Al Ghawth Al Azam and the Reflection of Ghawth al Azam

The date of birth of Syedna Ghawth al Azam is 471 Hijri which is according to numerical value of the word “Ashiq” (Divine lover). His death year is 562 Hijri according to numerology of “Divine beloved” (Mashooq e Elahi). Al Ghawth al Azam Shaikh Abdul Qadir Jilani is the greatest Qutb among Qutbs, the beloved of Allah’s beloved, the crown of Divine beloveds, the king of human beings, Jinn and Angels, the refuge for the fearful.

His exalted virtues and attributes are commendable and numerous. His admirers are unable to encompass his praise. It is impossible to write them down or count them. He is blessed with Divine favour and assistance. Knowledge, closeness to Allah, gnosis of Allah, gracious speech, Divine vision, Truth (Haq), truthfulness (sidq), victory, command and invocation (zikr) of Allah, are a few of his attributes. His outward is Sharia and his inward is Faqr.

Shah Abu al Maali says, “If anyone has attained Divine gnosis in this world, by God, it is only because of Shaikh Abdul Qadir Jilani.”

It means no seeker could reach the gnosis of Allah without his mediation. This is the reason that Sultan ul Ashiqeen Sultan Mohammad Najib ur Rehman hands over his true seekers to Ghawth al Azam after training them himself.

Ghawth al Azam is the direction or qibla of all the seekers of Allah. The salat of a common Muslim is acceptable only when he faces the qibla (Kaaba). But the inward journey begins when one inwardly turns towards Ghawth al Azam and seeks his help.

Khawja Qutbuddin Bakhtiar Kaki

The status of Ghawth al Azam

The status of Ghawth al Azam among Awliya is equivalent to the status of Prophet Mohammad (pbuh) among prophets. His highest level among all Mystics is in accordance to the Holy Prophet’s level among all prophets. An event mentioned below is in this context.

Some Sadaat (progeny of Prophet Mohammad) Sufis have related a saying from Ghawth al Azam. He said, “When Allah honoured me to see His beloved Prophet Mohammad (pbuh), he told me in his Divine inspiration that Allah asked him, “O Mohammad! Do you know him (Shaikh Abdul Qadir Jilani)?” He replied, “My Lord! You know better” Allah said, “He would be your son from the descendants of Hasan ibn Ali. His name is Abdul Qadir and l have made him My beloved after you and soon his grandeur amongst Saints would be same as is yours among prophets.” Then Holy Prophet said to me, “My dear son! We are pleased to see one another, you are the beloved of Allah and mine. After me you will be the successor of my mysticism and belovedness”. (Tafreeh ul Khatir Fi Manaqib,  Shaikh Abdul Qadir Jilani)

All the prophets had been giving news of the prophethood of Prophet Mohammad (pbuh) even before his revelation. Similarly, all the perfect Mystics gave news of the elevated status of Shaikh Abdul Qadir Jilani before his birth. It is clear that he was famous before coming in the world. Imam Mohammad bin Saeed bin Ahmad Saeed says that all the spiritual leaders passed witness on his status in their respective times, none of them was a denier.

Owais al Qarni shrine

Manazil Al Awliya Fi Fazail Al Asfiya, the book states that the Holy Prophet left a will to Umar al Faruq ibn Khattab and Ali ibn Abi Talib, telling to meet Owais al Qarni, pass his greetings to him, give him his shirt and ask him to pray for the salvation of his Umma. Thus, they went to him after the Holy Prophet’s demise with that shirt and met him in a valley. He was in prostration to Allah with full devotion seeking His mercy. When he raised his head, both of them payed him regards. He shook hands with them and took the sacred shirt very respectfully and put it on his head. Then he wore it as per the command of the beloved Prophet. Umar al Faruq and Ali ibn Abi Talib conveyed him greetings on the Prophet’s behalf and asked him to pray for his Umma.

Owais al Qarni fell in prostration and sought forgiveness from Allah for the Umma. He raised his head and said to both the sacred men, “I beseeched forgiveness for the Prophet’s whole Umma but the Divine voice asked me to raise my head and said, “I have forgiven half of the Umma on your request but I will forgive the other half on the request of My beloved, Ghawth al Azam who will be born after you”. I requested, “My Lord! Who is this beloved of yours and where is he so that I could see him”. He said, “He is at the station of “Qab Qausayn” (meaning the distance between the two bows brought together, showing his extreme closeness Divine Essence), he is My beloved as well as the beloved of My beloved and he would be the authority on the earth till the Doomsday.”

abdul-qadir-jilani shrine

Abdul Qadir Jilani

It is stated in “Qalaid al Jawahir” that Shaikh Abdul Qadir Jilani is Ghawth al Azam as Allah addressed him with this title. He met the Holy Prophet on the night of Miraj. He was honoured with the status of Mohammadan mysticism and spiritual succession. On this, he said,” When my grandfather Prophet Mohammad (pbuh) went on Miraj and reached the Lote tree (sidrat al muntaha, the utmost boundary).

