Sheikh Abdul Qadir Jilani Part 15
The above-mentioned are a few excerpts which were taken from the three books written by the Sheikh’s mureed and mentioned below are a few of Sheikh Abdul Qadir Jilani (RA)’s utterances which were noted.
This is a collection of various sayings and short sections of what the Shaikh said. Generally it is found at the end of the hand copied Arabic manuscripts of Fath ar-Rabbani.
The Shaikh (may ALLAH be well pleased with him) also spoke about His words (Exalted is He):
Keeping vigil by night is more potent in impact. (73:6)
This refers not only to giving up sleep in the ordinary sense, but also to giving up the sleep of involvement with creatures, the lower self [nafs], natural inclination [tab'], passion [hawa] and willfulness [irada]. For its food and drink the heart is left with speaking confidentially [munajat] to ALLAH (Almighty and Glorious is He), standing [qiyam] and bowing [ruku'] and making prostration [sujud] in His presence.
Surely you can see that if someone abstains from this world, so as not to be distracted by it from seeking the Lord of Truth (Almighty and Glorious is He), he must likewise abstain from the hereafter, so that it will not distract him from ALLAH (Almighty and Glorious is He). He must wish that the hereafter did not exist, because it is so charming, such an obvious mercy. He must make the heart and the innermost being become a face, on the surface of which the contents of his heart are visible. He must want this world to last, because he is worshipping ALLAH in secret, doing business with Him in secret.
You are in isolation from the Lord of Truth (Almighty and Glorious is He). When will you isolate your heart from creatures and seek the company of the Lord of Truth, going from door to door until there is no door left, from town to town, from heaven to heaven until there is no heaven left?
He [the believer] will bring the Resurrection upon himself. He will stand before the Lord of Truth (Almighty and Glorious is He), reading the records of his deeds, the good and the bad which consign him to the Fire [of Hell]. While he is caught between fear and hope, between falling into the Fire and crossing over it, ALLAH (Exalted is He) will overtake him with His gracious kindness. He will put out the Fire with the water of His mercy, and the Fire will exclaim: "Pass through, O believer [mu'min], since your light has extinguished my flames!" The passage–a journey that should take three thousand years–will be shortened for him to an instant, and then, when he is near to the palace of the King, he will recover his senses, his volition, his love for His Master [Mawla] and his ardent longing for Him. He will say: "I shall not enter except in the company of the Beloved [Mahbub]."
Do you not see? [As we know from sayings of the Prophet (ALLAH bless him and give him peace)], the miscarried fetus [siqt] will halt at the door of the Garden [of Paradise], saying: "I shall not enter until my parents enter. Where is the neighbor? Where is the witness?"
He will not enter until he is touched by the hand of the Prophet (ALLAH bless him and give him peace) and he can go in to meet the Beloved. Then, when he has finally experienced this, he will be sent back into this world, in order to receive his full quota of the shares allotted by destiny [aqsam], so that the [divine] foreknowledge ['ilm] shall not be altered, abrogated and annulled. Your Lord has finished with the work of creation.
[As the Prophet (ALLAH bless him and give him peace) has said:]
No soul shall depart from this world until it has received its allotted share [qism] in full.
You must therefore be dutifully devoted to ALLAH (Almighty and Glorious is He) and have the decency to look to the Lord of Truth for what you need, instead of to His creatures. The material means [asbab] are a screen.
The King's doors are locked. If you turn away from them, there will be opened unto you a door you can recognize. The door of the innermost being has swung shut [babu's-sirri sara ila sadd], but then it is opened without your own power and strength.
The believer [mu'min] must leave his natural inclination [tab'] behind, moving in the direction of his Lord. As long as he is following this present course, he is exposed to harmful influences affecting his person and his property. He is reverting to his sins, to his bad behavior and to infringing the rules [hudud] of the sacred law [shar'] of his Lord. He must not seek help through supplication [du'a'], nor must he seek help from anyone other than his Lord. No, he must remember his sins and practice self-criticism until, when he has done a thorough job of this, he can resort to acceptance of the decree of destiny [qadar], to surrender [taslim] and entrustment [tafwid] as far as his heart is concerned. Once he is in this state, he will see an open door.
