The Qadiriyya (Arabic: القادِرية‎, also transliterated Qādirīyah, Qadri, Qadriya, Kadri, Elkadri, Elkadry, Aladray, Alkadrie, Adray, Kadray, Kadiri, Qadiri, Quadri or Qadri) are members of the Sunni Qadiri tariqa (Sufi order). The tariqa got its name from Abdul Qadir Gilani (1077–1166, also transliterated Jilani), who was a Hanbali scholar from Gilan, Iran. The order relies strongly upon adherence to the fundamentals of Sunni Islam.

The order, with its many offshoots, is widespread, particularly in the non-Arabic-speaking world, and can also be found in Turkey, Indonesia, Afghanistan, India, Bangladesh, Pakistan, the Balkans, Russia, Palestine, China,[1] and East and West Africa.[2]


The founder of the Qadiriyya, Abdul Qadir Gilani, was a scholar and preacher.[3] Having been a pupil at the madrasa of Abu Sa'id al-Mubarak, he became the leader of this school after al-Mubarak's death in 1119. Being the new sheikh, he and his large family lived in the madrasa until his death in 1166, when his son, Abdul Razzaq, succeeded his father as sheikh. Abdul Razzaq published a hagiography of his father, emphasizing his reputation as founder of a distinct and prestigious Sufi order.[4]

The Qadiriyya flourished, surviving the Mongolian conquest of Baghdad in 1258, and remained an influential Sunni institution. After the fall of the Abbasid Caliphate, the legend of Gilani was further spread by a text entitled The Joy of the Secrets in Abdul-Qadir's Mysterious Deeds (Bahjat al-asrar fi ba'd manaqib 'Abd al-Qadir) attributed to Nur al-Din 'Ali al-Shattanufi, who depicted Gilani as the ultimate channel of divine grace[4] and helped the Qadiri order to spread far beyond the region of Baghdad.[4]

By the end of the fifteenth century, the Qadiriyya had distinct branches and had spread to Morocco, Spain, Turkey, India, Ethiopia, Somalia, and present-day Mali.[4] Established Sufi sheikhs often adopted the Qadiriyya tradition without abandoning leadership of their local communities. During the Safavid dynasty's rule of Baghdad from 1508 to 1534, the sheikh of the Qadiriyya was appointed chief Sufi of Baghdad and the surrounding lands. Shortly after the Ottoman Empire conquered Baghdad in 1534, Suleiman the Magnificent commissioned a dome to be built on the mausoleum of Abdul-Qadir Gilani, establishing the Qadiriyya as his main allies in Iraq.

Khawaja Abdul-Allah, a sheikh of the Qadiriyya and a descendant of the Islamic prophet Muhammad, is reported to have entered China in 1674 and traveled the country preaching until his death in 1689.[4][5] One of Abdul-Allah's students, Qi Jingyi Hilal al-Din, is said to have permanently rooted Qadiri Sufism in China. He was buried in Linxia City, which became the center of the Qadiriyya in China.[1] By the seventeenth century, the Qadiriyya had reached Ottoman-occupied areas of Europe.

Sultan Bahu contributed to the spread of Qadiriyya in western India. His method of spreading the teachings of the Sufi doctrine of Faqr was through his Punjabi couplets and other writings, which numbered more than 140.[citation needed] He granted the method of dhikr and stressed that the way to reach divinity was not through asceticism or excessive or lengthy prayers but through selfless love carved out of annihilation in God, which he called fana.[citation needed]

Sheikh Sidi Ahmad al-Bakka'i (Arabic: الشيخ سيدي أحمد البكاي بودمعة‎ of the Kunta family, born in the region of the Noun river, d. 1504 in Akka) established a Qadiri zawiya (Sufi residence) in Walata. In the sixteenth century the family spread across the Sahara to Timbuktu, Agades, Bornu, Hausaland, and other places, and in the eighteenth century large numbers of Kunta moved to the region of the middle Niger where they established the village of Mabruk. Sidi Al-Mukhtar al-Kunti (1728–1811) united the Kunta factions by successful negotiation, and established an extensive confederation. Under his influence the Maliki school of Islamic law was reinvigorated and the Qadiriyyah order spread throughout Mauritania, the middle Niger region, Guinea, the Ivory Coast, Futa Toro, and Futa Jallon. Kunta colonies in the Senegambian region became centers of Muslim teaching.[6]

