Moinuddin Chishti

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Fast Facts
Other Names and Nicknames: 
Gharib Nawaz
Islam, specifically the Chisti order of Sufism
Main Countries of Activity: 
Date of Birth: 
Islam, specifically the Chisti order of Sufism
Place of Birth: 
Khorasan (in modern Afghanistan) or Isfahan (in modern Iran)
In His/Her Body ("alive"): 
Date Left His/Her Body: 


Hazrat Khwaja Moinuddin Chishti (Persian/Urdu: خواجہ معین الدین چشتی ) was born in 1141 and died in 1230 CE. Also known as Gharib Nawaz (غریب نواز), he is the founder and the most famous Sufi saint of the Chishti Order of South Asia. He was born in 536 A.H./1141 CE, in Sajistan, in Persian Khorasan (modern Afghanistan; other accounts say Isfahan) in modern Iran. He is also known as "Sultan-e-Hind". his progeny to Muhammad through the sixth Imam, Hazrat syed Jafer Sadiq (AS)]].

Early life and background

Hazrat Khwaja Moinuddin Chishti grew up in a Persian family. His parents died when he was only 15 years old. He inherited a windmill and an orchard from his father. During his childhood, young Moinuddin was different from others and kept himself busy in prayers and meditation. Legend has it that once when he was watering his plants, a revered monk, Sheikh Ibrahim Qandozi (also called Kunduzi, after the birth place of the Sheikh, Kunduz), came to his orchard. Young Moinuddin approached him and offered him some fruits. In return, Sheikh Ibrahim Qandozi gave him a piece of bread and asked him to eat it. The Khwaja got enlightened and found himself in a strange world after eating the bread. After this he disposed of his property and other belongings and distributed the money to the poor. He renounced the world and left for Bukhara in search of knowledge and higher education.[1]

His paternal ancestry

Hazrat Khwaja Moinuddin Chishti, son of Khwaja Ghiyasuddin, son of Khwaja Najmuddin Zaahir, son of Syed ‘Abdul ‘Aziz, son of Syed Ibrahim, son of Syed Idris, son of Syed Imam Moosa Kaazim, son of Imam Ja’afar Saadiq, son of Imam Muhammad Baaqir, son of Imam Zain ul ‘Aabideen, son of Hazrat Imam Hussein Radiallaho Ta’ala ‘Anhu, son of Sayyedina Hazrat ‘Ali Karramallahu Ta’ala Wajhahu.

His maternal ancestry

Lady Umm ul War’al Ma’roof, daughter of Lady Maah e Noor, daughter of Syed Dawood, son of Hazrat ‘Abdullah Hanbali, son of Syed Zaahid, son of Syed Mooras, son of Syed Dawood, son of Sayyedina Moosa, son of Sayyedina ‘Abdullah, son of Sayyedina Hasan Masna, son of Sayyedina Hazrat Imam Hasan Radiallaho Ta’ala ‘Anhu, son of Sayyedina Hazrat ‘Ali Karramallahu Ta’ala Wajhahu.

[edit] Journeys

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Hazrat Khwaja Moinuddin Chishti visited the seminaries of Samarkand and Bukhara and acquired religious learning at the feet of eminent scholars of his age. He visited nearly all the great centers of Muslim culture, and acquainted himself with almost every important trend in Muslim religious life in the Middle Ages. He became the disciple of the Chisti saint Khwaja Usman Harooni. They travelled the Middle East extensively together, including visits to Mecca and Medina.

[edit] Journey to India

Hazrat Khwaja Moinuddin Chishti turned towards India, reputedly after a dream in which Prophet Muhammad blessed him to do so, and after a brief stay at Lahore he reached Ajmer where he settled down. There he attracted a substantial following, acquiring a great deal of respect amongst the residents of the city.

Founding of Chishti order in India

He apparently never wrote down his teachings in the form of a book, nor did his immediate disciples . But he laid the foundations of the Chishti order in the city of Ajmer in North India. His firm faith in Wahdat al-wujud (Unity of Being) provided the necessary ideological support to his holy mission to bring about emotional integration of the people amongst whom he lived.

