Sayyidna Shaykh Abdal Qadir (ra) is amongst the greatest awliya that this ummah has produced. In fact it would probably not be incorrect to say that he is perhaps the only global saint revered by muslims from East to West. He passed away on the 11th Rabi’ as-Sani in 561AH/1166AD. Many gatherings are held around the world to commemorate his life and virtues on the date of his passing. However in my experience few people have a concrete idea of what the Shaykh’s actual teachings were and there is a need to bring these to the fore, especially since so many of our contemporaries are confused about the awliya and what they stand for. I will, God willing, post a few extracts from his discourses as a reminder.

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. So do not exert any will apart from His will, for anything else is your own desire, and that is the Vale of Folly, where death and destruction await you, and falling from His sight and becoming secluded from Him. Always keep His commandments, always respect His prohibitions, and always submit to what He has decreed. Do not associate Him with any part of His creation. Your will, your passions and your carnal appetites all belong to His creation, so refrain from indulging any of them lest you become a polytheist. Allah (Exalted is He) has said:

Whoever hopes to meet his Lord, let him do righteous work, and make none sharer in the worship due unto his Lord. (18:110)

Polytheism [shirk] is not merely the worship of idols. It is also polytheism to yield to your own passionate desire, and to equate with your Lord anything whatsoever besides Him, be it of this world and its contents or of the Hereafter and what is contained therein. What is besides Him (Almighty and Glorious is He) is other than He, so when you rely on anything other than Him you are associating something else with Him (Almighty and Glorious is He). Therefore be wary and do not relax your guard, be fearful and do not develop a sense of security, and keep your wits about you so that you do not become careless and complacent.

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. You will then be embarrassed in the presence of those to whom you made such claims, so you had better keep these things to yourself and not convey them to others. If something does prove stable and lasting, acknowledge it as a gift, pray for the grace to be thankful, and keep it out of sight. But even if it turns out otherwise, it will still bring progress in knowledge and understanding, enlightenment, alertness and discipline. Allah (Almighty and Glorious is He) has said:

Such of Our revelations as We abrogate or cause to be forgotten, We replace with one better or as good. Do you not know that Allah has power over all things? (2:106)

From the Futuh al-Ghayb, Seventh Discourse