Masters of Wisdom of Central Asia

Teachings from the Sufi Path of Liberation
By (author) Hasan Lutfi Shushud
Masters of Wisdom of Central Asia
Teachings from the Sufi Path of Liberation
By (author) Hasan Lutfi Shushud

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Edition : New Edition

Pages : 192

Book Size : 6 x 9

ISBN-13 : 9781620553619

Imprint : Inner Traditions

On Sale Date : August 28, 2014

Format : Paperback Book

Almost one thousand years ago a nexus of spiritual transmission emerged in Central Asia and lasted for five centuries. This classic work lays out the entire lineage of teachers from the golden age of Islamic Sufism, examining their spiritual journeys, their writings and teachings, and their most famous sayings. 

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About Masters of Wisdom of Central Asia

Reveals the secret teachings of the Khwajagan, the Masters of Wisdom of Turkish Sufism

• Provides biographies for the entire lineage of teachers in the Naqshbandi order, such as Yusuf Hamdani, the first recognized Khwajagan, and Baha’ al-Din Naqshband, from whom the Naqshbandi order of Sufis took its name

• Shows that this spiritual path focuses on expanding awareness of the heart to reach God-consciousness

• An essential guide for understanding Itlak Yolu, the Sufi path of Absolute Liberation, and fana’, Annihilation in God

Almost one thousand years ago a new and powerful nexus of spiritual transmission emerged in Central Asia and lasted for five centuries, reaching its culmination in the work of the Khwajagan, or “Masters of Wisdom.” Like the much earlier Rishi Pantha of India, these masters of Turkish Sufism were not renunciates but advocated maintaining an active connection with the world, including raising a family or running a business. They exerted a remarkable influence on the destiny of Central Asia, yet their chief significance lies in their almost unparalleled depth of spiritual perfection.

Based on primary Persian and Turkish sources, the same texts used by the Sufi authority Idries Shah in his many books, Masters of Wisdom of Central Asia explores the entire lineage of teachers from this golden age of Islamic Sufism. Author Hasan Shushud provides brief biographies of each teacher, such as Yusuf Hamdani, the first recognized Khwajagan; Ahmad al-Yasavi, the father of Turkish Sufism; and Baha’ al-Din Naqshband, from whom the Naqshbandi order of Sufis took its name. He examines their spiritual journeys, their writings and teachings, and their most famous sayings, incorporating occasional parables to illustrate their wisdom.

Shushud reveals how this spiritual path focuses on expanding awareness of the heart and how heart awareness is a prerequisite for divine contemplation and God-consciousness, for the heart is the manuscript within the body on which the infinite mysteries of the Godhead are recorded.

An essential guide for understanding Itlak Yolu, the Sufi path of Absolute Liberation, and fana’ fi-llah, Annihilation in God, this book is an indispensable work for anyone interested in Sufism or the spiritual history of Central Asia. ⁞
Excerpt

Book Excerpt

Khwāja ‘Abd al-Khaliq al-Ghujdawani
Fourth Deputy of Khwāja Yūsuf al-Hamadānī

The name Khwāja ‘Abd al-Khāliq al-Ghujdawani heads the list in the biographies of the Masters of Wisdom, for he is the chief and top link of this chain of transmission. One of the great shaikhs of Turkestan, he was the fourth deputy of Khwāja Yūsuf al-Hamadānī and one of the eleven who accompanied Khwāja Yūsuf from Hamadān to Samarqand. He is said to have bestowed his spiritual influence on the venerable Khwāja Bahā’ al-Dīn Naqshband.

He was born in Ghujdawān and his tomb is in the same place. He was studying in Bukhārā when, by his own account, “I was twenty years of age when the Master of the righteous, the venerable Khiḍr, on him be peace, commended me to the great Shaikh Khwāja Yūsuf al-Hamadānī and advised him to give me instruction. I served as his novice as long as he was in Transoxiana, to my practical and spiritual benefit.”

When Khwāja Yūsuf al-Hamadānī went back to Khurāsān, Khwāja ‘Abd al-Khāliq engaged in ascetic practices, which he followed in a private manner. His saintliness and charismatic powers were outstanding. According to the Rashaḥāt, “He gained many disciples in the province of Damascus and a dervish convent and center were established in his name.”

Khwāja ‘Abd al-Khāliq’s Letter of Counsel

The following instructions appear in a letter of counsel, which he wrote for his third deputy, Khwāja Awlīyā’ Kabīr.

Thoroughly imbue yourself with knowledge, self-discipline and piety. Make a profound study of the Islamic classics. Learn jurisprudence and the Prophetic traditions. Steer clear of ignorant zealots. . . .

