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Not to be confused with Qadariyya, an early Islamic theological movement emphasizing free will.
Qadri redirects here. For other uses, see Qaderi

The Qadiriyya (Arabic: القادريه, Persian:قادریه, also transliterated Qadri, Qadriya, Kadri, Elkadri, Elkadry, Aladray, Alkadrie, Adray, Kadray, Qadiri,"Quadri" or Qadri), are members of the Qadiri Sufi order (tariqa). This derives its name from Syed Abdul Qader Gilani Al Amoli (1077–1166 CE, also transliterated as "Jilani" etc.) who was a native of the Iranian province of Mazandaran. 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, China,[1] East and West Africa.[2]


The founder of the Qadiriyya, Abdul-Qadir Gilani, was a respected scholar and preacher.[3] Having been a pupil at the school (madrasa) of Abu Sa'id al-Mubarak he became leader of this school after his death in 1119 CE. Being the new shaykh, he and his large family lived comfortably in the madrasa until his death in 1166, when his son, Abdul-Wahhab, succeeded his father as sheikh. At the time the Sufi tradition of Abu Hafs Umar al-Suhrawardi was gaining prominence after the caliph al-Nasir came to power in 1180 and patronised al-Suhrawardi. Gilani's son, Abdul al-Razzaq, published a hagiography of his father, emphasizing his reputation as founder of a distinct and prestigious Sufi order.[4]

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 is the ultimate channel of divine grace[4] and helped the Qadiri order to spread far beyond the region of Baghdad.[4]

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.[4] Established Sufi sheikhs often adopted the Qadiriyya tradition without abandoning leadership of their local communities. During the Safavid rule of Baghdad, from 1508 to 1534, the shaykh of the Qadiriyya was appointed chief Sufi of Baghdad and the surrounding lands.[who?] Shortly after the Ottoman Turks conquered Baghdad in 1534, Suleiman the Magnificent commissioned a dome to be built on the tomb of Gilani, establishing the Qadiriyya as his main allies in Iraq.

Khwaja Abdul Alla, a shaikh of the Qadiriyya and a descendant of Muhammed, is reported to have entered China in 1674 and traveled the country preaching until his death in 1689.[4] One of Abdul Alla'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.[1] By the seventeenth century, the Qadiriyya had reached Ottoman-occupied areas of Europe.

There were also many Qadiri shaikhs in Kerala, Moula al-Bokhari (Kannur), Syed Abd al-Rahman Aidrusi (Ponnani), Syed Qutb Alavi Manburami, Sheikh Abu-Bakr Madavuri, Sheikh Abu-Bakr Aluva and Sheikh Zain-ud-din Makhdum Ponnani.


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.[5]
  • Teachings emphasise the struggle against the desires of the ego. Gilani described it as "the greater struggle" (jihad) This has two stages; first against deeds forbidden by religious law and second against fundamental vices such as greed, vanity, and fear. A true seeker of God should overcome all desires other than wishing to be taken into God's custody.[citation needed]
  • Though the sunna is the ultimate source of religious guidance, the wali (saints) are said to be God's chosen spiritual guides for the people. Such local Sufi saints command considerable local reverence. Although Sufi masters are not necessarily divinely-inspired, they are still responsible for guiding their disciples through deeper understanding of the intentions of Sunnah.[citation needed]
  • Names of God are prescribed as wazifas (chants) for repetition by initiates (dhikr). Formerly several hundred thousand repetitions were required, and obligatory for those who hold the office of sheikh.[5]
  • Any person over the age of eighteen may be initiated. They may be asked to live in the order's commune (tekke) and to recount their dreams to their sheikh.[5]
  • Celibacy, poverty, meditation, and mysticism within an ascetic context along with worship centered around Saint's tombs were promoted by the Qadiri Sufi order among Hui Muslims in China.[6][7] In China, unlike other Muslim sects, the leaders (Shaikhs) of the Qadiriyya Sufi order are celibate.[8][9][10][11][12] 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.[13]


There are several texts important to the Qadiriyya;

