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The Khalwati order
Khalwati order
(also known as Khalwatiyya, Khalwatiya, or Halveti, as it is known in Turkey) is an Islamic Sufi
brotherhood (tariqa). Along with the Naqshbandi, Qadiri
and Shadhili
orders, it is among the most famous Sufi
orders. The order takes its name from the Arabic word khalwa, meaning “method of withdrawal or isolation from the world for mystical purposes.”[1] The order was founded by Umar
al-Khalwati in the city of Herat
in medieval Khorasan (now located in western Afghanistan). However, it was Umar's disciple, Yahya Shirvani, who founded the “Khalwati Way.”[2] Yahya Shirvani wrote Wird al-Sattar, a devotional text read by the members of nearly all the branches of Khalwatiyya.[3] The Khalwati order
Khalwati order
is known for its strict ritual training of its dervishes and its emphasis of individualism.[3] Particularly, the order promoted individual asceticism (zuhd) and retreat (khalwa), differentiating themselves from other orders at the time.[3] The order is associated as one of the source schools of many other Sufi


1 History

1.1 14th to 17th centuries 1.2 Al-Hasan Al-Basri, Umar
al-Khalwati, the establishment of the Khalwati order, and Sayyeed Yahya Shirvani 1.3 The period of the Ottoman Sultan Bayazid II
Bayazid II
and Sheikh Chelebi Khalifa 1.4 The period of Sunbul Efendi 1.5 The periods of the Wali
Sha`ban-i Kastamoni and `Omer el-Fu'ad-i, and the Kadizadeli movement 1.6 The influences of Niyazi al-Misri 1.7 18th and 19th centuries: Khalwati reform

2 19th-century political influence 3 20th century to modern day 4 Khalwati tekkes

