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Bābā Faraj

(1,548 words)

Author(s): DeWeese, Devin A.
Bābā Faraj was a sixth/twelfth-century saint of Tabrīz who figures in some accounts of the early life and training of Najm al Dīn Kubrā (d. 618/1221), the eminent Ṣūfī from Khwārazm. The earliest references to Bābā Faraj come from the first half of the eighth/fourteenth century. He is mentioned—in a work preserved in a large, recently discovered manuscript miscellany compiled in Tabrīz in the early 720s/1320s—as a local saint who was visited by Fakhr al-Dīn al-Rāzī (d. 606/1209), the celebrated t…
Date: 2021-07-19

Hamadānī, ʿAlī

(2,601 words)

Author(s): DeWeese, Devin A.
Amīr Sayyid ʿAlī b. Shihāb al-Dīn Hamadānī (714–86/1314–85) was a prominent Ṣūfī shaykh of Iran and Central Asia known for his substantial body of writings, for his training of disciples in an initiatory lineage that came to be defined, soon after his era, as “Kubravī,” and for his legendary role as an Islamiser of Kashmir, where the title Shāh-i Hamadān and other epithets attest to his reputation. Our chief sources on his life are two early hagiographies produced by figures in his Ṣūfī lineage: the Khulāṣat al-manāqib (“The epitome of the (accounts of) virtues”) was written soon…
Date: 2021-07-19

Sayyid Baraka

(3,008 words)

Author(s): DeWeese, Devin A.
Sayyid Baraka was an enigmatic religious figure in the circle of counsellors and advisors of Tīmūr (d. 807/1405). He is mentioned chiefly in sources that reflect the Tīmūrid historiographical tradition, which refer to him at particular junctures in Tīmūr’s career, between 771/1370, when Sayyid Baraka became part of Tīmūr’s entourage, and 806/1403–4, the year he died. His importance is suggested by his burial in a place of honour in the Gūr-i Amīr, where Tīmūr himself is also buried. Whether their…
Date: 2021-07-19

Badakhshī, Nūr al-Dīn Jaʿfar

(1,138 words)

Author(s): DeWeese, Devin A.
Nūr al-Dīn Jaʿfar Badakhshī (d. c.797/1395) was a disciple of the eminent Central Asian Ṣūfī shaykh Sayyid ʿAlī Hamadānī (d. 786/1385). He wrote, in Persian, the Khulāṣat al-manāqib (“The epitome of virtues”), the earliest hagiographical work devoted to his master. What little is known of Badakhshī’s life comes almost entirely from this work. From it we learn that he met Hamadānī in 773/1371–2, in the village of ʿAlīshāh, in Khuttalān, apparently not long after Hamadānī had moved there from his native Hamadān, and that he…
Date: 2021-07-19

Āfāq, Khwāja and the Āfāqiyya

(1,527 words)

Author(s): DeWeese, Devin A.
Khwāja Hidāyatallāh Āfāq (1035–1105/1626–94) was the namesake of the Āfāqiyya, a hereditary and initiatic Ṣūfī lineage descended from the Central Asian Naqshbandī shaykh Makhdūm-i Aʿẓam (d. 949/1542); the Āfāqiyya was so called because of Khwāja Āfāq’s pivotal role in establishing the religious and political power of this lineage in Eastern Turkestan during the second half of the eleventh/seventeenth century. (The now widespread Naqshbandī Ṣūfī order takes its name from Bahāʾ al-Dīn Naqshband, d. 791/1389, of Bukhara…
Date: 2021-07-19

ʿAnbar Ānā

(1,103 words)

Author(s): DeWeese, Devin A.
ʿAnbar Ānā was a saint ( ānā, “mother” in Turkic) of Central Asia. Traditions about her, first recorded in the early tenth/sixteenth century, place her lifetime in the seventh/thirteenth century, and she is honoured even today in oral narratives and shrine traditions, focused on Khwārazm and Tashkent. ʿAnbar Ānā is first mentioned in the Naqshbandī hagiography, the Rashaḥāt-i ʿayn al-ḥayāt (Droplets from the Wellsprings of Life) completed in 909/1504; she is portrayed in the Rashaḥāt as the wife first of Ḥakīm Ātā, who is identified as a disciple of Aḥmad Yasavī, the …
Date: 2021-07-19