Whoever is dutiful toward ALLAH, He prepares a way out for him. (65:2)
He puts His servant to the test to see how he will behave:
And We have put them to the test with good things and bad things. (7:168)
The heart of the son of Adam must continue to travel along the path of good and evil, honor and humiliation, wealth and poverty, until he finally acknowledges that all blessings are due to ALLAH (Almighty and Glorious is He). This means gratitude [shukr]–and gratitude is an act of obedience [ta'a] performed without moving the tongue and the limbs of the body–and patient endurance of misfortune. He must admit his sins and offenses until, having taken his last step on the good side and his last step on the bad side, there he is at the King's door. He has taken the step of gratitude and the step of patience, with divine help [tawfiq] as the guide. He has seen the King's door, and beyond it he can see things that no eye ever saw, that no ear ever heard of, and that never occurred to any human heart. The alternating sequence of good moves and bad moves is at an end; now comes the turn of conversation, discourse and sitting in company [with the Lord].
Can you grasp this, O 'Iraqi, O camel at the mill, O stupid fool? You go through the motions of ritual prayer [anta fi qiyam wa-qu'ud] without sincerity. You perform the prayers [tusalli] for the sake of other people, and while you are fasting [tasumu] your eyes are on their dishes of food and on the contents of their houses.
O alien to the human race, O straggler from the ranks of the champions of truth [siddiqun] and the Lord's own people [rabbaniyyun]! Do you not realize that I am your goldsmith's furnace, your probe and your touchstone? Do your utmost. Refuse to let me eat from your plate. Unsheathe your sword against me. You do not amount to anything. O little ignoramus, I am twisting your reins. I am giving you good advice and treating you with compassion. I am afraid that you may die an atheist [zindiq], a pretender [mura'i], an impostor [dajjal]-doomed to suffer in your grave the punishment of the hypocrites [munafiqun]. So you must desist from what you are up to. You must strip yourself naked and then put on the clothes of dutiful devotion [taqwa]. You will soon be dead. There is no hostility between me and you. You will have cause to remember what I am saying to you.
The insight of the righteous man [salih] is indicative of his spiritual state [hal]. When someone really knows ['arafa] ALLAH, his tongue falls silent; he is free from want because of Him, and of Him alone he is in need.
In my childhood, back in my home town, I used to hear someone saying to me, "O blessed one [ya mubarak]." I would run away from that voice, but then in solitude I would hear someone saying to me: "I think well of you."
If you wish for success [falah] you must stick close to me. When you see a person running away from me, you must know that he is a hypocrite.
The believer [mu'min] is such that, when he closes the eyes in his head, the eyes of his heart are opened and he sees what is over there; and when he closes the eyes of his heart, the eyes in his head are opened and he sees the situation of ALLAH and His dealings with His creatures.
The words of ALLAH addressed to Moses (peace be upon him) include the following:
I have chosen you above all men to receive My mission and My words. (7:144)
"And I have drawn you close to Me. One day you were shepherding a flock of sheep when one of them strayed off, so you followed after it until you caught up with it. By then you were exhausted, as it was exhausted, so you picked it up and hugged it and you said: 'You have worn yourself out and you have worn me out.'"
The remedy for someone who is separated [from the Lord] is detecting the cause of his separation, turning from it in repentance and confessing it in His presence.
The sinless ones [ma'sumun], those who are protected from every aspect, they do not have creative power [takwin]. Creative power comes in the process of following the path [fi't-tariq]. There is nothing worth talking about until you cross the wastelands, the deserts, the two continents and the two oceans –the continent of creatures and the continent of the self [nafs], the ocean of the law [hukm] and the ocean of knowledge ['ilm] –as well as the shore.
For the people [of the Lord] there is neither night nor day. Their diet is the diet of the sick and their sleep is the sleep of the drowned. Their speech is only out of necessity. When someone really knows ALLAH, his tongue falls silent, but "when He wills, He resurrects him" (80:22), and then he speaks without instruments, without tools, without preparation, without time for thought, without pretext. There is no difference between his tongue and his finger. Thus there is no wall of separation, no restriction, no door and no doorman, no permission to be granted or sought, no authorization and no dismissal, no Satan and no sultan, no inner core [janan] and no fingertips [banan].
On Devoting Oneself to ALLAH (SWT)
The Shaikh (may ALLAH be well pleased with him) also said, concerning the story of Moses (peace be upon him):
The innermost being [sirr] is the secret of the mystery [sirru's-sirr]. He left his family when he noticed a fire in the direction of the mountain. What did he see? The eye of the head saw a fire [nar], while the eye of the heart saw a light [nur]. The eye of the head saw a creation [khalqan], while the eye of the heart saw a Divine Truth [haqqan].