  • Futuh al-Ghayb (Revelations from the Invisible World) - Seventy-eight of Gilani's essays (maqalat, singular: maqala) compiled by his son, Abdul al-Razzaq Gilani. These pieces tend to be short statements regarding Islamic doctrines and Sufi belief.[citation needed]
  • Fath al-Rabbani wa al-Fayd al-Rahmani (Revelation from the Lord and the Outflow of His Mercy) - Sermons Gilani delivered during sixty-two sessions held in his madrasa, most likely recorded by his disciples.[citation needed]
  • al-Ghunya li Talibi Tariq al-Haqq (Indispensables for the Seekers of the Path of Truth) - the largest of Gilani's three known books, separated into five parts, each dealing with a different branch of Sufi learning; jurisprudence (fiqh), tenets of the faith ('aqa'id), preaching (majalis wa'z), work or "the work" (a'mal) and Sufism (tasawwuf) itself generally.[citation needed]

Spiritual Chain[edit]

The chain of Spiritual masters of Qadiriyya order[edit]

Another version, extending beyond Abdul-Qadir Gilani's time, is as follows[edit]



Qadiriya Sulthaniya[edit]

See Sarwari Qadiri

Qadiriya Sulthaniya[edit]

The Qadiriya Sulthaniya is a main branch of Qadiriya order under the leadership of Quthbuzzaman Shaikh Yousuf Sulthan Shah Qadiri, Aluva, Kerala, India.


The Qadri Noshahi[14] silsilah/offshoot was established by Syed Muhammad Naushah Ganj Bakhsh of Gujrat,Punjab, Pakistan in the late 16th century. Notable Sufi in this order are Sayeen Shams Ali Qalandar[15] of Shamsabad, Hujra Shah Muqeem, Pakistan.

The Arusiyya-Qadiriyya[edit]

See Arusiyyah-Qadiriyyah

The Qadiriya-Boutchichiya[edit]

The Tariqa Boutchichiya is a branch of the Qadiriyya that originated in North-east Morocco in the 18th century.[citation needed]

Sarwari Qadri[edit]

The Sarwari Qadri order[16] was founded by Sultan Bahu[17] which branched out of the Qadiriyyah order. Hence, it follows the same approach of the order but unlike most Sufi orders, it does not follow a specific dress code, seclusion, or other lengthy exercises. Its mainstream philosophy is related directly to the heart and contemplating on the name of Allah i.e. the word الله (Allah, God) as written on own heart.[18]

The Qadiriyya-Mukhtariyya Brotherhood[edit]

This branch of the Qadiriyya came into being in the eighteenth century resulting from a revivalist movement led by Sidi 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 centralised authority, the Mukhtariyya brotherhood was highly centralised. Its leaders focused on economic prosperity as well as spiritual well-being, sending their disciples on trade caravans as far as Europe.[19]

Qadiriyya wa Naqshbandiyya[edit]

An amalgamated order of Qadiriyya and Naqshbandiyya formed in south-east Asia and the middle-east.

Qadiriyatun Nabaviyyah[edit]

This is the branch of Qadiriyya which established by Syed Ahmed Ibn Mubarak who was yemen origin Sufi scholar came to Sri Lanka in the 19th century. Syed Ahmed Ibn Mubarak who is the descendent of the Islamic prophet Muhammed.[citation needed]


An order established by Hazrat Sultan Syed Makhdoom Ashraf Jahangir Semnani and his great nephew Syed Shah Abdul Razzaq Nur-Al-Alyn which is in Kicchouccha Sharif who is the descendant of Abdul Qadir Jilani in India.[citation needed]

Qadri-Qadeeri Silsila[edit]

