Friday, May 1, 2015
Ahmed ar-Rifa'i (1118–1182) was the founder of the Rifa'i Sufi order.
1 Early life
5 External links
Shaikh Ahmed er-Rifai was born in Hasen Region of Wasit, Iraq on a Thursday. This day was in the first half of Recep of lunar months. When he was seven years old, his father Seyyid Sultan Ali died in Baghdad. After that his uncle Seyyid Mansur er-Rabbani el-Betaihi took under his protection and educated him.
Ahmed er-Rifai's family comes from Husayn ibn Ali, the son of Ali, at the side of his mother. On the other hand, at the side of his father, his lineage which goes to prophet Muhammad is as follows:
master of the community, husband of Fatimah who is the base of all Imams, a relative of the prophet, Ali;
Imam of Muslims, the chief of the mumins (believers in Islam) who tried and liked with several troubles and calamities, the martyr of the Battle of Karbala, Hussein;
Imam Zayn al-Abidin;
Imam Muhammad al-Baqir;
Imam Ja'far al-Sadiq;
Imam Musa al-Kadhim;
Imam Ibrahim el-Mürteza;
es-Seyyid Muhammed eb-ul-Kaasim;
es-Seyyid eb-ul Mekarim el-Hasen;
es-Seyyid Ebul-Hasen Aliyy-ür-Rifai;
es-Seyyid Ahmed er-Rifai.
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He learnt Quran from Shaikh Abd üs-Semi el-Hurbuni in Hasen, his birthplace. He committed to memory the whole of the Quran when he was seven. During the same year after the death of his father, his uncle Mansur el-Betaihi transferred him and his family to Dikla region. His uncle send him to Ebul Fadl Ali el-Vasiti who was an expert in the canon law of Islam, a commentator on the Quran and a preacher.
On the other hand, when he was attending dhikr meetings of his uncle Shaikh Mansur er-Rabbani, he was also attending the courses of his other uncle Shaikh Ebubekir who was a major scientiic figure at the time. He memorized the book "Tenbih" concerning Fikh (Muslim canonical jurisprudence) of Imam Shafi which belongs to Imam Ebu Ishak Sirazi. He also wrote an explanation about such book (this explanation was lost during the Mongul invasions however).
He dedicated his entire time to learning such religious knowledge to such an extent that eventually even his teachers respected him.
When he was twenty, Ebu Fadl Ali who was the Sheikh of Wasit province and his teacher awarded him a "Sehadetname" (which represented writings of evidences including canonical law and order of dervish sciences), and a nickname that was the father of external and interior sciences, and also dressed him a his own dervish's cloak. His teachers and his Sheikhs agreed about the greatness of his rank and the superiority of his worth.
He stayed in Nehr-i Dikla for a short time and after that he came back to his father's public guest-house for travelers at Hasen during which time he became very famous. When he was twenty-eight, his uncle Shaikh Mansur bequeathed him to manage the dervish lodge and Caliphs after his death. He also commanded him to live in dervish lodge of Shaikh Yahya en-Neccari who was his grandfather from his mother side. It was during this time he began to preach in this dervish lodge. His uncle died in the year of the bequeathing. When he was thirty-five, the number of his murids was over seven hundred thousand.
He did not neglect teaching the Sunnah of Prophet Muhammad and the details of the Quran to the public as he always believed that the trade of a wise man was to show the way towards God and to direct hearts towards Him.
He give courses in hadith, canonical jurisprudence, religious precepts and commentary on the Quran (Tafsir) everyday except for Monday and Thursday. He sat in his pulpit afternoons on Monday and Thursday and preached to intellectuals and the public.
There is an information in the book which is called “Sevad ul-Ayneyn” of Imam Rafii. The writer says that:
"Shaikh Salih Yusuf Ebu Zekeriya el-Askalani, who was a great expert in the canon law of Islam, had told me that: I had gone to Ummi Abide to visit Shaikh Ahmed er-Rifai. More than one hundred thousand people crowded around the guesthouse, some people were managers, scientists, sheikhs and the other members of the public. He provided dinner to all of them and was very friendly to everyone. He started to preach in the afternoon of a Thursday. Preachers of Wasit province, a religious community from doctors of Muslim theology of Iraq and the important people of the province attended the preach meeting. One group of them asked for science of commentary on the Koran, the other group asked for subjects interested with record of sayings of the Prophet Muhammad, the other group asked for Muslim canonical jurisprudence, another group asked for the disagreement between the different religious opinion, and the other groups asked too many questions about different sections of science. He answered more than two hundred questions, and he experienced no anger during his answering of questions. I became embarrassed because of the insensitiveness of people asking questions, and I stood up and said them that; “Is this not enough for you? He will answer all questions about the written sciences, not facing any difficulty, with the permission of Allah.” Because of my words he smiled and said to me that; “Ebu Zekeriya allow them to ask before they lose me. Certainly the world is a house which will become absent. Allah changes whole situations every time.” The people cried because of his answer. The meeting was confused, worried sounds were heard. Forty thousands people became students of him with the spiritual effect of his talk."
