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),

Sunday, May 31, 2009

Sirat e Amir e Millat.Biography of Sayyid Jama'at Ali Shah (r.a)1841-1951

Sirat e Amir e Millat by Sayyid Akhtar Hussain & Muhammad Tahir Faruqi ( Urdu)

Sayyid Akhtar Hussain Shah (r.a) the grandson of Sayyid Jama'at Ali Shah compiled biography of his grandfather,a great Naqshbandi Sufi Scholar published on December15, 1973.In the introduction he writes " This book is a life story of a Perfect Dervish of Silsila Naqshbandiya Mujaddadiya,Pious Muslim,Pure Sufi,Man of God,Helper and Axis of Age. Hazrat Amir e Millat Muhathus Alipuri was a Gawth(Spiritual Helper), a Qutb(Spiritual Axis) and a Mujaddad (Revivalist) of this Century.He educated and guided the mankind for a century.During this period he was engaged inReligious Revival ,Islamic Education and Propagation and Service of Naqshbandiyya Sufi order.My aim in this book is to mention briefly his religious,social,moral,spiritual and political contributions."

Sayyid Jama'at Ali Shah Naqshbandi(r.a) Part 2

Pir Sayyid Jamaat Ali Shah Naqsbandi-Mujaddidi [d.1370 H/1951 CE]

Amir al Millat Hadrat Pir Sayyid Jamaat Ali Shah Sahib quds-sirruhu (c.1840 -1951) of Alipur Sharif, Sialkot, Pakistan. The Shaykh was one of the great saints of the Punjab and a sayyid also from both maternal and paternal sides of his family. His ancestors, all sufi masters themselves, hailed from Shiraz in Iran and came to the Subcontinent when one of them accompanied Emperor Humayoun back to Delhi after his exile in Iran where Humayoun had originally met him. The Shaykh's ancestors honoured the court of Humayoun with their presence but when Akbar began to deviate from the religion of Islam and announced his 'Din i Ilaahi' they left the imperial court in protest. Akbar was loathe to see such saintly persons go but they were adamant and so he granted them a piece of land in Alipur area as a parting honour. Here the Shaykh's ancestors settled in the subcontinent and their descendants have remained there ever since.Hadrat Jama'at Ali Shah sahib was renowned for his saintliness even as a young child and after completing his religious studies (he was an expert in all of the branches of fiqh but especially in the sciences of hadith) he went throughout the width and breadth of the subcontinent working tirelessly for Islam and the Muslims. He laid the foundation stones--and funded-- hundreds of mosques throughout the Subcontinent from Peshawar to Hyderabad, Deccan. He was a leading personality in all of the major movements of that time such as the Khilafat movement and he was especially active against the Arya Samaj movement and helped to save the iman of countless Muslims with his tireless efforts. He also was one of the key defenders of the Ahl as-Sunnah faith against the rise of Qadianism and also was an opponent of the reform movements like that of the Wahabis.He had a wonderful, awe-inspiring personality and was gentle and loving towards all, yet was afraid of no one when it came to defending the religion of Allah's Messenger sal Allahu alayhi wa sallam; this is demonstrated by his leadership of the Muslims during the Shahid Ganj Mosque incident where the Shaykh led the opposition to the plans of the British rulers in Lahore as well as his refusal to pray behind the official Wahabi Imams in the Haramain appointed by King Saud and his refusal to visit the King when he was ordered to do so to explain: "I am a faqeer, he is a king" was his famous reply. In the end it was Saud who relented and allowed the Shaykh to pray by himself! He received medals from the Sultan of Ottoman Turkey for his services to Islam and for his amazing generosity in helping the people of Madina during a drought there for which he received the title "Abu'l Arab".However, apart from his vast learning, it was as a Sufi shaykh that the saint was loved by the populace and it is estimated that he had over 1 million murids [disciples] from Afghanistan to the southern tip of India; he received the khirqa [cloak] from his Shaykh very soon after taking bayah [pledge of spiritual allegaince] and was thus the representative of his Shaykh early on. He was authorized to accept murids into many Sufi Orders but it was as a Naqshbandi Master that he is famous for, carrying the great secret of this Order. He transformed the lives of countless people and sinners repented at his hands by the thousand and many others themselves reached the highest levels of spiritual development by his attention. His karamaat [miracles] are too many to recount and there are many eye-witnesses to them.He was extremely generous and magnanimous towards all, especially the poor, and he would not eat alone and the poor had been invited to share his table with him. Though possessing great family wealth the Shaykh spent it all on Islam and the poor, himself living frugally in the manner of the great Naqshbandi Sufis of the past.He was a big supporter of the Pakistan movement and amongst his admirers was one Muhammad Iqbal, the poet. Also, he wrote many letters to Quaid e Azam offering advice and support and he was instrumental in getting the populace to vote for the Muslim League: he issued a fatwa saying that he would not read the janazah prayer of anyone of his mureeds who did not vote for Pakistan. He sent a tasbih and prayer mat to the Quaid too and asked him to pray regularly. As a Sufi he occupied the status of a Perfect Master and he was loved by all and sundry. It is for his love of the Beloved Prophet of Allah alayhi salaat o salaam that he is especially famous for. He passed onto his Creator in 1951 but until the very end he stuck passionately to the commands of the Shar'iah, never missing a prayer and often he would pray all night long. Inna lillaha wa inna ilayhi raaj'iun. (Ya Nabi.Com)

