Moinuddin Chishti Facts
Sultan-ul-Hind, Moinuddin Chishti was born in 1141 and died in 1236 CE. Also known as Gharib Nawaz "Benefactor of the Poor", He is the most famous Sufi saint of the Chishti Order of the Indian Subcontinent. Moinuddin Chishti introduced and established the order in the subcontinent. The initial spiritual chain of the Chishti order in India, comprising Moinuddin Chishti, Bakhtiyar Kaki, Baba Farid, Nizamuddin Auliya, Ashraf Jahangir Semnani (each successive person being the disciple of the previous one), constitutes the great Sufi saints of Indian history.
Moinuddin Chishti is said to have been born in 536 A.H./1141 CE, in Chishti in Sistan region of East Persia ( Iran). He was a student of Imam Ja'far a?-?adiq. He grew up in Persia. His parents died when he was fifteen 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 Sufi, Shaikh Ibrahim Qunduzi (or Kunduzi) -- the name deriving from his birthplace, Kunduz in Afghanistan—came to his orchard. Young Moinuddin approached him and offered him some fruits. In return, Sheikh Ibrahim Qunduzi 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.
He became the Murid (disciple) of Usman Harooni.
Moinuddin Chishti visited the seminaries of Samarkand and Bukhara and acquired religious learning from the 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 a disciple of the Chishti saint 'Uthman Haruni. They travelled the Middle East extensively together, including visits to Mecca and Medina.
Establishing the Chishti order in India
The Chishti order was founded by Abu Ishaq Shami (“the Syrian”) in Chisht, some 95 miles east of Herat in present-day western Afghanistan.Moinuddin Chishti established the order in India, in the city of Ajmer in North India.
Moinuddin Chishti apparently never wrote down his teachings in the form of a book, nor did his immediate disciples, but the central principles that became characteristics of the Chishti order in India are based on his teachings and practices. They lay stress on following :-
Moinuddin chishti teachings
1. Reenunciation of material goods.
2. Strict regime of self-discipline and personal prayer
3. Participation in Sama' as a legitimate means to spiritual transformation.
4. Reliance on either cultivation or unsolicited offerings as means of basic subsistence
5. Independence from rulers and the state, including rejection of monetary and land grants
6. Generosity to others, particularly, through sharing of food and wealth,
7. Tolerance and respect for religious differences
Moinuddin Chishti , 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."
Moinuddin Chishti quotes
His poetry in praise of Imam Hussein ibn Ali is well known, specially the following verse:
Shah Ast Hussein Badshah Ast Hussein
Ruler is Hussain, Emperor is Hussain
Deen Ast Hussein Deen Panah Ast Hussein
Faith is Hussain , guardian of faith is Hussain
Sar dad na daad dast dar dast e yazeed
Offered his head and not the hand to Yazid
Haqaaq e Binaa e Laa iLaha Ast Hussein
Indeed, Hussain is the foundation of La-ilah (the declaration that none but God is Absolute and Almighty)
Moinuddin Chishti had more than one thousand khalifas and hundreds of thousands of disciples. Sufis of different orders became his disciples and took ijazah from him. Among the famous Sufis who trace their lineage to him are as below:
Today, hundreds of thousands of people – Muslims, Hindus and others, from the Indian sub-continent, and from other parts of the world – assemble at his tomb on the occasion of his 'urs (death anniversary).
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