Chapters :
  • NIZAMU’D-DIN AULIYA’ (D. A.D. 1325)
  • SHAIKH AHMAD ‘ABDUL’L HAQQ (D. A.D. 1433)
  • THE CHISHTI SCHOOL IN BENGAL

HISTORY ANCIENT MEDIEVEL - 03

THE CHISHTI SILSILAH

Muslim mystics came to India long before the establishment of Muslim political power, but organized silsilahs appeared only with the foundation of the Sultanate of Delhi. The Chishti Silsilah, which claims the largest number of followers today, was introduced in India by Shaikh Mu’inu’d-din Sijzi (d. A.D.  1236). 

He reached India before the Battle Of Tarain and Settled At Ajmer which, besides being the citadel of Cauhan power, was a great religious centre of the Hindus. His simple, pious and dedicated life had tremendous impact on those who happened to come in contract with him he had two eminent disciples-Shaikh Qutbu’d-din Bakhtyar Kaki (d. A.D.  1235) and 

SHAIKH HAMIDU’D-DIN SUFI ( A.D. 1274). 

Shaikh Hamidu’d-din lived like a simple peasant and cultivated a bigha of land. He was a vegetarian with his innate catholicity of view and cosmopolitanism he refrained from calling nay Hindu a Kafir. He refused Iltutmish’s offer of a grant of some villages to hi. Bakhtyar Kaki, the other disciple of Shaikh Mu’inu’d-din, came from Aush, a centre of the Hallaji mystics and was thoroughly imbued with their pantheistic philosophy.

SHAIKH FARIDU’D-DIN GANJI-I-SHAKAR (A.D.  1265)

 The Principal Khalifah of Kaki popularized the silsilah in Northern India. To convey his message he spoke in the local dialects, and recommended the use of Punjabi for religious purposes. 

NIZAMU’D-DIN AULIYA’ (D. A.D. 1325)

 The Nizamiyah branch assumed an all-India status and a network of Chishti Khanquhs (Monasteries) Jama’at-Khanahs (Assembly Halls), Zawiyahs (CONVENTS) and Takiahs (Hermitages) appeared in India from Delhi to Devagiri and from Multan to Lakhanuti. The heads of the Chishti order had independent lives and sought no favours from the rulers. Shaikh Nasiru’d-din Chiragh (d. A.D. 1357) of Delhi put up a spirited resistance when Muhammad bin Tughluq interfered with the life of the mystics.

SHAIKH AHMAD ‘ABDUL’L HAQQ (D. A.D. 1433)

The Sabiri branch came into prominence under Shaikh Ahmad ‘Abdul’l Haqq (A.D. 1433) and under saints like Shah Muhibbullah of Allahabad ( A.D. 1648). Shah Abu’l Ma’ali (d. 1700) and Shah ‘Abdu’l Hadi of Amroha (d. 1776) it came to play an important role in the religious life of the Indian Muslims.

THE CHISHTI SCHOOL IN BENGAL

The rise of the Chishti school in Bengal synchronized with the birth of the Bhakti movement. A comparative study of the two would show many points of similarity between  them. It was under Chishti influence that Sultan Husain Shah of Bengal started his famous Satya-Pir movement, and the rulers of Bengal had many basic texts of the Hindu religion translated into Bengali. The way in which Shah Muhammad Saghir, Zainu’d-din, Shaikh Kabir, and others wove Iranian traditions into Indian legends is also a result of the impact.

The Chishti Silsilah was indroducted in the Deccan by Shaikh Burhanu’d-din Gharib (A.D. 1340), Shaikh Muntakhab and Khwajah Hasan, and received great impetus under Syed Muhammad Gesu-daraz of Gulbarga (d. A.D. 1422), In Malwa it was organized by Shaikh Wajihu’d-din Yusuf (d. c. A.D. 1328), Shaikh Husamu’d-din Multani (d. c. A.D. 1354), Shaikh Barkullah and Syed Hasan. The arrival of these saints in the different parts of India synchrorized with the rise of the provincial kingdoms and in return for their help they received big jagirs and endowments. The tradition of the Khanqahs receiving large assignments form the rulers begins in this period. 

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