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About NFIE

The Naqshbandiya Foundation for Islamic Education (NFIE) is a non-profit, tax exempt, religious and educational organization dedicated to serve Islam with a special focus on Tasawwuf(Sufism), a beautiful path to love, peace, and happiness ,established in loving memory of Sayyid Jamaat Ali Shah Naqshbandi(rahmat Allah alayhi)-d.1951 and Shaykh Muhammad Masum Naqshbandi (rahmat Allah alayhi) d.2007
Goals and Objectives.
  1. To establish an Islamic Research and Education Center. 
  2. To understand the Tasawwuf (Sufism) according to the illuminated path of the Ahl al-sunna  wal-jamaah and to serve all legitimate Sufi Tariqas. 
  3. To organize and participate in conferences, seminars, exhibits, and workshops related to  Islam and Tasawwuf (Sufism).  
  4. To publish Risala-yi anwar as-sufiyya (Journal of Sufi Illuminations). 
  5. To publish books and educational pamphlets and to introduce Islam as a religion of  human rights, peace, love, and tolerance.  
  6. To build bridges of understanding among Muslims and People of Diverse faiths and background , for the sake of ultimate unity and global peace.

Our Spiritual Path.

What is Sufism

Tassawuf  (Sufism) is a holistic and deeper understanding of Islam with  consistent focus on sincere practice of Sharia. Even during the Prophet  (saws)'s time some of the followers desired to enter into a more  intimate relationship with God, in addition to performing the required  ritual practices. Over the next three centuries a discipline of pious  self-examination and refined religious psychology came into existence.  The specialized technical vocabulary of this discipline, now known as  Tasawwuf (Sufism), came directly from Quran. Muslims who engaged in  these pious activities, in addition to the required religious practices  of the wider community, became known as Sufis, presumably because they  wore woolen (sufi) robes as token of their interiorized piety. In short  Tasawwuf (Sufism) can be both Islamic religious science and the  collective spiritual practices of a person who desires to have a more  encompassing experience of submitting to God (the literal meaning of  Islam). The English version "Sufism" is a problematic translation of  Tasawwuf since the "-ism" of Sufism has allowed misconceptions, all too  prevalent today in Western countries, to consider Tasawwuf and Islam as  separate religious paths. The other inappropriate terms used in English  are "Islamic Mysticism" and "Islamic Esotericism". Unfortunately each  of these attempts to define such a comprehensive dimension of  religiousity only illuminates one narrow aspect of Tasawwuf at a time,  a partial distortion at best. Reports from the earliest Muslim sources  communicate what the Sufi enterprise entails in a more holistic manner.  Tasawwuf represents works (Islam), faith (Iman), and perfection (Ihsan)  as described in an early hadith of Prophet (saws) known as "Gabriel  Hadith."

It  is related that one day a man came walking from desert into the  presence of the Prophet (saws) and his companions (radiya Allahu  anhum). He proceeded to ask the Prophet (saws) a few questions. He  asked first about submitting to God (Islam), and the Prophet (saws)  replied that Islam consists of the five pillars: attestation of one God  and Muhammad (saws) as the messenger of God, prayer, fasting, alms, and  pilgrimage. He then inquired about faith (Iman) and the Prophet (saws)  responded by listing the articles of faith mentioned in Quran: God, His  messangers, angels, scriptures, and the Day of Judgment. His last  question was about virtue or perfection (Ihsan) and the Prophet (saws)  answered that Ihsan was worshipping God as if you see Him, though if  you do not see Him, He sees you.

Such  a three-fold conception of religion assumes that persons have varying  potential, inclination, and ability for spiritual activities. The vast  majority of Muslims seek salvation through their daily practice of  Islam, informed by faith commitment (Iman). Anyone who desires to  proceed further into either of these dimensions of Islamic tradition  can spend a lifetime studying each respective field of knowledge guided  by a teaching-shaykh. Tasawwuf encompasses the activities working  toward the field of consciousness and experience represented by  perfection (Ihsan). Such an enterprise, explicit in the Naqshbandi  context, assumes a firm foundation in the practice of submitting to God  (Islam) and in faith (Iman) before achieving an extraordinary degree of  proximity to God (Ihsan).

