The greatest order of the Tasavvuf Philosophy shaped in Central Asia is connected with the name of the great theologist, scientist, philosopher Bahouddin Nakshband (14th century). It is called Nakshbandia Tarikat.
Bahouddin Nakshband’s words:
My God, how fine it is to laugh in heart,
How fine it is to see the world without opening eyes,
Very nice it is to travel sitting in one place
To travel throughout the world without walking is also nice. Alisher Navoi writes that Khoja Ali Rametani’s follower Khoja Ali Samosi passing Kasri Hinduvon had said that the territory he was passing smelt of the boy, after birth of this boy Kasri Hinduvon would be called Kasri Orifon (The palace of the Enlightened) in his honour. Really the boy was born in the family of Said Jalolliddin and Bibi Orifa, and the village “Kasri Hinduvon” was renamed as “Kasri Orifon” in 1318 (718 A.H.). This boy from his childhood tried to read and understand Koran and Saint Hadith, and followed the instructions given there. By Clod's mighty and teachers' tuition he succeeded in persuading the people believe in God and his power. Boboi Samosi and Said Mir Kulol, his teachers, explained to Bahouddin spiritual and moral valuables of this and the next world. Boboi Samosi was one of the most famous sheikhs of Khojagon Tarikat. The people of Bukhara have been devoted to the religious philosophical view of points of Bahouddin Nakshband for centuries and have considered him, to be Bahouddin Balogardon that is the protector of both the people and the town from danger — literally “Rescuer”. The real name of Saint Khoja was Muhammad Ibn Muhammad Jalol Uddin Al Bukhori. Bahouddin was his honorary title, Nakshband was a nickname given to him according to his profession, which was an engraver. Bahouddin’s father, Muhammad Jalol Uddin was a spinner and engraver. The child was brought up by his grandfather, who introduced him to the society of sufis. All the ancient books say that Bahouddin’s first educator in Tasavvuf was Khoja Boboi Samosi, this sufi, before his death in 1340, asked his follower Said Mir Kulol to educate Bahouddin. Bahouddin found his way to the Highest Truth under the guidance of Said Mir Kulol who taught him Khojagon Tarikat. In addition to the local sheikhs, Khoja Bahouddin served under Turkik Sufis, whom he considered his teachers too. He served under Khalil Ota for 12 years, the latter followed Yassavia Tarikat. In order to keep his family he worked on his own piece of land from early spring until late autumn. During winter, he spent his time travelling around villages between Bukhara and Nasaf (old Karshi).
Khoja Bahouddin Nakshband received the Nakshbandia Tarikat with its theoretical teaching and practical rules from two branches of Tasavvuf, that is: 1) Yassavia Tarikat, founded by the Turkik sheikh Ahmad Yassavi, 2) Khojagon Tarikat, founded by Bokharan Tajik sheikh Ahmad Yassavi, 3) Khojagon Tarikat, founded by Bokharan Tajik sheikh Khojai Khojagon Abdul Kholik Gjizduvoni.
Khoja Bahouddin added new ideas to the theoretical and practical content of these two branches and restored it. He followed his spiritual teacher Abd Al Kholik Gjizduvoni’s instructions: Khush dar dam, nazar bar kadam, safar dar Vatan”, which mean “be merry every minute, pay attention to your every step, travel around your native land”.
Teachers taught Bahouddin to go deep into himself and achieve perfection in developing divine merits (qualities).
Alo Uddin Attor’s follower Salohiddin Ibn Muborak Al Bukhori in his book “Zodul Musofirin Fi Fazoili Khoja Bahouddin” says that Bahouddin Nakshband amazed people since his childhood. He could stop the person coming up to him by his glance. However, he did not pay attention to these “trifles” and devoted himself to self-perfection studying very hard and following the instructions of Sheikh Boboi Samosi. He learned Koran completely when he was 7 years old. The knowledge Boboi Samosi gave to Bahouddin served him to be the key to find the way to the Highest Truth.
