Sunday, November 7, 2010


              Sufi Tariqas, Orders Or Silsila

Although the teaching of Sufism was passed down from the Holy Prophet (PBUH) via the chain of spiritual masters it was during the 12th century that different orders began to form for the purpose of teaching the methods of a particular murshid. These Sufi Orders are not sects of Islam and neither are they sects of Sufism. All of them strictly follow the teachings of the Quran and Hadith. Many people ask if tasawwuf came from Sayiduna Muhammad, why should there be different branches?

The answer to this is that man has different abilities and temperament of understanding, for example, although there may be a specific remedy for a disease, the medical treatment varies with the patient. Our Beloved Prophet (PBUH) taught the secrets of tasawwuf to his companions in different degrees.

An excellent example of this is the following incident. "One day the Prophet (PBUH) was imparting some subtle knowledge to Hazrat Abu Bakr (RA). Hazrat Umar (RA) came and Prophet (PBUH) changed his way of expression. When Hazrat Uthman (RA) joined in he did the same again. When Hazrat Ali (RA) came, he once again changed his way of expression". The different orders have different methods and ways in teaching one the path of Sufism but the aim and goal of all the tariqas is the same, example in a country there are hundreds of schools teaching the same subjects but the teachers are different and their teaching methods are different.

It is not a defect for them to have learnt from different tutors with different methods because at the end of the day they have gained the same knowledge of the respective subject. The names of the different silsilas came to exist after the name of the grand masters of that particular order; for example the Qadiri silsila was named after Hazrat Sheikh Abdul Qadir Jilani , the Chistia silsila was named after Hazrat Khwaja Abu Ishaq Chisti and made famous in India by Khwaja Muinuddeen Chisti better known as Khwaja Gareeb-e-Nawaaz and Nizamuddin aulia Mehboob-e-ilahi. The Naqshabandi silsila was named after Hazrat Baha'ud-deen zikaria Naqshabandi . The Suharwardi silsila was named after Hazrat Sheikh Umar Suharwardi etc.

The Qadiri Order was founded by Shaykh Abd al-Qadir al-Gilani (d. 1166) from Gilan in Persia, who eventually settled in Baghdad in Iraq. After his departure (Veil), his Sufi Order was propagated by his sons. The Qadiri Order has spread to many places, including Syria, Turkey, some parts of Africa such as Cameroon, the Congo, Mauritania and Tanzania, and in the Caucasus, Chechen and Ferghana in the [former] Soviet Union, as well as elsewhere.

The Shadhili Order crystallized around Shaykh Abu'l-Hasan ash-Shadhili or Morocco (d. 1258) and eventually became one of the greatest Sufi Orders, having an extraordinarily large following. Today it is found in North Africa, Egypt, Kenya and Tanzania, the Middle East, Sri Lanka and elsewhere, including the West and North America.

The Naqshbandi Order takes its name from Shaykh Baha ud-Din Naqshband of Bukhara (d. 1390). It is widely spread in central Asia, the Volga, the Caucasus, the north-west and south-west of China, Indonesia, the Indian sub-Continent, Turkey, Europe and North America. This is the only known Sufi Order which traces the genealogy of its lineage of transmission of knowledge back through the first Muslim ruler, Abu Bakr, unlike the rest of the known Sufi Orders which trace their origins back to Imam Ali (RA), and so to the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him).

The Chisti Order has been the most influential Sufi Order in the sub-Continent of India, Pakistan bangladesh, sri lanka, rangoon and which takes its name from Khwaja Abu Ishaq Shami Chisti (d. 966). Its spread has been primarily within south-east Asia. After Khwaja abu Ishaq Shani chishti, Khwaja Moinuddin chishti and after him Hazrat Nizamuddin aulia, they are the main pillars for chishti roof in Indian sub-continent.
There are numerous sufi orders but we have just named the main four. The spiritual house is Madinatul Munawarra where the power is generated. The Chisti, Qadiri, Suharwardi and Naqshabandi etc are all sub stations and spiritual links that convey the spiritual power to the countless muslims. All the salasil-e-tariqat and their murshids who represent them should be respected at all times.
As in tariqat it is firstly told to the disciple that to get Annahiliation (Fanaa). There are 3 stages
1.Fanaa in Sheikh
2.Fanaa in Prophet
3.fanaa in Allah
                                        ALLAHO BAAQI.....
                                          MIN KULLE FAANI....