He said to his household: "Stay here awhile, I notice a fire." (28:29)
It attracted him through his heart, and disposed him to relinquish control of his wife and his children.
"He said to his household, 'Stay here awhile...'" A summons has come from on high. The grappling irons of destiny have snatched the people [of the Lord] away from their wives and their children. O law [hukm], stay in place! O knowledge ['ilm], advance in the name of ALLAH! O lower self [nafs], stay in place! O heart [qalb] and innermost being [sirr], respond! What a loser is he who fails to grasp this, who does not love this, who does not believe in this! How great his loss, how great his loss! How far apart he must remain! How terrible for him!
Perhaps I shall bring you news of it. (28:29)
"Stay there where you are, until I bring you news of the path." Because he had in fact strayed from the path. Its signposts were out of his sight. The Archangel [naqib an-nuqaba'] appeared in his presence, although it had never appeared to him before then. As it beckoned to him, it said: "You must wish you had never been created, and that, having been created, you knew what you had been created for!"
O sleeper, you must wake up, for the waters of the flood are all around you. Who is your leader [imam]? On the Day of Resurrection you will be called to give evidence. What is your Scripture [kitab]? Who is your teacher [mu'allim]? Who is your summoner [da'i]? Who is your Prophet [nabi]? You have no noble lineage [nasab]. Those whose lineage is authentic in the sight of ALLAH and in the eyes of His Prophet (ALLAH bless him and give him peace) are the people of dutiful devotion [ahl at-taqwa]. "O Messenger of ALLAH," someone asked, "who are members of your family?" The Prophet (ALLAH bless him and give him peace) replied:
Every dutiful believer belongs to the family of Muhammad [kullu taqiyyin alu Muhammadin].
Hold your tongue, you have no common sense! Your house sits on the River Tigris and yet you are dying of thirst. Just two steps and you would reach the All-Merciful [ar-Rahman]. The lower self [nafs] and creatures [are the two things you need to step away from]. You too, O seeker! Just two steps and you would reach your goal in both this world and the hereafter.
If you wish for success [falah], you must endure with patience the hammer blows of my way of speaking. When my ecstasy [junun] overtakes me, I cannot see you. When the temper [tab'] of my innermost being [sirr] is aroused, the temper of my sincerity [ikhlas], I cannot see your face. I wish to improve you and to remove the dross from your heart. I shall put out the fire [hariq] that threatens to burn your house down, and I shall protect the honor of your womenfolk [harim].
Open your eyes and take notice of what is in front of you. The squads of punishment and chastisement have come to get you. Woe unto you, O stupid fool! You will very soon be dead. All that you are now involved in must fade away and be scattered. This fellow here will have to part [yufariqu] with his children, his home and his wife, and then make friends [yurafiqu] with the dust, the grave, and either the stokers of Hell [zabaniya] or the angels of mercy [mala'ikat ar-rahma]. O passing traveler, O transient, O transferee, O temporary loan!
Glory be to the One who treats you all so kindly [subhana man manna 'alaikum], O you who like to have fun without ever taking notice!
O you who forget your friends, not once a year do you bring me the tiniest trifle, let alone once a month or once a week. Take something for nothing, and tomorrow a million things. I am carrying your burdens, while you are scared that I might give you the job of bearing mine. Only ALLAH (Almighty and Glorious is He) can take care of all my needs.
You say you would travel for a thousand years just to hear one word from me? But why, when the distance between me and you is only a few steps? You are lazy. You are a little ignoramus, a silly little fool. You think you have something to give. How many like you this world has fattened and then devoured! It made them plump with fame and fortune, then ate them up. If we had seen any good in it, you would not have beaten us to it.
Do not all things come home to ALLAH? (42:53)
As for what we are involved in, it all comes from ALLAH (Exalted is He).
When the Shaikh had stepped down from the lectern, one of his pupils [talamidha] said to him: "You were quite extreme in your admonition, and you spoke to him very harshly!" But the Shaikh replied: "If my words have had any effect upon him, he will surely come back for more." (The man did in fact attend the meeting [majlis] regularly from then on. He would also visit the Shaikh at other times, outside the formal session, and always behaved with the utmost humility and modesty in his presence. May ALLAH the Exalted bestow His mercy upon him.)
O ALLAH [grant us] patience and pardon! O ALLAH, help us!
