Shaykh Najm al‑Din Kubra, one of the leading shaykhs of the Sufi path (Tariqah)
Shaykh Najm al‑Din Kubra is one of the leading shaykhs of the Sufi path (Tariqah). His name is Ahmad, his title is “al‑Tammat al-Kubra” and his birthplace was Khwarazm. His fruitful life lasted nearly seventy‑eight years. It is said that he died in 618/1221.
In his youth he set out for travelling. In Egypt he joined the circle of Shaykh Ruzbahan Misri and attended his lectures and sermons. The teacher, impressed by the intelligence and purity of heart of his disciple, loved him as his own son and later married his daughter to him. After some time the young farer of the Sufi path (salik ) resumed his journey and benefited from the leading shaykh of every city.
When he returned to Egypt, Ruzbahan found that he had become a perfect man who knew the secret of spiritual wayfaring (suluk) and had learned the rules and ways of the various stages of love (Ishq) and that he was capable of teaching and guiding others. Therefore, he advised him to return to his native place, Khiyuk, situated in Khwarazm, and engage in guiding the seekers of the path and disseminate Sufi teachings.
Shaykh Najm al‑Din left for Khwarazm along with his wife and children and set up a hospice (khaniqah) and founded the Dhahabiyyah and Qurbaniyyah and other Sufi orders. He trained many disciples who themselves later became saints (wali) and teachers (murshid), like Majd al‑Din Baghdadi, Shaykh `Attar, Sa’d al‑Din Hamawi and Najm al‑Din Razi. As to the date of his death, his biographers are unanimous that the Shaykh was martyred, along with his disciples, on the tenth of Jamadi al‑'Awwal 618/1221, while defending his city against the attack of the Mongols.
Among the eight works attributed to him by historians, there is one exegesis of the Qur'an, of which not even a single copy has been found. Another is a small treatise in Persian under the title of Fi adab al‑salik in (“The Rules of the Wayfarers”) which exists in the Asian Museum. The present tract is the translation of one of the Shaykh's treatises in Arabic entitled Adab al‑suluk ila Hadrat Malik al‑Muluk, which consists of two sections.
One is a spiritual journey towards God (Haqq) through removal of the veils of negligence and the veils of distance and darkness. The other is a physical journey in the vast earth of God.