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The Naqshbandi Order

The Naqshbandi Order

  

When one talks about an extraordinary phenomenon or about an extraordinary person, then it is important to look or provide great insight to why that person or phenomenon is extraordinary.

 

The extraordinary in this case is the extraordinary Faiz, which is reaching us today through the Sheikh’s of Chura Shareef.  Chura Shareef is the home of great Wali’s and Auliya Allah, likes to which sub continent and the rest of the world are still receiving benefits from.

 

Chura Shareef is the second biggest Naqshbandi Darbaar in the sub continent, second to Aastana Aalia Sarhand Shareef, the resting place of Imam-e-Rabbani Hazrat Mujaddid-e-Alf-Thani, Sheikh Ahmed Sarhandi Farooqi , where Chura Shareef gets its Faiz from.

 

The title Bawa Ji is used to address the Sheikh’s of Chura Shareef; it is a respectable way of addressing them.  It is a well established fact that the Faiz which reaches Chura Shareef and its followers, from Allah and His Beloved Messenger , is truly unique and this article will look into the origins of this blessed Faiz.

 

Chura Shareef is from the Naqshbandi Tareeqat (order), which goes back to the holy companion Sayyidina Abu Bakr .  Sayyidina Abu Bakr  was one of the Prophet’s  closest companions and did a great service to Islam, on not one but many occasions.

 

Sayyidina Abu Bakr

 

Sayyidina Abu Bakr , was a very close companion of the Prophet , and even before embracing Islam he was a close friend of the Prophet , since childhood. It is narrated that he was 2-3 years younger than the Holy Prophet .

 

Sayyidina Abu Bakr  was one of the ten Sahaba (Asharatul Mubash’arah) who were promised Jannah (Paradise) by the Holy Prophet . It was Sayyidina Abu Bakr  who migrated with the Holy Prophet  from Makkah tul Mukarrama to Madina tul Munawwara.  Sayyidina Abu Bakr  was many a time referred to as the companion of the cave by the Sahaba e Karam, Allah Almighty, in the Quran says:

 

"The second of two when the two were in the cave, and he said unto his companion: Grieve not" Surah Al-Tauba (9) verse 40.

 

Sayyidina Abu Bakr  was the first man to accept Islam.  It is a fact that the first lady to accept Islam was the Ummul Momineen Sayyidatina Khadija tul Kubra bint Khuwaylid ; the first man Sayyidina Abu Bakr as-Sadiq , the first child Sayyidina 'Ali bin Abi Talib , and the first slave Sayyidina Zayd bin Harithah .

 

In fact the Holy Prophet  states that everyone thought about accepting Islam, and showed hesitation when it was proposed to them, except Abu Bakr  who accepted it without hesitation.  This shows the loyalty and total belief in Allah and His Messenger  by Sayyidina Abu Bakr   and this a key quality that every Muslim should possess, it is the way of the Ahle Sunnah Wal Jama’ah.

 

It is reported that Holy Prophet  said "Allah will show His glory to the people in a general way, but He will show it to Abu Bakr  in a special way".  This is evident by looking at some incidents that occurred in Hazrat Abu Bakr’s  lifetime. He was promised Paradise by the Holy Prophet.

 

In Bukhari Shareef Volume 5, Book 57, Number 42. It is Narrated by Abu Mussa   While I was with the Prophet  in one of the gardens of Madina, a man came and asked me to open the gate.  The Prophet  said to me, ‘Open the gate for him and give him the glad tidings that he will enter Paradise’.  I opened (the gate) for him, and behold! It was Abu Bakr .  I informed him of the glad tidings the Prophet  had said, and he praised Allah.”

 

This Hadith also mentions good tidings of paradise to Hazrat Umar Farooq  and Hazrat Usman e Ghani .

 

A hadith in Tirmidhi Shareef, states Hazrat bin Umar  relates that Rasoolullah  said, "I will be the first to be raised from my grave (on the day of judgement), thereafter Abu Bakr  and then Umar  (will be raised).”  After the prophet , Sayyidina Abu Bakr  and Sayyidina Umar  will be raised in the same order of authority.   