Saturday, May 30, 2009

Sayyid Jama'at Ali Shah Naqshbandi(r.a)

Sayyid Jamaat Ali Shah Naqshbandi (r.a)

Sayyid Jama'at Ali Shah (rahmat Allah alayhi) - d. 1951
Naqshbandiyya revivalist contributions in the twentieth century are centered around Sayyid Jamaat Ali Shah (rahmat Allah alayhi). He was born in the village of Alipur Sayyidan in the Sialkot District of Punjab (Pakistan), where he received an extensive religious education, achieving distinction as a memorizer of Quran (hafiz) and a Hadith specialist (muhaddith). He was initiated into Naqshbandiyya Mujaddadiyya in 1891 by Baba Faqir Muhammad Churahi (d.1897) (rahmat Allah alayhi). He established his religious leadership in the Islamic revival movement by actively propagating Islam (tablig) as he traveled to many villages and towns throughout the Indian subcontinent. Not only encouraging regular performance of required religious duties according to Islamic law (sharia) and supervising the construction of mosques, he propagated idea of Naqshbandiyya and attracted learned religious scholars to join the Islamic revival movement. In 1904, Jamaat Ali Shah (rahmat Allah alayhi) founded the Anjuman-i-Khuddam as-Sufiyya (The Voluntary Association of Sufi Servants) and began publishing the Anjuman's monthly journal, Risla-yi-anwar as-Sufiyya. The explicit goals of the Anjuman were:1. To unify all Sufi groups,2. To spread knowledge of Taswwuf (Sufism),3. To make books on Sufism available,4. To circulate the Journal in which Sufis' hagiographies, exemplary character, and conduct are featured.In 1925 he presided over first All-India Sunni Conference, giving the keynote speech. Then in September 1935,having been declared the " leader of Muslim Community" (amir-i-millat),at a special conference of the "United Muslim Community" (ittihad-i-millat),he stressed the need for love of Prophet saws followed by the need for active propagation of Islam, for unity of Sufis and Ulama. Throughout the Pakistan movement, Jamaat Ali Shah (r.a) supported Mohammad Ali Jinnah and Muslim League. At the 1946 All-India Sunni Conference, he publicly exclaimed (to counter those who accused Jinnah of being non-Muslim), "Jinnah is an intimate of God." The conference was attended by 500 shaykhs, 7000 ulama, and over 100,000 other people, which encouraged the Muslim League to form Pakistan. A committee with many scholars and Sufis was set up to make sure that the new Pakistan government would be Islamic. He passed away in 1951.Today many successors and their disciples are scattered throughout Pakistan and India, some of whom have established Sufi lodges in England and United States. Sayyid Afdal Husayn Shah is the living successor in Jamaat Ali's lineage and serves on Naqshbandiya Foundation for Islamic Education's Advisory Council.
Naqshbandi Lineage:1. Sayyid Jamaat Ali Shah(d.1951)2. Faqir Muhammad Churahi (d.1897)3. Nur Muhammad Churahi (d.1869)4. Faydullah Tirahi (d.1829)5. Khwaja Isa (d.1806)6. Shah Jamalullah (d.1794)7. Shah Qutbuddin (d.1766)8. Muhammad Zubayr (d. 1740)9. Hujjatullah Naqshband (d.1702)10. Muhammad Masum (d. 1668)11. Ahmad Sirhundi (d. 1624)(From Buehler, "Charisma and Exemplar,"1993)

