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Naqshbandiy(y)a

Naqshbandiy(y)a. Sūfī order (tarīqa) named after Khwāja Muḥammad Bahāʾ al-Dīn Naqshband (1317–89 (AH 717–91)). It originated in Central Asia, but soon spread to India, and eventually to China and Egypt. It adhered strictly to sunna and sharīʿa, and sought to ‘Islamicize’ the state through its influence on rulers. The Vedas could be regarded as revealed scripture (thereby making Hindus ‘people of the book’, ahl al-Kitāb), with the many gods understood as childish pictures of the attributes of Allāh—though this attitude was itself disputed. Outstanding among later members of the order were Jāmī and Shaykh Aḥmad Sirhindī, in the Pañjāb. The latter reorientated the order by dropping the doctrine of waḥdat al-wujūd, the unitary nature of all being, so important to Ibn ʿArabi, and replacing it with waḥdat al-shuhūd, the unitary nature of consciousness. He also rejected any seeming accommodation between Islam and other religions if that compromised the absolute supremacy of Allāh, and he repudiated Akbar’s eclectic explorations. The order remains active in Afghanistan, Turkey, and Russia, resistant to all political or secularizing erosions of Islam, and it has established a number of centres in Europe and the USA.

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