 

Sayyidina Abu Bakr’s  generosity is unequalled, he was always first to help the cause of Islam. Once the Holy Prophet  asked his companions to contribute towards the Islamic state, it is reported that Sayyidina Abu Bakr  brought everything he had, and when asked by the Holy Prophet  what he had left his family, Sayyidina Abu Bakr  replied “Allah and His Messenger ”, such was his desire to please the Holy Prophet  and not a care for this temporary life and possessions.

 

The Holy Prophet, once said (quoted from Tareek Al-Khulafa) "the sun never rose nor set on anyone better Abu Bakr  except prophets."  Indeed such was the magnititude of a great personality, to whom the best of all creations himself (Peace and blessings be upon) paid tribute.  In Bukhari Shareef, Volume 5, Book 57, Number 14, a hadith is narrated by 'Amr bin Al-As , the Prophet  deputed me to read the Army of Dhat-as-Salasil. I came to him and said, “Who is the most beloved person to you?” He said, "Aisha." I asked, "Among the men?" He said, "Her father." I said, "Who then?" He said, "Then 'Umar bin Al-Khattab ".

 

Sayyidina Abu Bakr  was the first of the “Khalifa e Rashideen”, (Rightly Guided), there is no question at to why he was chosen as the first Caliph. When the Holy Prophet fell ill and could not lead the prayers, he  chose Sayyidina Abu Bakr , therefore showing that after the prophet, Sayyidina Abu Bakr  is the best amongst the community.

 

In Bukhari, Volume 1, Book 8, Number 456: Narrated Ibn 'Abbas : ‘Allah's Apostle in his fatal illness came out with a piece of cloth tied round his head and sat on the pulpit.  After thanking and praising Allah he said, "There is no one who had done more favour to me with life and property than Abu Bakr  bin Abi Quhafa.  If I were to take a Khalil, I would certainly have taken Abu- Bakr  but the Islamic brotherhood is superior. Close all the small doors in this mosque except that of Abu Bakr ."’

 

This is the reason why the sahaba accepted Sayyidina Abu Bakr , as the first Caliph of Islam, how can one oppose a person who the Prophet chose as Imam after himself. 

 

Sayyidina Abu Bakr , is the spiritual inheritor of the Prophet, it is narrated that the Holy Prophet said "What ever Allah poured into my heart, I poured into the heart of Abu Bakr ."  Sayyidina Abu Bakr , stayed with the Prophet  in a cave in Makkah tul Mukarrama, for 3 days, face to face, what blessings this must have been, the entire ummah yearns for a glimpse of the best of creation, and Yaar-e-Gaar (Companion of the cave), received it in a special way, indeed, Allah’s blessings upon Sayyidina Abu Bakr  are special.

 

This secrets and Faiz that Sayyidina Abu Bakr  received from the Holy Prophet  is passed down through the Naqshbandi chain via Hazrat Salman Farsi   until reaches Bawa Ji and the rest Mashaykh of Chura Shareef, (for more information of this Naqshbandi Chain please look at the Shajra e Nasab).

Sayyidina Abu Bakr  received the title of As-Sadiq, “the testifier of Truth”, when the Holy Prophet  went to the Mi’raj (Ascension to the skies), to Allah’s Throne, the Quraish of Makkah tul Mukarrama started making rumours and approached Sayyidina Abu Bakr  and said do you know what you friend Muhammad   is claiming, when hearing about the Mi’raj, Sayyidina Abu Bakr  without hesitation, with the same firm belief of accepting Islam, stated indeed it is true, my Master  is the Al-Amin (most trustworthy).  After hearing this incident, it was Best of all Creations, the Prophet Hazrat Muhammad  gave Sayyidina Abu Bakr  the title, Sadiq – The testifier of Truth.

