Noorbakhshia Islam, also called Sufia imamia Noorbakhshia, is one of the Sufi sects of Islam. Its direct spiritual lineage and chain (silsila) can be traced back to the Islamic prophet Muhammad, through Ali, Muhammad's cousin, son-in-law, and the First Imam, by Imam Ali Al-Ridha. In contrast, most other Sufi paths trace their lineage only through Ali .
Sufia imamia Noorbakhshia is a school of Islamic jurisprudence that emphasizes Muslim Unity. Its very foundation is based on the belief in Allah, Angels, Prophets, the Day of Judgement and the Quran, as well as other Islamic Scriptures revealed by previous Prophets. Practices include prayers (five times a day), fasting during Ramadan, Zakah and pilgrimage journeys to Kaaba. These beliefs and practices have been excerpted from the books: Usool-e-Aitiqadia (deals with Beliefs) and Fiqh-ul-Ahwat (deals with Islamic Jurisprudence), which were written by Syed Muhammad Noorbaksh. Noorbakhshia has its own Silsila (Sufi Order) : Silsila-e-Zahab (Golden Chain). This Silsila has Imam Haqiqi (Divinely Appointed Imam): from Imam Ali to Imam Mahdi, and Imam Izafi (Deputy to Haqiqi Imam). The linkage of Imam Izafi stems from renowned Sufi saint Maroof-e-Karkhi and is said to continue until the day of Judgement. Noorbakhshia is the only Sufi order of Islam whose foundation has been based upon the teachings of Aima Tahirreen (Fourteen Infallibles).
The order became known as Nurbakshi, named after Shah Syed Muhammad Nurbakhsh Qahistani, who was attached to the Kubrawiya Sufi order ("tariqa"). Now Muhammad shah Noorani is the supreme and spiritual leader (Peer-e-Tariqat Rehbar-e-Shariaat).
The most important sources of Noorbakhshi doctrines are included within three books: the "Al-Fiqh al-Ahwat" Superlatively Precautionary Jurisprudence, the "Kitab al-Aitiqadia" Book of Faith, both written by [Shah Syed Muhammad Nurbakhsh Qahistani], and Dawat-e-Sofia, written by Ameer Kabir syed ali Hamdani, a Sufi preacher.
In its country of origin, Iran, the order became outright Shi'a some decades after the Safavid dynasty made Twelver Shi'ism the religion of the state in 1501. The same occurred in Kashmir either during the lifetime of Shams ud-Din Iraqi, who died in 1527, or in the following decades, during the brief interlude of the Chak dynasty's reign. In Baltistan, the Sufia imamia Nurbakhshiya still survive as a sect with doctrines of its own that combine elements of both Shi'ism and Sunni Islam.
Mir Sayyid Muhammad Nurbakhsh was the 15th-century Sufi master to whom researchers have paid less attention. Although Nurbakhsh had many scholar-disciples, including Assiri lahiji, none of his disciples made any serious effort to write Nurbakhsh's biography and to preserve his teachings. However, hundreds of thousands of his followers are still present in the most remote areas of Pakistan. They practise his teachings and are still the custodians of his works and teachings five centuries later.
Nurbakhshis believe that the practices are not an assemblage of his personal views but were originally conceived by him from Muhammad through the masters of the spiritual chain. They state that anyone who questions this connection is invited to travel on the long road through the history of mysticism and to compare it with that of Nurbakhsh’s teachings.
Massacre of Nurbakshi in Kashmir
The dominance of Charles Garsuta in Kashmir, after the period of Nurbakshi's influence, was restored by Khetwenz Abrio when he conquered Kashmir. Doghlat sent Fiqh al-ahwat to the Sunni ulema for its analysis, which resulted in a condemnatory fatwa by the ulema to end the Nurbakshi order and convert them to Sunni Islam.
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- noorbakhsh. "Belief". Noorbakhshia. Retrieved 2018-04-23.
- Bashir, S: "Messianic Hope and Mystical Vision: The Nurbakhshiya Between Medieval and Modern Islam (Studies in Comparative Religion), "University of South Carolina Press", October 2003
- Reick Andreas: "The Sofia Nurbakhshis of Baltistan- Revival of the Oldest Muslim Community in the Northern Areas (Gilgit Baltistan) of Pakistan", Paper read at the International Conference "Karakurum-Himalaya-Hindukush-Dynamics of Change", Islamabad, National Library, 29.9-2.10.1995 and published in The Monthly Nawa-i-sufia Islamabad, Issue No. 28, March 1997.
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- Hanif, N. (2002-01-01). Biographical Encyclopaedia of Sufis: Central Asia and Middle East. ISBN 9788176252669.