Re: Khwaja Yusuf Hamdani, the Naqshbandi Golden Chain & al-Khidr (alaihi salam) by Sayyid Ahmed Amiruddin
Q. It is generally agreed upon by the Sufi community, and the majority of Muslims that al-Khidr (alaihi salam) was a Prophet. With that established, in reality, he cannot be an initiate or successor to a non-Prophet, as is proposed in your account of the Naqshbandi Golden Chain. This (the statement that al-Khidr (alaihi salam) was the successor of Khwaja Yusuf Hamdani) directly contradicts the Sunni doctrine of Prophets being superior to Saints, even if former. In fact, according to the vast majority of Sunni fuqaha, it is Kufr to say a Prophet is a student of a non-Prophet in faith. Additionally, it is an established historical fact, in any Silsilah of the Sufis, each GrandShaykh succeeds the previous GrandShaykh, and assumes this office only after the passing of his predecessor. Why then does the Naqshbandi Golden Chain contain the name of an established Prophet as a successor to a non-Prophet. Also, since this Prophet, al-Khidr (alaihi salam) is still alive, (as documented in various texts of Ahlus Sunnah, like al-Jazari in his al-Hisn-ul-Haseen) does this not prove that in fact, there actually cannot be any living GrandShaykh of the Naqshbandi Tariqat since the era of Khwaja Yusuf Hamdani, since his major successor in the Golden Chain, al-Khidr (as) is still alive?
Mawlana Shaykh Nazim wearing the Turban from the tomb of Ghawth al-Adham Shaykh ‘Abd al-Qadir al-Jilani
A. Historically, the venerable Khwaja Yusuf Hamdani (qad) actually had four popular deputies who were both trained and initiated by him personally during his life. None of these deputies included al-Khidr (alaihi salam). These deputies were Khwaja ‘Abdu’llah Barqi, Khwaja Hasan Andaqi, Khwaja Ahmad Yasawi and Khwaja ‘Abd al-Khaliq al-Ghujdawani (may Allah the Exalted sanctify their innermost beings). However, as you observed, in the Naqshbandi Golden Chain, al-Khidr (alaihi salam)’s name comes immediately after that of Khwaja Yusuf Hamadani, and before Khwaja ‘Abd al-Khaliq al-Ghujdawani. The reason for this is the Muhammadan (S) secret of the Order carried by the Masters of Wisdom was conveyed upon the death of Khwaja Yusuf Hamdani, by Divine Intervention, through, not to, al-Khidr (alaihi salam), a former Prophet, from Khwaja Yusuf Hamdani (qad) to Shaykh ‘Abd al-Qadir al-Jilani (rad), who succeeded him as Ghawth, and became Ghawth al-Adham. The reason al-Khidr (alaihi salam)’s name is in the Chain is actually in honor of Shaykh ‘Abd al-Qadir al-Jilani, whom Khwaja Yusuf Hamdani predicted would succeed him as Ghawth, and who would declare, “my foot is on the necks of all Saints”. This declaration included the successor of Khwaja Yusuf Hamdani; Khwaja ‘Abd al-Khaliq al-Ghujdawani, who lived during the era of Ghawth al-Adham. Therefore, al-Khidr (alaihi salam) is in our Golden Chain because he took the sanctified secret transmitted down from Sultan ul-Arifin Bayazid al-Bistami (qad), and as a perfect and innocent (ma’sum) Master, and conveyed it in full to Shaykh ‘Abd al-Qadir al-Jilani, and transported him into Baghdad literally. Ghawth al-Adham‘s regular meetings with al-Khidr (alaihi salam), after meeting Khwaja Yusuf Hamdani are well documented. This is why, for real Naqshbandi’s, nisbat to Ghawth al-Adham is mandatory, as documented by the likes of Imam Ahmad Sirhindi (qad), among our elders, and practiced by Mawlana Shaykh Nazim, who carries the Qadiri nisbat as well as the Naqshbandi nisbat. In fact, it is because of the inter-dependency of these illuminated nisbats on one another, I believe those Naqshbandi’s guilty of not having nisbat to Shaykh ‘Abd al-Qadir al-Jilani are not really Naqshbandi until they obtain it, and those who claim the Qadiri nisbat without a Naqshbandi nisbat are not really Qadiri until they obtain a Naqshbandi nisbat. It may also be of benefit here to point out that according the book “Makhzanal-Qadiriyya”, the venerable Ghawth al-Adham was bestowed the Khirqa (Cloak) of Imam al-Hasan al-Askari (alaihi salam) handed down from Junayd al-Baghdadi, and as such, remains Ghawth al-Adham until the emergence of the Mahdi. According to legend, this same Khirqa is perserved safely at the shrine of Shaykh ‘Abd al-Qadir al-Jilani in Baghdad, Iraq to this very day.
Mawlana Shaykh Nazim wearing the Turban from the Tomb of Ghawth al-Adham Shaykh ‘Abd al-Qadir al-Jilani