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الأربعاء، 23 مارس 2016

The influence of Sheikh Ahmed Sirhindi on Bediuzzaman Said Nursi تأثير سعيد نورسي رحمه الله بالإمام الهمام العلامة شیخ احمد الفاروقی السرهندی


The influence of Sheikh Ahmed Sirhindi on Bediuzzaman Said Nursi
تأثير سعيد نورسي رحمه الله بالإمام الهمام العلامة شیخ احمد الفاروقی السرهندی



Dr.KM Bahauddeen Hudawi



Introduction

 Bediuzzaman Said Nursi is one of the great reformers of 21st century whose works approach Islam in a psychological and scientific manner. His vision as well as mission was to re construct the Islamic ideologies by words and deeds. He was well confident that an Islamic life can co exist with modern life without an alienation to the political power. In that sense his ideologies differ to that of his contemporary intellectuals of Islam Sayed Qutub, Hasanul Banna, Abul A’la Moududi and Dr. Sir Allama Muhammad Iqbal. Every one of them effected with the ideas of the other who were claiming for an Islamic state in a way or other[1]. (Wahida 2007, 11)
Then who impacted in Said Nursi to forward some spontaneous views on Islam and its co existence? His deep root in the mysticism or tasawwuf especially the impact of qadiriyyah and naqshanabdiyyah order made him acceptant of inclusiveness as he says referring to central figures of tasawwuf:
“Nursi learned and was inspired by the teachings and writings of spiritual leaders and pioneers of tariqah, Sufi orders. References to them can be found throughout the Risale. Significant names standing out among the others include Shayk Abd al Qadir Geylani, Imam Rabbani Shaykh Ahmed Sirhindi, Imam Ghazali, and Shah Naqshaband.” (Pirim 1988)
He admires these figures throughout his writings. For example referring to central figures of tasavvuf he notes:
‘My conjecture is that if persons like Shaykh Abdul Qadir Gilani[2] and Shah Naqshaband[3] and Imam Rabbani were alive they would expend all their efforts in strengthening the truths of belief and tenets of Islam. For, they are the means to eternal happiness. If there is deficiency in them it results in eternal misery.’[4]
The above saying of Said Nursi demonstrates the figures who left imprints on his thoughts and ideas and gave stimulation for his silent revolt against the so called modernization of Mustafa Kamal. This paper is meant to highlight the influence of Imam Rabbani and his sufi order Naqshabandiyya tariqah upon Said Nursi. A thorough analysis of Nursi’s life depicts the multifarious influence of Imam Rabbani on the spiritual and political life of Nursi.
Let me introduce Imam Rabbani and his spiritual and political life. He was born in Sirhind, province of Lahore in AH 971 /AD 1564. He is more famous as Mujaddid Alf Thani say regenerator of the Second millennium and his lineage associates with Umarul Faruq the second Khalifa of Islam which bestowed him the name Al Faruqi. Spiritually he depended upon the Naqshabandiyya order of Sufism and became the disciple of Mu’yyiduddin Muhammad Al Baqi Billa[5] and thus the eighth in the series of disciples of Khwaja Bahauddin Naqshaband.
The series from Khwaja Bahauddin Shah Naqshaband to Ahmed Faruqi Sirhindi is: Bahauddin, Mohammed ibn Muhammad Ala’uddin Al Bukhari Al Khawarazmi (d. AH 802), Ya’qub Al Jarkhi, Naswiruddin Ubaidullah Al Ahrar ibn Mahmud ibn Shihabuddin(AH 806-933), Mohammed Zahid Al Qazi Al Samarqandi, Darwesh Mohammed Al Samarqandi, Khajaki Al Amkanaki Al Samarqandi and Muhammad Al Baqi.
As we know, Naqshabandiyya order was popularized by Muhammad ibn Muhammad ibn Muhammad Bahauddeen Shah Naqshaband Al Uwaisy Al Qadiri(d. AD 1392/AH 794). He was born, died and buried in Bukhara. His direct Shaykh in tariqa was Sayed Amir Kalali. His series of Shykhs from Prophet Muhammad (SAW) may be summarized as follows:
