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January 17, 2021
History Personalities Tariqah Tasawwuf

Chain of Naqshbandiyya Mujaddidiya Aaliya Silsila-e-Bishkuti

بِسْمِ اللهِ الرَّحْمٰنِ الرَّحِيْمِ

All praise is due to Allah ﷻ, the Lord of all that is, the one who creates, guides and sustains; the owner of the Day of Judgement, the Merciful and Compassionate Lord. And peace and prayers on His beloved Prophet Muhammad
who is the best of His creation sent as a guide to both mankind and jinns. He ﷺ is sent as an exemplary messenger to lead people by his example, the companion of the Qur’an, with the perfect religion and moral code, the one to be obeyed and emulated, it is he who has changed the course of history, delivered people from darkness into the light. His prophethood ﷺ is up to the end of times, he is the last prophet and messenger of Allah ﷻ, the first to intercede on the Day of Judgement. He has explained his mission, “I have been sent to perfect good character.” (Source: al-Muwaṭṭa’ 1614). May Allah ﷻ guide us through his chosen Prophet Muhammad ﷺ in this life and enable his intercession in the hereafter. Ameen

Our Pir and Murshid, hadhrat ‘allama shaykh NijamuddinBishkuti , may Allah ﷻ have mercy on him and exalt his rank said that it is obligatory to correct one’s character and it is sunnah of the Prophet ﷺ to take the bayah (pledge). Regarding this pledge, Allah ﷻ mentions in his holy Qur’an, “The hand of Allah is over their hands. So he who breaks his word only breaks it to the detriment of himself. And he who fulfils that which he has promised Allah – He will give him a great reward”. (Qur’an 48:10)

The Prophet ﷺ said, “A believer is a mirror to another believer” (narrated by Abu Huraira, may Allah be pleased with him—transmitted in Abu Dawud) and that “Every Son of Adam is a Sinner, and the Best of Sinners are those who Repent” [Tirmidhi]. It is almost impossible to gather all the attributes of perfection and completion by one’s effort without the prophetic transmission of goodness and virtue through the chains of transmissions directly from the holy Prophet Muhammad ﷺ. As Allah says, “It is He who has sent among the unlettered a Messenger from themselves reciting to them His signs and purifying them and teaching them the Book and wisdom – although they were before in clear error – And [to] others of them who have not yet joined them. And He is the Exalted in Might, the Wise.” (Qur’an 62, 2-3)

The above ayats mentions some of the duties of the Prophet ﷻ: reciting the Qur’an, purifying them, teaching them the book and also wisdom. However, these duties do not stop with the Prophet’s companions only, it goes beyond
to those preset to those who have not yet joined them. Allah’s ﷻ mercy and words give hope to us who have come 14 centuries later and those still yet to come, right to the end of times. He ﷺ is the seal of all messengers, peace be
upon them all, the last and final messenger, his nation extends to the end of times after which the world will be destroyed.

The shaykhs say that in Islam they are 3 three things that require a chain of transmission all the way up to the Prophet ﷺ. They are the chains for qirat (recitation of the Qur’an), the narration of hadith (sayings attributed to the Prophet ﷺ) and the chain of tasawwuf (inner self-purification).

The reason behind writing this paper is to remember all the shaykhs that have transmitted this chain or isnad
of tasawwuf of the Naqshbandiyya Mujaddidiyya Aaliyya Silsila Bishkuti and receive the blessings that have been bestowed through this chain so that Allah ﷻ guides us, forgives us and make among the pious both in this world and the next. Imam Abd Allah ibn al-Mubarak (Allah be pleased with him) said: “Isnad is part of religion (deen), and if it was not for Isnad, one would have said whatever one desired. When it is said (to the one who speaks without an Isnad): “Who informed you? He remains silent and bewildered.” (See: Introduction to Sahih Muslim, 1/87, al-Jami’ li akhlaq al-rawi wa adab al-sami’ and others)

I would also like to write a little about their lives and teachings where possible and about some of their students. Hopefully, this will encourage further research and studies on them and their direct and indirect students. Currently we are greatly suffering from the lack of core and essential teaching of Islam and its inner teachings and goals. As each successive generation of scholars pass we must strive to retain their knowledge and teachings otherwise we will be left with only the outer shell and little of the inner kernel. It also important to find shaykhs who have a chain leading up to the Prophet ﷺ in order to find and learn orthodox teachings of Islam rather than those who opine, speculate and conjecture. May Allah ﷻ enable us the ability to be on the path of his guided servants, be lead by them, follow them and be joined with them both in this world and the next. Ameen.

Shajrah of Silsila-e-Bishkuti may Allah
exalt their ranks

Prophet and Messenger of Allah ﷻ, our leader and
the leader and leader of all prophets and messengers, the beloved and chosen of
Allah ﷻ Muhammad, peace be upon him. Born in the city of Makkah in Arabia in
the year 570 CE and left this world in 632 CE, buried in the Masjid an Nawawi
in the city of Madinah.

Abu Bakr al-Siddiq, may Allah ﷻ pleased with
him. He was born in Makkah in 573 and in Madinah in 634 CE. He is buried in the
Masjid an Nawawi next to the Prophet ﷺ. He was the first to embrace Islam and first
Khalifah of the Prophet ﷺ after him, being the best and excellent leader after
the Prophet ﷺ. Allah says about him in the ‘second of the two’ when they were
in the cave during the hijrah journey to Madinah and that ‘indeed Allah is with
us’ (Qur’an 9:40). Abdullah b. Mas’ud reported Allah’s Messenger ( ‌صلی ‌اللہ ‌علیہ
‌وسلم ‌ ) as saying: If I were to choose a bosom friend I would have definitely
chosen Abu Bakr as my bosom friend, but he is my brother and my companion and
Allah, the Exalted and Gliorious. has taken your brother and companion (meaning
Prophet himself) as a friend (al Muslim 2: Chapter 46, Hadith 6172)

Maybe a thing that you do not like is really in your
interest. It is possible that a thing that you may desire may be against your
interest. – attributed to hadhrat Abu Bakr al-Siddiq

Salman al-Farsi, may Allah ﷻ be pleased with
him. Died cir 654 CE. He was the first Persian to embrace Islam. He suggested
the digging of the trench in the khandaq war which was implemented by the
Prophet ﷺ that resulted in the victory of Muslims. He was the first to
translate the Qur’an into a foreign language (Persian). Salman al-Farsi is
known as “the Imam,” “the Inheritor of Islam,” “the Wise Judge,” “the Knowledgeable
Scholar” and “One of the House of the Prophet .” These were all titles the
Prophet ﷺ gave him.

