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UTTERANCES (MALFUZAT) by JIlan pdf download

Book AuthorAbdul Qadir Jilani
Total Pages143
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Utterances (Malfuzat) – Shaikh ‘Abd al-Qadir al-Jilani


Concerning the Author, Shaikh ‘Abd al-Qadir al-Jilāni

A Brief Introduction by the Translator

The Author’s Names and Titles

Abd al-Qadir is conveniently available, to those familiar with the religious and spiritual tradition of Islam, in his names, his surnames, and the many titles conferred upon him by his devoted followers. It is not unusual for these to take up several lines in an Arabic manuscript, but let us start with the short form of the author’s name as it appears on the cover and title page of this book: Shaikh ‘Abd al-Qadir al-Jilani.

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-Jilānī: 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 Gilän, 1 Reproduced for the convenience of the reader, with slight modifications from the version printed on pp. xiii-xix of Shaikh ‘Abd al-Qadir. Revelations of the Unseen (Futih al-Ghaib). Translated from the Arabic by Muhtar Holland. Houston, Texas Al-Baz Publishing, Inc., 1992. south of the Caspian Sea, in A.H. 470/1077-8 C.E. (In some texts, the Persian spelling Gilant is used instead of the arabicized form al-Jiläni.

The abbreviated form al-Jilt, which may also be encountered, should not be confused with the surname of the venerable ‘Abd al-Karim al-Jili, author of the celebrated work al-Insän al-Kamil, who came from Jil in the district of Baghdad.)

Let us now consider a slightly longer version of the Shaikh’s name, as it occurs near the beginning of Al-Fath ar-Rabbant [The Sublime Revelation]: Sayyiduna ‘sh-Shaikh Muhyi’d-Din Abu Muḥammad ‘Abd al-Qadir (Radiya’llahu ‘anh).

Sayyidunā ‘sh-Shaikh: “Our Master, the Shaikh.” A writer who 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 [figh] and theology [kalam], he adhered quite strictly to the highly “orthodox” school of Imam Ahmad ibn Hanbal.

Abu Muḥammad: “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.

Finally, we must note some important elements contained within this even longer version: al-Ghawth al-A’zam Sultan al-Awliya’ Sayyidună ‘sh-Shaikh Muhyi’d-Din ‘Abd al-Qadir al-Jiläni al-Hasant al-Husaint (Radiya’llahu ‘anh).________________

al-Ghawth al-A’zam: “The Supreme Helper” (or, “The Mightiest Succor”). Ghawth is an Arabic word meaning: (1) A cry for aid or succor. (2) Aid, help, succor; deliverance from adversity. (3) The chief of the Saints, who is empowered by Allah to bring succor to suffering humanity, in response to His creatures’ cry for help in times of extreme adversity.

Sultan al-Auliya”: “The Sultan of the Saints.” This reinforces the preceding title, emphasizing the supremacy of the Ghauth above all other orders of sanctity.

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).” To quote the Turkish author, Shaikh Muzaffer Ozak Efendi (may Allah bestow His mercy upon him): “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.”

As for the many other surnames, titles and honorific appellations that have been conferred upon Shaikh Abd al-Qadir al-Jilani, it may suffice at this point to mention al-Baz al-Ashhab [The Gray Falcon).

The Author’s Life in Baghdad

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 [faqth], Abu Sa’d’Ali al-Mukharrimi, he encountered a more spiritually oriented instructor in the saintly person of Abu’l-Khair Ḥammad 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-Mukharrimï, but the premises eventually proved inadequate. In A.H. 528, pious donations were applied to the construction of a residence and guest- house [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-Jiläni 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 influence!”

The Author’s Literary Works

Al-Fath ar-Rabbani [The Sublime Revelation]. A collection of sixty- two discourses delivered by Shaikh Abd al-Qadir in the years A.H. 545- 546/1150-1152 C.E. Arabic text published by Dar al-Albab, Damascus, n.d. Arabic text with Urdu translation: Madina Publishing Co., Karachi, 1989. Translated from the Arabic by Muhtar Holland. Houston, Texas: Al-Baz Publishing, Inc., 1992.

