The Golden Chain

Shaykh Abu Ahmad as-Sughuri

Shaykh Abu Ahmad as-Sughuri (may God sanctify his innermost being) is the thirty sixth Shaykh in the Naqshbandi Golden Chain.

He was born in Sughur, a village in Daghestan in 1793 AD. It is said that when he was young, he used to see the Name of God written in light between heaven and earth. That generated within him great modesty and humbleness.

Like his Shaykh, Shaykh Jamaluddin al-Ghumuqi al-Husayni, he struggled against the Russian oppression in his country and fought in the Caucasian War. He was a great warrior like Imam Shamil, but was also a great spiritual Shaykh, carrying on the teachings of the Naqshbandi Order.

Shaykh Abu Ahmad as-Sughuri spent most of his life in seclusion. Part of the reason for this was that he was often put under house arrest or taken prisoner by the Russians.

He attracted thousands and thousands of people to Islam and to the Naqshbandi Order, being the main religious authority in Daghestan and the Caucasus after the departure of Shaykh Jamaluddin al-Ghumuqi al-Husayni to Turkey in 1859. His fame spread throughout the region and beyond. He was loved for his sincerity and loyalty, particularly in his own village. As he was training his followers, he lifted them by means of his spiritual power. He said, “I do not depend on the effort of the disciple, but I depend on the light that God has given me for that disciple. I raise by means of that light, because I know that it is not possible for a person to reach the state of unveiling by his own effort alone. That is the meaning of the supplication of the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him), “O God, do not leave me to my ego for the blink of an eye.”

Each time he was released from imprisonment, his house was filled with provisions and guests. They asked him, “The Russians are against you, whom you are fighting, making your work difficult. How is it that your house is always full of provisions?” He replied, “Anyone who is struggling in the way of God, God will provide for him. This is what God says in the Quran, ‘Every time that Zachariah entered her chamber, he found her supplied with sustenance.’ (Quran 3:37).

Shaykh Abu Ahmad as-Sughuri died in 1882 at ninety years of age, in Sughur, where he is buried. Shaykh Abu Ahmad as-Sughuri had two Caliphs – Shaykh Abu Muhammad al-Madani and Shaykh Sharifuddin ad-Daghestani. The secret of the Golden Chain was passed to the former, and upon his death, to the second.

Many years after he passed away, his daughter saw him in a dream, in which he told her, ‘O my daughter, the stone inside my grave has dropped and is lying on my chest, pressing and hurting me.’ In the morning, she told the Shaykh Abu Muhammad al-Madani and others of her dream. When they opened the grave, they found that the stone walls of the grave had collapsed onto his body. They removed his body and re-dug the grave, finding his shroud was still white and his body was still in perfect condition. After seeing this, many people were initiated into the Order by the Shaykh’s successor, Shaykh Abu Muhammad.

May God be well pleased with him.


Source:- ‘The Naqshbandi Way – History and Guidebook of the Saints of the Golden Chain’ by Mawlana Shaykh Hisham.