Shaykh Abd al-Qadir spent his early days Baghdad under extremely straitened circumstances, but starvation and penury could not dampen his zeal for knowledge. In (D.496/1104) he graduated in the fields of Quraan, Hadith, Fiqh and other ongoing subjects which were essential at that time.

After his studies he received his spiritual training from Shaykh Abu al-Khayr Hammad Ibn Muslim al-Dabbas (D. 525/1131), a saint who was illiterate but renowned for his spiritual excellence. His reputation at this time was one of a jurist (faqih), and the Sufi circles resented his admission to the mystic fold. During this time he endeavored very hard for inner development. He narrates "for 25 long years i wondered in the jungles, deserts and deserted places of Iraq, neither I recognized anybody nor people recognized me in this period and during this particular period I performed hard austerity." After that by the order of Hadrat Khidr he took Bai'h and wore Khirkah from Shaykh Qadi Abu Sa'id Mubarak Bin Ali Al-Mukharrimi (D. 513/1119or 508/1114).

After the demise of Abu Sa'id he took over his institute as head as Abu Sa'id had handed over this authority to him in his life. In 521 by the order of the Prophet (In a dream) he started delivering lectures in the sai'd institute. In "Qala'id Al-Jawahir" [According to Shaikh Abu Muhammad al-Jubba'i]: "Our teacher [ustadh], Shaikh 'Abd al-Qadir also said: 'I once saw Allah's Prophet before the time of the midday prayer [zuhr], and he said to me: "O my dear son, why do you not speak out?" So I replied: "O dear father, I am a non-Arab man. How can I speak fluently in the classical Arabic language of Baghdad?" He then told me: "Just open your mouth!" So I opened it wide, and he spat into it seven times. Then he told me: "You must speak to the people, and summon them to the way of your Lord, with wisdom and good counsel." I then performed the midday prayer [zuhr], and remained seated after it. Many people gathered in my company, but I was at a loss for words. "'I was then that I caught sight of 'Ali (may Allah be well pleased with him), and he said: "Open your mouth!" So I opened it wide, and he spat into it six times. "Why do you not complete the full seven spits?" I asked him, and he explained: "As a matter of good manners, in relation to the Messenger of Allah." Then he vanished from my sight." After this, he started delivering his lectures. This incident occurred in 16 Shavval (10th Islamic month)521 A.H. and this exercise continued till his death on 561 A.H.

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