Malice towards none
It is a well known historical fact that in
spreading the ethical and spiritual values of Islam, major
and effective contributions have been made by the walis (saints)
It was their humanism, disposition and piety which won over
the hearts of hundreds of thousands of people. They contacted
the masses directly. They served and loved them. They lived
with them and inspired them in the realisation of Eternal
Truth. The proof of this is more than evident from the history
of the growth of Islam
in India. Although India was penetrated in the first century
of Hijra, the noble task of inspiring the people to its tenets
and values was accomplished by Hazrat
Khwaja Muinuddin Chishti, r.a. popularly known as Khwaja
Sahib and Khwaja Gharib
Nawaz. He did it all through his own great moral power,
glorious and appealing character, with love and dedication
to mankind, without any worldly resources of wealth, power,
force or support.
Khwaja Sahib was a scholar of great repute.
He interpreted the true Islamic
message of love for mankind and through that, love for the
Almighty Creator. He preached the Qur'anic philosophy of unity
of religion and worked out its potentialities for the whole
of humanity. He was the greatest mystic of his time. He laid
the foundation of the liberal Chishtia order of Sufis in India,
and inspired millions of souls to be his followers, and thus
served the masses of the Indian sub-continent.
Khwaja Muinuddin Chishti (r.a.)
Birth: Early life and Education
Chishti, r.a. was born in Seistan (East Persia) also known
as Sajistan, around 533 Hijri (1138-39 A.D.) in a well respected
family. His father, Khwaja Ghayasuddin, r.a. and mother, Syeda
Bibi Ummalwara (alias Bibi Mahe-Noor), were the descendants
of Hazrat Ali, r.a. through his sons Imam Hassan and Imam
Hussain. Khwaja Sahib lost both his father and mother at an
early age of sixteen years. He inherited an orchard and millstone
which were his means of livelihood. One day when Khwaja Sahib
was working in his orchard, a pious dervish and majzoob, Ebrahim
Qandoozi, came and took his seat under the shade of a tree.
When Khwaja Sahib saw him, he brought a bunch of grapes and
presented it to his guest. The visitor ate the grapes and
was delighted. He then took something out of his bag, chewed
it, then offered it to his young host. Khwaja Sahib ate it
without any hesitation, and at once the light of wisdom and
knowledge dawned upon the young Khwaja. Immediately he disposed
of all of his worldly belongings and distributed the money
amongst the poor. Having thus broken all the ties with worldly
affairs, he set off for Samarkand and Bokhara then the great
centres of learning for religious education and knowledge.
Sahib had acquired the best knowledge and wisdom of the
time, he travelled widely in search of a Pir (spiritual guide)
who could provide him with the best spiritual guidance. He
came to know of Hazrat Khwaja Usman Harooni , r.a, who was
the greatest scholar and unrivalled spiritual guide of that
period. In the very first meeting, Khwaja Sahib completely
submitted himself to his Murshid and remained in the company
of this great divine spiritual leader, for twenty years and
served him devotedly, passing through the various stages of
spiritual life. Thus the great Murshid trained and elevated
Khwaja Sahib to the highest spiritual attainments.
Hajj and the Prophet's (s.a.w.s)
As the great Khwaja
Sahib became accomplished and perfect in every respect,
the divine tutor honoured him with the robe and took him to
Both then proceeded to Mecca
and performed the Hajj,
and then went to Medina
and stayed there for some time, to receive blessings from
the prophet of Islam (s.a.w.s.)
One night, while in a trance, he was ordered
by the Holy Prophet
Muhammad (s.a.w.s.): "O Muinuddin! you are a prop of our
faith. Proceed to India and show the Path of Truth to the
people there." In compliance with the above spiritual command,
Khwaja Sahib left Medina
for India. He continued his journey, passing through Isfahan,
Bokhara, Herat, Lahore and Delhi meeting several prominent
Sufis of the period. He arrived at the barren and desolate
land of Rajputana which is now known as Rajasthan. On his
way to India, he enrolled large numbers of people into his
fold and blessed thousands of others with spiritual power.
Khwaja Sahib at Ajmer, India
Chishti, r.a., arrived in Ajmer at the age of 52 years
around 587 A.H. (1190 A.D.), on his divine mission, unique
in the annals of Islam.
His only armour for the success of his great mission was the
greatest "invisible power" that pervades and sustains the
whole universe. At that time, Ajmer
was ruled by Prithvi Raj Chauhan, the famous Rajput king.
In his court, he had a large number of powerful magicians
with Ajai Pal as their leader. Khwaja Sahib stayed on a hill
close to Ana Sagar lake now known as the Chillah Khwaja Sahib.
When the news spread that a very pious Dervish had come to
Ajmer, people began to flock to him in increasing numbers.
Whoever came to him, received the kindest treatment and blessings.
People were so much inspired by his divine teachings and simplicity
that they began to embrace Islam. Many became his disciples.
Even Ajai pal submitted himself to the divine powers of Khwaja
Sahib, gave up all his magic and became his disciple.
