Bahauddin Naqshbandi, Baha al-Din Naqshband, Baha-ud-Din Naqshband, Бахауддин Накшбанди

Baha-ud-Din Naqshband

Baha-ud-Din Naqshband: The Radiant Wisdom of a Spiritual Master

Baha-ud-Din Naqshband, a revered Sufi luminary, stands as the progenitor of the esteemed Naqshbandiya Sufi Order, a significant spiritual tradition within Islam. His birth took place on the 14th of Muharram, 717 Hijri (March 14, 1318 AD), in Qasr ul-Arifan, a village nestled near Bukhara.

Hailing from a lineage of artisans, Baha-ud-Din’s father was a skilled weaver and chaser, thus imparting a backdrop of craftsmanship to his upbringing. His initial tutelage was under the guidance of Sheikh Muhammad Baba Simasi, marking the inception of his spiritual journey.

Following the Naqshbandi tradition, Baha-ud-Din Naqshband underwent spiritual initiation under the mentorship of Gijduwani, a pivotal figure in his spiritual development. Guided by a dream encounter with Gijduwani, Baha-ud-Din eventually found himself under the tutelage of Sheikh Sayyid Kulol in Bukhara, commencing his journey as an “uwaisi,” or self-initiated seeker.

Under the esteemed Turkish Sheikhs Qusam and Khalil Ata, Baha-ud-Din further honed his spiritual acumen, enriching his understanding of Islamic teachings. His pilgrimage to Mecca, undertaken thrice, underscored his devotion to the faith. Upon his return, he briefly sojourned in Merv before settling in Bukhara, where he spent his remaining days.

At the core of the Naqshbandi tariqat lies a profound pursuit of divine knowledge, the quest for divine pleasure, and unwavering remembrance of Allah through the heart—a testament to Baha-ud-Din Naqshband’s enduring spiritual legacy.

Baha-ud-Din Naqshband advocated for simplicity and modesty, bordering on asceticism, rejecting ostentatious rituals and excessive piety. He established 11 rules of meditation (mushahid) and promoted “silent zikr,” a communal devotional practice accompanied by specific breathing techniques. Naqshband opposed public displays of religious fervor, such as forty-day fasts, wandering asceticism, and festive celebrations with music and dance. He believed that the transmission of spiritual blessings (baraka) directly from Allah rendered intermediary figures unnecessary.

Central to Naqshband’s teachings were principles of spiritual purity, renunciation of worldly luxury, and humility. He advocated for detachment from worldly authorities and emphasized the importance of living within a small, contemplative community. Despite these ascetic ideals, Naqshband stressed adherence to the Sunna (traditions of the Prophet Muhammad) and strict observance of Sharia (Islamic law).

The Naqshbandiyya society initially found its roots among urban populations but gradually expanded its influence to nomadic communities, significantly contributing to the propagation of Islam across Central Asia. Over time, its reach extended to Ottoman Turkey, India, and eventually, to the Muslim regions along the Volga.

At the core of the Society lies its emblem—a heart adorned with the sacred word “Allah”—symbolizing profound spiritual devotion and connection.

Renowned Sufi sage Baha-ud-Din Naqshband emphasized, “Our path to Allah does not lie in isolation; seclusion may bring temporary fame, but behind such fame looms mortality. True virtues manifest through interactions among fellow beings.”

Following his demise, Baha-ud-Din became revered as a benefactor in Bukhara. The inhabitants of Bukhara frequently invoked the incantation: “Baha-ud-Din, ward off mischief” as a tribute to his legacy.

A grand mausoleum was erected atop his resting place, evolving into a revered pilgrimage site for Muslims across Central Asia. It was widely believed that paying homage to Naqshband’s mausoleum thrice equated to the spiritual merit of undertaking pilgrimages to Mecca and Medina.

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