Sheikh Usman dan Fodio (1754-1817) from Gobir popularized the Qadiri teachings in Nigeria. He was well educated in classical Islamic science, philosophy, and theology. He also became a revered religious thinker. In 1789 a vision led him to believe he had the power to work miracles, and to teach his own mystical wird, or litany. His litanies are still widely practiced and distributed in the Islamic world.[7] Dan Fodio later had visions of Abdul Qadir Gilani, the founder of the Qadiri tariqah, an ascension to heaven, where he was initiated into the Qadiriyya and the spiritual lineage of Muhammad. His theological writings dealt with concepts of the mujaddid "renewer" and the role of the Ulama in teaching history, and other works in Arabic and the Fula language.[8]


The Qadiriyya Zawiya (Sufi lodge) in the medina of Libya's capital, Tripoli
  • Qadiri leadership is not centralised. Each centre of Qadiri thought is free to adopt its own interpretations and practices.
  • The symbol of the order is the rose. A rose of green and white cloth, with a six-pointed star in the middle, is traditionally worn in the cap of Qadiri dervishes. Robes of black felt are also customary.[9]
  • Names of God are prescribed as chants for repetition by initiates (dhikr). Formerly, several hundred thousand repetitions were required, and obligatory for those who hold the office of sheikh.[9]
  • Any man over the age of eighteen may be initiated. They may be asked to live in the order's commune (khanqah or tekke) and to recount their dreams to their sheikh.[9]: 94 
  • Celibacy, poverty, meditation, and mysticism within an ascetic context along with worship centered on saint's tombs were promoted by the Qadiriyya among the Hui in China.[10][11] In China, unlike other Muslim sects, the leaders (Shaikhs) of the Qadiriyya Sufi order are celibate.[12][13][14][15][16] Unlike other Sufi orders in China, the leadership within the order is not a hereditary position; rather, one of the disciples of the celibate Shaikh is chosen by the Shaikh to succeed him. The 92-year-old celibate Shaikh Yang Shijun was the leader of the Qadiriya order in China as of 1998.[17]

Spiritual chainEdit

The Spiritual Chain (Silsila) is listed as follows:

  • 1st Version of Spiritual Chain (Silsila)
  • 2nd Version of Spiritual Chain (Silsila), Known as Silsila Aaliyah Qadriyah
  • 3rd Version of Spiritual Chain (Silsila)


Halisa – HalisiyyaEdit

The Halisa offshoot was founded by Abdurrahman Halis Talabani (1212 – 1275 Hijra) in Kerkuk, Iraq.[citation needed] Hungry and miserable people were fed all day in his Tekke without regard for religion.[citation needed] Dawlati Osmaniyya donated money and gifts to his Tekke in Kerkuk. Sultan Abdul-Majid Khan's (Khalife of İslam, Sultan of Ottoman Empire) wife Sultana Hatun sent many gifts and donations to his Tekke as a follower.[citation needed] Among his followers were many leaders, rulers, and military and government officials.[citation needed] It was known to everyone that he lived in complete conviction. Because of the example Talibani set as a religious figure, the people's ties to him were solid and strong.

After his death, his branch was populated[clarification needed] in Turkey, and he was followed by Dede Osman Avni Baba, Sheikh Al-Haj Ömer Hüdai Baba, Sheikh Al-Haj Muhammed Baba, Sheikh Al-Haj Mustafa Hayri Baba, and Sheikh Al-Haj Mehmet Baba.

