Abdul Qadir Gilani


Abdul Qadir Gilani
شیخ سید عبد القادر الجيلانيؒ
Abdul Qadir Gilani.jpg
Wali al-Qutb
TitleShaykh al-Islam
Ghawth ul Adham/غوث الاعظم
Sultan al-Awliya
BornMarch 23, 1078 CE
(1 Ramadan, 470 AH)
Gilan, Seljuk Sultanate
DiedFebruary 14, 1166 CE
(11 Rabi' al-Thani, 561 AH)
(aged 87)
Baghdad, Abbasid Caliphate
Resting placeBaghdad, Iraq
ChildrenAbdul Razzaq Gilani
EraIslamic Golden Age
(Later Abbasid Era)
Main interest(s)Fiqh, Sufism
TariqaQadiriyya (founder)
The Vision of Muhyi al-Din ibn al-Gilani. Miniature from Ottoman (1595) ion of "Nafahat al-uns" (Breaths of Fellowship) of Jami. Chester Beatty Library

ʿAbdul Qādir Gīlānī, (Persian: عبدالقادر گیلانی, Arabic: عبدالقادر الجيلاني, romanizedʿAbd al-Qādir al-Jīlānī) known by admirers as Muḥyī l-Dīn Abū Muḥammad b. Abū Sāliḥ ʿAbd al-Qādir al-Jīlānī al-Ḥasanī wa'l-Ramdan (March 23, 1078 – February 21, 1166), was a Sunni Muslim preacher, ascetic, mystic, jurist, and theologian, known for being the eponymous founder of the Qadiriyya tariqa (Sufi order) of Sufism.[1]

He was born on 11 Rabi' al-Thani 470 AH (March 23, 1078) in the town of Na'if in Gilan, Iran, and died on Monday, February 21, 1166 (11 Rabi' al-Thani 561 AH), in Baghdad.[2][nb 1][3] He was a Persian Hanbali Sunni jurist and Sufi based in Baghdad.[2][4][5] The Qadiriyya tariqa is named after him.[6]


The honorific Muhiyudin denotes his status with many Sufis as a "reviver of religion".[7] Gilani (Arabic al-Jilani) refers to his place of birth, Gilan.[8][9] However, Gilani also carried the epithet Baghdadi, referring to his residence and burial in Baghdad.[10][11][12]

Family background[]

Gilani's father, Abu Saleh, was from a Sayyid lineage, tracing his descent from Hasan ibn Ali, a grandson of the Islamic prophet Muhammad.[13][14][1] Abu Saleh was respected as a saint by the people of his day, and was known as Jangi Dost (meaning "fight-lover" in Persian), which was originally his father's sobriquet.[1][15][16][17] Gilani's mother, Ummul Khair Fatima, was also a Sayyid, having been a descendant of Muhammad al-Jawad, himself descended from Husayn ibn Ali, the younger brother of Hasan.[18]


Gilani spent his early life in Gilan, the province of his birth. In 1095, at the age of eighteen, he went to Baghdad. There, he pursued the study of Hanbali law under Abu Saeed Mubarak Makhzoomi and ibn Aqil.[19][20] He studied Hadith with Abu Muhammad Ja'far al-Sarraj.[20] His Sufi spiritual instructor was Abu'l-Khair Hammad ibn Muslim al-Dabbas.[21] (A detailed description of his various teachers and subjects are included below). After completing his education, Gilani left Baghdad. He spent twenty-five years wandering in the deserts of Iraq.[22]

School of law[]

Al-Jilani belonged to the Shafi'i and Hanbali schools of law.[23] He placed Shafi'i jurisprudence (fiqh) on an equal footing with the Hanbali school (madhhab), and used to give fatwa according to both of them simultaneously.[24] This is why al-Nawawi praised him in his book entitled Bustan al-'Arifin (Garden of the Spiritual Masters), saying: "We have never known anyone more dignified than Baghdad's Sheikh Muhyi al-Din 'Abd al-Qadir al-Jilani, may Allah be pleased with him, the Sheikh of Shafi'is and Hanbalis in Baghdad".[25][26][27]

Later life[]

