Naqshbandi Order in Bosnia and Herzegovina

The country that is now called Bosnia and Herzegovina, informally called Bosnia, is located in the Balkan region of Europe. The modern state became independent in 1992. The capital and the largest city of Bosnia is Sarajevo.

The history of the Naqshbandi Order in Bosnia and other Balkan states is quite old. Many tekkes (khānqāh in Persian) of the Naqshbandi Order are still functional in Bosnia, and followers frequent them for receiving spiritual training and performing dhikr. However, many such tekkes have lost the original methods and teachings of the Naqshbandī masters, and adopted methods of dhikr and other practices over time.

Pre-Mujaddidī branches

Bosnia was conquered by Ottoman Empire in 1463. Very soon, the Ottomans sent scholars and shaykhs of different tarīqas to the newly conquered Balkan lands to spread Islam and Sufism in the local population. The first Naqshbandī tekke in Bosnia was constructed very soon after the conquest, in the same year 1463, by Iskandar Pāshā, who was the governor of Bosnia. It was built in a village near a river bank, on the site where the modern city Sarajevo stands. It was called the Tekke of Shaykh Musāfir.

Probably the first Naqshbandi Sufi master who entered the Balkan states and firmly established the Order there was Haḍrat Mullā ʻAbdullāh Ilāhī (d.896 AH), who was a khalīfa of Khwāja ʻUbaydullāh Aḥrār qaddas-Allāhu sirrahū. After learning the tarīqa from Khwāja Aḥrār, who came to Istanbul where he established a tekke and had many followers, including some from the ruling elites. Soon, he moved on to Greece where he lived and died in Vardar Yenicesi in northern Greece, where his tomb was a place of pilgrimage for the next two centuries (until Greece was recaptured by the Christians). Continue reading

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The superiority of Abu-Bakr Siddiq over other Sahaba

It is a collective agreement [Ijmāʻ] of the scholars of Ahl as-Sunnah wal-Jamāʻh that the greatest person in this Ummah is Abū Bakr, then ʿUmar, then ʿUs̱mān and then ʿAlī, radiyAllahu anhum. The greatest Sufi masters have also affirmed this tenet of the Sunnī creed. Particularly, the Naqshbandī masters hold this belief firmly, not only based on the authentic narrations, but also by their Kashf.

Regarding the superiority of Sayyidinā Abū-Bakr, it is also a belief of Sunni Muslims that he is the best human being after the prophets.

There are numerous scholarly proofs regarding this core tenet of Ahl-us-Sunnah, including many Sahīh Hadīths and their interpretations by the Imāms of jurisprudence and creed. Repeating those arguments is not necessary here. Rather, I will emphasize on the quotes of the luminary Sufi masters who have affirmed this belief. This is in response to some Sufis who believe in the contrary and hold Imām Alī to be better than Abū-Bakr.

On the other hand, this post does not in any way show disrespect or diminishing of the dignity of our master Imām ʻAlī ibn Abī Tālib, who is the beloved of every seeker of the spiritual paths. No one can ever diminish his lofty status in the eyes of his lovers. Not only him, but even his sons, grandsons and great-grandsons are pupils of the eyes of true Muslims.

The master of all Sufis, the master of the Muslim nation, the center of sainthood, Imām ʻAlī ibn Abī Tālib radiyAllāhu ʻanhu himself has declared the superiority of Abū-Bakr over all others. He said the following words in a public gathering:

“Indeed Abū-Bakr and ʻUmar are the greatest in this nation.”

This is reported by Imām Dhahabī and quoted by Imām Rabbānī in his Maktūbāt. Imām Dhahabī also said that more than eighty narrators have narrated this from Imām ʻAlī.