“If a man spends his entire night freeing slaves from bondage
and another man spends his night reading the Quran and invoking the remembrance
of God (dhikr), the second man would be in a higher state.” – Attributed to
Salman al-Farsi, may Allah pleased with him.

Qasim bin Muhammad bin Abu Bakr, may Allah ﷻ
have mercy and bestow His grace on him. Born circa 660 or 662 CE, died 728 or
730 CE. He was among the 7 fuqaha (jurists) of Madinah, a transmitter of hadith
as well as an exegete of the Qur’an. The Seven Fuqaha were largely responsible
for the transmission of knowledge from Madinah and were the source of much of
the information of Islam and the Sunnah available today. He was considered to
be the most learned among them. He learned hadith and fiqh from his aunt,
mother of the believers, Aisha and from Ibn Abbas, May Allah ﷻbe pleased with
both of them.

Zannad said, “I never saw anyone better than him in following the Sunnah of the
Prophet ﷺ . In our time no one is considered perfect until he is perfect in
following the Sunnah of the Prophet, and Qasim is one of the perfected men.”

Abu Nuaym said of him in his book Hilyat
al-Awliya: “He was able to extract the deepest juristic rulings and he was
supreme in manners and ethics.”

Imam Malik narrated that Umar ibn Abd
ul-Aziz, considered the fifth rightly-guided caliph, may Allah ﷻ show mercy on
them both, said, “If it were in my hands, I would have made al-Qasim the caliph
in my time.”

It is narrated that he said, “My
grandfather, Abu Bakr as-Siddiq, was alone with the Prophet in the Cave of
Thawr during migration from Makkah to Madinah, and the Prophet ﷺ said to him:
‘You have been with me all your life and you have carried all sorts of
difficulties. And now I want you to make a supplication to invoke God’s favour
on you.’ Abu Bakr then said, ‘O Prophet of God, you are the secret of my soul
and the secret of my heart. You know better what I need.’”

The Prophet
raised his hands and said, “O God, as long as my Divine Law proceeds to
Judgment Day may God grant that among your descendants are those who carry it
and those who inherit its inner secrets, and grant that among your descendants
are those who are on the Straight Path and those who guide to it.” He is
considered one of the outcomes of the above supplication.

Jafar al Sadiq, may Allah ﷻ have mercy on him
and exalt his rank in this world and the hereafter. He is such an intermediary
in the history of Islam and Sufism that he is the focal point of many oceans
flowing into him from both his paternal and maternal sides. Born around year
700 CE, he was the son Muhammad al-Baqir the great grandson of Hazrat Ali, the
fountainhead of knowledge from where springs of spirituality gush forth,
through his son al-Husayn, continue to flow throughout the East and the West
until the end of times; may Allah ﷻ be pleased with both of them and elevate
their ranks. The Prophet ﷺ said, ‘I am the city of knowledge and ‘Ali is its
gate’. From his maternal side he was also the grandson of Hadhrat Qasim bin
Muhammad through his daughter Farwah, may Allah ﷻ elevate her rank. Almost all
the recognised and well known tariqahs stem from Hadrat Ali, may Allah be pleased
with him apart from the Naqshbandiyya which stems from Abu Bakr al Siddique may
Allah be pleased him. Both these oceans merge into hadhrat Jafar al Sadiq, may
Allah ﷻ exalt his rank. In Islamic jurisprudence (fiqh) he occupies a unique
station both among the Shias and the Sunnis as he had a tremendous impact on
the early development of both the schools. Among his students are scholars and
theologians, such as Sufyan al-Thawri, Abu Hanifa, Malik ibn Anas, Jabir ibn
Hayyan, and Ahmed ibn Hanbal. Abu Hanifa, Malik ibn Anas and Ahmed ibn Hanbal
later founded the Hanafi, Maliki and Hanbali schools of fiqh in Islam while the
fourth and remaining Sunni school was founded by Imam Shafi, who was a direct
student of Imam Malik ibn Anas. May Allah ﷻ show mercy on all of them.

Musa al Kazim, may Allah ﷻ sanctify his secret.
Born in Al-Abwa Madinah in 745CE, died in Baghdad 799CE. He was the son of
Jafar al-Sadiq and his chosen successor and imam. Also known as ‘Abdu’ al-Salih’
(the Holy Servant) showed an extraordinary attitude and talent in religious
knowledge and learning. It is related that Imam Abu Hanifa asked Musa Kazim who
was at that time a five year old, a questioned meant for his father Jafar
al-Sadiq, “Boy, from whom does disobedience (issue)? Does it issue from
Allah or from the servant?” Al-Kazim answered, saying: “Either it
issues from God and not from the servant at all, so God does not punish the
servant for what he does not do; or it issues from the servant and God, and God
is a stronger partner. Therefore, the stronger partner has no right to punish
the weak for a sin in which they are equal; or it issues from the servant and
not from God. So if He wills to pardon (him), (He will pardon him), and if He
wills to punish (him), (He will punish him); and God is He whose help is
sought.” Upon hearing this, Abu Hanifa left, saying that the answer had
been good enough for him.