 

Sayyidina Abu Bakr  passed away at the age of sixty-three, on 21 Jamadi-al Akhir, 13 A.H. (23 August 634 C.E) and was buried in the Hujra (hut) of his daughter, wife of the Holy Prophet Ummul Momineen (mother of the believers) Hazrat Aisha Saddiqah , and alongside his master, best friend and companion since childhood, Prophet Muhammad.  His head resting, alongside the blessed chest of the Holy Prophet . The whole Umma now when visiting the Prophet’s  Masjid (Masjid e Nabvi) in Madina Munawwara, go to the blessed Roza Mubarak (tomb of Hazrat Muhammad ) and pay tribute to the best of creations and then Sayyidina Abu Bakr Sadiq  and Sayyidina Umar e Farooq .

 

His caliphate had been of a mere twenty-seven months duration. But in such a short time, Sayyidina Abu Bakr  achieved what the whole Umma is receiving benefits from. Sayyidina Abu Bakr  managed, by the help of Allah Almighty, to get rid of the evil doers who were trying to eliminate Islam, and at the same time strengthen the Umma of the Prophet . He got rid the perils which had threatened the Umma’s existence, a quality which was passed on down the Naqshbandi chain, a quality which was displayed by the Mujaddid of a thousand years, Sheikh Ahmed Farooq Sarhandi Farooqi , a quality which the Chura Shareef Sheikh received and passed to thousands of disciples including Ameer-e-Millat Pir Syed Jama’at Ali Shah of Alipur, Pakistan.

 

Tareeqat - e – Naqshbandiya

 

There are 4 main Silasil-e-Tareeqat of Tasawwuf (Sufi Order’s) in Islam, Silsila-e-Qadriya, Silsila-e-Chisthiya, Silsila-e-Suharwardiya and Silsila-e-Naqshbandiya. One of the reason of this is that the Umma of the Holy Prophet  is very big. And which every kamil (true) Sheikh you pledge allegiance to (take Bayt from), their link will go back to the Prophet .  A hadith, narrated by Hazrat Ibn 'Abbas : Allah's Messenger peace be upon him and blessings be upon him, said, "Nations were displayed before me (and in the display) one or two Prophets would pass by along with a few followers.  A Prophet would pass by accompanied by nobody.  Then a big crowd of people passed in front of me and I asked, 'Who are they?  Are they my followers?"  It was said, "No.  It is Nabi Musa (peace be upon him) and his followers."   It was said to me, "Look at the horizon.'  Behold!  There was a multitude of people filling the horizon.  Then it was said to me, 'Look there and there, above the stretching sky!  Behold!  There was a multitude filling the horizon,' It was said to me, 'This is your nation, out of whom seventy thousand shall enter Paradise without reckoning.”

 

The Naqshbandi Tareeqat was originally known as As-Sadiqiya after the Tareeqat’s Imam, Sayyidina Abu Bakr Sadiq .  After this the Tareeqat changed names as its Faiz was passed through the centuries.  When it reached Hazrat Abu Yazid Bistami  the Tareeqat was named At-Tayfuriya, until it reached Hazrat Abdul Khaliq Al-Ghujdawani .

 

From Hazrat Abdul Khaliq Al-Ghujdawani   until it reached Hazrat Muhammad Baha-ud-Deen Shah Naqshband  it was known as Khawaganiya.  When it reached Hazrat Baha-ud-Deen Shah Naqsbhand its name changed to the current; Naqshbandi.

 

Hazrat Muhammad Bah-ud-Deen Owais Al-Bukhari  known as Shah Naqsbhand (Shehenshah-e-Bukhara) was born in 1317 CE, near Bukhara (Uzbekhistan).  He received the Faiz from his Sheikh, Hazrat Amir Kulal .  Hazrat Shah Naqsband  is the 17th Sheikh of this Tareeqat, he continued the work of spreading Islam, teaching people the Qur’an and following the Sunnat of the Holy Prophet , like previous sheikhs before him did.

