Hz. Najm al-Din Kubra Rehmatullah alaih

A Sufi mystic and founder of the Kubrawiya order, a branch of Sufiism that survives until the present day

Kunya-Urgench, Turkmenistan

Coordinates: 42.325683, 59.145936

Hz. Najm al-Din Kubra رحمة الله عليه was a 13th-century Khwarezmian Sufi from Khwarezm and the founder of the Kubrawiya, influential in the Ilkhanate and Timurid dynasty.

His method, exemplary of a “golden age” of Sufi metaphysics, was related to the Illuminationism of Hz. Shahab al-Din Yahya ibn Habash Suhrawardi رحمة الله عليه as well as to Hz. Shams Tabrizi رحمة الله عليه. He was born in 540/1145 and died in 618/1221.

Because his followers were predominantly Sufi writers and gnostics, Hz. Najm al-Din Kubra رحمة الله عليه was given the title “manufacturer of saints” and his order was named the Kubrawiya.

His main body of works concerns the analysis of the visionary experience.

He wrote numerous important works discussing the visionary experience, including a Sufi commentary on the Quran that he was unable to complete due to his death in 618/1221.

Hz. Najm al-Din Kubra رحمة الله عليه died during the Mongol invasion and massacre after refusing to leave his city, where he fought in hand-to-hand combat against the Mongols.

Overall, Hz. Najm al-Din Kubra رحمة الله عليه is remembered as a pioneer of the Sufi tradition and explanation of spiritual visionary experiences.

His work spread throughout the Middle East and Central Asia where it flourished for many years, until it gradually was taken over by other similar more popular ideologies and Sufi leaders.

The Kubrawiyah Order

The Kubrawiya was Hz. Najm al-Din Kubra’s رحمة الله عليه Sufi order, focusing on explaining the visionary experience.

The influence of the Kubrawiya can be seen on the Islamic world as a whole because of its relationship to the strong influence of Shi’ism in Iran.

The Kubrawiya was not largely popular until after his passing away in the 13th century.

The Kubrawiya found great development outside of Central Asia, but its influence and presence only lasted till the 15th/16th century, when it was overshadowed by the Naqshbandiya (another, more attractive Sufi group) during the Ottoman Empire, though a nominal following continued on.

The Kubrawiya’s influence in Central Asia established many political, social, and economic activities there, but the Naqshbandiyah developed these ideas to their fullest potential.

His main teaching was a “well-developed mystical psychology based on the analysis of the visionary experience.”

They focused on explaining the spiritual visionary experiences that Sufis underwent in everyday life.

Their largest concern was the total focus on the zikr as a means of allowing for the perception of spiritual visions.