Qadiriyya Order

The Qadiriyya (القادريه‎, قادریه‎, also transliterated Qadri, QadriyaKadriElkadri, ElkadryAladrayAlkadrieAdray, KadrayQadiri, “Quadri” or Qadri) are members of the Qadiri tariqa (Sufi order). The tariqa got its name from Abdul Qadir Gilani (1077–1166, Jilani), who was from Gilan. 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, Russia, Palestine, Israel, China, and East and West Africa.

Mausoleum Complex of Abdul-Qadir Jilani, 2016

Mausoleum Complex of Abdul-Qadir Jilani, 2016


The founder of the Qadiriyya, Abdul Qadir Gilani, was a respected scholar and preacher. Having been a pupil at the madrasa of Abu Sa’id al-Mubarak, he became the leader of this school after al-Mubarak’s death in 1119. Being the new sheikh, he and his large family lived in the madrasa until his death in 1166, when his son, Abdul Razzaq, succeeded his father as sheikh. Abdul Razzaq published a hagiography of his father, emphasizing 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 as 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 dynasty’s rule of Baghdad from 1508 to 1534, the sheikh of the Qadiriyya was appointed chief Sufi of Baghdad and the surrounding lands. Shortly after the Ottoman Empire conquered Baghdad in 1534, Suleiman the Magnificent commissioned a dome to be built on the mausoleum of Abdul-Qadir Gilani, establishing the Qadiriyya as his main allies in Iraq.

Khawaja Abdul-Allah, a sheikh of the Qadiriyya and a descendant of Muhammad, is reported to have entered China in 1674 and traveled the country preaching until his death in 1689. One of Abdul-Allah’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. By the seventeenth century, the Qadiriyya had reached Ottoman-occupied areas of Europe.

Sultan Bahu contributed to the spread of Qadiriyya in western India. His method of spreading the teachings of the Sufi doctrine of Faqr was through his Punjabi couplets and other writings, which numbered more than 140. He granted the method of dhikr and stressed that the way to reach divinity was not through asceticism or excessive or lengthy prayers but through selfless love carved out of annihilation in God, which he called fana.

Sheikh Sidi Ahmad al-Bakka’i (الشيخ سيدي أحمد البكاي بودمعة‎ of the Kunta family, born in the region of the Noun river, d.1504 in Akka) established a Qadiri zawiya (Sufi residence) in Walata. In the sixteenth century the family spread across the Sahara to Timbuktu, Agades, Bornu, Hausaland, and other places, and in the eighteenth century large numbers of Kunta moved to the region of the middle Niger where they established the village of Mabruk. Sidi Al-Mukhtar al-Kunti (1728–1811) united the Kunta factions by successful negotiation, and established an extensive confederation. Under his influence the Maliki school of Islamic law was reinvigorated and the Qadiriyyah order spread throughout Mauritania, the middle Niger region, Guinea, the Ivory Coast, Futa Toro, and Futa Jallon. Kunta colonies in the Senegambian region became centers of Muslim teaching.

The Qadiriyya Zawiya (Sufi lodge) in the medina of Libya’s capital, Tripoli


  • 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.
  • Names of God are prescribed as chants for repetition by initiates (dhikr). Formerly, several hundred thousand repetitions were required, and obligatory for those who hold the office of sheikh.
  • Any man over the age of eighteen may be initiated. They may be asked to live in the order’s commune (khanqah or tekke) and to recount their dreams to their sheikh.
  • Celibacy, poverty, meditation, and mysticism within an ascetic context along with worship centered on saint’s tombs were promoted by the Qadiriyya among the Hui in China. In China, unlike other Muslim sects, the leaders (Shaikhs) of the Qadiriyya Sufi order are celibate. Unlike other Sufi orders in China, the leadership within the order is not a hereditary position; rather, one of the disciples of the celibate Shaikh is chosen by the Shaikh to succeed him. The 92-year-old celibate Shaikh Yang Shijun was the leader of the Qadiriya order in China as of 1998.

Spiritual chain

Tomb Of Sheikh Abdul Qadir, Baghdad, Iraq.

Tomb Of Sheikh Abdul Qadir, Baghdad, Iraq.