Imām Rabbānī also quotes the following through Imām Dhahabī:

“I have been informed that some people consider me greater than these two [Abū-Bakr and ʻUmar]. Thus, however considers me greater than them, he is a liar and his punishment is the same as for a liar.” [Maktūbāt, volume 1, letter 266]

The light of the Ahl al-Bait our master Imām Muḥammad al-Bāqir (d.114H/733) alaihi as-Salām said in this regard:

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The Dogs of Hell: Destruction of mosques and Muslim shrines by the Wahhabi terrorists of ISIL

ISIL, in Arabic: Daesh (داعش), proclaims to be a Sunni caliphate in the middle east. The hypocrite Western Media label them as “Sunni extremists” instead of “Wahhabi terrorists”, in a propaganda against peace-loving and Sufism-oriented Sunni Muslims.

But if we picture this “Islamic caliphate”, nothing seems to be Islamic. Instead, they are continuously destroying historic mosques and Muslim shrines throughout the territories ruled by them. These include not just Shia and Sufi shrines, but even the shrines of Islamic Prophets (the biblical figures) Yūnus, Jarjīs, Shīth ʻalayhim as-salām and others. There is no end to the atrocities and crimes committed by these short-sighted, dim-witted beasts in human form. The noble Sahāba raḍiyAllāhu ʻanhum used to call them “The Dogs of Hell”, and the technical name for such criminals in Islamic legal theory is Khawārij, plural of Khārijī (one who is expelled).

Below is a brief list of Muslim holy places destroyed by the ISIL in Syria and Iraq.

Maqāms (shrines) of Islamic prophets

In Iraq, there are many places where, according to legends, Islamic prophets are buried. Even if the legends may not be true, a place becomes sacred if it is attributed to sacred persons and visited by local Muslims. Destroying such symbols of Islam in the name of Islamic law can only be an act of a fool who understands nothing about Islam, let alone the law.

Prophet Yūnus

The beautiful mosque of Prophet Yūnus ʻalayhi as-salām (biblical Jonah), in Mosul (Iraq), was demolished by the ISIL in July 2014. The complex hosted the mosque and the shrine of Prophet Yūnus. The news story and pictures of the demolished mosque can be seen here.

Demolished mosque of Prophet Yunus in Mosul, Iraq

Demolished mosque of Prophet Yunus in Mosul, Iraq

The locals protested against this heinous crime, but the ISIL arrested their leaders and flogged them.

Prophet Jarjīs

The mosque and shrine of Islamic Prophet Jarjīs ʻalayhi as-salām (biblical George), built in 14th century, was also destroyed by the ISIL in Mosul, Iraq, in the same month July 2014. The news story can be read here.

The mosque of Prophet Jarjis in Mosul (Iraq), demolished by the ISIS

The mosque of Prophet Jarjis in Mosul (Iraq), demolished by the ISIL

Prophet Sheeth

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Naqshbandi Order in Syria

The Naqshbandī Order has been one of the most vibrant Sufi orders in Syria until today. There have been several prominent Naqshbandī Sufi masters in Syria.

Pre-Mujaddidi era

The earliest encounter of the Naqshbandī Sufi masters and Syria is probably the visit of Mawlānā ʻAbd ar-Raḥmān Jāmī quddisa-sirruhū (817-898 AH) to Syria. Mawlānā Jāmī is one of the most renowned Sufis of the Naqshbandī Order and a prominent poet of Persian language. He is author of several books on Sufism, jurisprudence and poetry. He visited Syria on his way back from performing Ḥajj, but stayed only a short while. The Sultan of the caliphate wanted to see him and had sent his envoys after Mawlānā Jāmī, who however did not want to see the Sultan and therefore left Syria after a short visit.

About the same time period, a khalīfa of Khwāja ʻUbaydullāh Aḥrār quddisa-sirruhū named Mawlānāzāda Utrārī settled in Damascus after returning from Ḥajj.

Another prominent master who visited Damascus for Shaykh Aḥmad Ṣādiq Tāshkandī. In the year 991 AH, he went on the Ḥajj pilgrimage, and visited many cities and areas on his return, including Damascus. There, he attended a grand Mawlid ceremony in the Ummayad masjid, attended by many local scholars and shaykhs. Shaykh Ahmad Sādiq was a khalīfa of Makhdūm-i Aʻzam Shaykh Ahmad Kāsānī.

