Sultanul Aulia Sayyid Abdul Qadir Jeelani R.A
The Qadiri Silsila named after the Sultan of Saints, the Rose of Baghdad; Shaikh Sayyiduna Abdul Qadir Jilani (RA) is more popular in South Asia than any other part of the Muslim world apart from Iraq, its place of origin and is regarded as the patron of all Sufi Orders in South Asia. Among pilgrims to his tomb in Baghdad, Iraq, South Asians outnumber those from other parts of the world. In the late 20th century Pakistanis and Iraqis are the chief source of authority of the keeper of the Sultan of Saints tomb. To the Qadiris in the subcontinent, the founder of their Order has over ninety-nine names, is called Ghaus-ul-Azam (Ghaus-e-Azam/Ghaus-e-Paak), or ‘Greatest Helper’ and the ‘Pir-i- Dast-gir’ (the Pir who keeps one’s hand for support). The poems in honor of Shaikh Sayyiduna Abdul Qadir Jilani (RA), which are sung at his anniversary in the fourth month of the Islamic lunar year, reveal the tremendous admiration of the followers of this Mystical Order, who, as 16th Century Turkish folk poets boast:
I am the honey of his bee,
I am the rose of his garden,
I am the nightingale of his meadow-
Of my Shaikh Abdul Qadir!
In the book Mystical Dimensions of Islam, Annemarie Schimmel describes how old Sindhi songs describe how his spiritual realm extends from Istanbul to Delhi, town by town, country by country being blessed by him. In folk piety Shaikh Sayyiduna Abdul Qadir Jilani (RA) has even become the Master of the Jinn, and many haunted caves and sacred places in the Maghreb are devoted to his Mystical Order, and he also had a decisive influence in the Islamization of West Africa.
Shaikh Sayyiduna Abdul Qadir Jilani (RA) is the apex of spiritual authority next only to the beloved Prophet (SAW). He is the Ghaus, or the Qutb (Axis or Pole), on whom the government of the world is believed to depend.