Reading the life of Bahouddin, one can see that it is very important to be educated by the enlightened, honest and perfect teachers. Boboi Samosi asked God to help Bahouddin attain perfection. Bahouddin understood that only spiritual world and spiritual (moral) perfection were eternal.
Boboi Samosi before his death asked Said Mir Kulol to educate Bahouddin carefully. That time Said Mir Kulol with his followers lived in Karshi. He studied the philosophy of Aflotun and Arastu, and the books of great sheikhs Imam Ismail Bukhori Muso At Termezi, at the same time he wrote books on Tasavvuf worked wonders and burst into spiritual communications. When Bahouddin came to Karshi to Said Mir Kulol he was only 11 years old. Though he was very young he had already studied Ahmad Yassavi’s wise books, Sheikh Azizon Rometani’s treatises.
Said Mir Kulol taught Bahouddin to recognize God deeply and the tiny of gratifying him (God). Said Mir Kulol used to seat Bahouddin opposite himself and ask him to revise chapters from Koran and interpreted their content.
Abu Muhsin Muhammad Ali in his book “Siyrati Khoja Bahouddin Nakshband, Kuddusa Sirruhu”, said that Bahouddin was 17 years old when he married and a little later when he finished his studies with Said Mir Kulol his grandfather wanted him to be with dervishes and to learn from them, and took him from one town to another. Once at night when Bahouddin was sleeping on the steps of Shohizinda Cemetery he dreamt about Hazrat Khizr. Hazrat Khizr told him that he shouldn’t wish his wife if he wanted to be a true sufi and Bahouddin followed his instruction till the end of his life. He devoted all his life to enlightenment and God. Once when Bahouddin was sitting on his praying cloth and carrying out “Zikr” lonely, he saw Sheikh Azizon Rometani’s kuloh (dervishes cone-shaped cap). When he put on this cap and treated sick men by praying they were cured of their disease. Bahouddin being inspired by his talent burst into praying. Though he was very young one could see saint features in him. He deepened his direct communications with souls of dead. The people believed in the miracles he worked. He had many followers. Besides all this, Bahouddin like other common people was engaged in handicraft. He earned his leaving by weaving silk and producing brocade, he taught his followers to be engaged in handicraft too.
Before Nakshbandia Tarikat spread in Moverannahr, thousands of dervishes moved from one town to another, living on donations. Nakshbandia Tarikat changed this way of dervishes life. Bahouddin was against dervishes forbidding peaceful life and preferring constant travelling. He called them upon working, being engaged in some kind of handicraft and earning their living. Bahouddin at the same time didn’t follow the way of hermits’ (anchorites, recheses) life who used to seclude themselves from the people, lived in solitude, didn’t leave their hujra (cell at medresseh) and had always (day and night) been praying in order to be in direct communication with God, to achieve the Highest Truth.
Alisher Navoi writes that Bahouddin Nakshband preferred to be with his friends (teachers, followers), with people, he didn’t travel around foreign countries in order to attain the Highest Truth, to be in direct communication with God, he preferred to visit sacred places of his town, his motherland, the villages of his country. His motto says:
In life and work with people
In heart with God.
Hazrat Bahouddin Nakshband didn’t follow various religious restrictions which embarrassed Godseekers, for ins., enjoying poetry and music was considered to be natural for him. One day musicians came to Hazrat Bahouddin Nakshband and played. After he had listened to the music they asked his opinion about listening to the music and enjoying it. Bahouddin said in Tajik: Mo in Korro namekunem, inkor ham namekunem, which means “we don’t do it, and don’t forbid it either.”
Nakshbandia Tarikat condemned superciliousness. The followers of Nakshbandia Tarikat were frank; they didn’t conceal their fault if they had. To be among wise men and to listen to their talk were considered to be a school of many years for them.
