Qutbuddin Bakhtiar Kaki

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Islam, specifically the Chisti order of Sufism
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Aush in Transoxiana (A region in central Asia corresponding approximately with modern-day Uzbekistan, Tajikistan and southwest Kazakhstan)
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Qutbuddin Bakhtiar Kaki (Urdu: قطب الدین بختیار کاکی) was a renowned Muslim Sufi mystic, saint and scholar in the Chishti Order from Delhi, India. He was the disciple and khalifa (spiritual successor) of Moinuddin Chishti as head of the Chishti Order.

His most famous disciple and spiritual successor was Baba Farid, who in turn became the spiritual master of Delhi's noted Sufi saint, Nizamuddin Auliya, who himself was the Master of Amir Khusro and Nasiruddin Chirag-e-Delhi.

Left of the Ajmere Gate of the dargah, lies Moti Masjid, a small mosque for private prayer built by Mughal emperor, Bahadur Shah I (r. 1707-1712) in 1709, an imitation of the much larger, Moti Masjid, built by his father, Aurangzeb inside the Red Fort of Delhi .


Khwaja Qutbuddin Bakhtiyar Kaki was born in 569 A.H. (1173 C.E.) in a town called Aush or Awash in Mawaraun Nahr (Transoxania)[2]. According to his biography mentioned in, Ain-i-Akbari , written by Akbar’s vizier, Abu'l-Fazl ibn Mubarak, he was the son of Kamalu'ddin Musa, whom he lost at a young age, and came from Ush, a small town in Farghana (present Fergana Province in eastern Uzbekistan, part of historic Transoxania)

Khwaja Qutbuddin's original name was Bakhtiyar and later on he was given the title Qutbuddin. The name Kaki was attributed to him by virtue of a keramat(miracle) that emanated from him at a later stage of his life in Delhi . He also belonged to the direct lineage of the Prophet Muhammad, descending from Hussain ibn Ali. Khawaja Bakhtiyar Khaki was one and half years old when his father died . His mother arranged for his education.

When Khawaja Moinuddin Chishti went to Isfahan, before his demise, he took oath of allegiance at his hands and received the khilafat and Khirqah from him. Thus, he was the first spiritual successor of Moinuddin Chishti. Thereafter, his spiritual master asked him to go to India and stay there.

"He had no parallel in abandoning the world and suffering poverty and hunger. He kept himself engrossed in the dhikr. Whenever someone came to him he would come back to his senses after a while and was then able to talk with him. After a very brief exchange he would show his inability to continue any longer and slipped into the same state of absorption once again."

He died on the 14th of Rabi-ul-Awwal 633 A.H. (27 November 1235 CE) . The dargah (shrine) of Qutbuddin Bakhityar Kaki today, lies near Qutub Minar, in Mehrauli, Delhi.

Phoolwalon-ki-sair Festival

The Dargah shrine of Qutbuddin Bakhtiar Kaki has also been the venue of the annual Phoolwalon-ki-sair Festival (Festival of flower-sellers) in autumn, which has now become an important inter-faith festivals of Delhi .

The festival has its origins in 1812, when Queen Mumtaz Mahal, wife of Mughal Emperor Akbar Shah II (r. 1806-1837) made a vow to offer a chadar and flower pankha at the Dargah and a pankha at the Yogmaya Mandir, also at Mehrauli, if her son Mirza Jehangir, who after inviting the wrath of Sir Archibald Seton, the then British Resident of the Red Fort, was exiled to Allahabad, returned safely. And as the legend goes he did, and so began the tradition henceforth .

Incidentally, Akbar Shah II is now buried in nearby a marble enclosure, along with other Mughals, Bahadur Shah I (also known as Shah Alam I) and Shah Alam II [1]. An empty grave also known as Sardgah of the last Mughal Emperor Bahadur Shah Zafar, can also be found here, as he had willed to be buried next the famous shrine, as did his previous Mughal predecessors, though unfortunately after his exile to Rangoon in Burma, he never returned and died there, talks of bringing back his remains here have been raised in the past, from time to time .

Titles given to Qutbuddin Bakhityar Kaki

* Qutub-ul-Aqtaab
* Malik-ul-Mashaa'ikh
* Rais-us-Saalikin
* Siraj-ul-Auliya

Further reading

Kutbu'ddin Bakhtyar Kaki Ain-e-Akbari by Abul Fazl, English translation, by H. Blochmann and Colonel H. S. Jarrett, 1873 – 1907. The Asiatic Society of Bengal, Calcutta; Volume III, Saints of India. (Awliyá-i-Hind), Page 363.



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