 

The Faiz that Hazrat Abu Bakr  received directly from the Holy Prophet  was passed down through time, upholding the flag of Islam and spreading the love of the Prophet, it reached a very renowned Sheikh, 25th in position in the Naqshbandi Chain, Hazrat Sheikh Ahmed Sarhandi Farooqi  (born in Sarhand, India in the 16th Century CE).  He was given the title of Mujaddid e Alf Thani, the Mujaddid (Reviver) of the 1st thousand years.  The Holy Prophet  stated that  Allah will send a reviver to save peoples Imaan every hundred and every thousand years.

 

Imam-e-Rabbani, Mujaddid e Alf Thani, Sheikh Ahmed Sarhandi Farooqi  (Beloved of Allah, Reviver of the second Millenium)

 

Hazrat Mujaddid e Alf Thani  did a great service to Islam, when it was threatened by the Mughal empire (which ruled the sub continent at the time) under the emperor Akbar.  Akbar using his power and military threatened Islam, and wanted to wipe it out of the sub continent, and rename a new found religion called Deen-e-Elahi, it was then against all odds Hazrat Mujaddid e Alf Thani , stood up, just as the Grandsons of the Holy Prophet  Imam Hassan  and Imam Hussain  did centuries before saved Islam from the evil doers.

 

A hadith in Abu Dawood, narrated by Hazrat Abu Huraira  reported Allah's Messenger  as saying: ‘Allah (The Glorified and the Exalted) will raise for this community at the end of every hundred years the one who will renovate its religion for it’. ‘The one’ in this case was Imam e Rabbani Hazrat Mujadid e Alf Thani .

 

Imam e Rabbani, Hazrat Mujaddid e Alf Thani, Sheikh Ahmed Sarhandi Farooqi  is the Mujaddid that came after a thousand year after the Holy Prophet , a Sheikh that not only adhered to Sunnah of the Holy Prophet  but taught the entire nation to as well.

 

A Mujaddid is a reviver of Islam, sent directly by the Prophet  and Allah, therefore is a Khalifa to the ummah.  These is also confirmed in the Holy Quran:

 

“Allah has promised to those of you who believe, and do good, that He will surely make them khalifas in the earth as He made those before them to be khalifas”

Surah An-Nur (24) Verse 55.

 

If we look throughout the Muslim history, we find that in every century there was not only one but multiple Khalifa’s or Mujaddids, a Hadith in Bukhari confirms this.

 

In Bukhari, book number 60, chapter 50. It is reported that the Holy Prophet  saidThe Israelites used to be led by prophets; whenever a prophet died, another came after him. After me there is no prophet, but there will be khalifas and there will be many.”

Hazrat Mujaddid e Alf Thani’s father was also a wali (friend) of Allah, his name was Abd-ul-Ahad . Abd-ul-Ahad  narrates: “One night I had a dream, I saw that the whole world was covered in darkness. Swine, apes and bears were romping around killing the people at will. Suddenly a light came out from my chest and from this light, a throne became visible, upon that throne sat an enlightened person. In front of him the Zindeeqs, Kuffaar and oppressors were being slaughtered. Then a voice echoed across the Earth saying:

 

The Haq (truth) has arrived, and the evil destroyed. Indeed evil (by its nature) is to perish.
Surah Bani Israeel, verse 81

 

After having this dream, Hazrat Sheikh Abd-ul-Ahad  went to see Hazrat Sheikh Shah Kamaal Kaythli  who was a great wali of Allah, from the Qadri Silsila.  Shah Kamaal Kaythli  informed him the meaning of the dream and told him that “You will have a son, who will demolish evil and Bid’ah (innovation). He will spread the light across the Earth.”

 

Imam e Rabbani, Hazrat Mujadid e Alf Thani’s mother relates: “Before the birth of my son, I was in my room and fell unconscious.  In this state I saw that the whole of our house filled with light, and then it filled with the spirits of the Auliya Allah, and I heard voices of congratulation from all sides.”

