Naqshbandiya Foundation for Islamic Education

The Naqshbandiya Foundation for Islamic Education (NFIE) is a non-profit, tax exempt, religious and educational organization dedicated to serve Islam with a special focus on Tasawwuf(Sufism),

Friday, July 23, 2021

 Al FIRDAUS ENSEMBLE 2nd Concert on Eid al-Fitr - May 3, 2021

YouTube Link: https://youtu.be/SQUwFjMRzy0

Video Contents with English Translation: Audio & Video is Excellent Quality

1. Quranic Recitation -Surah An-Nur Verse 24:35 - Ayah an-Nur

  1. Allaahu noorus samaawaati wal ard; masalu noorihee kamishkaatin feehaa misbaah; almisbaahu fee zujaajatin azzujaajatu ka annahaa kawkabun durriyyuny yooqadu min shajaratim mubaarakatin zaitoonatil laa shariqiyyatinw wa laa gharbiyyatiny yakaadu zaituhaa yudeee'u wa law lam tamsashu naar; noorun 'alaa noor; yahdil laahu linoorihee mai yashaaa'; wa yadribul laahul amsaala linnaas; wallaahu bikulli shai'in Aleem

  2. Allah is the Light of the heavens and the earth.
    The example of His light is like a niche within which is a lamp,
    The lamp is within glass, the glass as if it were a pearly [white] star,
    Lit from [the oil of] a blessed olive tree,
    Neither of the east nor of the west,
    Whose oil would almost glow even if untouched by fire.
    Light upon light.
    Allah guides to His light whom He wills.
    And Allah presents examples for the people,
    and Allah is Knowing of all things.
2. Ya Rahman Ya Rahim Irhamna

3.  Talama Ashku Gharami: 

Talama ashku gharami ya Nur al-wujood
How long I have longed for you,  O Light of existence.
Talama ashku gharami ya Nur al-wujood
How long I have ached with this unrequited love, O Light of existence.
Wa unadi ya Tihami ya ma’dinal jood
Calling out, O Tihami, O spring-source of all kindness
Wa unadi ya Tihami ya ma’dinal jood
Calling out to you, O Tihami, O generous source of all good

Munyati aqsa marami ahdha bish-shuhood
My aspiration, my deepest desire, is to reach the station of witnessing, and be in your presence
Munyati aqsa marami ahdha bish-shuhood
My aspiration, my deepest desire, is to reach the station of witnessing, and be in your presence
Wa ara babas-salaami ya Zaki l-judood
And to see the Gate of Peace before me, O Purest of Ancestors

Ya Tirazal kawni inni ‘aashiq mustahaam
O you, you are the embroidery that ornaments the entire universe,
Ya Tirazal kawni inni ‘aashiq mustahaam
O you, you are the embroidery that ornaments the entire universe,
Inni ‘aashiq mustahaam

And I, I am enraptured by you, lost in passion
Mughramun wal-madhu fanni ya Badr at-tamaam
Lovesick!  The only art I can offer is my praise, O Full Moon of Perfection!
Mughramun wal-madhu fanni ya Badr at-tamaam
Lovesick!  The only art I can offer is my praise, O Full Moon of Perfection!

Isrif il-a’araada ‘anni, adnanil gharaam
Remove the barrier from between us, I am completely spent by this longing
Isrif il-a’araada ‘anni, adnanil gharaam
Remove the barrier from between us, I am completely spent by this longing
Fika qad ahsantu thanni ya Sam il-‘uhood
I am putting my full trust in you, Beloved, you who is loyal to all his promises, that you will respond with everything I wish for

Ya Siraj al-Owliaa-i ya A’al il-janaab
O Lantern of the Friends of God, O Highest of Highnesses
Ya Siraj al-Owliaa-i ya A’al il-janaab
O Lantern of the Friends of God, O Highest of Highnesses
Ya Imaamal atqiyaa-i, inna qalbi thaab
O Imam of those who live fully aware of their Lord, truly my heart has meltedWa alayk Allahu salla, Rabbi Thul jalaal

