Sultan of Saints — Shaykh Abdul Qadir al-Jilani

Sultan of Saints — Shaykh Abdul Qadir al-Jilani
Shaykh Hosam Raouf

February 2013

This talk provides a glimpse into the teachings of a saint revered by millions all over the world -- Shaykh Abdul Qadir Jilani (SAQJ). He is known by many titles, including The Sultan of Knowledge, The Unblemished One, The Fearless Falcon, The Qurathul `Ayn and Ghaus al Azam (Helper to all), to name but a few.

His teachings have penetrated the hearts of so many followers because they are founded in compassion, service and humanity.

A primary feature of his lifetime was his dedication to providing for the poor, and this legacy lives on at his tomb in Baghdad to the present day.

He always reminded his murids (disciples) that purifying their wealth through the prescribed zakat and sadqah was a key tenet of the din and necessary for the soul to evolve and become transformed: "by no means will you attain righteousness unless you give freely from that which you love - which Allah knows." (Qur'an). He often quoted the sayings of Imam Ali: "do for your dunya (this world) as if you live forever - but do for your akhira (hereafter) as if you will die tomorrow”.

SAQJ sought to cultivate a community where social responsibility was key, reminding his murids that “Allah will not help a community who do not help themselves”.

The talk also refers to some of the recorded discourses between SAQJ and his son, Abdur Razaq. He offers his son clear advice about following Allah's laws, shari`ah and haduds (boundaries), reminding him that the tariqah (sufi path) is based on the generosity of Allah and explaining the nature of tasawwuf (Sufism).

He describes eight foundations for personal transformation as epitomised by many of the prophets of Islam:

1-- Generosity - Saha - Represented by Prophet Ibrahim
2-- Contentment - Ridah - Prophet Isaac
3-- Patience - Sabr - Prophet Ayub
4-- Openness to signs and Isharas (hints; inspirations) - Prophet Zakariyah
5-- Being in this world but not of this world - Prophet Yusuf
6-- To wear the wool - Prophet Yahyah
7-- Travelling through the lands - Prophet `Isa
8-- Living a simple modest life - Prophet Muhammad

Key Terms: Reverence; Global Saint; Service; Tasawuf