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),

Tuesday, June 2, 2020

Religious School at Bayara’s Naqshbandi Khanqah, Kurdistan,Iraq

Naqshbandiya Foundation for Islamic Education: In Memory of Shaykh ...Religious School at Bayara’s Naqshbandi Khanqah
132 Years Old:
Behind The Scenes At Northern Iraq’s School For Sufis
Honar Hama Rasheed
NIQASH visits a school in Iraqi Kurdistan that trains novice clerics in a form of Islamic mysticism called Naqshbandi. Rules are strict here, the teachers say, but they have nothing to do with extremism.

A skinny ten-year-old roams the courtyard of this school for spiritual education that he joined only around a month previously. The boy, Mirin Mohammed, comes from the Darbandikhan district, south-east of the city of Sulaymaniyah, in the semi-autonomous region of Iraqi Kurdistan. And he’s here because his father wants him to study to become a cleric in the future. But right now, the youngster is just hungry and he peeps into the kitchen to see what his next meal will look like.
He says he has had no contact with his family in the 30 or so days, he’s been here.
Traditionally the khanqah have two main roles: teaching and distributing alms and food to the poor who come seeking it.
Far from being cruel, this is standard procedure at this religious school, in the Bayara district, northeast of the Iraqi Kurdish city of Halabja.
To be accepted at the school, students must follow rules to the letter and they may not use everyday devices, such as televisions, mobile phones or computers.
“When the scholars arrive, we take all those away,” the school supervisor, Fares Mohammed Shaqlawi, told NIQASH. “And they cannot use them during their stay except in emergencies. We don’t want the students to be distracted by earthly issues.”
The khanqah – as such schools are known – in Bayara is 132 years old. the school specialises in a form of Sunni spiritualism called Naqshbandi; it’s also categorised as a form of Islamic mysticism called Sufism. Today the institute has 121 students studying various Islamic subjects. The students’ ages range from ten to 35 and they come from all over Iraqi Kurdistan as well as from Turkey, Iran and Syria.
There is no specific time frame in which studies must be completed. The scholars work at their own pace and graduate when they finish. “After finishing their studies, the students get certificates and can become preachers or imams,” Shaqlawi explains. Generally though courses tend to take between five and seven years. There are two stages to the course and when students complete the first half, they move onto to the advanced level and are also recruited to help teach those who are just starting.
Behind The Scenes At Northern Iraq's School For Sufis | Niqash
Unfortunately the Iraqi Kurdish Ministry of Education does not recognize the qualification, the headmaster says, and they won’t explain why. The school had tried to add subjects like English and computer science but ran into problems, he adds. They’re trying to resolve these issues so that in the future, students can graduate with government-approved qualifications too.   
One of the interesting aspects of visiting the school is the presence of tombs and shrines of various religious community leaders inside the mosque here. Hundreds of visitors come to the school to see them.  
Traditionally the khanqah have two main roles, Shaqlawi notes: teaching and distributing alms and food to the poor who come seeking it. The shrines have become a decent source of income for the school because visitors usually leave a donation.
So the school has space for the students to sleep and can provide all their meals, alongside meals for all the visitors who come to the shrines; they eat together with the pupils.
The money the school receives covers the daily expenses of students, another of the school’s leaders, Mullah Yassin told NIQASH. He was reluctant to talk about exactly how much the institute gets saying instead that, “we believe God is going to bless our earnings and increase them to cover our expenses.”
Behind The Scenes At Northern Iraq's School For Sufis | Niqash
Between 2001 and 2003, the area here was partially controlled by an extremist Sunni Muslim group, Ansar al-Sunna, and the school had to be closed. The shrines were also exhumed and the scared remains taken elsewhere for safe keeping.
“Throughout its history the khanqah’s doors never closed, except for then,” Shaqlawi says. “It was a dark period.”
Behind The Scenes At Northern Iraq's School For Sufis | NiqashAs for the school’s, and the order’s relationship with the group known as the Naqshbandi army, a Sunni Muslim extremist group that was close to Saddam Hussein and later on the extremist Islamic State group, Shaqlawi says they have nothing to do with those people. “There is no relationship with them whatsoever and we are against what they do,” he says staunchly
NOTE: .Shaykh Umar Diya ad-Din Naqshbandi established Biyarah Khanqah (1307H) with a large comprehensive school that resembles university now a days with extension of the preliminary & elementary stages & which was full of students in the various conventional sciences and the common stages, along with the convenience of their accommodations and comfort. It was the most considerable amongst the centers of knowledge and education over one entire century, whereby it was attended annually by thousands of scholars and students of knowledge convening in informative sessions from Qur’anic Memorization to topmost subjects, such as : the study of Islamic Jurisprudence (Fiqh) and its principles, the study of Prophetic Traditions (Hadith) and its principles, tajwid and sciences of recitation ( ilm al Qira’a),the articles of faith ( aqa’id),theology ( ilm al kalam),philology and morphology (nahw wal sarf), rhetoric, aphorisms (wisdom), mathematics, logic, astronomy in its ancient form and ethics of research and argumentation.The Khanqah & School were destroyed by Al Qaida Affliate in Kurdistan.Dr.Jafar Naqshbandi son of Shaykh Muhammad Masum Naqshband(RA) recently renovated the Khanqah Complex and Islamic School.
PPT - What is Sufism? PowerPoint Presentation, free download - ID ...
Naqshbandi Khanqah , Bayara, Kurdistan, Iraq
Sufi Mosque Biara


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