The talks contained in Revelations of the Unseen, short and to the point, are among the most beautiful oratory the world has ever known. Our translations of this and other of the Shakhs works surviving in manuscript form in Oriental collections around the world are intended to make them more widely available and accessible to Muslims and non-Muslims alike.
This is probably the best known of Shaikh 'Abd al-Qadir's works as there have been previous translations of it in both English and German. These are 78 discourses [majalis] that cover a wide range of topics of great importance to the spiritual traveler and are listed in their entirety below:
The Seventy-eight Discourses
1 On the essential tasks of every true believer 2 On sharing good advice 3 On being tried and tested 4 On spiritual death 5 On the nature of this world, detachment from which is strongly advised 6 On passing beyond the creation 7 On removing the cares of the heart [qalb] 8 On drawing near to Allah 9 On disclosure and contemplation 10 On the self and its states 11 On carnal appetiten 12 On the prohibition of love of wealth 13 On submission to Allah's command 14 On following the practice of Allah's own 15 On fear and hope 16 On trust and its stages 17 On how the contact [wusul] with Allah is attained 18 On not complaining 19 On promises 20 On the saying of the Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace): "Leave anything that makes you doubtful and stick to what arouses no misgivings in you." 21 On addressing Iblis the accursed 22 On the testing of the believer's faith 23 On contentment with one's lot from Allah 24 On cleaving to Allah's door 25 On the tree of faith 26 On not unveiling one's face 27 On good and evil as two fruits 28 On the classification of the seeker's state 29 On the saying of the Prophet (Allah Bless him and give him peace): "Poverty is on the verge of slipping into unbelief." 30 On not saying "What shall I do and how?" 31 On hatred for Allah's sake 32 On not sharing one's love of Allah 33 On the four types of men 34 On not resenting Allah 35 On pious caution [al-wara'] 36 On the explanation of this world and the hereafter, and what one must do in them both 37 On censure of envy 38 On honesty [sidq] and sincerity [nisah] 39 On dissension, concord and hypocrisy [nifaq] 40 On when the aspirant truly belongs in the company of spiritual people 41 Illustrating the nature of annihilation [fana'] 42 On the two conditions of the self [nafs] 43 On censure of asking from any but Allah 44 On the reason for non-response to the supplication of one who knows Allah [al-'arif bi'llah] 45 On blessings and trials 46 On the Sacred Tradition: "When someone is too busy remembering Me" 47 On closeness to Allah 48 On what the believer must attend to 49 On censure of sleep 50 On how to treat the servant's remoteness from Allah; explanation of how to achieve closeness to Him 51 On abstinence 52 On the reason for the trials borne by certain believers 53 On the commandment to seek contentment with Allah and annihilation [fana'] in Him 54 On those who wish to attain to the contact [wusul] with Allah, an explanation of the nature of that contact 55 On giving up life's pleasures 56 On the servant's becoming extinct [fana'] to creatures, passions, the self, the will and desires 57 On not contesting destiny, and the commandment to keep oneself content therewith 58 On looking away from all other directions, and seeking the direction of Allah's favor 59 On cheerful acceptance of misfortune, and being grateful for blessings 60 On the beginning and the end 61 On pausing before taking any action until its permissibility is clear 62 On love, the beloved, and what is required in respect of both 63 On a kind of inner knowledge [ma'rifa] 64 On death without life, and life without death 65 On the prohibition of resenting Allah for deferring response to supplication 66 On the commandment to make supplication, and the prohibition of omitting it 67 On struggle with the self, and description of its nature 68 On the words of Allah (Exalted is He): "Every day He is about some business." 69 On the commandment to ask Allah for forgiveness, protection from sin, help toward success, contentment and patience 70 On gratitude and acknowledgment of shortcomings 71 On the seeker and the sought 72 On those who are attracted to what they see in the market and those who view it with patient restraint 73 On a party of saints whom Allah makes aware of the faults of others 74 On how the intelligent person should prove to himself the Uniqueness of Allah 75 On spiritual culture [tasawwuf] and what it is based on 76 On advice 77 On staying with Allah and becoming extinct to creatures 78 On the people devoted to spiritual struggle and self-examination and the masters of resolve; explanation of their virtues
Cover art by Rohana Filippi
"Wa 'inda-hu mafatihu 'l-ghaibi"
"And with Him are the keys of the unseen [ghaib]" Qur'an 6:59
Shaikh 'Abd al-Qadir is widely known by the honorific, 'the Sultan of the Saints (awliya) of Allah'. In the history of the Saints of Islam, Shaikh Abd al-Qadir stands out as being unique, in the broad scope of perfection that includes his lineage, his complete development, piety, knowledge of the religion and adherence to the Sacred Law (Sharia), his intimate and direct knowledge of the Divine, and his establishment by the Lord of All the Worlds at the level of Reality (Haqiqa). Shaikh 'Abd al-Qadir lived almost a thousand years ago, but his words transcend the time and place in which they were recorded to span the centuries without difficulty.
Revered to this day as the supreme spiritual helper (al-Ghawth al-A'zam) the Shaikh addresses his audience at a level that bypasses the heart and mind. His discourses are justly ranked among the most beautiful oratory the world has ever known.