Kharijite (literally, “those who seceded”) is a general term embracing a variety of Muslim sects which, while originally supporting the Caliphate of Ali, later on fought against him and eventually succeeded in his martyrdom while he was praying in the mosque of Kufa. While there are few remaining Kharijite or Kharijite-related groups, the term is sometimes used to denote Muslims who refuse to compromise with those with whom they disagree.
The major Kharijite sub-sect today is the Ibadi. The sect developed out of the 7th century Islamic sect of the Kharijites. Historians and a majority of Muslims believe that the denomination is a reformed sect of the Khawārij. Nonetheless, Ibadis see themselves as quite different from the Kharijites. Believed to be one of the earliest schools, it is said to have been founded less than 50 years after the death of Muhammad.
It is the dominant form of Islam in Oman, but small numbers of Ibadi followers may also be found in countries in Northern and Eastern Africa. The early medieval Rustamid dynasty in Algeria was Ibadi.
Ibadis usually consider non-Ibadi Muslims as unbelievers, though nowadays this attitude has highly relaxed. They approve of the caliphates of Abū Bakr and Umar ibn al-Khattab, whom they regard as the “Two Rightly Guided Caliphs”. Specific beliefs include: walāyah, friendship and unity with the practicing true believers and the Ibadi Imams; barā’ah, dissociation and hostility towards unbelievers and sinners; and wuqūf, reservation towards those whose status is unclear. While Ibadi Muslims maintain most of the beliefs of the original Kharijites, they have rejected the more aggressive methods.
The Sufris (Arabic: سفريين) were a sect of Islam in the 7th and 8th centuries, and a part of the Kharijites. They believed Sura 12 (Yusuf) of the Qur’an is not an authentic Sura. Their most important branches were the Qurrīyya and Nukkarīyya.
The Harūrīs (Arabic: الحرورية) were an early Muslim sect from the period of the Four Rightly-Guided Caliphs (632-661 CE), named for their first leader, Habīb ibn-Yazīd al-Harūrī.
The other extinct branches of the Khawarij were Azraqis, Najdat, and Adjarites.
Sufism in Islam is represented by schools known as Tasawwufī-Ṭarīqah. Sufism is a mystical-ascetic form of Islam. It is not a sect, rather it is considered as the branch of Islamic teaching that deals with the purification of inner self. By focusing on the more spiritual aspects of religion, Sufis strive to obtain direct experience of God by making use of “intuitive and emotional faculties” that one must be trained to use. Tasawwuf is regarded as a science of Islam that has always been an integral part of Orthodox Islam.In his Al-Risala al-safadiyya, Shaykh Ibn Taymiyya describes the Sufis as those who belong to the path of the Sunna and represent it in their teachings and writings.
Jurist and Hadith master Ibn Taymiyya’s Sufi inclinations and his reverence for Sufis like ‘Abd al-Qadir Gilani can also be seen in his hundred-page commentary on Futuh al-ghayb, covering only five of the seventy-eight sermons of the book, but showing that he considered tasawwuf essential within the life of the Islamic community.
In his commentary, Ibn Taymiyya stresses that the primacy of the Shari`a forms the soundest tradition in tasawwuf, and to argue this point he lists over a dozen early masters, as well as more contemporary shaykhs like his fellow Hanbalis, al-Ansari al-Harawi and `Abd al-Qadir, and the latter’s own shaykh, Hammad al-Dabbas: The upright among the followers of the Path—like the majority of the early shaykhs (shuyukh al-salaf) such as Fudayl ibn `Iyad, Ibrahim ibn Adham, Ma`ruf al-Karkhi, al-Sari al-Saqati, al-Junayd ibn Muhammad, and others of the early teachers, as well as Shaykh Abd al-Qadir, Shaykh Hammad, Shaykh Abu al-Bayan and others of the later masters—do not permit the followers of the Sufi path to depart from the divinely legislated command and prohibition
Imam Ghazali narrates in Al-Munqidh min-al-dalal:
The vicissitudes of life, family affairs and financial constraints engulfed my life and deprived me of the congenial solitude. The heavy odds confronted me and provided me with few moments for my pursuits. This state of affairs lasted for ten years but wherever I had some spare and congenial moments I resorted to my intrinsic proclivity. During these turbulent years, numerous astonishing and indescribable secrets of life were unveiled to me. I was convinced that the group of Aulia (holy mystics) is the only truthful group who follow the right path, display best conduct and surpass all sages in their wisdom and insight. They derive all their overt or covert behaviour from the illumining guidance of the holy Prophet, the only guidance worth quest and pursuit.