Another oft-mentioned triad associated  with explicating Tasawwuf is Sharia (Ar. original meaning: path leading  to the water hole, but now commonly meaning Islamic Law), Tariqa (Ar.   path or method) and Haqiqa (Ar. Truth or reality). For Muslims the  Sharia represents the wide path outlining the timeless God-given rules  that govern everyday life for all humans.  It is the path leading to  Salvation. The Tariqa is a narrower path, often associated with the  Sufi path, leading to Haqiqa, the experience of the Ultimate. These  thre interrelated aspects of Islam have been depicted as the one circle  of Sharia with multiplicity of radii or paths (the Tariqas) leading to  the center (Haqiqa).
Reference: Dr. Arthur F. Buehler, Sufi Illuminatinons: a journal dedicated to Islam and Tasawwuf
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What is the Naqshbandiyya Sufi Order?

By  the 10th Century, Sufi's were expected to have recognized spiritual  genealogies in the form of continuous chains of Sufis going back to the  Prophet (saws) himself and in the 13th Century International Islamic  Sufi groups named after founder-figures had developed, for example,  Qadiriyya, the Suharawardiyya, the Chistiyya, and the Naqshbandiyya.   The Naqshbandi tariqa is a pan-Islamic Sufi lineage of Central Asian  lineage, named after Bahauddin Naqshband (d. 1389) (rahmat Allah  alayhi), who is buried near Bukhara in present day Uzbekistan. Historically, the Naqshbandiyya can be divided into three stages, each  of which is distinguished by a pivotal charismatic figure who developed  new spiritual practices and even redefined the identity of the Sufi  group.

The first stage, called  "the way of the masters" since the time of Khwaja 'Abdulkhaliq  Ghujduwani (d. 1179), originated with the Prophet (saws) and Abu Bakr  as-Siddiq (radiya Allahu anhu). Bahauddin Naqshband (rahmat Allah  alayhi), the founder figure, initiates the second historical stage when  the spiritual path was called the Naqshbandiyya.

The  third historical stage of the Naqshbandiyya begins with Shaykh Ahmed  Sirhindi (d. 1624) (rahmat Allah alayhi). Also called the renewer of  the second millennium (mujaddid-i alf-I thani), he represents the most  famous of Shaykh Baqibillah's (rahmat Allah alayhi) disciples who  redefined Tassawuf's role in the society with the goal of following in  the footsteps of the Prophet (saws). Perfect performance of the  Islamic religious legal requirements and emulation of Prophetic  behavior became the Naqshbandi touchstone of legitimacy for a person  who had returned from the spiritual heights/depths.

The  conscious modeling of one's inward and outward behavior on that of the  Prophet (saws), the inner and outer sunna, became the norm for  Naqshbandis. According to Sirhindi (rahmat Allah alayhi), no Muslim  can become a protege of God (waliullah) unless he follows the Prophetic  example because of the preference of the Prophet (saws) himself who has  reached a spiritual level that no other prophet reached.

Tariqa  is not something separate from sharia but it is one dimension and its  "servant." Shaykh Ahmad Sirhindi Imam Rabbani (rahmat Allah alayhi)  said in one of his celebrated letters (maktubat) "The Sharia consists  of three parts, knowledge (ilm), deeds (amal), and sincerity  (ikhlas)." Until all three are present and realized, sharia cannot be  said to be fulfilled. When sharia is fulfilled the pleasure of God  Almighty and Exalted results. This is superior to all forms of  happiness to be found in this word and in the hereafter. The Sharia is  the guarantor of all happiness both in this world and the hereafter. There is no human concern for which he has needs anything beyond  Sharia. So Sharia is all inclusive and all-sufficient. The Tariqa by  means of which the Sufis are distinguished from the rest of the  community is the servant of Sharia, has the function of perfecting its  third component, sincerity (ikhlas).

