Tariqah ( _ar. طريقه ArTranslit|Ṭarīqah; pl.: طرق; Ṭuruq or Persian: Tarighat,
Turkish: Tarikat) means "way", "path" or method. A tariqa is an Islamic religious order; in Sufism, it is conceptually related to Haqīqah, truth, the ineffable ideal that is the pursuit of the tradition. Thus one starts with Islamic law, the exoteric or mundane practice of Islamand then is initiated onto the mystical path of a Tarīqah. Through spiritual practices and guidance of a Tarīqah the aspirant seeks Haqiqa or ultimate truth.
A Tarīqah is a school of
Sufism. A Tarīqah has a Murshid, or Guide, who plays the role of leader or spiritual director of the organization.
A Sufi Tarīqah is a group of Murīd (pl.: Murīdīn), Arabic for desirous, desiring the knowledge of knowing God and loving God (a Murīd is also called a 'Faqīr' or 'Fakir' (Arabic: فقير ) another Arabic word that means poor or needy, usually used as "al-Faqīr 'ilá Allāh", English: The needy to God's knowledge (Arabic: الفقير إلى الله )).
Nearly every Tarīqah is named after its founder, and when the order is referred to as a noun "-yah" is usually added to a part of the founder's name. For example the "Rifai order", named after
Shaykh`Ahmed er Rifai, is called the " Rifaiyyah", the "Qādirī order", named after Shaykh`Abd al-Qādir al-Jīlānī, is called the "Qādiriyyah". Often Tarīqahs are offshoots of other Tarīqahs, for example, the Qadri Al-Muntahiorder is an offshoot of the Qādiriyyah order founded by Riaz Ahmed Gohar Shahi, the Jelvetiorder is an offshoot of the Bayramiorder founded by Hacı Bayram-ı Veliin Ankarawho are an offshoot of the zahidiyyefounded by Pir Zahid al-Gaylani in Iran. The Khalwati orderare a particularly splintered order with numerous offshoots such as the Jerrahī, Sunbulī, Nasuhī, Karabashiyyah and others, the Tijaniyyahorder prevalent in West Africa also has its roots in this Tariqa.
In most cases the shaykh nominates his "khalīfah" or "successor" during his lifetime, who will take over the order. In rare cases, if the shaykh dies without naming a khalīfah, the students of the Tarīqah elect another spiritual leader through a vote. In some orders, it is recommended to take a khalīfah from the same order as their Murshid. In some groups it is customary for the khalīfah to be the son of the shaykh, although in other groups the khalīfah and the shaykh are not normally relatives. In yet other orders, a successor may be identified through the spiritual dreams of its members.
Tarīqahs have "
silsilah"s (Arabic: _ar. سلسلة "chain, lineage of shaykhs". Almost all orders except the Naqshbandiorder claims a "silsilah" that leads back to Muhammad through ‘Alī. (The NaqshbandiSilsilah goes back to Abu Bakrthe first Caliph of Sunni Islamand then Muhammad.)
On the other hand there are in many of the silsilas of the Tarīqahs names of
Shi'ite Imams - for example, that of the Qadiri.
Ali ibn Abi Talib
*Abu Bakr Shibli
*Abdul Aziz al-Tamīmī
*Abu al-Fadl Abu al-Wahid al-Tamīmī
*Abu al-Farah Tartusi
*Abu al-Hasan Farshi
*Abu Sa'id al-Mubarak Mukharrami
Abdul Qadir Jilani
However, the differences between Sunni and Shī‘ah Islam were not as acute in the first three centuries as they are today. Indeed, during Ottoman times the
SunniTurkish sultans would use the reverence that they and other Sunni Muslimshad for the Shī‘ah Imams to appease the Shī‘ah minorities that lived within their empire and many towards the end of the 19th century believed that a Sunni-Shī‘ah unity was impending.
Every Murid on entering the ṭarīqah gets his " 'awrād", or daily recitations, authorized by his Murshid (usually to be recited before or after the pre-dawn prayer, after the afternoon prayer and after the evening prayer). Usually, these recitations are extensive and time-consuming (for example the Murid's awrād may consist of reciting a certain formula 99, 500 or even 1000 times). One must also be in a state of ritual purity (as one is for the obligatory prayers to perform them while facing Mecca). The recitations change as a student (murid) moves from a mere initiate to other Sufi degrees (usually requiring additional initiations).
