Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Sufism in India

Sufism in India had an instrumental role in spreading Islam in India.[1] The Sufis belonged to different tariqas (orders) of Sufism. The most prominent tariqahs of India are the Shadhiliyya, Chishtiyyah, Naqshbandiyyah, Qadiriyyah and Suhrawardiyya orders. Khwaja Moinuddin Chishti introduced the Chishtiyyah in India. He came to India from Afghanistan in 1192 AD and started living permanently in Ajmer in 1195. Centuries later, with the support of Mughal rulers, his shrine became a place of pilgrimage. Akbar would visit the shrine every year.[1] In India, Sufi saints have emerged periodically to reshape the sacred in society.[2][clarification needed] Although Sufi teachings convey the message of love and harmony, many movements, including the Wahhabi movement, arose against the developments in Sufism which appeared during the reign of Akbar.[3]



In the 9th century, when the ‘Abbasids were in decline and Sindh was slipping out of their control, India was regarded as one of the most civilized regions outside of Islamic rule.[4] By the time the ‘Abbasid Caliphate fell, there were many Sufi orders that had sprung up across the Muslim world, founded by eminent scholars. They built khaniqahs or hospices which were the focal points for the spread of Islam and Islamic teaching. Under each main center, sub-centers sprang up which owed their allegiance to the order. While the kings at that time used their political power, the Sufi saints exercised their spiritual power and had a greater hold on people.[5][6] The orthodox ulema (Islamic legal scholars) were generally critical of the Sufis, but in the history of Islam Sufis played a major role. They interpreted Islam in a liberal way and brought about large-scale conversions to Islam.[7] The relations between Sufis and the rulers of Sindh were greatly influenced by the presence of the Suhrawardi order, which enjoyed the favor of the Sindhi rulers. The Sufis in Sindh received a step-motherly treatment[clarification needed] until the arrival of the Mughals in 1707.[8] Sufi saints helped in the refinement and development of Indian languages and bridging the spiritual gap between the masses.[9][10][clarification needed]


The Shadhiliyya order

Shadhilyya was founded by Imam Nooruddeen Abu Al Hasan Ali Ash Sadhili Razi. Fassiya branch of Shadhiliyya was brought to India by Sheikh Aboobakkar Miskeen sahib Radiyallah of Kayalpatnam and Sheikh Mir Ahmad Ibrahim Raziyallah of Madurai. Mir Ahmad Ibrahim is the first of the three Sufi saints revered at the Madurai Maqbara in Tamil Nadu. There are more than 70 branches of Shadhiliyya and in India. Of these, the Fassiyatush Shadhiliyya is the most widely practised order.[11]

The Chishti order

Nizamuddin Auliya's tomb (right) and Jama'at Khana Masjid (background), at Nizamuddin Dargah complex, in Nizamuddin West, Delhi
The first of the Chishti saints was Abu Ishaq Shami (d. 329 AH/AD 940–41), whose teacher was a well-known Sufi, Mimshad al-Dinawari (d. 299/911-12). Abu Ishaq Shami established the Chishti order in Chisht-i-Sharif in Afghanistan, but it took root in India,[12] where it was brought by several Central Asian mystics, most notably Moinuddin Chishti and Bakhtiar Kaki.
The first four saints of the Chistiyyah order in India were Moinuddin Chishti (d. AD 1233 in Ajmer), Qutbuddin Bakhtiar Kaki (d. AD 1236 in Delhi), Fariduddin Ganjshakar (d. AD 1265 in Pakpattan now in Pakistan) and Nizamuddin Auliya (d. AD 1335 in Delhi).[2]. And after that Nasiruddin CHiragh Dehlevi, Syed Mohammad GesuDaraz Banda Nawaaz, Shaikh Sirajuddin Aainae Hind, Shaikh Alaul Haq Pandavi, Ashraf Jahangir Semnani. During the reign of Muhammad bin Tughluq, who spread the Delhi Sultanate southward, the Chistiyyah order spread its roots all across India.[3][12][13][14][15]
During the Mongol invasion in AD 1220 and Safavid attack in 1509 many Chishti Sufis migrated to Uch, Ajodhan, Bhakkar and Sehwan in Sindh.
The Khanzada subdivision of the Rajput clan was converted to Islam by Chishti Sufis.[16]

The Shattārīya order

The origin of this order is attributed to ‘Abdullāh al-Shattār (died AD 1415),[17] who flourished in Jaunpur, India.[18] Thereafter he shifted to Mandu, which then became the center of the Shattariya order. The order was popularised in Bengal by Qazan Shattari.[19] The most important saint of this order was Shaikh Muhammad Ghaus,[20][21] the author of many books on Sufism. The order was later carried to Iran, Turkey, and Indonesia.[22]

The Suhrawardi order

The first of the Suhrawardi saints was Abu al-Najib Suhrawardi (490–563 AH). The Suhrawardiyyah order was started by his nephew and disciple Abu Hafs Umar al-Suhrawardi of Baghdad and brought to India by Baha-ud-din Zakariya of Multan. Like the Chishti order, the Suhrawardi order traces the lineage of its teaching back to Memshad-al-Dinawari. Besides Hazrat Wajhuddin Abu Hafs, Hazrat Zeyauddin AbulNajib Abdul Qaher Suhrawardi had achieved khilafat[clarification needed] from Hazrat Abdul Qadir Jilani too; hence the Suhrawardiyyah order was mixed with the Quaderi, and later on all Sufis of the Firdousi order continued both traditions. The Suhrawardiyyah order achieved popularity in Bengal particularly.[4][14][23][24]

