ʿAbd al-Qādir al-Jīlī

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ʿAbd al-Qādir al-Jīlī (more often Jīlānī, 1077–1166 (AH 470–561)). Preacher, Ḥanbalite theologian, and supposed founder of the Qādirīya Sūfī order. His fame as an orator attracted students from all over the Muslim world. It is said that his sermons converted many Jews and Christians to Islam, and many Muslims to the spiritual life. Financial support from his many followers enabled him to establish a ribāt (Sūfī centre), where the poor and needy were cared for. He served as muftī, teacher of Quranic exegesis, ḥadīth, and fiqh.

ʿAbd al-Qādir's sober Sufism gained wide acceptance amongst the orthodox circles, and therein lies the reason for the great spread of the Qādirīya order throughout the Muslim world. He was given the title Ghawth-al-Aʿz̳am (the greatest of all helpers) and his tomb in Baghdād still attracts many devotees.