Prophet Muhammad (SAW) (d. AD 632),Abu-Bakr Al Siddique (d. AD 634),Salmanul Faris (d. AH 36/AD 658),Qasim ibn Muhammad ibn Abu- Bakr (d. AH 108 or 109/ AD 727 or 728),Ja’far Al Sadiq (d. AH 148/AD 766),Abu Yazid Thaifur ibn Eisa ibn Adam Al Bisthami(AH 188-261/AD 805-876), Abul Hasan Ali (d.AH425/AD 1035),Abu Ali Al Fadl ibn Muhammad Al Farmadi Al Thusi(d.AH 447/AD 1056), Yusuf ibn Ayyub ibn Yusuf ibn Al Husain (d. AH 535/AD 1141), Abul Abbas Al Khadir ,Abdul Khaliq ibn Al Imam Abdul Jameel, Arif Al Rayurkari, Sheikh Muhammad Al Bukhari, Sheikh Ali Rametni (d.AH 721/AD 1322), Muhammad Baba Al Samasi, Sayed Amir Kalali. (Haqani n.d.)
In contrary to other orders of Sufism naqshabandiyya order allows its members to mingle with the mass or accompany the nobles to guide them. One of their basic principles is “al khalwatu fil jalwa” which means the isolation in mingling. They claim the naqsh or the script of Allah is band or pasted in their hearts through meditation and the memory of Allah Almighty is still in their heart though they are among people. This order of Sufism was prevalent in whole Turkey with special importance of Imam Rabbani Sheikh Ahmed Sirhindi when Said Nursi was born and up brought. He mentions his four teachers in his Risala-i Nur..
“There was an immense love for Said towards Sheikhs of Eastern Anadul. He mentioned four of them in his biography they are: Sayed Nur Muhammad who taught him the naqshabandiyya order, Sheikh Abdul Rahman Taghi who taught Said the love, Sheikh Fahim from whom Said learned elm al haqeeqa and Sheikh Muhammad Al Kufrawi the final teacher Said met…… this short menu refers to an important point that the majority of grand scholars in the last decade of 19th century in Anadul were the followers of naqshabndiyya and kahlidiyya order.” (Wahida 2007, 52)
These all Sheikhs of Turkey were the followers of Imam Rabbani in their views and deeds. Undoubtedly these teachers may have influenced the public life Said Nursi with a deep rout in spirituality. No wonder, the Mughals against whom Imam Rabbani faught were originally Turkish and the interaction between Indian and Turkish Muslim rule caused the preaching of Sirhindis ideologies in Turkey.
As we closely examine the writings of Nursi we can see that he completely supports and elaborates on beautiful intensions and aims of tariqah such as strengthening faith and purifying the soul and also draws the potential dangers of following a journey through these orders. Though, Bediuzzaman Said Nursi did not follow any one of his sheikhs particularly (Wahida 2007, 53). It is mostly because he saw the supremacy of Shari’a upon tariqah, an idea forwarded by Sheikh Ahmed Sirhindi.
“Unlike the Sufic preachers Imam Rabbani laid great stress on the importance of propagation of the Shariat by the state. His ideas on sharia were something different from the prevalent sufic notions. The Sufis believed primarily in their individual salvation and in the moral persuasion of the masses.   Imam Rabbani, however holds a contrary view. He considers the scholars of Shari’a are superior to Sufis”. (Hasan 2007, 92)
We can see this spiritual influence of Imam Rabbani when Nursi quotes him to support his claim. For example he quotes Imam Rabbani:
In his letters (maktubat) Imam Rabbani the hero and a sun of the Naqshabandi order said: I prefer the unfolding of a single matter of the truths of belief to thousands of illumination, ecstasies and instances of wonder-working. (Pirim 1988, 43)
The impact of Sirhindi now also is prevalent in Turkey. The naqshabandiyya order is very popular and Mhamud Afandi is leading this order.

