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, June 13, 2021

The Pivotal Role of Love in Sufism : William Chittick 

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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, 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, ‘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."

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The Divine Roots of Human Love: William Chittick

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"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.


The Sufi Path of Love: The Spiritual Teachings of Rumi- William 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). "

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Friday, June 4, 2021

 Loving the Beloved (saws) - Al-Maqasid Weekly Mawlid

YouTube Link Thursday June 3, 2021 -

This weekly program includes a recitation of the prophetic biography in poetry form followed by a counsel intended to connect the listener to the Prophet ﷺ and his teachings. The more we know about his life, character, and way, the more we will come to love and follow the one beloved to Allah.

PDF for following along can be downloaded from URL PROGRAM reoccurs each Thursday at 7 PM Eastern Find out more information about Al-Maqasid at

Yearning for the Beloved (saws) PDF: file:///Users/User/Downloads/yearning.Pdf


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Shaykh Yahya Rhodus is the Founding Director of Al-Maqasid, an Islamic seminary whose vision is to facilitate the realization of Islam, Iman and Ihsan through immersion in the Prophetic Inheritance. The concept of Al-Maqasid emerged from his own journey which began at the traditional school of Murabit al-Hajj in the desert of Mauritania shortly after his conversion. His path of learning then led him to the acclaimed school Dar al-Mustafa in Tarim, where he received instruction from the renowned scholar and spiritual guide Habib Umar Bin Hafiz. After graduating from Dar al-Mustafa and returning to the United States, he studied in a number of academic institutions, culminating in a PhD in Theology and Religious Studies from the University of Cambridge, England.

Shaykh Yahya believes in the necessity of building sound educational institutions that effectively nurture the realities of Islam in the lives of believers so that they can reach their full potential as human beings. He has dedicated his life to teaching and helping others put their knowledge into practice in order to benefit themselves and humanity. In the spirit of what he has learned from his teachers, Shaykh Yahya is committed to a holistic approach to religious life that considers the various dimensions of health and is embedded in love, mercy, knowledge, purity of heart, remembrance of God, good companionship, and concern for all of creation.

He hopes his work through Al-Maqasid will help transfer the beautiful religious heritage of Islam to the upcoming generations.




Born and raised in Ann Arbor, Michigan, Ustadh Amjad obtained his Bachelor of Arts at the University of Michigan in English Literature and Islamic Studies. He then spent an intensive year studying at Dar al-Mustafa for Islamic Sciences in Tarim, Yemen. There he studied under such luminaries as Habib Umar bin Hafiz, Habib Ali Abu Bakr, Habib Muhammad al-‘Aydarus, Sayyid Salim Bin Hafiz, Sh. Munir Ba-Zhayr, and others. Following his studies in Tarim, he enrolled at Hartford Seminary’s Islamic Chaplaincy program where he completed his Master of Arts in June of 2012. He then served as Muslim Chaplain at the University of Toronto for seven years before joining the faculty at Al-Maqasid in June 2019.

He is the host of SoulFood FM, a podcast about practical ways of achieving spiritual refinement. Additionally, he has translated Sufism: Its Essence & the Traits of Its People, Sacred Knowledge: Aims & Objectives, and The Islamic Discourse: Its Current State & Future Development, all of which were authored by al-Habib ‘Umar Bin Hafiz.




Ustadh Hasan was born and raised north of the border in Montreal, Canada. His pursuit of sacred Islamic knowledge has taken him to two continents to sit at the feet of those who still carry unbroken chains of sacred learning. During his stay in South Africa, Ustadh Hasan focused primarily on Quranic Studies. He subsequently moved to Tarim, Yemen, to study at Dar al-Mustafa. During his time there, he was able to study various  Islamic sciences, benefiting directly from Habib Umar bin Hafiz, Habib Muhammad bin Abdullah al-Aydarus, Habib Hashim bin Aqil, Shaykh Umar bin Husayn al-Khatib, and others. 

He returned from Tarim in 2015 to become a faculty member at Al-Maqasid, where he leads the Classical Arabic Program.




Sayyid Abdal Fattah Ba Alawi was born in Mogadishu, Somalia. His ancestors hail from Tarim, in the Hadramawt Valley of Yemen. He began memorizing the Quran with his mother at the age of five, committing two-thirds to memory before completing his memorization with Shaykh Abd al-Qadir at the Madrasa of Shaykh Ali Sufi. He subsequently relocated to the land of his ancestors in Tarim, where, for a number of years, he continued his studies at Dar al-Mustafa. 

As part of his specialization in Quranic Studies, Sayyid Abdal Fattah has numerous formal authorizations (Ijaza) in different modes of Quranic recitation. He has taught the Quran in many places during his stay in Yemen and the United States. He serves as the Resident Imam at Al-Maqasid.

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Ustadh Omar Popal was born and raised in northern Virginia. He began studying the Islamic sciences at the age of 16, devoting himself to memorization of the Quran at Madrasah In‘aamiyyah in Durban, South Africa. His pursuit of knowledge led him to study at Madinatul Uloom in Virginia and Dar al-Qasim in Chicago. In a commitment to lifelong learning, he has continued his studies sitting at the feet of various scholars, most recently spending time in Istanbul for intensive studies.

Ustadh Omar’s formative studies took place at Dar al-Mustafa in Tarim, Yemen.

Ustadh Omar has taught Arabic and Islamic studies at several mosques and institutes in northern Virginia. In 2018, he founded Tanwir Institute, with the mission of serving the educational and spiritual needs of the large Muslim population in the DC metropolitan area. He teaches Arabic and Islamic studies at Al-Maqasid. advanced students online.