Bahouddin looked for the ways of putting an end to injustice. Once he dreamt about Khalil Ota, the latter told him that holiness would come to him from Turkic sheikhs. Since then Bahouddin found Khalil Ota and was taught by him. Especially when Khalil Ota was the king of Ghaznafar (near Kashghar) Bahouddin had the chance of working in the large and rich library of the palace. There he read antique books and manuscripts. These works were written in Persian and Turkic languages. Working in this library Bahouddin acquired deep knowledge on Arab philosophy, sufi tarikat, natural sciences and history. While Khalil Ota ruled, the library of the palace was enrichened with the books brought from Alexandria, Baghdad, Damascus, and Saint Mecca. These places were considered to be the centre of world culture. There were the books translated from • the Greek and Latin languages by the Arab, Persian and Turkic scientists. In the library there were also the books on astronomy, mathematics, chemistry and medicine Bahouddin studied the majority of these books. Of course he payed more attention to the philosophical — religious works. He read the books by Abu Hamid Ghazzoli, Ahmad Yassavi, Jamolliddin Rumi, Ibn Arabi, Ibn Joja and by Mansur Halloj, the latter’s hands and feet were cut because of having said “An Al Hak” which means “I am true”. As Bahouddin studied Ibn Arabi’s works thoroughly it is reasonable to speak about his activity.
Ibn Arabi’s philosophical works “Futuhoti Al Makkia”, “Fusus Al Hikam” were famous among the scientists and ecclesiastics of East and West and these works caused a lot of discussions among the scientists. Some Sufis considered Ibn Arabi to be the teacher of miracle men, to be a sacred image. The great thinker Abdurahmon Jomi and other scientists considered Ibn Arabi’s works to be the second after Koran and sacred hadith for those who studied Tasavvuf and tried to master it. Ibn Arabi is said to have written about 400 books. His most famous work is “Futuhoti Al Makkia” (Inventions in Mecca). It is an encyclopedic work which interprets God’s mighty miracles and tiny of the other world only to sacred people. Ibn Arabi in this work wrote about the ways of being close to God and about the science of the spiritual world which was called “The Science of Hoi” [state (of the person)]. He said that in order to be close to God the person should know 19 ways and 360 virtues. Some of these virtues are: faith, religious persuasion, patience, submissiveness, gratefulness and others. Ibn Arabi is the founder of the teaching that faith must be as single as the reality. Yevgeni Berezikov, the Russian writer, has been speaking about his faith. He believes in Absolute Idea and spiritual world. He says that Absolute Idea (God) exists in 18000 worlds. He called the people upon believing in one God, admitting His existence. The Highest Truth is eternal. He approves Christianity, Islam and Buddism. In his book “The Science of Hoi” Ibn Arabi spoke about two poles of Tasavvuf: “Al Fikr” and “Al Zikr”. It may mean: “God in Mind” and “God in Speech”. Ibn Arabi said that the devil was neither the friend and nor the enemy of God. The devil was only man’s enemy. Pharaoh who fought against the prophet Musaya also was not God’s enemy. Ibn Arabi’s contradictory opinions made many of the scientists think. Khoja Bahouddin came to a conclusion that the devil couldn’t damage those whose hearts were with God, but the devil damaged those who had sly thoughts in mind. Working on Ibn Arabi’s interpretations Bahouddin said that Koran was the source of real (true) sciences. He used to say that the person who did not study Koran was like a man sitting on the riverside and being thirst for water, the person who tried to study Koran as much as possible was like a man drinking water and being eager to drink the whole water of the sea.
Bahouddin, following Abdu Kholik Gjizduvoni’s moral claims (demands) added his three:
1) “Vukufi Zamoni”, that is one should know what part of his life is being spent for kindness, bad things and what part of his life is being spent in vain;
2) “Vukufi Adadi”, that is while praying, man should be able to concentrate his thoughts only on God, his mind should not be distracted;
3) “Vukufi Kalbi”, that is man’s heart should always be with God.
