ONE OF THE MOST IMPORTANT Sufi orders in Turkey today is the Khalwatiyyah- Jarrāḥiyyah, which has also spread to the West during the past few years. This order branched off from the Khalwatiyyah Order (Helvetiyye in Turkish), established by the Persian Sufi 'Umar KhalwatI+012B, who died in Tabriz in 800/1397. 1 The second master of the order, Yaḥyā Shīrwānī, continued the work of spreading the order in Anatolia, where it became closely associated with the Akhī movement. After Shīrwānī's death in Baku in 869/1464, branches of the order such as the Gulshaniyyah and DamI+012Brdāshiyyah spread in Egypt, where the order has been strong ever since. It experienced a remarkable growth in the thirteenth/ nineteenth century, mostly as a result of the teachings of Kamāl al-Dīn al-BakrI+012B, the founder of the Bakriyyah branch of the Khalwatiyyah. Also in the twelfth/ eighteenth century other branches of the Khalwatiyyah Order, such as the Kamāliyyah, spread in other regions of the Arab East, such as Palestine. The Sammāniyyah-Khalwatiyyah Order spread on the one hand into black Africa and on the other hand through Mecca into Southeast Asia. Syria was also one of the important arenas for the activity of the Khalwatiyyah, and such branches of the Order as the Jamāliyyah and Bakhshiyyah have been active in that land up to modern times.
The main arena of activity of the Khalwatiyyah Order remained Turkey, where in the eleventh/ seventeenth century it became an important element even in the political life of the Ottoman world. The peak of its spiritual flowering in the Ottoman world was during the rule of Suleymān the Magnificent and Sultan Selါm I. Moreover, the order continued to flourish in Turkey and the provinces of the Ottoman Empire right up to this century. It was strong in Albania until the 1967 cultural revolution and is active in Yugoslavia to this day. It has also continued to survive in Egypt, Syria, Lebanon, and Palestine. In Turkey itself the Khalwatiyyah Order was abolished along with other Sufi orders in 1925 but has nevertheless continued its existence, especially the Khalwatiyyah-Jarrāḥiyyah branch, which is very active and continues to have its center in Istanbul. 2
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Publication information: Book title: Islamic Spirituality:Manifestations. Contributors: Seyyed Hossein Nasr - Editor. Publisher: Crossroad Herder. Place of publication: New York. Publication year: 1997. Page number: 233.
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