If you stand in the presence of any fellow creature, trying to obtain what he has at his disposal, ALLAH will despise you.
[As the Prophet (ALLAH bless him and give him peace) has said:]
When someone pesters [tada'da'a] a rich man, seeking what he has in his possession, two thirds of his religion are gone.
You have made a habit of trying to scrounge things from your fellow creatures, so you will be in that condition when you have to meet ALLAH (Exalted is He). One time in the public square I saw a man scrounging from the people, although he had just sold a jubbah of silk brocade for twenty-five dinars [gold coins]. So I followed him. He stopped beside a man who was eating harisa, and would not leave him alone until he gave him a mouthful of it. I said to him: "Did you not sell a jubbah for such and such a price?" His response was: "I am neglecting my trade because of you!"
When someone has progressed to the ultimate degree of saintship [wilaya], he becomes a Qutb [spiritual axis, pole or pivot]. As such, he must carry the burdens of all creatures put together, but he is given the equivalent of the faith [iman] of all creatures put together, so that he will have the strength to bear what he must bear.
Pay no attention to my long shirt and my headcloth. This is what one wears after death. This is a shroud [kafan], the shroud of the dead. This is what befits me now, after I have been accustomed to wearing coarse wool [suf] and to eating rough or going hungry. I now have a pressing engagement, but not with any of you.
O people of Baghdad, be sensible! O people of the earth, O people of the heavens!
And He creates what you do not know. (16:8) It is not an affectation. This is an outward appearance [zahir] that has an inner content [batin] to prove its authenticity, and an inner reality that has an outer manifestation to confirm it.
There is nothing worth talking about until your lords [arbab] become one single Lord [Rabb], until your interests become single and the object of your love becomes single. Your heart must be unified. When will the nearness of the Lord of Truth pitch its tent in your heart? When will your heart come to be enraptured [majdhub] and your innermost being [sirr] drawn near [muqarrab], and when will you meet your Lord after taking your leave of creatures?
As ALLAH's Messenger (ALLAH bless him and give him peace) has said:
If someone devotes himself entirely to ALLAH (Almighty and Glorious is He), He will provide him with everything he needs, and if a person devotes himself entirely to this world, ALLAH will leave him in its care.
[In the first of these cases], things will occur miraculously [tukhraqu'l-'adat] for his benefit. He will receive what ALLAH has at His disposal, but only after total dedication to Him with his heart and his entire being [kulliyya].
As ALLAH (Exalted is He) has said:
If anyone performs an action with the intention of involving someone other than Me [as a partner] in it, well, I am the more Independent of the two partners [ana aghna'sh-sharikain]. It [the action] involves the partner ascribed to Me [shariki] and has nothing to do with Me.
Sincerity [ikhlas] is the believer's plot of land, while his deeds [a'mal] are its surrounding walls. The walls are subject to alteration and change, but not so the ground. Only upon dutiful devotion [taqwa] can a building be firmly based.
If someone should say: "I have dedicated myself to ALLAH (Almighty and Glorious is He), but He has not provided me with everything I need," the answer must be: "The fault lies in you, not in the Messenger."
Nor does he [the Messenger] speak from his own desire. (53:3)
Do you know anything at all about ALLAH (Exalted is He)? No, by ALLAH! You are all madly in love with this world and its glamour. If you were telling the truth about the claims you make, you would not have to resort to cunning tricks in order to obtain the merest trifle.
Cast your lower self [nafs] into the Valley of Destiny [wadi'l-qadar] until, when its time has come, the top rung of your ladder makes contact with the door of nearness [to the Lord]. You will be welcomed by a face more lovely than all the charming beauty of this world and the hereafter. The fond affection [mawadda] between the pair of you will be complete. All obstacles and intermediaries will disappear. Then you will hear its [the lower self's] call for help from the Valley of His Destiny: "Take charge of the deposits held in trust for you, and make full use of the service I can offer you. I am imprisoned over here, to your detriment or for your benefit." Your nearness [to the Lord] will plead on its behalf, urging a positive response to its request. At this point the hand of knowledge ['ilm] will be extended to it, and the hand of the law [hukm] will come to its aid.