4.1 Active branches in the Ottoman era

5 Khalwati practices 6 Khalwati sub-orders 7 See also 8 Notes 9 References 10 External links

History[edit] 14th to 17th centuries[edit] There were two major historical movements of the Khalwati order. The first one started in the late 14th century and ended in the 17th century. The first historical movement marks its origins and spread in vast area, now being part of Iran, Iraq, Syria
and Turkey.[1] The second movement began in the late 15th century to the mid-19th century mostly focused in Egypt, considered the reform period of the Khalwati order.[2] The order lost popularity in 1865, but many of its leaders branched off to form different orders to expand Islam
throughout Africa.[4] The order resided mostly in large urban areas.[1] Al-Hasan Al-Basri, Umar
al-Khalwati, the establishment of the Khalwati order, and Sayyeed Yahya Shirvani[edit] Main article: Seyid Yahya Bakuvi The origins of the Khalwati order
Khalwati order
are obscure but according to a Khalwati shaykh named Osman Shehu (born 1970 died 2017, was the leader of the Khalwati Karabas order in Junik, Kosovo) Al-Hasan Al-Basri was the founder of the Khalwati order. Many parts are against this fact due to the intern conflitcs that exist in the tariqa on who is the founding fathers. Shaykh Osman continued and added that Khalwa or seclusion is a practice that Al-Hasan Al-Basri mainly lived by and is the fundamental practice in the Khalwati order. Al-Hasan Al-Basri is known as pir of the pirs which by all the 12 tariqa orders have their silsilas from. He also added that Umar
al-Khalwati is a shaykh that died in seclusion after being in it for 40 days. He continued to point out that all the other orders have their silsila from Khalwati. Because in order to achieve self-fulfilment a murid or dervish need to practice Khalwa. Then we have the others that attribute Umar al-Khalwati as its founder, or the "first pir".[4] However, Umar- Khalwati was considered a mysterious man who did very little to spread the order. Shaykh Yahya Shirvani was considered "the second pir" that was responsible for the spread of the Khalwati order.[4] Yahya Shirvani lived during a time of great political instability in the wake of the Mongol invasion. After the Mongol invasions, Turkish nomads began to gather into urban centers of the Islamic world. All these cities had Sufi
shaykhs performing miracles for the nomads. Thus, these Turkish nomads were easily converted to mystical Islam when the Sufi
shaykhs promised them union with Allah.[4] Yahya Shirvani entered Baku
at this time of religious fervor and political instability, and he was able to start a movement. Yahya Shirvani was able to gather ten thousand people to his movement. Yahya had many popular, charismatic disciples to spread the order, including Pir Ilyas.[1] The period of the Ottoman Sultan Bayazid II
Bayazid II
and Sheikh Chelebi Khalifa[edit] The time of greatest popularity for Khalwati order
Khalwati order
was during the thirty-year reign of “ Sufi
Bayazid II” (1481–1511) in Ottoman Turkey.[1] During this time, the sultan practiced Sufi
rituals, which, without a doubt, brought in many people to the order who wanted to advance their political career. This is the time period where members of the upper class, Ottoman military, and higher ranks of civil services were all involved with the Khalwati order. The Sufi
sheikh, Chelebi Khalifa, moved the headquarters of the Khalwati order
Khalwati order
from Amasya
to Istanbul.[1] Here, they rebuilt a former church into a tekke, or Sufi
lodge. The tekke became known as the Koca Mustafa Pasha Mosque.[1] These buildings spread throughout the region as Khalwati's popularity grew. The order spread from its origins in the Middle East to the Balkans
(especially in southern Greece, Kosovo
and Macedonia, to Egypt, Sudan
and almost all corners of the Ottoman Empire. The period of Sunbul Efendi[edit] After Chelebi Khalifa’s death, the power was passed to his son-in-law, Sunbul Efendi. He was considered a very spiritual man that saved the Koca Mustafa Pasha Mosque.[1] According to the miraculous account, the new sultan Selim I, was suspicious of the Khalwati order and wanted to destroy its tekke. Selim I
Selim I
sent workers to tear down the tekke, but an angry Sunbul Efendi
Sunbul Efendi
turned them away. Hearing this, Selim I
Selim I
went down there himself only to see hundreds of silent dervishes gathered around Shaykh Sunbul dressed with his khirqa. Selim was astonished by Sunbul’s spiritual power and canceled the plans to destroy the tekke.[1] The attacks from the ulama, the orthodox religious class, were more serious in the long run. Their hostility were on many Sufi
orders, not just the Khalwatiya. Their criticism was a political concern, which suggested that they Khalwatis were disloyal to the Ottoman state, and a doctrinal concern, that the Sufis were thought by the ulama to be too close to folk Islam
and too far from the shari'a. The ulama also held a cultural hostility towards them, which made the ulama intolerant of the Sufis.[4] Further information: Sunbul Efendi The periods of the Wali
Sha`ban-i Kastamoni and `Omer el-Fu'ad-i, and the Kadizadeli movement[edit] The order began to transform itself over the course of the 16th and 17th centuries as it became more embedded in Ottoman social and religious life. A good example of this is the branch of the order founded by Sha`ban-i Veli (d. 1569) in Kastamonu. Whereas Sha`ban was a retiring ascetic who kept a low profile in the 16th century, by the 17th century his spiritual follower `Omer el-Fu'adi (d. 1636) wrote multiple books and treatises that sought to cement the order's doctrines and practices, in addition to combatting a growing anti-Sufi feeling that later took shape in the form of the Kadizadeli movement.[5] Also during this period, the order sought to reassert its Sunni
identity, by disassociating itself with the Shi’i
enemy. With the reign of Sulayman the Magnificent and Selim II
Selim II
the order entered a revival. They had links with many high-ranking officials in the Ottoman administration and received substantial donations in cash and property, which helped to recruit more members.[6] The influences of Niyazi al-Misri[edit] By this time, members of the Khalwati order
Khalwati order
broke ties with the common people, who they previously aligned themselves so closely. They attempted to rid the order of folk Islam
to a more orthodox order.[1] The Khalwati was very conscious of their public image and wanted the order to become more of an exclusive membership for the upper class. From here, the Khalwati order
Khalwati order
broke off into many suborders. In 1650s rose one of the most famous Anatolian Khalwati shaykhs, Niyazi al-Misri. Niyazi was famous for his poetry, his spiritual powers, and public opposition to the government.[1] He was a leader that represented the old Khalwati order, one for the masses.[1] Niyazi gave the common people and their spiritual aspirations a voice again in the Khalwati order. Niyazi's poetry demonstrates some of the Khalwati's aspects of retreat. He writes in one of his poems:

"I thought that in the world no friend was left for me-- I left myself, and lo, no fiend was left for me"[7]

