The life and mission of Hadrat Khwaja Moinuddin Chishti (R.A) have been of exceptional character as compared to other saints in India and elsewhere.
Khwaja Sahib’s life and teachings have also attracted the attention of Ulema the great scholars in every age. Although, there are a number of books on various aspects of his eventful life and mission, yet there was a long felt need for a compact account that not only touches upon his life mission and philosophy but also present a survey of other outstanding Sufis life and mission and gives a sketch of their contribution in order to make it easier to comprehend great khwaja’s philosophy and teachings. Because the true appreciation of Khwaja Sahib’s achievement and his historic contribution can be made fully only when one locates then in their proper historical social political and religious context. Only such an approach may help realize the eternal relevance of his message and philosophy of faith and life.
This book provides a concise hagiography of Khwaja Moinuddin Chisthi Ajmeri (R.A) as well as a study of his philosophy mission and contribution to Islam India and humanity at large. The biographical notes on other Sufis and commentaries on various Sufi Silsials (Sufi Orders) are in addition to make the work richer and enlightening on the concerned subjects.
J. Wasi is a post graduate in English form Delhi University. She has contributed immensely through carious articles and papers on varied subjects including religion spirituality and mysticism.
Her strength include the simple way of writing which makes even a layman to understand the complex subjects easily.
This book is very special to her as she herself believes that Sufi Saints have made major and effective contributions in spreading the ethical and spiritual values of Islam.
Presenting a work on a sensitive subject like spirituality an mysticism and moreover on a towering religious person with a lot of halo around him and numberless followers behind him still this modest student of Islamic history accepted the challenge. It’s an apparent historical fact that in spreading the ethical and spiritual values of Islam major and effective contribution have been made by Sufi Saints. It was their humanism disposition and piety which won over the hearts of hundreds and thousands of people. They contacted the masses directly served them and loved them. They loved with them and inspired them to have the realization of eternal truth. The proof of this is more than evident form the history of the growth of Islam in Indian Subcontinent. Although Islam came to the Subcontinent in early days of Islamic history yet it did not penetrate the social fabric the way if did in the medieval period. The task was accomplished among others by one of the greatest Sufis Hadrat Khwaja Moinuddin Chishti (R.A) popularly known and affectionate called Khwaja Gharib Nawaz or simply Khwaja’s Sahib. He did it all by way of his great moral power appealing Personality and strong character mingled with love and dedication to mankind without any worldly resources wealth power or any political clout.
Khwaja Sahib was also a scholar of great repute. He preached Islamic message of mutual love for mankind and though that love for the almighty Allah. He preached Quranic philosophy of universal brotherhood and peaceful coexistence. But his contribution did not end here. Her founded the liberal Chishtiya Order (silsila) in Indian and inspired millions of souls to be his followers and serve the masses after him.
Khwaja Sahib’s mission did not discontinue with his soul’s departure to its heavenly abode. He ensured the perpetuation of his mission in a way that he began with his Khulafa or disciples who in turn spread the light of love and wisdom in all corners of the Subcontinents. He sent them to various parts of the country to spread his massage of divine love and love for mankind and by virtue of it preaches Islam as a faith and way of life. These disciples who were great Sufis in tier own right mingled with people served them and guided them to the right path. There is a long lost of these Khulafa however most prominent of them were. Hadrat Khawaja Qurubuddin Bhakhtiyar Kaki (R.A0 and Qazi Jammeedududin Nagori (R.A).
The life and mission of Hadrat Khwaja Moinuddin Chishti (R.A) have been of exceptional character as compared to other saints in India and elsewhere. His simple teachings influenced the masses in a way which was quite uncommon in the annals of Indian religious and spiritual history. It is not to Say that he did not face any problem or hostility in his endeavor of course he did but what is surprising is the fact that all his adversaries and enemies ultimately came to realize his great spiritual powers and became his life long devotees. All of them eventually came under his influence and embraced and became his true followers.
Khwaja’s Sahib’s life and teachings have also attracted the attention of Ulena the great scholars in every age. Although, there are a number of books on various aspects of his eventful life and mission. Yet there was a long felt need for a compact account that not only touches upon his life mission and philosophy but also present a survey of other outstanding in order to make it easier to comprehend great khwaja’s philosophy and teaching Because the true appreciation of Khwaja Sahib achievements and his historic contribution can be made fully only when one locates them in their proper historical social political and religious context. Only such an approach may help realize the eternal relevance of hi message and philosophy of faith and life.
We feel prevailed and thank Allah the almightily that we are able to place in the hands of our esteemed readers a work that has been accomplished along this lines. This book provides a concise hagiography of Khwaja Moinuddin Chishti Ajmeri (R.A0 as well as study of his philosophy mission and contribution to Islam India and humanity at large. The biographical notes on other Sufis and commentaries of various Sufi Silsilas are in addition to make the work richer enlightening on the concerned subjects.
The editor and compilers have taken extra precaution and have at each stage been extremely conscious of the enormity of the task in religious and as well as academic context. They have undertaken and have correspondingly been vigilant not to let any error or mistake creep into the contents of the book. Despite this painstaking exercise they apprehend that some flaws may still be there and for that they offer a heartfelt apology in anticipation form the wise readers.