Post-Mujaddidi era

Shaykh Sayyid Murād Bukhārī, a deputy of Khwāja Muhammad Maʻsūm Fārūqī Sirhindī quddisa-sirruhū, established the Naqshbandi Order in Damascus where he stayed for many years. He first entered Damascus in 1080 AH (1670). He later moved on to Istanbul where he died in 1132 AH (1720).

One of the earliest Naqshbandī masters originally from Syria was Shaykh ʿAbd al-Ghanī Nābulusī Naqshbandī Aḥrārī (d.1143 AH), who is still well known in the scholarly world as one of the greatest scholars of Syria. He was a non-Mujaddidi master and received the Naqshbandī Path from a khalīfa of Shaykh Tāj ad-Dīn Uthmānī Sambhalī (d.1051 AH) who was a khalīfa of Khwāja Muhmmad Bāqī Billāh Dahlawī (971-1012 AH). He is buried in Damascus.

Another very prominent Sufi master of the Naqshbandī Path in Syria was Mawlānā Khālid Baghdādī Kurdī ʿUthmānī (d.1242 AH), who spread this noble Path in not only Syria but in Iraq, Turkey, Saudi Arabia and many other places. His branch of the Naqshbandī order is called Khālidī Naqshbandī. He is buried in a suburb of Damascus.

Naqshbandī Khālidī tarīqah

Mawlānā Khālid left a number of khalīfas in Damascus, including the great Hanafi jurist Shaykh Ibn-ʻĀbidīn Hanafī (d.1252 AH), author of several large volumes in Islamic jurisprudence. Mawlānā Khālid’s successor in Damascus was his khalīfa Shaykh Ismāʻīl Anārānī, who died just after 3 weeks in the same plague. He was succeeded by another khalīfa of Mawlānā Khālid, Shaykh Khās Muhammad Shīrwānī.

From Mawlānā Khālid, a chain of Sufi masters issued that continued establishing and spreading this noble spiritual path in Syria. These include: Continue reading

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Sayyid Muhammad Jeeal Shah Jilani Naqshbandi Mujaddidi (1947-2015)

Pīr Sayyid Muḥammad Jīʿal Shāh Jīlānī Naqshbandī Mujaddidī raḥmatullāhi ʿalayhi passed away in the night preceding 11th August 2015 (26 Shawwāl 1436 AH), being close to 68 years. He was one of the most beloved deputies of the renowned Sufi master of Pakistan Khwāja Muḥammad Ṭāhir ʿAbbāsī Ḥanafī Naqshbandī Mujaddidī.

He was born on 14 August 1947, the same day Pakistan became independent. It was Thursday the 27th of Ramaḍān 1366 AH. He first entered the spiritual path in the Qādrī ṭarīqah on the hands of Sayyid Ghulām-Murtaḍā Jīlānī (of Gambat, Sindh). After his shaykh’s demise, he entered the Naqshbandī tarīqah by the orders of Shaykh ʿAbdul-Qādir Jīlānī qaddas-Allāhu sirrahū. This beautiful story about his entering the Naqshbandī path is stated in his own words in Seerat Wali Kamil (Urdu). He took allegiance in the Naqshbandī Path on the hands of Shaykh Allāh-Bakhsh ʿAbbāsī Naqshbandī Mujaddidī in 1973 at Faqīrpur Sharīf (district Dādū, Sindh). After completing his spiritual training, he was made a deputy by the Shaykh. When Shaykh Allāh-Bakhsh passed away in December 1983, he took allegiance with the later’s son and successor Khwāja Muḥammad Ṭāhir Naqshbandī.

He lived in Jacobabad, northern Sindh, in Pakistan. He preached in northern Sindh and neighboring Balochistan province. Despite being a true Sayyid of the Ḥasanī family and a descendant of Shaykh ʿAbdul-Qādir Jīlānī, he showed utmost respect to his Sufi masters, who also loved him and showed exceptional appreciation for him. He has a number of sons who are scholars of Islam and who are followers of the Naqshbandī Path. Among them, this author knows about Sayyid ʿAbdur-Raḥīm and Sayyid ʿAbdur-Raḥmān.

May Allah raise him to the highest stations of His nearness and love, and make us follow his footsteps. Ameen.