The Ba’Alawi order was founded in 13th century in Hadramaut, Yemen by al-Faqih Muqaddam Muhammad bin Ali Ba’Alawi al-Husaini. He received his ijazah from Abu Madyan in Morocco via two of his students. This sufi order is an offshoot of Qadiriyyah. The members of this Sufi way are mainly sayyids whose ancestors hail from the valley of Hadramaut,
The Bektashi Order was founded in the 13th century by the Islamic saint Haji Bektash Veli, and greatly influenced during its fomulative period by the Hurufi Ali al-‘Ala in the 15th century and reorganized by Balım Sultan in the 16th century. Because of its adherence to the Twelve Imams it is classified under Twelver Shia Islam. Bektashi are concentrated in Turkey and Albania and their headquarters are in Albania.
The Chishti Order (Persian: چشتیہ) was founded by (Khawaja) Abu Ishaq Shami (“the Syrian”; died 941) who brought Sufism to the town of Chisht, some 95 miles east of Herat in present-day Afghanistan. Before returning to the Levant, Shami initiated, trained and deputized the son of the local Emir (Khwaja) Abu Ahmad Abdal (died 966). Under the leadership of Abu Ahmad’s descendants, the Chishtiyya as they are also known, flourished as a regional mystical order. The founder of the Chishti Order in South Asia was Moinuddin Chishti.
The Kubrawiya order is a Sufi order (“tariqa”) named after its 13th-century founder Najmuddin Kubra. The Kubrawiya Sufi order was founded in the 13th century by Najmuddin Kubra in Bukhara in modern Uzbekistan. The Mongols had captured Bukhara in 1221, they committed genocide and killed nearly the whole population. Sheikh Nadjm ed-Din Kubra was among those killed by the Mongols.
Mahdavi Islam (Arabic: مهدوي اسلام) is a sect within Islam founded by Syed Muhammad Jaunpuri in India in the 15th century CE. Jaunpuri declared himself to be the Imam Mahdi, the prophesied redeemer in Islam, and the denomination takes its name from the term Mahdi (“guided”). Mahdi e Maud (The Promised Mehdi) is believed to have said “Mazhab ma Kitab Allah (Qu’ran) wa Ittebah e Rasool Allah (Muhammad).”
Mahdavia was emerged as a consequence of Jaunpuri’s declaration of himself to be the Hidden Twelfth Imam of the Ithnā‘ashariyyah madhhab, the prophesied redeemer in Ithnā‘ashariyyah Shia Islam, while on a pilgrimage to Mecca in 1496 (AH 901), in a similar fashion to Báb-Siyyid `Alí Muḥammad Shírází’s declaration of Bábí faith at the Kaaba. The Mahdavi regard Jaunpuri as the Imam Mahdi, the Caliph of Allah and the second most important figure after the Islamic prophet Muhammad. Both the prophet and imam are considered to be masum (معصوم “infallible”) Mahdavis follow the doctrine of Ahle Sunnat Wal Jamaat.They strictly adhere to the five pillars of Islam. About five million Mahdavis populated in Indian states of Tamil Nadu, Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, Maharashtra, Gujarat, Rajasthan, and also in the Pakistani provinces of Sindh and Balochistan.
The Zikri is claimed to be based around the teachings of Muhammad Jaunpuri. In religious practice, the Zikris differ greatly from mainstream Muslims and the Mahdavis. A main misconception that Zikris perform prayers called dhikr five times a day is a major one, in which sacred verses are recited, as compared to the orthodox practice of salat. Most Zikris live in Balochistan, but a large number also live in Karachi, the Sindh interior, Oman and Iran.
The Mevlevi Order is better known in the West as the “whirling dervishes”.
Mouride is a large Islamic Sufi order most prominent in Senegal and The Gambia, with headquarters in the holy city of Touba, Senegal.
The Naqshbandi order is one of the major Sufi orders of Islam. Formed in 1380, the order is considered by some to be a “sober” order known for its silent dhikr (remembrance of God) rather than the vocalized forms of dhikr common in other orders. The word “Naqshbandi” (نقشبندی) is Persian, taken from the name of the founder of the order, Baha-ud-Din Naqshband Bukhari. Some have said that the translation means “related to the image-maker”, some also consider it to mean “Pattern Maker” rather than “image maker”, and interpret “Naqshbandi” to mean “Reformer of Patterns”, and others consider it to mean “Way of the Chain” or “Golden Chain”.
The conception of Naqshbandi may require more elaboration and clarity as the explanation to this effect creating ambiguity and complicity with in it. The meanings of “Naqshbandi” is to follow the pattern of head of the former. In other words, “Naqshbandi” may be taken as “followup or like a flow chart” of practices exercised by the head of this school of thought.
Khālidīyyā Sufi Order is a branch of the Naqshbandiyya Sufi Silsilat al-dhahab. It begins from the time of Khalid al-Baghdadi and continues until the time of Shaykh Ismail ash-Shirwani. Nowadays İsmailağa and İskenderpaşa jamias are the most active branches of Khālidī Ṭarīqah in Turkey.