Peace be upon you from God, my Lord, Owner of Honor and Splendor!
Wa alayk Allahu salla, Rabbi Thul jalaal
Peace be upon you from God, my Lord, Owner of Honor and Splendor!
Yakfi ya nur al-ahillah inna hajri taal
I can’t bear it anymore, O Light of all the crescent moons: my separation from you has gone on far too long
Yakfi ya nur al-ahillah inna hajri taal
Say: it’s enough now – O Light of all the crescent moons; grant me release. My separation from you has gone on too long
Sayyidi, al ‘umra walla
My Master, I’ve become old
Jud bil-wasli, jud
Out of your goodness, grant me – grant me the union I seek! 

4.Ya Imama ʹr-Rusli/Oh Leader of Messengers

Ya Imama ʹr-Rusli ya sanadi anta baʿda ʹl-Lahi muʿtamadi
Fa-bi-dunyaya wa-akhirati ya Rasulallahi khud biyadi
Qasamn bin-najmi ḥina hawa ma ʹlmuʿafa wa ʹs-saqimu sawa
Fakhlaʿil kawnaini ʿanka siwa ḥubbi mawla ʹlʿurbi wa ʹlʿajami
Sayyidu ʹs-sadati min muḍaru ghawthu ahli ʹl-badwi wa ʹl-ḥaḍari
ṣaḥibu ʹl-Ayati wa ʹs-suwari manbaʿu ʹl-Aḥkami wa ʹl-ḥikami
Qamarun ṫabat sariratuhu wa sajayahu wa siratuhu
ṣafwatu ʹl-Bari wa khayratuhu ʿidlu ahli ʹl-ḥilli wa ʹl-ḥarami
Ma raʹat ʿainun wa laisa tara mitha ṫaha fi ʹlwara bashara
Khair man massa ʹth-thara athara ṫahiru ʹl-akhlaqi wa ʹsh-shiyami

O leader of Prophets

O leader of all Prophets, o you my Support,
You are the door to Allah, the one on whom I rely.

O Messenger of Allah, take me by my hand.
An oath was sworn "By the star when it declines"

Good health and sickness are not alike.
So divest yourself of the two universes, except for

Love for the Master of the Arabs and non-Arabs.
He is the Master of Masters, from the people of Mudar,

The great helper of the people of desert and cities,
He was given signs (ayat) and Suras,

He is the source of wisdom and Sacred Law.
Like a moon, good and wholesome is his heart,

He is the most pure and and select of all people,
A righteous witness for people of right and wrong.

In this my dunya and in my afterlife,
his character and his way of life.

No eye has seen, or ever will see,
A human being the like of TaHa.

He is the best who ever left traces on earth,
Pure in character and noble personal traits.

5.Qasiah Muhammadiyya

Mawlaya salli wa sallim daiman Abadan
‘Ala habibika Khayril khalqi kullihimi

Muhammadun tāju rusliLlāhi qātibatan
Muhammad is exclusively the crown of all Allah’s messengers

Muhammadun sādiqul aqwāli wal kalimi
Muhammad is true in speech and sayings

Muhammadun ashrāful ‘arābi wal ajami
Muhammad is the noblest of Arabs and non-Arabs

Muhammadun khairo man yamshī ‘alā qadami
Muhammad is the best of those who walk upon legs

Muhammadun sāhibul ihsāni wal karami
Muhammad is a possessor of beneficence and generosity

Muhammadun bāsitul ma’rū jafi jāmi u hu
Muhammad is a spreader of good and its gatherer

Muhammadun sādiqul aqwāli wal kalimi
Muhammad is true in speech and sayings

Muhammadun t’ayyibul akhlāqi washshiyami
Muhammad is of pleasant character and disposition

Muhammadun thābitul mīthāqi hāfizuhu
Muhammad is an upholder and protector of covenants