18th and 19th centuries: Khalwati reform[edit] Most scholars believe that the Khalwati went through a revival during the 18th century when Mustafa ibn Kamal ad-Din al-Bakri (1688-1748)[8] was in charge. Al-Bakri was considered a great shaykh who wrote many books, invented Sufi
techniques, and was very charismatic.[1] He travelled throughout Jerusalem, Aleppo, Istanbul, Baghdad, and Basra. Before he died he wrote 220 books, mostly about adab.[2] It is said that he saw the prophet nineteen times and al-Khidr three times. In many cities, people would mob al-Bakri to receive his blessing.[1] After al-Bakri died, Khalwati dome scholars believe that al-Bakri set “a great Sufi
renaissance in motion.”[1] He was considered the reformer who renewed the Khalwati order
Khalwati order
in the Egypt. The Khalwati order still remains strong in Egypt
where the Sufi
orders do receive a degree of support from the government. The Khalwati order
Khalwati order
also remains strong in the Sudan. However, not all scholars agree with al-Bakri’s influence. Frederick de Jong argues in his collected studies that al Bakri’s influence was limited. He argues that many scholars speak of his influence, but without much detail about what he actually did.[9] Jong argues that al-Bakri’s influence was limited to adding a prayer litany to the Khalwati rituals.[2] He made his disciples read this litany before sunrise and called it the Wird al-sahar. Al-Bakri wrote this prayer litany himself and thought it necessary to add it to the practices of the Khalwati order. Jong argues al-Bakri should not be attributed with the revival of the Sufi
order for his limited effect.[2] 19th-century political influence[edit] Members of the Khwalti order were involved in political movements by playing a huge role in the Urabi insurrection in Egypt. The order helped others oppose British occupation in Egypt. The Khalwati groups in Upper Egypt
protested British occupation due to high taxes and unpaid labor, which, in addition to drought, made living very hard in the 1870s.[2] Their protests blended with the large stream nationalist protests that lead up to the Urabi insurrection. It can be said that the Khalwati’s fight to improve living conditions eventually lead to the larger nationalist protests.[2] Further information: Urabi Revolt 20th century to modern day[edit] The situation varies from region to region. In 1945, the government in Albania
recognized the principal tariqas as independent religious communities, but this came to an end after the Albanian Cultural Revolution in 1967. In 1939 there were twenty-five Khalwatiyya tekkes in Albania, Macedonia and Kosovo. In 1925 the orders were abolished in Turkey
and all tekkes and zawiyas were closed and their possessions confiscated by the government, and there is no data available on the status of the Khalwatiyya. In Egypt
there are still many active branches of the Khalwatiyya.[10] Modernity has affected the orders to have quite different forms in different environments. They vary depending on the locality, personality of the shaykh and the needs of the community. There may also be different prayer practices, patterns of association, and the nature of relations linking the disciples to the shaykh and to each other.[11] Khalwati tekkes[edit] The Khalwati order
Khalwati order
had many tekkes in Istanbul, the most famous being the Jerrahi, Ussaki, Sunbuli, Ramazani and Nasuhi. Although the Sufi orders are now abolished in the Republic of Turkey, the above are almost all now mosques and/or places of visitation by Muslims
for prayer. Active branches in the Ottoman era[edit]

Pîr İlyas Amâsî branch Seyyid Yâhyâ-yı Şirvânî branch

Molla Hâbib Karamanî sub-branch Cemâli’îyye sub-branch (Followers of Çelebi Hâlife Cemâl-i Halvetî)

Sünbül’îyye Assâl’îyye Bahş’îyye Şâbân’îyye



Kemal’îyye Hufn’îyye

Tecân’îyye Dırdîr’îyye Sâv’îyye







Ahmed’îyye sub-branch (Followers of Yiğitbaşı Ahmed Şemseddîn bin Îsâ Marmarâvî)


Buhûr’îyye Cerrah’îyye Raûf’îyye

Cihângir’îyye Sinan’îyye Muslih’îyye Zeherr’îyye Hayât’îyye Uşşâk’îyye

Câhid’îyye Selâh’îyye

Niyâz’îyye/Mısr’îyye Beyûm’îyye

Rûşen’îyye sub-branch (Followers of Dede Ömer-i Rûşenî)


Sezâ’îyye Hâlet’îyye


Şems’îyye sub-branch (Followers of Şemseddîn Ahmed Sivâsî)

Khalwati practices[edit] The hallmark of the Khalwatiyya tariqa, way, and its numerous subdivisions is its periodic retreat (khalwa) that is required of every novice.[12] These can last between three days to forty days. The khalwa for some offshoots of the Khalwatiyya is essential in preparing the pupil, murid. The collective dhikr follows similar rules throughout the different branches of the Khalwatiyya order.[13] The practice of dhikr is described as repetitive prayer. The practitioner is to be repeating Allah's name and remembering Allah. The dervish is to be attentive to Allah in their repetitive prayer.[14] They are to be completely focused on Allah, so much so that an early Sufi
master says "True dhikr is that you forget your dhikr."[15] Another practice that distinguishes the Khalwatiyya from other tariqas is that for them it is through participation in the communal rites and rituals that one reaches a more advanced stage of awareness, one that the theorists of the order described as a face-to-face encounter with Allah.[16] Khalwati sub-orders[edit]