Being mostly followers of the spiritual traditions of Islam loosely referred to as Sufism, these groups were sometimes distinct from the
ulemaor officially mandated scholars, and often acted as informal missionaries of Islam. They provided accepted avenues for emotional expressions of faith, and the Tarīqahs spread to all corners of the Muslim world, and often exercised a degree of political influence inordinate to their size (take for example the influence that the sheikhs of the Safavidhad over the armies of Tamerlane, or the missionary work of Ali Shair Navai in Turkistan amongst the Mongoland Tatarpeople).
The Tarīqahs were particularly influential in the spread of Islam in the sub-Sahara during the 9th to 14th centuries, where they spread south along trade routes between North Africa and the sub-Saharan kingdoms of
Ghanaand Mali. On the West African coast they set up Zāwiyas on the shores of the river Niger and even established independent kingdoms such as "al-Murābiṭūn" or Almoravids. The Sanusiorder were also highly involved in missionary work in Africa during the 19th century, spreading both Islam and a high level of literacy into Africa as far south as Lake Chad and beyond by setting up a network of Zawiyas where Islam was taught. Much of central Asiaand southern Russia was won over to Islam through the missionary work of the ṭarīqahs, and the majority of Indonesia's population, where a Muslim army never set foot, was converted to Islam by the perseverance of both Muslim traders and Sufi missionaries.
A case is sometimes made that groups such as the
Muslim Brotherhoods (in many countries) and specifically the Muslim Brotherhood of Egypt(the first, or first known), are modern inheritors of the tradition of lay ṭarīqah in Islam. This is highly contentious since the "Turuq" were Sufi orders with established lineages while the Muslim Brotherhood is a modern, rationalist tradition. However, the Muslim Brotherhood's founder, Hassan al Banna, did have a traditional Islamic education (his family were Hanbalischolars) and it is likely that he was initiated into a ṭarīqah at an early age.
Certain scholars, e.g.,
G. H. Jansen, credit the original Tarīqahs with several specific accomplishments:
# Preventing Islam from becoming a cold and formal doctrine by constantly infusing it with local and emotionally popular input, including stories and plays and rituals not part of Islam proper. (A parallel would be the role of
Aesoprelative to the Greek mythos.)
# Spreading the faith in east Asia and sub-Saharan Africa, where orthodox Islamic leaders and scholars had little or no direct influence on people.
# Leading Islam's military and political battles against the encroaching power of the
Christian West, as far back as the Qadiriorder of the 12th century.
The last of these accomplishments suggests that the analogy with the modern Muslim Brotherhoods is probably accurate, but incomplete.
Tariqah in the Four Spiritual Stations
Orders of Sufism
PHILTAR ("Philosophy of Theology and Religion" at the Division of Religion and Philosophy of St Martin's College) has a very useful [http://philtar.ucsm.ac.uk/encyclopedia/islam/sufi/index.html Graphical illustration of the Sufi schools] .
Non-traditional Sufi groups
Sufi Order International
Mevlevi Order of America[http://www.hayatidede.org/]
Sufi Ruhaniat International[http://www.ruhaniat.org/]
International Sufi Movement[http://www.sufimovement.org/work.htm]
The Golden Sufi Center[http://www.goldensufi.org/]
International Spiritual Movement Anjuman Serfaroshan-e-Islam
Sufi Foundation of America[http://www.sufifoundation.org/]
* [http://www.yabahu.com Hazrat Sultan Bahu R.A]
Riaz Ahmed Gohar Shahi
List of tariqas
G. H. Jansen, "Militant Islam", Pan, London 1979: F. de Jong, " Turuqand Turuq-Linked Institutions in Nineteenth-Century Egypt", Brill, Leiden, 1978: M. D. Gilsenen, "Saint and Sufiin Modern Egypt", Oxford, 1978: M. Berger, "Islam in Egypt today - social and political aspects of popular religion", London, 1970: J. M. Abun-Nasr, "The Tijaniyya", London 1965: E. E. Evans-Pritchard, "The Sanusiof Cyrenaica", Oxford, 1949: J. W. McPherson, "The Moulidsof Egypt", Cairo, 1941: J. K. Birge, "The BektashiOrder of Dervishes", London and Hartford, 1937: O. Depontand X. Coppolani, "Les confreries religieuses musulmans" (the Muslim brotherhoodsas they existed then), Algiers, 1897
* [http://www.darulehsan.org Qadri Mujaddadi Silsilah]
* [http://www.zikr.co.uk/content/view/26/46/ Jamat Sardaria - Naqshbandi Golden Chain ]
* [http://www.sheiknazim2.com Haqqani Naqshbandi Tariqa ]
* [http://philtar.ucsm.ac.uk/encyclopedia/islam/sufi/index.html Graphical illustration of the Sufi schools]
* [http://www.zikr.co.uk/content/view/17/67/ Sufism & Sufi Orders in a Nutshell ]
* [http://www.yabahu.com Hazrat Sultan Bahu (R.A)]
* [http://www.zikr.co.uk/content/view/26/46/ Naqshbandi Sufi Order - Hadhrat Muhammad Sardar Ahmad ]
* [http://www.yabahu.com Sarwari Qadri Order (Sultan-ul-faqr Hazrat Sultan Bahu R.A)]
* [http://www.suryalaya.org/ver2/ Qadiriyyah/Naqshbandi, Suryalaya.]