“Silence is among the doors to wisdom; it brings about
love and is a proof of all good things.” – attributed to Musa Khazim

Imam Ali al-Ridha, may Allah ﷻ sanctify his
secret. He was the son of Imam Musa al- Kazim, born in Madinah in 766 CE. He
was the designated successor of his father Musa al-Kazim. The Abbasid caliph
al-Mamun wrote and offered:

 “His (al-Ma’mu’n’s) choosing ‘Ali b. Musa’ b.
Ja‘far b. Muhammad b. ‘Ali b. al-Husayn b. ‘Ali b. Abu’ Ta’lib was after asking
Allah for the best and exerting himself in accomplishing His right toward His
servants and His Earth concerning the two houses in general (i.e., the
‘Abba’sid House and the ‘Alawide Family, may Allah increase it in honor). That
is because he (al-Ma’mu’n) has seen his (the Imam’s) brilliant excellence, his
plain knowledge, his manifest piety, his pure asceticism, his renouncing the
world, and his being safe from the people. It has become clear for him that
reports, tongues, and words have unanimously agreed upon his candidacy.
Besides, he knew of his excellence as a youth and through adolescence, so he
has appointed him as his successor after him.”

Among his disciples is Maruf Kharki, may
Allah ﷻ have mercy on him, who converted to Islam at his hands at a young age.

Maruf Karkhi, may Allah ﷻ exalt his rank, was
born in Baghdad around 750 – 760CE. He was said to born into a Christian
family, however, refused to accept the doctrine of trinity. So he ran away from
home and accepted Islam at the hands of Imam Ali al-Ridha before returning
home. Subsequently his parents, too, embraced Islam.

Abdul Wahab (ra) says, “I have not seen
anyone who divorced himself from the world, like Ma‘ruf Al-Karkhi (ra). His
excellence is such, that even his blessed grave is a means of attaining
blessings.” (Khasf-ul-Mahjoob)

Sirri al-Saqati (ra) says, “I once saw
Ma‘ruf Al-Karkhi (ra) gathering dates on the day of Eid, so I stopped and asked
the reason for this. He said, ’That young boy is crying because all the other
children have new clothes and he has nothing new on Eid day. I thus, decided to
collect some dates, sell them and then buy something for him, so that he is
kept busy playing and does not feel uncomfortable on the day of Eid.’” Sirri
Saqti (ra) says, “I said, there is no need for you to do this, I will make sure
he gets something on Eid. I then took the boy with me and bought him a new set
of clothes. After I did this, a light entered my heart, which caused me great
pleasure and my condition became very different.” (Masaalik as-Saalikeen, Vol.
1, Page 287)

Once one of Ma‘ruf Al-Karkhi’s (ra) friends
asked him the following, “What is it that has caused you to abstain from the
world and from the creation of God, and remain in seclusion, remembering Almighty
God? Is it the fear of death and the grave, or the fear of hell, or the
enthusiasm of attaining Paradise?” Ma‘ruf Al-Karkhi (ra) said, “O My Friend!
You discuss such minor things. What are all these worth in front of the creator
Almighty God? All these are but humble subjects of Almighty God. Once you taste
the pleasure of his closeness, then you will not think of any of the other
things (you have mentioned).”

The following 14 Sufi orders pass through
him, therefore, known as the Marufiyyah: 1) Moulaviyah, 2) Soharvardihah, 3)
Noorbakhshiyah, 4) Manaviyah, 5) Nematullahiyah, 6) Kubraviyah, 7) Zahabiyah
Ehteshashiyah, 8) Baktashiyah, 9) Rifaiyah, 10) Naqshbandiyah, 11) Jamaliyah,
12) Qunaviyah, 13) Kaderyah, 14) Pir Hajat.

Quotes attributed to Hadhrat Maruf Karkhi: “He who remains
indifferent to worldly enticement will relish Divine love. This love is based
on Divine grace.”

“He who does a good act for the sake of recompense, is a
trader; he who does a good act for the fear of Hellfire is a slave who fears
beating by the hand of his master, and he who does a good act for the pleasure
of the Lord, is one that is liberated.”

Sari al-Saqati, may Allah ﷻ sanctify his secret.
He was born circa.770 CE, a merchant from Baghdad, who is said to be the first
to present Sufism in a systematic way. He is a friend of Bishr al-Haafi, and
also the maternal uncle spiritual master of the great Junaid al-Baghdadi.

Junaid Baghdadi (May God be pleased with
him) says, “I did not see any person as Kaamil (perfect) as my
Peer-o-Murshid (spiritual master).”

Bishr Haafi (May God be pleased with him)
said, “I never used to ask for anything from anyone but Hazrat Sirri Saqti
(May God be pleased with him), as I was very well aware of his piety and I knew
that he was always happy to give.”

It is reported that Once Hazrat Sirri Saqti
said “Thirty years have passed now, and I am still making tauba
(repentance) because of one thing that I made shukr (thanks) for.” People
asked what he meant, and he said, “Once there was a fire in the market
place and all the shops burnt down except mine. When I was informed of this, I
made shukr (thanked God). I then decided to make tauba (repentance), since by
thanking God that my shop was saved, I felt I was better than my other brothers
and that I was pleased that a worldly possession was saved.”

Quotes attributed to Hadhrat Sari al-Saqati: “The bravest
deed is to take control of your nafs (desires). One who cannot control his own
ego / desires cannot be of assistance to others.”

“Stay away from the wealthy, those Qaaris (religious reciters)
who recite for name and fame, and from very wealthy Ulama (religious scholars).”

Junaid al-Baghdadi, may Allah elevate his rank.
He was born around 835 CE and was raised by Sirri al-Saqati, his maternal uncle
as he was an orphan. Shaykh Attar (r.a) mentions in Tazkiratul Awliyya that
Junaid accompanied Hadhrat al-Saqati to hajj at the age of 7. In al-Masjid
an-Nabawi, there were 400 sheikhs discussing the concept of ‘thankfulness’
whereby each expounded his own view. When Sirri Saqti asked him to present his
definition, Junayd said, “Thankfulness means that should not disobey God
by means of the favour which he has bestowed upon you nor make of His favour a
source of disobedience.” The sheikhs unanimously agreed that no other
words could define the term better. Sirri Saqti asked Junayd from where he
learned all this. Junayd replied, “From sitting with you.”

Due to his importance in Sufism al-Junaid
is referred to as the ‘Sultan’ and Imam ut-Taifa (Leader of the Group).

It is reported that he once said:
“Allah did not bring out a single science on earth accessible to people
except he gave me a share in its knowledge.”

