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Sheikh Murād al-Bukhārī and the Expansion of the Naqshbandī-Mujaddidī Order in Istanbul

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The article offers a fresh look at the career of Murād al-Bukhārī (d. 1720), one of the most influential Sufi leaders of the Middle East in the late 17th/early 18th century. By origin from Samarqand, he was initiated into the Naqshbandiyya-Mujaddidiyya by Aḥmad Sirhindī’s son  and became one of his most successful successors in spreading this Indian branch of the Naqshbandiyya in Syria and Istanbul and Anatolia. The reasons for the formidable followership of Murād among the Ottoman scholarly and bureaucratic elite, including some of the sultans’ close circles are elucidated, and it becomes clear that this new ṭarīqa profited from being untarnished by the bitter controversies between the Ottoman ṭuruq and their adversaries which had raged until the Vienna campaign (1683). By its strong attachment to the Sunna, and by its promise of renewal (tajdīd) it became obviously of great importance for the reforming circles at the top of the empire, and for the general rise of piety during that period, thus showing the Islamic colouring of what is otherwise often regarded as a first movement of Westernization during the so-called “Tulip period”.

Affiliations: 1: Haifa


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