Khwaja Monuddin Chishti

Why in News

Recently a 'Chadar' was offered on behalf of Prime Minister at the Ajmer Sharif Dargah of Sufi Saint Khwaja Moinuddin Chishti on the occasion of 809th Urs.

  • The Urs festival is an annual festival held at Ajmer in Rajasthan which commemorates the death anniversary of Sufi saint Moinuddin Chishti.

Key Points

  • About Sufism:
    • Sufism is a mystical form of Islam, a school of practice that focuses on the spiritual search for God and shuns materialism.
    • It is a form of Islamic mysticism which stresses on asceticism. There is a lot of emphasis on devotion towards God.
    • In Sufism, self discipline is considered an essential condition to gain knowledge of God by sense of perception.
    • Unlike orthodox Muslims which emphasise on external conduct, the Sufis lay stress on inner purity.
    • Sufis believe service to humanity is tantamount to service to God.
  • Etymology:
    • The term ‘Sufi’ is probably derived from the Arabic ‘suf’ word which means ‘one who wears wool’. This is because woollen clothes were generally associated with ascetics. Another possible origin of the word is ‘safa’ which means purity in Arabic.
  • Khwaja Moinuddin Chishti:
    • Moinuddin Hasan Chishti was born in Sijistan (modern-day Sistan) in Iran in 1141-42 CE.
    • After Muizuddin Muhammad bin Sam of Ghor had already defeated Prithviraj Chauhan in the Second Battle of Tarain (1192) and established his rule in Delhi, Khwaja Moinuddin Chishti started living and preaching in Ajmer.
    • His instructive discourses, full of spiritual insights, soon drew the local populace as well as kings and nobles and peasants and the poor from far and wide.
    • His shrine in Ajmer has been visited by rulers like Muhammad bin Tughlaq, Sher Shah Suri, Akbar, Jahangir, Shah Jahan, Dara Shukoh and Aurangzeb.
  • Chishti Order (Chishtiya):
    • Chishtiya Order was founded in India by Khwaja Moin-Uddin Chishti.
    • It emphasised the doctrine of the unity of being with God (waḥdat al-wujūd) and members of the order were also pacifists.
    • They rejected all material goods as distractions from the contemplation of God.
    • They abstained from connection with the secular state.
    • Recitation of the names of God, both aloud and silently (dhikr jahrī, dhikr khafī), formed the cornerstone of Chishtī practice.
    • The Chishty teachings were carried forward and popularized by disciples of Khwaja Moin-Uddin Chishti like Khwaja Qutbuddin Bakhtiyar Kaki, Fareeduddin Ganj-e-Shakar, Nizam uddin Auliya and Naseeruddin Charagh.
  • Other Major Sufi Orders:
    • Suhrawardi Order:
      • It was founded by Sheikh Shahabuddin Suharwardi Maqtul.
      • The Suhrawardis, unlike the Chishtis, accepted maintenance grants from the Sultans.
    • Naqshbandi Order:
      • It was founded by the Khwaja Baha-ul-din Naqsh band.
      • In India, this order was established by Khwaja Bahauddin Naqshbandi.
      • From the beginning, the mystics of this Order stressed on the observance of the Shariat.
    • Qadiriyya Order:
      • It was popular in Punjab.
      • Sheikh Abdul Qadir of Badaun founded it in the 14th century.
      • They were supporters of the Mughals under Akbar.