About Tariqah Naqhbandiyya:
The Naqshbandi order is over 1,300 years old, and is active today. It is the only Sufi order that traces its direct spiritual lineage/chain the Islamic Prophet Muhammad, through Abu Bakr, the first caliph and Prophet Muhammad's companion. This lineage also indirectly connects to Ali, Muhammad's cousin, son-in-law and the Fourth Caliph, via Jafar as-Sadiq. In contrast, most other Sufi orders (turuq) trace their lineage through Ali.
The transmission of spiritual lineage or silsilah, is directly from one Sheikh to another, at or after the time of death or burial. It is not tied to a country, family or political appointment, but is a direct heart to heart transmission. It is also considered that the appointed Sheikh will in sometime or when needed be in communication with past Sheikhs. A bay'ah "spiritual allegiance" is given to the (current) master of the silsilah.
The Naqshbandi order owes many of its insights to Abu Ya'qub Yusuf al-Hamadani and especially Abd al-Khaliq al-Ghujdawani, who is regarded as the organizer of the practices and is responsible for placing stress upon the purely mental dhikr. It was later associated with Muhammad Baha ad-din an-Naqshbandi, hence the name of the order.
Some interpret the name translation as "the engravers (of the heart)", "related to the image-maker", "pattern maker", "image maker", "reformer of patterns", "way of the chain" and "golden chain." The name has changed over the years. Originally called "as-Siddiqiyya", around the times of Bayazid al-Bistami to Abdul Khaliq al-Ghujdawani it was called at-Tayfuriyya, and from the times of 'Abdul Khaliq al-Ghujdawani to Shah Naqshband it was called the "Khwajagan" or "Hodja". From the time of Shah Naqshband it has been called Naqshbandiyya.
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