Shaikh Allah Yar Khan was born in Chakrala, a remote village of Mianwali District of Pakistan, in 1904. He completed his religious education in 1934. The same year, he met Shaikh ‘Abdul Rahim, who took him to the shrine of Shaikh Allah Deen Madni. By Divine Will his spiritual connection was immediately established with the saint of the 10th century Hijra (sixteenth century CE) and he started receiving spiritual beneficence. His sublime education in Sufism, signifying progressive spiritual growth and advancement, continued for about twenty-five years, after which he was directed to undertake the propagation of Prophetic blessings – a noble mission that he accomplished with singular zeal and dedication for a period spanning half a century. Anybody who visited him was duly rewarded with a share of spiritual bliss commensurate with his/her sincerity and capacity. Shaikh Allah Yar Khan’s mission produced men and women of deep spiritual vision and eminence.
He authored eighteen books, the most distinguished being Dalael us-Sulook (Sufism – An Objective Appraisal), Hayat-e Barzakhiah (Life Beyond Life) and Israr ul-Haramain (Secrets of the two holy Mosques). He was undoubtedly one of the most distinguished Sufi saints of the Muslim Ummah and a reviver of the Naqshbandiah Owaisiah Order.
He passed away on 18 February 1984 in Islamabad at the age of eighty. Six months before his death, he nominated his most illustrious and spiritually gifted student, Muhammad Akram Awan, as his successor to lead the Naqshbandiah Owaisiah Order.
Islam, as a complete code of life or Deen, was perfected during the life of the holy Prophet Muhammad-SAWS. He was the sole teacher and his mosque was the core institution for the community. Although Islam in its entirety was practiced during that blessed era, the classification and compilation of its knowledge into distinct branches like ‘Tafsir’ (interpretation of the Quran), Hadith (traditions or sayings of the holy Prophet-SAWS), Fiqh (Islamic law), and Sufism (the soul purification) were undertaken subsequently. This Deen of Allah passed from the holy Prophet-SAWS to his illustrious Companions in two ways: the outward and the inward. The former comprised the knowledge defined by speech and conduct, i.e., the Quran and Sunnah. The latter comprised the invisible blessings or the Prophetic lights transmitted by his blessed self. These blessings purified the hearts and instilled in them an ardent desire to follow Islam with utmost love, sincerity and devotion. Sufism is the effort to acquire these Barakah (Blessings).
The Companions handed down his-SAWS teachings as well as blessings to the Taba’in. Their strong hearts were capable of infusing these blessings into the hearts of their followers. Both aspects of Islam were similarly passed on by the Taba’in to the Tab’a Taba’in. The compilation of knowledge and its interpretation led to the establishment of many schools of religious thought; famous four being the Hanafi, the Hanbali, the Maliki, and the Shafa’i, all named after their founders. Similarly, in order to acquire, preserve and distribute his blessings, an organized effort was initiated by four schools of Sufism: The Naqshbandiah, the Qadriah, the Chishtiah, and the Suharwardiah. These schools were also named after their organizers and came to be known as Sufi Orders. All these Orders aim at purifying the hearts of sincere Muslims with Prophetic lights. These Sufi Orders also grew into many branches with the passage of time and are known by other names as well.
The holy Quran has linked success in this life and the Hereafter with Tazkiyah (soul purification).
He, who purified, is successful. (87: 14)
Sufi Orders of Islam are the institutions where the fundamentals of Tazkiyah (soul purification) and its practical application are taught. They have graded programs in which every new seeker is instructed in Zikr-e Lisani (oral Zikr) and is finally taught the Zikr-e Qalbi (Remembrance in heart). However, in the Naqshbandiah Order, Zikr-e Qalbi is practiced form the very beginning.
Adherence to the Sunnah (Prophet’s way of life) is greatly emphasized in this Order, because the seeker achieves greater and quicker progress through its blessings. The essence of Zikr(Remembrance) is that the Qalb(Heart) should sincerely accept Islamic beliefs and acquire the strength to follow the Sunnah with even greater devotion.
‘If the heart is acquainted with Allah and is engaged in His Zikr(Remembrance); then it is filled with Barakaat-e Nabuwwat (Prophetic blessings) which infuse their purity in the mind and body. This not only helps in controlling sensual drives but also removes traces of hatred, greed, envy and insecurity from human soul. The person therefore becomes an embodiment of love, both for the Divine and the corporeal. This is the meaning of a Hadith, “There is a lump of flesh in the human body; if it goes astray the entire body is misguided, and if it is reformed the entire body is reformed. Know that this lump is the Qalb(Heart)”.’
