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Title: Qadiriyyah  
Author: World Heritage Encyclopedia
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Subject: Mecca, Sufism, History of Western Sahara, 1166, Marabout, Sheikh, Moinuddin Chishti, Tijaniyyah, Islam in China, Ingushetia
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Not to be confused with Qadariyya,an early Islamic theological movement emphasizing free will.
Qadri redirects here. For other uses, see Qaderi

The Qadiriyya (Arabic: القادريه, Persian:قادریه, also transliterated Qadri, Qadriya, Kadri, Elkadri, Elkadry, Aladray, Adray, Kadray, Qadiri,"Quadri" or Qadri), are members of the Qadiri Sufi order (tariqa). This derives its name from Syed Abdul Qader Gilani Al Amoli (1077–1166 CE, also transliterated as "Jilani" etc.) who was a native of the Iranian province of Mazandaran. The order relies strongly upon adherence to the fundamentals of Islam.

The order, with its many offshoots, is widespread, particularly in the Arabic-speaking world, and can also be found in Turkey, Indonesia, Afghanistan, India, Bangladesh, Pakistan, the Balkans, Israel, China,[1] East and West Africa.[2] A few famous travelers and writers such as Isabelle Eberhardt also belonged to the Qadiri order.


The founder of the Qadiriyya, Abdul-Qadir Gilani, was a respected scholar and preacher. Having been a pupil at the school (madrasa) of Abu Sa'id al-Mubarak Mukharrami he became leader of this school after Mukharrami's death in 1119 CE. Being the new shaykh, he and his large family lived comfortably in the madrasa until his death in 1166, when his son, Abdul-Wahhab, succeeded his father as sheikh. At the time the Sufi tradition of Abu Hafs Umar al-Suhrawardi was gaining prominence after the caliph al-Nasir came to power in 1180 and patronised al-Suhrawardi. Gilani's son, Abdul al-Razzaq, published a hagiography of his father, emphasising his reputation as founder of a distinct and prestigious Sufi order.

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 is the ultimate channel of divine grace and helped the Qadiri order to spread far beyond the region of Baghdad.

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. Established Sufi sheikhs often adopted the Qadiriyya tradition without abandoning leadership of their local communities. During the Safavid rule of Baghdad, from 1508 to 1534, the shaykh of the Qadiriyya was appointed chief Sufi of Baghdad and the surrounding lands. Shortly after the Ottoman Turks conquered Baghdad in 1534, Suleiman the Magnificent commissioned a dome to be built on the tomb of Gilani, establishing the Qadiriyya as his main allies in Iraq.

Khwaja Abdul Alla, a sheikh of the Qadiriyya and a descendant of Muhammed, is reported to have entered China in 1674 and traveled the country preaching until his death in 1689. One of Abdul Alla'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.

There were also many Qadiri sheikhs in Kerala, including Quthubuzzaman Sheikh Yusuf Sultan Shah Qadiri (Aluva)(, Moula al-Bokhari (Kannur), Syed Abd al-Rahman Aidrusi (Ponnani), Syed Qutb Alavi Manburami, Sheikh Abu-Bakr Madavuri, Sheikh Abu-Bakr Aluva and Sheikh Zain-ud-din Makhdum Ponnani.


  • 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.[3]
  • Teachings emphasise the struggle against the desires of the ego. Gilani described it as "the greater struggle" (jihad) This has two stages; first against deeds forbidden by religious law and second against fundamental vices such as greed, vanity, and fear. A true seeker of God should overcome all desires other than wishing to be taken into God's custody.
  • Though the sunna is the ultimate source of religious guidance, the wali (saints) are said to be God's chosen spiritual guides for the people. Such local Sufi saints command considerable local reverence. Although Sufi masters are not necessarily divinely-inspired, they are still responsible for guiding their disciples through deeper understanding of the intentions of Sunnah.
  • Names of God are prescribed as wazifas (chants) for repetition by initiates (dhikr). Formerly several hundred thousand repetitions were required, and obligatory for those who hold the office of sheikh.[3]
  • Any person over the age of eighteen may be initiated. They may be asked to live in the order's commune (tekke) and to recount their dreams to their sheikh.[3]


