The Grey Falcon: The Life and Teaching of Shaykh ʿAbd al-Qādir al-Jīlānī


In The Grey Falcon, Hamza Malik offers an account of the life and teaching of the twelfth century scholar and Sufi of Baghdad, and eponym of the Qadiri order, Shaykh ʿAbd al-Qādir al-Jīlānī (1077-1166). The question of whether Jīlānī was a Sufi, or simply a scholar appropriated by later Sufis as has been sometimes suggested, is tackled through an analysis of his three most popular works, the Ghunya li Ṭālibī Ṭarīq al-Ḥaqq, the Futūḥ al-Ghayb, and the Fatḥ al-Rabbānī. Malik identifies and presents Jīlānī’s Sufi thought and theological stance, and furthermore attempts to paint a picture of the character and personality of Jīlānī, as might be ascertained solely from the works analysed.

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Hamza Malik is a Senior Teaching Fellow at SOAS, University of London, where he completed his Ph.D. His research interests include Islamic History and Thought, Sufism, and Arabic Philosophy.
1 Introduction  1  Literature Survey  2  Primary Source Material  3  Scope and Aims  4  Sufism and Sufis

Part 1 Time Place and Person

2 Setting the Scene: Baghdad around the Time of Jīlānī  1  The City of Baghdad  2  The Political Situation  3  Groups and Sects in Baghdad  4  The System of Education
3 The Life of Shaykh ʿAbd al-Qādir al-Jīlānī  1  The First Phase  2  The Second Phase  3  Miracles

Part 2 Thought Practice and Experience

4 Theology I: the Ḥanbalī Foundation  1  Jīlānī’s Theology  2  God’s Attributes  3  Ṣūra of Ādam  4  The Status of the Qurʾān  5  Faith  6  Afʿāl al-ʿIbād  7  Early Muslim History (The Caliphate)  8  Conclusion
5 Theology II: Names and Nomenclature  1  Names  2  The Topics  3  The Sects
6 Sufism I: Reading the Ghunya  1  The Structure as Guide  2  The Position of Aḥmad Ibn Ḥanbal  3  An Ocean of Knowledge  4  The Use of Ḥadīths  5  Names
7 Sufism II: the Path to the Truth  1  What is Sufism?  2  Prerequisites of the Path  3  Foundations of the Path  4  Travelling the Path  5  Conclusion
8 The Figure of Shaykh ʿAbd al-Qādir al-Jīlānī  1  His Life  2  His Interactions  3  His Insight and Acumen  4  His Mannerisms  5  His Death  6  Conclusion
Concluding Remarks
Bibliography Index
All interested in Sufism, mysticism, and spirituality, Islamic history and thought, as well as those interested specifically in the Qadiri order, and its’s founder Shaykh ʿAbd al-Qādir al-Jīlānī.