Sep 182014

O dear one!

When the lightnings of direct witnessing flash from the clouds of the emanation of:

Allah guides to His Light whom He wills, (24.35)

—and the winds of the union of love blow from the windward of the care of:

He chooses for His mercy whom He wills, (2.105)

—the fragrant plants of close rapport will flower in the gardens of the hearts,

Sep 162014
This is not the first English translation of this book. It was first translated in 1997 by Muhtar Holland, the outstanding translator of many of Shaikh ʿAbd al-Qādir al-Jilan’s works into English. Mr Holland used one manuscript from the Databank der Orientalischen Handschriften der Staatsbibliothek zu Berlin, Berlin, Germany. In my editing and translation of the text I have used three manuscripts, one at the Bodleian Library at Oxford University, UK, the second in the Special Collections Library at Michigan University, USA, and the third in King Saud University in Saudi Arabia.
Sep 152014
Shaikh ʿAbd al-Qādir al-Jilānī was born in 470 H. (1077 CE). Old sources claim that he was born in “Gaylān” in the north of today’s Iran.1 But recently it has been suggested that he was in fact born in a village called “al-Jīl” near the city of Madā’in 40 kilometers south of Baghdad.2 That the current work was originally written in Persian seems to support the mainstream view that he came from Iran. Either way, this is why he is known as “al-Gaylānī,” “al-Jīlānī,” or “al-Jīlī.”