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),

Saturday, December 27, 2008

Shaykh Muhammad Masum Naqshbandi RA d.2007

Shaykh Muhammad Ma'sum Naqshbandi(rahmat Allah alayhi)-d.2007

Eminent Shaykh of the Naqshbandiya Tariqa and Islamic Scholar from Kurdistan. Shaykh Muhammad Masum (ra), grandson of renowned Shaykh 'Umar Ziauddin (ra), was the last of his Naqshbandi spiritual sublineage. He was born in Biyara, Iraq, and completed his Islamic theological study under the guidance of renowned scholars Upon completion of his studies, he was granted the permission to serve both as a guide and teacher in both the Qadiri and Naqshbandi Sufi lineages by his renowned uncle, Shaykh Ala'uddin Naqshbandi, the last of the great masters (khwajagan) mentioned in the Naqshbandi litany, Khatm-i khwajagan. In the 1940's Shaykh Muhammad Masum (ra) was granted an official teaching certificate in the Islamic religious sciences from the Iraqi Ministry of Awqaf.
Shaykh Muhammad Masum (ra) spent the major part of his life in the city of Mahabad, Iran, and left Iran at the time of the 1979 Iranian revolution. After going to Europe and Iraq, he eventually migrated to the United States in 1991. There he continued to inspire, educate, and inform people about the universal message of Islam to the end of his days as an esteemed spiritual guide. Shaykh Muhammad Masum (ra) was the spiritual guide of the Naqshbandiyya Foundation for Islamic Education (NFIE) for several years. As a highly influential spiritual guide and Islamic scholar renowned for his depth of spiritual wisdom, Shaykh Muhammad Masum (ra) radiated a sincere, humble, and uncompromising piety like that of the Prophet Muhammad (pbuh). This extraordinary, yet down-to-earth man transformed the lives of people meeting him for over six decades. He himself was the living example of the hadith saying, "The learned scholars of my community are the heirs of the prophets." Shaykh Muhammad Masum (ra), left this world one year ago, leaving his loved ones and followers with a vacant place that cannot be filled. He was an exceptional spiritual figure who faithfully trod the path of his forefathers, who in turn upheld the highest principles in the most difficult of circumstances. This is a legacy that has continued for over a thousand years and which has transformed the lives of many. In this present age there seem to be very few who can match the impeccable faith in God, undisputed moral virtue, and depth of spiritual wisdom that their exemplary forefathers have embodied. May Allah bless us with the knowledge and ability to follow the path with a faithful adherence to the Sunna of our beloved Prophet (pbuh). All praise is due to Allah alone. Peace and blessings be on our Prophet, Muhammad (Allah bless him and give him peace), his family, and companions.
Shaykh Masum's Naqshbandi Lineage:
Shaykh Muhammad Masum Diyai Naqshbandi (d. 2007)
Shaykh Jamil Naqshbandi (d. 1931)
Umar Diya al-Din (d. 1901)
Muhammad Baha al-Din (d. 1873)
Uthman Siraj al-Din (d. 1868)
Mawlana Khalid (d. 1827)
Abdallah (Shah Ghulam Ali) al-Dihlawi (d. 1824)
Shams al-Din Habib Allah (Mirza Mazhar) Jan Janan (d. 1781)
al-Sayyid Nur Muhammad al-Badauni (d. 1723)
al-Sayyid Muhammad Sayf al-Din (d.1684)
Muhammad Masum (d.1668)
al-Imam al-Rabbani al-Shaykh Ahmad al-Faruqi ( d. 1624).