Explaining the Sufi path, he said, “Whoever
does not memorize the Qur’an and write hadith is not fit to be followed in this
matter. For our science is controlled by the Book and the Sunna.”

To ibn Kullab he said “Our madhhab is
the singling out of the pre-eternal from the contingent, the desertion of human
brotherhood and homes, and obliviousness to past and future.”

Al-Qushairi relates the following definitions
of tasawwuf from al-Junaid:

“Not the profusion of prayer and
fasting, but wholeness of the breast and selflessness.”

“Tasawwuf means that Allah causes you
to die to your self and gives you life in Him.”

“It means that you be solely with
Allah with no attachments.”

“It is supplication together with
inward concentration, ecstasy together with attentive hearing, and action
combined with compliance [with the Sunnah.”

“It is the upholding of every high
manner and the repudiation of every low one.”

The Mu`tazili al-Ka`bi said: “My eyes
did not see his like. Writers came to hear him for his linguistic mastery,
philosophers for the sharpness of his speech, poets for his eloquence, and
kalam scholars for the contents of his speech.”

Al-Khuldi said: “We never saw, among
our shaykhs, anyone in whom `ilm and hal came together except al-Junayd. If
you saw his hal you would think that
it took precedence over his `ilm, and
if he spoke you would think that his `ilm
took precedence over his hal.”

Al-Junayd describes the Sufis in the

 “They are the
members of a single household that none other than they can enter.”

 “The Sufi is like
the earth: every kind of abomination is thrown upon it, but naught but every
kind of goodness grows from it.”

 “The Sufi is like
the earth: both the righteous and the sinners walk upon it. He is like the
clouds: they give shade to all things. He is like the raindrop: it waters all

 “If you see a
Sufi caring for his outer appearance, then know that his inward being is
corrupt.” (https://www.livingislam.org/n/jun_e.html)

Abu Bakr bin Dulaf bin Jahdar al-Shibli, may
Allah ﷻ have mercy on him. Born in 861 in Baghdad or Samarra from Persian
descent was a high ranking official in Baghdad before he embraced Sufism. He
was a compatriot of Husayn bin Mansur al-Hallaj, may Allah ﷻ show mercy on him.
Like al-Hallaj, Shibli was said be constantly in the state of jadhb (spiritual
intoxication) when he started to follow the path of Sufism.

The following is mentioned in Kashful Mahjoob by Hadhrat Ali Hujwiri
(Data Ganj Bakhsh), may Allah ﷻ have mercy on him, was also connected to him
through his shaykh al-Khuttali who was a disciple of shaykh Husri who in turn
was the disciple of Shibli:

“He was a great and celebrated Shaykh. He had a blameless spiritual life
and enjoyed perfect communion with God. He was subtle in the use of symbolism,
wherefore one of the moderns says: “The wonders of the world are three:
the symbolical utterance ( isharat ) of

Shibli, and the mystical sayings (nukat) of Murta’ish, and the anecdotes
(hikayat) of Ja’far”. At first he was chief chamberlain to the Caliph, but
he was converted in the assembly-room (majlis) of Khayr al-Nassaj and became a
disciple of Junayd. He made the acquaintance of a large number of Shaykhs. It
is related that he explained the verse “Tell the believers to refrain
their eyes” {Qur.xxiv, 30) as follows: “O Muhammad, tell the
believers to refrain their

bodily eyes from what is unlawful, and to refrain their spiritual eyes
from everything except God,” i.e. not to look at lust and to have no
thought except the vision of God. It is a mark of heedlessness to follow one’s
lusts and to regard unlawful things, and the greatest calamity that befalls the
heedless is that they are ignorant of their own faults; for anyone who is
ignorant here shall also be ignorant hereafter: “Those who are blind in
this world shall be blind in the next world” (Qur.xvii,74). In truth,
until God clears the desire of lust out of a man’s heart the bodily eye is not
safe from its hidden dangers, and until God establishes the desire of Himself
in a man’s heart the spiritual eye is not safe from looking at other than Him.

is related that one day when Shibli came into the bazaar, the people said,
“This is a madman.” He replied: “You think I am mad, and I think
you are sensible: may God increase my madness and your sense! i.e., inasmuch as
my madness is the result of intense love of God, while your sense is the result
of great heedlessness, may God increase my madness in order that I may become
nearer and nearer to Him, and may He increase your sense in order that you may
become farther and farther from Him. This he said from jealousy ( ghayrat )
that anyone should be so beside one’s self as not to separate love of God from
madness and not to distinguish between them in this world or the next.”

“Al-Hallaj and I are of one belief, but my madness saved
me, while his intelligence destroyed him” – attributed to Shaykh Shibli,
may Allah showe his mercy upon him.

Abul Qasim Nasirabadi, (d.367/978), may Allah ﷻ
elevate his rank, an important Shafii
scholar of Hadith of Nishapur. He was also the murshid of Abu ‘Abd al-Rahman
al-Sulami, may Allah ﷻ show mercy who is the author of the famous book: A
Collection of Sufi Rules of Conduct (Jawami Adab al-Sufiyya). It is said to be
the first book which demonstrates the conformity of Sufi beliefs and manners
with the Quran and the example of the Prophet (Sunna) and summarises the views
of Sufis up till the eleventh century.

“He was like a king in Nishapur, save that the glory of kings is in this
world, while his was in the next world. Original sayings and exalted signs were
vouchsafed to him. Himself a pupil of Shibli, he was the master of the later
Shaykhs of Khurasan. He was the most learned and devout man of his age. It is
recorded that he said: “Thou art between two relationships: one to Adam,
the other to God. If thou claim relationship to Adam, thou wilt enter the
arenas of lust and the places of corruption and error; for by this claim thou
seekest to realize thy humanity ( bashariyyat ). God hath said: ‘Verily, he was
unjust and foolish’ (Qur.xxxiii,72). If, however, thou claim relationship to
God, thou wilt enter the stations of revelation and evidence and protection
(from sin) and sainthood; for by this claim thou seekest to realize thy servantship
(’ubudiyyat). God hath said: The servants of the Merciful are those who walk on
the earth meekly (Qur.xxv,63).” Relationship to Adam ends at the
Resurrection, whereas the relationship of being a servant of God subsists
always and is unalterable. When a man refers himself to himself or to Adam, the
utmost that he can reach is to say: “Verily, I have injured myself
(Qur.xxviii,15); but when he refers himself to God, the son of Adam is in the
same case as those of whom God hath said: ”0 My servants, there is no fear for
you this day” (Qur.xliii,68).” – Kashful Mahjoob, Data Ganj Baksh

405/1015 CE) may Allah ﷻ elevate his rank.