 

Imam e Rabbani, Hazrat Mujaddid e Alf Thani states in his Maktubaat (a collection of letters written by him): “When Allah bestowed me with the status, it was like this: I was sitting in Muraaqabah at the time of Zuhr, I saw that RasoolAllah  come to me accompanied with the Sahaba. RasoolAllah  put the Dastaar on me and gave me the Khurqah and informed me ‘O Ahmad, You are the Mujaddid Alf Thani’.”

By saving Islam from the oppressors of the time, Imam e Rabbani, Hazrat Mujjadid e Alf Thani saved the same Deen which was preached centuries earlier and brought to the sub continent by Hazrat Khwaja Muin-ud-Deen Hassan Chishti Ajmeri .

 

The Naqshbandi Faiz continued and reached Khwaja (Bawa Ji) Syed Noor Muhammad , Theera Shareef which is located in Kabul in 19th Century. Bawa Ji Syed Nur Muhammad  upon the request of some disciples, migrated, with their youngest son, Bawa Ji Faqeer Muhammad , to Chura Shareef, in Pakistan, in the year 1876 CE.

 

Bawa Ji, is a direct descendant of the Holy Prophet .  Their family tree can be traced back to Sayyidina Sheikh Abdul Qadir Jilani  and further back to Sayyidina Imam Hassan , who is buried at the feet of his holy mother, leader of the women in Jannah and beloved daughter of the Holy Prophet Hazrat Fatima Az-Zahra  in Jannatul Baqi in Madina Munawwara.

 

Bawa Ji are a Jilani Syed and are descendents of the Ahle Baith, Hazrat Imam Ali , who is the 4th Caliph of Islam. Bawa Ji is also linked back to Hazrat Abu Bakr Sadiq  who is the 1st Caliph of Islam, due to being in the Naqshbandi Tareeqat.

 

As Bawa Ji are Naqshbandi Mujaddidi, his Faiz is from Imam e Rabbani, Hazrat Mujaddid e Alf Thani Sheikh Ahmed Sarhandi Farooqi , who is the descendent of the second Caliph of Islam, Sayyidina Umar Farooq .

 

Bawa Ji’s Faiz can be traced back to 3 important companions of the Holy Prophet ; Hazrat Abu Bakr , Hazrat Umar Farooq  and Hazrat Ali .  All three are close companions of the Prophet  and are 3 of the 3 Khalifa e Rashideen.

 

The importance of Hazrat Abu Bakr  and Hazrat Umar Farooq  has been mentioned in hadith, which have been stated earlier.  Muslims have a duty to respect the family (Ahle Baith).

 

Sayyidina Imam Tirmidhi  narrated from Sayyidina Abdullah Ibn-e-Abbas  that the Holy Prophet  said: “(Just as) the stars are shelters for those living on Earth to protect them from being drowned (similarly) my Ahle Baith are the resorting place for the difference (of opinion) amongst my Ummah. Hence, whenever any tribe stands in rivalry against my Ahle-Baith, they will suffer from internal strife amongst themselves and thus, that will become a Satanic group.”

 

It is important to know who are the Ahle Baith. A very important incident which happened in Madina tul Munawwara, shows the status of the Ahle Baith are, this incident is noted in Surah Al Imran in the Holy Quran.

 

This is incident is often referred to as Mubahla, which happened in the 10th year (After Hijra), with the Christians of Najran. The Holy Prophet  wrote letters to various leaders and tribesman inviting them to embrace Islam. This letter was sent to the Christians of the Najran area. When the Christians received the letter, they decided upon a course of action. It was decided that they will send a delegation of their most learned to have a discourse with our Holy Prophet .

 

The Christians who believed Jesus was the son of god, asked the Holy Prophet  his opinion on Jesus Alaihis Salaam), a ayat was revealed to the Holy Prophet ,

 

Surely the likeness of Jesus is with Allah as the likeness of Adam; He created him from dust, then said to him 'Be', and he was. (This is) the truth from your Lord, so be not of the disputers.