Khalwatiyya Sammaniyya Gulshani Jelveti Jerrahi Karabashi Nasuhi Rahmani Sha`bani Sunbuli Ussaki

See also[edit]

Raag Khalawati


^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o Keddie, Nikki R. (1972). Scholars, Saints, and Sufis. Los Angeles: University of California Press. p. 401.  ^ a b c d e f g De Jong, Frederick (2000). Sufi
Orders in Ottoman and Post- Ottoman Egypt
and the Middle East. Istanbul: Isis Press. p. 274. ISBN 975-428-178-5.  ^ a b c Trimingham, J. Spencer (1998). The Sufi
Orders in Islam. New York: Oxford University Press. p. 333. ISBN 0-19-512058-2.  ^ a b c d e B. G. (1972). "A Short History of the Khalwati Order of Dervishes". In Nikki R. Keddie. Scholars, Saints, and Sufis: Muslim Religious Institutions in the Middle East
Middle East
Since 1500. University of California Press. pp. 275–306. ISBN 978-0-520-02027-6.  ^ John J. Curry, The Transformation of Muslim Mystical Thought in the Ottoman Empire: The Rise of the Halveti Order, 1350-1650 , ISBN 978-0-7486-3923-6. ^ Knysh, Alexander (2000). Islamic Mysticism: A Short History. Leiden: Brill. pp. 265–266. ISBN 90-04-10717-7.  ^ Schimmel, Annemarie (1975). Mystical Dimensions of Islam. Chapel Hill, North Carolina: The University of North Carolina Press. ISBN 978-0-8078-1223-5.  ^ http://www.academy.ac.il/data/egeret/70/EgeretArticles/weigert%20article%201.pdf ^ Frederick De Jong (1987). Nehemiah Levtzion and John O. Voll, ed. Eighteenth-Century Renewal and Reform in Islam. Syracuse: Syracuse University Press. pp. 117–132. ISBN 0-8156-2402-6.  ^ Knysh, Alexander (2000). Islamic Mysticism: A Short History. Leiden: Brill. pp. 270–271. ISBN 90-04-10717-7.  ^ Julia Day Howell and Martin van Bruinessen (2007). Martin van Bruinessen and Julia Day Howell, ed. Sufism
and the 'Modern' in Islam. New York: I.B. Tauris & Co Ltd. pp. 12–13. ISBN 978-1-85043-854-0.  ^ Knysh, Alexander (2000). Islamic Mysticism: A Short History. Leiden: Brill. p. 268. ISBN 90-04-10717-7.  ^ Knysh, Alexander (2000). Islamic Mysticism: A Short History. Leiden: Brill. p. 269. ISBN 90-04-10717-7.  ^ Geels, Antoon (1996). "A Note on the Psychology of Dhikr: The Halveti- Jerrahi
Order of Dervishes
in Istanbul". The International Journal for the Psychology of Religion. 6 (4): 229–251. doi:10.1207/s15327582ijpr0604_1.  ^ Schimmel, Annemarie (1975). Mystical Dimensions of Islam. Chapel Hill: The University of North Carolina Press. p. 172. ISBN 0-8078-1271-4.  ^ Knysh, Alexander (2000). Islamic Mysticism: A Short History. Leiden: Brill. p. 270. ISBN 90-04-10717-7. 


Clayer, Nathalie, Muslim Brotherhood Networks, European History Online, Mainz: Institute of European History, 2011, retrieved: May 23, 2011.

External links[edit]

Home page of the Halveti-Ramazani order Home page of the Halveti- Ussaki
order (English/Turkish) Sub-order page of the Halveti- Ussaki
order (Turkish) Home page of the Halveti- Jerrahi
order Home page of the Halveti-Shabani order Home page of the Halveti-Sivasi order Halveti branches Home page of the Halveti-Ramazani order The Unveiling of Love Sufism
and the Remembrance of God By Sheikh Muzaffer Ozak IRSHAD Wisdom of a Sufi
Master By Sheikh Muzaffer Ozak Al-Jerrahi Garden of Paradise – Sufi
Ceremony of Remembrance – Music CD Sheikh Muzzafer Ozak and the Halveti- Jerrahi
Order of Dervishes Lifting the Boundaries: Muzaffer Efendi and the Transmission of Sufism to the West by Gregory Blann A link to numerous articles on Sufism
including t