Hazrat Sheikh Abu Najeeb Suherwardi
Al-Suhrawardi, Abu Najeeb Suherwardi Rahmatullah Alayh 'Abd ul Qahir. 'Abdullah al-Bakri, a suni mystic who flourished in the 6th /l 2th century. He was born about 490/1097 in Suharward,west of Sultaniyya, in the Djibal region, Abu Najeeb Suherwardi Rahmatullah Alayh, genealogically linked wilh Abu Bakar, who died in 563/1168 at Baghdad. Abu Najeeb Suherwardi Rahmatullah Alayh moved to Baghdad as a young man, probably in 501/ 1113, where he studied hadith, Shafi'I law, Arabic grammar and belles-letters. A paternal uncle of Abu Najeeb Suherwardi Rahmatullah Alayh, 'Umar Muhammad (d. 532/1137- 8), head of a sufi convent in Baghdad, invested him with the Sufi kharka.
Probably before his arrival in Baghdad, Abu Najeeb Suherwardi Rahmatullah Alayh already studied hadith in Isfahan. At about 25, in Baghdad, he abandoned his studies at the Nizamiyya, a Saldjuk institution,
in order 10 lead a solitary life of asceticism. He returned to Isfahan to join the illuslrious Sufi Ahmad al-Ghazali Rahmatullah Alayh (d. 520/1126). When he went back to Baghdad he became a disciple of Hammad al-Dabbas (d. 525/1130-1) who, albeit considered an illiterate, stands out as a teacher of' Abdul-Qadir al Jilani Rahmatullah Alayh.
Abu Najeeb Suherwardi Rahmatullah Alayh is said to have earned a living for a number of year as water-carrier. He began to preach Sufism, and he founded a convent on the western bank of the Tigris. In 54511 150-1 Abu Najeeb Suherwardi Rahmatullah Alayh was appointed to teach fikl! in the Nizamiyya . However, in 547/ 1152- 3 he was dismissed from office, as a result of the power struggle between the caliph and the Saldjuk sultan. Both before and after his appointment at the Nizamiyya.
Abu Najeeb Suherwardi Rahmatullah Alayh taught fikah and hadith in his own madrasa, situated ncxt to his ribat, and he continued teaching Sufism.
In 557/116 1-2, he left Baghdad for Jerusalem. but he could not travel beyond Damascus because Noor al Deen Zangi Rahmatullah Alayh and Baldwin had resumed theri hostilities. After being received with honour in Damascus. Abu Najeeb Suherwardi Rahmatullah Alayh returned to Baghdad.
Some year later he died and was buried in his madrasa, there. His students were numerous and included, in hadith, the historian Ibn · Asakir and the tradit ionalist ai-Sam· ani. His disciple 'Ammar al-Bidlisi (d. between 590/1194 and 604(/1 207) occupies an important place in the history of Sufism as a teacher of Nadjm al-Deen al-Kubra.
Abu Najeeb Suherwardi Rahmatullah Alayh had his most far-reaching infuence, however, through his disciple and nephew, Shahab al Deen Suherwardi Rahmatullah Alayh, the famous author of the 'Aw arif al_Ma 'arif .
Abu Najeeb Suherwardi Rahmatullah Alayh was not a productive author. He wrote the Gharib al-Masabih, a commentary on a popular hadilh collection, but his fame as a writer rests on his composition of the Adab al-Muridin. However, the Adab became widely known only wilh the spread of the Suharwardia order founded by his nephew ' Shahab al Deen Suherwardi Rahmatullah Alayh after Abu Najeeb Suherwardi Rahmatullah Alayh's death. In the Adab Sufism is viewed from the perspective of rules of conduct (adab). The book treats of, inter alia, common practices which did not conform to the strict etiquette required by Sufi theory. By applying the traditional concept of rukhsa (dispensation' . pI. rukhas) in a novel way, Abu Najeeb Suherwardi Rahmatullah Alayh responds to the phenomenon of an affiliation of lay members to Sufism.
Whilst Abu Najeeb Suherwardi Rahmatullah Alayh also draws on various works of al-Sulami. al-Sarradj and al Kushayri, he betrays the closest dependence on Ibn Khafif al- Shirazi whose Kilab al-Iktisad. he quotes throughout the Adab. However, he never identifies him when he excerpts from the Iktisad. The reason for this lies in the fact that Abu Najeeb Suherwardi Rahmatullah Alayh inverts Ibn Khafif's fundamentally negative view of rukhas; the very dispensations Whose adoption by the 'truthful novice' Ibn Khafif interpreted as a failure to fulfill the requirements of sidk ("truthfulness' ), are introduced in the Adab and vindicated by Abu Najeeb Suherwardi Rahmatullah Alayh. It may be argued that the rukhas incorporated an element of instability into the Rule and that this heralded a decline from the high ground' of the Suli spirituality of Abu Najeeb Suherwardi Rahmatullah Alayh 's predecessors.