Shaykh ‘Abd al-Qaadir al-Jilaani was one of the scholars of Ahl al-Sunnah. He was a follower of Sunnah, not an innovator, and he followed the path of the righteous Salaf and, in his writings, encouraged and enjoined following the Salaf. He told people to give up innovations in religion, and he clearly expressed his opposition to the scholars of ‘ilm al-kalaam among the Ash’aris and others.
There are some errors in his writings, and some bid’ahs that may be insignificant compared to his great achievements. To learn more about these matters and the ways in which he was mistaken, please see the book Shaykh ‘Abd al-Qaadir al-Jilaani wa Araa’uhu al-I’tiqaadiyyah wa’l-Sufiyyah by Shaykh Dr. Sa’eed ibn Masfar al-Qahtaani, 440-476.
See also question no. 12932.
The followers of Shaykh ‘Abd al-Qaadir al-Jilaani have told many lies about him and attributed to him things that he did not say and would not have approved of, which go against the way he lived and his call to follow the Salaf and avoid innovations.
Shaykh al-Islam [Ibn Taymiyah] mentioned in Majmoo’ al-Fataawa (27/127) some of these lies, when he said:
“There is no doubt that Shaykh ‘Abd al-Qaadir al-Jilaani did not say this or enjoin it. Whoever says such things is telling lies about him.”
One of these lies is the false attribution of this qaseedah to him, and we know for certain that Shaykh ‘Abd al-Qaadir is innocent of what it says in it.
The Standing Committee was asked about this qaseedah, and they replied:
This qaseedah indicates that its author is ignorant and makes claims for himself that are all kufr and misguidance. He claims that all the knowledge of the scholars is derived from his knowledge and are mere branches thereof; and that the conduct of the worshippers is in accordance with what he has enjoined for them and prescribed for them; and that he would be able to close Hell by his might, were it not for the prior covenant of the Messenger; and that he helps the mureeds (devotees) who are sincere towards him, and that he saves them from calamity and gives them life in this world and in the Hereafter, and protect them from all fears; and that he will be present with him on the Day of Resurrection when their deeds are weighed in the Balance.
These false claims can only come from one who is ignorant and does not know his limitations, because complete knowledge belongs to Allaah alone and the affairs of the Hereafter and the control of all affairs belong to Allaah alone, not to any angel who is close to Him or to any Prophet who was sent, or to any righteous person. Allaah commanded His Messenger, who was the best of His creation, to recite to the ummah the following verses (interpretation of the meaning):
“Say (O Muhammad): ‘I possess no power over benefit or hurt to myself except as Allaah wills. If I had the knowledge of the Ghayb (Unseen), I should have secured for myself an abundance of wealth, and no evil should have touched me. I am but a warner, and a bringer of glad tidings unto people who believe’”
“Say: ‘It is not in my power to cause you harm, or to bring you to the Right Path.’
Say (O Muhammad): ‘None can protect me from Allaah’s punishment (if I were to disobey Him), nor can I find refuge except in Him’”
The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) enjoined the closest of people to him and their children to protect themselves from the punishment of Allaah by believing in Him and following His laws, and he told them that he could do nothing to help them before Allaah [on the Day of Resurrection]. He told them that Adam, Nooh, Ibraaheem, Moosa and ‘Eesa will all, on the Day of Resurrection, say, “Myself, myself,” so how can the Shaykh of the Qaadiri tareeqah or any other human being possess the means of saving his mureeds and protecting those who fulfil their covenant towards him and being with them when their deeds are weighed on the Day of Resurrection? How can he possess the power to close the doors of Hell by his might? This is an obvious lie and blatant disbelief in the laws of the Lord of the World.
The author of this qaseedah goes even further in his exaggeration and transgression of the limits of common sense and sharee’ah, when he claims that he was exposed to the light of Muhammad before anything was created; and that he was with Jibreel and Muhammad (peace be upon them both) when they met together; and that he was with Nooh (peace be upon him) in the ark, and he witnessed the Flood; and that he was with Ibraaheem (peace be upon him) when he was thrown into the fire, and that this fire became cool because of his du’aa’; and that he was with Ismaa’eel, and the ram was only sent down because of his fatwa; and that he was with Ya’qoob (peace be upon him) when he lost his sight, and his eyes were only healed by his spitting on them;’; and he is the one who brought Idrees (peace be upon him) to Jannat al-Firdaws; and that he was with Moosa (peace be upon him) when he spoke to his Lord, and the staff of Moosa came from his staff; and that he was with ‘Eesa in the cradle; and that he is the one who gave Dawood the best voice in recitation. And he made even more outrageous claims that that, he claimed that he is Allaah in three lines of his qaseedah. The most blatant of his claims is when he says:
“I am the One, the Only, the Great in and of himself… I am the one who is describing Him, the one who is described, I am the shaykh of the tareeqah.”
Exalted be Allaah far above that. What kufr can there be after this? – Allaah forbid.
It is evil enough for you to listen to this qaseedah. You do not need to know all the details of the history of the Qaadiryyah when you have heard the lies, kufr and falsehood in the qaseedah of the shaykh of this tareeqah. Strive to learn the truth from the Book of Allaah and the Sunnah of His Messenger (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him), and the explanations given by the Sahaabah and those who followed them of the Qur’aan and the saheeh Sunnah. Please note that we believe that Shaykh ‘Abd al-Qaadir al-Jilaani, after whom this tareeqah is named, is innocent of this qaseedah just as the wolf was innocent of shedding the blood of son of Ya’qoob; his followers tell many lies about him and attribute to him things of which he is innocent.
And Allaah is the Source of strength,
May Allaah send blessings and peace upon our Prophet Muhammad and upon his family and companions.
And Allaah knows best.