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The Naqshbandi (Persian: نقشبندیه)[a] is a major Tariqa of Sunni Islam. Its name is derived from the Sayyid Baha-ud-Din Naqshband Bukhari. Naqshbandi masters trace their lineage to the Islamic prophet Muhammad through Abu Bakr, the first Caliph of Sunni Islam and Ali, the fourth Caliph of Sunni Islam.[1][2][3][4][5] It is because of this dual lineage through Ali and Abu Bakr through the 6th Imam Jafar al Sadiq that the order is also known as the "convergence of the two oceans" or "Sufi Order of Jafar al Sadiq".[6]


A Khanaqah (prayer house) of Naqshbandi in Saqqez's bazaar in Iran.

The Naqshbandi order owes many insights to Yusuf Hamdani and Abdul Khaliq Gajadwani in the 12th century, the latter of whom is regarded as the organizer of the practices and is responsible for placing stress upon the purely silent invocation.[7] It was later associated with Baha-ud-Din Naqshband Bukhari in the 14th century, hence the name of the order. Afterward, a branch or sub-order name was added. From 'Ubeydullah Ahrar to Imam Rabbani, the way was called "Naqshbandiyya-Ahrariyya"; from Imam Rabbani to Shamsuddin Mazhar "Naqshbandiyya-Mujaddadiyya"; from Shamsuddin Mazhar to Khalid al-Baghdadi "Naqshbandiyya-Mazhariyya"; from Mawlana Khalid onwards "Naqshbandiyya-Khalidiyya"; "Naqshbandiyya-Mustafvi" (Khalidi) and so on.[8]

South Asia

Tomb of Ahmad Sirhindī (1564–1624) was a prominent member of the Naqshbandī Sufi order.
The tomb of the supreme leaders of the order in Kashmir.
Shrine of Islamic Naqshbandi saints of Allo Mahar Sharif.

The Naqshbandiyya order became an influential factor in Indo-Muslim life and for two centuries it was the principal spiritual order in the Indian subcontinent. Baqi Billah Berang, who was born in Kabul and brought up and educated in Kabul and Samarkand, is credited for bringing the order to India during the end of the 16th century. He tried to spread his knowledge about the order but died three years later. His disciple Ahmad Sirhindi took over after his death, and it was through him that the order gained popularity within a short period of time. Shah Waliullah Dehlawi was an 18th-century member of the order.[9]


The Naqshbandiyya order was introduced into Syria at the end of the 17th century by Murad Ali al-Bukhari, who established himself in Damascus and traveled throughout Arabia. His branch became known as the Muradiyya and was led by his descendants. In 1820, Khalid Shahrazuri rose as a prominent Naqshbandi leader in the Ottoman world and his order became known as the Khalidiyya which spread for at least two decades. In Syria and Lebanon, the leaders of every active Naqshbandiyya group acknowledged its spiritual lineage. Later, a strife between Khalid's khalifas led to disruption of the order and it divide. The Farmadiyya branch, which practices silent and vocal invocation, is still present in Lebanon and is named after Ali-Farmadi. The pre-Mujaddidi line of the Naqshbandiyya in Greater Syria came to an end when political leader Musa Bukhar died in 1973. The only branch to have survived till recently is the one based in the khanqah al-Uzbakiyya in Jerusalem.[10]


The Naqshbandi order rose to prominence in Egypt during the 19th century. A major khanqah was constructed in 1851 by Abbas I as a favor to the Naqshbandi sheikh Ahmad Ashiq, who led the order until his death in 1883. Ahmad Ashiq practiced the Diya'iyya branch of the Khalidiyya. Two other versions of Naqshbandiyya spread in Egypt in the last decades of the 19th century: the Judiyya, led by sheikh Juda Ibrahim, and the Khalidiyya, led by Sudanese al-Sharif Isma'il al-Sinnari and his successors. These branches continued to grow and are still active today. Unfortunately, none of the early orders survived far into the 20th century, and all khanqahs in Egypt were closed in 1954 when the buildings were either assigned a different function or demolished.[10]


Ma Laichi's mausoleum (Hua Si Gongbei) in Linxia City, is the earliest and most important Naqshbandi monument in China.

Ma Laichi brought the Naqshbandi (نقشبندية) 納克什班迪 order to China, creating the Khufiyya (خفيه) 虎夫耶 Hua Si Sufi 华寺; ("Multicolored Mosque") menhuan. Ma Mingxin, also brought the Naqshbandi order, creating the Jahriyya (جهرية) 哲赫林耶 menhuan. These two menhuan were rivals, and fought against each other which led to the Jahriyya Rebellion, Dungan revolt, and Dungan Revolt (1895).[11]

Prominent sheikhs

Principal teachings

11 Principles of Naqshbandiyya

The Naqshbandi order has eleven principle teachings known as the Eleven Naqshbandi principles. The first eight were formulated by Abdul Khaliq Gajadwani, and the last three were added by Baha-ud-Din Naqshband Bukhari.[7]

