The sheikhs of Barzan are descendants of Bahdinan and of Yazidi origin (Sheikh caste) are assimilated to Kurdish culture. Their grandfather, Massoud, moved to the village of Nafneka, near Barzan, where he settled and married. His son Sa’id stayed on. His grandson, Taj al-Din, a talented religious scholar - who led the clan into joining the sufi Naqshbandi tariqa in the 19th century, one of the main Sufi orders of the dominant Shafi'i branch of Islam in the region - received the formal support of several mountain tribes (the Dolmari, Muzuri, Sherwani, Baroji and Nizari tribes) and attracted a great number of followers, and eventually founded his own tekkeyeh of Barzan. His son, Sheikh Abdul Rahman, inherited the sheikhdom, and passed it on to his son Sheikh Abdullah, who was known for his asceticism and piety. Sheikh Abdullah sent his son Sheikh Abdul Salam to the Nahriya Seminary to be taught by the eminent Sheikh Taha Nahri. After the death of his father, Sheikh Abdul Salam ran the Barzan Tekkeyeh and the number of his followers grew immensely. He founded a seminary in Barzan, which became famous throughout the region. After him, his son Mohammad administered the Barzan Tekkeyeh. The Tekkeyeh became an asylum for the oppressed and the aggrieved of the tribes adjacent to Barzan. He died in 1903. He was survived by five sons: Sheikh Abdul Salam, Sheikh Ahmed (Khudan), Mohammed Siddique, Babo Barzani, and Mustafa Barzani.
- Government of Kurdistan Cabinet: "Profile of Masoud Barzani, a life in the service of Kurdistan" 27 September 2012