Ahmad Rifai's talks, his moves, his behaviors and his every breath were for Allah. He had got always a smiling face and he was modest, good-tempered, enduring suffering, very patient. He didn’t become cross with anyone and didn’t want any help for his own personality. On the contrary, he loves for Allah, and anger for Allah. He doesn’t rebuke somebody who behave that he doesn’t like. He doesn’t see his family and himself superior to other people. Even he said about this subject that; “According to our opinion for Allah, everybody is equal to each other, it doesn’t matter they are close relative or unknown people for us.”
He used to want from people protect themselves overusing the things that neither recommended nor forbidden by religious law like that overeating and oversleeping. He used to recommend doing worship during the nights. He also used to recommend being far away from people who doesn’t know their limit, behave in excessive manner, see themselves superior to others and dispute each other.
He used to do his service by himself, repair his shoes, carry the firewood prepared for him to the house of people who are sick, orphan, fallen and without relations or friends.
He used to turn shoes of blinds, and also take away them to the place that they want to go. He respect to old people and recommend respecting them. He always used to say the words of our Prophet Muhammad; “Whoever respect to an old Muslim person, Allah assign people who respect to them when they are old.”
He used to go to the house of leprous and bedridden people, wash their clothes, bring their meal, sit and eat with them, and wanted them to pray for him. When he heard a patient in his city in a far city, he used to visit them. He also cure the wounded animals, and he said that; “To compass the creatures of Allah is one of the reasons that human being are close to Allah.”
He used to behave very mercifully to orphans, cry for poor people, grow merry with their joy, behave with them with modesty, see himself like one of them and say in meetings that; “If a whole craft owner is a count and every craft owner passes in groups, I prefer to become a poor in the groups of poor.”
Great people of his era said that; “The most important reasons of reaching his great place is his great mercy to all creatures and his looking self down to himself.”
He used to respect the wise and experts in the canon law of Islam and wanted everybody to respect them by teaching that; “The wise are the leaders and fundamentals of the community.”
He had withdrawn from world. He didn’t store any commodity at anytime. Although he possessed big wealth, he didn’t wear two sets of clothes at the same time, neither in the summer nor in the winter. His movable and immovable property was much more than property of governors and famous rich men. He used to distribute the revenue of his real estate to dervishes and people who come to dervish convent. He didn’t leave any commodities to his children."
Ar-Rifa'i's tomb and shrine were located near Tal Afar in northern Iraq and were destroyed during the 2014 Northern Iraq offensive by ISIS. .lately known as Islamic State.
The Chishtī Order (Persian: چشتی - Čištī) (Arabic: ششتى - Shishti) is a Sufi order within the mystic Sufi tradition of Islam. It began in Chisht, a small town near Herat, Afghanistan about 930 CE. The Chishti Order is known for its emphasis on love, tolerance, and openness.
The Chishti Order is primarily followed in Afghanistan and South Asia. It was the first of the four main Sufi orders (Chishti, Qadiriyya, Suhrawardiyya and Naqshbandi) to be established in this region. Moinuddin Chishti introduced the Chishti Order in Lahore (Punjab) and Ajmer (Rajasthan), sometime in the middle of the 12th century CE. He was eighth in the line of succession from the founder of the Chishti Order, Abu Ishq Shami. There are now several branches of the order, which has been the most prominent South Asian Sufi brotherhood since the 12th century.
In the last century, the order has spread outside Afghanistan and South Asia. Chishti teachers have established centers in the United Kingdom, the United States, Australia and South Africa.
The Chishti are perhaps best known for the welcome extended to seekers who belong to other religions. Chishti shrines in South Asia are open to all faiths and attract great crowds to their festivals.
The Chishti shykhs have also stressed the importance of keeping a distance from worldly power. A ruler could be a patron or a disciple, but he or she was always to be treated as just another devotee. A Chishti teacher should not attend the court or be involved in matters of state, as this will corrupt the soul with worldly matters. In his last discourse to his disciples, Khawaja Moinuddin Chishti said:
“Never seek any help, charity, or favors from anybody except God. Never go the court of kings, but never refuse to bless and help the needy and the poor, the widow, and the orphan, if they come to your door.”
Chishti believe that this insistence on otherworldliness differentiates them from Sufi orders that maintained close ties to rulers and courts, and deferred to aristocratic patrons.