Sülaymānī Ṭarīqah is an offshoot of Naqshbandi Islamic Ṭarīqah founded by Sülaymān Hilmi Silistrevī in Turkey. It was estimated that there were more than two million followers in Turkey in the early 1990s. They are the most active branch in the private Hāfīz education in Turkey.
Haqqānīyyā Ṭarīqah is an offshoot of Naqshbandi Islamic Ṭarīqah founded by Shaykh Nazim al-Qubrusi in order to spread the Sufi teachings and the Unity of belief in God that is present in all religions and spiritual paths as announced by its official website.
The Ni’matullāhī order is the most widespread Sufi order of Persia today. It was founded by Shah Ni’matullah Wali (d. 1367), established and transformed from his inheritance of the Ma’rufiyyah circle. There are several suborders in existence today, the most known and influential in the West following the lineage of Dr. Javad Nurbakhsh who brought the order to the West following the 1979 Revolution in Iran.
“Naqshbandi” does not meant for images or patterns followed by the followers of this school of thoughts. “Naqshbandi” manes the “flow chart” OR to follow the sayings and doings of former.
The “Noorbakshia” (Arabic: ش) also called Nubakshia is an Islamic sect and the Sufi order and way that claims to trace its direct spiritual lineage and chain (silsilah) to the Islamic prophet Muhammad, through Ali, by way of Imam Ali Al-Ridha. This order became famous as Nurbakshi after Shah Syed Muhammad Nurbakhsh Qahistani who was attached with Kubrawiya order Sufi order (“tariqa”) .
The Oveysi (or Uwaiysi) order claim to be founded 1,400 years ago by Uwais al-Qarni from Yemen. Uways received the teachings of Islam inwardly through his heart and lived by the principles taught by him, although he had never physically met Muhammad. At times Muhammad would say of him, “I feel the breath of the Merciful, coming to me from Yemen.” Shortly before Muhammad died, he directed Umar (second Caliph) and Ali (the first Imam of the Shia) to take his cloak to Uwais. “According to Ali Hujwiri, Farid ad-Din Attar of Nishapur and Sheikh Muhammad Ghader Bagheri, the first recipient of Muhammad’s cloak was Uwais al-Qarni. The ‘Original Cloak’ as it is known is thought to have passed down the generations from the prophet Abraham to Muhammad, to Uwais al-Qarni, and so on.”
The Oveyssi order exists today in various forms and in different countries. According to Dr. Alan Godlas of the University of Georgia’s Department of Religion, a Sufi Order or tariqa known as the Uwaysi is “very active”, having been introduced in the West by the 20th century Sufi, Shah Maghsoud Angha. The Uwaysi Order is a Shi’i branch of the Kubrawiya.
Godlas writes that there are two recent and distinct contemporary branches of the Uwaysi Order in the West:
Uwaiysi Tarighat, led by Shah Maghsoud Sadegh Angha’s daughter, Seyyedeh Dr. Nahid Angha, and her husband Shah Nazar Seyed Ali Kianfar. Dr. Angha and Dr. Kianfar went on to found another the International Association of Sufism (IAS) which operates in California and organizes international Sufi symposia.
Now developed into an international non-profit organization, the Oveyssi order has over five-hundred thousand students with centers spanning five continents. With the use of modern technology and reach of the internet, weekly webcasts of the order’s lecture and zekr sessions are broadcast live through the order’s official website.
The Qadiri Order is one of the oldest Sufi Orders. It derives its name from Abdul-Qadir Gilani (1077-1166), a native of the Iranian province of Gīlān. The order is one of the most widespread of the Sufi orders in the Islamic world, and can be found in Central Asia, Turkey, Balkans and much of East and West Africa. The Qadiriyyah have not developed any distinctive doctrines or teachings outside of mainstream Islam. They believe in the fundamental principles of Islam, but interpreted through mystical experience.
Senussi is a religious-political Sufi order established by Muhammad ibn Ali as-Senussi. Muhammad ibn Ali as-Senussi founded this movement due to his criticism of the Egyptian ulema. Originally from Mecca, as-Senussi left due to pressure from Wahhabis to leave and settled in Cyrenaica where he was well received. Idris bin Muhammad al-Mahdi as-Senussi was later recognized as Emir of Cyrenaica and eventually became King of Libya. The monarchy was abolished by Muammar Gaddafi but, a third of Libyan still claim to be Senussi.
The Shadhili is a Sufi order founded by Abu-l-Hassan ash-Shadhili. Followers (murids Arabic: seekers) of the Shadhiliyya are often known as Shadhilis.
The Suhrawardiyya order (Arabic: سهروردية) is a Sufi order founded by Abu al-Najib al-Suhrawardi (1097–1168).
The Tijaniyyah order attach a large importance to culture and education, and emphasize the individual adhesion of the disciple (murīd).