“He was the leading authority in his department (of science) and had no
rival among his contemporaries. He was lucid in exposition and eloquent in speech
as regards the revelation of the way to God. He had seen many Shaykhs and
associated with them. He was a pupil of

Nasrabadi and used to be a preacher ( tadhkir kardi). It is related that
he said: “Whoever becomes intimate with anyone except God is weak in his
(spiritual) state, and whoever speaks of anyone except God is false in his
speech,”because intimacy with anyone except God springs from not knowing God
sufficiently, and intimacy with Him is friendlessness in regard to others, and
the friendless man does not speak of others.

I heard an old man relate that one day he went to the place where
al-Daqqaq held his meetings, with the intention of asking him about the state
of those who trust in God (mutawakkilan). Al-Daqqaq was wearing a fine turban manufactured
in Tabaristan, which the old man coveted. He said to al-Daqqaq: “What is
trust in God?” The Shaykh replied: “To refrain from coveting people’s
turbans. With these words he flung his turban in front of the questioner.” –
Kashful Mahjoob


He was the murshid and father-in-law of Abu’l-Qāsem al-Qushayri, (b.986
CE) the writer of Al-Risāla al-Qushayriyya, or Al-Qushayrī’s Epistle on Sufism.

“The tree that grows by itself, without having been
planted, grows leaves but no fruit. If it does grow fruit its fruit is not like
the fruit of trees that have been planted.” – attributed to Shaykh Abu Ali

Abu Ali Farmadi (died 1084 0r 1118), may Allah ﷻ
have mercy on him. He was the shaykh of Ahmad al-Ghazali, the younger brother
the famous Abu Hamid Ghazali who is also known as hujjatul Islam (the proof of
Islam), the author of Iyha Uloom ud Deen. Ahmad Ghazali’s disciple is Abdul
Qahir Abu Najib as-Suhrawardi (d. 1168) who founded the Suhrawardiyya tariqa,
may Allah ﷻ elevate their ranks. Data Ganj Baksh says in relation to his other
teacher shaykh al-Gurgani (990 – 1058 CE) :

“All his disciples are ornaments of the
society in which they move. Please God, he will have an excellent successor,
whose authority the whole body of Sufis will recognize, namely, Abū Alī al-Fadl
b. Muhammad al-Fārmadī (may God lengthen his days), who has not omitted to
fulfil his duty towards his master, and has turned his back on all (worldly)
things, and through the blessings of that (renunciation) has been made by God
the spiritual mouthpiece (zabān-i hāl) of that venerable Shaykh.”

Khwaja Yusuf Hamdani (born circa 1048/9) near
Hamadan, Iran. May Allah ﷻ sanctify his secret. He was the Ghawth of his time.
Some scholars even consider him the Mujaddid of the sixth century instead of
Imām Ghazālī. Ghazālī was a prolific writer and left a huge collection of
writings. Khwāja Yūsuf was the ultimate shaykh and spiritual mentor, whose
students founded some of the largest Sufi Orders (including Naqshbandī, Yasavī,
Qādrī and Chishtī).

Several notable scholars and Sufi masters
benefited from his noble company and guidance. Shaykh ‘Abd al-Qādir Jīlānī used
to stay in his company. Khwāja Mu‘īn ad-Dīn Ajmerī also stayed with him for six
months. Ḥakīm Sanāī, a famous Persian Sufi poet, visited Khwāja Yūsuf and
affiliated himself to the Khwāja, and stayed with him for some time.

He visited Baghdād in 506 AH, where he
delivered public sermons and provided spiritual guidance. Shaykh ‘Abd al-Qādir
Jīlānī also accompanied him and described his first meeting in the following

A man came to Baghdād from Hamadān, called
Yūsuf Hamdānī. I heard he was a Quṭb. He stayed at a ribāṭ (Sufi center). When
I heard about him, I went to the ribāṭ but did not find him. When I asked
around, I was told he was in the cellar. I went down to him. He stood up when
he saw me, then sat down close to me. He described my state of affairs [aḥwāl]
and resolved all my obstacles. Then he said to me: “O ‘Abd al-Qādir! Address
the people.” I said: “O my master! I am a non-Arab person, how can I speak to
the eloquent people of Baghdād?” He said: “You have now mastered (the sciences
of) jurisprudence, the principles of jurisprudence, argumentation [khilāf],
grammar and language, and Qurānic exegesis. It is now time to speak. Sit on the
chair and speak to the people, for I see in you a root that will soon grow into
a large tree.” – http://maktabah.org/blog/?p=1511

Khwaja Abdul Khalik Gujdhwani, may Allah ﷻ
sanctify his secret. He was born in 1044 CE, near Bukhara, Uzbekistan. He passed
away around 1179 CE.