Treat everyone kindly and look down on no one. Do not embellish your outward appearance, for ornament is a mark of inner poverty. Do not get into quarrels. Ask favors of none and do not let yourself become a burden to others.

Place no trust in this world and do not rely on worldly people. Let your heart be filled with melancholy and disillusion; let your body suffer and your eyes weep. Let your conduct be upright and your prayers sincere. Wear old clothes and choose a poor man as your companion. Let your home be a house of worship and let the Exalted Truth be your most intimate friend.

The Principles of the Way of the Masters


The following aphorisms, composed by Khwāja ‘Abd al-Khāliq, are considered to be the principles of the Way of the Masters.

1. Conscious breathing (hō sh dar dam): Remain attentive with every breath. According to Sa‘d al-Dīn Kāshgharī: “Be conscious and heedful of God, Glorified and Exalted is He, with every breath you take.” In this context Shaikh Najm al-Dīn al-Kubrā said:

The “h” in the divine name Allāh is the very sound we make with every breath. The other letters (in the Arabic spelling: alif and reduplicated lām) represent an intensified definite article (serving to emphasize the Uniqueness of God). The essential part of the divine name is therefore that “h,” which automatically accompanies our every breath. All life depends on the constant utterance of that noble name.

The venerable Makhdūmī (Mawlānā Jāmī) was obviously alluding to Loss of Separate Identity (ghaib al-huwī ya) in his stanza:

Your alphabet I’m sure you know
We lose ourselves in “h” with every breath we blow
Utter it carefully and be awake:
That is no ordinary sound you make!


In Sufi terminology “Loss of Separate Identity” is an expression for non-individualization [lā ta‘ayyun], referring to the indefinable essence of the Glorified and Exalted Truth.

2. Watch your step! (nazar bar qadam): Direct yourself constantly toward your goal.

3. Journey homeward (safar dar watan): Pass from the world of potentiality to the world of realization.

4. Solitude in the crowd (khalwat dar anjuman): Be free from limitation in the midst of limitations. When Khwāja Naqshband was asked to state the basic principle of spiritual development, he said: “Solitude in the crowd; that is being outwardly with people, but inwardly with God, Exalted is He.” According to Khwāja Awlīyā’ Kabīr, it means that one should reach the stage where one is so constantly and completely absorbed in divine remembrance that “one could walk through the market-place without hearing a sound.”

5. Remembrance (yād kard): Remember with the heart at the same time as mentioning with the tongue--or transforming dhikr of the tongue into dhikr of the heart. According to Khwāja ‘Ubaidallāh al-Aḥrār, “the real meaning of dhikr is inward awareness of God, Exalted is He. The purpose of dhikr is to attain this consciousness.”

6. Returning (bāz gasht): Single-minded pursuit of divine Truth. According to Khwāja Aḥrār, it means the return to God.

7. Attentiveness (nigāh dāsht): Keeping out worldly thoughts by vigilant control of one’s attention.

8. Recollection (yād dāsht): Constant awareness in the blissful presence of God, Exalted is He. “The complete experience of divine contemplation, achieved through the action of objective Love.”

9. Awareness of time (wuqūf zamānī): Watching one’s composure and checking one’s tendency to heedlessness. According to the venerable Ya‘qūb Charkhī, Khwāja Naqshband explained this as “seeking forgiveness when in a state of spiritual constriction and expressing gratitude when in a state of expansion.”

10. Awareness of number (wuqūf ‘adadī): Observing the exact number of repetitions in dhikr. Khwāja ‘Alā’ al-Dīn al-‘Aṭṭār said: “The important thing is not the number of repetitions but rather the composure and awareness with which one makes them.” According to Khwāja Bahā’ al-Dīn Naqshband, numerical awareness is the first stage of esoteric knowledge.

11. Awareness of the heart (wuqūf qalbī): Equivalent to Recollection (as in 8, above). Khwāja Aḥrār says it means that the heart becomes aware of God, Glorified and Exalted is He. The heart is the comprehensive human entity within which all other organs and faculties are contained. “It is the divine manuscript on which infinite mysteries are recorded.”
Table of Contents

Table of content


Foreword by Nevit Ergin

About the Author--An Autobiographical Note

Introduction

The Importance of Khwāja Yūsuf al-Hamadānī


Three of the Deputies of Khwāja Yūsuf al-Hamadānī
Khwāja ‘Abdallāh Barqī
Khwāja Ḥasan al-Andāqī
Khwāja Aḥmad al-Yasavī, “Top Link” for the Turkish Shaikhs