Even a non-Muslim scholar like D.S. Margoliouth was so favorably impressed by the content and style of Al-Fath ar-Rabbani that he wrote:2 “The sermons included in [this work] are some of the very best in Muslim literature: the spirit which they breathe is one of charity and philanthropy: the preacher would like to ‘close the gates of Hell and open those of Paradise to all mankind.’ He employs Suff technicalities very rarely, and none that would occasion the ordinary reader much difficulty….”

* In his article “Abd al-Kadir” in Encyclopaedia of Islam (also printed in Shorter Encyclopaedia of Islam. Leiden, Netherlands: E.J. Brill, 1961).________________

Malfuzat [Utterances]. A loosely organized compilation of talks and sayings by Shaikh ‘Abd al-Qadir, almost equal in total length to Revelations of the Unseen. Frequently treated as a kind of appendix or supplement to manuscript and printed versions of Al-Fath ar-Rabbani. Translated from the Arabic by Muhtar Holland. Houston, Texas: Al-Baz Publishing, Inc., 1992.

Futuḥ al-Ghaib [Revelations of the Unseen]. A collection of seventy-eight discourses. The Arabic text, edited by Muḥammad Salim al-Bawwab, has been published by Dar al-Albab, Damascus, 1986. German translation: W. Braune. Die Futüh al-Gaib des ‘Abd al-Qadir. Berlin and Leipzig: Walter de Gruyter & Co., 1933. English translations: (1) M. Aftab-ud-Din Ahmad. Futuh Al-Ghaib [The Revela- tions of the Unseen]. Lahore, Pakistan: Sh. Muhammad Ashraf. Repr. 1986. (2) Shaikh ‘Abd al-Qadir al-Jiläni. Revelations of the Unseen (Futuḥ al-Ghaib). Translated from the Arabic by Muhtar Holland. Houston, Texas: Al-Baz Publishing, Inc., 1992.

Sirr al-Asrar [The Secret of Secrets]. A short work, divided into twenty-four chapters, in which “the realities within our faith and our path are divulged.” English translation: The Secret of Secrets by Hadrat ‘Abd al-Qadir al-Jilänt, interpreted by Shaykh Tosun Bayrak al-Jerrahi al-Halveti. Cambridge, England: The Islamic Texts Society, 1992. Jala’ al-Khawatir [The Removal of Cares]. A collection of forty-five discourses by Shaikh ‘Abd al-Qadir. Arabic text with Urdu translation published by Maktaba Nabawiyya, Lahore, n.d. Translated from the Arabic by Muhtar Holland. Ft. Lauderdale, Florida: Al-Baz Publishing, Inc., 1997.

Al-Ghunya li-Talibi Tariq al-Haqq [Sufficient Provision for Seekers of the Path of Truth]. Arabic text published in two parts by Dar al-Albab, Damascus, n.d., 192 pp. + 200 pp. Translated from the Arabic (in 5 vols.) by Muhtar Holland. Ft. Lauderdale, Florida: Al-Baz Publishing, Inc., 1997.

Khamsata ‘Ashara Maktüban [Fifteen Letters]. Translated from Persian into Arabic by ‘Ali ibn Husämu ‘d-din al-Muttaqi, and from Arabic into English by Muhtar Holland. Hollywood, Florida: Al-Baz Publishing, Inc., 1997

From the Book

Make a frequent practice of remembering death and what lies beyond it, and the narrow bridge [sirat] and what lies beyond it. Remember the hereafter with its bliss and its torment.

Become detached from this world by concentrating on Allah (Almighty and Glorious is He), by purifying your hearts and innermost beings [asrar], by struggling against your lower selves [nufiis] and waging war on the devils [shaydtin]. Be liberated for the sake of Allah (Exalted is He) and devote yourselves wholly to Him.

To affirm the Divine Unity [tawhid] is to wipe out all created beings, to move away from the upheaval of your ordinary nature [tab‘] toward the nature of the angels, then to pass beyond the nature of the angels and become connected to your Lord (Almighty and Glorious is He).

He gives you to drink whatever He gives you to drink, and He pays special attention to deeds performed in His sight, more than to external behavior. Islam is external [zahir] and faith [ima] is its driving force [quwwa].

Then real experience [ma ‘rifa] of Allah (Almighty and Glorious is He) comes after that, then existence [wujiud] because of Allah (Exalted is He), for when your very existence is because of Him, the whole of you belongs to Him.

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