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Sufi Islam


Doctrines The Qadiriyyah has not developed any distinctive doctrines or teachings outside of mainstream Islam. They believe in the fundamental principles of Islam, but interpreted through mystical experience. The movement's founder 'Abd al-Qadir al-Djilani emphasised the importance of humaneness and charity. The order's rituals are characterised by the loud recitation of verses in praise of Muhammad and the singing of sacred hymns. These are sometimes accompanied by various bodily movements designed to induce ecstasy. In some areas local pilgrimages to zawiyas (shrines) of the saints who are believed to be descendants of 'Abd al Qadir, and festivals are celebrated in their honour.

History Qadiriyyah is one of the oldest tariqhas, and derives its name from 'Abd al-Qadir al-Djilani (1077-1166), a native of the Iranian province of Djilan. In 1134 he was made principal of a Hanbalite school in Baghdad. His most famous work, Sufficiency for the Seekers of the Truth, contains his sermons and gives accounts of various Muslim sects. Contemporary accounts of his life reveal him to have been responsible for the conversion of many Jews and Christians to Islam. Posthumous accounts of his life attribute miraculous powers to him.
The early spread of Qadiriyyah was very slow. It was only in the fifteenth century that the order spread significantly beyond Iraq and Syria. At this time it became established in India through the work of Muhammad Ghawth (d.1517). In the seventeenth century it was established in Istanbul by Isma'il Rumi (d. 1631). In the nineteenth century it reached as far as Malaysia and Indonesia.
The order has also played an important role in Islamic religious and political life in North Africa. In the eighteenth century, under the leadership of Usuman dan Fodio (1754-1817) the order moved to enforce Islam over those practising traditional tribal religions in the regions that are now Nigeria and Niger. In nineteenth century Algeria the Qadiriyyah fought at length against the French colonialists. The order continues today in various parts of the Muslim world.

Symbols The followers of the Qadiriyyah wear an embroidered rose in their caps.

Adherents There are no figures identifying the number of followers of this order.

Main Centre
 The movement has no headquarters or main centre. It is spread throughout the Muslim world.