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Ramadhan Discourses by Shaykh Abdul Qadir al-Jilani

Take instruction from me, because I am a true counselor [nasih] for you. I seek you for your own sakes. I am dead to you and alive in the Lord of Truth, Almighty and Glorious is He. Those who trust me in friendship will benefit and prosper.

- Shaykh Abdul Qadir Jilani

Shaykh Abd 'al-Qadir al-Jilani, may God be pleased with him, was and still is one of the greatest Sufi shaykh and the eponymous founder of the Qadiri silsila (sufi order). His Sufi order, Qadiri named after him is generally thought to be one of the oldest. His contribution and deep knowledge in the sciences of Sufism (tasawwuf) and Sharia (Islamic Law) was so immense that he became to be known as the Qutub (spiritual pole of his time), Muhiyuddin (reviver of faith), al-Ghawth al Azam (mighty helper; the chief of the saints, who is empowered by God to bring succour to suffering humanity, in response to His creatures' cry for help in times of extreme adversity).

He was born one the first day of Ramadan of Hijri calendar 470 (1077 A.D.) in the Persian province of Jilan (Gilan), in present day Iran. One of the miracles attributed to his birth is that as he was born in first day of the month of Ramadan, he refused to suckle her mother's milk in respect to the sanctity of this blessed month while still an infant.

Selection of Pearls from the Treasured Discourse

On the Hijri calendar of 545 at the month of Ramadhan, while he was at his mature age of 75 he gave a series of discourses which are compiled in the book, Al-Fath ar-Rabbani (The Sublime Revelation), translated from the Arabic by Muhtar Holland. Following are some selection from the discoure of Shaykh Abdul Qadir al-Jilani:

The knower ('arif) is one who at every moment comes closer to Allah than he was the moment before. At every moment his humility toward his Lord is renewed as is his submissiveness toward Him. He humbles himself to One who is present, not absent. His humility increases in proportion to his nearness to his Lord and his bewilderment increases in proportion to his witnessing (mushahada).

Where is your obedient service to the Lord of Truth, if you do not behave properly? If you do not do so, you will be evicted from the house in disgrace but if you are well behaved and compliant, you will be kept there and be treated with honor. The lover (muhibb) of Allah is a guest in His presence, and the guest does not pick and choose his food, his drink, his clothing and all his circumstances ahead of the people of the household. Instead he is always accommodating, patient and easily pleased, so he is sure to be told: "You are welcome to what you see and find here!"

Whenever one puts what one learns into practice, Allah endows him with knowledge of what he did not know. He makes the heart stand upright on its feet and sincerity (ikhlas) moves his step toward the Lord of Truth. If you are practising but you notice that your heart is not close to the Lord of Truth and you do not experience the sweetness of worship and intimate friendship (uns) you should realize that you are not practising correctly and that you are hindered by the defects in your practice. What are those defects? Pretense (riya), hypocrisy (nifaqa) and pride (ujb). O practitioner, you must have sincerity, otherwise do not bother. You must be attentively aware of the Lord of Truth in private and in public. Attentive awareness (muraqaba) in public is for hypocrites, and in private and in public alike for those who are sincere.

To command what is right and proper and forbid what is wrong and improper (al-amru bil ma'ruf wan-nahyu 'anil munkar) is dearer to me than a thousand hermits in their cells.

Take the shovel and the palm-leaf basket and sit at the entrance to the place of work, so that when you are called you will be close to the Employer. Do not sit on your mattress, under your blanket and behind locked doors, then expect to find work and employment. Keep your heart close to remembrance (dhikir) and remind it of the Day of Resurrection. Reflect on those crumbling tombs. Reflect on how the Lord of Truth will assemble all creatures and resurrect them in His presence. If you persist in this reflection, your heart will lose its hardness and be purified of its murky confusion. If the building rests on a good foundation it will be firm and stable, but if it has no foundation its collapse will come quickly. If you construct your state (hal) on the rules (ahkam) of the outer law (hukm zahir), no creature will be able to demolish it, but if you do not construct it on this basis, no state will be firmly established for you, you will not attain to any station (maqam), and the hearts of the champions of truth (siddiqun) will always despise you and prefer not to see you."

There is nothing to be said until your heart and your mind and your face turn away from creatures and toward the Creator, so that your back is toward creatures and your face toward the Lord of Truth. Your outer being and your physical form must go toward creatures, and your inner being, your kernel (lubb) and your spiritual content (ma'na) toward the Creator. Then your heart will come to be like the hearts of the angels and the Prophets (nabiyyun).

O you who lay claim to knowledge, do not take from the hand of your lower self (nafs), your natural impulses (tab') and your devil (syaitan). Do not take from the hand of your present existence (wujud). Do not take from the hand of your pretense (riya') and your hypocrisy (nifaq). Your pious abstinence (zuhud) is on the outside (zahir), while your appetite is on the inside (batin). This is a futile abstinence, for which you will be punished. You are trying to cheat the Lord of Truth, but He knows what is in your private and public lives, and what is in your heart. In His presence there is no distinction between private and public, and there is no concealment.

When the human being is sound, there is none so sound as he. When he is pure, there is none so pure as he. When he is near to his Lord, there is none so near as he .. He has nothing left apart from the Lord of Truth, so at this point he says, "He is the First and the Last, the Outer and the Inner" (Qur'an 57:3). The Lord of Truth becomes his outer and his inner, his first and his last, his form and his content. He has nothing but Him, so now he establishes his love permanently with Him in this world and the hereafter.

The beautiful site, Lisan al-Din (Language of Faith) is posting regularly selections of discourse on each day of Ramadhan. Follow the links below to read excerpts from the discourses:

. Discourse of 1st Ramadhan

. 2nd, 3rd, 4th
. 5th, 6th, 7th

. 8th, 9th, 10th,
. 11th, 12th, 13th, 14th, 15th


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Technology of the Heart: Ramadhan Discourses by Shaykh Abdul Qadir al-Jilani
Ramadhan Discourses by Shaykh Abdul Qadir al-Jilani
Technology of the Heart
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