Shaykh Abdul Qadir Jilani (q)
The Rose of Baghdad
Abdul Qadir, founder of the Qadiri Order, figures in an incident which gave him his title of Rose of Baghdad. It is related that Baghdad was so full of mystical teachers that when Abdul Qadir arrived at the city it was decided to send him a message. The mystics therefore dispatched to him, at the city’s outskirts, a vessel, full to the brim with water. The meaning was clear: ‘The cup of Baghdad is full to the limit.’
Although it was winter and out of season, Abdul Qadir produced a full-blown rose which he place on top of the water, to indicate both his extraordinary powers and also that there was room for him. When this sign was brought to them, the assembly of mystics cried out: ‘Abdul Qadir is our Rose,’ and they hastened too usher him into the city.
“In his gatherings, he would enjoin the people to do the good and to abjure for committing wrong. His advice addressed rulers, ministers, governors, judges, his disciples and the common people.
According to Ibn Kathir, the great historian, "Standing in the mosques, he reprimanded publicly the rulers who committed wrong, in the presence of all as witnesses and in his public speeches. He avoided any sort of political appointments, never feared anyone in his speech except God Almighty and was unaffected by the reproach of anyone."
Once when the caliph of the Islamic world at that time appointed an unjust person to be chief judge, Sayyidina Abdul Qadir Jilani stood up in the largest mosque in Baghdad to give the Friday sermon. He spoke in his sermon to the caliph directly. He said, "You have appointed the worst of the unjust ones to judge the affairs of Muslims! What will be your answer tomorrow in front of the Lord of the worlds, the Most Merciful of the merciful?"
Upon hearing this, the caliph shook with fear. Shedding many tears, he quickly went after the prayers to dismiss that judge.
Sayyidina Abdul Qadir called on the people to correct themselves, to purify their hearts and to dispel excessive love of the worldly life from their hearts. He urged them to fill their hearts with the love of God and of his Messenger and his saints. He exhorted them to follow the Prophet in every deed and thought, behavior and manner, to avoid hypocrisy and pretence, to dispel pride, self-praise, hatred and enmity, jealousy, tyranny, deceitfulness and rancor from their hearts. He called on the people to break their attachments to this world and dependence on those who are enslaved by it, and to turn themselves with their whole hearts to the Sustainer of the worlds, God Almighty, seeking His good-pleasure, His guidance and His mercy and forgiveness.”
"The walls of religion are falling and their foundations have cracked. Let us come together, O people of the earth and rebuild what was ruined, reestablish what fell!
This is not acceptable. O Sun! O Moon! O Day! All of you come! O People, the religion is crying for aid and assistance, holding its hands above its head in its distress due to all the profligates, insolent ones, innovators, perverters of the Divine Law, the heedless folk, the unjust and tyrannical, those who falsify the Divine Knowledge and lay claim to it when in fact it is not in their hands.”
Abdul Qadir Jilani, 12 century Bagdad
Source: The Way of the Sufi by Idries Shah
"Liberate yourself from the fetters of the Ego and surrender yourself
Let the Lord be your shepherd, allow Him to attend to all your cares.
And do not allow temptations to entice you.
Aspirations of this world are the cause of all concern.
Aspire to God and obtain freedom."
Shaykh Abdul Qadir Jilani