* [http://arusiqadiri.wordpress.com/ 'Arusi branch of the Qadiri path]
* [http://www.rifai.org/ Ahmed er Rifai - Rifai Dervishes www.rifai.org]
* [http://www.azeemia.co.uk/ Azeemia Order, UK]
* [http://www.sufiajmer.org/ Chishti Order]
* [http://www.chishti.ru/ Chishti order: teachings, stories and poetry]
* [http://www.geocities.com/faizee/ Chishti Qadhiri order: teachings, evidences from Qur'an]
* [http://www.galibi.com/en/indexen.asp Galibi Order]
* [http://sufi-mystic.net/index.htm Gudri Shahi order]
* [http://www.jerrahi.org Halveti-Jerrahi Order of America]
* [http://www.jerrahimidwest.org Halveti-Jerrahi Order of Midwest]
* [http://www.sufimaizbhandar.org/ Maizbhandari Order]
* [http://www.mto.org/ Maktab Tarighat Oveyssi (M.T.O.) Shahmaghsoudi (School of Islamic Sufism)]
* [http://www.hayatidede.org/ Mevlevi order of America]
* [http://www.naqshbandi.net/haqqani/ Naqshbandi-Haqqani Sufi Order of America]
* [http://www.naqshbandi.org/ Naqshbandi Sufi Way] Naqshbandi-Haqqani Sufi Order]
* [http://www.sheiknazim2.com/naqshabandiorder.html Naqshabandi-Haqqani Order]
* [http://www.tasawwuf.org/ Naqshbandi Mujaddidi]
* [http://www.islahulmuslimeen.org Naqshbandi-Mujaddidi]
* [http://www.naqshbandiaowaisiah.com/ Naqshbandia Owaisiah]
* [http://www.naksibendi.org/ Osmanli Naks'i-Bendi Hakkani Sufi Order] Association of Sultanul Awliya Mevlana Nazim Adil al-Hakkani's deputy Shaykh Abdul Kerim, whose dergah is in the Catskill Mountains of New York)
* [http://www.owaisiah.com/ Naqshbandi Owaisiah Order]
* [http://www.nimatullahi.org/ Nimatullahi Sufi order]
* [http://www.nurashkijerrahi.org Nur Ashki Jerrahi Sufi Order]
* [http://www.shazuli.com/ Shadhili Tariqa]
* [http://walikutub.tripod.com/hakikat/hakikatlahut.html Sh. Nadzir al-Saghir Sufi Order]
* [http://www.haqqaniya.org Siraajiya 'Haqqaaniya]
* [http://www.sufimovement.org/ Sufi Movement]
* [http://sufiorder.org/ Sufi Order International]
* [http://www.ruhaniat.org/ Sufi Ruhaniat International]
* [http://www.tariqa.org/qadiriya/index.html Tariqa Al-Qadiriya Al-Boutshishiya of Morocco]
Qadri Al-Muntahi- Hazrat Sayyedna Riaz Ahmed Gohar Shahi
* [http://www.sufism.org The Threshold Society & The Mevlevi Order]
* [http://www.jaffeinstitute.org/ The University of Spiritual Healing and Sufism] (a school that is intended to become a fully accredited university, with doctoral programs, under the guidance and support of a traditional Islamic Sufi master from the Shadhuliyyah tariqa)
* [http://www.zahuri.org/ Zahuri Sufi website]
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