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Shah Syed Muhammad Nurbakhsh Qahistani

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Title: Shah Syed Muhammad Nurbakhsh Qahistani  
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Subject: Noorbakshia Islam, Al Akbariyya (Sufi school), Uwaisi, Mouride, Sufism
Publisher: World Heritage Encyclopedia

Shah Syed Muhammad Nurbakhsh Qahistani

Islamic scholar
Shrine of Shah Syed Muhammad Nurbaksh in Iran
Born Friday 27 Muharram 795(December 13, 1392 AD)[1]
Died (869/1464) [2]
Ethnicity Iran
Era Modern era
Region Asia
Jurisprudence Sufism
Creed The Twelve Imams
Main interest(s) Aqeedah, Fiqh, Tasawwuf

Mir Sayyid Muhammad Nurbakhsh Qahistani (1392-1464) (Arabic: محمد بن عبد الله الموسوئی قہستانی ‎) was a great Sufi Master and the Religious Theologian (Faqih) of Noorbakshia Muslims. He wrote al Fiqh-al-Ahwat (Islamic jurisprudence) and Kitab al Aetiqadia (Book of Faith). Nurbkhsh is the 28th official master of Maktab Tariqat "Silsila Dhahab Sufia", in a continuous succession of Sufi masters dating back 1,400 years to the time of Islamic prophet Muhammad. After Nurbakhsh the Maktab Tariqat "Silsila Dhahab Sufia" became well known as Sufia Nurbakhshiya.[3] The present article focuses on life and works of Mir Sayyid Muhammad Nurbakhsh Qahistani.

Nurbakhsh's Mystical Path

Mysticism or Sufism is a path through which a believer enters into a closer relationship with God. Even in Mohammad's lifetime, most of his followers were not content with merely obeying the precepts but followed a certain path in order to enter into a closer relationship with God. The prophet taught them a way to purge their souls of qualities that had been declared evil. Thus a science of pious self-examination and religious psychology, assisted by the study of Islamic Scriptures, came into existence. The followers of this movement grew in numbers with spread of Islam. After considerable interval of time, a number of Sufi Orders came into being. At the same time a clash of ideology started among various religious doctrines which was of sectarian nature. This state of the affairs created a great confusion amongst the followers of Sufism in particular and the Muslims in general. At that crucial time Mir Sayyid Muhammad Nurbakhsh Qahistani was reflected in a dream to abolish innovations and to revive the practices of Mohammad's time.[4]


This painting of Nurbaksh was actually depicted Imam Ali Reza's Shrine cover which shows Nurbakshi influence in that era

Nurbakhsh's real name was Muhammad b. Muhammad b. Abdullah. His father was born in Qain and his grand father in al-Hasa, whence in some ghazals (lyrics) he styles himself as Lahsavi. His father migrated from Bahrayn to Qain in Qahistan, where his son (Nurbakhsh) was born in 795/1393. Thus his full name as appeared in his prose works is "Sayyid Muhammad Nurbakhsh Qahistani". Nurbakhsh was a religious genius. He learned the Qur'an by heart when he was only seven years old...[5] He became a disciple of Sayyid Ishaq al-Khatlani, himself a disciple of Mir Sayyid Ali Hamadani well known as Shah-e-Hamadan, whose biography has been published in several languages but the most reliable and earliest biography written in his lifetime by one of his disciples Nur at Din Jaffar Badakhshani has recently been published.


Saiyyed Ali Hamadani well known as Shah Hamdan appointed Khawaja Ishaq al- Khatlani as his successor. Ishaq was the then spiritual master of Kubravia Sufi Order, one of the major Sufi orders of the time in Central Asia and Northern Persia. He, in obedience to a dream, gave Sayyed Muhammad Qahistani the name "Nurbakhsh" and coferred the Khirqa of Mir Sayyid Ali Hamadani upon him, and from that day he himself became a disciple of his own pupil (Mir Sayyid Muhammad Nurbakhsh Qahistani)...[6]

Nurbakhsh's Spiritual Place

This was surely a spiritual matter and it is difficult to find such an example in the religious history that any spiritual leader has ever become a disciple of his own pupil/ disciple. This is really a landmark in the history of Mysticism or Sufism, showing that Nurbakhsh had reached a very high degree of spiritual enlightenment.
As interpreted by Arabic Dictionary Ul-Monjid in the Alfiqatul Ahwat a middle way between Shia and Sunni teachings is shown as a Shariat-e-Islmia. Mission of Syed Muhammad Nurbakhsh as proclaimed by both Shia and Shinn School of thoughts because of their teachings as introductory page Al-Fiqatul Ahwat has been to unify all different sects of Islam, by following Shria prevailing during abeying the lifetime of Mohammed.