  • Remembrance (Yād-kard – Persian: یاد کرد): Always orally and mentally repeating the dhikr.
  • Restraint (Bāz-gasht – Persian: بازگشت): Engaging in the heart repetition of the al-kalimat at-tayyiba phrase – "La-ilaha il-allah muhammadur rasul-allah".
  • Watchfulness (Negāh-dāsht – Persian: نگاه داشت): Being conscientious over wandering thoughts while repeating Al-kalimat at-tayyiba.
  • Recollection (Yād-dāsht – Persian: ياد داشت): Concentration upon the Divine presence in a condition of dhawq, foretaste, intuitive anticipation or perceptiveness, not using external aids.
  • Awareness while breathing (Housh dar dam – Persian: هوش در دم): Controlling one's breathing by not exhaling or inhaling in the forgetfulness of the Divine.
  • Journeying in one's homeland (Safar dar watan - Persian: سفر در وطن): An internal journey that moves the person from having blameworthy to praiseworthy properties. This is also referred to as the vision or revelation of the hidden side of the shahada.
  • Watching one's step (Nazar bar qadam - Persian: نظر بر قدم): Do not be distracted from purpose of the ultimate journey.
  • Solitude in a crowd (Khalwat dar anjuman - Persian: خلوت در انجمن): Although journey is outwardly in this world, it is inwardly with God.
  • Temporal pause (Wuquf-i zamāni - Persian: وقوف زمانی): Keeping account of how one spends his or her time. If time is spent rightfully give thanks and time is spent incorrectly ask for forgiveness.
  • Numerical pause (Wuquf-i adadi - Persian: وقوف عددی): Checking that the dhikr has been repeated in odd numbers.
  • Heart pause (Wuquf-i qalbi - Persian: وقوف قلبی): Forming a mental picture of one's heart with the name of God engraved to emphasize that the heart has no consciousness or goal other than God.

See also



  1. ^ Also known as Naqshbandiyah (Arabic: نقشبندية, romanizedNaqshbandīyah), Neqshebendi (Kurdish: نەقشبەندی), and Nakşibendi (in Turkish)


  1. ^ Milani, M.; Possamai, A.; Wajdi, F. (2017). "Branding of Spiritual Authenticity and Nationalism in Transnational Sufism". In Michel, P.; Possamai, A.; Turner, B. (eds.). Religions, Nations, and Transnationalism in Multiple Modernities. Palgrave Macmillan. p. 197-220. doi:10.1057/978-1-137-58011-5_10. ISBN 978-1-137-59238-5.
  2. ^ Reimer, D. (1913). Die Welt des Islams Zeitschrift der Deutschen Gesellschaft für Islamkunde. p. 191. Archived from the original on 23 January 2023. Retrieved 4 August 2022. ((cite book)): |work= ignored (help)
  3. ^ Zelkina, Anna (2000). Quest for God and Freedom: Sufi Responses to the Russian Advance in the North Caucasus. Hurst & Company. p. 77. ISBN 9781850653844. Archived from the original on 23 January 2023. Retrieved 4 August 2022. Excerpt from note 11: "There are some Naqshbandi branches which trace their silsila through Ali ibn Abi Taleb." See Algar, 1972, pp. 191-3; al-Khani, 1308. pg 6 ((cite book)): |work= ignored (help)
  4. ^ Kugle, Scott Alan (2007). Sufis & saints' bodies: Mysticism, Corporeality and Sacred Power in Islam. University of North Carolina Press. p. 143. ISBN 978-0-8078-5789-2. Archived from the original on 3 December 2016. Retrieved 12 August 2015.
  5. ^ Kabbani, Muhammad Hisham (2004). Classical Islam and the Naqshbandi Sufi Tradition. Islamic Supreme Council of America. p. 557. ISBN 1-930409-23-0. Archived from the original on 23 January 2023. Retrieved 4 August 2022.
  6. ^ Ziad, Waleed (2018). "From Yarkand to Sindh via Kabul: The Rise of Naqshbandi-Mujaddidi Sufi Networks in the Eighteenth and Nineteenth Centuries". The Persianate World: Rethinking a Shared Sphere. p. 165. doi:10.1163/9789004387287_007. ISBN 9789004387287. S2CID 197951160. ((cite book)): |work= ignored (help)
  7. ^ a b Trimingham, J. Spencer (1998). "The Chief Tariqa Lines". The Sufi Orders in Islam. Oxford University Press. p. 31. ISBN 9780198028239. Archived from the original on 23 January 2023. Retrieved 4 August 2022.
  8. ^ Eraydın, Selçuk (2001). Tasavvuf ve Tarikatlar (in Turkish). Marmara Üniversitesi Ilahiyat Vakfi Yayinlari. p. 434. ISBN 9789755480503.
  9. ^ Haq, Muhammad M. (1985). Some Aspects of the Principle Sufi Orders in India. Bangladesh. p. 20. Archived from the original on 23 January 2023. Retrieved 4 August 2022. ((cite book)): |work= ignored (help)CS1 maint: location missing publisher (link)
  10. ^ a b De Jong, Frederick (2000). Sufi Orders in Ottoman and Post-Ottoman Egypt and the Middle East: Collected Studies. Vol. 48, Analecta Isisiana. Isis Press. ISBN 9789754281781. Archived from the original on 23 January 2023. Retrieved 4 August 2022.
  11. ^ Kees Versteegh; Mushira Eid (2005). Encyclopedia of Arabic Language and Linguistics: A-Ed. Brill. p. 380]. ISBN 978-90-04-14473-6. Archived from the original on 3 December 2016. Retrieved 24 January 2016.
  12. ^ van Bruinessen, Martin (15 August 1986). The Naqshbandi Order as a Vehicle of Political Protest among the Kurds (With Some Comparative Notes on Indonesia). New Approaches in Islamic Studies. Jakarta: Indonesian Institute of Sciences. pp. 1–3 – via

Further reading

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