There are several texts important to the Qadiriyya;

  • Futuh al-Ghayb (Revelations from the Invisible World) - Seventy-eight of Gilani's essays (maqalat, singular: maqala) compiled by his son, Abdul al-Razzaq Gilani. These pieces tend to be short statements regarding Islamic doctrines and Sufi belief.
  • Fath al-Rabbani wa al-Fayd al-Rahmani (Revelation from the Lord and the Outflow of His Mercy) - Sermons Gilani delivered during sixty-two sessions held in his madrasa, most likely recorded by his disciples.
  • al-Ghunya li Talibi Tariq al-Haqq (Indispensables for the Seekers of the Path of Truth) - the largest of Gilani's three known books, separated into five parts, each dealing with a different branch of Sufi learning; jurisprudence (fiqh), tenets of the faith ('aqa'id), preaching (majalis wa'z), work or "the work" (a'mal) and Sufism (tasawwuf) itself generally.

Spiritual Chain

The chain of spiritual masters (silsila) of the Qadiriyya

Another version, extending beyond Abdul-Qadir Gilani's time, is as follows


The Arusiyya-Qadiriyya

See Arusiyyah-Qadiriyyah

The Qadiriya-Boutchichiya

The Tariqa Boutchichiya is a branch of the Qadiriyya that originated in North-east Morocco in the 18th century.

The Qadiriyya-Mukhtariyya Brotherhood

This branch of the Qadiriyya came into being in the eighteenth century resulting from a revivalist movement led by Sidi 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 centralised authority, the Mukhtariyya brotherhood was highly centralised. Its leaders focused on economic prosperity as well as spiritual well-being, sending their disciples on trade caravans as far as Europe.[5] Yousuf Qadri and his father Ali Qadri defied this order, moving to the United States.

Qadiriyya wa Naqshbandiyya

An amalgamated order of Qadiriyya and Naqshbandiyya formed in south-east Asia and the middle-east.

Qadiriyatun Nabaviyyah

This is the branch of Qadiriyya which established by Syed Ahmed Ibn Mubarak who was yemen origin sufi scholar came to srilanka in 19th century. Syed Ahmed Ibn Mubarak who is the descendent of Prophet Muhammed SAW.


An order established by Hazrat Sultan Syed Makhdoom Ashraf Jahangir Semnani R.A. and his great nephew Syed Shah Abdul Razzaq Nur-Al-Alyn R.A which is in Kicchouccha Sharif U.P who is the descendent of Abdul Qadir Jilani R.A in India.

Qadri-Qadeeri Silsila

The Qadri-Qadeeri Silsila is a sufi order or tariqah which was started Bahr-ul-Uloom Hazrat Moulana Maulvi Muhammad Abdul Qadeer Siddiqi Qadri Hasrat (1870–1962), the former Dean and Professor of Theology of the Osmania University, Hyderabad and a famous Sufi of southern India widely known as Bahr-ul-Uloom (Ocean of Knowledge).

See also


[1] Ashrafesimna Academy, is dedicated to great scholars of Ashrafi order...Hazrat Pir Ashraful-ulema Abul Hasan Shykh Saiyed Mohammed Ashraf Ashrafi-Jilani. Kichhouchvi

Further reading

  • Abun-Nasr, Jamil M. "The Special Sufi Paths (Taqiras)." Muslim Communities of Grace: The Sufi Brotherhoods in Islamic Religious Life. New York: Columbia UP, 2007. 86-96.

External links

  • Ashrafesimna Academy
  • Biography
  • Qadiriyya-Muhammadiyya Tariqa - International Qadiriyya Foundation
  • Qadri Sarwari Tariqa - Hazrat Sultan Bahu
  • Sulthaniya Foundation
  • - Tariqatu-l Arusiyyatu-l Qadiriyya Worldwide Association (Singapore)
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