Ajmer Sharif is a great centre of spirituality and devotion it is the fortunate city which was chosen by one of the greatest saints as his eternal resting place. The living miracles seen witnessed and experienced by a sensible devotee at the Dargah Sharif of Khwaja Gharib Nawaz can not be expressed in words. Own has to see it to believe it. The lost of visitors includes down form beggars poverty stricken folks to businessman professionals bureaucrats politicians heads of state and scholars of repute and above all living dervishes mystics an saints from all corners of the globe. One European traveler who happened to visit India during Mughal period made it a point to be present at Khwaja’s tomb later he recorded in his travelogue that there was a grave in India which ruled over the people his comments are practically true till date.
In fact spiritualism is a part of life and culture in Indian and its immediate neighbors Pakistan and Bangladesh. Throughout the history many spiritual saints have appeared on the social scenario of the Indian subcontinent the shrines of all these Sufis or Auliya-a-Alaha attract thousands of devotees from all over but some of them have a greater attraction and people virtually throng these sacred places from the world over and in all seasons and months. The devotees storming to visit these places are from all faiths and all walks of life.
In India Ajmer Delhi, Kaliyar, Lucknow, Barielly, Budaun, Maraehra, Deva Phooeari Bihar Sharif, Ahmdabad, Mumbai. Thane, Panipat, Sirhinf, Srinagar, and Gulbarga are only a few pilgrim centers to mention for instance. Similarly there are pakpattan mulatan, Lahore and Thatta etc in Pakistan and a few in Bangladesh also.
Ajmer, popularly referred to as Ajmer Sharif has perhaps the greatest magnetic power to attract devotees form all over the world to India and particularly Rajasthan and that’s the living miracle of Khwaja Moinuddin Chishti whose eternal resting place is there he is popularly known as Gharib Nawaz.
The personality of Khwaja Moinuddin Chishti looms large over the history of Sufism whose Dargah has attained pre-eminence in south Asia due to the legend and hagiography which has developed around him over the ventures after his demise.
Khwaja Moinuddin Chishti visited the seminaries of Samarqand and Bukhara and acquired religious knowledge at the feet of eminent scholars of his age. He visited nearly all the great centers of Islamic learning and culture and acquainted himself with almost every important trend in Islamic religious life in the middle Ages.
Hadrat Moinuddin Chishti turned towards India and after a brief stay at Lahore he reached Ajmer, where he settled down and there he attracted a substantial following and acquired a great deal of respect amongst the residents of the town. Today hundreds and thousands of people, Muslim, Hindus, Sikhs, and others from all over the Indian subcontinent assemble at his tomb on the occasion of his Urs.
Khwaja Moinuddin Chishti apparently never wrote down his teachings in the form of a book nor did his immediate disciples do so however his sayings years and decades to be recorded later. Though reportedly he authored several books including Anisal-Arwah and Daleel al Arifeen both dealing with Islamic code of living.
He laid the foundation of the Chishtiya order in India. Common people from all over flocked to him in large numbers. His firm faith in wahdat al-wajud (Unity of Being) Provided the necessary ideological support it his mystic mission in order to bring about emotional integration of the people among whom he lived.
The central principles that later became characteristics of the Chishtiya order are based on his many teachings and practices. They lay stress on renunciation of material goods strict regime of self discipline and personal prayer participation in Sama as a legitimate means of spiritual transformation reliance on either cultivation or unsolicited offerings as means of basic subsistence independence form rulers and the state including rejection of monetary and land grand’s generosity to tolerance particularly though sharing food and wealth and tolerance and respect for religious differences.
Hadrat Moinuddin Chishti in other words interpreted religion in terms of human service and exhorted his disciples to develop a river like generosity sun like affection and earth like hospitality. The highest form of devotion according to him was to redress the misery of those in distress to fulfill the needs of the helpless and to food the hungry.
It was during the reign of Akbar (1556-1605) that Ajmer emerged as one of the important centers of pilgrimage in India when the Mughal Emperor undertook a difficult journey on foot to accomplish his humble wish to reach the place. The Akbarnama records that the emperor’s interest was first sparked when he heard some mistrials singing praises about the virtues of the holy man who lay asleep in Ajmer. Emperor Akbar was himself a liberal thinker who firmly believed that all existence is one and that love of god brethren was more important than narrow religious rituals.
Khwaja Qutbuddin Bakhtiyar Kaki and Qazi Hamududdin Nagori were Khwaja Moinuddin Chishti’s celebrated Khalifas or chosen disciples who in turn continued to transmit the teachings of their master through their disciples leading to the widespread proliferation of the Chishtiya order in India.
Khwaja qutbuddin Bakhtiyar Kaki’s chief disciple was baba Fariduddin Ganj-i-Shnkar whose dargah is at pakpattab and baba farid’s chief disciple was Hadrat Nizamuddin Aulia popularly referred to as Mahboob-i-Ilahi whose dargah is located in south Delhi. The other most prominent disciple of his was hadrat Aaludin sabir whose dargah is at Kaliyar in Uttarnchal.
From Delhi several disciples of the greats branched out to establish spiritual centers in several region of India form Sindh in west to Bengal in east and the Deccan in south. But above the whole network of Chishti Ajmer dargah acquired the special distinction of being the mother dargah of them all.
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