Monday, May 25, 2009

What is Naqshbandiyya Sufi Order?

What is the Naqshbandiyya Sufi Order?
By the 10th Century, Sufi's were expected to have recognized spiritual genealogies in the form of continuous chains of Sufis going back to the Prophet (saws) himself and in the 13th Century International Islamic Sufi groups named after founder-figures had developed, for example, Qadiriyya, the Suharawardiyya, the Chistiyya, and the Naqshbandiyya. The Naqshbandi tariqa is a pan-Islamic Sufi lineage of Central Asian lineage, named after Bahauddin Naqshband (d. 1389) (rahmat Allah alayhi), who is buried near Bukhara in present day Uzbekistan. Historically, the Naqshbandiyya can be divided into three stages, each of which is distinguished by a pivotal charismatic figure who developed new spiritual practices and even redefined the identity of the Sufi group. The first stage, called "the way of the masters" since the time of Khwaja 'Abdulkhaliq Ghujduwani (d. 1179), originated with the Prophet (saws) and Abu Bakr as-Siddiq (radiya Allahu anhu). Bahauddin Naqshband (rahmat Allah alayhi), the founder figure, initiates the second historical stage when the spiritual path was called the Naqshbandiyya. The third historical stage of the Naqshbandiyya begins with Shaykh Ahmed Sirhindi (d. 1624) (rahmat Allah alayhi). Also called the renewer of the second millennium (mujaddid-i alf-I thani), he represents the most famous of Shaykh Baqibillah's (rahmat Allah alayhi) disciples who redefined Tassawuf's role in the society with the goal of following in the footsteps of the Prophet (saws). Perfect performance of the Islamic religious legal requirements and emulation of Prophetic behavior became the Naqshbandi touchstone of legitimacy for a person who had returned from the spiritual heights/depths. The conscious modeling of one's inward and outward behavior on that of the Prophet (saws), the inner and outer sunna, became the norm for Naqshbandis. According to Sirhindi (rahmat Allah alayhi), no Muslim can become a protege of God (waliullah) unless he follows the Prophetic example because of the preference of the Prophet (saws) himself who has reached a spiritual level that no other prophet reached. Tariqa is not something separate from sharia but it is one dimension and its "servant." Shaykh Ahmad Sirhindi Imam Rabbani (rahmat Allah alayhi) said in one of his celebrated letters (maktubat) "The Sharia consists of three parts, knowledge (ilm), deeds (amal), and sincerity (ikhlas)." Until all three are present and realized, sharia cannot be said to be fulfilled. When sharia is fulfilled the pleasure of God Almighty and Exalted results. This is superior to all forms of happiness to be found in this word and in the hereafter. The Sharia is the guarantor of all happiness both in this world and the hereafter. There is no human concern for which he has needs anything beyond Sharia. So Sharia is all inclusive and all-sufficient. The Tariqa by means of which the Sufis are distinguished from the rest of the community is the servant of Sharia, has the function of perfecting its third component, sincerity (ikhlas). From India the Naqshbandiyya-Mujaddidiyya often spread to numerous parts of the Islamic world by way of Mecca and Medina. Maulana Khalid Baghdadi (rahmat Allah alayhi), after obtaining his initiation in the Naqshbandiyya in India, traveled to the Middle East and established a whole network of successors throughout the region, including Kurdistan, Daghistan, and Anatolia. Shaykh Shamil who led the resistance to the Russians in the North Caucasus for an extremely long period was in the Khalidi sublineage of the Naqshbandiyya.