Surah Al Imran, verse 60

 

Of course the Christians, did not accept this, and disputed it. The Christians proposed, that both parties would pray to their lord, and whoever was correct would succeed and whoever was a liar will perish the wrath of God.  Allah revealed the following Ayat.

 

Let each of us bring our children, our women, our people and ourselves to one place and pray to Allah to curse upon the liars among us.

Surah Al Imran, verse 62

 

When the Christians heard this, they accepted the challenge of Mubahala. And next day the Holy Prophet  came with Imam Hussain  in his arms and holding Imam Hassan’s  hand and Janab-e-Fatima  followed by Hazrat Ali  (known as the Holy Panjetan). The Holy Prophet  then directed them to utter "Ameen" when he prayed to Allah Al-mighty.  This is the Ahle Baith, the family of the Holy Prophet .

 

The Christians seeing the Noor upon each face of the Ahle Baith, got fear stricken. Abdul Haris lbne Alqama, the greatest scholar amongst them, advised against the mubahala, advising that if prayers are said by Ahle Baith, Allah will surely accept them, and the Christians will be no more. The Christian party accepted this advice, and a signed a peace treaty with the Holy Prophet .

 

A Hadith (Sahih Muslim. Vol. 1, Sahih Tirmidhi.) states, the Prophet stated "O My God! These are the very Ahl-ul-Bait of mine!", referring to Surah Al Imran verse 62.

 

This is the importance of the Ahle Baith, and Baba Ji teaches us to love the Ahle Baith more than our own life. And we are deeply privileged that Baba Ji are descendants of the Ahle Baith, their lineage can be traced back to Imam Hassan bin Ali .

 

Mashaykh-e-Chura Shareef and majority of their followers follow the Hanafi School or madhab in Islam. There are 4 main schools in the Ahle Sunnah, all are correct, but dependent to what part of the world you are from you follow your respective school according.  There is the Hanafi madhab, which follows its imam - Imam e Azam, Abu Hanifa  he was born in 80 (AH), the second, the Shaf’ee  madhab follow Abu Abdullah Muhammad bin Idris  al- Shaf'ee , known as Imam Shaf’ee , was born around 150 (AH). The third madhab is the Maliki madhab who follow Malik ibn Anas ibn Malik ibn 'Amr al-Asbahi , known as Imam Malik , he born around 96 (AH), the fourth is Hanbali madhab which follow Imam Ahmed ibn Hanbal , he was born around 163 (AH).

 

Most of the Sunni Muslims follow the Hanafi madhab.  Imam e Azam, Imam Hanafi  is considered the highest of the 4 imams.  He was fortunate enough to see 4 famous sahab e karam, Anas ibn Malik , 'Abdullah ibn Abi Awfa , Sahl ibn Sad as-Sa'idi  and Abu al-Fadl Amir ibn Wasila , granting him the status of the Tabin, (those group of people who saw the Sahaba e karam). Imam e Azam, Imam Hanafi  was very fortunate to be taught by Imam Jafar As Sadiq , who was the grandson of Imam Hussain.

 

Interesting, the Naqshbandi Chain is a great benefit to the Sunni world, its fourth in rank Hazrat Imam Jafar As Sadiq , who gained faiz from Imam Qasim bin Muhammad bin Abu Bakr   who gained faiz from Hazrat Salman Farsi , who gained faiz from Sayyidina Abu Bakr Sadiq , was the teacher of one of the biggest Sunni madhabs imam, teacher of Imam Abu Hanifa . Therefore we are very fortunate to be disciples of the Naqshbandi Chain.

 

We are even more fortunate to be followers of Chura Shareef, which faiz reaches through some of the great personalities of Islam, and goes back to the greatest of all personalities, the best of all creations, the beloved of Almighty Allah, the “Rahmat al lil Aalameen” the mercy of the this word and the akhira, Prophet Muhammad .