Chishti practice is also notable for sama: evoking the divine presence Sufi's use to listening to Qawwali. The Chishti, as well as some other Sufi orders, believe that Qawwali can help devotees forget self in the love of Allah. However, the order also insists that followers observe the full range of Muslim obligations; it does not dismiss them as mere legalism, as some strands of Sufism have done. The Qawwali usually heard at Chisti shrines and festivals is qawwali.
The Chishtis follow five basic devotional practices (dhikr).
Reciting the names of Allāh loudly, sitting in the prescribed posture at prescribed times (jhikr-i djahr)
Reciting the names of Allāh silently (jhikr-i khafī)
Regulating the breath (pās-i anfās)
Absorption in mystic contemplation (murā-ḳāba)
Forty days of spiritual confinement in a lonely corner or cell for prayer and contemplation (čilla)
Early Chishti shaykhs adopted concepts and doctrines outlined in two influential Sufi texts: the ʿAwārif al-Maʿārif of Shaykh Shihāb al-Dīn Suhrawardī and the Kashf al-Maḥdjūb of Hudjwīrī. These texts are still read and respected today. Chishti also read collections of the sayings, speeches, poems, and letters of the shaykhs. These collections, called malfūẓāt, were prepared by the shaykh's disciples.
Sufi orders trace their origins ultimately to the Islamic prophet Muhammad, who is believed to have instructed his successor in mystical teachings and practices in addition to the Qur'an or hidden within the Qur'an. Opinions differ as to this successor. Some Sufi orders trace their lineage to Abu Bakr, the first Sunni caliph, others to 'Alī ibn Abī Ṭālib, Muhammad's cousin, whom the Shi'a regard as the first imam. The Chishti, though Sunni, trace their lineage through Ali. This is not unusual for Sufi orders, which tend to stress devotion rather than legalism and sectarianism.
The traditional silsila (spiritual lineage) of the Chishti order is as follows:
'Alī ibn Abī Ṭālib
Al-Ḥasan al-Baṣrī (d. 728, an early Persian Muslim theologian)
'Abdul Wāḥid Bin Zaid Abul Faḍl (d. 793, an early Sufi saint)
Fuḍayl ibn 'Iyāḍ Bin Mas'ūd Bin Bishr al-Tamīmī
Ibrāhīm bin Adham (a legendarly early Sufi ascetic)
Amīnuddīn Abū Ḥubayrah al-Baṣrī
Abu Ishaq Shamī (d. 940, founder of the Chishti order proper)
Abu Ahmad Chishtī
Abu Muhammad Chishtī
Abu Yusuf Nasar-ud-Din Chishtī (d. 1067)
Qutab-ud-Din Maudood Chishtī (Abu Yusuf's son, d. 1139)
Haji Sharif Zindani (d. 1215)
Usman Harooni (d. 1220)
Mu'īnuddīn Chishtī (1141-1230)
Qutab-ud-Din Bakhtyar Kaki (1173-1228)
Farīduddīn Mas'ūd ("Baba Farid", 1173 or 1175 - 1266)
After Farīduddīn Mas'ūd, the Chishti order divided into two branches:
Chishtī Sabri, who follow Alauddin Sabir Kaliyari.
Chishtī Nizami who follow Nizāmuddīn Auliyā.
Mughal princess Jahan Ara's tomb (left), Nizamuddin Auliya's tomb (right) and Jama'at Khana Masjid (background), at Nizamuddin Dargah complex, in Nizamuddin West, Delhi
The Encyclopedia of Islam divides Chishti history into four periods:
Era of the great shaykhs (circa 597/1200 to 757/1356)
Era of the provincial khānaḳāhs (8th/14th & 9th/15th centuries)
Rise of the Ṣābiriyya branch (9th/15th century onwards)
Revival of the Niẓāmiyya branch (12th/18th century onwards)
The order was founded by Abu Ishaq Shami ("the Syrian") who taught Sufism in the town of Chisht, some 95 miles east of Herat in present-day western Afghanistan. Before returning to Syria, where he is now buried next to Ibn Arabi at Jabal Qasioun Shami initiated, trained and deputized the son of the local emir, Abu Ahmad Abdal. Under the leadership of Abu Ahmad’s descendants, the Chishtiya as they are also known, flourished as a regional mystical order.