Naqshbandis of Hawraman- Part 2 - Farhad Shakely

Naqshbandis of Hawraman - part II
By Farhad Shakely, "The Naqshbandi shaikhs of Hawraman and the heritage of Khalidiyya-Mujaddidiyya in Kurdistan Part II" - The Kurdish Globe - Erbil, Kurdistan, Iraq Thursday, December 18, 2008The Siraj ad-Dini ShaikhsThe Siraj ad-Dini sheiks have been the most prominent representatives of the Khalidi suborder in Kurdistan since the time Mawlana Khalid left Kurdistan for Damascus at the end of 1237 A. H./autumn, 1822.Indeed Shaikh Uthman Siraj ad-Din I (1195/1781-1283/1867) was the most important figure among Mawlana Khalid's disciples even at a time when Mawlana was still living in Kurdistan and/or in Baghdad. The two men knew each other as students of Islamic sciences (faqê in Kurdish), and they met once again in Baghdad in 1226/1811 when Mawlana stayed in the mosque of Shaikh Abd al-Qadir al-Gaylani five months, shortly after his return from India to Sulaimanî.It was then that Faqê Uthman, who afterwards was known as Siraj ad-Din I, was initiated to the path by Mawlana. After two years of spiritual training, he was the first person to become a khalifa (deputy) of Mawlana on the whole. He was then thirty three years old.Shaikh Uthman Siraj ad-Din was born in Tawêla, in Hawraman region, near Halabja. According to many sources his parents were descendants of the Prophet Muhammad. The family, thus, is a Sayyid family. But the Siraj ad-Dini Shaikhs never claimed being Sayyids. Shaikh Uthman signed his letters with his own name followed by al-Khalidi al-Mujaddidi an-Naqshbandi.Shaikh Uthman accompanied his preceptor during the years in which Mawlana was twice obliged to leave Sulaimani for Baghdad. In Sulaimani Shaikh 'Uthman usually substitued for Mawlana in the khatm assemblies. The disciples were instructed by Mawlana to attend Uthman's khatm circles. Among these were outstanding names like Sayyid Isma'il Daghistani, Mulla Abd al-Hakim Kashghari and Shaikh Muhammad of Halabja.Apparently Mawlana Khalid, who had much organisational ability, was preparing his disciple to succeed him and to take the difficult and crucial responcibility of spreading the order in Kurdistan.When Mawlana left Sulaimani for Baghdad for the last time in 1820, Shaikh Uthman did not follow him. He moved, instead, to his home region, Hawraman, and began to establish a strong base for the order, which became one of the most important centres for the Khalidi suborder in the whole Middle East and continued to be such untill the fifties of the present century. This centre not only contributed greatly in spreading the sufi teachings of the Naqshbandi order, but also produced a number of poets whose poems are examples of the most significant and marvellous sufi poetry as a whole.This indispensable position of Siraj ad-Din for Mawlana and for the order, becomes more clear when we know that during the summer months of 1236/1821 and 1237/1822 Mawlana left the heat of Baghdad for the summer resorts of Hawraman where he met Siraj ad-Din and supervised the Naqshbandi networks in Kurdistan. Shaikh Uthman also visited Mawlana in Baghdad, at least once, during this period.It was from Kurdistan, not from Baghdad, as it is commonly, but wrongly, accepted in the sources about the Khalidi suborder, that Mawlana Khalid went to Damascus.After leaving Sulaimânî in 1236/1822, Mawlana was represented in his Sulaimani khanaqa by Shaikh Abdullah Hirati (d. 1245/1839-40), who was assisted by Shaikh Muhammad Sahib (d.1283/1866), the brother of Mawlana. When Mawlana died in 1242/1827 Hirati, and a short time later also Sahib, left for Damascus. A few years later, in 1254/1838 the Baban Ahmad Pasha invited Shaikh Uthman to be in charge of the Khalidi khanaqa in Sulaimani. The Shaikh accepted the task and supervised the khanaqa, but he did not abandon Hawraman, to where he returned often.With the exception of those two years, Shaikh Uthman lived in Tawêla and Biyara, in Hawraman, from 1236/1820, the year Mawlana left Sulaimani for Baghdad, until his death, i.e. Shaikh Uthman's death, in 1283/1867. In nearly half a century he was the most prominent khalifa of Mawlana Khalid in Hawraman and Baban regions.The Shaikh had a great number of khalîfas and mansûbs /deputies and affiliates from different regions in Kurdistan and the Middle East. In his hagiography about Mawlana Khalid and the Naqshbandi Shaikhs of Hawraman, Malâ 'Abd al-Karîm-î Mudarris enumerates 96 khaiîfas and 33 mansubs of Shaikh Uthman. Among them we find many great 'ulama and poets but also two powerful rulers; Ahmad Pasha