The Chain of Transmission of the Yasaviyya
Through the Four Deputies of Khwāja Ahmad al-Yasavī
Manṣūr Ata and His Family Lineage
Sa’īd Ata of Khwārizm
Sulaymān Ata, Great Turkish Shaikh
Ḥakīm Ata

The Line of Transmission through Zengi Ata, Deputy of Hakīm Ata
The Deputies of Zengi Ata: Uzun Ḥasan Ata, Sayyid Ata,
Ṣadr Ata, Badr Ata
The Deputies of Sayyid Ata
Ismā‘īl Ata
Isḥāq Khoja
Kamāl Shaikh Īkānī
Khadim Shaikh

Khwāja ‘Abd al-Khāliq al-Ghujdawānī
Fourth Deputy of Khwāja Yūsuf al-Hamadānī
Khwāja ‘Abd al-Khāliq’s Letter of Counsel
The Principles of the Way of the Masters

The Deputies of Khwāja ‘Abd al-Khāliq Ghujdawānī
Khwāja Aḥmad Ṣiddīq, First Deputy of Khwāja ‘Abd al-Khāliq Ghujdawānī
Khwāja Awlīyā’ Kabīr, Second Deputy of Khwāja ‘Abd al-Khāliq Ghujdawānī
Khwāja Sulaymān Germīnī, Third Deputy of Khwāja ‘Abd al-Khāliq Ghujdawānī
Khwāja ‘Ārif Riwgarī, Fourth Deputy of Khwāja ‘Abd al-Khāliq Ghujdawānī
Khwāja Maḥmūd Faghnawī, Successor of Khwāja ‘Ārif Riwgarī

Khwāja ‘Azīzān ‘Alī al-Rāmitanī

One of the Greatest of the Masters of Wisdom
Khwāja Muḥammad Baba Sammāsī
Sayyid Amīr Kulāl

Khwāja Muh.ammad Bahā’ al-Dīn ‘Shah’ Naqshband and His Contemporaries
Khalīl Ata, Eminent Turkish Shaikh
Mawlānā Bahā’ al-Dīn Qishlāqī and Mawlānā ‘Ārif Dikkarānī
Pilgrimage and Passing of Khwāja Bahā’ al-Dīn Naqshband
Sayings of the Venerable Khwāja Naqshband
Some Remarkable Episodes in the Life of Khwāja Naqshband

Seven of the Major Deputies of Khwāja Bahā’ al-Dīn Naqshband
Khwāja Muḥammad Parsā
Khwāja Burhān al-Dīn Abū Naṣr-i Parsā
Khwāja Musāfir Khwārizmī
Mawlānā Muḥammad Figanzī
Mawlānā Ya‘qūb Charkhī
Khwāja ‘Alā’ al-Dīn Ghujdawānī
Mawlānā Saif al-Dīn Mannārī
Shaikh Sirāj al-Dīn Kulāl Pīrmesī

Khwāja ‘Alā’ al-Dīn ‘Attār

Foremost Deputy of Khwāja Bahā’ al-Dīn Naqshband
Sayings of Khwāja ‘Aṭṭār
Sayings of Khwāja Naqshband Transmitted by Khwāja ‘Aṭṭār
Last Illness and Final Teachings of Khwāja ‘Alā’ al-Dīn ‘Aṭṭār

Chief Companions and Deputies of Khwāja ‘Alā’ al-Dīn ‘Attār

Khwāja Ḥasan ‘Aṭṭār
Mawlānā Ḥusām al-Dīn Parsā al-Balkhī
Mawlānā Abū Sa‘īd
Khwāja ‘Ubaidallāh Imām al-Iṣfahānī
Shaikh ‘Umar al-Bāyazīdī
Khwāja Aḥmad al-Samarqandī
Sayyid Sharīf al-Jurjānī
Mawlānā Niẓam al-Dīn Khāmūsh
Mawlānā Sa‘d al-Dīn Kāshgharī

