Abdul-Qadir ibn Abi Salih Musa ibn Abdullah ibn Yahya ibn Muhammad ibn Abu Muhammad AbuBakr Dawud ibn Musa ibn Abdullah ibn Musa Jawni ibn Abdullah ibn Hassan al-Muthanna ibn Hassan ibn Ali ibn Abi Talib , and this on his father side so you can see why they call him al-Hassani due to his tracing up to Muhammad's grandson Hassan ibn Ali. On his mother side, she is the daughter of a saintly person Abdullah Sawmai who was a direct descendant of Imam Husain ibn Ali making the Shaykh also al-Husayni due to this.
Al-Gilani was born in 1078 CE (471 AH) in a small town of Iranian Gilan Province. His ancestors were Syeds who settled in Gilan (arabacized to Jilan) hence the epiphet of al-Jilani.
|“||Sayyid Abu Muhammad Abdul Qadir R.A was born in Naif in the District of Gilan in Persia (Iran) in the month of Ramadan....His father's name was Abu Salih, a God-fearing man and a direct descendant of Hazrat Imam Hasan R.A., the eldest son of Ali R.A, the Holy Prophet's (SAW) first cousin, and of Fatima R.A his beloved daughter. His mother was the daughter of a saintly person- Abdullah Sawmai who was a direct descendant of Imam Husain A.S, the younger son of Ali R.A and Fatima R.A. Thus Sayyid Abdul Qadir was both a Hasani and Hussaini||”|
His complete name Al-Syed Muhiyudin Abu Muhammad Abdal Qadir al-Gaylani al-Hasani wal-Hussaini, Syed denoting his honorific title of descendancy from the Islamic prophet Muhammad, Muhiyudin his title for being known popularly as "the reviver of religion", Abu Muhammad his Kunya or nick name (meaning 'father of Muhammad'), al-Gaylani denoting the region he hailed from although however he also had the epiphet al-Baghdadi.  (denoting also the city of Baghdad where he was now residing in and therefore also geographically recognised through, eventually being buried there), and al-Hasani wal-Hussaini affirming his lineal descent from both Syed Imam Hasan and Imam Hussain, the grandsons of Muhammad.
His father, Syed Abu Saleh Musa al-Hasani was a direct descendant of the Syed Imam Hasan. He was an acknowledged saint of his day "..and was popularly known as Jangi Dost, because of his love for Jihad" Jangi dost thereby being his sobriquet
His mother Ummal Khair Fatima, daughter of Syed Abdullah Sawmai az-Zaid a descendant of Syed Imam Hussain through Imam Zain ul Abideen, he was known himself as a "great saint of his time and a direct descendant of Hazrat Imam Husain, the Great Martyr ofKarbala"
He spent his early life in the town of his birth. At the age of eighteen he went to Baghdad (1095), where he pursued the study of Hanbali law under several teachers. The Shaikh received lessons on Fiqh from Abu Ali al-Mukharrimi, Hadith from Abu-Bakar-bin-Muzaffar, and tafsirfrom the renowned commentator, Abu Muhammad Jafar. When he was on the way going to "Baghdad" with a large convoy (Qafila), a group of thieves attacked the convoy and took all of their precious belongings, one of the thieves came to him (Sheikh Abdul-Qadir Gilani) and asked him "Boy, tell me what you have in your luggage". He replied "I have forty dinars." The thief searched all of his luggage and could not find the dinars. He then took the boy to his sardar (master) and told him that this boy (Sheikh Abdul-Qadir Gilani) claims he has forty dinars, but after searching his belongings I could not find the dinars. The sardar (master) then asked, "Boy, do you lie?" He replied "No, I am not lying, the dinars were sewn by my mother on the inner side of my shirt." Then one of the thieves checked and found the money. The sardar then asked him. "Boy, you could have lied to us and could have saved your money, why you didn't lie?" Sheikh Abdul-Qadir Gilani replied "Before I started my journey, my mother advised me to tell the truth even if someone tries to kill me as Allah frowns upon those who do not speak the truth." After listening to this the sardar began to cry, as this little boy had so much fear of Allah that he did not lie in such a situation. He felt guilt for all his wrongdoings and felt the fear of Allah so the sardar then gave back all of the looted things to their owners.
In Tasawwuf (the sciences of the heart), his spiritual instructor was Shaikh Abu'l-Khair Hammad bin Muslim al-Dabbas. From him, he received his basic training, and with his help he set out on a spiritual journey.