Muhammadun lam yadhal nūran minal qidami
Muhammad’s light has not disappeared since the beginning of time

Muhammadun ruwiyat binnūri tīnatuhu
Muhammad’s natural substance was quenched with divine noor

Muhmmadun ma’dinul in‘āmi wal hikami
Muhammad is the source of benefaction and wisdom

Muhammadun hākimum bil ‘adli zhur sharafin
Muhammad is a an upright judge, possessing honour

Muhammadun khairu ruslil Lāhi kullihimi
Muhammad is exclusively the best of Allah’s messengers

Muhammadun khairu khalqil Lāhi min mudarin
Muhammad is the best of Allah’s creation, from Mudar(Arabs)

Muhammadun mujmilan haqan ‘alā ‘alami
Muhammad is moderate and decent, befitting of a noble

Muhammadun dīnuhu haqqun nadīnu bihi
Muhammad’s creed is a truth that we profess and adhere to

Muhammadun shukruhu farzun ‘alāl umami
Muhammad’s praise is obligatory upon all the nations

Muhammadun zikruhu rawhun lianfusinā
Muhammad’s remembrance is a respite for our souls

Muhammadun kāshiful ghummāti waz zulami
Muhammad is a remover of afflictions and darkness

Muhammadun dhīnatud dunyā wa bahjatuhā
Muhammad is the beauty and adornment of this world

Muhammadun sāghahur rahmanu binni‘a mi
Muhammad is the one who the Most Merciful created full of benefits

Muhammadun s’ayyidun tābat manāqibuhu
Muhammad is a master, and his virtues are pleasant

Muhammadun tāhirum min sā i rit tuhami
Muhammad is unblemished from all evil suspicions

Muhammadun safwatul bārī wa khiyaratuhu
Muhammad is the Creator’s best and elite

Muhammadun jāruhu wal Lāhi lam yudami
Muhammad never brought evil to his neighbour, by Allah I swear

Muhammadun dāhikun liddaīfi mukrimahu
Muhammad is cheerful and hospitable to his guest

Muhammadun jā a bil a yātil wal hikami
Muhammad came with Qur’anic verses and multiple wisdoms

Muhammadun tābabid dunyā bibi’thatihi
Muhammad’s emergence caused the world to become delightful

Muhammadun nūruhul hādī minaz zulami
Muhammad’s Noor is a guide out of darkness

Muhammadun yawma ba’thin nāsi shāfi u nā
Muhammad is our intercessor on the day when humankind is resurrected

Muhammadun khātamun lirrusli kullihimi
Muhammad is the seal of every single last one of the messengers

Muhammadun qā i mum liLāhi dhur himamin
Muhammad is dedicated to Allah, endowed with ambitions

Mawlaya salli wa sallim daiman Abadan
‘Ala habibika Khayril khalqi kullihimi

6. Madha Morisco

Ya habibi ya Muhammad
O my beloved, O Muhammad

Wa-alssalatu ala Muhammad
May prayers and blessings be upon Muhammad

Debuwes de la loor a min senor ensalsado
After praising my exalted Lord

Farre alssala sobre alnnabi onrrado
I shall bestow my blessings upon the honorable Prophet

