الصلوۃ والسلام علیک یارسول اللہ
صَلَّی اللہُ عَلٰی حَبِیْبِہٖ سَیِّدِنَا مُحَمَّدِ وَّاٰلِہٖ وَاَصْحَابِہٖ وَبَارَکَ وَسَلَّمْ

Qassaids on Ghous ul Azam

In a short article like this, it is not possible to give any detailed appreciation of all the poetry in honour of Shaykh Abdul Qadir GilaniRady Allahu ‘Anhu. It suffices to give a sprinkling of a few verses from some of the mashaayikh in various languages beginning with Arabic.

In a qasida raaiyya of 33 verses which rhyme in the letter “raa”, Imam Abdallah ibn Alawi al-Haddad, Rady Allahu ‘Anhu, praises Allah, the Glorified and the Exalted; invokes the blessings of Allah on the beloved Holy Prophet Muhammad, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him, on his family and companions; and then eulogizes on Shaykh Abdul Qadir Gilani in 11 verses, four of which are:

Wa bi sibtihim wa hafidihim wa salilihim
Ash-Shaykh Muhyiddin-i 
Abdul Qadiri

Al-Jiliyyil mash-huri fardu zamanihi
Shaykh u
sh shuyukhi bi-batinin wa bi-zahiri

Ghawth ul bilaadi wa Ghaythuha wa Mughithuha
‘An idhn Sayyidi-hi
l Malikil Qahiri

Tawdush-shari’a wa
t tariqa wal hudaa
l Haqiqal Khadmiz zakhiri

(Ad-Durr u’l Manzum li-Dhawi’l Uqul wa’l Fuhum, p. 240)

For the sake of his (The Prophet’s) grandson, his descendant,
The Reviver of the faith, Shaykh Abdul Qadir

The famous Jilani, unmatched in his time
The master of the spiritual masters, hidden as well as manifest

The helper of the country and its refreshing rain and succour
With the permission of his Lord, Allah, who is The King, The Supreme

A towering peak of sacred law, the spiritual path and guidance
A vast overflowing ocean of spiritual realities

Next we come to Shaykh Afif ud-din al-Yafii al-Yamani Rahmatullahi ‘alayh who overflows in superlative praise of the Shaykh in his book entitled Ta’rikh (History). He has perhaps identified his main quality as the ‘abid (worshipper) of Allah, that is why he begins with the word ‘abduka (Your servant, O Allah).

‘abduka fawqal ma’ali rutbatan
wa lahu
l mahasinu wal fakhar al-afkharu

wa lahul haqaiqu wat taraiqu fil mada
wa lahu
l ma’arifu kal kawakibi tazharu

wa lahul fadailu wal makarimu wan nida
wa lahu
l manaqibu fil mahafili tunsharu

wa lahut taqaddumu wal ma’ali fil ‘alaa
wa lahu
l maratibu fin nihayati takthuru

ghawthul waraa gaithun nada nurul huda
badr u
d duja shams ud duha bal anwaru

qata’al ‘uluma ma’al ‘uquli fa-asbahat
atwaruha min dunihi tatahayyaru

ma fee ‘ulahu maqalatun li-mukhalifin
l ijma’i feehi tusattaru

Your servant is above the highest heights in rank
and his are all the virtues and the finest glory

The realities and the paths are his to the fullest extent
and the intimate forms of knowledge shine for him like stars

His are all the merits, the graces and the call
and in his gatherings, his marvels are renowned

Preeminence is his and the high points in nobility
and many are his degrees in ultimate achievement

The helper of mankind, the rain of generosity, the light of guidance
the full moon of the night, the sun of the fore-noon – nay, even brighter

He traversed all the sciences with the faculties of reason
so their mountain peaks are in confusion far below him

No one can bring an argument, disputing his high standing
for consensus of opinion on the matter has duly been recorded

(Transliteration and translation by Shaykh Muhtar Holland, in Qalaid al-Jawahir, p. 552).

Let us conclude the recitation of the poetry in Arabic with a very popular chorus of an anonymous Qasida in the Diwan of Tariqatul Qadiriyya.

Bi Rasulillahi wal Jilan
Wa Rijaalin min Bani Adnan
Salaku fee Manhaj i
r Rahman
Bi Rasulillahi wa
l Jilan.

For the sake of the Holy Prophet and Shaykh Jilani
And those in the tribe of Adnan
They have treaded the Path of the Merciful Lord
For the sake of the Holy Prophet and Shaykh Jilani.
(O Allah hear our prayers)

Next, let us savour the following four lines in the Indonesian language from Shaykh Hamzah Fansuri, Rahmatullahi ‘alayh, as given by Prof. Sayyid Muhammad Naquib al-Attas in Some Aspects of Sufism as Understood and Practiced Among the Malays, p. 22.

