Our Teachers

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.


(Left- Shaykh Abdul Qadir Geylani and Right – Shaykh Ahmad Rifai)

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.

Shaykh Taner Ansari


Es-Seyyid Es-Shaykh Taner Mustafa Ansari Tarsusi er Rifai el Qadiri was born in Tarsus, Turkey, to a devout Muslim family of seyyids (descendants of Prophet Muhammad). He completed his university studies in Michigan, where he helped found the Muslim Students Association of the United States and Canada.

Shaykh Taner was initiated into the Qadiri Rifai Tariqa in Istanbul under Es-Seyyid Es-Shaykh Muhyiddin Ansari, from whom he received his license to teach Sufism. His spiritual lineage also includes the Naqshbandi, Mevlevi, and Bektashi orders. Under his Shaykh’s orders, Shaykh Taner founded a new order called Ansari Qadiri Rifai Tariqa.

Shaykh Taner teaches Sufism and the Holy Qur’an and gives weekly talks internationally through live classes on the Internet.

Shaykh Taner’s books on Sufism include The Sun Will Rise in the West: The Holy Trail, What About My Wood! 101 Sufi Stories, Alternative Healing: The Sufi Way and Grand Masters of Sufism, a volume comprised of his translations of Abdul Qadir Geylani’s Secret of Secrets and Ahmed er Rifai’s Guidance to Mysticism. He is currently translating the Holy Qur’an into modern English from the Sufi perspective. The first surah to be published as a booklet is Ya Sin. Shaykh Taner also regularly publishes articles on spiritual topics.

Our Sufi Order provides the structure for Shaykh and Shaykha’s (spiritual teachers), whose purpose is to oversee all teachings by AQRT-UK. They will also ensure that all activities promote the principles of love, peace and togetherness for the Goodness of all. The teachers of the AQRT–UK are approved by the current Head of the Spiritual Order, Shaykh Taner Ansari, and have had extensive training in how to teach these principles.

The current incumbents in the UK are:

  • Shaykh Reeyaaz Goolamhossen.  
  • Shaykha Rita Goolamhossen.  

AQRT-UK raises both male and female teachers who act with due guidance and consideration as representatives of the Spiritual Order. All Shaykh’s and Shaykha’s have received the relevant training and competencies to carry out their roles, under the tutelage of the Head of the Spiritual Order. This includes a Sufi license (Ijaza) to teach and regular supervision by the Spiritual Head, Shaykh Taner Ansari.  AQRT-UK students with the appropriate skills and training can also deputise as necessary.