Alssala siyenbere seya alturado

May prayers and blessings always be raised

Sobre nuwestoro alnnabi Muhammad

Upon our Prophet Muhammad

Ya habibi ya Muhammad

O my beloved, O Muhammad

Wa-alssalatu ala Muhammad

May prayers and blessings be upon Muhammad

Alssala ke seya esbandesido

May prayers and blessings be widespread

Ensiyelos i-yen tiyerras seya oyido

And heard in the heavens and the earth

Porque a nosotros seya meresido

So that we may deserve it

E ayamos el-amor de Muhammad

And find the love of Muhammad

Ya habibi ya Muhammad

O my beloved O Muhammad

Wa-alssaltu ala Muhammad

May prayers and blessings be upon Muhammad

Alssalaes ke no se puwedan kontar

Prayers that cannot be enumerated

Mas son ke la pulubiya i las arenas de la mar

For they are more than the rain and the sands of the sea

Porque bodamos biyen entarar

So that we may enter well

En la roghariya de Muhammad

In supplication of Muhammad

Ya habibi ya Muhammad

O my beloved, O Muhammad

Wa-alssalatu ala Muhammad

May prayers and blessings be upon Muhammad

No podiriyan todos los korasones

All hearts cannot

Lonparar todas las bendisiyones

Name all the benedictions

Ni kontar las donasiyones

Nor count the gifts

Ke fuweron dadas a Muhammad

That were bestowed upon Muhammad

Ya habibi ya Muhammad

O my beloved, O Muhammad

Wa-alssalatu ala Muhammad

May prayers and blessings be upon Muhammad

Diso el senyor de la gharandiya

The Lord of Greatness said

No kiriyariya a noche ni diya

That He would not create night or day

Ni eskuredad ni luz no abriya

Nor darkness or light

Sino por el gharande amor de Muhammad

Had it not been for the great love of Muhammad

Ya habibi ya Muhammad

O my beloved, O Muhammad

Wa-alssalatu ala Muhammad

May prayers and blessings be upon Muhammad

Ni aljanna ni jahannam no terniya

There would be neither Paradise nor Hell

Ni al-‘arshi ni alkursi no fariya

Nor Divine Throne

Ni siyels ni tieyrras no abriya

Nor Heaven nor Earth

Sino por la onnor de Muhammad

Had it not been for the honor of Muhammad

Ya habibi ya Muhammad

O my beloved O Muhammad

Wa al-ssalatu ala Muhammad

May prayers and blessings be upon Muhammad

6 Fiyyashiya

A humble slave am I of an almighty Lord.
No work is too hard for that One who’s adored.

But though I’m a beggar who cannot afford
To claim any strength, sure and strong is my Lord.

He says, where He wills, when He wishes a thing,
just “Be”, and it is, by the might of a King.

The ruler whose edicts and wise rulings bring
All blessings and grace by the might of a King.

I haven’t got the force,
No strength between my sides
Why feel such remorse
when the Maker provides?

I haven’t got the force,
No strength between my sides
Why feel such remorse
when the Maker provides?

Ana ‘abdu Rabbī lahū qudratun
A humble slave am I of an almighty Lord.

Yahūnu bihā kullu ’amrin ‘asīr
No work is too hard for that One who’s adored.

Fa-’in kuntu ‘abdan ḍa‘īfa l-quwā
But though I’m a beggar who cannot afford

Fa-Rabbī ‘alā kulli shay’in qadīr
To claim any strength, sure and strong is my Lord.

Minnī ash ‘alayā wa ana ‘abadun mamlūk
I’m but a humble slave, what should I worry about?

Wa-l-’ashyā’ maqaḍīya mā fi t-taḥqīqi shukūk
All affairs are ordained, of this there is no doubt

Rabbī nāẓir fiyā wa ana naẓarī matrūk
My Lord sees everything, while my sight leaves much out

Fi l-’arḥām wa l-’aḥshā’ min nuṭfa ṣawwaranī
In the womb, He formed me from a drop

Ana mā lī fiyāsh, ash ‘alayā minnī
I haven’t got the force, No strength between my sides

Aqliq mir-rizqī lāsh, wa-l-Khāliq yarzuqnī
Why feel such remorse when the Maker provides?

Allāhumma ṣalli ‘ala l-Muṣṭafā, ḥabībnā Muḥammad ‘alayhi s-salām
O Allah, send your blessings on The Chosen One
Our beloved Muhammad, Peace be upon him

I’m safe in the shade of his all-knowing height
And no strength have I — His all power and might.

So glory to God, his bounty shining bright,
All gratitude and praise are His due and His right.

He says, where He wills, when He wishes a thing,
just “Be”, and it is, by the might of a King.