Hamzah nin asalnya Fansuri
Mendapat wujud ditanah Shahar Nawi
Beroleh Khilafat ilmu yang ali
Daripada Abdul Qadir Sayyid Jilani

I Hamzah who am of Fansur a son
At Shahar Nawi my being have won
The knowledge sublime I acquired from one
Called Abdul Qadir Sayyid of Jilan.

This is the opening couplet of a Turkish poem on the internet web-site Tarikat-i Aliyye-i Rifaiyye.

Medhi mumkin olmadi Sultan Abdulkadirin
Gun gibi bak asikar burhani Abdulkadir

It is impossible to adequately praise Shaykh Abdul Qadir
As clear as daylight is the Proof of Shaykh Abdul Qadir

Now we come to the translation of the abyaat (couples) of Sultan ul ‘Arifin Sultan Bahu, Rahmatullahi ‘alayh in Champay Dhee Bootee (The Jasmine Plant, p. 33), a classic in kalaamul ma'rifa in the Punjabi language.

Taalib Ghawthu’l A'zam waalay
Shaalaa kadhay na howan paandhay hu

Jendhay andhar ‘ishq dhee rattee
Rayn sadha kur landhay hu

Jenun shawq dha howay
Lay khushyaan nit aandhay hu

Dhono jahan naseeb tunhandhay Bahu
Jehray zaati alam kamaandhay hu

Followers of the Gawthul A'zam:
Would God, they are never ill!

Those who have one grain of loving,
Ever are in pang and chill.

Lured by chances of a meeting
Hopeful in their joyous drill

Lucky in both worlds are Bahu!
Lovers who gain Allah's Will.

(Translation by Maqbool Elahi, The Abyat of Sultan Bahu, p 103)

There is so much manqabat on the Ghaus ul Azam that it is not possible to do justice to it all. But perhaps we can get the blessings of the opening quatrain of this “Salaam” (Salutations) on him by an anonymous poet.

Abu Salih kay ghar may woh Ghawth-e-zamaan
Laa-aye tashrif woh hadiye ins-o-jaan
Warith-e anbiyaa shaahe kawno makaan
Jaane iman awr nur-e jaan-e-jahaan

Ghawth-e A’zam ki hurmat pay lakhon salaam
Qutb-e-‘alam ki nusrat pay lakhon salaam

In the house of Abu Salih arrived
The Spiritual Helper of the age, the guide for humans and jinns
The inheritor of the Prophets, the prince of the planets
The life of faith and the light of the soul of existence

A million salutations in honour of the greatest saint
A million salutations to the help of the spiritual pillar of the world.

Now we come to Pir Meher Ali Shah Golravi (R.A), who wrote these Punjabi verses by way of supplication addressed to Syedna Ghaus ul Azam Shaikh Abdul Qadir Gilani Rady Allahu ‘Anhu, Aameen Yaa Rabbal ‘Aalamin are as follows

"People are now threatening thy old-time slave with (retribution through) the orderlies (of persons of high office!)

It is fitting to conclude this section with an appreciation of at least some of the manqabat of A’la Hadrat Imam Ahmad Raza Khan, Rahmatullahi ‘alayh on the Ghaus ul Azam. Some of these manqabat are so popular that they are recited in all the majalis (spiritual gatherings). The opening verses of one of these manqabat are:

Tu hay wo Ghawth kay har Ghawth hay shayda teraa
Tu hay wo Ghayth kay har Ghayth hay pyasa teraa

You are the spiritual helper for whom every spiritual helper melts in admiration
You are the refreshing rain for whom every rain-shower thirsts

Finally, let us benefit from the Salaams of Imam Ahmad Raza Khan. He composed Salaams on the Holy Prophet Muhammad, Sallallahu ‘alayhi wa Sallamin which after profuse salutations on the Holy Prophet, he also sent salaams on the Ahl u’l Bayt and the Sahaba, Rady Allahu ‘Anhum, as well as on the Imams of madh-hab, the awliya Allah and the salihin (the pious), Rahmatullahi ‘alayhim ajma'een.

Consider just two verses from A'la Hadrat on Ghaus ul Azam to appreciate his love for the Shaykh.

Ghawth al A'zam Imam ut tuqaa wan-nuqaa
Jalwa-aye Shaanay Qudrat pay lakhon salaam

Jis ke minbar banay gardanay awliya
Us qadam ki karamat pay lakhon salaam

(Hadaaiq-i-Bakhshish, p 149)

Ghawth al A'zam Imam of the saints and the pious
A million salutations on him who was pure by nature

The one for whom the necks of saints became a pulpit
A million salutations on the miracle of his feet

Tazkiratul awliya (the zikr of the friends of Allah) is truly unending. May Allah Subhanahu wa Ta'ala forgive us and give us the hidaya (guidance) to live Islam according to the Qur'an and the lifestyle of the beloved Holy Prophet Muhammad, Sallallahu ‘alayhi wa Sallam as explained and exemplified by Ghaus ul Azam Shaykh Abdul Qadir Gilani, Rady Allahu ‘Anhu, Aameen Yaa Rabbal ‘Aalamin.