Qadri NoshahiEdit

The Qadri Noshahi[19] silsila (offshoot) was established by Syed Muhammad Naushah Ganj Bakhsh of Gujrat, Punjab, Pakistan, in the late sixteenth century.[20]

Sarwari QadiriEdit

Also known as Qadiriya Sultaniya, the order was started by Sultan Bahu in the seventeenth century and spread in the western part of Indian Subcontinent. Hence, it follows most of the Qadiriyya approach. In contrast, it does not follow a specific dress code or require seclusion or other lengthy exercises. Its mainstream philosophy is contemplation of belovedness towards God.[21]

The Qadiriyya–Mukhtariyya BrotherhoodEdit

This branch of the Qadiriyya came into being in the eighteenth century resulting from a revivalist movement led by Al-Mukhtar al-Kunti, a Sufi of the western Sahara who wished to establish Qadiri Sufism as the dominant religion in the region. In contrast to other branches of the Qadiriyya that do not have a centralized authority, the Mukhtariyya brotherhood was highly centralized. Its leaders focused on economic prosperity as well as spiritual well-being, sending their disciples on trade caravans as far away as Europe.[22]

The Qadiriyya HarariyaEdit

The founder of the Qadiriyya Harariya tariqa was the Hadhrami sharif, Abu Bakr bin 'Abd Allah 'Aydarus and his shrine is located in Harar City, Ethiopia. Other notable sheikhs have shrines scattered around the environs of Harar itself. The current shaykh is a Somali named Mohamed Nasrudin bin Shaykh Ibrahim Kulmiye.[23] The tariqa spread in Djibouti, Somaliland, Ethiopia, and Somalia. Notable Harariya Qadiriyya leaders include, , Uways Al-Barawi, Sheikh Madar, Al-Zaylaʽi and Abadir Umar ar-Rida.[24][25]

Qadriyah BarkaatiyahEdit

Founded by Hazrat Sayyad Shah Barkatullah Marehrwi, (26th Jumada al-Thani 1070 AH or June 1660 CE – 10th Muharram 1142 AH or October 1729 CE), was an Islamic scholar, jurist, Sufi, at the time of Mughal Emperor Aurangzeb, Shah Also founded Khanqah E Barakatiyah, Marehra Shareef, of Etah district in the state of Uttar Pradesh, India. Sayyad Shah Barkatullah Marehrwi died on 10th Muharram 1142 AH or October 1729 CE and He is buried in Dargah E Barakatiyah in Marehra Shareef, Syed Muhammad Ameen Mian Qadri is the present custodian (Sajjada Nashin) of the Khanqah E Barakatiyah.[26]

Qadriyah Barkaatiyah RazviyahEdit

Silsila E Qadriyah Barkaatiyah Razviyah was founded by Imam Ahmad Raza Khan Qadri Barkaati along with Khanqah E Razviyah, When Ahmed Raza became the Mureed (disciple) of Shah Aale Rasool Marehrawi, who is descendant (great - great grandson) of Hazrat Sayyad Shah Barkatullah Marehrwi in year 1294 AH (1877 CE) , When Khan became Mureed at the same time his Murshid bestowed him with Khilafat in the several Sufi Silsilas[27][28]

Qadriyah Barkaatiyah Razviyah NooriyahEdit

Founded by Mustafa Raza Khan Qadri Barkaati Noori (1892–1981), He is the younger son Imam Ahmad Raza Khan Qadri Barkaati, an Indian Muslim scholar, jurist, poet, author, leader of the Sunni Barelvi movement and Grand Mufti of India of his time, He is Mureed (disciple) and Khalifa of Hazrat Abul Hussain Ahmad Noori Marehrawi, who is descendant (great - great - great grandson) of Hazrat Sayyad Shah Barkatullah Marehrwi, He got Khilafat and I'jaazat of Silsila Qadriyah Barkaatiyah from his Murshid along with Silsila E Chishti, Naqshbandi, Suharwardi, and Madaari.[18]

Ansari Qadiri Rifai TariqaEdit

Shaykh Muhammad Ansari was born in Baghdad and moved to Erzincan in northeastern Turkey in the early 1900s. He was a descendant of both Abdul Qadir Geylani and Ahmed er Rifai and was a shaykh of the Rifai Tariqa. In Turkey he met Shaykh Abdullah Hashimi of the Qadiri order.

