Sharīf Sayyid Ismāʿīl ibn Taqādim Jaʿfarī Sinnārī Mālikī Naqshbandī Mujaddidī was the first master who brought the Naqshbandī Order into Sudan and from there it also spread to Egypt.
He was born 1216 AH in the region of Bahr el Ghazal, South Sudan.
He traveled to Jerusalem where he met Sayyid Aḥmad Mullā al-Kurdī in 1246 AH, who was a deputy of Shāh Ghulām ʿAlī Dahlawī. Sayyid Aḥmad initiated him in the Order and taught him the first lessons of Laṭāʾf up to Laṭīfa Nafs.
Then he traveled to Makkah where he met Shaykh of the Ḥaram Mawlānā Muḥammad Jān Sulaymānī, also a deputy of Shāh Ghulām ʿAlī Dahlawī, who taught him the complete Mujaddidī Path and authorized him to teach the Spiritual Path to the seekers. He lived with Mawlānā Muḥammad Jān for two years, then he traveled to Madīnah, where he met the great master and successor Shāh Ghulām ʿAlī, Shāh Abū-Saʿīd Mujaddidī Fārūqī Dahlawī. He received the tawajjuhāt of all the spiritual stations again from Shāh Abū-Saʿīd and also received his deputyship in the Order.
Shaykh Ismāʿīl was a Mālikī in jurisprudence and Ashʿarī in creed. After returning from the Holy Cities, he settled in Egypt where he guided many seekers to the Truth and deputized some of them. Then he returned to Sudan where he established a khāniqāh and spread the Order far and wide. He settled in the area of Dongola (Dunqulā).
He participated in the Jihad against British colonialists at Aden, Yemen, where he wrote the Qaṣīdah ʿAdaniyah. About 2000 to 3000 men accompanied him, with only about 500 guns.
He was living until 1264 AH and died after it. The exact date is not known, neither is the place of his tomb. Some of his followers hold that he is still alive and may return anytime.
His chief deputy and successor was Sayyid Mūsā ibn Muʿawwaḍ, the qāḍī of Sudan, who settled in Binbān, north of Aswān (Egypt) near the end of his life. From there, he spread the Order in the South of Egypt, particularly between Aswān and Isnāʾ (Esna). Sayyid Mūsā was from the progeny of Sayyid Jaʿfar, son of Imām ʿAlī Hādī, the tenth Imām in the Golden Chain. He died in 1888.
The followers of the Order established by Sayyid Ismāʿīl Sinnārī are still active in Sudan and Egypt. For more information, see the following Facebook page:
- Ṭuruq and Ṭuruq-linked Institutions in Nineteenth Century Egypt: A Historical Study in Organizational Dimensions of Islamic Mysticism. By
- http://aboabdo.ahlamontada.com/t1594-topic (Arabic)