Bahouddin Nakshband’s favourite engagement was “Zikri Khufi”. While being engaged in “Zikri Khufi”, Nakshbandia Tarikat says, that the person must repeat the name of God and His qualities many times, that is God is the most powerful, is the creator of the world, the creator of man etc. This must not be verbal but spoken inwardly. “Zikri Khufi” existed in Khojagon Tarikat, it appeared before Nakshbandia Tarikat. “Zikri Khufi” means speaking and not letting anyone hear you.
Bahouddin lived the life of dervishes in Bukhara (in the village named Rivortun). He liked to be among his followers. In the evenings he walked around the graves of sacred people. He thought about the next world. On one of these nights he met Abdu Kholik Gjizduvoni. He seemed to be among his followers and be sitting on the throne. On this night Abdu Kholik Gjizduvoni taught Bahouddin the tiny of the science of the next world, and the beginning, the middle and the end of “Sufi zikr”. The people of the next world made a great impression on Bahouddin Nakshband’s fate and made his future life more clear. That night the people of the next world, sacred people of Bukhara and Abdu Kholik Gjizduvoni taught Bahouddin the secrets of the ceremony of “Zikr Khufi” in order to attain the Highest Truth. Bahouddin received this prophecy with pleasure. He came to a conclusion that praying had to be carried out not publicly, but alone (lonely), in heart. Since that night Bahouddin Nakshband and his disciples followed the rules of “Zikri Khufi”. They had to pass five stages in order to see the face of God:
First stage — the tune of heart that is the prayer must pay attention only to his heart.
Second stage — the tune of sadr, that is to be in the highest ecstasy during “Zikri Khufi’ the prayer must listen to his mind and wit (brain).
Third stage — the tune of zikr. All the attention must be attracted to the zikr of Alloh (to gratifying Allah).
Fourth stage — the tune of spirit. The prayer must forget his body and exist in the next world only.
Fifth stage — the tune of non-existence while being in this stage the prayer must repeat the words: “Only God is eternal, the rest: the people and the nature will go to non-existence”. He must repeat these words first slowly, then very fast. In this stage the prayer will be in ecstasy.
Having lived in the village named Revortun for a long time Hazrat Bahouddin dreamt of visiting sacred Mecca, Medina, the prophet Muhammad’s grave and the places of worship in the west and east. His desciples Muhammad Porso and Alo Uddin Attor accompanied him in this far — away and hard travel. These two disciples later became famous sheikhs of Nakshbandia Tarikat and wrote about Bahouddin Nakshband’s pilgrimage. They say that sheikh Bahouddin went to the Haj (pilgrimage to Mecca and Medina) through the towns of Khuroson, then Mavr and Herat, Nishapur, Baghdad, Damascus, then to Mecca and Medina. In Mavr Bahouddin visited the grave of the sufis’ teacher Yusuf Hamadoni’s grave for a week. These days sheikh Yusuf Hamadoni’s spirit guided Hazrat Bahouddin’s “Zikri Khufi”. After this, Bahouddin made up his mind to stay in Mavr for some more days.
The real name of Saint Khoja is Muhammad Ibn Muhammad Jalol Uddin Al Bukhori. He died in 1389 and was buried in the garden of Kasri Orifon village. The mosque near his grave and Khanagah were built by the Uzbek Khan Abd A1 Aziz (1540- 1549). Saint Bahouddin Nakshband practiced the sufi tarikat of Nakshbandia. But he was not the first sheikh of this tarikat. It was named in two ways after the death of Bahouddin: the ancient Khojagon and the new Nakshbandia. In contemporary scientific literature Khojagon Nakshbandia is also used. The teaching and practical rules created by Bahouddin were systematized by his two disciples (khalfas) Alo Uddin Attor who died in 1400 and Khoja Muhammad Porso (1345–1420). Though the hard work of his two khalfas, the scattered groups of the followers of Nakshbandia Tarikat were united and they recognized only Bahouddin Nakshband as their teacher. The teaching and practice of Nakshbandia Tarikat are based on the ideas of Saint Khoja Bahouddin. The most important of these are: “Zuhd”, that is aestheticism, adopting a lifestyle of simplicity of food and clothing. The sufi should be able to condone shortcomings and to choose poverty, to provide himself and his family with food and clothing through his own efforts, and not to use servants or slaves’ labour, he should not be on intimate terms with the rich or representatives of the Government and should deprive himself of sex and pleasure. At the same time this tarikat is not opposed to having a family and a wife. Not to be interested in wealth, to live in poverty is the main motto of the saints. Following this motto Hasan Basri, Najmuddin Kubro, Ahmad Yassavi lived in poverty. This motto can be observed in Bahouddin Nakshband’s verses in Tajik:
Hech moneu hech molam neh,
Az pai hech, hech mo gham neh,
Janda bar pusht pushti guhriston
Gar bimirem, hech motam neh.
