A Short Account Of Sayyid Ahmad Er Rufai Hazretleri̇

His Autobiography:

His life:

Date of Birth: 1119 A.D.

Date of Death: 1182 A.D.

He was born in Abu Ubaida, in Arz-i Bataih, a region between Basra and Baghdad. He died in the town of Wasit. His sacred tomb is in Wasit and it is a highly visited place.

He holds a place in Sufism that is mostly concerned Wisdom. He is called as “Sultan-ül Arifin-The Sultan of the Wise”. It is accepted by all the Sufis that nobody has exceeded him in the sciences of spirituality. He is one of the great Imams of the Knowledge of Ledunni. He is at the rank of the expounders of Islamic Laws in the science of Canonical Jurisprudence. He became a striking example in good morals.


His paternal lineage was from Hazrat Husayn, his maternal lineage was from Hazrat Hasan. Therefore, he was given the name: “Ebul Alemeyn” which means: “The Owner of Two Banners”.

His Sufi lineage (tariqat lineage) starts with his pir (his sheikh) Aliyyül Kari’ül Vasiti Hz. and continues with Junayd al Bagdad, Sirri Sakati, Maruf-i Kerhi, Davud Tai, Habibi Acemi, Imam Hasan al Basri and reaches Our Master Seyyidena Shah-ı Velayat (The King of the Sainthood) and The Prophet Muhammad Aleyhisselatı Vesselam.


Various miraculous narratives were recorded about him. The most widely known event took place in Ravza-i Muttahhara (The Prophet’s Tomb) when all the other Great Saints were present there: Our Prophet, the King of the Prophethood extended his holy, green hand to him and Hazrat Pir kissed it. This was agreed by all the Sufis.

Sayyid Ahmad er Rufai Hazretleri is one of the Aktab-ı Arbaa, which is accepted and known by all the Sufis. Aktab-ı Arbaa means FOUR GREAT QUTBS.

These great personalities are, in succession, Sultan-ı Awliya Sayyid Abdul Qadir Geylani, Sayyid Ahmad er Rufai, Sayyid Ahmad Bedevi and Sayyid İbrahim Dusuki.

Abdul Qadir Geylani, Ahmad Rufai and Ahmad Bedevi are contemporaries. They had seen each other. Sayyid Ibrahim Dusuki Hazretleri had met Sayyid Ahmad Bedevi Hazretleri too. Four of them are Gaws-Kutb. Abdul Qadir Geylani Hazretleri is “Gawsul Azam-The Greatest Qutb”. Four of them are the representatives of each other in spirituality. If a person attaches one of them, he is accepted to have attached all of them. Their secrets, manners and behaviors, methods and the rules of conduct are the same. Qadiri Order, Rufai Order, Bedevi Order and Dusuki Order are the same. They are the same paths. They are the Path of Hazrat Ali. Those who follow the path of Hz. Ali are called as Alawis, Husaynis and those that follow the path of Hazrat AbuBaqir are called as Baqris and Sıddikis in the History of Sufism and among the Sufis. (Not in the meaning of religious sect.)

AN IMPORTANT NOTE: Our Master Sayyid Ahmad er Rufai Hazretleri had not performed any demonstrative proofs (sensational displays) himself. He had not wounded the skin of human with knives and skewers. He did not approve such behaviors. Yet, some pirs of Rufai Orders had done it and they are still continuing it. Their aim is to show a proof to unbelievers. Although Hz. Rufai is not pleased with it, he is still showing them tolerance and he spiritually helps those whose aim is Truth and who are well intentioned.

The branches of Rufai Order exist in all the states and cities in Bagdad, Basra, Hejaz, Egypt, India, Syria, Anatolia, Istanbul, Bursa, East and Southeast of Turkey, Balkans and in the lands of Ottomans. They are still active in these places.

The Dhikr of Rufais is firstly performed aloud and then performed silently. The advanced disciples perform them both aloud and silently. Sad voice and sad music are permitted in Rufai Order.

Only in Rufai Orders women and men sit together in the ceremonies of worship.

It is compulsory to make contact with the spirit of the Perfect Man in Rufai orders. If there is no spiritual connection in remembrance, what is desired cannot be attained. The dhikr involves daily reciting of “Kelime-i Tevhid-the declaration of Unity (La ilahe illallah) mostly 100 times, the name of Allah 1500 times and other beautiful names of Allah. The disciples read 5 pages of the Koran and its meaning. The most distinguishing characteristics of Rufai Hazretleri are Knowledge and Wisdom. He has love too but he attaches more importance to Wisdom. The Path of Rufai is based on Wisdom.

The result of Rufai Order is to attain good moral qualities and to be honest.

His most important command to his disciples is “to abstain from hypocrisy and pretentiousness”.

A great Sufi from Adıyaman, the Perfect Man, Mustafa Rufai Hazretleri said to his disciples one day:

“Hazreti Sayyid Ahmad er Rufai, who is the spiritual door of Hz. Ali and who represents him completely, who is the Sultan of the Wise, Pir, the Greatest Qutb, the Greatest Saint, Sayyidina and Sheyhina said to me during spiritual connection (rabıta): ‘If a disciple (the follower of the holy God) continues his daily activities (and does not abandon his worldly affairs); but if he performs his lesson -daily recitation- constantly and fervently; and if he abstains from hypocrisy, he reaches Allah more quickly than the follower of God that quits quitting. Rufais do not show that they are a dervish (a disciple) easily because hypocrisy and pretentiousness may also start in a person who quits quitting.’ ” This is the path of Hz. Rufai.

The path of Hz. Rufai is the most beautiful, the easiest and the quickest path. How happy are those who follow it…

To quit quitting or the renunciation of what he has quitted means: a disciple-a follower of God renounces the world and the worldly affairs for the sake of Allah and then leaves and forgets what he has quitted. That is to say: “He destroys his worldly life in order to prosper the next world.” It is not an easy behavior. It is a difficult way. There are people who quit quitting in every Sufi order but they are only one percent. It is said that five percent of every hundred people in Khalwati Branch are the people who renounced what they have quitted.

Hz. Rufai has several books that are translated into Turkish. The most important book that is available at book stores is entitled as “Onların Alemi-The world of the Wise Saints” that tells the Reality and Wisdom.

Kazım YARDIMCI (from Adıyaman)

2nd June, 2005