Nurbakhsh as a Sufi Theologian (Faqih)

It is an historical fact that the earlier Sufi masters and representatives paid less attention to the legal and philosophical aspects of Qur'an and the Hadith/Traditions of Mohammad and laid more stress on the conduct of the soul. Questions of dogmas and metaphysics were also relatively overlooked. But Mir Sayyed Muhammad Nurbakhsh paid special attention to the legal and philosophical aspects of Qur'an and traditions of Mohammed, besides giving significance to the conduct of soul. This fact distinguishes Nurbakhsh not only from all the contemporary Sufiyas but also from his predecessors. Nurbakhsh made an attempt to bridge the gap between the orthodox Sunni'ism and Shi'ism and gave an Islamic Fiqh of religious moderation titled Al-Fiqh al- Ahwat (Moderate Islamic Jurisprudence).[7][8]

One can easily estimate the justice of the assertion that "the system is an attempt to form a via model between Sunnism and Shiism after studying Fiqh al Ahwat. Without access to Fiqh al Ahwat, it is not justifiable to evaluate the Nurbakhshies, Nurbakhsh's mission and his great services and sincere efforts for the cause of Pan-Islamism.


Syed Mohammad Nurbakhsh was author of about 150 books in Arabic or Persian. The most important books of Mir Sayyid Muhammad Nurbakhsh Qahistani are: 1. Al- Fiqh Al- Ahwat (Islamic Jurisprudence,)ISBN 969-8648-00-3

2. Kitab al Aetiqadia (Book of Faith).in French Marijan, "Professions de foi de deux Kubrawis: Ali-Hamadani et Muhammad Nurbakhsh, "Bulletin d'etudes orientals 17 1961-62, 133-203, (Damascus Syria).

3. Silsila Dhahab (in Arabic and Persian)

4. Risal fi Ilm Firasat or Insan nama

5. Kashf al haqaeeq

6. Risala Maash al Salikeen

7. Makarim al Akhlaq

8. Silsila al- Auwliya (Arabic)

9. Risala Nooria or Nur al-Haq

10. Risala Miraajia (Persian)

11. Risal al Huda (Arabic)

12. Risala Irfani(Persian)

13. Risala Aqsam-e-Dil(Persian)


  1. ^ Walbridge Adjunct Professor Of Anthropology Indiana University, Linda S. Walbridge Adjunct (2001-08-06). The Most Learned of the Shi'a : The Institution of the Marja' Taqlid: The.  
  2. ^ Stellrecht, Irmtraud (1997). The Past in the Present: Horizons of Remembering in the Pakistan Himalaya.  
  3. ^ Dr. Naeem, G: Mir Sayyid Muhammad Nurbakhsh aur Maslak-e-Nurbakhshiya", "Shah-e-Hamadan Publications, Islamabad", page 12, 2000
  4. ^ Hazrat Shah Syed Muhammad Noorbakhsh (R.A) Biography by Engr. Nazir Hussain,Al Firqat-un-Najia by Alhaaj Allama Muhammad Hassan Noori,Faizan-e-Yasrab wa Bat'ha (Hajj) by Allama Muhammad Hassan Noori, Rawish-e-Noorbakhshia by Muhammad Hassan Shad, Syed Muhammad Noorbakhsh Qudsallaho sarah Wardatham Dawa-e-Mehdawiyat by Engr. Nazir Hussain, Maslak ka Naam Haqeeqat kya Hay? by Muhammad Hassan Shad
  5. ^ "Hazrat Shah Syed Muhammad Noorbakhsh (R.A) Biography by Engr. Nazir Hussain",Khadim Hussain, Maulana:"Ahwal wa Asar e Shah Syed Muhammad Nurbakhsh Qahistani" "Anjuman-e- Sufia Imamia Nurbakhshiya Karachi", 1987
  6. ^ Khadim Hussain, Maulana:"Ahwal wa Asar e Shah Syed Muhammad Nurbakhsh Qahistani",page 4, "Anjuman-e- Sufia Nurbakhshiya Karachi", 1987
  7. ^ Dr. Reick Andreas: "Nurbakhshis of Baltistan-Revival of the Oldest Muslim Community in the Northern Areas of pakistan", paper read at the International Conference "Karakurum-Himalaya-Hindukush- Dynamic of Change", National Library Islamabad 29.9 to 2.10.1995
  8. ^ and further in the Article by Sajjad, Hussain Balghari:"Sayyid Muhammad Nurbakhsh Qahistani", Nawa-i-Sufia Islamabad, Issue No. 12, 1995

External links

  • Noorbakhsh Aur Noorbakhshiat by Muhammad Younus Saltorvi
  • website from where Noorbakhshi books may be downloaded free of cost
  • Data Darbar Web Site
  • Read Kashaf Al Mahjoob In Urdu And English Online
  • Fateh Qaloob A Research Book About Data Darbar And Hazrat Data Ganj Bakhsh
  • Sufia Nurbakhshia: Messianic Hopes and Mystical Visions,Shahzad Bashir - 2003
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