The ruler whose edicts and wise rulings bring
All blessings and grace by the might of a King.




Wednesday, July 21, 2021

The Healing Power of Sacred Music - A Webinar - Al Firdaus Ensemble - 7/4/2021


The Healing Power of Sacred Music: Celebrating the Launch of Al Firdaus Ensemble's New Album - Shifa
Discover the healing power of sacred and devotional music. This webinar, adorned with special guests, is in celebration of the launch of Al Firdaus Ensemble's crowdfunding campaign for their new album 'Shifā'. The webinar will include short musical interventions by the ensemble and words of wisdom on the theme of healing and music delivered by special guests including artists, writers, scholars, and members of the ensemble.
Please join us with your families for a healing and uplifting evening, insha'Allah. Streamed live here, on YouTube.

Support the recording of the new album Shifa by Al Firdaus Ensemble: 

 Please take up this unique opportunity to be a part of the making of Shifa, our new album?
We are about to return to the studio to record Shifa our new album, full of sacred music, healing to the mind,  body and soul. Join us on this exciting creative journey. Original musical fusions of African and Celtic music, a journey through the musical maqams through the Asmaul Husna, and a traditional Andalusi hadra song are some of the features of our new album to look forward to, and more surprises. 


Al Firdaus Ensemble based in Granada was founded in 2012 by the English violinist and singer Ali Keeler and includes musicians from England, Spain and Morocco.

The group takes its inspiration from the word Firdaus, which is the Arabic name, of Persian origin, for the most elevated abode in Paradise. The intercultural nature of this name reflects the character of the group in which musicians from different countries and cultural backgrounds are brought together with one purpose. Just as the musicians tune their instruments, so they need to tune their hearts to receive the inspiration of the moment and transmit that to the audience. The traditional Arabic term for this kind of music is sama` which could be translated as “the art of listening”.

The unique sound of their music is due to a synthesis of different musical styles. These include original compositions of a more Western classical character with influences from both Celtic and Flamenco traditions, and new arrangements of songs drawn from the rich heritage of traditional sufi music from Arabic, Andalusi and Turkish sources. The words of the songs are mainly in Arabic drawn from the poetry of the great sufis from Al Andalus and the Arab world such as Ibn Arabi and Al Shushtari.

Also within their repertoire are musical adaptations of poems in aljamiado, old Spanish  written by the Moriscos using the Arabic script.  In this way Al Firdaus hopes to revive the heritage of the Moriscos whose culture was forbidden in its day and and has only reached us through manuscripts which they left behind on their expulsion in 1609 and that have been discovered over the years hidden in old houses.

Al Firdaus usually plays in quartet or quintet formation, but is versatile and can perform as a trio, or in larger formations depending on the requirements of the concert. They use a combination of Arabic and Western classical instruments in addition to the flamenco guitar, and have a range of singers, some of whom are soloists and others who sing in the choruses. They can also perform in choral formation accompanied only by percussion instruments.

They have performed in concerts and international festivals throughout Europe, Bosnia, the U.S., Morocco,  Algeria, Tunisia, Turkey, Lebanon, and Malaysia.

They released two CDs.

Safa  in 2014

Nur  in 2017

http://alfirdaus-ensemble.es/en/al-firdaus-ensemble/

Sunday, June 13, 2021

The Pivotal Role of Love in Sufism : William Chittick 

Full Paper PDF: 

http://www.williamcchittick.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/05/The-Pivotal-Role-of-Love-in-Sufism.pdf

