The term Khanqah is the Arabized version of the Persian compound word- Khankah / Khangah. Khaana in Persian means House. Kaah means straw or hay. Gaah is simplified form of the word Giyah meaning grass (green or dried). Hence the word Khanqah stands for a house made of dried straws or grass.

The early sufi saints who followed the principles of abstaining from the worldly luxuries; adopting a simple and contented way of life; treading sincerely the pathway of piety and God-consciousness; subjecting oneself to the rigors of deep spiritual meditation; inculcating the spirit of love, peace and amity amongst society’s all human cross sections; preferred to live at places far from the disturbing crowds. They therefore could neither afford nor liked to have any well–built house other than a humble cottage made of straws, reeds and other supporting materials. 

Even after returning to the midst of the maddening crowds of the world-seekers, they shunned the idea of living in villas and mansions. But the factors like that of the desire of the successors and adherents of a particular saint for building a permanent memorial in his name; the need of affording stay places for the pilgrims; the necessity of providing hostel facilities for the students admitted for religious training; as well as the system of providing shelters for the homeless and the charities and other assistance provided by the sufi centers led to the practice of building stable and lasting mausoleums aand residential complexes in later times. long with residential complex for the Saint, his family and also for the path-seekers.

Khanqah Emadia Qalandaria was established in the name of Hazrat Syed Khwaja Emaduddin Qalandar alias Mian Sahab Rahmatullah Alaih (1056 ---- 1124 A.H / 1654-55 --- 1712-13 A.D) one of the greatest Sufi saints of Bihar in a very calm location at Phulwari Shareef near Patna. Hazrat Emad was fifth in the line of Hazrat Syed Shah Ameer Ataullah Rahmatullah Alaih., who, after holding responsible and prestigious positions in the courts of Sher Shah Suri, Salim Shah and Humayun migrated from Delhi to Phulwari Sharif in 962 A.H / 1554-55 A.D. Here he died in 964 A.H / 1556-57 A.D. 

The names in the chain reaching upto Hazrat Emad we find:-
1) Syed Shah Ameer Muhammad Hussain (d. 980 A.H / 1572-73 A.D.) Rahmatullah Alaih.
2) Syed Shah Muhammad Fariduddin Rahmatullah Alaih.
3) Syed Shah Muhammad Bayazid Rahmatullah Alaih.
4) Syed Shah Muhammad Burhanuddin alias Lal Mian Rahmatullah Alaih (1034—1107 A.H / 1624-25 --- 1695-96 A.D.).
The last mentioned was the father of Hazrat Syed Khwaja Emaduddin Qalandar Rahmatullah Alaih. This family traced its lineage back to Hazrat Zainab ( The daughter of Hazrat Fatima and Hazrat Ali Radhiallhu Taala Anhu. She is grand daughter of the Holy Prophet Muhammad Salallahu Alaihi Wasallam ) and Hazrat Abdullah (Son of Hazrat Jafar, a brother of Hazrat Ali and cousin of the Prophet Muhammad Salallahu Alaihi Wasallam) and therefore all these great personalities belong to Zainabi-Jafri Syed clan.