From  India the Naqshbandiyya-Mujaddidiyya often spread to numerous parts of  the Islamic world by way of Mecca and Medina. Maulana Khalid Baghdadi  (rahmat Allah alayhi), after obtaining his initiation in the  Naqshbandiyya in India, traveled to the Middle East and established a  whole network of successors throughout the region, including Kurdistan,  Daghistan, and Anatolia. Shaykh Shamil who led the resistance to the  Russians in the North Caucasus for an extremely long period was in the  Khalidi sublineage of the Naqshbandiyya.


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Sayyid Jama'at Ali Shah (rahmat Allah alayhi) - d. 1951

Naqshbandiyya  revivalist contributions in the twentieth century are centered around  Sayyid Jamaat Ali Shah (rahmat Allah alayhi). He was born in the  village of Alipur Sayyidan in the Sialkot District of Punjab  (Pakistan), where he received an extensive religious education,  achieving distinction as a memorizer of Quran (hafiz) and a Hadith  specialist (muhaddith). He was initiated into Naqshbandiyya  Mujaddadiyya in 1891 by Baba Faqir Muhammad Churahi (d.1897) (rahmat  Allah alayhi). He established his religious leadership in the Islamic  revival movement by actively propagating Islam (tablig) as he traveled  to many villages and towns throughout the Indian subcontinent. Not only  encouraging regular performance of required religious duties according  to Islamic law (sharia) and supervising the construction of mosques, he  propagated idea of Naqshbandiyya and attracted learned religious  scholars to join the Islamic revival movement. In 1904, Jamaat Ali Shah  (rahmat Allah alayhi) founded the Anjuman-i-Khuddam as-Sufiyya (The  Voluntary Association of Sufi Servants) and began publishing the  Anjuman's monthly journal, Risla-yi-anwar as-Sufiyya. The explicit  goals of the Anjuman were:
1. To unify all Sufi groups,
2. To spread knowledge of Taswwuf (Sufism),
3. To make books on Sufism available,
4. To circulate the Journal in which Sufis' hagiographies, exemplary character, and conduct are featured.

In  1925 he presided over first All-India Sunni Conference, giving the  keynote speech. Then in September 1935,having been declared the "  leader of Muslim Community" (amir-i-millat),at a special conference of  the "United Muslim Community" (ittihad-i-millat),he stressed the need  for love of Prophet saws followed by the need for active propagation of  Islam, for unity of Sufis and Ulama. Throughout the Pakistan movement,  Jamaat Ali Shah (r.a) supported Mohammad Ali Jinnah and Muslim League.  At the 1946 All-India Sunni Conference, he publicly exclaimed (to  counter those who accused Jinnah of being non-Muslim), "Jinnah is an  intimate of God." The conference was attended by 500 shaykhs, 7000  ulama, and over 100,000 other people, which encouraged the Muslim  League to form Pakistan. A committee with many scholars and Sufis was  set up to make sure that the new Pakistan government would be Islamic.  He passed away in 1951.Today many successors and their disciples are  scattered throughout Pakistan and India, some of whom have established  Sufi lodges in England and United States. Sayyid Afdal Husayn Shah is  the living successor in Jamaat Ali's lineage and serves on Naqshbandiya  Foundation for Islamic Education's Advisory Council.

