Silsilah (Spiritual Lineage)

After the departure of Prophet Muhammad, peace be upon him, from this world his Sunnah (Way of Life) was cultivated and emulated by his descendants, close friends and companions (Sahabah). Among the Prophet’s closest friends and disciples were Abu Bakr al-Siddiq and Ali ibn Abi Talib, may Allah accept and bless them in abundance.

Abu Bakr and Ali were teachers and transmitters of the spiritual teachings of Prophet Muhammad, peace be upon him. Before they left this world, they nominated their most successful students to pass on the Sunnah to the next generation. Thus, the tradition passed down from one generation to the next through an authentic chain of Awliya Allah (Friends of God, or ‘saints’). The chain of transmission is known as a Silsilah. As Tassawuf (Sufism) spread, and spiritual guides chose more than one successor, the tree branched out, thus today the silsilahs diverge and vary according to the Sufi tariqah (order).

Traditionally, Muslims interested in developing spiritually would make bayah (pledge of allegiance) to a Sufi murshid (spiritual teacher). The silsilah records these pledges of allegiance, and the transmission of spiritual guidance through time, from Prophet Muhammad, peace be upon him, to the Sufi guides of today. In the Holy Qur’an, Allah Almighty refers to this bayah as follows:

“Behold, all who pledge their allegiance to thee pledge their allegiance to God: the hand of God is over their hands. Hence, he who breaks his oath, breaks it only to his own hurt; whereas he who remains true to what he has pledged unto God, on him will He bestow a reward supreme.”
~ Holy Qur’an 48:10 (M. Asad)

The Naqshbandi-Ghamkolvi Silsilah:

1. Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings be upon him)
2. Abu Bakr al-Siddiq (may Allah be pleased with him)
3. Salman al-Farsi (may Allah be pleased with him)
4. Qasim ibn Muhammad ibn Abu Bakr (may Allah be pleased with him)
5. Jafar al-Sadiq (may Allah be pleased with him)
6. Tayfur Abu Yazid al-Bistami (may Allah be pleased with him)
7. Abul Hassan Ali al-Kharqani (may Allah be pleased with him)
8. Abul-Qasim ibn Ali ibn Abdullah Gurgani (may Allah be pleased with him)
9. Abu Ali al-Farmadi al Tusi (may Allah be pleased with him)
10. Abu Yaqub Yusuf al-Hamadani, (may Allah be pleased with him)
11. Abdul Khaliq al-Ghujdawani (may Allah be pleased with him)
12. Muhammad Arif al-Riwakri (may Allah be pleased with him)
13. Mahmoud al-Anjir al-Faghnawi (may Allah be pleased with him)
14. Azizan Ali al-Ramitani (may Allah be pleased with him)
15. Muhammad Baba as-Samasi (may Allah be pleased with him)
16. As-Sayyid (Shams al Deen) Amir Kulal (may Allah be pleased with him)
17. (Imam al Tariqah) Baha-ud-Din Naqshband Bukhari (may Allah be pleased with him)
18. Alauddin al Bukhari al Attar (may Allah be pleased with him)
19. Yaqub al Charkhi (may Allah be pleased with him)
20. Ubaydullah al Ahrar (may Allah be pleased with him)
21. Muhammad Zahid (may Allah be pleased with him)
22. Darwish Muhammad (may Allah be pleased with him)
23. Muhammad Khwaja al-Amkanaki (may Allah be pleased with him)
24. Muhammad al-Baqi Billah (may Allah be pleased with him)
25. Mujaddid Alf-i Thani Ahmad Sirhindi (may Allah be pleased with him)
26. Muhammad Shah Hussain (may Allah be pleased with him)
27. Syed Abdul Basit (may Allah be pleased with him)
28. Abdul Qadir (may Allah be pleased with him)
29. Syed Mahmood (may Allah be pleased with him)
30. Khwaja Abdullah (may Allah be pleased with him)
31. Shah Inayatullah (may Allah be pleased with him)
32. Hafiz Ahmed (may Allah be pleased with him)
33. Abdul Saboor (may Allah be pleased with him)
34. Gul Mohammed (may Allah be pleased with him)
35. Abdul Majeed (may Allah be pleased with him)
36. Abdul Aziz (may Allah be pleased with him)
37. Mohammed Shah Malook (may Allah be pleased with him)
38. Shah Nizamuddin (may Allah be pleased with him)
39. Mohammed Qasim (may Allah be pleased with him) of Mohra Sharif
40. Zinda Pir Sahib (may Allah be pleased with him) of Ghamkol Sharif
41. Baadshah Sahib of Ghamkol Sharif
42. Sufi Muhammad Abdullah Khan (may Allah be pleased with him) of Birmingham, UK

 

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