An International conference of Sunni scholars was held in Grozny, Chechnya, attended by more than 100 renowned Islamic scholars and Sufi shaykhs who came from Russia, Syria, Turkey, India, Egypt, Jordan, South Africa, United Kingdom and other countries.
Shaykh Ahmed El-Tayeb, Grand Imam of al-Azhar, Egypt, defined the mainstream Sunni Islam and excluded Wahhabis from it. He stated:
“Ahl as-Sunnah wal-Jama’ah are the Ash’arites and Muturidis (adherents of the theological systems of Imam Abu Mansur al-Maturidi and Imam Abul-Hasan al-Ash’ari). In matters of belief, they are followers of any of the four schools of thought (Hanafi, Shafi’i, Maliki or Hanbali) and are also the followers of the Sufism of Imam Junaid al-Baghdadi in doctrines, manners and [spiritual] purification.”
This statement implies that Salafists, also called Wahhabis, are not part of the mainstream Ahl as-Sunnah or Sunni Muslims, despite the fact that they are trying to hijack the term Sunni by labeling themselves as Sunni Muslims. Continue reading
The venerable Sufi master Sayyid Shaykh Muhammad Murād Husaynī Bukhārī was one of the most reputed deputies of Khwāja Muhammad Ma‘sūm Fārūqī, son and successor of Mujaddid Alf-i Sānī Shaykh Ahmad Sirhindī.
He was born in Samarqand in 1050 AH (1640). He traveled to India to seek the Naqshbandī Spiritual Path from Khwāja Muhammad Ma‘sūm, the grand master of the Path at the time. He completed his spiritual journey in only a week, and was given deputyship and asked to teach the path to seekers in the Middle East.
He was a great scholar of Islamic sciences. He had memorized ten thousand Hadīth together with their chains of narration.
He traveled to many lands and places, and performed the Hajj pilgrimage multiple times. He established the Naqshbandi Order in Makkah, Damascus and Istanbul, and stayed at these places for long periods of his life. Finally he died in Istanbul in 1132 AH (1720) and is buried in the Fatih District, Istanbul. Continue reading
One of the renowned Naqshbandī Sufi masters of Peshawar city was the luminary saint and mystic Ḥaz̤rat Shaykh Faz̤l-i Aḥmad Fārūqī Naqshbandī Mujaddidī, also known as Ḥaz̤rat Jio Ṣāḥib. In written works, he is often referred to as Faz̤l-i Aḥmad Maʻṣūmī.
His real name was Ghulām Muḥammad. He ancestral lineage goes to the second caliph of Islam ʻUmar ibn al-Khaṭṭāb raḍiy-Allāhu ʻanhu, through the elder brother of Mujaddid Alf-i S̲ānī Shāh ʻAbdur-Razzāq Fārūqī.
He was a maternal great-grandson of Shaykh Aḥmad Sirhindī. His father was Shaykh Niyāz Aḥmad Mujaddidī, son of Mīr Ṣafar Aḥmad Maʻṣūmī. Mīr Ṣafar Aḥmad is the author of Maqāmāt-i Maʻṣūmī, a renowned book on the biography of Khwāja Muḥammad Maʻṣūm Fārūqī Sirhindī. Mīr Ṣafar Aḥmad was also a maternal grandson of Khwāja Muḥammad Maʻṣūm. His paternal lineage is as follows: Continue reading
The venerable Shaykh Ismāʻīl Anārānī Kurdī Dimashqī qaddas-Allāhu sirrahū was an exalted saint and a master of the Naqshbandī Khālidī tarīqah and the successor to Mawlānā Khālid Baghdādī. He lived only for three weeks after his shaykh’s death and died in the same plague in Damascus (1242 AH).
Mawlānā Khālid Baghdādī died in a plague in Damascus. He appointed Shaykh Ismāʻīl Anārānī as his successor. However, Shaykh Ismāʻīl also died shortly after three weeks later (1242 AH).
After his death, the seat of guidance was passed over to another deputy of Mawlānā Khālid, Shaykh Khās Muhammad Shirwānī.
