The Shaikh's Life in Baghdaad (RA)
Sayyiduna 'Shaikh Muhyi'd-din 'Abd al-Qadir al-Jilani, al-Hasani, al-Husaini, may Allah be well pleased with him!
Through the mists of
legend surrounding the life of Shaikh 'Abd al-Qadir al-Jilani, it is possible
to discern the outlines of the following biographical sketch: In A.H. 488,
at the age of eighteen, he left his native province to become a student in
the great capital city of Baghdad, the hub of political, commercial and cultural
activity, and the center of religious learning in the world of Islam. After
studying traditional sciences under such teachers as the prominent Hanbali
jurist [faqih], Abu Sa'd 'Ali al-Mukharrimi, he encountered a more spiritually
oriented instructor in the saintly person of Abu'l-Khair Hammad ad-Dabbas.
Then, instead of embarking on his own professorial career, he abandoned the
city and spent twenty-five years as a wanderer in the desert regions of 'Iraq.
He was over fifty years old by the time he returned to Baghdad, in A.H. 521/1127
C.E., and began to preach in public. His hearers were profoundly affected
by the style and content of his lectures, and his reputation grew and spread
through all sections of society. He moved into the school [madrasa] belonging
to his old teacher al-Mukharrimi, but the premises eventually proved inadequate.
In A.H. 528, pious donations were applied to the construction of a residence
and guesthouse [ribat], capable of housing the Shaikh and his large family,
as well as providing accommodation for his pupils and space for those who
came from far and wide to attend his regular sessions [majalis]. He lived
to a ripe old age, and continued his work until his very last breath, as we
know from the accounts of his final moments recorded in the Addendum to Revelations
of the Unseen. In the words of Shaikh Muzaffer Ozak Efendi: "The venerable
'Abd al-Qadir al-Jilani passed on to the Realm of Divine Beauty in A.H. 561/1166
C.E., and his blessed mausoleum in Baghdad is still a place of pious visitation.
He is noted for his extraordinary spiritual experiences and exploits, as well
as his memorable sayings and wise teachings. It is rightly said of him that
'he was born in love, grew in perfection, and met his Lord in the perfection
of love.' May the All-Glorious Lord bring us in contact with his lofty spiritual