Lineage of the Ansari Qadiri Rifai Tariqa
The AQRT can be traced back to Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) through several Sufi saints. The founding pirs are Abdul Qadir Geylani and Ahmed er Rifai, who were cousins, and lived around Baghdad in the late 11th-early 12th century CE. Each founded a tariqa (school; order) of Sufism to address the different needs of spiritual seekers.
The Qadiri and Rifai orders evolved independently, and in the 19th century circumstances brought together Shaykh Muhammad Ansari, a high ranking shaykh (teacher) of the Rifai Order, and Shaykh Abdullah Hashimi of the Qadiri Order. These two Sufi saints were guided to bring together the teachings and practices of both Tariqas to form a new school relevant to the modern world. They named the new order the Qadiri Rifai Tariqa.
The present murshid, or spiritual leader, of our Tariqa, Shaykh Taner Ansari, has strong spiritual connections with the Naqshbandi, Bektashi and Mevlevi orders through his family and through spiritual instruction. Shaykh Taner's teacher, Shaykh Muhyiddin Ansari, directed him to receive instruction under various shaykhs of those tariqas to complete his training.
Through Shaykh Taner Ansari, Shaykh Muhyiddin Ansari launched the Qadiri Rifai Tariqa in the US and further refined the school. Today the order is called the Ansari Qadiri Rifai Tariqa. We are also known as Tariqa al Ansariya (The Way of the Helpers) because of our emphasis on service to Allah through service to all living things.