In 1127, Gilani returned to Baghdad and began to preach to the public.[28] He joined the teaching staff of the school belonging to his own teacher, al-Mazkhzoomi, and was popular with students.[citation needed] In the morning he taught hadith and tafsir, and in the afternoon he held discourse on the science of the heart and the virtues of the Quran.[citation needed] He was said to have been a convincing preacher and converted numerous Jews and Christians. He was able to reconcile the mystical nature of Sufism with the sober demands of Islamic Law.[28]

Death and burial[]

Gilani died on 21 February 1166 (11 Rabi' al-Thani 561 AH) at the age of 87.[3] His body was entombed in a shrine within his madrasa in Babul-Sheikh, Rusafa on the east bank of the Tigris in Baghdad, Iraq.[29][30][31]

During the reign of the Safavid Shah Ismail I, Gilani's shrine was destroyed.[32] However, in 1535, the Ottoman Sultan Suleiman the Magnificent had a dome built over the shrine, which still exists.[33]

Birthday and death anniversary celebration[]

11 Rabi' al-Thani is celebrated as Gilani's birthday, although some scholars[34] give 29 Sha'ban and 17 Rabi' al-Thani as his birth and death days. In the Indian subcontinent, his ‘urs, or death anniversary, is called Giyarwee Shareef, or Honoured Day.[35]

Tomb of Sheikh Abdul Qadir, Baghdad, Iraq.


See also[]