Links and references:

Facebook page of his followers and murīds

List of deputies of Shaykh Allāh-Bakhsh ʿAbbāsī (Urdu)

Sayyid Muḥammad Jīʿal Shāh’s writing about his entering the Naqshbandī Path and some miracles of his shaykh (Urdu). Continue reading

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Shaykh Yusuf of Macassar (d.1109 AH)

Shaykh Yūsuf al-Makassarī Naqshbandī Khalwatī qaddas-Allāhu sirrah ul-ʿazīz (1626-1699), also called Sheikh Yusuf of Macassar, is known to be the first person who established Islam in South Africa in the seventeenth century. He was originally from Indonesia and a follower of the Naqshbandī Sufi tarīqah among others. In this tarīqah, he was a murīd of Shaykh ʿAbd al-Bāqī Mizjājī Yamanī Ḥanafī Naqshbandī quddas-Allāhu sirrahū (d.1074 AH).


He was born in Makassar, Indonesia in 1626 in a royal family. He was also known as Abadin Tadia Tjoessoep. In 1644, he left for Hajj and lived in Makkah for some time, where he learned from the esteemed scholars of Ḥaramayn. In Yemen, he met his master Shaykh ʿAbd al-Bāqī Mizjājī and learned the Naqshbandī Sufi Path.

Among his teachers was Imām ʿAbdullāh ibn ʿAlawī Ḥaddād of Yemen quddisa sirruhū, who has mentioned him in some of his writings. He was also authorized by Imām ʿAbdullāh in his Sufi path. He was also authorized in the Qādirī, Khalwatī and some other Sufi orders.

He was captured by the Dutch and exiled to the Cape of Good Hope in 1693, along with his family and close associates, where he started preaching Islam and many slaves converted to Islam and gathered around him.

Shaykh Yūsuf died at Zandvliet on 22 Dhu al-Qiʿdah 1109 AH, accordingly 23 May 1699, at the age of 73. Later, the area around Zandvliet was renamed Macassar in honor of Shaykh Yūsuf’s place of birth. A shrine was constructed over his grave soon after his death, which is still a place of visitation for the Muslims of South Africa.

It is not known whether he was authorized in the Naqshbandī order, or whether he taught the Naqshbandī tarīqah to others. He is however known to have learned this noble path in Yemen.


His karāmāt (miraculous powers) are well known in the Muslims of South Africa. When he was aboard the ship towards the Cape, the fresh water became depleted while the ship was still far away from land. When Shaykh Yūsuf heard about this, he put his foot in the sea water and asked the men to let down the casks in that spot. When they filled their casks, they were amazed to see that the water was fresh and good to drink.

Another karāmat of him is that, for some time, a serpent used to live in his shrine. It behaved well to the good people, but would hiss at those with bad hearts, so that they could not enter the shrine. Continue reading

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Shaykh Abul-Wafa Ahmad ibn Muhammad Ibn-Ijeel al-Yamani (983-1074H)

Shaykh Abu al-Wafā Aḥmad ibn Muḥammad Ibn-ʿIjīl al-Yamanī alias al-ʿIjl (983-1074 AH) was a great scholar and a Sufi shaykh of the Naqshbandī Aḥrārī tarīqah. He was a deputy of Shaykh Tāj ad-Dīn Sambhalī ʿUthmānī (d.1051 AH) who was a deputy of Khwāja Muḥammad al-Bāqī Dahlawī (d.1012 AH).

He was born and raised in Yemen, where he first met his shaykh and made allegiance in the Sufi Path. Later, he accompanied his shaykh to Makkah where he further trained in the spiritual path and was appointed as a deputy.

He died in the night preceding 14 Shaʿbān 1074 AH in Yemen.


خلاصة الأثر في أعيان القرن الحادي عشر للمحبي

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Imam Murtada Zabidi (1145-1205)

Imām Sayyid Muḥammad Murtaḍa al-Zabīdī Ḥusaynī Naqshbandī (1145-1205 AH) was an illustrious scholar and master of many sciences. He was a Sayyid by descent and from a prominent family of Sayyids in Bilgram, India. He was born and raised there in 1145 AH, and later moved to Yemen. Finally, he settled in Cairo, Egypt, where he lived to the end of his life. He died in Shaʿbān 1205 AH in a plague.