The Exceptional Khwāja ‘Ubaidallāh al-Ah. rār (Tashkandī)
Khwāja Aḥrār’s Family and Ancestors
His Childhood and Youth
His Spiritual Journey and the People He Met
Experiences with Sayyid Qāsim Tabrīzī
Meeting His Spiritual Director, Mawlānā Ya‘qūb Charkhī
Some Sayings of Khwāja Aḥrār
Some Marvelous Exploits of Khwāja Aḥrār
His Death
Khwāja Aḥrār’s Descendants and Companions
Khwāja Muḥammad ibn ‘Abdallāh
Khwāja ‘Abd al-Ḥaqq
Khwāja Muḥammad Yaḥyā
Mawlānā Sayyid Ḥasan
Mawlānā Sirāj al-Dīn Qāsim
Mīr ‘Abd al-Awwal
Mawlānā Ja‘far
Mawlānā Burhān al-Dīn Khuttalānī
Mawlānā Luṭfallāh Khuttalānī
Mawlānā Shaikh Idāmallāh
Mawlānā Sulṭān Aḥmad
Mawlānā Abū Sa‘īd Awbahī
Mawlānā Muḥammad Qāḍī
Mawlānā Khwāja ‘Alī Tashkandī
Shaikh Ḥabīb Najjār Tashkandī
Mawlānā Nūr al-Dīn Tashkandī
Mawlānā Zāda Otrārī
Mawlānā Nāṣir al-Dīn Otrārī
Hindū Khwāja Turkistānī
Mawlānā Ismā‘īl Firhatī
The Spread of Khwāja Aḥrār’s Influence to Anatolia
Shaikh Faḍlī Ilāhī
Sayyid Aḥmad al-Bukhārī

The Renowned Mawlānā ‘Abd al-Rahmān Jāmī

Mawlānā Jāmī’s Education
His Sufi Initiation
The Sufis He Met
Mawlānā Jāmī’s Meetings with Khwāja Aḥrār
His Pilgrimage to Mecca
Some Sayings
The Works of Mawlānā Jāmī
Selections from His Works
Poetry
From the Lawā’iḥ
From the Lawāmi‘
His Death
Mawlānā Jāmī’s Sons and Companions
Mawlānā ‘Alī ibn Ḥusain Ṣafī

Appendix I: The Way of Liberation (It. lāq) in Islamic Sufism

Stages of the Way
Four Basic Practices of the Mystical Path
Remembrance
Austerity
Contrition
Fellowship
Commentary

Appendix II: Glossary of Sufi Terms

Bibliography 
Author Bio
Hasan Lutfi Shushud (1902-1988) was born near Izmir in Anatolia, Turkey. A renowned Sufi saint and master, he was perhaps best known for his role as final guide to Gurdjieff’s disciple J. G. Bennett.
Reviews

Reviews

Book Praise

Book Praise

“Interspersed in this history of the early Sufi teachers of Itlak, the path of great liberation, are gems of wisdom as well as a rich explanation of complex terms particular to Sufism. A must read for the serious student of Sufism who wants to know where the teachings have come from and where they might be leading.”
Will Johnson, author of Forbidden Rumi
Back Cover

Back Cover Copy

RELIGION / SUFISM

“Interspersed in this history of the early Sufi teachers of Itlak, the path of great liberation, are gems of wisdom as well as a rich explanation of complex terms particular to Sufism. A must read for the serious student of Sufism who wants to know where the teachings have come from and where they might be leading.”
--WILL JOHNSON, author of The Spiritual Practices of Rumi and Forbidden Rumi

Almost one thousand years ago a new and powerful nexus of spiritual transmission emerged in Central Asia and lasted for five centuries, reaching its culmination in the work of the Khwajagan, or “Masters of Wisdom.” Like the much earlier Rishi Pantha of India, these masters of Turkish Sufism were not renunciates but advocated maintaining an active connection with the world, including raising a family or running a business. They exerted a remarkable influence on the destiny of Central Asia, yet their chief significance lies in their almost unparalleled depth of spiritual perfection.

Based on primary Persian and Turkish sources, the same texts used by the Sufi authority Idries Shah in his many books, Masters of Wisdom of Central Asia explores the entire lineage of teachers from this golden age of Islamic Sufism. Author Hasan Shushud provides brief biographies of each teacher, such as Yusuf Hamdani, the first recognized Khwajagan; Ahmad al-Yasavi, the father of Turkish Sufism; and Baha’ al-Din Naqshband, from whom the Naqshbandi order of Sufis took its name. He examines their spiritual journeys, their writings and teachings, and their most famous sayings, incorporating occasional parables to illustrate their wisdom.

Shushud reveals how this spiritual path focuses on expanding awareness of the heart and how heart awareness is a prerequisite for divine contemplation and God-consciousness, for the heart is the manuscript within the body on which the infinite mysteries of the Godhead are recorded.

An essential guide for understanding Itlak Yolu, the Sufi path of Absolute Liberation, and fana’ fi-llah, Annihilation in God, this book is an indispensable work for anyone interested in Sufism or the spiritual history of Central Asia.

HASAN LUTFI SHUSHUD (1902-1988) was born near Izmir in Anatolia, Turkey. A renowned Sufi saint and master, he was perhaps best known for his role as final guide to Gurdjieff’s disciple J. G. Bennett.

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