Naqshbandi (an-Naqshbandiyyah) is one of the major tasawwuf orders (tariqa) of Islam. The order is considered to be a "sober" order[1 ] as many following the Naqshbandi Sufi way have chosen the silent dhikr (remembrance of God) of the Heart, rather than the vocalized forms of dhikr common in other orders.
The Naqshbandi Order is the only Sufi order that claims to trace its spiritual lineage (silsilah) to Muhammad through Abu Bakr, the first Caliph and The Prophets companion. In contrast, most other turuq trace their lineage to Ali, The Prophets cousin and son-in-law and the Fourth Caliph.
The word Naqshbandi نقشبندی is Persian, taken from the name of the founder of the order, Baha-ud-Din Naqshband Bukhari. Some have said that the translation means "related to the image-maker," some also consider it to mean "patternmaker" rather than "image maker," and interpret "Naqshbandi" to mean "Reformer of Patterns", and others consider it to mean "Way of the Chain" or "Golden Chain."
There is no single authority for the Naqshbandi Order today. Rather, there are numerous sub-orders which operate in autonomy. Among them are the Maqsoodia, Sardaria, Owaisiah, Haqqani, Aslamiya, Hijazi, Mujarradiya, Tahiri, Mujaddidi, Saifi and Tauheedia branches. All the Sub-orders have altered the ways to suit the needs of the different communities thus making them into Naqshbandia Mujadidiyyah.
This branch belongs to Qayyum e Zaman Hazrat Dr.Professor Muhammed Maqsood Ilahi Naqshbandi also known by murids as 'Mahbob Saeen'. Hazrat Shaykh is based in Karachi, Pakistan.Hazrat has thousands of Murids and students in Pakistan, South Africa, England and India, and Hazrat has taught Dhikr to lots of people around the world. Hazrat teaches Qalbi Dhikr and Muraqbah and it is claimed that within days of doing the dhikr one's heart will become alive with the nur (light) of Allah.
Students from any part of the world can learn Meditation/Muraqbah at the online Muraqbah school.
In Pakistan, this is the most prevalent branch of the Naqshbandi Order. Previously known as Ghaffari branch, the Naqshbandi Tahiri order belongs to a Shaikh of Pakistan, Muhammad Tahir Abbasi Naqshbandi Mujaddidi, better known as Mahboob Sajjan Saeen. The headquarters of this branch is at the Dargah in Allahabad, near Kandiaro, in the province of Sindh.
This is one of the prevalent branches of the Naqshbandi Order. Hazrat Khwaja Akhundzadah Saif al-Rahman Mubarak Sahab is the current Spiritual Master of this branch. Saifi disciples number in the hundreds of thousands and are spread across the globe. This Sufi branch is distinguished from most others due to its strict compliance with Shariah according to the Sunni Hanafi Matarudi School, and complete adherence to the Sunnah of Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him and his true followers).
The Grand Shaikh, Sarkar Mubarak Sahab, is based in Lakhoder, in the outskirts of Lahore, Pakistan. Saifi Zikr gatherings are held there every day, as well as at Khanqahs throughout Pakistan and Afghanistan, wherever his successors are located.
Out of all silslas this silsla is one of the most spiritul as they do not only practise naqshbandi lessons they also do chichtiya, qadari and solwodi
Naqshbandi Order has another famous branch called Naqshbandia Owaisiah Order. The method of spiritual instruction is quite close to the Mujaddidiyyah branch. However, there are two main differences. Firstly, Naqshbandia Owaisiah order uses the "Pas Infas" method of zikr. Secondly, the method of spiritual instruction is "Uwaysi", which means that the Shaikh can impart spiritual instruction regardless of physical distance and even difference of time period. Seekers of Naqshbandia Owaisiah can obtain spiritual blessing from their Shaikh regardless of their location in the world. The Owaisiah connection is also useful in obtaining spiritual blessings from Sufis of the past. The Naqshbandia Owaisiah Order is based in Pakistan and its modern founder was Shaikh Allah Yar Khan. The branch's current shaikh is Major M Ahasan Baig Sahab and Hz sayed bunyad hussain shah sahab and hz mulana abdulgafoor sahab late. The headquarters of this sect is in Murshadabad,Miyawali, Pakistan.
The Naqshbandi Golden Chain is a lineage of Khalidiyya-Naqshbandiyya. It passed from Iraq under Khalid al-Baghdadi to Daghestan, where it remained through seven generations of Sufi masters, to finally return to the Middle East in Damascus with the emigration of Sharafuddin ad-Daghestani and his spiritual inheritor Abdullah al-Fa'iz ad-Daghestani, and then to Cyprus under Nazim al-Qubrusi, who is now the leader of the Naqshbandi-Haqqani order worldwide. Notable scholars who are Naqshbandi Haqqani, thus under the spiritual guidance of Shaykh Nazim, include Shaykh Hisham Kabbani, Shaykh Adnan Kabbani and Shaykh Gibril Haddad, to name but a few.
Khufiyya (or, properly, Khafiyya) is the Chinese branch of Naqshbandi Sufism, established by Ma Laichi, a Hui Muslim from Hezhou (now, Linxia) after his return to China from studies in Bukhara, Yemen, and Mecca in 1734. Khafiyya's teachings emphasize active participation in the society, veneration of saints and seeking inspiration at their tombs, and silent dhikr. Headquartered at Ma Laichi's mausoleum (Hua Si Gongbei) in Linxia City, Gansu, the order has over 20 sub-branches (menhuan) , operating mosques not only in Gansu and Ningxia, but also in Xinjiang, Yunnan and Beijing.
In 1955, Hazarat Kawajah Abdul Hakeem Ansari, along with his only caliph Hazarat Abdul Sattar Khan (accompanied by Kawajah Sattar's wife and daughter), founded a new branch of the Naqshbandia Mujadidiah Order (chain mentioned below). He named it Tauheediah, with a focus on unity (Tauheed), truthfulness and love; making it more practical for modern Westernized society, and aiming towards the unification of ummah and development of humanity. It has a base in Lahore, and disciples throughout the world.
In Syria, the Alawi-dominated Ba'ath government is said to depend on the Naqshbandi order for legitimacy. A prominent leader of the Naqshbandi Order, Sheikh Ahmed Kuftaro, was grand mufti of Syria until his death in 2004.