Khwaja Moinuddin Chishti

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    In News 

    • The Prime Minister of India presented a Chadar which shall be offered at the Ajmer Sharif Dargah on the Urs of Khwaja Moinuddin Chishti.

    Image Courtesy:therahnuma.com

    About Khwaja Moinuddin Chishti.

    • He was born in Iran in 1141-42 CE. 
    • He was a Sufi mystic saint and philosopher.
    • He is the most famous saint of the Chishti order of Sufism in the Indian Subcontinent.
    • Also known as ‘Gharib Nawaaz’ and ‘Benefactor of the poor’.
    • He made Ajmer, Rajasthan his residence, where his resting place, the Ajmer Sharif Dargah is located.
      • At his Dargah, chadar is offered for prayer by both Hindus and Muslims which represents the spirit of mutual respect and unity in the diversity of India.
    • He was contemporary to Qutub-ud-din Aibak and Iltutmish.
    • He died in 1236.

    Contributions 

    • His sermons inspired millions of Hindus and Muslims to move towards the path of truth and unity. 
    • Followers from all religions emulated and symbolized his dictum of “Sulh-i-Kul” (Peace with all)
      • Thus, he brought the message of universal love and peace.
    •  He fulfilled the objectives of bringing together the various castes, communities and races, elevating humanity from the swamp of materialistic concerns, which is leading mankind towards destruction today.

    About Chisti Silsila

    • It comes under the Ba-shara order which means they were bound by Islamic laws, unlike Be-Shara.
      • Be-shara (literally means without laws) were the Sufi Saints who did not follow Islamic laws and lived like wanderers.
      • Due to constant wandering, Be-shara were also called Baba and Mast Kalandar.
    • Founded by Abu Ishaq Shami at Chisti-i-sharif in Afghanistan.
    • It was established in India by Khwaja Moin-ud-din Chisti in 1192, just after the death of Prithvi Raj Chauhan.
    • Other prominent Saints in this silsila were: 
      • Khwaja Qutbuddin Bakhtiyar Kaki (Died in 1235 in Delhi, Contemporary of Iltutmish)
      • Nizamuddin Auliya (Also known as Mehboob-e-Ilahi) (died in 1335 in Delhi. His disciple was Amir Khusaro, the parrot of India and Father of Qawwali)
      • Nasruddin Chiragh-i-Delhi (14th century, After him, Chisti Silsila declined.)

    Features  Chishti tradition

    • Saints of this order mingled with people freely and led austere lives.
    • They stressed the importance of keeping a distance from worldly power (including Kings and Emperors too).
    • Chishti practice is also notable for Sama: evoking the divine presence by listening to and losing oneself in a form of music and poetry, most usually Qawwali.
    • The Sufis accepted unsolicited grants and donations from the political elites.
      • The Sultans in turn set up charitable trusts (auqaf ) as endowments for hospices and granted tax-free land (inam).
    • The Chishtis accepted donations in cash and kind
      • Rather than accumulate donations, they preferred to use these fully on immediate requirements such as food, clothes, living quarters and ritual necessities (such as sama‘)

    About Dargah Sharif,

    • The Dargah shrine has Chisti’s grave.
    • It has been constructed with white marble in different stages and styles.
    • Muhammad-bin-Tughlaq and Akbar were the ones who paid homage and expanded the structure significantly.

    Source: PIB