Jump to content

Noorbakshia Islam

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Noorbakhshia or Nurbakhshia (Persian: نوربخشیه) is a distinct school of Islamic jurisprudence that places significant emphasis on the concept of Muslim unity. Its doctrinal framework is rooted in core Islamic tenets, including belief in Allah, Angels, Prophets, the Day of Judgment, the Quran, and other sacred Islamic scriptures. These fundamental beliefs and practices are elucidated in foundational texts such as "Usool Aitaqadia" (which addresses matters of belief) and "Fiqh ul Ahwat" (which delves into Islamic jurisprudence), authored by Syed Muhammad Nurbakhshi.

The Nurbakhshia tradition is distinguished by its spiritual lineage known as the Silsila-e-Zahab, or Golden Chain. This spiritual lineage claims to trace its origins back to the Imam Haqiqi (Divinely Appointed 12 Imams), spanning from Imam Ali to Imam Mahdi. Notably, Noorbakhshia stands out among Sufi orders within Islam for its foundational principles deeply rooted in the teachings of the Aima Tahirreen, or Fourteen Infallibles.The followers of this lineage are known as Sofia Noorbakhshia.


The primary doctrinal sources of Noorbakhshi teachings are encapsulated within three key texts: "Al-Fiqh al-Ahwat" and "Kitab al-Aitiqadia," authored by Muhammad Nurbakhsh Qahistani, and "Dawat-e-Sofia Noorbakhshia," penned by Ameer Kabir Syed Ali Hamdani, a notable Sufi preacher.[1]


In its country of origin, Iran, the Noorbakhshi order underwent a transition towards Shia Islam, particularly Twelver Shi'ism, several decades after the Safavid dynasty officially established Twelver Shi'ism as the state religion in 1501. A similar transformation occurred in Kashmir, either during the lifetime of Shams ud-Din Iraqi, who died in 1527, or in the subsequent decades, coinciding with the brief reign of the Chak dynasty. In regions such as Baltistan and Purig in the Kargil district, the Sufia Nurbakhshiya persisted as a distinct sect with its own doctrinal framework, blending elements of both Shi'ism and Sunni Sufi Islam.[2][3]

Muhammad Nurbakhsh Qahistani, a Sufi master of the 15th century, has received relatively little attention from researchers despite his significant influence. Although Nurbakhsh had numerous scholar-disciples, such as Shaikh Asiri Lahiji, none of them undertook substantial efforts to document Nurbakhsh's biography or to preserve his teachings. Nevertheless, hundreds of thousands of his followers persist in the most remote areas of Pakistan, faithfully practicing his teachings and serving as custodians of his works and legacy even five centuries later.[4][better source needed]

Nurbakhshis believe that the practices are not an assemblage of his personal views but were originally conceived by him from Muhammad through the masters of the spiritual chain. They state that anyone who questions this connection is invited to travel on the long road through the history of mysticism and to compare it with that of Nurbakhsh's teachings.[5]

Decline of Nurbakshi in Kashmir[edit]

Khanqah Shah Hamdan in Srinagar, Kashmir, served as a significant center for Noorbakshi Muslims for many centuries.

Following the period of Nurbakshi influence in Kashmir, Sunni Islam regained dominance in the region's corridors of power under the rule of Mirza Muhammad Haidar Dughlat, although the exact timing of this event requires clarification. Dughlat's conquest of Kashmir marked a pivotal moment, as he submitted the text of Fiqh al-Ahwat to a Sunni council for analysis. This action led to a condemnatory fatwa by the council, aimed at preserving Orthodox Sunni and Shi'a Islam while seeking to curtail Sufi influence.

The ensuing clashes resulted in the deaths of notable figures such as Mir Danial Shaheed, although the specific timeframe of these events requires further specification.[6]

In Baltistan and Ladakh[edit]

The Noorbakshia order persists in Baltistan and Kargil (in Ladakh) as a distinct sect with its own unique doctrinal blend encompassing elements of Shi'a, Sunni, and Sufi Islam. While the order formerly boasted numerous adherents in these regions, its prominence has waned in recent times. Nevertheless, significant pockets of adherents continue to exist, particularly with many residing in Baltistan, and in villages scattered throughout Kargil and the Nubra Valley in Ladakh.[7]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Bashir, S: "Messianic Hope and Mystical Vision: The Nurbakhshiya Between Medieval and Modern Islam (Studies in Comparative Religion)," University of South Carolina Press. These works serve as foundational repositories of Noorbakhshi doctrines, providing comprehensive insights into matters of Islamic jurisprudence, belief systems, and spiritual practices within the Noorbakhshi tradition.", October 2003
  2. ^ Reick, Andreas. "The Sofia Nurbakhshis of Baltistan - Revival of the Oldest Muslim Community in the Northern Areas (Gilgit Baltistan) of Pakistan." Paper presented at the International Conference "Karakurum-Himalaya-Hindukush-Dynamics of Change," Islamabad, National Library, 29.9-2.10.1995, and published in The Monthly Nawa-i-sufia Islamabad, Issue No. 28, March 1997.
  3. ^ Grist, Nicola (1995). "Muslims in Western Ladakh". The Tibet Journal. 20: 59–70. JSTOR 43300543 – via JSTOR.
  4. ^ Dr. Naeem, G: "Mir Sayyid Muhammad Nurbakhsh and Nurbakhshiya Sect," Shah-e-Hamadan Publications, Islamabad, Pakistan, 2000
  5. ^ Balghari S.H."Shah Syed Muhammad Nurbakhsh Qahistani", Monthly Nawa-i-Sufia Islamabad, Issue No. 28, 1996
  6. ^ Hanif, N. (2002-01-01). Biographical Encyclopaedia of Sufis: Central Asia and Middle East. Sarup & Sons. p. 366. ISBN 9788176252669. Nurbakhshiyya.
  7. ^ "The History of Islam in Suru", Ladakhi Histories, BRILL, pp. 175–180, 2005-01-01, retrieved 2023-02-13

External links[edit]