An Unbroken Chain of Unconditional Love
The Qadriya Sufi tradition has been practiced and preserved throughout the centuries by an unbroken lineage of spiritual teachers.
Each was a unique and fragrant flower on this tree, and each led lives of complete and utter devotion to the Divine Beloved, unconditionally serving creation.
The fruits of their love and labor are their successors (khalifa), who continue to nourish spiritual aspirants today.
Every successive khalifa of the lineage spent a lifetime of striving under the spiritual guidance of their teacher, and each is a branch on this ever-expanding tree.
This entirely unconditional relationship, unique between the spiritual teacher and student, are the sturdy roots that have maintained the integrity of Qadriya Sufi Way to this day.
Origins of the Qadriya Sufi Way
The Roots of Love
Hazrat Abdul Qadir Jilani
رضي الله عنه
The Qadriya Sufi Way was founded by the gentle Sufi saint, Hazrat Abdul Qadir Jilani (r.a.a.), over a thousand years ago. He lived a life wholly given to the Divine Beloved and guiding others on the spiritual journey. Throughout the land, he was considered the foremost spiritual guide of his time.
Throughout his life he was continuously serving the Divine's creation with intense love and exceeding gentleness, and it is in this example that the Qadriya way is rooted.
“All the other birds talk,
but they do not act,
whereas the Falcon acts,
and does so without talking.
This explains how the glove of Kings
came to be its perch.”
Today we reverently refer to him as Huzur Ghosepak--the one who is present with the Beloved.
His well-known title, "The Grey Falcon," inspires the symbol of QSFA
The Branch to the East
Pir Ibrahim Akmal al-Baghdadi
رضي الله عنه
Our beloved master, Pir Ibrahim Baghdadi (r.a.a.), was a devoted descendent of Huzur Ghosepak and caretaker of his tomb in Baghdad sharif. He frequently travelled to the Punjab and Indian subcontinent where he planted seeds in the fertile hearts of spiritual seekers. After a lifetime of service to the Beloved and passing on the lineage's spiritual treasures to Hazrat Daata Sahib (raa) and Hazrat Mawlana Chaman Qadri (raa), Pir Ibrahim was laid to rest at his disciples' zawiya in Bundi.
Once, the master was at a gathering where there were many Muslim judges (Qazis) and clerics (Mullahs). These religious scholars were skeptical about Pir Ibrahim, because he did not keep a long beard as is the custom of those following the footsteps of the Prophet (pbuh). Pir Ibrahim sensed the judgmentalism in their hearts, and stated boldly "These mullahs think me lesser because I don't have a beard!" He moved his hand down from his shaved chin and there appeared a long beard, whereupon he moved his hand up and made himself beardless again. After this miracle, the religious scholars never bothered him again, recognizing that a person's spiritual rank is not determined by mere external appearances.
The Fragrance of the Lineage
Hazrat Muzafar Ali Shah Sahib
"You will not experience the
fullness of the storm of love
by simply standing
gazing from the shore."
Affectionately known as Daata Sahib for his incredibly generous nature, our great grandmaster lived a life of devotion and service at his zawiya in Bundi. This humble sanctuary established a refuge for all people seeking intimacy and closeness with the Divine Beloved. He welcomed seekers from all spiritual paths, unconditionally serving and guiding them with a heart as vast as the mountains and deep as the seas.
A faqir in the truest sense of the word, Daata Sahib never married and routinely fasted every day (except the two Eids). He ate very little, and only from land that he and his disciples cultivated themselves. The zawiya would regularly serve free food to masses of people, and Daata Sahib could always be seen encouraging attendees to eat their fill.
Daata Sahib was also the spiritual guide of the King of Bundi, a pious and just ruler. Every month, the king sent 12,000 silver coins to the saint as a gift offering. It was well known that the gentle saint did not touch any of the silver coins with his own hands! As soon as the silver coins came to his Zawiya, he asked his attendants to get a pair of tongs for him. On getting the tongs, he distributed a few coins to his needy disciples. He then asked his attendants to distribute the rest of the coins among the poor and needy.
رضي الله عنه
Once Daata Sahib was sitting with his disciples, when he suddenly demanded that they get a bucket of water and dump it on him. The disciples complied, although they did not know or ask him why. Daata Sahib demanded them to do this again and again. Finally, he told them to stop, and did not speak about it any further.
About a month later, a disciple of Daata Sahib came to the zawiya from many hundreds of miles away, and it was then that the disciples understood what their master had done. The long-distance disciple had recently had a daughter betrothed, and had spent his whole life preparing a dowry for the marriage. An envious person decided to set all of the belongings on fire, and in despair the disciple called on his master, Daata Sahib. To his amazement, Daata Sahib appeared and put out the fire.
Hazrat Mawlana Chaman Qadri
A Garden of Compassion
Our grandmaster, lovingly called "Babuji," inherited the spiritual kingdom of Daata Sahib, his guide and uncle. Beginning his training at the age of seven, his was a completely selfless life spent in devotion to the Beloved and service to humanity.
He served many functions in society: a leading advocate of tolerance and unity; a scholar of encyclopedic knowledge; a humble and unassuming devotee of the Divine Beloved.
But for those whose hearts pined for spirituality, they knew him as he was--a peerless guide with a gentle hand held out to any
The greatest struggle is the one
that is fought within yourself.
Peerzada Allama Chaman Qadri
رضي الله عنه
Gyaravi Sharif in Bundi, 2011
A kind murid of Babuji recorded much of the annual Gyaravi celebration in Bundi in 2011. This was Babuji's last celebration of Huzur Ghosepak's urs. It was also on this day that Babuji gave the khilafat (spiritual successorship) to our murshid, Shaykh Ghulam Jilani.
This beautiful footage gives a glimpse of the reverence and Divine-focused festivity that surrounded and permeated Babuji's zawiya. One can see Babuji giving sweets to children, blessing the food for hundreds of attendees, leading zikr, and making ziyarat (pilgrimage) to his own master's mazar (tomb).
Dr. Talha Muadh Ghulam Jilani
A New Chapter
The current representative of the Qadriya Sufi Order in the West met Babuji when he was just 19 years old. This moment, immensely life-altering, was the beginning of over 25 years of devotion, service, and training at the feet of the great saint. In 2011, Dr. Jilani had completed his training with his venerable teacher. He bestowed on him the khilafat, or spiritual successorship, assigning him to teach the Qadriya Sufi Way on a new frontier--the West.
Since beginning his teaching in 2011, Dr. Jilani headed a relatively private Sufi circle in a small town in central Illinois. He spent this time focusing on cultivating a small group of dedicated seekers, rather than expanding the circle.
However, the advent of the COVID-19 situation in early 2020 prompted Dr. Jilani to open up the circle to a wider audience. He now has an active internet presence on social media, which is updated almost daily with new videos on Sufi spirituality.
Today, the Qadriya Sufi Fellowship of America brings a seed of centuries of spiritual devotion, to sow in the fertile hearts of spiritual seekers, to flower and bloom in gentle souls pining
for the Beloved.
"Go beyond yourself.
That's the Sufi way."
Dr. Talha Muadh Ghulam Jilani