Shaykh Umer Bin Muhammad al-Bakari Al-Suhrawardi

The Founder of the famous Sufi Order, "Suhrawardi" is Shaykh al-Shayyukh Shihab al-Din Abu Hafs 'Umer Bin Muhammad al-Bakari Al-Suhrawardi, al-Shafi'i,Mohadith Baghdadi. He was born in "Suhraward" A town at that time situated near Zanjan in Iran, Unfortunately today it is impossible to even identify the site of this ancient town for certain. His date of birth is most probably at the end of "Rajab"(7th Islamic month) or the beginning of "Sha'ban" (8th month) in 539/1145.

His lineage starts from Hadrat Abu Bakr Siddique (the first caliph of Islam). According to "Munaqib-e-Ghawthia" his parents did not have a child. Disappointed enough one day his mother took an opportunity and reached the holy "khanaqah" (Sufi centre) of Shaykh Abd al-Qadir al-Gilani al-Hasani popularly known as Ghawth al-Azam (the founder of "Qadri" Sufi order D.561/1167), and requested him to pray to God for her to bear a child. At this the Shaykh made a prediction about a very special son for her. According to another assumption Shaykh also suggested the good name of the child as Shihab al-Din Umer.

Shihab al-Din Umer took his early education at home, Like his uncle Shaykh Dia al-Din Abu al-Najib Abd al-Qahir Bin Abdullah al-Bakari al-suhrawardi(D.563/1165), in his Child hood he traveled to Baghdad for studies. There he had an apportunity to study The Quran (The holy book of Islam), Hadith (sayings of Prophet), Fiqh (juridco-canonical system of Islam) and other on going subjects which were essential at that time, from famous, authentic, skillful and centrally figured teachers of that age, including his uncle. After the completion of his studies, he then came under his uncle's supervision for spiritual knowledge and the development of his inner-self. He also had Shaykh Abd al- Qadir al-Gilani as his spiritual benefactor, and he wore the khirqah-e-khilafat (khirqa:a dervish's patched garment, symbol of his vows of obidience to the rule of his order, khilafa: vicarship) in Qadria, from shaykh Abd'al-Qadir al-Jilani in 560/1162. On the other hand According to "Qala 'd al-Jawahir" "He is one who has been approached by the Great Shaykh Jilani himself who said 'O, Omar! you will be well renowned in the later saints of Iraq.'

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