Politically, Said Nursi tried to fix himself in a situation parallel to that of Imam Rabbani Sheikh Ahmed Sirhindi who fought against the ordinances of Jalaluddeen Akbar who was affected by the Bhakti Movement and Sufism and formulated a new religion named Din-e-Elahi. This comparison is something right because Said Nursi witnessed the sunset of Ottoman Empire and the uprising of Modern Turkey when the modernization of Turkey by Mustafa Kamal badly affected Islamic ideology.
Let me explain about the then prevailing tendencies before we actually examine Sheikh Ahmed Sirhindi’s ideas and teaching. Akbar’s reign marks the culmination of an epoch in which a common Hindu-Muslim culture was growing in different parts of the country.  The dominant religious tendencies both among the Muslims as well as Hindus had many common points. These were the Sufi movement and Bhakti cult. Politically, the endeavour of Akbar was to make the Mughal state the common concern of Hindu and Muslims.
But the very success of this tendency accentuated opposite tendencies. The Bhakti movement in Maharashtra assumes in this period an anti Muslim character. The followers of Guru Nanak gradually shed away their catholicity and assumed the nature of a militant sect. Similarly among the Muslims, there was a feeling of revolt against the existing tendencies of Sufism with its tolerance and freedom of individual worship. There was a cry “Islam has become impure”, “Muslims are being influence by Kafirs”. The slogan “Back to original Islam” was raised.
The beginning of second millennium had revived the idea of a regenerator. The leadership of this tendency was however assumed by the Naqshabandi Movement which was led by Imam Rabbani Sheikh Ahmed Sirhindi. A large number of Muslim nobles who were dissatisfied with the growing influence of Hindu nobles or subsequently of the Persian nobles found themselves in complete agreement with this movement and extended to it their complete support.
He responded against many policies of Jalaluddin Akbar and advocated for the establishment of sharia’. He preached his views by the spontaneous overflow of the words in type of letters addressed to his disciples and nobles and also to rulers. The nobles and even the army and administrative staff were influenced by his policies. They directly challenged the autocracy of the king when he appointed Shaikh Badruddin as his chief khalifa in army.  His influence grew so much that even the king was alarmed and decided to bring the situation under his control. That resulted in framing many charges against him and he was imprisoned in Gwalior.
These situations and the rare and brave personality of Imam Rabbani impressed Said Nursi when Islam was being modernized by Europeanization process of Mustafa Kamal and he used to imprison, threaten and execute the Muslim scholars. Nursi followed the same path and influenced the mass by his ideologies. He was completely stimulated by Imam Rabbani and selected the same path of letters and writings to save the faith of public and nobles. He challenged but his challenge did not threaten the system of government.
Nursi did not translate this challenge into an open revolution against the system of administration anywhere in any time. After the establishment of the Republic of Turkey it seems that he was satisfied with the idea that a Muslim can function under the shade of a Turkish secular system if the system is not against the Islamic ideology. (Wahida 2007)
We can see the same example in Sheikh Ahmed Sirhindi. Even during his confinement he urged his followers not to do anything against the state probably because the Sheikh believed that the success of his program depended on the co operation of the king who was after all much more amenable to influence of the ulema than his father. (Hasan 2007)
But there is slight difference between the ideas of both Imam Rabbani and Said Nursi. Nursi claims for the co existence of Islam with the secular state but Imam Rabbani considers the King or the ruler is the centre of shari’a. In a letter to Khan-i-Azam he says: sages have said that the Shar’a is always under the sword and the triumph of the sharia depends on the kings. He makes the idea clear in following words: the king stands in the same relation to the world as the heart stands to the body. If the heart is sound, the body is also well. If, however the heart is in a bad way, the body also suffers. Thus the welfare of the world depends on the goodness of the king (Sirhindi n.d.).
 Let us come to the conclusion that both the figures Imam Rabbani and Said Nursi have many similarities and the former influenced the latter in spirituality and politics. Their views on tariqa and sharia are parallel and they both preached the ways of non violence –an ideology that is in contrasts to that of his contemporaries. Although, we may find some slight difference in their views on the state, policies on Kafirs and Heretical Tendencies, resemblances are more in their thoughts and deeds.
References:
Haqani, Abdul Fani Al. Al Futuhat Al Haqqaniyya.
Hasan, S. Nrul. Religion, State and Society in Medieval India. New Delhi: Oxford University Press, 2007.
Pirim, Ian.Markham and Suendam Brinci. An Introduction to Said Nursi: Life, Thought and Writings. England: Ashgate Publishing Limited, 1988.
Sirhindi, Imam Rabbani Sheikh Ahmed. Maktubat.
Wahida, Shukran. Islam in Modern Turkey; An Intellectual biography Bediuzzaman Said Nursi. 2007.





[1] Islam in Modern Turkey, An intellectual biography of Bediuzzaman Nursi by Shukran Wahida, Arabic Translation by Mohammed Fadil 2007. Page: 11.
[2] Sayyid Abdul Qadir Al Gilani (AH 470-561/AD 1077-1166) known as Gouth al A’zam, was the founder of the qadiri order and towering spiritual figure in the history of Islam.
[3] Muhammed ibn Muhammad ibn Muhammad Bahauddeen Shah Naqshaband Al Uwaisy Al Bukhari. He was the founder of Naqshabandi Order.
[4] The letters, Fifth letter page: 41.
[5] Mu’yyiduddin Muhammad Al Baqi Billah was born in Kabul. He migrated to Delhi and was the first Sheikh of Naqshabandiyya order in India. His mission was popularized by Imam Rabbani and influenced mass and nobles. He died in AH 1014/AD1606. His tomb is in Delhi.

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