After completion of education, Abdul-Qadir Gilani abandoned the city of Baghdad, and spent twenty-five years as a wanderer in the desert regions of Iraq as a recluse.
He was over fifty years old by the time he returned to Baghdad in 1127, and began to preach in public. He moved into the school belonging to his old teacher al-Mukharrimii; there he engaged himself in teaching. Soon he became popular with his pupils. In the morning he taught hadithand tafsir, and in the afternoon held discourse on science of the hearts and the virtues of the Qur'an.
He busied himself for forty years in the service of Islam from 521 to 561 AH. During this period hundreds of thousands of people converted to Islam because of him and organized several teams to go abroad for dawah purposes.
He was also the teacher of Ibn Qudamah whom he also designated as a Caliph of his Sufi order. Ibn Qudamah also later fought as a general in Sultan Saladin Ayyubi's army and conquered Jerusalem from the Christian dominance. His work and jurisprudent works influenced Ibn Taymiyyah who referred to both Ibn Qudamah and Shaikh Al-Gilani as his Shaikhs with full honorifics.
The sheikh died on Saturday night 1166 (8th Rabi' al-Awwal 561AH)  at the age of ninety one years (by the Islamic calendar), and was entombed in a shrine within his Madrassa in Baghdad. His Shrine and Mosque are in what used to be the school he preached in, located in Babul-Sheikh, Resafa (East bank of the Tigris) in Baghdad, Iraq. Worldwide the Sufi orders celebrate Ghouse-al-azham day on Wednesday closest to his birthday not his death-date for respect and elevation of their Shaykh which is 10th of Rabi at-Thani in the islamic calendar
Al-Gilani succeeded the spiritual chain of Junayd Baghdadi. His contribution to thought in the Muslim world earned him the title Muhiyuddin(lit. "The reviver of the faith"), as he along with his students and associates laid the groundwork for the society which later produced stalwarts like Nur ad-Din and Saladin.
The Shaikh had four virtuous wives and forty-nine children, twenty-seven sons and twenty-two daughters. The most famous of his sons are Shaikh Abdul-Wahab, Sheikh Abdul-Razzaq, Shaikh Abdul-Aziz, Shaikh Isa, Shaikh Musa, Sheikh Yahya, Sheikh Abdullah, Sheikh Muhammed and Sheikh Ibrahim. His sons and grandsons reached the Indian sub-continent throughout the years preaching Islam in his method (Arabic=Tareqa,طريقة). As they have reached the Western part of the Arab world of North Africa and Morocco, and parts of theHorn of Africa (Ethiopia, Eritrea, and Somalia (a country that predominantly professes to the Qadiriyyah order only in the Sufi sect though small patches of Ahmed ibn Idris' order is found) ). In Somalia the order is subdivided to Zaylaiyyah order and Uwaisiyyah order.
Among the Sufis, who came to India from Baghdad, and who belonged to the family of Shaykh Abd-ul-Qadir Jilani Shah Badr Dewan whose real name was Hasan, and whose honorific title was Badr-ud-Din, is one of the top most Sufis. He stayed near Batala, and laid the foundation of Masania, a kind of inn in his times, but later populated by his children, grand children and great grand children, became a village of its own culture.
Hasan Badr-ud-Din had given bay’at to his father Sharaf-ud-Din Muhayy-ud-Din Abd-ul-Qaadir (II), who had taught him the knowledge of inner (Baatin) and outer (Zaahir), in his twenties, and had raised him to the level of a Wali of Allah Taala.
Stays in Lahore and Amritsar
He left his home in 908 of Hijra and came to Lahore where he spent some years in preaching. A lot of people from Lahore, in particular, and Punjab, in general, embraced Islam on his hands, and became his followers. Even today one can find many of his descendants in Pir Kot and Lahore. He then went to Amritsar, and spent somewhat equal amount of time there. Again, in few years, a lot of people gathered around him as his followers or devotees. As in Lahore, he observed a Chilla in Amritsar, too.
Arrival to Batala, India
From Amritsar, probably in 920 of Hijra, he came to Batala and stayed at place called Mian Muhalla. He spent some years in ibaadat and tableegh in Mian Muhalla, and then moved to another place that had no name by then and that had not been inhabited also. He settled down at this nameless place and laid the foundation of Masanian ( also called Masani ), the sacred abode of the children of Baba Shah Badr Dewan for so many coming years.