It is said that “He was the first one in
this honourable Sufi Order to use the Silent Dhikr and he was considered the
master of that form of Dhikr. When his spiritual shaikh, al-Ghawth ar-Rabbani,
Yusuf al-Hamadani, came to Bukhara, he spent his time in serving him. He said
about him, ‘When I became 22 years of age, Shaikh Yusuf al-Hamadani ordered
Khidr, peace be upon him, to keep raising me and to keep an eye on me until my
death.’” – Al-Hadaiq ul-Wardiyya Fi Haqaiqi Ajilla il-Naqshbandiyya – Abdul
Majeed Bin Muhammad al-Khani (Arabi)

‘Abdul Khaliq al-Ghujdawani coined 8 of the
11 phrases which are now considered the principles of the Naqshbandi Sufi Order:

Conscious Breathing (“Hosh dar dam“)

Watch Your Step (“Nazar bar qadam“)

Journey Homeward (“safar dar watan“)

Solitude in the Crowd (“khalwat dar anjuman“)

Essential Remembrance (“yad kard“)

Returning (“baz gasht“)

Attentiveness (“nigah dasht“)

Recollection (“yada dasht“)

He explained:

“the wise seeker must
safeguard his breath from heedlessness, coming in and going out, thereby
keeping his heart always in the Divine Presence; and he must revive his breath
with worship and servitude and dispatch this worship to His Lord full of life,
for every breath which is inhaled and exhaled with Presence is alive and
connected with the Divine Presence. Every breath inhaled and exhaled with
heedlessness is dead, disconnected from the Divine Presence.”

Khwaja Arif Riwgari (died 1219 CE), may Allah ﷻ
sanctify his secret.

He is buried in his hometown Riwgar
(Shafirkon, Bukhara, Uzbekistan), where his noble tomb is a place of blessings
and is visited by many. He wrote a treatise on Tasawwuf, called “Ārif Nāma”,
and one of its manuscripts is located in the library of Khāniqāh Mūsā Zaī
Sharīf, district Derā Ismāīl Khān, Pakistan.

His contemporaries are:

Shaykh Najm ad-Dīn Kubrā (d.617 AH) quddisa
sirruhū, who was the founder of the Kubravī order and lived close to him in

Shaykh Umar Shahāb ad-Dīn Suhrawardī (d.
632 AH) quddisa sirruhū, founder of the Suhrawardī order who lived in Baghdād.

Shaykh Muīn ad-Dīn Ajmerī (d. 633 AH) quddisa
sirruhū, founder of the Chishtī order, who moved to Ajmer (India) in 1192 CE

Khwaja Mahmoud Anjir Faghnawi (died circa. 1317
CE), may Allah ﷻ elevate his rank. It is said that he was responsible for
introducing the audible dhikr, whereas his masters had only practiced hidden
dhikr. One of the great saints of his times, Khwāja Awliyā Kabīr quddisa
sirruhū objected to it and asked him why have you adopted the audible dhikr? He
replied that my venerable master had commanded me in his last moments to
practice audible dhikr.

It is said that Shaikh Mahmoud walked on
the footsteps of the Prophet Muhammad ﷺ in the station of Knowledge of God (marifa) and he was also on the footsteps
of Sayiddina Musa ﷺ in the station of Kalimullah, the station of One who Speaks
with Allah.

Shaikh Mahmoud radiated his knowledge from
his masjid, which he built in the village of Wabiqni, close to Bukhara. He
passed away in the village of Qilit, near Bukhara, on the 17th of Rabi’ul
Awwal, in the year 717 H.

“If I repeat Your
Name, it is not because I fear forgetfulness,

But the mention of it
on my tongue is the happiness of dhikr.“

– attributed to khwaja Mahmoud Anjir al-Faghnawi

Azīzān Alī Rāmītanī quddisa sirruhu (585-715 AH), may Allah ﷻ raise his rank,
was born in Ramitan, a town located near four miles from Bukhara (now
Uzbekistan), circa 585 AH. He was also called Nassāj (weaver), as initially he
used to weave clothes. By the orders of Khwāja Khidr, he became a disciple of
Khwāja Mahmood Anjīr-Faghnawī and received spiritual mentorship. He was the
chief deputy and was appointed as the main successor by the shaykh. According
to some reports, he also benefited from Mawlānā Jalāl ad-Dīn Rūmī.

He reached an extraordinary age of 130 years.
The author of Rashahāt records his date of death as Monday, the 28th of
Dhu’l-Qa’da, 715 AH (23 February 1316 CE). He is buried in Khwarezm where his
shrine is a place of pilgrimage.

“Be a companion of Allah Almighty; if you cannot accompany the God,
then accompany those who are companions of God. Because one who accompanies a
companion of God, is also a companion of God.”
attributed to khwaja Azīzān Alī Rāmītanī

Khwaja Muhammad Baba Sammasi, may Allah ﷻ
elevate his rank, was the most distinguished deputy of Khwāja ʿAzīzān quddisa
sirruhu. He was born in Sammās, a village near Rāmītan, about ten miles from
Bukhārā (Uzbekistan). His tomb also lies there. Whenever he would pass from the
birthplace of Khwāja Naqshband called Qaṣr-i Hindwān (the pavilion of the
robbers), he would say that I smell the scent of a hero from here, soon this
place will turn into Qaṣr-i ʿĀrifān (the palace of the gnostics).

One day while he was passing from there, he
told his companions that the hero, whose scent I used to smell, has in fact
arrived in this world. Then he went to the house of Khwāja Naqshband, and asked
to see the child. The grandfather of Shāh Naqshband brought the new born baby
to Khwāja Bābā Sammāsī, who said: “This is my son. We accepted him as such a
long time ago.” Then he turned to his companions and told them: “This is the
hero whose scent we noticed. Before long, this child will become the paragon of
the age and the saving guide of the people of Love!” He then directly spoke to
Sayyid Amīr Kulāl, who was to be his deputy in the future, and said: “Do not
refuse to undertake the training of my son Bahāʾ ad-Dīn, and be sure to treat
him with kindness and affection. If you are negligent in this, I shall not make
any right of mine lawful to you!” Sayyid Amīr Kulāl replied: “I am no man if I
fail you in the slightest!” [- Rashahāt]

He passed away on 10th Jamādā ath-Thānī 755H
(2/3 July 1354) [Umdat as-Sulook]. (Source http://maktabah.org/blog/?p=1492)

“We must be continuously asking for wisdom, being careful in all our
affairs, following in the footsteps of the good and pious, following their
internal teachings and safeguarding the heart from all whisperings.”
– attributed to Baba Sammasi

Sayyid Shams ud-Dīn Amir Kulal (1278–1370 CE),
may Allah ﷻ elevate his rank, was one of the most influential Sufis in history
(Wikipedia). He is a direct descendant of Imam Hussein, may Allah be pleased
with him, and became the head of the Kulal tribe after his father.