Shaykh Muhammad Ansari and Shaykh Abdullah Hashimi worked together for many years. After Shaykh Muhammad Ansari strengthened his connection to the Qadiri Tariqa, Shaykh Abdullah Hashimi sent him to Istanbul to establish the Qadiri Rifai Tariqa and revive the Ayni Ali Baba Tekke.

Sometime after his arrival in Istanbul, Shaykh Muhammad Ansari came across a soldier who lay mortally wounded. Through his lineage Shaykh Muhammad had received the power to heal, so he cured the soldier by use of his spiritual gift. Upon hearing how the soldier's life was saved, Sultan Abdul Hamid II, himself a Sufi of the Qadiri order, asked Shaykh Muhammad what he would like as a reward for his act. The Shaykh asked for permission to build a Sufi center on the foundation of the ruined Ayni Ali Baba Tekke. The Sultan consented.

Shaykh Muhammad Ansari and his wife went on to rebuild the tekke with their bare hands. Shaykh Muhammad Ansari headed the Qadiri Rifai Tariqa in the Ayni Ali Baba Tekke from 1915 until his death.

Grave of Shaykh Muhammad Ansari in Istanbul, Turkey

Shaykh Muhammad Ansari's son, Shaykh Muhyiddin Ansari, who was born in Erzincan, succeeded him. As qutb of his time, a very high spiritual station, Shaykh Muhyiddin Ansari raised 101 khalifas, or representatives, and many thousand dedicated murids (students) all over Turkey, Germany, and the former Yugoslavia.

Grave of Shaykh Muhyiddin Ansari in Istanbul, Turkey

Before he died, Shaykh Muhyiddin Ansari was given the privilege to start a tariqa in his own name, called the Tariqat-i Ansariya, or Ansari Tariqa. He appointed Shaykh Taner Vargonen Tarsusi to start the Tariqat-i Ansariya in the United States under the name Qadiri Rifai Tariqa of the Americas. Then he bestowed his name "Ansari" to Shaykh Taner as a gift. Today the Sufi Order is known as the Ansari Qadiri Rifai Tariqa, and the living Pir (leader) is Shaykh Taner Vargonen Ansari Tarsusi er Rifai el Qadiri.

Shaykh Taner and his wife Es-Seyyida Es-Shaykha Muzeyyen Vargonen Ansari travel to and have established centers of the order in the United States, Canada, Mexico, South Africa, Tanzania, Mauritius, Germany, Australia, and the United Kingdom.[29]