The Qadiri order

The Qadiri order was founded by Abdul-Qadir Gilani, whose tomb is in Baghdad. It is popular among the Muslims of South India.[25] It is one of the most widespread orders in Sufism. It has many branches, such as Sarwari Qadiri.The present living leader of Qadiri sufi order in India: Sheikh Yousuf Sulthan Shah Qadiri Chisthi Hazrath Sulthan Shah Qadiri Chishti is one of the greatest sufi Mashaikhs of all the human history. He set off in the path of Sufis at the younger age of 14. For, his spiritual training he followed the paths of about seven Mashaikhs. In those years, he wandered about all over India, completed his spiritual trainings at different locations in North India.Now, he lives the life of the Spiritual Guide, Sufi Sheikh, at his residence in Aluva, in Kerala. Hazrath Sultan Shah was handed over the Khilafa of “La ilaha Illallahu Muhammad Rasoolullahi” from the great hands of Syed Muhammad Badshah Yamani Qadiri(R.A) of Wadi, Karnataka. Qadiri of Wadi(R) left this world in 1399th year of Hijra. Now, Hazrath Sultan Shah is sought after by auliya, ulama and common people alike. Jeelani Shareef is the Aastthana of Hzt.Sulthana Shah which situated in the bank of great river Periyar of Kerala,nearest Aluva,a developed city as a part of great Cochin. Cochin International Airport (Nedumbassery) is very near to Aasthana. Jeelani Study Center is an organization aims to spread the Qadiri Sufi Order, the mission of Hzt.Sulthan Shah.The main office of the organization is at Valanchery,Malappuram, Kerala.It has many district and unit committees throughout Kerala
Sayed Muhammed Badshah Hazrat Khwaja Shaikh Mohammad Badshah Qadri-ul-Chishti Yamani Raichuri Rahmatullan Alayh (1903 (1324 Hijri) – 1978), was a Sufi saint of the Chisti order in India, known commonly as Badshah Quadri or Badesha Qadri, who preached universal brotherhood and peace.Badesha Qadiri was born in Raichur, Karnataka, India, during Bakrid on 10th day of Dhul Hijja, on a Friday, to a sayyid family which originally came from Yemen. His family trace their descent from Hasan ibn Ali, the first grandson of Muhammad(s.w.a). At an early age, Badesha Quadri became a disciple of his paternal uncle Shah Nabi Mohuiddeen Quadri, of the Chisti order, who was then a renowned Chisti elder. He later became a disciple of Karimullah Shah Qadri. Before Karimullah died, he passed the role of Pir, the leadership of the Qadiriyyah and Chishti traditions, to Badesha Quadri.Badesha Quadri is entombed in Halkatta Shareef outside of Wadi in the Gulbarga District of Karnataka. His work is continued there by his son and successor Mohammed Ibrahim Shah Qadri (Ibrahim Shah Khaderi ) There is an annual festival or urs for Badesha Quadri and thousands of his followers travel to Halkatta Shareef for it. The urs marks the anniversary of the saint’s death. The term urs literally means wedding with the divine.Badshah Qadri is one of the most greatest person and we all ahle silsila-e-qadiriya is faith on him. Hazrat Peer Adil Bijapur Rahmathullah is also the peer of the silsila after hazrat Badshah khadri rahmath ullah Hazrat Peer Younus Ali shah khadri al chisti al ifteqari charage peer adil is one of the saint of the silsila who is present alive and give the true massage of Allah and Mohammed to all people by the grace of god.

The Naqshbandi order

The origin of this order can be traced back to Khwaja Ya‘qub Yusuf al-Hamadani (b. AD 1140), who lived in Central Asia.[26] It was later organised by Baha’uddin Naqshband (1318–1389) of Turkestan, who is widely referred to as the founder of the Naqshbandi order. Khwaja Muhammad al-Baqi Billah Berang, whose tomb is in Delhi, introduced the Naqshbandi order to India. The essence of this order was insistence on strict adherence to the shari‘ah and nurturance of love for the Prophet Muhammad. It was patronized by the Mughal rulers, as its founder was their ancestral[27] pīr, or spiritual guide. "The conquest of India by Babur in 1526 gave considerable impetus to the Naqshbandiyya order".[5] Its disciples remained loyal to the throne because of their common Turkic origin. With the royal patronage of most of the Mughal rulers, the Naqshbandi order brought about the revival of Islam.[clarification needed] The Naqshbandis earned their living by designing patterns printed on cloth.[26]

Impact of Sufism

Sufi saints were responsible for the introduction of the mystical form of Islam.[28] Hindus and Hinduism ware deeply influenced by the Sufi saints.[29]Sufi scholars instrumental in the social economical and philosophical development of the masses[30] Sufi saints also contributed significantly in spreading Islam in the Indian subcontinent and across Asia.[31]

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