Khwaja Amir Kulal had a number of students
who later became prominent figures in history, including Baha-ud-Dīn Naqshband
and the Mongol conqueror Amir Timur. After rise of the Timurid Dynasty, a close
relationship began between the houses of Amir Timur and Amir Kulal and continued
through the Mughal line in India. Kulal is buried at Sokhar, near Bukhara,

Khwaja Amir Kulal sent for Khwaja Bauhaddin
Naqshband, then looked at him and said, “O my son, Bauhaddin, I have completely
fulfilled what the venerable Khwaja Baba as-Samasi said on your behalf. For
your sake, I have fulfilled whatever obligation there may be in the matter of
training. That is because he had given me this command: ‘You must not fail to
provide my son Bauhaddin with training and kind treatment. I have acted in
accordance with his command.”

Then pointing at his breast, he went on to
say, “I have let this garden lie fallow for your sake. I have hatched a bird of
spirituality from the egg of human nature. Nevertheless, your bird of
aspiration is eager to fly high. You now have the authorization – near or far,
wherever you smell a fragrant scent, you must spare no effort in the quest for
its source.”

Khwaja Bahauddin is reported to have said,
“When these words issued forth from the venerable Khwaja Amir Kulal, they
represented a means of testing, for if we remained completely loyal to the
Amir, we would be remote from tribulation and close to safety.” (- http://sufispirit.com.au/feature/16-stories-and-sayings-of-khwaja-sayyid-amir-kulal/)

Khwaja Bahauddin Naqshbandi Bukhari, (1318 -1389
CE), may Allah ﷻ exalt his rank

“Mawlana Shah
Naqshband Uwaysi al Bukhari  is the Master of this Tariqat and the Shaikh
of the Golden Chain and the Best of those who carried this lineage from the
He was born in the
month of Muharram, in 717 H./1318 CE, in the village of Qasr al-’Arifan near
Bukhara. Allah granted him miraculous powers in his childhood. He had been
taught about the secret of this tariqat by his first teacher, Sayyid Muhammad
Baba As-Samasi (q). Then he was given the secret and the mastery of the Order
by his shaikh, Sayyid Amir al-Kulal (q). He was also Uwaysi in
his connection to the Prophet, as he was raised in the spiritual presence of
Abdul Khaliq al-Ghujdawani (q), who preceded him by 200 years.

Naqshband (q) was eighteen years of age when he was sent by his grandfather to
the village of Samas to serve the Shaikh of the Tariqat, Muhamad Baba as-Samasi
(q), who had asked for him. From the beginning of his companionship with the
Shaikh, he perceived within himself countless blessings and the urge for great
sincerity and devotion.


–Sayyid Amir Kulal said [about Shah Naqshband], “…Allah has
given him a secret that no one was given before. Even I was unable to know it.”
And he told him, “O my son, I have fulfilled the will and advice of Shaikh
Muhammad Baba as-Samasi when he ordered me to raise you and nurse you in my way
of training until you surpassed me. This I have done, and you have capacity to
continue higher and higher. So, my dear son, I am now giving you complete
permission to go wherever you like…”

—“In his last days, he stayed in his room. People made
pilgrimage to see him and he gave them
When he entered his final illness he locked himself up in his room. Wave after
wave of his followers began to visit him and he gave to each of them the advice
they needed. At one point he ordered them to read Surah Ya Sin. Then when they had finished the Surah, he
raised his hands to Allah. He then raised his right finger to say the shahada.
As soon as he finished, his soul returned to Allah.

He died on a Monday night, the 3rd of Rabi’ul-Awwal, 791 H.
(1388 CE). He was buried in his garden as he requested. The succeeding kings of
Bukhara took care of his school and mosque, expanding them and increasing their
religious endowments (awqaf).

(From Mawlana Shaykh Hisham Al-Kabbani (Q), Naqshbandi.org)

Mawlana Yaqoob Charkhi

“The great Naqshbandi shaykh and
student of Khwaja Baha al-Din Naqshband, Hazrat Mawlana Yaqub Charkhi (762-851
AH) was not only a Sufi master but also a reputed Islamic scholar.

His full name was Yaqūb bin Usmān
bin Mahmūd Ghaznavi Charkhi. He was born around 762 AH (1360/61) and passed
away to the eternal world on Saturday 5 Safar 851 AH (22 April 1447). His
shrine, according to some research scholars, lies 5 kilometers West of Dushanbe
the capital of Tajikistan.

He was a direct disciple of the
founder of the Naqshbandi tariqah, Khwājā Muhammad Bahā’uddīn Naqshband
Bukhārī, and had also received khilafah from him. However, after the shaykh’s
demise, he also benefited from the spiritual blessings of Khwājā Alā’uddīn
Attār who was the spiritual successor of Khwaja Naqshband.” (from http://naqshbandi.uk/shijra-sharifa/112-yaqub-charkhi-ra/181-mawlana-yaqub-charkhi)

Khwaja Ubaidullah Ahrar (806-895H, 1404-1490AD).
May Allah ﷻ sanctify his secret.

Nassiruddin Ubaidullah Ahrar (1404-1490 AD)
more popularly known as Khwaja Ahrar was a member of the Golden Chain of the
Naqshbandi Sufi spiritual order of Central Asia. He was born in Samarkand,
Uzbekistan to a religious and devout muslim family. He was born to Khwaja
Mehmood Shashi bin Khwaja Shihabuddin. His forefathers had migrated from
Baghdad and his lineage connected to Abu Bakr Siddique from his paternal side
and Umar Farooq from the maternal side. Khwaja Ahrar was deeply involved in the
social, political and economics activities of Transaxonia. He was a born into a
relatively poor yet highly spiritual family and at the age of maturity he was
probably the richest person in the kingdom. He was a close associate of all the
leading dervishes of the time. Maulana Abdur Rahman Jami was a disciple of his.
He learned and practiced the secrets of spirituality under his father and later
under Khwaja Yaqub Charkhi. (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Khwaja_Ahrar)

