam is crying because of vicious, scoundrel, misled and deceptive people. It is crying and asking for help while holding its head. The walls of religion of beloved Prophet Mohammad (pbuh) is crumbling one after the other and its base is weak. O Muslims come and let us make it strong once again. Come sun, moon and day as well.”

Shaikh Abdul Qadir Jilani called towards Allah and His Prophet in these words:

“O Baghdadis! You have become deceptive and there is no sincerity. Words have preceded deeds. Remember words without actions are useless and vice versa it is a treasure spent wisely. Empty words are claims hence they are like skeletons with no soul. Strong soul is one which one attains after Oneness and sincerity as well as by acting on the Book and Sunna. Your deeds are soulless. Obey his orders and forgo foul and forbidden deeds.”


At one instance, Shaikh Abdul Qadir Jilani said, “This is the last age of hypocrisy and I am trying to build a system close to that of Prophet Mohammad (pbuh), his sacred Companions and the generation following them. Presently people only worship wealth and riches and are like the people of Prophet Moses (as). It is quite disappointing that you are depended on the king and the rich when reality is that he will abdicate or die one day. His wealth and everything will perish one day. Do no depend on mortal kings. The One to be trusted is the Lord of the universe who is immortal.”

Hazrat Abdul Qadir Jilani’s hardwork and endeavours cleansed many souls. He enlivened the religion of Islam in the whole world. True faith once again became dominant and that is the reason he is the reviver of the religion.


Once he was asked how did he come to be known by the title of the reviver of religion? Syed Abdul Qadir Jilani told a strange incident of witnessing the hidden. It goes as:

“Once I was outside Baghdad. On my way back I saw an old man who was sick, leaned and in a very distressed condition. When I went closer, he said, ‘O Shaikh! Pay spiritual attention and blow the Messiah’s breath to strengthen me.’ I prayed the Lord for his health and then blew on him. Suddenly he was no longer lean or weak and stood up with strength and health. He asked, ‘Abdul Qadir do you recognize me?’ I replied, ‘No!’ He said, ‘I am the religion of Prophet Mohammad and I was as you saw me because of weakness. Now Allah has given me a new life because of you. You are the reviver of religion and its great reformer’.”

He further states:

“I left and headed to the city’s main mosque. A barefooted man ran past me calling loudly ‘the reviver of religion’. I was astonished. After offering salat when I looked around, people had gathered in a large number and were chanting slogans of ‘the reviver of religion’, ‘the reviver of religion’ so loudly that touched the heaven. Before that no one had ever called me by this title.”


Besides this famous incident, there is no denying that he proved to be the reviver of Islam due to his selflessness, sympathetic nature, ardent love and fear of Allah, unwavering personality, eloquence and the passion to reform Islam. He strengthened the religion of the Prophet. This achievement of Shaikh Abdul Qadir Jilani is like the sun shining with all its power. His stellar services for the path of Faqr makes one wonderstruck. His title, Mohiyuddin, the reviver of religion is beyond any doubt.


Abdul Qadir Jilani books are many and they are famous. Many translations are also available. Many Syed Abdul Qadir Jilani Quotes have been mentioned in the article which are famous worldwide. One of many Abdul Qadir Jilani miracles are his sermons.


The present reviver of religion, Sultan ul Ashiqeen Sultan Mohammad Najib ur Rehman has given Islam a new life and made people aware of its soul which is Faqr. He has made tremendous efforts for the said purpose and made beneficence of Sufism common for people rather than limiting it to special chosen ones. Sultan Mohammad Najib ur Rehman has distributed this beneficence to not only men but women as well.

For organized work, he laid the foundation of an organization Tehreek Dawat e Faqr whose various departments are working 24/7 under his supervision such as Sultan ul Faqr Publications, Sultan ul Faqr Digital Productions, Preaching Department, Multimedia and Design Development and Social Media Wing to name a few. Tehreek Dawat e Faqr gives an open invitation to everyone to pledge allegiance (bayah) to Sultan ul Ashiqeen Sultan Mohammad Najib ur Rehman to gain gnosis and recognize the reality of pure religion Islam. Associate yourself to Tehreek Dawat e Faqr to spread Sufism and Faqr among people.

Get the answers to your questions regarding Sufism.


This is translation of an Urdu article of the magazine “Mahnama Sultan-ul-Faqr Lahore” for the month of October 2020. Originally penned by Sultan ul Ashiqeen Sultan Mohammad Najib ur Rehman. Sahibzadi Muneeza Najib Sarwari Qadri translated it in English exclusively for the website. Do not forget to visit the original article to which you only have to click the link

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