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FOUNDERHe, the founder of the Order, was one of the greatest of the Sheikhs of Turkestan, and was a great authority on the principles of Sufism. He was the leader of the world, sultan of scholars and mystics. His full name is Abu'l-Janab Ahmed b. Omar b. Muhammad b. 'Abdallah al-Khivaqi al-Khorezmi, who is better known as Najm ad-Din Kubra (may God grant him mercy). He was born in 1154 AD (540 H) in the ancient city of Khiva, which is in the Central Asia. In his youth he received excellent formal education in the religious sciences.

At that period most important for him was the study of hadith (prophetic tradition). In the course of his life he studied hadith with many different authorities and finally excelled in this science.

He was a venerable Sheikh with brilliant evidences and manifest miracles. He had a huge amount of devout followers; many of them, later themselves became renowned Sufi Masters.

In 1220 Mongols under Genghis Khan swarmed in from the East. They could not by-pass the rich cities as Khiva and Gorgench. In 1221 Genghis Khan, this pagan ruler conquered Gorgench after a strenuous siege and gave it over to plunder by the victors.

The Honorable Sheikh Najm ad-Din Kubra fell on the battlefield as martyr (shahid) as he gave his life in fighting for Islam in the holy war. This happened in 1221 AD (618 H).

The Sheikh left after himself a great legacy consisting of his writings. Many great Sufi Sheikhs were among his disciples.

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Najm ad-Din Kubra's martyrdom scene miniature


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The Mausoleum of Najm ad-Din Kubra. Kunya-Urqench (Orgenc), Turkmenistan. 13th cen