Haḍrat Sayyid Ṭāhā Hakkārī Jīlānī Naqshbandī Khālidī qaddas-Allāhu sirrahū was one of the superior deputies of Mawlānā Khālid Baghdādī. He was a true Sayyid and a descendant of Sayyid ʻAbdul-Qādir Jīlānī raḍiy-Allāhu ʻanhu.
His uncle Sayyid ʻAbdullāh Jīlānī Hakkārī was also a perfect deputy of Mawlānā Khālid, who introduced Sayyid Ṭāhā to his shaykh. When Mawlānā Khālid saw Sayyid Ṭāhā, he ordered him to visit the shrine of Shaykh ʻAbdul-Qādir Jīlānī (in Baghdad) to ask him permission to join the Naqshbandī Order. Sayyid Ṭāhā obeyed and went there, and saw Shaykh ʻAbdul-Qādir in a vision, who told him to become a disciple of Mawlānā Khālid. Thus he started his spiritual journey in the Naqshbandī Mujaddidī Path, although his ancestral Sufi Path was Qādrī.
He died in 1269 AH (1853) in Nehri. He appointed his brother Shaykh Sālih as his successor. Among his perfected deputies were the following:
- Sayyid Muhammad Ṣālih, brother of Sayyid Ṭāhā
- Sayyid Ṣibghatullāh Arwāsī
- Sayyid Fahīm
Hadrat Mawlānā Khālid al-Baghdādī ʻUthmānī Kurdī Shāfiʿī Naqshbandī Mujaddidī (d.1242 AH) qaddas-Allāhu sirrahū is one of the greatest Naqshbandi masters who spread and firmly established the noble Naqshbandi Sufi Order in the Middle East, Turkey and Europe. He was an illustrious deputy of the great Sufi saint of India Shāh ʿAbdullāh alias Ghulām-ʿAlī Dahlawī (d.1240 AH).
In his short life of 47 years, he not only achieved the highest qualifications of exoteric knowledge, but also gained sublime spiritual stations and spread this noble Path into the farthest areas of Earth including the Middle East, Europe, Africa, Indonesia and many other countries. Continue reading
The venerable saint Mawlānā Sayyid ʻAbdul-Halīm Sīwānī Naqshbandī Mujaddidī qaddas-Allāhu sirrahū was the deputy and successor of Muftī Razā Alī Fārūqī Banārasī (d. 1895). He was also a student of Muftī Razā Alī in exoteric knowledge and studied with him for twelve years.
He was born in Sīwān, in the Indian state of Bihar, in a noble Sayyid family. When he heard about his to-be spiritual master Mawlānā Razā Alī, he left his home without informing anyone and joined the school of his master, where he studied exoteric and esoteric sciences from him. His family knew about his whereabouts many years later.
He was a Sufi master, a teacher in a local madrasah, a poet and writer, and a public speaker. He was often invited in Mawlid gatherings where he delivered speeches. His letters indicate that he later established a madrasah and traveled to many other places for delivering lectures as well as mentoring spiritual seekers. His poetry, in Urdu and Persian, is full of spiritual pearls and advice to the seekers.
Some people from the newly emerged Wahhābī sect debated with him on various issues. He tried his best to guide them to the right path. However, after seeing their stubbornness, he disengaged and distanced himself from them.
His silsila is as follows:
- Mawlānā Sayyid ʻAbdul-Halīm Sīwānī (d.1912)
- Muftī Razā Alī Fārūqī Banārasī (d.1895)
- Shāh Ahmad Saʻīd Mujaddidī (d.1860)
- Shāh Abū Saʻīd Mujaddidī (d.1835)
- Shāh Ghulām Alī Dahlawī Mujaddidī (d.1824)
He had three sons:
- Sayyid Abul-Khayrāt
- Sayyid Abū-Turāb
- Sayyid Abul-Barkāt
He died on 27 Safar 1330 AH (February 1912), being little less than sixty years in age. His spiritual successor was his elder son Sayyid Abul-Khayrāt Naqshbandī Mujaddidī. Continue reading
Mawlānā Muhammad Hāshim Baghārvī Naqshbandī Mujaddidī qaddas-Allāhu sirrahū was one of the noble deputies of the venerated Sufi saint Khwāja Muhammad ʻUthmān Dāmānī of Mūsā Zaī Sharīf, Dera Ismāʻīl Khān, Pakistan.