Angel Gabriel stopped and said to Prophet Mohammad, “My lord! I cannot move ahead anymore as I will get burnt. At the spot, Allah replaced him with my soul to get beneficence from Prophet Mohammad then I got the greatest blessing of seeing him and received his inheritance and superior Succession. When I went there I was placed instead of Al Buraq. My grandfather mounted on me holding my rein and reached the station of Qab Qausayn and said, ‘My step is on your neck and your step would be on the neck of all the Mystics of Allah’“.

Then the moment arrived when Ghawth al Azam announced, “My step is on the necks of all the Saints.”

All the Mystics lowered their necks. Allah further elevated levels of the ones who bowed down. As soon as he announced by the command of Allah, Khwaja Moinuddin Chishti who was meditating in a cave in Khorasan, responded immediately. He bent down his neck so much so it touched the ground and said, “Indeed your foot is on my head.”  Ghawth al Azam said openly, “The son of Ghiyasuddin has excelled all the Mystics and friends in executing the order of bending neck”. He has become a beloved of Allah and His Prophet due to his obedience and respectfulness. Soon, he would be granted the rule of India”. (Lataif Al Gharaib)

Shaikh Sanaan Isfahani

When Ghawth al Azam delivered the order by Divine command that his step is on the neck of every Saint, all the Saints bent their necks respectfully except Shaikh Sanaan Isfahani.  

Ghawth al Azam came to know his disobedience through unveiling. He said, “My step is also on the neck of the son of a swineherd”. After some time Shaikh Sanaan went on a pilgrimage to the Holy Kaaba with his disciples. Shaikh Mehmood Maghrabi and Shaikh Fariduddin Attar were also among them. During their journey they passed by one of the cities of infidels. Shaikh Sanaan’s gaze landed on an extraordinary beautiful girl who was standing in her palace viewing the surrounding areas. Her eyes would ensnare the viewers in only first glance. Having a look at the scene Shaikh Sanaan fell unconscious, he lost his senses and could not move ahead.

The girl also fell for him so she could not move either. Her father was worried due to the situation. He was perplexed and found no way out except to get them married. Hence, Shaikh opted waywardness. The man told him their tradition of getting the groom to herd pigs before marriage and to send the girl’s family a piglet every day. On the wedding day, they put wine and pork in one hand of the groom whilst the unveiled bride’s hand in the other.

Falling into trap

On this, Shaikh was quite happy and performed the daily duty without any hesitation. Every morning Shaikh picked up a piglet on his neck and delivered it. After the required period, they put pork and wine in one of his hand. And gave his beloved’s hand in his other hand. When Shaikh intended to drink wine and eat pork, his disciples fearfully ran away. However, two of his true disciples Mehmood Maghrabi and Fariduddin Attar remained dauntless. They thought it is essential to remove the root cause of the calamity. It was the consequence of disobedience of Shaikh Abdul Qadir Jilani. Shaikh Mehmood remained in the service of his spiritual guide but Fariduddin went to Baghdad.

When he reached the Khanqah of Ghawth al Azam he tried to find out any kind of service in his court but in vain. Except the service of picking up the basket of feces of the great spiritual leader there was nothing to do. Thus, he started throwing out the waste matter in jungle. Nobody special was appointed for that. So, after sometime, he permanently took on this task. The caretakers complained to Ghawth al Azam regarding deprivation of this service to him. He inquired them, “Has any new poor dervish come”. They replied, “Yes! He has taken up the service from us”. He said, “Is he on this service”.

Then he stood up to perform ablution and saw a young man carrying a basket on his head. It was raining and drops of feces were falling on him. He said, “Who are you?” The young man replied, “I am the disciple of Shaikh Sanaan who fell in a ditch and I want him to regain his honour.”

The value of a Spiritual Guide

Ghawth al Azam said, “Ask me for a higher status or level in mysticism”. He replied, “There is no higher rank for me than you to pardon my spiritual guide’s guilt”. He said, “I forgive your spiritual guide only because of you”. As soon as Ghawth al Azam uttered those words, Shaikh Sanaan’s eyes opened up and he regained his prior spiritual status leaving behind the love of the infidel.

Shaikh Sanaan immediately reached Baghdad leaving everything behind. He blackened his face, fettered both of his hands strongly. He stood with the caretakers on the threshold of Ghawth al Azam and started crying in front of him. Ghawth al Azam had pity and forgave him.