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ a b Gladney, Dru. "Muslim Tombs and Ethnic Folklore: Charters for Hui Identity"[permanent dead link] Journal of Asian Studies, August 1987, Vol. 46 (3): 495-532; pp. 48-49 in the PDF file.
  2. ^ Abun-Nasr, Jamil M. "The Special Sufi Paths (Tariqas)". Muslim Communities of Grace: The Sufi Brotherhoods in Islamic Religious Life. New York: Columbia UP, 2007. 86–96.
  3. ^ Omer Tarin, Hazrat Ghaus e Azam Shaykh Abdul Qadir Jilani sahib, RA: Aqeedat o Salam, Urdu monograph, Lahore, 1996
  4. ^ a b c d e Tarin
  5. ^ Jonathan Neaman Lipman (1 July 1998). Familiar strangers: a history of Muslims in Northwest China. University of Washington Press. pp. 88–. ISBN 978-0-295-80055-4.
  6. ^ Ira M. Lapidus, A History of Islamic Societies, Cambridge University Press, p. 409
  7. ^ "Dalailu Shehu Usman Dan Fodio." Internet Archive. Accessed 27 May 2017.
  8. ^ Lapidus, Ira M. A History of Islamic Societies. 3rd ed. New York, NY: Cambridge University Press, 2014. pg 469
  9. ^ a b c John Porter Brown, The Dervishes, OUP, 1927
  10. ^ Westerlund, David; Svanberg, Ingvar, eds. (1999). Islam Outside the Arab World. St. Martin's Press. p. 199. ISBN 978-0312226916. Retrieved 24 April 2014.
  11. ^ Westerlund, David; Svanberg, Ingvar (2012). Islam Outside the Arab World. Routledge. p. 199. ISBN 978-1136113307. Retrieved 24 April 2014.
  12. ^ Manger, Leif O., ed. (1999). Muslim Diversity: Local Islam in Global Contexts. Volume 26 of NIAS studies in Asian topics: Nordisk Institut for Asienstudier (illustrated ed.). Psychology Press. p. 118. ISBN 978-0700711048. ISSN 0142-6028. Retrieved 24 April 2014. |volume= has extra text (help)
  13. ^ Esposito, John L., ed. (1999). The Oxford History of Islam (illustrated ed.). Oxford University Press. p. 452. ISBN 978-0195107999. Retrieved 24 April 2014. sufi china celibacy.
  14. ^ Atabaki, Touraj; Mehendale, Sanjyot, eds. (2004). Central Asia and the Caucasus: Transnationalism and Diaspora (illustrated ed.). Taylor & Francis. p. 197. ISBN 978-0203495827. Retrieved 24 April 2014.
  15. ^ Gladney, Dru C. (2004). Atabaki, Touraj; Mehendale, Sanjyot (eds.). Central Asia and the Caucasus: Transnationalism and Diaspora (illustrated ed.). Routledge. p. 197. ISBN 978-1134319947. Retrieved 24 April 2014.
  16. ^ Gladney, Dru C. (1996). Muslim Chinese: Ethnic Nationalism in the People's Republic. Volume 149 of Harvard East Asian monographs (illustrated ed.). Harvard Univ Asia Center. p. 44. ISBN 978-0674594975. ISSN 0073-0483. Retrieved 24 April 2014. |volume= has extra text (help)
  17. ^ Lipman, Jonathan Neaman (1998). Familiar strangers: a history of Muslims in Northwest China. University of Washington Press. p. 89. ISBN 978-0295800554. Retrieved 24 April 2014.
  18. ^ a b
  19. ^ Burkurdari, Hafiz Muhammad Hayat. Tazkirah Noshahia.
  20. ^ "Tasawuf/Sufism & teachings of Shams Ali Qalandar". Hazrat Shams Ali Qalandar.
  21. ^ Sult̤ān Bāhū (1998). Death Before Dying: The Sufi Poems of Sultan Bahu. University of California Press. ISBN 978-0-520-92046-0.=
  22. ^ Abun-Nasr, Jamil M. "The Centralized Sufi Brotherhoods." Muslim Communities of Grace: The Sufi Brotherhoods in Islamic Religious Life. New York: Columbia UP, 2007. 163–170.
  23. ^ "Qadiriyya World". dir-ul-qadiriyya. Retrieved 2021-05-13.
  24. ^ w. Abir, Mordechai (1968). Ethiopia: The Era of the Princes; The Challenge of Islam and the Re-unification of the Christian Empire (1769-1855). London: Longmans. p. 16.
  25. ^ Reese, Scott S. (2001). "The Best of Guides: Sufi Poetry and Alternate Discourses of Reform in Early Twentieth-Century Somalia". Journal of African Cultural Studies. 14 (1 Islamic Religious Poetry in Africa): 49–68. doi:10.1080/136968101750333969. JSTOR 3181395. S2CID 162001423.
  26. ^
  27. ^ Imam, Muhammad Hassan. (2005). The Role of the Khulafa-e-Imam Ahmed Raza Khan in the Archived 29 June 2015 at the Wayback Machine Pakistan Movement 1920–1947. Diss. Karachi: University of Karachi.
  28. ^ "Imam Raza Ahmed Khan".
  29. ^ "History of the Ansari Qadiri Rifai Tariqa".

Further readingEdit

  • Abun-Nasr, Jamil M. "The Special Sufi Paths (Taqiras)", in Muslim Communities of Grace: The Sufi Brotherhoods in Islamic Religious Life. New York: Columbia UP, 2007. 86–96.
  • Chopra, R. M., Sufism, 2016, Anuradha Prakashan, New Delhi ISBN 978-93-85083-52-5
  • "Halisa and the Distinguished Ones", Mehmet Albayrak, Ankara, 1993, Turkey