Love in Islamic Thought : William Chittick* Stony Brook University 

 Abstract : Love occupied the attention of numerous Muslim scholars from early times. Taking inspiration from the Qur’an, the Hadith, pre-Islamic poetry, and the Hellenistic legacy, they explained love’s nature in order to bring out the existential import of Islam’s fundamental teaching, the assertion of divine unity (tawh. īd). The 5th–6th/11th–12th centuries witnessed an upsurge in the literature of love, especially in Persian. Theoreticians and poets explained it as the energizing power that brings all things into existence and drives everything to its final goal. They held that God created human beings precisely because of His beginningless love for them, and that people are innately endowed with love because they were created in His image. The varieties of human love were taken as metaphors (majāz) for love’s reality (h.aqīqa), which is God’s love for beauty. Authors of such works directed their efforts not at instructing people in right conduct, which is the role of the jurists, nor at clarifying right belief, which is the job of the Kalam experts, but at helping them recognize that all pain and suffering are signs of separation from the One Beloved, and that the only truly human goal is to surrender to love’s demands.signs of separation from the One Beloved, and that the only truly human goal is to surrender to love’s demands.

Excerpt: "Two Qur’anic words are typically translated as love, h.ubb and wudd, the first of which became the standard term in later discussions. From the second is derived the Qur’anic divine name, al-wadūd, the Loving. The most important related divine attribute is rah.ma, mercy or compassion, a motherly quality that belies the patriarchal image of God put forth by jurists and dialectical theologians. The word rah.mais derived from the word rah.im, ‘womb,’a point that leads to subtle meditations on divine creativity (Murata, 1992, pp. 203–22). The Qur’an makes mercy a fundamental attribute of God, as in the verse, ‘Call upon God, or call upon the All-Merciful; whichever you call upon, to Him belong the most beautiful names’ (17:110). God makes His motherly mercy more fundamental than His patriarchal face in the famous h.adīth qudsī, ‘My mercy takes precedence over My wrath.’ The Prophet said that God is more merciful to His servant than any mother to her child, and those who quote this saying typically have in mind the universal meaning of the word servant, as in the Qur’anic verse, ‘There is nothing in the heavens and the earth that does not come to the All-Merciful as a servant’ (19:93). The Qur’an confirms this interpretation when it says that God’s mercy ‘embraces everything’ (7:156), which is to say that His motherly love extends to all that exists."

Full Paper PDF:

http://www.williamcchittick.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/05/Love-in-Islamic-Thought.pdf

The Divine Roots of Human Love: William Chittick

Full Paper PDF: 

https://ibnarabisociety.org/the-divine-roots-of-human-love-william-chittick/

"Ibn al-‘Arabi begins his long chapter on love (mahabba) in the Futûhât al-Makkiyya – as he begins most of the book’s 560 chapters – by citing relevant Qur’anic verses and prophetic sayings (II 322.16).[1] He points out first that love is a divine attribute, and he lists several of the Qur’anic verses in which God is the subject of the verb ‘to love’. Fourteen of these verses mention those whom God loves and another twenty-three mention those whom God does not love. In every case, the objects of God’s love or lack of love are human beings. Indeed, the Qur’an associates love only with human beings among all creatures. Hence love is a key term if we are to understand what differentiates human beings from other created things. Most other divine attributes – such as life, knowledge, desire, power, speech, generosity, justice, mercy, and wrath – have no necessary connection with the human race."

The Sufi Path of Love: The Spiritual Teachings of Rumi- William Chittick



This is the most accessible work in English on the greatest mystical poet of Islam, providing a survey of the basic Sufi and Islamic doctrines concerning God and the world, the role of man in the cosmos, the need for religion, man's ultimate becoming, the states and stations of the mystical ascent to God, and the means whereby literature employs symbols to express "unseen" realities. William Chittick translates into English for the first time certain aspects of Rumi's work. He selects and rearranges Rumi's poetry and prose in order to leave aside unnecessary complications characteristic of other English translations and to present Rumi's ideas in an orderly fashion, yet in his own words. Thorough, nontechnical introductions to each chapter, and selections that gradually present a greater variety of terms and images, make this work easily accessible to those interested in the spirituality of any tradition.
"I consider this work to be of great importance in the field of Islamics in particular and of the humanities in general. It is superbly conceived and guides the reader through the theory, practice, and mystical realization of Rumi's thinking...I can think of no better way for a Westerner, and nowadays for a Westernized Muslim, to get to know the deeper aspects of the Islamic faith than through a work such as this. As far as I am aware of, it is the first work of its kind, providing the reader with a complete exposition of Rumi's fundamental notions through Rumi's own words. No one else has done this with the thoroughness and meticulousness shown by Chittick." -- Victor Danner, Indiana University.

