The Suhrawardiyya (Arabic: سهروردية, Persian: سهروردیه) is a Sufi order founded by Abu al-Najib Suhrawardi (died 1168). Lacking a centralised structure, it eventually divided into various branches. The order was especially prominent in India.[1] The ideology of the Suhrawardiyya was inspired by Junayd of Baghdad (d. 910), a Persian scholar and mystic from Baghdad.[2]

Under the Ilkhanate (1256–1335), the Suhrawardiyya was one of the three leading Sufi orders, and was based in western Iran. The order had its own khanaqahs (Sufi lodges), which helped them spread their influence throughout Persianate society. The order included prominent members such as the Akbari mystics ʿAbd al-Razzāq al-Kāshānī (died 1329), Sa'id al-Din Farghani (died 1300), and the Persian poet Saadi Shirazi (died 1292).[3]

Today most of the order has dissolved in some Middle Eastern countries such as Syria. The order is still active in Iraq, where it continues to recruit new members.[4]

The presence of the Suhrawardiyya order in India was established by three disciples of S̲h̲ihāb al-Dīn, who established branches in Dihlī, Bangāla, and Multān. The most successful proselytizer of the order was Bahāʾ al-Dīn Zakariyyāʾ Multānī. One of his disciples, Sayyid D̲j̲alāl Buk̲h̲ārī aka D̲j̲alāl Surk̲h̲ founded the D̲j̲alālī branch of the order. Bahāʾ al-Dīn’s most notable disciple was the poet Fak̲h̲r al-Dīn Ibrāhīm ʿIrāḳī. Bahāʾ al-Dīn's descendants remained in Multān, such as his grandson Rukn al-Dīn Abu ’l-Fatḥ. The line ended with the execution of Rukn al-Dīn's successor Hūd by the sultān due to charges of embezzlement. In Uččh, D̲j̲alāl al-Dīn Buk̲h̲ārī “Mak̲h̲dūm-i D̲j̲ahāniyān" became the most notable figure of the Multān branch, who was also a member of the Čis̲h̲tiyya order and was notably puritanical. The descendants and disciples of the Mak̲h̲dūm spread to Kalpī, Gud̲j̲arāt, and notably Dihlī. The greatest presence of the Suhrawariyya order in India was in Kas̲h̲mīr. The king of Kas̲h̲mīr Rinchana was converted to Islam by Sayyid S̲h̲araf al-Dīn aka Bulbul Shāh.[5]

The Suhrawardiyya order had a strong relationship and exerted influence over Indian rulers and governments such the Dihlī Sultanate, Gud̲j̲arāt Sultanate, and Mughal Empire. The Suhrawardīs supported the forced conversion of Hindus and Buddhists to Islam, and its converts were mainly upper caste. Suhrawardiyya spirituality focused on dhikr and Ramadan fasting and followed classical Ṣūfī doctrine.[5]


  1. ^ Sobieroj 1997, p. 784.
  2. ^ Feuillebois 2018.
  3. ^ Babaie 2019, p. 178.
  4. ^ Sobieroj 1997, p. 786.
  5. ^ a b Sobieroj, F (2012). "Suhrawardiyya". In Bearman, P.; Bianquis, Th.; Bosworth, C.E.; van Donzel, E.; Heinrichs, W.P. (eds.). Encyclopaedia of Islam, Second Edition. Brill.