He had received authorization in the Naqshbandī Path from multiple masters. His first chain of transmission of the Naqshbandī tarīqah is as follows: He received this noble spiritual path and was perfected in it by

  1. Shaykh Yāsīn ʿAbbāsī, who was a deputy of
  2. Shaykh Abū-ʿAbdullāh Muḥammad Yaḥyā ʿAbbāsī, who was a deputy of his uncle
  3. Shaykh Muḥammad Afḍal ʿAbbāsī, who was a deputy of
  4. Shaykh Abū-ʿAbdullāh Muḥammad Ḥusaynī Kālpawī,
  5. Sayyid Abu al-ʿUlā Ḥasanī Akbar-Ābādī, who received it from his uncle
  6. Sayyid ʿAbdullah,
  7. Khwāja ʿAbd al-Ḥaqq
  8. Khwāja Muḥammad Yaḥyā,
  9. Khwāja ʿUbaydullāh Aḥrār (806-895 AH)
  10. Mawlānā Yaʿqūb Charkhī
  11. Khwāja ʿAlāʾ ad-Dīn ʿAṭṭār (d.804 AH)
  12. Khwāja Muḥammad Bahāʾ ad-Dīn Naqshband al-Bukhārī

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Shaykh Abd al-Baqi Mizjaji Hanafi Naqshbandi (1074 AH)

Shaykh ʿAbd al-Bāqī Mizjājī Tuḥaytī Zabīdī Ḥanafī Naqshbandī Aḥrārī (d. 1074 AH) qaddas-Allāhu sirrahū was a great Islamic scholar and a Sufi master of the Naqshbandī Path in Yemen during the eleventh century AH. He was a deputy of Shaykh Tāj ad-Dīn Sambhalī Uthmānī (d.1051 AH), who was a deputy of Khwāja Muhammad al-Bāqī Dahlawī (d.1012 AH).

Tuḥayta is a town near Zabīd in Yemen. He was born and raised there, and learned the Islamic sciences from the scholars of Yemen.

He was teacher of the illustrious scholar and Sufi master Shaykh Shahāb ad-Dīn Aḥmad Bannā Dimyātī (d.1117 AH), who pioneered the Naqshbandī Sufi Order in Egypt. His son Shaykh ʿAlāʾ ad-Dīn Mizjājī was also a prominent Islamic scholar.

One of the renowned murīds of Shaykh Mizjājī was Shaykh Yūsuf of Macassar (1626-1699), who established the first Islamic community in South Africa during seventeenth century.

Shaykh ʿAbd al-Bāqī Mizjājī died in the month of Rabīʿ al-Thānī 1074 AH in his hometown Tuḥayta, Yemen and was buried there.


خلاصة الأثر في أعيان القرن الحادي عشر للمحبي

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Shaykh Abdullah ibn Saeed Baqushir Shafii Makki (1076 AH)

Shaykh ʿAbdullāh Bāqushīr Makkī (d.1076 AH) was a renowned Islamic scholar, author and a shaykh of the Naqshbandī Sufi path in Makkah during eleventh century AH. He was the deputy and successor of Shaykh Tāj ad-Dīn Sambhalī ʿUthmānī (d.1051 AH), who was a deputy of Khwāja Muhammad al-Bāqī Dahlawī (d.1012 AH).

His full name was Shaykh ʿAbdullāh ibn Saʿīd ibn ʿAbdullāh ibn Abū-Bakr Bāqushīr Shāfiʿī Ḥaḍramī Makkī qaddas-Allāhu sirrahū. He was born in Makkah in the beginning of eleventh century AH, and there he learned Islamic sciences from the reputed scholars of Makkah, including the science of Qurānic recitation.

He used to teach in the Masjid al-Ḥarām in Makkah. He had a very special method of reciting the Holy Qurān, formed by combining the different recitations. He learned it from one of his teachers. Continue reading

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