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Words of Wisdom

On Drawing Near to Allah: Selections from “Revelations of the Unseen” by Shaikh ‘Abd al-Qādir al-Jīlānī: “Discourses 7-9,” Part 1 of 2



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al-Ghawth al-A’zam Shaikh ‘Abd al-Qādir al-Jīlānī was born in the year 1078 in the Persian province of Gilan (present-day Iran), to parents who were blessed with direct lineage to the Holy Prophet Muhammad (Peace Be Upon Him). Shaikh ‘Abd al-Qādir al-Jīlānī left home at the age of 18 to seek higher knowledge of Islamic scriptures and law. Seeking a deeper connection with Allah, He then studied with Sufi instructors, Shaikh Abu’l-Khair Hammad ad-Dabbas and Shaikh Abu Saeed Al-Mukharrami.

For the next few years, Shaikh ‘Abd al-Qādir al-Jīlānī renounced everyday life to practice spiritually in the desert regions of Iraq. After returning to Baghdad, He began to write and lecture. Among the main themes of His talks was the spiritual upliftment that comes from conquering one's ego to submit to God's will. Today we will share selections from one of Shaikh ‘Abd al-Qādir al-Jīlānī’s best-known works, “Revelations of the Unseen.”

“The Shaikh (may Allah be well pleased with him, and grant him contentment) said: Step out of your own self and keep your distance from it. Practice detachment from your possessiveness, and surrender everything to Allah. Become His doorman at the door of your heart, obeying His command by admitting those He instructs you to admit, and respecting His prohibition by shutting out those He instructs you to turn away, so that you do not let passion back into your heart once it has been evicted. Passion is expelled from the heart by resistance to it and refusal to follow its urges, whatever the circumstances, while compliance and acquiescence allow it to gain entry.”

“Do not attribute any state or station to yourself, and have no pretensions to such things. If you are granted a special state, or elevated to some station, do not become identified with that in any way at all, for Allah is every day about some business, effecting change and transformation. He may intervene between a man and his heart, thereby separating you from what you had professed to be your own, and making you different from what you had imagined to be your fixed and permanent condition.”
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