(Asrar at-Tanzil by Ameer Muhammad Akram Awan [RH])
With complete concentration and attention, breathing should be so managed that the Personal Name ‘Allah’ should descend into the depths of the heart (Qalb) with every breath going in and the word ‘Hoo’ should strike the Qalb(Heart) with every breath coming out. When doing the second Latifah(Spiritual Organ), the Personal Name Allah should descend into the depths of the Qalb(Heart) with every breath going in and the word ‘Hoo’ should strike the second Latifah (Spiritual Organ) with every breath coming out. Similarly, when doing the third, fourth and the fifth Latifah(Spiritual Organ) , the Personal Name Allah should descend into the depths of the Qalb(Heart) with every breath going in and the word ‘Hoo’ should strike the Latifah (Spiritual Organ) under Zikr(Remembrance) with every breath coming out. The Method of doing Zikr(Remembrance) on the Sixth Latifah (Spiritual Organ) The Personal Name Allah should descend into the depths of the Qalb(Heart) with every breath going in and a flare of ‘Hoo’ should come out of the forehead with every breath coming out. The Method of doing Zikr(Remembrance) on the Seventh Latifah (Spiritual Organ) The Personal Name Allah should descend into the depths of the Qalb(Heart) with every breath going in and a flare of ‘Hoo’ should come out of every cell and pore of the body with every breath coming out. After doing Zikr(Remembrance) on the seventh Latifah (Spiritual Organ) , the first Latifah (Spiritual Organ) is done again, whose method had been given in the beginning. During Zikr(Remembrance) the breathing should be rapid and forceful, accompanied by the movement of the body, which starts automatically with rapid breathing. It should be borne in mind that no breath is left without Zikr(Remembrance). Attention should be focused on the Qalb(Heart) and the continuity in Zikr (Remembrance) should not break.
His Eminence Hadhrat Ameer Abdul Qadeer Awan (May his blessings remain forever) is the present Shaikh of the Silsilah Naqshbandiah Owaisiah. He was chosen by Hadhrat Ameer Muhammad Akram Awan-rua as his successor and Shaikh-e Silsilah. Previous to his succession, Hadhrat Ameer Abdul Qadeer Awan served as the Nizam-e ‘Aala of the Silsilah and the Head of Al-Ikhwan and Al-Ikhwat, the Brother/Sisterhood of the Silsilah.
Shaikh Ameer Abdul Qadeer Awan was born on 26 March 1973, in Munarah, District Chakwal, Pakistan. He received his initial education at the Siqarah Academy, Dar ul Irfan, and his higher education at Siqarah College, Lahore.
The son and the most illustrious student of His Eminence Hadhrat Ameer Muhammad Akram Awan-rua, one of the exceptionally distinguished Sufi Masha’ikh of our times, Hadhrat Abdul Qadeer Awan spent 44 years in his exalted father’s company from whom he directly acquired religious knowledge and received spiritual training, and who transformed him into an accomplished Sufi and nominated him as the Successor-Shaikh of the Silsilah Naqshbandiah Owaisiah.
In an Owaisiah Silsilah, physical presence of a Salik (seeker) before his Shaikh is not essentially required for transfer of Faidh (spiritual beneficence). He receives the blessings of his Shaikh in the same manner in which Hadhrat Owais Qarni-rua had received the Prophetic blessings without ever meeting the Holy Prophet-saws.
The Naqshbandiah Owaisiah Silsilah is distinct for initiating a seeker directly onto Zikr-e Qalbi (Zikr within the heart). A unique distinction of this Silsilah is that, after illuminating the Lata’if of the seeker and conducting him to the various stages of the Path, the Shaikh finally conducts him to the Court of the Holy Prophet-saws for a Spiritual Bai’at. The seeker can attain the highest stations of the Sufi Path, according to his capacity and effort, under his Shaikh’s Tawajjuh (Attention) and guidance.
Hadhrat Ameer Abdul Qadeer Awan delivers daily lectures during the forty-day spiritual retreat, the Annual Ijtema, held every summer at Dar ul Irfan, the Markaz of the Silsilah, which is attended by the Ahbab from all over the world. The primary focus of these lectures is the spiritual education of the students, but they also cover a wide range of other topics related to the Deen. Similarly the ten-day I’tikaf Ijtema at the end of Ramadhan, the monthly Ijtema and his weekly Friday sermons are a source of immense spiritual knowledge that guides the seekers in their spiritual education and progress.
Hadhrat Ameer Abdul Qadeer Awan is the Dean of the Siqarah Academy. This Academy employs a system of education that integrates both religious and standard academic syllabi thereby enabling its students to not only excel at the academic level but to also become exemplary and enlightened Muslims. He holds the distinction of being among its first students.
As the Patron of the Al-Falah Foundation he oversees the provision of humanitarian support to people in the rural, urban and disaster-affected areas of Pakistan.
Since 2010 Ameer Abdul Qadeer Awan has been undertaking international tours to carry forward the mission of Tazkiyah-e-Nafs (purification of one’s inner self) assigned to him by his beloved father and illustrious Shaikh. His annual itinerary includes frequent travels abroad to Europe, America and the Middle East, as well as local travels within Pakistan. He reaches out to his students continuously to guide them in their quest for spiritual awareness and conducts Zikr sessions over the Internet every day. He responds to the Seeker’s queries through email and is also available to those who come to visit him daily at his office.
Along with his busy schedule, he retains ties to his writing commitments. He is the Patron and the Editor–in chief of the monthly journal ‘Almurshid’ and authors its monthly editorial.
Hadhrat Ameer Abdul Qadeer Awan’s mission is to further the cause of True Deen and to instil truth, sincerity and loyalty in one’s relationship with Allah-swt and His Holy Prophet-saws. He confers special attention to character building of the youth. Following in the footsteps of his honourable father and beloved Shaikh, Hadhrat Ameer Abdul Qadeer Awan is making a definite and positive contribution for the betterment of the society as a whole.