Meanwhile, Shahabuddin Ghori again attacked
India, in 1192 A.D., and in the famous battle of Tarain, defeated
Prithvi Raj. When Shahabuddin Ghori came to know of the presence
of Khwaja Sahib at Ajmer, he personally came to see him at
his place, and enjoyed the grace of his meeting.
continued his noble magnificent mission, showing the Path
of Truth to the people. He also sent his disciples and successors
to the different part of the country who also served the people
and preached the tenets of Islam. A few of his prominent successors
1. Hazrat Khwaja Qutbuddin Bakhtiar Khaki,
r.a. (Delhi. ob. 1236)
2. Hazrat Shaikh Fariduddin Ganj-e-shakar,
r.a., (Pak Pattan ob. 1265)
3. Hazrat Shaikh Nizamuddin Awlia (Delhi, ob.
4. Hazrat Shaikh Nasirddin Chiragh Delhi (Delhi,
Khwaja Sahib Breathes His Last
After achieving the objectives of his mission
and complying with the command given to him by the Holy Prophet
(s.a.w.s.), his noble soul left the mortal body on the 6th
of Rajab 633 A.H. (March 16, 1236) at the age of 97. He was
buried in the same cell which was the centre for his divine
activities, throughout his stay at Ajmer. Today his tomb is
popularly known as The Dargah
Sharif (holy tomb). People of all walks of life and
faith from all over the world, irrespective of their caste,
creed and belief, visit this great shrine to offer the flowers
of their esteem and devotion. The rich and the poor stand
side by side to pay homage and respect to this divine soul.
Mission and Teaching of Khwaja
The life and mission of Khwaja
Sahib have been of an exceptional character as compared
with any other saints in India. His simple teaching penetrated
even the stoniest of hearts, his affectionate look silenced
his fiercest of enemies. His matchless piety and blessings
knew no distinction and his "Spiritual Power", amazed and
defied his bitterest adversaries who came in order to harm
him, but were inspired instead to embrace Islam and become
his devotees for the rest of their lives. He brought the message
of Universal Love and Peace. He chose the way of non-compulsion
in the true spirit of the Holy Qur'an, which says:
"Let there be no compulsion in
religion. Truth stands out clear from error; whoever rejects
evil and believes in Allah hath grasped the most trustworthy
hand-hold that never breaks. And Allah heareth and knoweth
all things." [Qur'an 2:256]
Khwaja Muinuddin Chishti, r.a. followed
this dictum strictly throughout his mission. It is because of
this that he became popularly known as Gharib Nawaz,
which means 'the one who shows kindness to the poor'.
This was later reinforced by succeeding Chishti Sufis, who became
religious pioneers in national integration in the country. They
fulfilled the objectives of bringing together the various castes,
communities and races, elevating humanity from the swamp of
materialistic concerns, which is leading mankind to destruction
The teachings of Khwaja
Sahib have been recorded in several books on mysticism. The
essence of his teachings are:
The true friend of Allah is one
who has these three qualities:
1. A friend of God must have affection like
the sun. When the sun rises, it is beneficial to all. All persons
derive heat and light from it irrespective of whether they are
Muslim, Christian, Seik,
2. A friend of God must be generous like an ocean or a river.
We all get water from the river or sea to quench our thirst.
No discrimination is made whether we are good or bad or whether
we are a relation or a stranger.
3. A friend of God is one who has the quality of hospitality
like the earth. We are raised and cradled in its lap, and it
is always spread below our feet.
noblest of characters is possessed by one who is:
1. Bountiful in poverty.
2. Content in hunger.
3. Cheerful in grief.
4. Friendly in hostility.
The surest way to
ward off the eternal punishment of hell is:
1. To feed the hungry.
2. To redress the aggrieved.
3. To help the distressed.
Sayings of Khwaja Muinuddin Chishti, r.a.
1. Without performing Namaz (prayer),
none can approach Allah
(God), because Namaz is the climax (mi'raj) in the
process of such an approach for the pious.
2. If all the rules of Namaz were not
followed properly, it is struck back on the face of him who
offers such a Namaz.
3. The heart of a lover (True lover of Allah)
constantly burns with the fire of love, so much so that whatever
intrudes upon its sanctity is burnt to ashes.
4. A sin committed does not harm an individual
so much as looking down upon one's own fellow human beings.
5. Of all the worship that pleases Almighty
Allah, the most is the granting of relief to the humble
and the oppressed.
6. Performance of charity is the key of attaining
the estate of a philanthropist.
7. The one who does not perform devotion of
Allah is engaged in the career of earning a sinful living.
8. There are four cardinal virtues of the individual
self: (i) refraining from begging in the state of penury;
(ii) showing the attitude of being well-fed when feeling hungry;
(iii) maintaining a cheerfulness in the time of sorrow; and
(iv) befriending the enemy.
9. That man is a true devotee of Almighty Allah,
who resigns with pleasure to the misfortune that comes from
his beloved (Almighty Allah).
10. The path of Love
of God is such a path that whosoever steps into it, loses
11. For a follower of the path of Truth, it
is worse than sin to disdain or look down upon anyone.
12. Those who are true Lovers of God give away
both of the worlds for the sake of their Beloved and even
then feel that they have done nothing worthy.
13. Perfection in faith is evident by three
things: (i) Fear, (ii) Hope, and (iii) Love
Courtesy – www.muslim-canada.org