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The Power of lineage in Sufism

Sufism derives its power from history. By history; it is not meant that Sufis are seeking morals from the past or that Sufis are getting it from the deeds and actions of those who had passed by. The essence and power of Sufism is the sacred lineage which bonds them to the holy Prophet (S.A) through an ascending ancestral chain of great Sufi Gnostics. This is the history we meant in the beginning statement.

This lineage is linked to Prophet Muhammad (S.A) who is the divine cause for all human souls. Family lineage is one among the many aspects which are utilized to scale a person and to pre-judge his attributes, even to this day in many societies. Here the intension is only to ascertain that the basic value is the hereditary, which the Sufis have proclaimed. It is the great Sufi “Sayyid Muhammad Badusha Qadeer”(R.A) (He is the Shaikh who gave Khilafath and Khirqa to Qutubuzzaman Shaikh Yusuf Sultan Shah Qadiri) who proclaimed that his masters could transmit “the Kalima” . He states in his famed book “Gulzare Qadeer’ that how the basic path had come to him through his ancestors. This sacred and the basic path was given to Imam Ali (R) by the prophet Muhammad (S.A) and it propagated through his successors and it reached to Sheikh Abdul Qadeer Jeelani (Q.S) through Imam Junaid- ul-Baghdadi (Q.S). The path spread in the villages of India through this spiritual progeny. 

Firstly, we are searching the answer to “What happened after prophet Muhammad (S.A)”? The Hadith is the documented source for this historical study. Hazrath Imam Ali (R.A) reveals that he got the spiritual knowledge through “Kalima” when in a secret state. Ali (R.A) himself states that it was in complete seclusion this spiritual enlightenment was offered to him by the lord of all Prophets. That is why the great Sufis followed the same secret form of tradition for offering this knowledge. As it is a knowledge bound to soul and the heart, it is not likely to be taught in the same manner as one learns how to perform the Salath Saum, Zakath and Hajj. Hence forth recipients of this knowledge are also incapable of revealing this secret. Imam Ali (R.A) didn’t disclose the form of teaching; this incident denotes that there is a special and spiritual form of teaching.

Khilafath is the political and social leadership after the prophet Muhammad (S.A) and there is an internal khilafath as opinioned by Shah Valiyullah Al Dahalwi (R.A). This internal khilafath is the spiritual leadership among the spiritually enlightened. Later the flag bearers of spiritualism have been termed as “Sheikh”.

Imam Ali (R.A ) offered this spiritual path to Imam Hassan ( R.A ), Imam Hasan ( R.A ) offered this to Imam Hussain (R) and from Hussain (R ) to Imam Zainul Abideen (R.A ).It is documented in historical scripts that khilafath is thus handed over to the present ages through these Mashaikh one after another in an uninterrupted series forming a chain.

It is worth mentioning here that in some cases the ‘Enlightening’ when bestowed to the recipient has under gone some major changes. This explains the cause of varied forms of sects within Sufism. At early stages, even though if the practices for taming the nafz(soul) differed, all sects had their foundation deeply rooted with the ‘Kalima’. Later on, foreseeing the scarcity of conditioned recipients certain Mashaikh had to conceal the deeds of ‘Kalima’. The actions and practices of ‘Kalima’ lay deeply rooted, requiring it to be closely guarded from unprocessed souls. Hence from these weak nodes sprouted branches which deviated from the solid foundation of ‘Kalima’ on which the channels of all prophets and the righteous are bound. 

These branches and its followers grew only to get themselves distanced from the ‘Kalima’. Only a minority exists as missionaries of ‘Kalima’. Across ages India is a fertile land which conserved this foundation in its purest form though being tightly concealed. But Sheikh Muhammad Badusha Qadeer (Q.S) opened widely, the closed doors of this fortress of treasure. Secrets of kalima and nobility of its masters spread through his sacred book and poems and spread more through Qutbuzzaman Qadeerullah Hazrat Sheikh Yusuf Sultan Shah Qadiri (M).

Arshad Sulthani