Abdul Qadir Gilani

ʿAbdul Qādir Gīlānī, (Arabic: عبدالقادر الجيلاني, romanizedʿAbd al-Qādir al-Jīlānī; Persian: عبدالقادر گیلانی) known by admirers as Muḥyī l-Dīn Abū Muḥammad b. Abū Sāliḥ ʿAbd al-Qādir al-Jīlānī al-Baḡdādī al-Ḥasanī al-Ḥusaynī (March 23, 1078 – February 21, 1166), was a Sunni Muslim preacher, ascetic, mystic, jurist, and theologian belonging to the Hanbali, and the eponymous founder of the Qadiriyya tariqa (Sufi order) of Sufism.[2][3][4] The Qadiriyya tariqa is named after him.[5]


Abdul Qadir Jilani
عبد القادر الجيلاني
Tomb of Abdul Qadir Jilani, Baghdad.jpg
Jilani's tomb in Baghdad, Iraq
TitleGhawth ul Adham
Shaykh al-Islam
Qutb al-Arifīn
Sultān al-Awliyā
Pir-e Piran
Mehboobeh Subhani
Dastgeer Sahab(Particularly in Kashmir)
Ghous Paak
BornMarch 23, 1075 CE
(1 Ramadan, 470 AH)
DiedFebruary 21, 1166 CE
(11 Rabi' al-Thani, 561 AH)
(aged 90)
Resting placeBaghdad, Iraq
ChildrenAbdul Razzaq Jilani
EraIslamic Golden Age
(Later Abbasid Era)
Main interest(s)Fiqh, Sufism
Notable work(s)Futuh al-Ghayb (Revelations of the Unseen), Al-Ghunya li-Talibi Tariq al-Haqq [ar] (Sufficient Provision for Seekers of the Path of the Truth)
TariqaQadiriyya (founder)

He was born on March 23, 1078 (1 Ramdhan 470 AH) in the town of Na'if, Rezvanshahr in Gilan, Iran, and died on February 21, 1166 (11 Rabi' al-Thani 561 AH), in Baghdad.[2][6][7]


The honorific Muhiyudin denotes his status with many Sufis as a "reviver of religion".[8] Gilani (Arabic al-Jilani) refers to his place of birth, Gilan.[9][10] However, Gilani also carried the epithet Baghdadi, referring to his residence and burial in Baghdad.[11][12][13]

Family background

Gilani's father, Abu Saleh, was from a Hasanid Sayyid lineage, tracing his descent from Hasan ibn Ali, a grandson of the Islamic prophet Muhammad, making him a member of Banu Hashim.[14][15][16] Abu Saleh was respected as a Wali by the people of his day, and was known as Jangi Dost (lit. "fight-lover" in Farsi) in the Iranic-speaking world, his father's sobriquet.[why?][16][17][18][19] Gilani's mother, Ummul Khair Fatima, was also a Sayyid, but of the Husaynid branch having been a descendant of Muhammad al-Jawad, who was said to be descended from Husayn ibn Ali, the younger brother of Hasan.[20]


Gilani spent his early life in Gilan, the province of his birth. In 1095, he went to Baghdad. There, he pursued the study of Hanbali law under Abu Saeed Mubarak Makhzoomi and ibn Aqil.[21][22] He studied Hadith with Abu Muhammad Ja'far al-Sarraj.[22] His Sufi spiritual instructor was Abu'l-Khair Hammad ibn Muslim al-Dabbas.[23] After completing his education, Gilani left Baghdad. He spent twenty-five years wandering in the deserts of Iraq.[24]

School of law

Gilani belonged to the Shafi'i and Hanbali schools of law.[25] 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.[26] 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".[27][28][29]


Ibn al-Ahdal [ar] (d. 855/1451) in his Kashf al-Ghata' 'an Haqa'iq al-Tawhid (Arabic: كشف الغطاء عن حقائق التوحيد) considered him one of the Ash'ari scholars along with Ibn al-Jawzi.[1]

Later life

In 1127, Gilani returned to Baghdad and began to preach to the public.[6] He joined the teaching staff of the school belonging to his teacher, al-Mazkhzoomi, and was popular with students.[citation needed] In the morning he taught hadith and tafsir, and in the afternoon he discoursed 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.[6]

Death and burial

Gilani died on February 21, 1166 (11 Rabi' al-Thani 561 AH).[7] His body was entombed in a shrine within his madrasa in Babul-Sheikh, Rusafa on the east bank of the Tigris in Baghdad, Iraq.[30][31][32]

During the reign of the Safavid Shah Ismail I, Gilani's shrine was destroyed.[33] However, in 1535, the Ottoman Sultan Suleiman the Magnificent had a dome built over the shrine, which still exists.[34]

Birthday and death anniversary celebration

11 Rabi' al-Thani is celebrated as Gilani's death anniversary. Some scholars give 29 Sha'ban and 17 Rabi' al-Thani as his birth and death days respectively.[35] In the Indian subcontinent, his 'urs, or death anniversary, is called Giyarwee Sharif, or Honoured Day.[36]