He was initiated in the Spiritual Path by Khwāja Dāmānī. He kept visiting his shaykh for twenty two years, during which his spiritual journey was completed and he was awarded deputyship.
He was righteous, virtuous and a person of poverty. He used to pray that Allah may keep me in poverty during my life, make me die in poverty and raise me in the Hereafter with the poor.
He died on Sunday 27 Rajab 1313 AH (12 January 1896), about a year before his shaykh’s death (January 1897). His shaykh Khwāja Dāmānī was very sad on hearing about his death. He is buried in the Khānqāh Baghār Sharīf, near Kahūtā, close to the capital of Pakistan Islamabad.
His son Mawlānā ʻAbd ar-Rahmān Bagharvī was a student and deputy of Khwāja Muhammad Sirāj ad-Dīn Naqshbandī. He used to prepare and serve tea to the shaykh and other scholars who met everyday between Maghrib and Isha. He died in 1943.
Mawlānā ʻAbd ar-Rahmān’s successor was Mawlānā Muhammad Yaʻqūb, born in 1919 at Baghār and died on 7 April 1998. Continue reading
The venerable Makhdūm Abul-Qāsim Thattvī Naqshbandī Mujaddidī was one of the illustrated saints and Sufi masters of the Naqshbandī Path in Sindh during the early eighteenth century.
He was a murīd of Makhdūm Ādam Thattvī and a deputy of Khwāja Saifuddīn Fārūqī Sirhindī (d.1096 AH).
He was born in Thatta, then a city of knowledge, in Southern Sindh (Pakistan). Initially he was initiated in the Sufi Path by Makhdūm Ādam Thattvī, a deputy of Khwāja Muhammad Maʻsūm Sirhindī (d.1079 AH). When his shaykh saw his aptitude and talent, he guided him to go to Sirhind, where he met Khwāja Saifuddīn Sirhindī. There he competed the spiritual journey and was awarded deputyship.
When he returned to Thatta, he soon became popular and seekers flocked to him from far and wide. In Sindh, other Sufi Paths were more popular such as Qādrī and Suhrawardī. Makhdūm Abul-Qāsim made the Naqshbandī Path very popular in Sindh for the first time.
His personal room, where he slept and worshiped, was known as the Chamber of Presence. One day it so happened that while he was alone in the room, one of his disciples heard two persons talking in the room, one of whom he recognized as the Shaykh. The next day, the disciple asked him about this. He replied that I was talking to the Holy Prophet sallAllāhu ʻalayhi waSallam.
Hundreds of people used to stay at his dervish convent, although there was no apparent source of income for the convent. Whenever the servants asked him for money, he would raise his empty hand in blank air and gold coins would appear in his hands that he would give to the servants.
He passed away on 10 Shaʻbān 1138 (1726) and was buried in the famous cemetery of Thatta called Maklī.
Hundreds, rather thousands of books and treatises have been authored by a vast number of Sunni scholars on the topic of Mawlid (Mīlād) for many centuries. There are indices of such works available (one index in Urdu, a list in Arabic). However, here I have tried to list the writings related to Mawlid authored by Sufi masters and scholars of the Naqshbandī Order.
Mahmūd ibn Husayn al-Afḍalī al-Ḥāẓiqī (d.970 AH)
He was Shāfiʻī by madhhab and Naqshbandī by tarīqah, and lived in Madīnah Munawwarah. He authored many books, among these was a book of Mawlid titled “Mawlid an-Nabī”.
Muhammad ʻAlī Ibn-ʻAllān al-Makkī (d.1057 AH)
He was a great scholar and author of several books. He wrote Mawrid aṣ-Ṣafā Fi Mawlid al-Muṣṭafā, a manuscript of which is preserved in Berlin.
Imām ʻAbd al-Ghanī an-Nābulusī (d.1143 AH)
He was a great scholar, author of several books, and a third generation deputy of Khwāja Bāqī-Billāh Dahlawī (d.1012 AH) from the non-Mujaddidī branch. He wrote a short book on Mawlid titled “Al-Mawlid an-Nabawī”. Continue reading