Niʿmat Allāh Walī, Shāh Nūr al-Dīn

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Niʿmat Allāh Walī, Shāh Nūr al-Dīn (c.1331–1431 (AH 731–834)). Founder of the Niʿmatullahi Sūfī order, one of the few Shiʿite Muslim orders which has had a continuing history. He was dissatisfied with his traditional education and set off in search of an enlightened teacher, whom he found in Shaykh Yāfiʿī. He remained with him for seven years. He then set out on extensive travels, recognized as the qutb (spiritual centre) of his age. He settled in Kirman in Iran, where he died and where his tomb is a centre of pilgrimage. At the heart of his way was his instruction to keep the name of God constantly in mind, since this would lead to actions imitative of God, especially mercy and generosity.

The Niʿmatullahi Order has houses in the USA, and in London. It continues to see contemplation as a basis for ethical action and reconciliation in the world.