“One day while in that state, I went to
visit the grave of Shaykh Abi Bakr al-Kaffal. I took a nap and I had a vision.
I saw ‘Isa (ﷺ) in the vision. I rushed to bow down and kiss his feet. He raised
my head and said, ‘O my son, don’t become sad, I am taking the responsibility
of raising you and educating you.’ That vision ended. I related the vision to
many people. One of them was an expert in the interpretation of spiritual
states. He explained it this way: ‘You are going to be very high in the science
of medicine.’ I didn’t like his explanation. I told him, ‘I know better what
the vision represents: Jesus, Peace and Blessings of God be upon him, in
spiritual knowledge, represents the state of the Living Ones. Anyone who
reaches that state among the saints will be given the title of ‘Isawi, which
means Living One. Allah mentioned in the Holy Qur’an a verse describing them,
bal ahya’un ‘inda rabbihim yurzaqun (“Truly, they are alive with their Lord,
receiving sustenance“) [3:169]. Since he promised to raise me in that line, it
means that I am going to reach the state of the Living Hearted.’ It was not
much longer before I received that state from cIsa (s) in my heart.”

“I saw the Prophet, Muhammad, ﷺ in a grand
vision. He was accompanied by a very large crowd, standing at the foot of a
mountain. He looked at me and he said, ‘Ya Ubaydullah, lift up this mountain
and take it up to that other mountain.’ I knew that no one can carry a
mountain, but it was a direct order from the Prophet . I lifted that mountain
and I carried it to the place he asked me. Then the Prophet  looked at me and said, ‘I knew that this
power was in you. I wanted people to know about it and to see the power you are
carrying.’ From this I knew that I would be the means of guiding a great many
people to this Way.”

“One night I saw Shah Naqshband ق come to
me and work on my internal state. When he went, I followed him. He stopped and
looked at me. He said, ‘May Allah bless you my son. You are going to have a
very high position.’”

“I followed the Qutb (Spiritual Pole)
Nizamuddin al-Khamush in Samarqand. Then I went to Bukhara, when I was 22 years
of age, where I met the great Knower, Shaykh Sirajuddin al-Birmisi. He lived
four miles from Bukhara. When I visited him he looked at me intensely and he
wanted me to stay with him. But my heart was telling me to travel to Bukhara. I
only stayed with him briefly. He used to work in the day making clay pots and
at night he used to sit in his prayer room, on the floor. After finishing his
‘Isha prayer, he would sit until Fajr. I never saw him sleep during the day or
the night. I stayed with him seven days, and never did I see him sleep. He was
one of the most advanced in both external and internal knowledge.”

“Then I moved to Bukhara, where I kept
company with Shaykh Jamaluddin ash-Shashi and with Shaykh Alauddin
al-Ghujdawani. They were among the followers of Shah Naqshband, Alauddin al-‘Attar
and Yacqub al-Charkhi. Shaykh Alauddin al-Ghujdawani would sometimes disappear
completely while lecturing, and then he would reappear. He had an excellent way
of speaking. He never stopped making dhikr and struggling with his self. I met
him when he was 90 years of age and I used to frequent his company. One day I
went for a walk to the grave of Shah Naqshband. When I came back I saw Shaykh
Alauddin al-Ghujdawani coming halfway to meet me. He said, ‘I think it is
better that you stay with us tonight.’ We prayed cIsha, he offered me dinner,
and then he said to me, ‘O my son, let us keep this night alive.’ He sat
cross-legged and I sat behind him. He was in perfect meditation and dhikr and
he never moved right or left. I know through my spiritual knowledge that a
person in that state must be in complete Presence and Vision of the Divine. I
was surprised that at his age of 90 years, he did not feel tired. I myself, by
midnight, began to feel exhausted. So I began to make little sounds, hoping he
would give me permission to stop. He ignored me. Then I stood up to attract his
attention, but he still ignored me. Then I felt shy and I went back to my place
and sat again. At that time I experienced a vision in which he was pouring into
my heart the secret of the Knowledge of Firmness and Constancy (at-tamkin).
From that time on, I felt that whatever difficulty came my way, I would be able
to carry it without any disturbance. I realized that this Order is based
completely on the support of the murid by the Shaykh. He taught me a lesson
that one must struggle to keep firm and constant in the dhikr, because whatever
you acquire easily, without difficulty, will not stay with you. Whatever you
earn by the sweat of your brow, however, will stay with you.”

“One time I went to visit Shaykh Sayyid
Qassim at-Tabrizi in Herat. There I followed an ascetic way of life leaving
everything of the world. When he ate he would give me the remains, and I would
eat them without saying anything. One day he looked at me and said, ‘You are
going to be very rich. I am predicting this for you.’ At that time I had
nothing. When I returned to my country, I was a farmer. I had one acre of land
on which I kept some cows. In a very short time his prediction came true and my
land increased until I had many farms and herds of cattle. All this wealth
didn’t affect my heart. I dedicated it all for the sake of Allah.” (https://naqshbandi.org/the-golden-chain/the-chain/ubaydullah-al-ahrar/)

To be continued in sha Allah for the rest of the chain. Their names are the

Mawlana Zahid

Mawlana Dervish Muhammad

Khwaja Amkanaki

Khwaja Baqibillah

Imam Rabbani Sayyid Shaykh Ahmad Mujaddidi

Sayyid Adam bin Noori

Sayyid Abdullah Akbarabadi

Mawlana shah Abdur Rahim Dehlawi

Shah Waliullah Muhaddis Dehlawi

Abdul Aziz Muhaddis Dehlawi

Mujaddid Zaman Sayyid Ahmad Shahid Berelawi

Shah Sufi Noor Muhammad Nizampuri

Shah Sufi Mawlana Fateh Ali Waisi

Shah Sufi Ghulam Salmani

Mawlana Abdullah Bishkuti

Shah Sufi Mawlana Muhammad Mashhud Bishkuti

Shah Sufi Mawlana Abdul Hayy Siddiqui Furfura

Shah Sufi Mawlana Nizam Uddin Chowdhury Bishkuti

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