of Baban and Rizaquli Khan of Sina (Sanadaj) in Ardalan.This is contrary to what many researchers inferred, that the Naqshbandiyya was only an assembly for opposition sects in the Kurdish soceity.In addition to his letters there are a few lines of poetry and ten advisory articles by Shaikh Uthman, in which he instructes his disciples in the issues of the order. In one of these articles, dated 1272/1856, he appoints his sons Muhammad Baha' ad-Din and Abd ar-Rahman as his deputies and successors and advises his followers to obey them.Shaikh Uthman Siraj ad-Din I was succeeded in turn by five Shaikhs in his family. But it should be indicated also that other members of the family have been in charge of the path in different periods, with own disciples and khanaqas.He was succeeded directly by his son Shaikh Muhammad Baha' ad-Din (1252/1837 -1298/1881).Although in his testament, Siraj ad-Din had appointed two of his sons; Baha' ad-Din and Abd ar-Rahman Abu al-Wafa (1253/1837-1285/1868) to be his successors, but apart from a very short time, Shaikh Abd ar-Rahman declined the position and resided in Baghdad.He was a creating poet. The small amount of poems to which we have access today, some 70 poems in Persian, mostly ghazals, indicates his talent as a sufi poet. Baha' ad-Din also was a poet, although only a few of his poems are extant.The third Shaikh in the Siraj ad-Din silsila (initiating chain) was Shaikh Umar Zhia' ad-Din (1255/1839-1318/1901). He was distiguished from his predecessors in some aspects. It was in his time as a Shaikh that dhikr-i jahr (vocal remembrance) was practised besides dhikr-i khafi (silent remembrance). He was known for his enthusiasm for science and education, and for culture as a whole. He built several new khanaqas in Khanaqin, Kifri, Qizrabat, Biyara, Tawêla and Sardasht. He was a brilliant poet in Kurdish, Persian and Arabic. In his poems he used "Fawzî" as his takhallus (pen name).We have access also to some fifty letters written by him to his deputies or to the great men of his time, among whom we find the Qajari Shah Muzaffar ad-Din (reigned 1896-1907) and the Ottoman Sultan Abd al-Hamid II (reigned 1876-1909). There are, moreover, three treatises on sufi teachings.A remarkable feature in the life of Shaikh Umar Ziya' ad-Din was his good relation to the Qadiri Shaikhs and their disciples and followers, which will be dealt with later.The immediate successor in the chain was his son Shaikh Najm ad-Din (1280/1863-1337/1918) who was known for his zuhd (renunciation). The Ottomans wanted to give him a monthly salary to use it for the Khanaqa and its visitors, but the Shaikh rejected the offer.He had great interest in intellectual conversations with the scholars who so often visited the khanaqah in Biyâra. He was a poet, but the number of the poems available to us is very small.Shaikh Najm ad-Din was succeded by his brother Shaikh Muhammad Ala' ad-Din (1280/1863-1373/1954). He wrote a treatise in Arabic entitled Tibb al-Qulub (Healing the hearts) which contains advices and recommendations. He was a well-known phisician who helped thousands of people in the region and he prescribed them herbal medicine.When Shaikh Ala' ad-Din died in 1954 he was succeeded by his son Shaikh Muhammad Uthman Siraj ad-Din II (1314/1896-1417/1997), who was already a well-known and established sufi leader. Shaikh Uthman II was deeply learned in Islamic theology as well as in Kurdish and Persian poetry. He was moreover a skillful phisician with wide knowledge of herbal medicine.When the monarchy in Iraq was overthrown by General Abd al-Karim Qasim, Shaikh Uthman left Iraqi Kurdistan in 1959 and resided in Iranian Kurdistan about two decades. After the Iranian revolution he came back to Hawraman, Iraqi Kurdistan, but he soon left it for Baghdad.He spent the last seven/eight years of his life in Istanbul, where he died on 30 January, 1997. He was buried inside his residence, close to the khanaqa in Istanbul.Shaikh Uthman was also a poet; two volumes of his poems, in Kurdish and Persian, are published, as well as a volume of his treatises and letters entitled Siraj al-Qulub "Lantern of Hearts" of which an English translation is also published.Shaikh Uthman died almost simultaneously; as his brother Shaikh Mawlana Khalid, also a sufi leader, in Sanadaj, Iranian Kurdistan. No one of them knew, at least outwardly, about the death of his brother, and thus a great wish of their lives was fulfilled. Both had wished that he may never experience (the usual Kurdish expression here is not to see) the death of his brother. In