Marriage and Children
He got married to Bibi Murass’a Fatima, daughter of Shahaab-ud-Din Daood Bukhari of village Sohal in Gurdaspur, and had four sons and a daughter.
- Syed Ali Saabir Shah Gailaani Qaadri
- Syed Habeebullah Shah Gailaani Qaadri
- Syed Abd-ul-Lateef Shah Gailaani Qaadri
- Syed Muhammad Saadiq Gailaani Qaadri
- Syeda Bibi Fatima alias Allah Bandi (Allah’s servant) also known as Bibi Pak Daman
He died on 12th of Rabi-ul-Awwal, 1018 of Hijra in Masanian. On his grave a majestic Rauda or Mazaar was built by his grand son Shah Abd-ush-Shukur Gailaani Qaadri.It has four minarets, two courtyards and many domes. Annual festival (Urs) is held on 12th Rabi-ul-Awwal and the monthly fair or nau-chandi is arranged on first Thursday of each new moon in Masanian and Lahore.
Some of Jilani's more well known works include:
- Al-Ghunya li-talibi tariq al-haqq wa al-din (Sufficient Provision for Seekers of the Path of Truth and Religion)
- Al-Fath ar-Rabbani (The Sublime Revelation)available for download (urdu)
- Malfuzat (Utterances)
- Futuh al-Ghaib (Revelations of the Unseen) available for download (urdu) (English)
- Jala' al-Khatir (The Removal of Care)
- Bahajja-Tul Asrar (Ground Secerets)
- Sir Al-Asrar (Secret of Secrets) Available for Purchase in English
- Utterances of Shaikh Abd al-Qadir al-Jīlānī (Malfūzāt) / transl. from the Arabic by Muhtar Holland Malfūzāt
Author: Muhtar Holland (1935-) Year: 1994, Publisher: Kuala Lumpur : S. Abdul Majeed & Co, ISBN 1-88221-603-2
- Fifteen letters, khamsata ashara maktūban / Shaikh Abd Al-Qādir Al-Jīlānī ; translated from the Persian into Arabic by Alī usāmu ́D-Dīn Al-Muttaqī ; and from Arabic into English by Muhtar Holland, Kamsata ašara maktūban
Author: ʿAlāʾ al-Dīn ʿAlī b. ʿAbd al-Malik al- Muttaqī al-Hindī (ca1480-1567); Muhtar Holland (1935-) Year: c1997 Edition: 1st ed Publisher: Hollywood, Fla : Al-Baz Pub ISBN 1-88221-616-4
- The removal of cares = Jalā Al-Khawātir : a collection of forty-five discoures / Shaikh Abd Al-Qādir Al-Jīlānī ; transl. from the Arabic by Muhtar Holland
Jalā al-Khawātir Author: Muhtar Holland (1935-) Year: c1997 Publisher: Ft. Lauderdale, Fla : Al-Baz Pub Extent: xxiii, 308 p Size: 22 cmISBN 1-88221-613-X
- The Sultan of the saints : mystical life and teachings of Shaikh Syed Abdul Qadir Jilani / Muhammad Riaz Qadiri
Author: Muhammad Riyaz Qadiri Year: 2000, Publisher: Gujranwala : Abbasi Publications, Size: 22 cm, ISBN 969-851016-8
- The sublime revelation = al-Fath ar-Rabbānī : a collection of sixty-two discourses / Abd al-Qādir al- Jīlānī ; transl. from the Arabic by Muhtar Holland, al-Fath al-Rabbānī
Year: 1998 Edition: 2nd ed, Publisher: Ft. Lauderdale : Al-Baz Publishing, ISBN 1-88221-602-4
- Al-Ghunya li-talibi tariq al-haqq wa al-din (Sufficient Provision for Seekers of the Path of Truth and Religion) ,(Arabic),PartI,II,Abd Al-Qadir Al-Gaylani,Pub.Dar Al-Hurya, Baghdad, Iraq, 1988.
- Al-Ghunya li-talibi tariq al-haqq wa al-din (Sufficient Provision for Seekers of the Path of Truth and Religion)
(Arabic), Introduced by Dr. Majid Irsan Al-Kilani, Pub. Dar Al-Khair, Damascus-Bairut, 2005.