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),

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


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