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Naqshbandi Lineage:

1. Sayyid Jamaat Ali Shah(d.1951)
2. Faqir Muhammad Churahi (d.1897)
3. Nur Muhammad Churahi (d.1869)
4. Faydullah Tirahi (d.1829)
5. Khwaja Isa (d.1806)
6. Shah Jamalullah (d.1794)
7. Shah Qutbuddin (d.1766)
8. Muhammad Zubayr (d. 1740)
9. Hujjatullah Naqshband (d.1702)
10. Muhammad Masum (d. 1668)
11. Ahmad Sirhundi (d. 1624)
(From Buehler, "Charisma and Exemplar,"1993)

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Shaykh Muhammad Ma'sum Naqshbandi
(rahmat Allah alayhi)-d.2007


ImgEminent  Shaykh of the Naqshbandiya Tariqa and Islamic Scholar from Kurdistan. Shaykh Muhammad Masum (ra), grandson of  renowned Shaykh 'Umar Ziauddin (ra), was the last of his Naqshbandi  spiritual sublineage. He was born in Biyara, Iraq, and completed his  Islamic theological study under the guidance of renowned scholars Upon  completion of his studies, he was granted  the permission to serve both as a guide and teacher in both the Qadiri  and Naqshbandi Sufi lineages by his renowned uncle, Shaykh Ala'uddin  Naqshbandi, the last of the great masters (khwajagan) mentioned in the  Naqshbandi litany, Khatm-i khwajagan. In the 1940's Shaykh Muhammad  Masum (ra) was granted an official teaching certificate in the Islamic  religious sciences from the Iraqi Ministry of Awqaf.

Shaykh  Muhammad Masum (ra) spent the major part of his life in the city of  Mahabad, Iran, and left Iran at the time of the 1979 Iranian  revolution. After going to Europe and Iraq, he eventually migrated to  the United States in 1991. There he continued to inspire, educate, and  inform people about the universal message of Islam to the end of his  days as an esteemed spiritual guide. Shaykh Muhammad Masum (ra) was  the spiritual guide of the Naqshbandiyya Foundation for Islamic  Education (NFIE) for several years. As a highly influential spiritual  guide and Islamic scholar renowned for his depth of spiritual wisdom,  Shaykh Muhammad Masum (ra) radiated a sincere, humble, and  uncompromising piety like that of the Prophet Muhammad (pbuh). This  extraordinary, yet down-to-earth man transformed the lives of people  meeting him for over six decades. He himself was the living example of  the hadith saying, "The learned scholars of my community are the heirs  of the prophets." Shaykh Muhammad Masum (ra), left this world one year  ago, leaving his loved ones and followers with a vacant place that  cannot be filled. He was an exceptional spiritual figure who faithfully  trod the path of his forefathers, who in turn upheld the highest  principles in the most difficult of circumstances. This is a legacy  that has continued for over a thousand years and which has transformed  the lives of many. In this present age there seem to be very few who  can match the impeccable faith in God, undisputed moral virtue, and  depth of spiritual wisdom that their exemplary forefathers have  embodied. May Allah bless us with the knowledge and ability to follow  the path with a faithful adherence to the Sunna of our beloved Prophet  (pbuh). All praise is due to Allah alone. Peace and blessings be on our  Prophet, Muhammad (Allah bless him and give him peace), his family, and companions.

Shaykh Masum's Naqshbandi Lineage:
  1. Shaykh Muhammad Masum Diyai Naqshbandi (d. 2007)
  2. Shaykh Jamil Naqshbandi (d. 1931)
  3. Umar Diya al-Din (d. 1901)
  4. Muhammad Baha al-Din (d. 1873)
  5. Uthman Siraj al-Din (d. 1868)
  6. Mawlana Khalid (d. 1827)
  7. Abdallah (Shah Ghulam Ali) al-Dihlawi (d. 1824)
  8. Shams al-Din Habib Allah (Mirza Mazhar) Jan Janan (d. 1781)
  9. al-Sayyid Nur Muhammad al-Badauni (d. 1723)
  10. al-Sayyid Muhammad Sayf al-Din (d.1684)
  11. Muhammad Masum (d.1668)
  12. al-Imam al-Rabbani al-Shaykh Ahmad al-Faruqi ( d. 1624).
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