The central principles that became characteristics of the Chisti order in India are based on his 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 to spiritual transformation; reliance on either cultivation or unsolicited offerings as means of basic subsistence; independence from rulers and the state, including rejection of monetary and land grants; generosity to others, particularly, through sharing of food and wealth, and tolerance and respect for religious differences.

He, in other words, interpreted religion in terms of human service and exhorted his disciples “to develop 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 feed the hungry.”

It was during the reign of Emperor Akbar (1556 – 1605) that Ajmer emerged as one of the most important centers of pilgrimage in India. The Mughal Emperor undertook an unceremonial journey on foot to accomplish his wish to reach Ajmer. The Akbarnama records that the emperor’s interest first sparked when he heard some minstrels singing songs about the virtues of the Awlia (Friend of God) who lay asleep in Ajmer.

Khwaja Moinuddin Chishti authored several books including ‘Anis al-Arwah’ and ‘Daleel al-Arefeen’ both of them dealing with Islamic code of living.

Khwaja Qutbuddin Baktiyar Kaki (d. 1235) and Hamiduddin Nagori (d. 1276) were Khwaja Moinuddin Chishti’s celebrated Khalifas or disciples who continued transmitting the teachings of their master through their disciples, leading to the widespread proliferation of the Chisti order in India.

Among Khwaja Qutbuddin Baktiyar’s prominent disciples was Fariduddin Ganj-i-Shakar (d. 1265), whose dargah is at Pakpattan (Pakistan). And Fariduddin’s most famous disciple was Nizamuddin Auliya (d. 1325) popularly referred to as Mehboob-e-Ilahi (God’s beloved) whose dargah is located in South Delhi.

From Delhi, the disciples branched out to establish dargahs in several regions of South Asia, from Sindh in the west to Bengal in the east, and the Deccan in the south. But from all the network of Chishti dargahs Ajmer dargah took on the special distinction of being the ‘mother’ dargah of them all.

A recent Bollywood movie "Jodhaa Akbar", directed by Ashutosh Gowariker, includes a qawwali in praise of Moinuddin Chishti ("Khwaja Mere Khwaja"). It depicts the emperor Akbar being moved by the song to join the whirling dervish-like dance that accompanies the song. The song is composed by A.R. Rahman.

Sufis of his order

He had a total of more than 1,000 khalifas and hundreds of thousands of disciples. There are sufis of different orders who became his disciple and took ijaza from him. Few famous sufis in carrying their spiritual lineage to this great master are Qutbuddin Bakhtiar Kaki,Fareeduddin Masood, Nizamuddin Auliya, Amir Khusrau, Muhammad Hussaini Gisudaraz Bandanawaz, Ashraf Jahangir Simnani, Ata hussain Fani Shah Jamal Baba Bahaya Aurangabadi amongst hundreds of others.

Today, hundreds of thousands of people, Muslims, Hindus, Christians and others, from the Indian sub-continent, and from other parts of the world assemble to his tomb on the occasion of his urs (death anniversary).

Spiritual lineage

1. Islamic prophet Hazrat Muhammad
2. Ali ibn Abu Talib
3. Hasan al-Basri
4. Abdul Wahid Bin Zaid Abul Fadhl
5. Fudhail Bin Iyadh Bin Mas'ud Bin Bishr Tameeemi
6. Ibrahim Bin Adham
7. Huzaifah Al-Mar’ashi
8. Aminuddin Abu Hubairah Basri
9. Mumshad Dinwari

Start of the Chishti Order:

1. Abu Ishaq Shami
2. Abu Ahmad Abdal
3. Abu Muhammad Bin Abi Ahmad
4. Sayyid Abu Yusuf Bin Sam’aan Al-Husaini
5. Maudood Chishti
6. Shareef Zandani
7. Usman Harooni
8. Moinuddin Chishti

Others Buried in the Maqbara enclosure

Famous Mughal generals Sheikh Mir and Shahnawaz Khan were buried in the enclosure of Moinuddin Chishti's Maqbara after they died in the Battle of Deorai in 1659. Shahnawaz Khan was Emperor Aurangzeb's father-in-law.[2]



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Pro Opinions

moinnuddin chisahti


Sufi saint was of a marvelous stature for the uplift of genuine seeker of Allah on account of which the saint became the most celebrated personality of his time and the public not only of India but al