The Qadri-Qadeeri Silsila is a tariqah started by Muhammad Abdul Qadeer Siddiqi Qadri (1870–1962), the former Dean and Professor of Theology of the Osmania University, Hyderabad and a famous Sufi of southern India widely known as Bahr-ul-Uloom (Ocean of Knowledge).[citation needed]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b Gladney, Dru. "Muslim Tombs and Ethnic Folklore: Charters for Hui Identity" Journal of Asian Studies, August 1987, Vol. 46 (3): 495-532; pp. 48-49 in the PDF file.
  2. ^ Abun-Nasr, Jamil M. "The Special Sufi Paths (Taqiras)." Muslim Communities of Grace: The Sufi Brotherhoods in Islamic Religious Life. New York: Columbia UP, 2007. 86-96.
  3. ^ Omer Tarin, Hazrat Ghaus e Azam Shaykh Abdul Qadir Gilani sahib, RA: Aqeedat o Salam, Urdu monograph, Lahore, 1996
  4. ^ a b c d e Tarin
  5. ^ a b c John Porter Brown, The Dervishes, OUP, 1927, pp.100-110
  6. ^ Westerlund, David; Svanberg, Ingvar, eds. (1999). Islam Outside the Arab World. St. Martin's Press. p. 199. ISBN 0312226918. Retrieved 24 April 2014. 
  7. ^ Westerlund, David; Svanberg, Ingvar (2012). Islam Outside the Arab World. Routledge. p. 199. ISBN 1136113304. Retrieved 24 April 2014. 
  8. ^ Manger, Leif O., ed. (1999). Muslim Diversity: Local Islam in Global Contexts. Volume 26 of NIAS studies in Asian topics: Nordisk Institut for Asienstudier (Nordic Institute of Asian Studies : Nias Studies in Asian Topics, Number 26) (illustrated ed.). Psychology Press. p. 118. ISBN 070071104X. ISSN 0142-6028. Retrieved 24 April 2014. 
  9. ^ Esposito, John L., ed. (1999). The Oxford History of Islam (illustrated ed.). Oxford University Press. p. 452. ISBN 0195107993. Retrieved 24 April 2014. 
  10. ^ Atabaki, Touraj; Mehendale, Sanjyot, eds. (2004). Central Asia and the Caucasus: Transnationalism and Diaspora (illustrated ed.). Taylor & Francis. p. 197. ISBN 0203495829. Retrieved 24 April 2014. 
  11. ^ Gladney, Dru C. (2004). Atabaki, Touraj; Mehendale, Sanjyot, eds. Central Asia and the Caucasus: Transnationalism and Diaspora (illustrated ed.). Routledge. p. 197. ISBN 1134319940. Retrieved 24 April 2014. 
  12. ^ Gladney, Dru C. (1996). Muslim Chinese: Ethnic Nationalism in the People's Republic. Volume 149 of Harvard East Asian monographs (149 of East Asian Monographs) (illustrated ed.). Harvard Univ Asia Center. p. 44. ISBN 0674594975. ISSN 0073-0483. Retrieved 24 April 2014. 
  13. ^ Lipman, Jonathan Neaman (1998). Familiar strangers: a history of Muslims in Northwest China. University of Washington Press. p. 89. ISBN 0295800550. Retrieved 24 April 2014. 
  14. ^ Burkurdari, Hafiz Muhammad Hayat. Tazkirah Noshahia. 
  15. ^ "Tasawuf/Sufism & teachings of Shams Ali Qalandar". Hazrat Shams Ali Qalandar. 
  16. ^ Sarwari Qadiri Order. India: General Books LLC. ISBN 9781158473861. 
  17. ^ Sult̤ān Mohammad Najib-ur-Rehman. Sultan Bahoo: The Life and Teachings. Sultan-ul-Faqr Publications. ISBN 978-9-699-79518-3. 
  18. ^ Sult̤ān Bāhū (1998). Death Before Dying: The Sufi Poems of Sultan Bahu. University of California Press. ISBN 978-0-520-92046-0. =
  19. ^ Abun-Nasr, Jamil M. "The Centralized Sufi Brotherhoods." Muslim Communities of Grace: The Sufi Brotherhoods in Islamic Religious Life. New York: Columbia UP, 2007. 163-170.

[1] Ashrafesimna Academy, is dedicated to great scholars of Ashrafi order...Hazrat Pir Ashraful-ulema Abul Hasan Shykh Saiyed Mohammed Ashraf Ashrafi-Jilani. Kichhouchvi

Further reading[edit]

  • Abun-Nasr, Jamil M. "The Special Sufi Paths (Taqiras)." Muslim Communities of Grace: The Sufi Brotherhoods in Islamic Religious Life. New York: Columbia UP, 2007. 86-96.

External links[edit]