  1. ^ a b c Abdul Qadir Gilani at Encyclopædia Iranica
  2. ^ a b W. Braune, Abd al-Kadir al-Djilani, The Encyclopaedia of Islam, Vol. I, ed. H.A.R Gibb, J.H.Kramers, E. Levi-Provencal, J. Schacht, (Brill, 1986), 69;"authorities are unanimous in stating that he was a Persian from Nayf (Nif) in Djilan, south of the Caspian Sea."
  3. ^ a b The works of Shaykh Umar Eli of Somalia of al-Tariqat al-Qadiriyyah.
  4. ^ John Renard, The A to Z of Sufism. p 142. ISBN 081086343X
  5. ^ Juan Eduardo Campo, Encyclopedia of Islam, p. 288. ISBN 1438126964
  6. ^ "Sufism, Sufis, and Sufi Orders: Sufism's Many Paths". islam.uga.edu. Retrieved 2017-07-21.
  7. ^ Mihr-e-munīr: biography of Hadrat Syed Pīr Meher Alī Shāh pg 21, Muhammad Fādil Khān, Faid Ahmad. Sajjadah Nashinan of Golra Sharif, Islamabad (1998).
  8. ^ Encyclopaedia of religion and ethics: volume 1. (A – Art). Part 1. (A – Algonquins) pg 10. Hastings, James and Selbie, John A. Adamant Media corporation. (2001), "and he was probably of Persian origin."
  9. ^ The Sufi orders in Islam, 2nd ion, pg 32. Triingham, J. Spencer and Voll, John O. Oxford University Press US, (1998), "The Hanafi Qadirriya is also included since 'Abd al-Qadir, of Persian origin was contemporary of the other two."
  10. ^ Devotional Islam and politics in British India: Ahmad Riza Khan Barelwi and his movement, 1870–1920, pg 144, Sanyal, Usha Oxford University Press US, 19 August 1999. ISBN 0-19-564862-5 ISBN 978-0-19-564862-1.
  11. ^ Cultural and religious heritage of India: Islam pg 321. Sharma, Suresh K. (2004)
  12. ^ Indo-iranica pg 7. The Iran Society, Calcutta, India. (1985).
  13. ^ Historical and political who's who of Afghanistan. p 177. Adamec, Ludwig W. (1975)
  14. ^ Qādrī, Muḥammad Riyāz (2000-01-01). The Sultan of the Saints: Mystical Life and Teaching of Shaikh Syed Abdul Qadir Jilani. Abbasi Pablications. p. 19. ISBN 9789698510169.
  15. ^ "Sulook organisation website" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 2011-07-28. Retrieved 2010-02-19.
  16. ^ Mihr-e-munīr: biography of Hadrat Syed Pīr Meher Alī Shāh pg 27, Khān, Muhammad Fādil and Ahmad, Faid. Sajjadah Nashinan of Golra Sharif, Islamabad. (1997)
  17. ^ Encyclopaedia of Sufism, volume 1, Kahn, Masood Ali and Ram, S.
  18. ^ Qādrī (2000, p. 21)
  19. ^ Campo, Juan Eduardo (2009-01-01). Encyclopedia of Islam. Infobase Publishing. p. 4. ISBN 9781438126968.
  20. ^ a b Gibb, H.A.R.; Kramers, J.H.; Levi-Provencal, E.; Schacht, J. (1986) [1st. pub. 1960]. Encyclopaedia of Islam. Vol. I (A-B) (New ed.). Leiden, Netherlands: Brill. p. 69. ISBN 978-9004081147.
  21. ^ Malise Ruthven, Islam in the World, p 243. ISBN 0195305035
  22. ^ Esposito J. L. The Oxford dictionary of Islam. p160. ISBN 0199757267
  23. ^ "The Tariqa of Shaikh 'Abdul Qadir Jilani". Iqra Islamic Publications.
  24. ^ Vidyajyoti Institute of Religious Studies (1989). Islam in India, Volume 4. Vikas Publishing House. p. 219.
  25. ^ "Sheikh Abdul Qadir Al Jilani in Folklore". folkculturebh.org. Folk Culture – Bahrain. Archived from the original on 20 Oct 2020.
  26. ^ "How the Mashaayikh Praise Shaykh 'Abdul Qadir Jilani". iqra.net. Iqra Islamic Publications. Archived from the original on 20 Oct 2020.
  27. ^ 'Abd al-Qadir al-Jilani (20 January 2019). Jamal al-Din Faleh al-Kilani (ed.). "Futuh al-Ghayb ("Revelations of the Unseen")". Google Books (in Arabic).
  28. ^ a b 'Abd al-Qadir al-Jilani at the Encyclopædia Britannica
  29. ^ Al-Ghunya li-talibi tariq al-haqq wa al-din (Sufficient provision for seekers of the path of truth and religion), parts one and two in Arabic, Al-Qadir, Abd and Al-Gilani. Dar Al-Hurya, Baghdad, Iraq, (1988).
  30. ^ Al-Ghunya li-talibi tariq al-haqq wa al-din (Sufficient provision for seekers of the path of truth and religion) with introduction by Al-Kilani, Majid Irsan. Al-Kilani, Majid, al-Tariqat, 'Ursan, and al-Qadiriyah, Nash'at
  31. ^ "The Qadirya Mausoleum" (PDF).
  32. ^ A.A. Duri, Baghdad, The Encyclopaedia of Islam, Vol. I, 903.
  33. ^ W. Braune, Abd al-Kadir al-Djilani, The Encyclopaedia of Islam, Vol. I, 70.
  34. ^ Shammsuddin, Khawaja (2017-10-22). Baran-e-Rahmat – The Rain of Mercy Part 2. p. 156. ISBN 978-1-326-75227-9.
  35. ^ "Ghousia".
  36. ^ "Sirr-ul-Asrar". www.nafseislam.com. Retrieved 2016-08-04.
  37. ^ Al-Qahtani, Sheik Saeed bin Misfer (1997). Sheikh Abdul Qadir Al-Jilani and his Belief and Sufi views (in Arabic). Library of Al-Madinah Al-Munawwarah. p. 133.
  38. ^ "Al-Fuyudat al-Rabbaniyya". www.al-baz.com. Retrieved 2021-05-05.
  39. ^ Al-Jilani, 'Abd Al-Qadir (2019-05-27). Fifteen Letters: Khamsata 'Ashara Maktuban. Islamic Book Trust. ISBN 978-967-0526-14-0.
  40. ^ "Marfat Library". www.marfat.com. Retrieved 2021-05-05.
  41. ^ A concise description of Jannah & Jahannam, the garden of paradise and the fire of hell : excerpted from 'Sufficient provision for seekers of the Path of Truth (Al-Ghunya li-Tālibi al-Ḥaqq). Ta-Ha. 2010. ISBN 978-1-84200-120-2. OCLC 1158643778. {{cite book}}: |first= missing |last= (help)
  42. ^ al-Jīlānī, ʻAbd al-Qādir (1998). The Sublime Revelation (al-Fatḥ Ar-rabbānī): A Collection of Sixty-two Discourses. Al-Baz Publishing, Incorporated. ISBN 978-1-882216-02-4.

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