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Sofia Imamia Noorbakshia (Arabic: صوفیہ إمامية نوربخشیہ ), also called Sofia Noorbakhshia, is one of the Islamic sects of Sufi order. It is claimed to trace its direct spiritual lineage and chain (silsilah) to the Islamic prophet Muhammad, through Ali, Muhammad's cousin, son-in-law and the First Imam, via Imam Ali Al-Ridha. In contrast, most other Sufi paths trace their lineage through Ali.This order became famous as Nurbakshi after Shah Syed Muhammad Nurbakhsh Qahistani, who was attached with Kubrawiya order Sufi order ("tariqa") .
The most important sources of Noorbakhshi doctrines are three books: the "al-Fiqh al-Ahwat", meaning "Superlatively Precautionary Jurisprudence", the "Kitab al-Aitiqadia," meaning book of Faith or doctrines these books are written by Shah Syed Muhammad Nurbakhsh Qahistani and "Dawat-e-Sofia" written by Ameer Kabir syed ali Hamdani, Sufi preacher of Islam.
It was in the valley of Kashmir and in Baltistan where the Nurbakhshiya gained their greatest prominence in the early 16th century. This was due to the missionary efforts of Mir Sham ud-Din Iraqi, himself a disciple of Sayyid Muhammad Nurbkhsh's son and spiritual heir, Shah Qasim Faizbakhsh.
In its country of origin, Iran, the order became outright Shi'a some decades after the Safavid dynasty made twelver Shi'ism the religion of the state in 1501, and the same happened in Kashmir, either during the lifetime of Shams ud-Din Iraqi, who died in 1527, or in the following decades during the brief interlude of the Chak dynasty's reign. But in Baltistan the Nurbakhshiya has survived until this day as a sect with doctrines of its own, combining elements of both Shi'ism and Sunni Islam. Ghousulal-Mutakharin Sayyid al Arifin Mir Sayyid Muhammad Nurbakhsh was the 9th century missionary Sufi master on whom the researchers have paid less attention. That is why we could not trace a detailed biography on his life. Although Nurbakhsh had many scholar-disciples including Assiri lahiji, but none of his disciples made any serious effort to write Nurbakhsh's biography and to preserve his teachings. However it is a wonderful miracle that hundreds of thousand of his followers are still present in a very far-flung and the most backward areas of Islamic Republic of Pakistan who are practising his teachings in its entirety and who are the custodians of his works and teachings even these days when five centuries have been passed after Nurbakhsh.
Nurbakhshis believe that the practices are not an assemblage of his personal view but the practices were originally conceived to him from Islamic Prophet Muhammad through the masters of the spiritual chain. They state that if anyone feels doubt in this connection, they would invite them to travel on the long road through the history of mysticism and to compare it with that of Nurbakhsh’s teachings.
Massacre of Nurbakshi in Kashmir
The dominance of Sunni Islam in Kashmir after the period of Nurbakshi influence there was restored by Mirza Haider Doghlat when he conqeuered Kashmir. Doghlat sent Fiqh al-ahwat to the Sunni 'ulema for their analysis which resulted a condemnatory fatwa by the 'ulema in order to end the Nurbakshi order, and convert them to Sunni Islam. Mir Danial Shaheed and other personalities were killed during the clashes. The onslaught against the Nurbakshia led to bloodshed and end of the once popular Sufi order.
Basic concepts and Pillars of Islam
According to Nurbakshi Muslims this faith is related to Qur'an surah al baqarah. Contrary to Ithna-Asheri Shia Islam, Nurbakshi Islam has Five articles of faith which are identical to Sunni Muslims but known as the Five pillars of iman that all Nurbakshi Muslims are united upon in belief, along with the many key points of creed mentioned in Usool-e-Ataqadiah. Also, Nurbaksi Muslims do not believe in taqiyah nor do they accept the practice of mut'ah.
- Beyond Lines of Control: Performance and Politics on the Disputed.
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- Encyclopaedia Of Untouchables : Ancient Medieval And Modern. - 2008. p. Page 345.
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- Bashir, S: "Messianic Hope and Mystical Vision: The Nurbakhshiya Between Medieval and Modern Islam (Studies in Comparative Religion), "University of South Carolina Press", October 2003
- Reick Andreas: "The Nurbakhshis of Baltistan- Revival of the Oldest Muslim Community in the Northern Areas of Pakistan", Paper read at the International Conference "Karakurum-Himalaya-Hindukush-Dynamics of Change", Islamabad, national Library, 29.9-2.10.1995 and published in The Monthly Nawa-i-sufia Islamabad, Issue No. 28, March 1997.
- Dr. Naeem, G: "Mir Sayyid Muhammad Nurbakhsh and Nurbakhshiya Sect", "Shah-e-Hamadan Publications, Islamabad, Pakistan, 2000"
- Balghari S.H."Shah Syed Muhammad Nurbakhsh Qahistani","Monthly Nawa-i-Sufia Islamabad",Issue No.28., 1996
- Hanif, N. (2002-01-01). Biographical Encyclopaedia of Sufis: Central Asia and Middle East. ISBN 9788176252669.
- Usool-e-Ataqadiah,Shah Syed muHammad Nurbakshia
- Usool-e-Ataqadiah, Shah Syed Muhammad Nurbakshia.