The Vision of Muhyi al-Din ibn al-Gilani. Miniature from Ottoman (1595) edition of "Nafahat al-uns" (Breaths of Fellowship) of Jami. Chester Beatty Library
  • Kitab Sirr al-Asrar wa Mazhar al-Anwar [37](The Book of the Secret of Secrets and the Manifestation of Light)
  • Futuh al ghaib (Secrets of the unseen)
  • Ghunyat tut talibeen (Treasure for seekers) [38] غنیہ الطالیبین
  • Al-Fuyudat al-Rabbaniya (Emanations of Lordly Grace)[39]
  • Fifteen Letters: Khamsata 'Ashara Maktuban[40]
  • Kibriyat e Ahmar[41]
  • A Concise Description of Jannah & Jahannam[42]
  • The Sublime Revelation (al-Fatḥ Ar-rabbānī)[43]

See also


  • Sayings of Shaikh Abd al-Qadir al-Jīlānī Malfūzāt, Holland, Muhtar (translator). S. Abdul Majeed & Co, Kuala Lumpur (1994) ISBN 1-882216-03-2.
  • Fifteen letters, khamsata ashara maktūban / Shaikh Abd Al-Qādir Al-Jīlānī. Translated from Persian to Arabic by Alī usāmu D-Dīn Al-Muttaqī. Translated from Arabic into English by Muhtar Holland.
  • Kamsata ašara maktūban. First edition. ʿAlāʾ al-Dīn, ʿAlī B., ʿAbd al-Malik al- Muttaqī al-Hindī (about 1480–1567) and Muhtar Holland (1935–). Al-Baz publications, Hollywood, Florida. (1997) ISBN 1-882216-16-4.
  • Jalā Al-Khawātir: a collection of forty-five discourses of Shaikh Abd Al-Qādir Al-Jīlānī, the removal of cares. Chapter 23, pg 308. Jalā al-Khawātir, Holland, Muhtar (1935–) (translator). Al-Baz publications, Fort Lauderdale, Florida. (1997) ISBN 1-882216-13-X.
  • The sultan of the saints: mystical life and teachings of Shaikh Syed Abdul Qadir Jilani / Muhammad Riaz Qadiri Qadiri, Muhammad Riyaz. Gujranwala, Abbasi publications. (2000) ISBN 969-8510-16-8.
  • The sublime revelation: al-Fath ar-Rabbānī, a collection of sixty-two discourses / Abd al-Qādir al- Jīlānī, Second edition. al-Rabbānī, al-Fath. Al-Baz publications, Fort Lauderdale, Florida. (1998). ISBN 1-882216-02-4.
  • 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, Al-Gaylani. Dar Al-Hurya, Baghdad, Iraq, (1988).
  • Al-Ghunya li-talibi tariq al-haqq wa al-din, (Sufficient provision for seekers of the path of truth and religion.) in Arabic. Introduced by Al-Kilani, Majid Irsan. Dar Al-Khair, Damascus, Bairut, (2005).
  • Encyclopædia Iranica, Bibliotheca Persica PresS, ISBN 1-56859-050-4.
  • Geography of the Baz Ahhab second reading in the biography of Sheikh Abdul Qadir Gilani, and the birthplace of his birth according to the methodology of scientific research (MA in Islamic History from Baghdad University in 2001) of Iraqi researcher Jamal al-Din Faleh Kilani, review and submission of the historian Emad Abdulsalam Rauf،Publishe Dar Baz Publishing, United States of America, 2016, translated by Sayed Wahid Al-Qadri Aref.


  1. ^ a b Ibn al-Ahdal (1964). Ahmad Bakīr Mahmud (ed.). Kashf al-Ghata' 'an Haqa'iq al-Tawhid كشف الغطاء عن حقائق التوحيد (PDF) (in Arabic). Tunisia: Tunisian General Labour Union. p. 83. وكل هؤلاء الذين ذكرنا عقائدهم من أئمة الشافعية سوى القرشي والشاذلي فمالكيان أشعريان. ولنتبع ذلك بعقيدة المالكية وعقيدتين للحنفية ليعلم أن غالب أهل هذين المذهبين على مذهب الأشعري في العقائد، وبعض الحنبلية في الفروع يكونون على مذهب الأشعري في العقائد كالشيخ عبد القادر الجيلاني وابن الجوزي وغيرهما رضي الله عنهم. وقد تقدم وسيأتي أيضاً أن الأشعري والإمام أحمد كانا في الاعتقاد متفقين حتى حدث الخلاف من أتباعه القائلين بالحرف والصوت والجهة وغير ذلك فلهذا لم نذكر عقائد المخالفين واقتصرنا على عقائد أصحابنا الأشعرية ومن وافقهم من المالكية والحنفية رضي الله عنهم. فأما عقيدة المالكية فهي تأليف الشيخ الإمام الكبير الشهير أبي محمد عبد الله بن أبي زيد المالكي ذكرها في صدر كتابه الرسالة
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External links