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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 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,[1] East and West Africa.[2]


The founder of the Qadiriyya, Abdul Qadir Jilani, 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 Razzaq, succeeded his father as sheikh. Gilani's son, Abdul Razzaq Jilani, 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 Jilani 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 Jilani 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 Jilani, 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][5] 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.

Sultan Bahoo contributed to the spread of Qadiriyya in western India. His method of spreading the teachings of the Sufi doctrine of Faqr through his Punjabi couplets and through his writings which exceeded to more than 140. He granted the method of Dhikr and stressed that the wy to reach Divinity is not through asceticism or excessive or lengthy prayers but it is selfless love carved out of annihilation in Allah called Divine Love.


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.[6]
  • 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.[6]
  • 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.[6]
  • 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.[7][8] In China, unlike other Muslim sects, the leaders (Shaikhs) of the Qadiriyya Sufi order are celibate.[9][10][11][12][13] 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.[14]

Spiritual chain[edit]

The spiritual chain (silsila) is listed as follows:

Another version is as follows:


Qadri Noshahi[edit]

The Qadri Noshahi[15] silsila/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[16] of Shamsabad, Hujra Shah Muqeem, Pakistan.


The Qadri-Qadeeri order was founded by Muhammad Abdul Qadeer Siddiqi Qadri (1870–1962), the former dean and professor of Theology at the Osmania University, Hyderabad. He was a southern Indian Sufi widely known as Bahr-ul-Uloom (Ocean of Knowledge). Siddiqi's spiritual chain can be traced back to Abdul Qadir Gilani.[citation needed]

Sarwari Qadiri[edit]

Also known as Qadiriya Sultaniya, the order was started by Sultan Bahu in the 17th century and spread in the western part of Indian Subcontinent. Hence, it follows most of the Qadiriyya approach; in contrast, however, it does not follow a specific dress code, seclusion, or other lengthy exercises. Its mainstream philosophy is contemplation of belovedness towards God.[17]

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 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 as Europe.[18]


  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 Jilani sahib, RA: Aqeedat o Salam, Urdu monograph, Lahore, 1996
  4. ^ a b c d e Tarin
  5. ^ Jonathan Neaman Lipman (1 July 1998). Familiar strangers: a history of Muslims in Northwest China. University of Washington Press. pp. 88–. ISBN 978-0-295-80055-4. 
  6. ^ a b c John Porter Brown, The Dervishes, OUP, 1927, pp.100-110
  7. ^ Westerlund, David; Svanberg, Ingvar, eds. (1999). Islam Outside the Arab World. St. Martin's Press. p. 199. ISBN 0312226918. Retrieved 24 April 2014. 
  8. ^ Westerlund, David; Svanberg, Ingvar (2012). Islam Outside the Arab World. Routledge. p. 199. ISBN 1136113304. Retrieved 24 April 2014. 
  9. ^ Manger, Leif O., ed. (1999). Muslim Diversity: Local Islam in Global Contexts. Volume 26 of NIAS studies in Asian topics: Nordisk Institut for Asienstudier (illustrated ed.). Psychology Press. p. 118. ISBN 070071104X. ISSN 0142-6028. Retrieved 24 April 2014. 
  10. ^ Esposito, John L., ed. (1999). The Oxford History of Islam (illustrated ed.). Oxford University Press. p. 452. ISBN 0195107993. Retrieved 24 April 2014. 
  11. ^ 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. 
  12. ^ 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. 
  13. ^ Gladney, Dru C. (1996). Muslim Chinese: Ethnic Nationalism in the People's Republic. Volume 149 of Harvard East Asian monographs (illustrated ed.). Harvard Univ Asia Center. p. 44. ISBN 0674594975. ISSN 0073-0483. Retrieved 24 April 2014. 
  14. ^ 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. 
  15. ^ Burkurdari, Hafiz Muhammad Hayat. Tazkirah Noshahia. 
  16. ^ "Tasawuf/Sufism & teachings of Shams Ali Qalandar". Hazrat Shams Ali Qalandar. 
  17. ^ Sult̤ān Bāhū (1998). Death Before Dying: The Sufi Poems of Sultan Bahu. University of California Press. ISBN 978-0-520-92046-0. =
  18. ^ 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.

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.