tens of poems and hundreds of letters that were coming and going between them in the span of the last 70-80 years, they expressed that wish time and again. This was one of the last wondrous deeds (karamat) so often attributed to them throughout their lives. Shaikh Uthmân was 101 years old when he died and Shaikh Khalid was 99.Shaikh Uthman was named after his great-gradnfather Uthman Siraj ad-Dîn I and Shaikh Khalid was named after Mawlana Khalid.The role of the Naqshbandi Shaikhs of Hawraman in spreading and establishing the Naqshbandiyya-Mujaddidiyya-Khalidiyya in Kurdistan and in parts of the Middle-East is of central importance. It was under the guidance of them and their deputies that the order reached most of the regions in Iraqi and Iranian Kurdistan, Turkman Sahra in Iran, Northern Syria, Lebanon and Bosnia.Nevertheless, they still identify themselves as Khalidis and Mujaddidis, and never invented, or claimed to have invented, a new sub-order.Courtesy:Sufi News and Sufi World Report

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Naqshbandis of Hawraman Part 1 - Farhad Shakely

Wednesday, December 10, 2008
Naqshbandis of Hawraman Part 1
By Farhad Shakely, "The Naqshbandi shaikhs of Hawraman and the heritage of Khalidiyya-Mujaddidiyya in Kurdistan" - The Kurdish Globe - Erbil, Kurdistan, Iraq
Thursday, December 4, 2008Part One: Preliminary RemarksThe history of the Naqshbandi order has been, to a great extent, recorded and studied by Western scholars as well as by the leaders of the order and their followers.Studies in this context are not, understandably, in proportion to various periods of the history of the order or its geographical expansion. As far as Kurdistan and the Kurdish Naqshbandis are concerned, almost all the studies have tended to focus too much on Mawlana Khalid Sharazuri (1193/1779-1242/1827), the eponym and founder of the Khalidiyya suborder, and the early years in the development of Khalidiyya.This paper will be confined to studying the post-Mawlana periods of the Khalidiyya suborder, and more especially the Naqshbandi shayks of Hawraman, the Siraj ad-Dini family, who have been the most influencial and prominent representatives of the Khalidiyya branch in Kurdistan and in the whole Middle-East.A great emphasis will be put on the family's role in spreading the Naqshbandi order from the time of Siraj ad-Din I onwards. The main features of the order that have been shaped in the span of more than one and a half century will be studied in the light of, and in comparison with, the situation of the order in the time of Mawlana Khalid at the beginning of the nineteenth century.Mawlana Khalid and KhalidiyyaThe Naqshbandi order as was introduced in Kurdistan in the beginning of the nineteenth century by Mawlana Khalid had its special features that, no doubt, contributed to its development and the spread of its teachings. Those features were identical, to a great extent, with the mainstream sufi views established and/or reestablished by Shaikh Ahmad Sirhindi (d. 1624) and his successors. It is, therefore, quite natural that Mawlana Khalid would represent the ideas and teachings of his masters in the subcontinent, by whom he was initiated to the path.But it is also true that Mawlana Khalid was not just one of those hundreds or perhaps thousands of deputies who were initiated, trained and instructed by Shaikh Abdullah Dihlavi, also known as Shah Ghulam Ali, (d. 1240/1824) . He was, due to several reasons, exceptional in his position, qualities and ablities.Shah Ghulam Ali conferred upon Mawlana Khalid "full and absolute successorship" (khilafa tamma mutlaqa), a rank which he seems to have denied other deputies. There are statements by Shah Ghulam Ali in which he expressed his awareness of the unique position of Mawlana Khalid.After staying one year in the Khanaqah in Delhi, Shah Ghulam Ali, tells Mawlana to go back to Kurdistan. When taking farewell of his master they had an interesting conversation.Lastly Shah Ghulam asked him: what else do you want?Mawlana replied: "I want the religion (din) and I want the (earthly) world (dunya) to strengthen the religion."The Shaikh tells him: "Go, I gave (bestowed on) you the whole of it."Mawlana Khalid returned to Kurdistan in 1811 and left it for Damascus in 1822 for ever. Even during those eleven years he spent more than five years of his life in Baghdad. This period, although relatively very short, was quite important and decisive for the order, since it was in these years that the order was established firmly and most of the great and prominent