The Sarwari Qadiri Sufi Order

In common with all Sufi Orders, the Sarwari Qadiri Order stems from an initiatic chain, going back to the beginning of Islam, with the Prophet (peace be upon him) being considered the first Sufi master. The word Sarwari refers to the Prophet  (peace be upon him)  and the word Qadiri is derived from the name of Sheikh Abdul Qadir of Gilan (1077-1166 AD), who founded the order at the  end of the 11th century. The most famous teacher of the Sarwari Qadiri Order is Sheikh Sultan Bahu (RA)  (1630-1691 AD). He belonged to the Qadiri Order of Sufis and is known by the title of  Sultan-ul-Arifin (king of the Gnostics). He is acknowledged as one of the most prominent Sufi poets of the Indo-Pak subcontinent.  He is known, on authority, to be the author of as many as one hundred and forty books.

His writings' main theme and contents is primarily concerned with the spiritual sciences and its disciplines. Sultan Bahu's (Allah be pleased with him) philosophy or original idea is the zaat of Allah. This is attained through reflection, contemplation and meditation of the Name Allah. Its object is to bring the seeker from the world of duality to the chamber of unity  and to take the seeker from the darkness of opacity towards the light of subtlety. 

   The Pir and Murid

Hazrat Sayyid Sultan Bahu (may Allah be pleased with him) records in his book "Ainul Faqr" that there are 2 categories of Qadiri murids. One is referred to as "Qadiri Zahidi" and the other as "Sarwari-Qadiri". The first way of the Zahidi Qadiri is that the Sheikh places the seeker into established practices and techniques of spiritual exercises and strivings. The seeker is ordered to devote much time to mystic struggles including to spend a certain period of time in seclusion to attain to mystic communion and mystic union. Then according to the seekers labors and efforts and the seekers own ethereal capacity, he reaches his spiritual goal and metaphysical purpose. This journey takes some aspirants 10 years to complete. Some complete it in 12 years and others up to 40 years before they are introduced in the court of Hazrat Sheikh Sayyid Abdul Qadir Gilani (RA) by their Sheikh (Murshid). It is from this court then that the Saint of Gilani presents the seeker into the exalted and sublime court of his Holiness, the Prophet of Islam (Peace be on him).

The second category is referred to as Sarwari-Qadiri. In this Tariqa the Sheikh guides and presents the seeker directly into the sublime and celestial court of his holiness the Prophet of Islam (peace be on him) without having to undergo undue spiritual hardships and strivings. The seeker is nourished by the Prophetic light in that he receives directly from his Holiness his bounty, favour and beneficence. After receiving guidance, direction and religious instructions from this exalted court, he is then handed and advanced to the Saint of Jilan, Sheikh Abdul Qadir Jilani (RA) for further polish. Hazrat Sultan Bahu (RA) own testimony to this effect is found in many of his writings where he records his esoteric initiation at the hands of His Holiness, Prophet Mustafa (peace be on him) himself and his own life is full of such wonders where he elevates many a seeker in one instant to the court of Allah and the Prophet (peace be on him). The wonder and excellence of his bounty is that it manifests itself in the form of a spiritual perfection of the highest order. He makes the seeker attain to his goal in a very short time without having to undergo the burden of difficult spiritual strivings.

Sultan Bahu's (RA) initiation into the spiritual world was both esoteric and exoteric. In his book "Amirul Kaunain" he writes that for 30 years I have travelled far and wide in search of a Perfect Murshid (Spiritual Master). During this period he met innumerable spiritual guides and spent time with many of them, serving them in every respect and receiving spiritual light and blessings from them.

Esoterically, Hazrat Sultan Bahu (RA) was initiated by the Prophet (Peace be Upon Him ) himself. He received instructions and spiritual guidance from the fountain - head of all lights himself (Prophet of Islam) and was accepted as a child of light in the court of Hazrat Bibi Fatima, the lady of light and her husband Hazrat Ali (May Allah be pleased with them).

Khalifa Saeed Ali Chopdat is the Khalifa of this Sufi Order in South Africa. This honor was bestowed upon him in 1982 and presently heads the Sultan Bahu Centre in South Africa []. Sarwari Qadiri murids can be found in many different parts of the world and many websites show the necessary information. See as one example.