As for your immersion in it [this world] at the outset of your career, before you have mounted any opposition to your natural urges [tab'], your passions [hawa] and your willfulness [irada], in spite of your claim to be numbered among the loved ones [mahbubun] and those who have been drawn near [muqarrabun], this is a regrettable delusion that will hold you back and an unfortunate error that will lead you astray. If you realized that this world was sure to leave you in the lurch, you would not ask so much of it. When your inner [batin] becomes worthy to serve ALLAH, only then will this world become fit to serve you. Its wine is poison; it may taste sweet at first, but it soon turns bitter. Once it has filtered through into your heart and you have come under its control, it converts into a poison and kills you Our predecessors would learn to distinguish between different kinds of notions [khawatir], before withdrawing into secluded retreats [zawaya]. O you who cannot tell the difference between the notion [khatir] of the lower self [nafs], that of the devil [shaitan] and that of the heart [qalb], how can you withdraw into seclusion? The satanic notion prompts one to commit sins of disobedience and to make mistakes; it implants the root of unbelief [kufr], then encourages the sins of disobedience that branch out from it. As for the angelic notion [khatir al-malak], it prompts one to practice worshipful obedience and to perform righteous deeds.
Somebody said to him who was crucified (meaning al-Hallaj): "Give me a piece of good advice!" He replied: "It concerns your lower self [nafs]; if you can control it, [well and good], otherwise it will control you."
If you wish to drink in the company of kings, you had better take to the empty ruins, the wastelands and the deserts, until you sober up from your intoxication, so that you do not divulge their secrets and have them put you to death for it. This is why it is better for them [the people of the Lord] to go wandering about, rather than settle down. This world has been put here as a means of transport, if you wish to meet your Lord.
Seclusion [is appropriate only] after [observance of] all the rules of the sacred law [ahkam ash-shar']. The door of ALLAH (Almighty and Glorious is He) cannot be reached without seeking help, and a firm determination to achieve something will make the means available. The door of knowledge ['ilm] is arrived at by the path of the law [hukm]. The law means the [divine] commandments and prohibitions. We therefore accept what the law requires of us; we hear and we obey. At this stage we are exposed to adversities, so this is where the servant needs to be knowledgeable ['alim]. One of us may say: "Why should I have to suffer misfortune, despite my dedication to worshipful obedience?" Our response to him must be: "You need a little knowledge!"
The specialist in the law [sahib al-hukm] is concerned with storing the goods, while the specialist in knowledge [sahib al-'ilm] is concerned with their distribution. The law is associated with the pious abstainers [zuhhad], while knowledge is associated with the champions of truth [siddiqun], the loved ones, the intimate companions. Abstinence [zuhd] is associated with the law, while love is associated with knowledge. The one serves as a business partner [sharik], the other as a minister [wazir].
The ascetic [mutazahhid] is feverish [mahmum], the pious abstainer [zahid] is consumptive [maslul] and he who has real knowledge ['arif] is alive after death. This ascetic has renounced the desires of the flesh and has been fasting, so his lower self [nafs] has caught a fever. The pious abstainer has experienced prolonged renunciation, so his sickness has been prolonged and has caused him to contract tuberculosis. This world has died as far as he is concerned. While he is lying in this condition on the bed of the gracious kindness of ALLAH (Almighty and Glorious is He), what should appear at the door of his abstinence but food prepared in many different ways, as well as various styles of clothing hung on pegs! He cannot leave this world until he has received his allotted share in full. The unbelievers [kuffar] and disobedient sinners have not had the decency to seek [their proper due]; they have just helped themselves to things that are unlawful [haram].
ALLAH (Exalted is He) gave that servant life, then He resurrected him as a different creature. Flesh had withered away, bone had weakened, skin had grown thin. The lower self [nafs] had lost its sweet taste, passion [hawa] had departed and natural inclination [tab'] had been overcome, while the heart contained the spirit [ruh], the inner meaning [ma'na], the direct experience [ma'rifa] and the realization of Divine Unity [tawhid].
Complete dominion belongs to the heart alone, and the Lord of Truth takes care of it. He brings His servant back to life after his death, his carnal desires and appetites having died a spiritual [ma'nawi] death. A symbolic death along with an actual death. ALLAH brings him back to life after He has shown him what is over there. To the servant He has left dead at His door, He shows the vast scope of His wisdom and His mysteries, the multitude of His soldiers and His subjects. Then, when He has shown him His kingdom and informed him of His secret [sirr], He joins his spirit [ruh] to his body and his outer [zahir] to his inner [batin], so that he may receive his allotted shares [aqsam] in full. Prior to this, even if all the portions of the East and the West had been spread out before him, he could not have taken one single atom from them.