He ordered him to wash his face and unfetter his hands. He prayed to Allah for his forgiveness but Allah said, “He has turned reprobate for his rudeness to you. Ghawth al Azam prayed for him with much humility, so much so that Divine voice came, “I will not accept anybody’s intercession for him. On listening that, Ghawth al Azam withdrew the authority on the world and his other responsibilities.

He said, “O Allah! If You have not accepted my and other Saints’ intercession for him, what would be the situation of my disciples on the Day of judgement, for this calamity, I withdraw from such matters and render all matters of Your slaves to You. You are the Knower, the Powerful and You have all Authority. Almighty addressed, “I have accepted his repentance and forgiven him for your sake and also promise I will not take life of your disciples without giving them opportunity for repentance and their end will be good. (Tafreeh Ul Khatir Fi Manaqib, Shaikh Abdul Qadir Jilani)

Book of the beloveds

Ghawth al Azam said, “I have been given a long book in which are written the names of my loved ones and disciples. All these men are my responsibility. I asked the guard of hell if any of my disciples are in hell. He said no”. Then he said, “I swear on the Honour and Majesty of my God! My hand on every disciple is as the sky encompasses the earth. If he is not good then I am good. By God! I will not leave the Court of Allah until He sends my disciples to Paradise”. (Bahjat ul Israr)

From this anecdote an important question arises, it is necessary for everyone to know the answer.

This is worth understaning that not only the names of the disciples of his era rather names of all disciples till the judgement Day were written. It means one can be his disciple in this age too but how can it be possible? Whoever is the disciple of his chain of mysticism can be his disciple till the judgement Day. It is necessary to know how one can become a disciple of Ghawth e Azam in this age and which Mystic chain has his spiritual beneficence. The answer to this question from the teachings of Sultan Bahoo is that Sarwari Qadri order is the spiritual order that has the spiritual beneficence of Shaikh Abdul Qadir Jilani.

The reason is that everyone started claiming to be Qadri after the demise of Ghawth al Azam. They claimed of having his true beneficence. When Sultan Bahoo’s time approached it was at its extreme. The looters and deceivers were plundering people in the name of Qadri order.

Sarwari Qadri Order

Sultan Bahoo organized the Qadri order and changed its name to Sarwari Qadri. Thus, the true beneficence of Ghawth al Azam lies in the Sarwari Qadri order. It proves, one can get his beneficence by taking oath of allegiance to the leader of the contemporary age in Sarwari Qadri order. Or in other words one becomes a disciple of Ghawth al Azam as only his disciples can receive beneficence. There is another way to know where his beneficence is.

‘Risala Roohi Sharif’ is Sultan Bahoo’s subtle writing in which he has described the secrets of Divinity. He introduced seven Sultan ul Faqr personalities who are at the highest station of Faqr. Their names are Fatima bint Mohammad, Hasan of Basra, Shaikh Abdul Qadir Jilani, Pir Abdul Razaq and Sultan Bahoo. The beneficence started from the Holy Prophet Mohammad. It went to Fatima tul Zahra transmitting to Hasan of Basra, reached Ghawth al Azam then onwards to Sultan Bahoo. Sultan Bahoo named only five personalities and informed about two more to come in future.

The mutual consent of the entire Muslim Umma is that the sixth Sultan ul Faqr is Sultan Mohammad Asgher Ali and he is the spiritual guide of our spiritual leader. It means that the true beneficence of Ghawth al Azam was with Sultan Mohammad Asgher Ali and which he transferred to our spiritual guide Sultan ul Ashiqeen Sultan Mohammad Najib ur Rehman before his death. Thus, we can conclude by saying, whoever wants beneficence of Ghawth al Azam in this age may pledge allegiance to Sultan ul Ashiqeen.

Ghawth al Azam mazar

The Reflection of Al Ghawth al Azam

In simple words, Sultan ul Ashiqeen Sultan Mohammad Najib ur Rehman is the 31st leader of the order of Ghawth al Azam.

The ones who are reading this article and are not disciples of Sultan ul Ashiqeen, must try to take oath of allegiance on his hand. It is surprising to experience the rain of astonishing Divine lights. Sultan ul Ashiqeen not only grants the invocation (zikr) of the greatest name of Allah (Ism e Azam) but also its contemplation (tasawur) on the very first day of allegiance. The blessings and beneficence are immeasurable. Hence, Sultan ul Ashiqeen holds the title of “Reflection of Ghawth al Azam”. One can only know it after taking bayah of the leader of the present age.


  1. Bahjat ul Israr
  2. Tafreeh ul Khatir Fi Manaqib Shaikh Abdul Qadir Jilani
  3. Lataif Al Gharaib
  4. Qalaid ul Jawahir
  5. Manazil Al Awliya Fi Fazail Al Asfiya
  6. Al Nawazir Wa Nuzhat Al khawatir
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