The School of Sufi Teaching offers free instruction in the traditions and practices of five main Sufi Orders – the Naqshbandi, Mujaddidi, Chishti, Qadiri and Shadhili – with special emphasis on the Mujaddidi order. The School was founded by Shaykh Hazrat Azad Rasool (ra) in 1975 with the blessing of his own Shaykh, Maulvi Muhammad Sa’id Khan (ra). After 55 years of working tirelessly in order to further the goal of disseminating the teachings across the world, Shaykh Hazrat Azad Rasool (ra) passed away on the 7th of November 2006. The institute, now under the name of the School of Sufi Teaching, has centres across the world with students in a number of countries including Canada, Brazil, Russia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Australia, New Zealand, Bangladesh, Pakistan, Poland, UK, USA, Italy, Germany, Egypt, Tunisia, Ethiopia, Malaysia, Singapore, and Oman.
As is traditionally the case in Sufi orders, the work continues from generation to generation. Hazrat’s son and deputy (khalifa), Shaykh Hamid Hasan, now leads the Institute of Search for Truth and the School of Sufi Teaching and he provides initiation and guidance to seekers on the path of Sufism. The school’s first aim is to teach the practices of the order in such a way that all genuine seekers can have access to the immense benefits and blessings that are encountered along the Sufi path. The School requests that students make sincere and regular efforts to adopt the practices of meditation and recitation by means of which the self is developed and purified. Through a gradual and persistent program of meditation and recitation the students become more refined and they begin to understand their relationship to the world, and to God, in new ways.
These practices are carried out in accordance to the Sunna of the Prophet Muhammad (SAWS) and they have been, with great care, refined and updated by successive Sufi shaykhs so that they are able to remain relevant and effective in contemporary societies. However, in our order it is not necessary to become a Muslim to get the teachings. A unique feature of the School is the attempt to bring some of these – previously regarded as hidden and inaccessible – teachings from the East to the West at a crucial moment in history.
Sufis aim for the development of certain light-enhancing qualities in human beings, which will make us more truly human. These qualities are associated with the purification of the self and the heart, ethical awareness and practice, doing what is beautiful (ihsan), becoming closer to God, developing inner knowledge or intuition (ma’rifat), annihilation in God (fana’), and subsistence in God (baqa’). In this way, the true purpose of Sufism is the transformation of the seeker into a more humane and conscientious person. The character of the seeker is developed by means of spiritual training.
Human beings have other centres of consciousness, apart from the mind, which can be developed, by the Grace of God, as inner faculties for attaining knowledge. The most important of these centres is the heart. In the process of purifying and ‘polishing’ the heart, the heart becomes a mirror, which can reflect the light of Truth. The preliminary practices of the School of Sufi Teaching are designed to connect the seeker to all of these centres (or lataif), beginning with the heart. By activating, clarifying and refining one’s heart consciousness or awareness, a deep level of intuitive understanding and realisation can be attained.