His first spiritual instructor was Sayyid Burhan-uddin Husaini of Tirmidh, one of his father's disciples, and, later on, the wandering Stiff Shams-uddin of Tabriz, who soon acquired a most powerful influence over Jalal-uddin.
Before his "manifestation " (zuhur), of which he gives in the Persian Bayan a date corresponding to 23rd May 1844, he was a disciple of Sayyid Kazim of Rasht, the leader of the Shaykhis, a sect of extreme Shiites characterized by the doctrine (called by them Rukn-irabi`, " the fourth support ") that at all times there must exist an intermediary between the twelfth Imam and his faithful followers.
The great saints of Egypt are the imam Ash-Shafii, founder of the persuasion called after him, the sayyid Abmad al-Baidawi, and the sayyid Ibrahim Ed-DesUki, both of whom were founders of orders of dervishes.
Many orders of Dervishes live in Egypt, the following being the most celebrated (1) the Rifhjh, and their sects the ~1lwhnia and Saadia; (2) the Qadiria (KShiria), or howling dervishes; (3) the Ahmedia, or followers of the sayyid Abmad alBaiJawi, and their sects the Beyumia (known by their long hair), Shinnawia, Sharawia and many others: and (4) the Baramia, or followers of the sayyid Ibrhim Ed-Deski.
Mehemet Alis great strength lay in the devotion of the citizens of Cairo, who looked on him as a deliverer from their afflictions; and great numbers armed themselves, advising constantly with Mehemet Ali, having the sayyid Omar and the sheiks at their head, and guarding the town at night.