Uwaisīyaan refers to those Sufis who have gained the spiritual chain from another Sufi without physically meeting them in this world. Usually "Uwaisīan" are known as a school in Tasawwuf, and the word Uwaisi is its singular form. The "Uwaisī " form of spiritual transmission in the vocabulary of Islamic mysticism was named after Awais Malik (Uwais al-Qarni), as it refers to the transmission of spiritual knowledge between two individuals without the need for physical interaction between them.
In the science of spirituality of Islam (Tasawwuf) the Uwaisi Transmission occurs when the spirits of righteous believers (saliheen, awliya) meet in the world called `alam al-arwaah (the world of spirits) which is beyond `alam al-ajsam (the material plane). Whoever takes knowledge through spirituality from a deceased master in `alam al-arwaah is called "Oveysi". This means of transmission is considered as powerful and effective as the physical relation of master and disciple.
It is stated in Classical Islam and the Naqshbandi Sufi Tradition, by Shaykh Hisham Kabbani that: "The sign of the Favor of Allah Almighty and Exalted on his servant is to authorize one of His saints to uplift that servant to the Divine Presence. That is why many saints who came in previous times were guides for those who came after through this spiritual (Uwaisi) connection. It is known that many saints have been under the guidance and training of prophets and other saints that lifted them up."
Contemporary Western orders
According to Dr. Alan Godlas of the University of Georgia's Department of Religion, a Sufi Order or tariqa known as the Uwaysi is "very active", having been introduced in the West by the 20th century Sufi, Shah Maghsoud Angha. The Uwaysi Order is a Shi'i branch of the Kubrawiya. Dr. Godlas writes that there are two recent and distinct contemporary branches of the Uwaysi Order in the West:
- The Maktab Tarighat Oveyssi Shahmaghsoudi Sufi Order, headed by Salaheddin Ali Nader Shah Angha, the son of Shah Maghsoud Sadegh Angha
- Uwaiysi Tarighat, led by Shah Maghsoud's eldest child, Seyedeh Dr. Nahid Angha, and her husband Shah Nazar Seyed Dr. Ali Kianfar.
People named Uwaisi
"Uwaisi" is also a name for people who claim to have been initiated through the Uwaisi method, or for those who claim to be descendants of Uwais al-Qarni. Among the most famous is the Owaisi family of Hyderabad, India, one of the most prominent political Muslim families of the city, including:
- Mohammad, Inam (1978). Hazrat Lal Shahbaz Qalandar of Sehwan-Sharif. Royal Book Co. p. 87. ISBN 0-918437-21-0. See Amazon page ASIN: B0000CQRGQ. Original from the University of Michigan.
- Kabbani, Shaykh M. Hisham (2004). Classical Islam and the Naqshbandi Sufi Tradition. Islamic Supreme Council of America. pp. 63–64. ISBN 1-930409-23-0. See Amazon page
- Godlas, Alan (Dr.). "Sufism -- Sufis -- Sufi Orders: Sufism, the West, and Modernity". University of Georgia Islam and Islamic Studies Resources. Retrieved 2009-06-05.
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