History of the Naqshbandi Tariqah: The history of the origin of the Tariqah i-Khwajagan, our murshid, Shaykh Muhammed Nazim Adil Al-Haqqani (KS) said, “The Holy Prophet (salla-llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) said of the last times that, “the only gate open would be the gate of Abu Bakr as-Siddiq (RA)”; which is the origin of the Naqshbandi Tariqah.
During the Hijra (migration) of the Holy Prophet (salla-llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam), from Mecca he was accompanied by Abu Bakr as-Siddiq (RA) to Medina. They took refuge in the Cave of Thawr from their oppressors. While in the cave, Abu Bakr as-Siddiq (RA), in utmost fear for the plight of Islam, said to the Holy Prophet (salla-llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam), “Our enemies are so many and we are only two”. The Holy Prophet (salla-llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) replied “No, we are three”. At which instant was heard a myriad of voices saying “Allahu, Allahu, Allahu, Haqq!” which is the Oath of Allegiance to the Naqshbandi Tariqah. This was the physical birth of the Naqshbandi Tariqah.
At that moment, Abu Bakr as Siddiq (RA) summoned the spirits of all those who were chosen on the Day of Promises to be the 7007 Imams of the Naqshbandi Tariqah into the cave. They in turn summoned the souls of all those who were chosen to be their Murids on the Day of Promises into the cave. The myriad of voices in the cave belonged to the souls of all future followers of the Naqshbandi Tariqah and who were with Allah Most High at that instant. Only those who were present in the cave of Thawr on that day would be destined to become followers of the Most Distinguished Naqshbandi Tariqah from that time onwards until Qiyama.”
In the Qudsiyya, the book of dicta by the spiritual master Khwaja Baha al-Din Shah Naqshband (KS), Khwaja Muhammed Parsa traced the spiritual genealogy of the Tariqah i- Khwajagan through three parallel lines known as the Silsilat adh-Dhahab (golden chain)-one leading through Abu Bakr as-Siddiq (Radi Allahu anhu), another through ‘Ali (radi Allahu anhu), and a third through ‘Ali and his descendents in the line of the twelve imams-yet there is little doubt that he considered the Bakri ancestry the most privileged. For Abu Bakr as-Siddiq (radi Allahu anhu) was the most perfect, most excellent, most splendid and best knowing of the friends of God. Indeed, it was he who, after the passing of the Prophet (salla-llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) gave ‘Ali (radi Allahu anhu) himself a second spiritual initiation.
According to the encyclopedic Fasl al-Khitab, another of Khwaja Parsa’s works, the Prophet (salla-llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) gave instruction (talqin) to Abu Bakr as-Siddiq (radi Allahu anhu) in the performance of silent dhikr in the cave of Thawr, and therefore, made him the first Naqshbandi disciple-practitioner (murid-murshid).
The tradition of the Prophet (salla-llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) giving Abu Bakr as-Siddiq (radi Allahu anhu) instruction (talqin) in silent dhikr is of particular importance. The basis of the tradition of talqin is the Qur’anic verse 9:40 which medieval scholars interpreted as describing a moment of special grace the Prophet (salla-llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) shared with his companion Abu Bakr as-Siddiq (radi Allahu anhu) while the two were hiding in the cave of Thawr during the Hijra:
“If ye help him (the Holy Prophet) not, (it is no matter): for Allah did indeed help him, when the Unbelievers drove him out: he had no more than one companion; they two were in the cave, and he said to his companion, “Have no fear, for Allah is with us”: then Allah sent down His peace upon him, and strengthened him with forces which ye saw not” (9:40)
The Naqshbandi interpreters invest this scene described in the Qur’anic verse with crucial significance, reinforcing it with two Prophetic traditions, one in which Allah revealed Himself to Abu Bakr as-Siddiq (radi Allahu anhu) “personally” (Khassatan), and another in which the Prophet (salla-llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) proclaimed that he had poured into Abu Bakr’s as-Siddiq(radi Allahu anhu) breast everything God had poured into his own breast. This moment described in the Qur’anic verse was the moment the Prophet (salla-llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) imparted the silent dhikr to Abu Bakr as-Siddiq (radi Allahu anhu), thereby allowing Allah to be manifested to him in the form of His ‘quiescence’ or ‘divine presence’ (Sakina).
The tradition from Fasl al-Khitab portraying Abu Bakr as-Siddiq (radi Allahu anhu) as the first trainee of the silent dhikr emphasized the centrality of the silent dhikr in the Naqshbandi devotional regimen, and highlighted Abu Bakr as-Siddiq (radi Allahu anhu) as the fountainhead of the Naqshbandi silsila.
The honoured Sultan Shaykh Muhammed Nazim al-Haqqani (KS) said, “There are forty one Tariqah’s, forty springing from the heart of Imam ‘Ali (RA), and one, the Naqshbandiyya Order, coming from Abu Bakr As Siddiq (RA), may Allah be pleased with them. The Prophet had 124,000 Companions. Who was the grand companion?
It was Abu Bakr as-Siddiq (RA). The Prophet said, “The whole of what Allah entrusted to me on the Night Journey, I put in the heart of Abu Bakr”. This is well known among real Tariqah Shaykhs. They respect the Naqshbandi Order as the first one. All the great Shaykhs, Jilani, Rumi, Darqawi, Rifa’i, they were knowing the real station of the (spiritual geneology of the) Naqshbandi Order. Now, if a person is in one of these Tariqahs, they may take Tariqah Naqshbandiyya and remain free to follow those exercises or the Naqshbandiyya exercises. The chain of Shaykhs ends in one. Our GrandShaykh is the last link in the Golden Chain and he is holding that position.
For Naqshbandi Shaykhs, we are waiting for them to renew their baiyah with us or else they are only putting titles on themselves. Al Mahdi (AS) and his seven grand wazirs, forty Khalifas, ninety-nine counting those forty who are next to the wazirs and three hundred and thirteen Grand Murshids are all in the Naqshbandi Tariqah.
In this time, there is no power for other Tariqahs to carry people all the way to the ultimate goal (the beholding of God). All are invited to renew baiyah to our GrandShaykh and they may observe their improvement. In our time, there may be one thousand Naqshbandi Shaykhs, but one GrandShaykh. Bringing them together, who will be the leader? If bringing 124,000 Sahaaba RA together, who is leader? Abu Bakr as-Siddiq (RA).