Amazon:https://www.amazon.com/Sufi-Path-Love-Spiritual-Teachings/dp/0873957245

The Sufi Path of Love: The Spiritual Teachings of Rumi- William Chittick PDF

https://reverthelp.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/05/The-Sufi-Path-Of-Love-William-C.-Chittick.pdf

Tuesday, June 8, 2021

 The Shaping shaikh: An Ethnographic Inquiry into the Role of the Shaikh in the Adaptation of Sufism in Sarajevo, Bosnia Herzegovina - Dejan Azdajic -PhD Thesis, Middlesex University,London,UK

Abstract: This thesis is an ethnographic investigation of living Naqshbandi Sufi practitioners in Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina. Its epistemology presumes that a nuanced understanding of Islam that recognises complex realities and contradictory perspectives requires an examination of its embodied form. As a result, this research project engaged in a localised analysis of Sufi Muslims by evaluating experiences and practices from their point of view. Following this strategy, two specific communities led by different Shaikhs were identified. Although each Shaikh claimed a shared Naqshbandi origin and was located in a similar traditional, cultural, linguistic and historic milieu, there were considerable manifest dissimilarities ranging from theology, ritual practices and levels of social involvement. In light of the historic evolution of the Shaikh’s institutionally established authority in Sufism, this empirical contrast suggested that universal norms, theoretical constructs and traditional principles within a common Bosnian Naqshbandi framework were ultimately subservient to the Shaikh. This thesis argues that while operating within doctrinal continuity and a broadly defined, normative framework, each Shaikh remained free to engender legitimate adaptations that shaped the contours of religious belief and contextualised its application within a contemporary setting. Ultimately, his agency accounted for the notable diversity encountered in the field. The present study thereby underlines the inherent malleability of Sufism and advances the recognition of the Shaikh’s cardinal importance. Primarily it adds to empirical studies of Islam through an ethnographic approach that focuses on the role of the Shaikh in Sufism in general and the Naqshbandi in particular.

"2.5.1. The Naqshbandi Order in Bosnia Among Sufi Orders in Bosnia today, the Naqshbandi Order is the most numerous, influential and known as the traditional “guardian of conventional Islam in Bosnia” (Abiva 2005: 195).40 It has adapted to the mentality of the people who live in this region, influencing socio-political and cultural currents of the inhabitants of Bosnia (Hadžimejlić 2016: 30; Henig 2011: 225). The Naqshbandi have been approved by the IC and given authority to decide what “genuine Sufi teaching” should be for Bosnian Muslims (Henig 2012: 758). During Sufi events officially sponsored by the IC, such as the aforementioned Ajvatovica pilgrimage, the predominant place is given to Naqshbandis (Henig 2014: 146 – 147). The acceptance of Naqshbandi by the leadership has a historic precedent, where the first state-sponsored Sufis in Bosnia were almost exclusively the Naqshbandi who were often close to the religious and political authorities (Kukavica 2012: 367). Part of the reason for this affinity is the Naqshbandi strict moral code, adherence to orthodox views, Shariʿah observance and their intentional engagement to bring society closer to religion. These factors have helped in promoting the Naqshbandi and have authorized them to represent Bosnian Sufi norms (Le Gall 2005: 67 – 69; Ćehajić 2000: 300 – 306). Furthermore, membership is comprised from all layers of society, with a significant portion of highly educated and influential people (Ibranović 2007: 45 – 46). "

Full Thesis PDF: https://eprints.mdx.ac.uk/25911/1/DAzdajic%20thesis.pdf