False interpretation of Quran to ask help from Shaykh Abdul Qadir Jeylani. (A little long but read it once).
When I ask those who seek help from Shaykh Abdul Qadir rahimahullah by saying O greatest of the helper help me (Ya Gawth Al Adham agithni), they quote a verse from Quran and like khawarij, they interpret the verse according to their desires. It was never interpreted that way by any Sahaba, tabiyee, and itteba Tabiyee and accepted mufassir of ahlus sunnah.
Here is the verse, Allah says in al Maida
55. Your only friend is Allah, then His Messenger and those who believe, who establish Salāh and pay Zakāh and bow before Allah. (Translation — Mufti Taqi Usmani)
Before digging the tafsir of the verse, they claim Prophet peace be upon him and the believers are friends I.e. our protectors, hence we may ask help from them even after their deaths. So the question arises that the verse states, following are auliyah (friends/allies):
2. Messenger (peace be upon him)
3. Believers who pay zakat and pray Salah.
4. Next verse adds those who have believed.
If we take the meaning of these people, that means every tom dick and harry who prays and pay zakat and who believed should be called upon after his death. Why don’t they call upon everyone who died while he prayed and pays zakat and believed. The answer is simple, the verse doesn’t mean the way they take its meaning.
Let us read the actual meaning of verse 55.
“Your ally is none but Allah and [therefore] His Messenger and those who have believed – those who establish prayer and give zakah, and they bow [in worship]”[al-Maa’idah 5:55].
Al-Qurtubi (may Allah have mercy on him) said:
The word (“those who”) is general in meaning and applies to all believers. Abu Ja‘far Muhammad ibn ‘Ali ibn al-Husayn ibn ‘Ali ibn Abi Taalib (may Allah be pleased with him) was asked about the meaning of the verse “Your ally is none but Allah and [therefore] His Messenger and those who have believed” – did it refer to ‘Ali ibn Abi Taalib? He said: ‘Ali was one of the believers, which means that this refers to all the believers. An-Nahhaas said: This is obvious, because the word alladheena (“those who”) is plural.
End quote from Tafseer al-Qurtubi (8/54) Islamqa
In short, All the believers are allies of one another, this never means one may ask help from them after their deaths.
Meaning of Waly, Taken from Islamqa:
The word waliy [translated here as ally] means a lover, friend and supporter. This is indicated by the linguistic meaning and the context of the verse.
As for the linguistic meaning, it says in al-Qaamoos al-Muheet (p. 1344):
Al-walyu means closeness, nearness…
Al-waliy is a noun derived from this root; it also means a lover, friend or supporter. End quote.
As for the context of the verse, the preceding verses forbid taking the Jews and Christians as allies (or close friends), as Allah, may He be exalted, says (interpretation of the meaning):
“O you who have believed, do not take the Jews and the Christians as allies. They are [in fact] allies of one another. And whoever is an ally to them among you – then indeed, he is [one] of them. Indeed, Allah guides not the wrongdoing people.
So you see those in whose hearts is disease hastening into [association with] them, saying, ‘We are afraid a misfortune may strike us.’ But perhaps Allah will bring conquest or a decision from Him, and they will become, over what they have been concealing within themselves, regretful.
And those who believe will say, ‘Are these the ones who swore by Allah their strongest oaths that indeed they were with you?’ Their deeds have become worthless, and they have become losers”[al-Maa’idah 5:51-53].
Ibn ‘Atiyyah (may Allah have mercy on him) said: The words “Your ally is none but Allah” are addressed to the same people as those to whom it was said [in v. 51], “do not take the Jews and the Christians as allies”.
End quote. Al-Muharrar al-Wajeez (2/208 end quote from Islamqa).
Important thing to note is that in the same surah al Maida Allah cleared that even Anbiya and Auliyah are Mohtaj, this verse was revealed to explain tawheed and against the doctrine of Christians who considered Eesa aleh salam to be God and it Also clears that his mother Mariam aleh salam who was a waliyah (and prophetess according to al Qurtubi and Ibn Hazm etc) can’t help herself then why to call her in your needs.
5:75) The Messiah, son of Mary, was no more than a Messenger before whom many Messengers have passed away; and his mother adhered wholly to truthfulness, and they both ate food (as other mortals do). See how We make Our signs clear to them; and see where they are turning away!