The spiritual chain (silsila) is listed as follows:

  1. Muhammad
  2. Ali ibn Abi Talib
  3. Hasan ibn Ali
  4. Husayn ibn Ali
  5. Zain-ul-Abideen
  6. Muhammad al-Baqir
  7. Ja’far al-Sadiq
  8. Musa al-Kadhim
  9. Ali ar-Ridha
  10. Maruf Karkhi
  11. Sirri Saqti
  12. Junayd al-Baghdadi
  13. Abu Bakr Shibli
  14. Abdul Aziz bin Hars bin Asad Yemeni Tamimi
  15. Abu Al Fazal Abdul Wahid Yemeni Tamimi
  16. Mohammad Yousaf Abu al-Farah Tartusi
  17. Abu al-Hasan Hankari
  18. Abu Sa’id al-Mubarak Makhzoomi
  19. Abdul-Qadir Gilani

Another version is as follows:

  1. Muhammad
  2. Ali ibn Abi Talib
  3. Hasan Basri
  4. Habib al-Ajami
  5. Dawud Tai
  6. Maruf Karkhi
  7. Sirri Saqti
  8. Junayd al-Baghdadi
  9. Abu Bakr Shibli
  10. Abdul Aziz bin Hars bin Asad Yemeni Tamimi
  11. Abu Al Fazal Abdul Wahid Yemeni Tamimi
  12. Mohammad Yousaf Abu al-Farah Tartusi
  13. Abu al-Hasan Hankari
  14. Abu Sa’id al-Mubarak Makhzoomi
  15. Abdul-Qadir Gilani


Halisa – Halisiyya

The Halisa offshoot was founded by Abdurrahman Halis Talabani (1212 – 1275 Hijra) in Kerkuk, Iraq. Hungry and miserable people were fed all day in his Tekke without regard for religion. Dawlati Osmaniyya donated money and gifts to his Tekke in Kerkuk. Sultan Abdul-Majid Khan’s (Khalife of İslam, Sultan of Ottoman Empire) wife Sultana Hatun sent many gifts and donations to his Tekke as a follower. Among his followers were many leaders, rulers, and military and government officials. It was known to everyone that he lived in complete conviction. Because of the example Talibani set as a religious figure, the people’s ties to him were solid and strong.

After his death, his branch was populated in Turkey, and he was followed by Dede Osman Avni Baba, Sheikh Al-Haj Ömer Hüdai Baba, Sheikh Al-Haj Muhammed Baba, Sheikh Al-Haj Mustafa Hayri Baba, and Sheikh Al-Haj Mehmet Baba.

Qadri Noshahi

The Qadri Noshahi silsila (offshoot) was established by Syed Muhammad Naushah Ganj Bakhsh of Gujrat, Punjab, Pakistan, in the late sixteenth century.

Sarwari Qadiri

Also known as Qadiriya Sultaniya, the order was started by Sultan Bahu in the seventeenth century and spread in the western part of Indian Subcontinent. Hence, it follows most of the Qadiriyya approach. In contrast, it does not follow a specific dress code or require seclusion or other lengthy exercises. Its mainstream philosophy is contemplation of belovedness towards God.

The Qadiriyya–Mukhtariyya Brotherhood

This branch of the Qadiriyya came into being in the eighteenth century resulting from a revivalist movement led by 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 centralized authority, the Mukhtariyya brotherhood was highly centralized. Its leaders focused on economic prosperity as well as spiritual well-being, sending their disciples on trade caravans as far away as Europe.

The Qadiriyya Harariya

The founder of the Qadiriyya Harariya tariqa was Shaykh Hachime Harari. His shrine is located in Harar City, Ethiopia. All the shrines of the shaykhs are in Ethiopia and two Shrines of the shaykhs silsila are in Borama City, in the north of Somalia. The current shaykh is Mohamed Nasrudin bin Shaykh Ibrahim Kulmiye of Somalia. The tariqa spread in three countries: Djibouti, Somalia, and Ethiopia.

Qadiriyya Razaviya

Founded by Ala Hazrat Imam Ahmad Raza Khan , whose shrine is one of the most visited Dargah AlaHazrat in Bareilly, India. The current leader and successor is Taajusharia Grand mufti of India Mufti Akhtar Raza Khan Barelvi. With million of followers around the world, the current successor also is listed 25th among the most influential Muslim leaders around the world.

Adapted from Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

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