deputies were initiated.On his way to and from India through Iran, Mawlana Khalid was confronted several times by Iranian Shi'i scholars and had heated discussions with them concerning different religious questions. In Hamadan an attempt on his life was made, but he escaped death.The Naqshbandiyya-Mujaddidiyya was recognized as an anti-Shi'a order. This was, partly, due to the fact that there was a great Shi'a population in the original regions of the order in the Indian subcontinent, and the daily contfrontation strengthened that tendency. There were certainly also historical reasons for the tension in the relations between the Naqshbandis and the Shi'a. But when Mawlana Khalid returned to Kurdistan this aspect was totally minimized.There was no need to emphasize anti-Shi'ism because there was no direct confrontation with the Shi'a. On the other hand the Indian Mujaddidis were on good terms with the leaders and followers of the Qadiriyya order, and Mawlana got his Khilafa even for the Qadiriyya order. But once Mawlana was back in Sulaymani he was confronted with great rivalry by the leader of the Qadiri order; Shaikh Ma'ruf Nodê (Nudahi) (1175/1761-1254/1838).The Qadiri order was well established in Kurdistan at that time and had great influence upon the people and even the rulers of the Kurdish Baban principality. The return of Mawlana Khalid and the rapid spread of the Naqshbandiyya-Mujaddidiyya as a new and energetic order disturbed the Qadiri leaders, who resisted Mawlana Khalid strongly. The rivalry was escalated to a degree that even Mawlana's trustworthiness as a Muslim was questioned by Shaikh Ma'ruf who also accused him of being a liar and a heretic.It should be indicated that the political factor in this conflict was not only present but also effective. The Baban Mahmud Pasha harbored ill will against Mawlana Khalid and feared his influence upon his brothers and cousins. It is not unlikely that the Pasha played a role in deepening the dispute between the two orders for the benifit of his political ends.Although Mawlana Khalid was deeply touched by the circumstances, he showed, nevertheless, great restraint and never let be driven into polemics. He expressed his willingness to have discussions and dialogue with his opponents. In letters to one of the Baban princes, 'Uthman Pasha, he suggests that Shaikh Ma'ruf and "great scholars" should come to meet him and he would debate and converse with them (in faqir ba Uha mubahatha va guftgu mikunam). He suggests further that the Pasha himself would be present in the meeting.Mawlana Khalid's attempts to achieve a peacefull solution seemingly did not gain any success and he chose to leave Sulaimani firstly, and reside in Baghdad where he stayed about three years.When Mahmud Pasha succeded his father, Abd ar-Rahman Pasha (d. 1228/1813), as the ruler of the Baban principality, he visited Baghdad and invited Mawlana to return to Kurdistan, which he did in 1231/1816 or 1232/1817.Apparently the situation was not proper for Mawlana to stay a long time, therefore he left Sulaimani for ever on 25th of October, 1820. Apart from the summer months of 1821 and 1822 which Mawlana spent in Hawraman, he stayed in Baghdad. After spending the summer of 1822 in Kurdistan he left via Urfa and Dayr az-Zur to Damascus were he arrived most probably late in November 1822.It is often indicated that Mawlana left Kurdistan, and Baghdad, for Damascus to escape the Qadiris' hostility. Considering the situation from an historical perspective, it is borne in one's mind that it was necessery for the Order to expand widely and not to be limited to Sulaimani or Baghdad.A sort of settlement was, however, reached with the Qadiri leaders while Mawlana was still in life, and Shaikh Ma'ruf Nodê declared his repentance in his letters to Mawlana and by sending his envoys to him asking for meeting and reconciliation, and, moreover, to forgive his, Shaikh Ma'ruf's, shortcomings.The time between Mawlana's return to Kurdistan as a sufi guide and his death was relatively short, but he succeded in establishing the Naqshbandiyya-Mujaddidiyya as the most powerful and influencial sufi order in the Middle-East. He is compared in this respect to Shah Ghulam Ali.In 1820, when he was still living in Kurdistan, the number of his disciples was estimated at 12,000, which is not easy to affirm or disprove.One thing is certain in this context; no other Naqshbandi-Mujaddidi Shaikh before him succeded like him in initiating so many great and distinguished scholars to the order. Courtesy:Sufi News and Sufism World Report