The patron saint of India
Ajmer to this day attracts people from all faiths
KHWAJA MOINUDDIN CHISTI (RA)
O. P. SHARMA
Famous Sufi saint Khwaja Moinuddin Chisti’s 13th century Dargah at Ajmer in Rajasthan is most revered by the people of all faiths. Also known as Gharib Nawaz (Benefactor of the Poor), renowned Sufi saint of Chishti Order is held in high esteem and the Dargah is frequented by the devotees throughout the year.
The 800th Urs of Khwaja Moinuddin Chishti will be held this year for a week-long celebrations on May 22-30 at Ajmer, Rajasthan. Variety of programmes of prayers, devotional music of Qawalis, discourses on the life and teachings of this Sufi saint will be main highlight during the period.
The dargahs of this Sufi saint have been established at a number of places but his mausoleum shrine at Ajmer Shrief is the most frequented one where devotees seek his blessings and get spiritual solace. The other notable Sufis of the Chisti Order are: Bhaktyar Kaki, Baba Farid and Nizam-ud-din Auliya. The Sufis held sway in India during the 13th century with its main focus on harmony among Muslims, Hindu and others.
Born during 1141 in Siestan region of Afghanistan, he grew up in Persia. His parents died when he was merely 15 years and inherited a wind-mill and an orchard. Even in his childhood, Moinuddin was quite different from others and kept himself mostly busy in prayers and meditation.
A legend has it that when he was working on his plants, a revered Sufi, Shaikh Ibrahim Quandarzi came and gave him a piece of chewed bread to eat which the young Moinuddin did faithfully. This instantly transformed Moinuddin into an enlightened person. He renounced the world and left for Bukhara in search of knowledge and higher religious learning under guidance of a luminary Usman Haroon and other scholars of his age. He travelled across Middle East and also paid visit to holy Mecca and Medina.
Historical accounts have it that this great Sufi saint turned to India. After a brief stay in Lahore, he along with Shuhab-ud-Din Mohammad Ghori reached Ajmer and settled down there. With his deep sense of service, practice of Sulh-e-Kul (Peace to all) concept to promote understanding between Muslims and non-Muslims. Later, he founded the Chishti Order in India. At the same time, he preached and practiced principles of renunciation of material goods, regime of self-discipline and prayers for spiritual transformation. He stood for religious tolerance and taught his disciples to develop river-like generosity, sun-like affection and earth-like hospitality for all human beings. The highest form of devotion, according to him, was to redress the misery of those in distress, fulfill the needs of helpless and to feed the hungry.
During the regime of Mughal Emperor Akbar (1551 1605) Ajmer assumed pivotal importance of pilgrim centre of wali who lay asleep in Ajmer. Historical record has it that Mughal king Akbar travelled all the way from Agra to Ajmer Shrief to be blessed with a son. This great saint has authored two books : “Anis al Arwah” and “Dahil al-Amin”, both mainly deal with the Islamic code of living.
Ajmer Sharif is an international endowment managed by the Dargah Khawaja Saheb Act, 1955. The devotees from all across the globe come to pay homage to this great saint.
The Dagah is visited by people of all faiths and is considered a symbol of inter-cumunal humony.
O P Sharman is a journalist. Feedback at email@example.com
Lastupdate on : Thu, 17 May 2012 21:30:00 Makkah time
Lastupdate on : Thu, 17 May 2012 18:30:00 GMT
Lastupdate on : Fri, 18 May 2012 00:00:00 IST
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