History of the Khalwatiyya Tariqa al Shareef

Discussion in 'Tasawwuf / Adab / Akhlaq' started by Wadood, Dec 6, 2004.

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  1. Wadood

    Wadood Veteran



    One of the widespread and ramified orders of Sufis is that of the

    Khalwatiya (or Helvetiye). The order takes its name from the Arabic

    word `khalwa' a method of withdrawal or isolation from the

    world for mystical purposes. The founder of the order is Shaykh Sidi

    Abu Abdullah Siraj al-Din Umar al-Ahji or Umar al-Khalwati who died

    about 800/1397 in Tabriz.

    The Tariqa was propelled very far after him by his disciple Sidi

    Yahya Shirvani (d.1463), from Shamakhi in the Caucasus. About 1460,

    Yahya Shirvani moved from Shamakhi to Baku to attract around him ten

    thousand people. Shaykh Yahya had a number of disciples and men of

    charisma like Pir Ilyas of Amasya and Zakariya al-Khalwati who

    inherited the secret of the Shaykh and moved the headquarters of

    Tariqa to Amasya in north central Anatolia after their Shaykh's

    death in 868/1463.

    With the transfer of the Khalwati nucleus to Amasya, the inner

    circle of the order gave it a decisive new direction. The thirty-

    year reign of sultan Bayazid (1481-1511), formerly the governor of

    Amasya, was the real heyday of the Khalwati order in Ottoman Turkey.

    The sultan himself attended the meetings of the Khalwati order and

    visited regularly Shaykh Tariqa Khalwatiya Sidi Ahmad al-Erzinjani,

    Muhammad Jamal al-Din al-Asara'i better known as Chelebi Khalifa,

    who became the master of Khalwati order after his Shaykh Sidi

    `Umar Aydini Habib Qaramani.

    At royal request the headquarters of the Tariqa were moved from

    Amasya to Istanbul, and when the Shaykh and his disciples reached

    the capital, they were presented with a former Byzantine church to

    remodel into a Zawiya. Sultan Bayazid turned over his son Ahmed to

    Shaykh Chelebi to be educated. About 1500, Chelebi Khalifa, who had

    served as the head of the order in its most crucial move and through

    an important period of establishment in the capital, died. The

    succession passed to Chelebi's son-in-law, Sidi Sunbul Sinan.

    During the reigns of Sulayman the Magnificent (1520-1566) and Selim

    II (1566-1574) the Khalwatiya under the leadership of Shaykh Sidi

    Muslih al-Din Merkez Efendi expanded both in the capital and in the

    provinces. The Tariqa had built a number of zawaya in Istanbul and

    many more elsewhere. The Tariqa expanded quickly to many Ottoman


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