The Qadiri Order:
The Qadiri Order was founded by Shaykh Abd al-Qadir al-Gilani (d. 1166) from Gilan in
Persia, who eventually settled in Baghdad in Iraq. After his death, his Sufi Order was
propagated by his sons. The Qadiri Order has spread to many places, including Syria,
Turkey, some parts of Africa such as Cameroun, the Congo, Mauritania and Tanzania,
and in the Caucasus, Chechen and Ferghana in the [former] Soviet Union, as well as
The Rifa’i Order :
Founded by Shykh Ahmad ar-Rifa’i (d. 1182) in Basra, the Rifa’i Order has spread to Egypt, Syria, Anatolia in Turkey, Eastern Europe and the Caucasus, and more recently to North America.
The Shadhili Order:
The Shadhili Order crystallized around Shaykh Abu’l-Hasan ash-Shadhili or Morocco (d. 1258) and eventually became one of the greatest Sufi Orders, having an extraordinarily large following. Today it is found in North Africa, Egypt, Kenya and Tanzania, the Middle East, Sri Lanka and elsewhere, including the West and North America.
The Mevlavi Order:
The Mevlavi or Mawlawi Order centers around Mawlana Jalal ud-Din Rumi of Qonya in Turkey (d. 1273). Today it is mostly found in Anatolia in Turkey and more recently in North America. The followers of this order are also known as whirling dervishes.
The Naqshbandi Order:
The Naqshbandi Order takes its name from Shaykh Baha ud-Din Naqshband of Bukhara (d. 1390). It is widely spread in central Asia, the Volga, the Caucasus, the north-west and south-west of China, Indonesia, the Indian sub-Continent, Turkey, Europe and North America. This is the only known Sufi Order which traces the genealogy of its lineage of transmission of knowledge back through the first Muslim ruler, Abu Bakr, unlike the rest of the known Sufi Orders which trace their origins back to one of the Shi’ite spiritual leaders, and therefore through Imam Ali, and so to the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him).
The Ni’amatullah Order:
The Ni’amatullah Order was founded by Shaykh Nur ud-Din Muhammad Ni’amatullah (d. 1431) in Mahan near Kirman in South-west Iran. Its followers are found mostly in Iran and India.
The Tijani Order:
The Tijani Order was founded by Shaykh Abbas Ahmad ibn at-Tijani, an Algerian Berber (d. 1815). It has spread from Algeria to the south of the Sahara and into western and central Sudan, Egypt, Senegal, West Africa and northern Nigeria, as well as being represented in the West and in North America.
The Chisti Order:
The most influential Sufi Order in the sub-Continent of India and Pakistan has been the Chisti Order, which takes its name from Khwaja Abu Ishaq Shami Chisti (d. 966). Its spread has been primarily within south-east Asia.
Other Orders :
The Soharwardi Order
The Badawi Order
The Sanussi Order
There are roughly about 42 sufi tariqah’s left ….