The founder of the Chishti Order in South Asia was Moinuddin Chishti. He was born in the province of Silistan in eastern Persia around 536 AH (1141 CE), into a sayyid family claiming descent from Muhammad. When he was only nine, he memorized the Qur'an, thus becoming a hafiz. His father died when he was a teenager; Moinuddin inherited the family grinding mill and orchard. He sold everything and gave the proceeds to the poor. He traveled to Balkh and Samarkand, where he studied the Qur'an, hadith, and fiqh. He looked for something beyond scholarship and law and studied under the Chishti shaykh Usman Harooni. He moved to Lahore and then to Ajmer, where he died. His tomb, in Ajmer, is the Dargah Sharif, a popular shrine and pilgrimage site.
Moinuddin was followed by Qutab-ud-Din Bakhtyar Kaki and Farīduddīn Mas'ūd 'Baba Farid'. After Fariduddin, the Chishti Order of South Asia split into two branches. Each branch was named after one of Fariduddin's successors:
Nizamuddin Auliya - This branch became the Chishti Nizami branch. Nizamuddin Auliya taught Nasiruddin Chiragh Dehlavi who in turn taught Khwaja Bande Nawaz.
Alauddin Sabir Kaliyari - This branch became the Chishti-Sabiri branch.
Later, yet other traditions branched from the Chisti lineage; in many cases they merged with other popular Sufi orders in South Asia. Founders of such new branches of the lineage include:
Ashraf Jahangir Semnani - trained in the Nizami tradition; his followers became the Chishti Nizami Ashrafiya branch.
Haji Imdadullah Muhaajir Makki - trained in the Sabari tradition; his followers became the Chishtiya Sabaria Imdadiya branch.
Shah Niyaz Ahmad- united the Chishti Nizami order with the Qadriya order to form the Chishtiya Qadriya Nizamia Niyazia branch.
As a result of this merging of the Chishti order with other branches, most Sufi masters now initiate their disciples in all the four major orders of South Asia: Chishti, Suhrawadi, Qadri, and Naqshbandi. They do however, teach devotional practices typical of the order with which they are primarily associated.
The Chishti order has also absorbed influences and merged at times with various antinomian fakir Sufi groups, especially the Qalandar. Some Chishtis both past and present have lived as renunciants or as wandering dervish. In more recent times, a more contemporary expression of traditional Chishti Sufi practices can be found in the establishment of the Ishq-Nuri Tariqa in the 1960s, as a branch of the Chishti-Nizami silsila.
Several rulers of the Mughal dynasty of South Asia were Chisti devotees. The emperor Akbar was perhaps the most fervent of them. It is said to be by the blessing of Sheikh Salim Chishti that Akbar's first surviving child, the future Jahangir, was born. The child was named Salim after the sheikh and was affectionately addressed by Akbar as Sheikhu Baba.
Akbar also credited the Chisti sheikhs with his victory at the Siege of Chittorgarh. Akbar had vowed to visit the Chisti dargah, the tomb of Moinuddin Chishti, at Ajmer if he were victorious. He fulfilled his vow by visiting the dargah with his musicians, who played in honor of the sheikh.
Shah Jahan's daughter, Jahanara Begum Sahib, was also a devout follower of the Chisti Order.
The passing of Shah Jahan; attending him, his daughter Princess Jahanara.
The Mughal Emperor Akbar was a great patron of the Chishti Order.
Other notable Chisti shaykhs
Peer Meher Ali Shah (Golra sharif, Pakistan)
Khwaja Sayyid ul Sadaat Khwajae Khwajagan Hazrat Sayyid Mir Jan Shah Saheb
Mazhar-e-Haq Mujadid-e-Baynawa Khawja Syed Abdul Sattar Shah, Baadshah Jan (Peshawar,Pakistan)
Qutub ul A'arifeen Sufi Muhammad Iqbal Madni
Molana Peer Aziz ur Rehman Hazarwi
Molana Muhammad Ihsan ul Haq (Raiwand,Pakistan)
Molana Abdul Hafeez Makki
Sufi Muhammad Sarwar (Jamia Ashrafia, Pakistan)
Shaykh ul Mashaikh Molana Muhammad Abdul Ghaffar (Kabirwala, Pakistan)
Molana Sufi Muhammad Amjad (Baba) (Peshawar, Pakistan)
Khawaja Ferozuddin Chishti Nizami(Lahore,Pakistan)
Hazrat Ali Azad (Lahore, Pakistan)
Hazrat Inayat Khan (Vadodara, Gujarat)
into my eyes
restless inner angst
she entered where
angels fear to dare
a beggar poets soul
she tried to ensnare
panting gasping in
the moonlight glare
everywhere like medusa
she opened out her hair
seismic surrender to her
silhouette of her cheeky
pair was it a dream or
was it real a question
with my altar ego i shared
as she swept me into her
cavernous lair ,, this hijra
beauty of ajmer
looming large over my
poetic passion i swear
dusky yet lovingly fair
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