of the Naqshbandi Sufi Order
Naqshbandi Sufi order is one of the largest
and most prominent Sufi orders in the
world, with branches in over 150 countries.
Founded by Bahauddin Naqshband (d. 1389)
in Bukhara, present-day Uzbekistan, the
order traces its origins to the Prophet
Muhammad through a secret spiritual chain
(silsila). The Naqshbandi order is known
for its emphasis on inner purification
(tazkiya), the remembrance of God (dhikr),
and the spiritual guidance of a master
(murshid). The order spread rapidly throughout
Central Asia and the Middle East in the
15th century, becoming one of the most
influential Sufi orders by the 16th century.
This rapid spread can be attributed to
several factors, including the order's
emphasis on practical spirituality, its
appeal to both scholars and common people,
and its patronage by influential figures
such as the Mughal rulers of India.
The Mujaddidi branch of the order was
founded by Ahmad Sirhindi (d. 1624). The
continued to spread throughout the 17th
and 18th centuries, reaching North Africa
and the Ottoman Empire. In the Ottoman
Empire, the order was adopted by the Janissary
corps, the elite military force of the
Ottoman army. In the 20th century, the
Naqshbandi order experienced a revival
under the leadership of Abdullah al-Harari
(d. 1969), a scholar and mystic from Syria.
Harari is known for his efforts to modernise
the Naqshbandi order and make it more
accessible to a wider audience.