It means: We don’t need splendor
Either don’t worry about poverty.
If we die on the burial ground with our rages on
Why should we have pompous mourning?
It is reasonable to know why Nakshbandia Tarikat at the end of the 20th century became more famous in India, Pakistan, Turkey, and Afghanistan and in many countries of the west.
Nakshbandia Tarikat is created on the basis of Koran and sacred Hadith. The person who decides to follow Nakshbandia Tarikat must make his heart clean. Muhammad Paighambar said that there was a piece of meat in the body of the person. If this piece of meat was healthy the whole body was healthy too. If this piece of meat was spoiled the whole body would be spoiled. He said that it was the heart of the person. That’s why person’s heart must be clean. Nakshbandia Tarikat teaching says: In Uzbek: “Allah nomini kalbingga naksh aila”, it means “engrave God’s name in your heart”. Remembering that the prophet Muhammad had not any leader but God Bahouddin left a good life and the palace of Khalil Ota.
It is reasonable to mention Imam Ismail Bukhori’s words: “the teacher of the real, true science is the God Himself.”
The main aim of Khojagon Tarikat was to have man to attain perfection. The inner perfection of man is the aim of all religions. It brings the person close to the Highest Truth.
The teachers of this tarikat have been educating several generations for many centuries. At the end of the 20th century mankind began to need the philosophy of Khojagon Tarikat, now the worshippers of this teaching are studying it again.
Eight teachers of Khojagon Tarikat are Bokharan. Seven of them are buried in Bukhara. Hazrat Bahouddin Nakshband’s first khalfa Khoja Alo Uddin Attor died in 1400. His grave is in Hisori Shodmon in Dushanbe.
Nakshbandia sufis and their followers live in the continents of Asia, Europe and in the following countries: Moverannahr, Bosnia, Gansu, and China, on the banks of the Volga, Hijoz in Arabia, South India and the island of Sumatra in Indonesia.
In Bukhara the followers of Nakshbandia Tarikat tended to be town’s people and many of them were engaged in handicrafts. The first testimony is that the streets in the towns, where the craftsmen live, were given the nicknames of the sufis who followed the Nakshbandia Tarikat. Examples of these are Joibori, Kalabodi, Kosagaroni. The second testimony to this is that the nicknames of the sufis who followed the Nakshbandia Tarikat can be seen after their handicraft, such as Said Emir Kulol, Khoja Bahouddin Nakshband, and Khoja Poraduhz etc.
Nakshbandia Tarikat was developed by theologizes, scientists, philosophers and poets who lived in Central Asia and India. They are: Ala Uddin Attor (14th century), Ali Bin Muhammad Al- Jurjoni, Yokub Charkhi, Sultoniddin Muhammad Al-Koshghari (14 century), Ubaidullo Khoja Ahror, Orif Billoh Abdullo Al — Simavi, Muhammad Bokibillo (16th century), Hisomiddin Bin Bokibillo Tojiddin Zakaria, Allohobidi, Ahmad Toruki Sirhindi (17th century), Murod Bin Ali Bukhori (17th-18th centuries).
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