Purification of the Mind; Discourses by Abdul Qadir Gilani

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9789830650838: Purification of the Mind; Discourses by Abdul Qadir Gilani
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This is an English translation of Shaikh Muhammad Al-Casnazani’s Arabic edition of the manuscript "Jila’ Al-Khatir" of the Sufi master Shaikh ‘Abd Al-Qadir Al-Gaylani. The 1000 years old manuscript consists of 45 discourses, but the recent Arabic edition of the book classified the contents into forty sections each dealing with a specific spiritual topic.

The words of Shaikh ‘Abd Al-Qadir Al-Gaylani are the fruit of his spiritual journey in the path of love and sincerity of Prophet Muhammad. These words are based on a real story of spiritual struggle against the evil of the human soul, a struggle that made Shaikh Al-Gaylani one of the greatest spiritual teachers ever.

This book is a manual for purifying the soul and attaining to Allah Almighty.

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About the Author:

Author: Shaikh ‘Abd Al-Qadir Al-Gaylani is one of the greatest Sufi (spiritual) Masters ever. He was born in 1077 CE in Gaylan, west of Iran, but moved to Baghdad, Iraq, seeking knowledge at the age of eighteen. There, he accompanied Shaikh Hammad ad-Dabbas, and later Shaikh Abu Sa‘id al Makhzumi. The latter later put Shaikh al-Gaylani in charge of his well known school in Baghdad. He lectured at the school for about forty years until his departure from this world in 1166 C.E. The present book consists of a number of talks that Shaikh ‘Abd al-Qadir gave at his school. He also taught and acted as a jurisprudent for thirty three years from 1133 C.E. The influence of Shaikh Al-Gaylani on spiritual Islam is impossible to overestimate. So Many spiritual Islamic movements trace their origin to him, and obviously to his earlier masters, back to the Prophet Muhammad.

Editor: Shaikh Muhammad Al-Casnazani was bron born in 1938 in Sulaymaniyyah, northern Iraq. After the death of his father Shaikh ‘Abd Al-Carim, he because the Master of the Sufi school Tariqa Casnazaniyyah, which is one of the Sufi schools that trace their origin to Shaikh ‘Abd Al-Qadir Al-Gaylani. He spends much of his time calling people to the righteous path and spreading knowledge. In 1989, he edited and published the Arabic manuscript of "Jila’ al Khatir".

Translator: Shetha Al-Dargazelli obtained her BSc and MSc from the Physics Department, College of Sciences, Baghdad University and her PhD in Physics from Durham University. She taught in universities in Iraq where she became a Professor. She has published more than sixty scientific papers and general articles. She is also the author-co-author of four scientific books, one book on the status of women in Islam, and one on Islamic spirituality.

Translator: Louay Fatoohi received his BSc in Physics from the College of Sciences, Baghdad University, and his PhD in Historical Astronomy from the Physics Department, Durham University, England. He is the author of many technical papers and general articles, and several books in Arabic and English, including "Jihad in the Qur'an: The Truth from the Source" which is currently in its second edition. He is particularly interested in Qur'anic studies.

Excerpt. Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.:

On Repentance

The key to the fear of Allah is repentance, and sticking to it is the key to the nearness to Allah. Repentance is the root and branch of every goodness, which is why the righteous persons never abandon it under any circumstances. Repent, O backsliders, O disobedient ones! Seek reconciliation with your Lord by means of repentance. This heart remains undeserving of the True One as long as it contains an atom of this world and longing for any creature. Therefore, when you seek His company, evict both of these attachments from your hearts. This will not cause you any harm. For once you have established a connection with Him, this world and the creatures will both come to you while you are with Him, at His door. This is an experienced thing; it has been experienced by the ascetics who renounced everything.

Repent and acknowledge your deficiency. Repentance is the water of the True One. He revives the earth after its death with rain and quickens the hearts after their death with repentance and wakefulness. O disobedient ones, repent, never despair of the mercy of Allah and never lose hope of His mercifulness!

You must repent and ask for forgiveness frequently, for these are two great means in achieving success in the affairs of this world and the hereafter. Noah ordered his people to pray for forgiveness, and he promised them that He would respond by granting them forgiveness, putting this world at their command and at their service. So he said, quoting Him: "And ask forgiveness from your Lord, He was ever Forgiving. He will let loose the sky for you in plenteous rain, will succor you with wealth and sons, will assign to you gardens and will assign to you rivers" [from 71.10 12].

Repent from your sins and turn away from your current attribution of partners to Allah so that He will then grant you all that you wish for of things of this world and the hereafter.

You have sinned as your father Adam sinned, so repent as he did. When he and his wife Eve ate from the tree that their Lord forbade them to eat, He punished them with remoteness and stripped them of the rewards of His generosity. He left them naked, so they picked up leaves from Paradise (to cover their bodies). But the leaves dried up and fell, and they remained naked. They were then sent down to earth. All that occurred as a result of the evil of disobedience and non compliance. The poison of disobedience flowed into their bodies so He expelled them. Then Allah taught them how to repent and ask for forgiveness. They did repent and asked for forgiveness, so He relented toward them and forgave them.

When will you repent, O backsliders, O disobedient ones? Be reconciled with your Lord by means of repentance. Were it not for my feeling of shame in the presence of Allah and of His patience, I would get up and grab one of you by the hand and say to him: "You have committed such and such. Repent to Allah. You should not speak and you will not be spoken to until your faith, your certitude and your knowingness of your Master have strengthened. Then, you will clinch to the firm handhold, which is the attainment of your heart to Him. The Prophet will be proud of you before the nations. O you who have believed with your tongue, how long will it be before you believe with your heart? O you who are a believer in your public life, how long will it be before you become a believer in your private life? Faith of the heart combined with striving against the lower self is the useful thing. Faith of the tongue associated with disbelief in your heart is useless. The faith of the hypocrite is the faith of one who is afraid of the sword.

O disobedient ones, repent from your disobedience, for your Lord is Forgiving, Merciful! He accepts repentance from His servants, covers the sins and erases them. Repent with your tongues and your hearts. O Allah, we are repentant to you for every sin and guilt and we will never commit them again! "O our Lord, do not condemn us if we forget or fall into error!" [from 2.286];

"O our Lord, do not deviate our hearts after You have guided us!" [from 3.8];

O Forgiver of sins, forgive us! O Veiler of shortcomings, draw a veil over our shortcomings! Ask Him for forgiveness, for He forgives sins, accepts righteous deeds no matter how few they are and rewards in return things that are even better, for He is Generous and Bountiful. He gives rewards without recompense or reason, so how would it be if there is a reason?

Deal with Him by means of the belief in His oneness, performance of righteous deeds, detachment from this world and turning away from it, choosing the hereafter, welcoming it and wishing for it and giving up the acts of disobedience and pleasures and forsaking them. The seeker of the True One does not wish for His Paradise and does not fear the Fire, but wishes for His countenance only. He wishes for his nearness to Him and fears his remoteness from Him. You are the prisoner of Satan, passion, the lower self, this world and lustful desires, yet you do not have a clue. Your leg and your heart are in shackles, yet you are totally unaware of this. O Allah, deliver him from his captivity and deliver us! Amen.

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