Name's of Shaikh 'Abd al-Qadir al-Jilani (RA)

Sayyiduna 'Shaikh Muhyi'd-din 'Abd al-Qadir al-Jilani, al-Hasani, al-Husaini, may Allah be well pleased with him!

Shaikh: A term applied throughout the Islamic world to respected persons of recognized seniority in learning, experience and wisdom. Its basic meaning in Arabic is "an elder; a man over fifty years of age." (The spellings Sheikh and Shaykh may also be encountered in English-language publications.)

'Abd al-Qadir: This is the author's personal name, meaning "Servant [or Slave] of the All-Powerful." (The form 'Abdul Qadir, which the reader may come across elsewhere, is simply an alternative transliteration of the Arabic spelling.) It has always been a common practice, in the Muslim community, to give a male child a name in which 'Abd is prefixed to one of the Names of Allah.

al-Jilani: A surname ending in "i" will often indicate the bearer's place of birth. Shaikh 'Abd al-Qadir was born in the Iranian district of Gilan, south of the Caspian Sea, in A.H. 470/1077-8 C.E. (In some texts, the Persian spelling Gilani is used instead of the arabicized form al-Jilani. Let us now consider of the Shaikh's name, Al-Fath ar-Rabbani : Sayyiduna 'Shaikh Muhyi'd-Din Abu Muhammad 'Abd al-Qadir (Radiya'llahu 'anh).

Sayyiduna 'Shaikh: "Our Master, the Shaikh." We regards himself as a Qadiri, a devoted follower of Shaikh 'Abd al-Qadir, will generally refer to the latter as Sayyiduna [our Master], or Sayyidi [my Master].

Muhyi'd-Din: "Reviver of the Religion." It is widely acknowledged by historians, non-Muslim as well as Muslim, that Shaikh 'Abd al-Qadir displayed great courage in reaffirming the traditional teachings of Islam, in an era when sectarianism was rife, and when materialistic and rationalistic tendencies were predominant in all sections of society. In matters of Islamic jurisprudence [fiqh] and theology [kalam], he adhered quite strictly to the highly "orthodox" school of Imam Ahmad ibn Hanbal.

Abu Muhammad: "Father of Muhammad." In the Arabic system of nomenclature, a man's surnames usually include the name of his first-born son, with the prefix Abu [Father of--].

Radiya'llahu 'anh: "May Allah be well pleased with him!" This benediction is the one customarily pronounced-and spelled out in writing-after mentioning the name of a Companion of the Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace). The preference for this particular invocation is yet another mark of the extraordinary status held by Shaikh 'Abd al-Qadir in the eyes of his devoted followers.

al-Ghawth al-A'zam: "The Supreme Helper" The chief of the Saints.

Sultan al-Awliya': "The Sultan of the Saints."

al-Hasani al-Husaini:
"The descendant of both al-Hasan and al-Husain, the grandsons of the Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace)."The lineage of Shaikh 'Abd al-Qadir is known as the Chain of Gold, since both his parents were descendants of the Messenger (Allah bless him and give him peace). His noble father, 'Abdullah, traced his descent by way of Imam Hasan, while his revered mother, Umm al-Khair, traced hers through Imam Husain."

Finally, al-Ghawth al-A'zam Sultan al-Awliya' Sayyiduna 'Shaikh Muhyi'd-Din 'Abd al-Qadir al-Jilani al-Hasani al-Husaini (Radiya'llahu 'anh).