The Enlightened Tree of Sufi Masters

 

The expression "Sufi orders" [Tariqa/Path] implies to a group of people living together under a common discipline, this term can be usefully employed to describe the various teaching ways [tariqas] or chains [silsilas] of masters and disciples. Ones who carry on and transmit the Sufi teachings are authorized by living Pirs, who maintain a living rank and authority over those below them and this authority is granted by means of formal initiation, and rights of succession are set forth in the Khilafat-Nama, or Letter of Succession, duly signed and sealed by the senior Pir of the order.

 

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Beginning from its roots at the time of the Prophet Muhammad (Peace be upon Him), Sufism has grown like a tree with many branches. Thus Tariqa can be compared to a 'mystic tree', whose spreading roots are the beloved Prophet Muhammad (Peace be upon Him), its noble trunk the sublime Hazrat Imam Ali ibn Abi Talib (may Allah enlighten his spiritual countenance). The great branches of this tree of Tariqa are the Pir's who have founded initiatory lineages, and the smaller limbs are the noble Shaikhs. The blooming flowers of all colors and fragrances that grow from these branches are the countless disciples and well-wishers.

 

The cause of the branching has usually been the appearance of an enlightened Master whose methods and contributions to the teachings have been enough to initiate a new line of growth. These branches generally do not see each other as rivals and a Pir in some cases, may be initiated into more than one branch in order to receive the grace [baraka] and knowledge of particular Sufi orders. Sufis of one order may, for instance, visit the gatherings of another. The orders expanded as teaching networks based on initiatic genealogy; each master's authority derived from that of his predecessor in a chain going back to the Prophet Muhammad. Within each main order there are frequently sub-orders, sometimes designated by composite names with two, three, or more elements to indicate how many levels of branching has occurred.

 

His Eminence advised his disciples that a deep respect and reverence for all the walis (saints) is most essential as it is only through the ‘walis’ that we can reach the court of the Noble Knight, Hazrat Imam Ali ibn Abi Talib (karam Allah wajhu), the gateway to knowledge, both seen and unseen.  The bearer of this exalted spiritual station this noble trunk of the Tree of Tariqa, which grows from the root of the Prophet of Allah, can also be called Tariqa Aliya. [The Prophet Muhammad (salla Allahu alayhi wa sallam) said, Ana madinat al-ilm waAli babuha, "I am the city of knowledge and Ali (radiya Allahhu anhu) is the gate to it.]

Hazrat Sayyid Imam Jafar as-Sadiq, our 6th Imam in the Silsila, and the eldest son of Hazrat Imam Sayyid Muhammad bin Ali al-Baqir was on his fathers side a descendant of the beloved Prophet [Allah bless him and give him peace]. On his mother's side Imam Jafar as-Sidiq was the great-grandson of Hazrat Abu Bakr (may Allah always exalt his soul in Truth). Thus he was the first among the Ahl al-Bayt who combined in his person two lines of inheritance: the secret of the Prophet through Hazrat Ali (karam Allah wajhu) and the secret of the Prophet  through Abu Bakr as-Siddiq (may Allah always exalt his soul in Truth). In him the two lineages met and for that reason he was called "The Inheritor of the Prophetic Station (Maqam an-Nubuwwa) and the Inheritor of the Truthful Station (Maqam as-Siddiqiyya)."

All Companions of the beloved Prophet [Allah bless him and give him peace] had much love for him, but that of Abu Bakr Siddiq (Radihiya Allah ta'ala anhu), the Truthful one, the most Intimate Companion in loving friendship with with the Prophet , the first successor of the Holy Prophet to lead the noble nation of Islam, Hazrat Abu Baqr Siddiq (may Allah always exalt his soul in Truth) emphasized Hazrat Maulana Khushtar, was unique and peerless. At the time of the Prophet’s departure from this earthly abode, the situation was almost out of control. Hazrat Umar (Radihiya Allah ta'ala anhu) from whom the devil would flee wherever he walked, withdrew his sword and vociferated that he would chop off the head of any person who would say that the Prophet [Allah bless him and give him peace] had passed away. Some time after, Hazrat Abu Bakr Siddiq (Radihiya Allah ta'ala anhu) came, lifted the shroud covering the Prophet [Allah bless him and give him peace], kissed his forehead, and solemnly affirmed, " Whoever worshipped Allah, Allah is still omnipresent."

Hazrat Abu Bakr (may Allah be pleased with him), concluded Hazrat Maulana Khushtar, had sacrificed his body, his soul and his wealth for the sake of Islam. His footprints have thus been left on the sands of time, and he will always be remembered with much devotion, love and respect. 

The first link in the Naqshbandi silsila [a chain, and so a lineage, chain of spiritual descent] after the Prophet is Abu Baqr as-Sidiq (may Allah be pleased with him), who in the view of the Naqshbandis is not merely the first Caliph and an eminent Companion of the Prophet but also a figure of unparallel spiritual status - the best of all men after the prophets.

May Almighty Allah assist you in this world and the Hereafter through the Wasila (means of access, intermediary) of our Master, the beloved Prophet Muhammad (Peace and blessing be Upon Him) and all the Sufi Saints (Mashaaikh) of the Silsila Aliyah Qadiriyah Barkatiyah Razviyah Hamidiyah Mustafaviyah Ibrahimiyah. 

 

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