Al Razi said:
، فلو كان إلۤهاً لقدر على دفع ألم الجوع عن نفسه بغير الطعام والشراب، فما لم يقدر على دفع الضرر عن نفسه كيف يعقل أن يكون إلۤهاً للعالمين
If he was a god, he would have been able to ward off the pain of hunger for himself without the need of food and drink, so if he was not able to ward off harm on his own behalf, how could he be a god of the worlds?
(Tafsir al Kabeer under al Maida verse 75)
In short, when auliyah (like Mariam aleh salam, Shaykh Abdul Qadir Jeylani rahimahullah and others) are not able to ward off harm on their own behalf regardless of the karamaat they were given, then how can they be helpers of the worlds and gawth al Adham (the greatest of the helper). Also, not a single sahabi, tabiyee and itteba tabiyee or classical mufassir used verses of Quran to ask help from saints and anbiya, this is what actually catholic Christians do, they ask help from saints and Mariam aleh salaam.
The term gawth al adham was not invented at the time of Ibn kathir, still he said the following regarding sufis who exaggerate in praise of Shaykh Jeylani.
ويذكرون عنه أقوالا وأفعالا ومكاشفات أكثرها مغالاة
They mentioned his sayings, practices and Mukashifaat, majority of it is extremism. [al Bidaya wal Nihaya vol 12 under 561 h]
Think about what would he say if he knew these people call upon him by saying, ya gawth al adham madad.
The false followers of Shaykh Abdul Qadir went into too extremes that they praised him like a god.
Abdul Hai Lucknowi Hanafi said quoted from Kash al Dhunoon of Haji Khaliphah:
ذكر ابن الوردي في تاريخه إن في البهجة أمورا لا تصح
ومبالغات في شأن الشيخ عبد القادر لا تليق إلا بالربوبية انتهى أي كلام ابن الوردي
Ibn Al wardi (691h – 749 h) mentioned in his tareekh that in Bhjat (of Shatnoofi) the things are not authentic, And extremism in praise of Shaykh Abdul Qadir which are not applicable for anyone other than Rububiyah. [Athaar Al Marfua fe akhbar Al madhua page 66]
Ali bin Muhammad Saeed al Suwaidi Shafiee (d 1237 h) the descendant of Abbas bin Abdul Mutlalib Radhi Allahanho on weird aqaid of people regarding Shaykh Abdul Qadir al Jeylani.
Ali bin Muhammad Saeed al Suwaidi Shafiee (d 1237 h) said:
حتى أنِّي رأيت بدمشق الشام أناسًا
ينذرون للشيخ عبد القادر الجيليِّ
قنديلاً يُعَلِّقونه في رؤوس المنابر،
ويَسْتَقْبلون به جهةَ بغداد،
ويبقى موقدًا إلى الصباح؛
وهم يعتقدون أنَّ ذلك من أَتَمِّ القُرُبات إليه؛
كأنهم يقولون بلسان حالهم:
أينما توقدوا فَثَمَّ عبد القادر.
فيا لله العجب!
ما هذه الخرافات؟!
وأين دين الله الذي قد مات ؟
بالَ الشَّيْطان في عقولهم
وأضلَّهم عن سبيلهم،
I once noticed at Damascus some people vowing unto the shaykh Abdul Qadir al Jili while he suspended a chandellier at the top of Minbar and he himself faced towards Baghdad. The candles burnt all night till dawn. They believe that by doing so they seek near conjunction unto him, as if they say : Whenever we may burn the candles for him there appears the shaykh Abd al Qadir.
What a strange thing it is! What kind of mythology/khurafat it is! The religion of Allah is dead ! Satan has pissed their minds and they are misdirected from the right path.[Ghayat al Amani 1/369]
Muhammad Ameen al Suwaidi al Shafiee (d 1246 h) commented:
فإن الشرك بقبر الرجل الذي يعتقد نبوته أو صلاحه أقرب وقوعا من الشرك بخشبة أو حجر أو تمثال. ولهذا تجد كثيرا من الناس عند القبور يتضرعون ويخشعون ويخضعون ويعبدون بقلوبهم عبادة لا يفعلون مثلها في بيوت الله تعالى ولا في وقت السحر
The shirk at the grave of a man who is believed to be a Prophet or a pious… You will find many people at the grave beseeching help, praying with full attention, submitting themselves, worshiping by heart which they do not do in the houses of Allah (Masajid)… [شرح العقد الثمين by Muhammad Ameen al Suwaidi al Shafiee 1/431-432]
These verses are clear that self made tafsir of these ignorant is extremely harmful for laymen, and nothing to do with Ahlus sunnah.