Chapters :
  • MEDIEVEL – 04





The Chishti mystics were believers in pantheistic monism WAHDAT-UL-WAJUD, unity of being, which had its earliest exposition in the Upanisads of the Hindus. In adopting this, they established an ideological relationship with the main source of Hindu religious thought. As a working idea in social life, it meant equality of all men, the essential unity of all religions, and freedom from all religious prejudices.

The other mystic order which had reached India almost at the same time as the Chishti Silsilah was the Suhrawardi order founded by Shaikh Shinabu’d-din ‘Umar Suhrawardi (A.D. 1234). The credit of organizing it on a sound basis goes to Shaikh Bahaud-din Dhakariya (d. A.D. 1262), who setup a magnificent khanqah at Multan and attracted large number of disciples from Sind and other neighbouring, areas. Under his grandson, Shaikh Ruknu’d-din Abu’l-Fath (d. A.D. 1335), it reached Its Highest Watermark

One of the eminent disciples of Shaikh Bahau’d-din Dhakariya settled at Uch and developed the silsilah there. The most outstanding saint of the Uch branch was Syed Jalalu’d-din Bukhari, popularly known as Makhdum-i-Jahaniyan (A.D. 1384). He had close personal contact with Firuz Shah Tughluq and had even influenced his revenue policy.

The main centres of the Suhrawardis were Uch and Multan. The attitude, of the saints  of this order towards various problems of religion and politics differed in certain important respects from that of the Chishtis. The  devotion of the hindus of Bengal to Shaikh Jalalu’d-din Tabrizi may be assessed from Sekha Subhodaya, A Sanskrit treatise which consolidated all the legends about the saint current amongst the Hindus.


Three important religious movements developed in India during the 15th and 16th centuries – The Shattari Silsilah’ ,The Mahadawi Movement and The Rasshniyah Sect. They reflected the spirit of the Bhakti movement, which had gained great strength among the Hindus. 


It was introduced in India by Shah “Abdullah Shattari ( A.D. 1485), who lies buried at Mandu. He advocated a life of Spiritual Intoxication (sukr) and with a band of devoted disciples, clad in military dress,

 propagated his ideas in Malwa, Janunpur and Bengal. His two eminent disciples – Shaikh Muhammad ‘Ala Qadin of Bengal and Shaikh Hafiz of Jaunpur – applied their energies to the expansion of the silsilah.


 He developed the Shattari order to its full stature. Among his disciples were the famous musician Tansen and the distinguished scholar of Ahmadabad Syed, Wajidu’d-din ‘Alawi, whose seminary was one of the most renowned centers of learning in India.

The Shattari Saints sought to synthesize Hindu and Muslim mystical thoughts and practices. Some of them learnt Sanskrit and became familiar with the Hindu religious thought. Shaikh Muhammad “Ala spent some time with the yogis at Vaisali

Syed Muhammad Ghauth of Gwalior lived for a number of years wit the Hindu mystirs in the lonely recesses of Vindhyachala and learnt many Tantric practices. Through his Jawahir-i-Khamsah and Aurad-i-Ghauthiyah he introduced many Hindu mystic practices and litanies into the Muslim mystic discipline, and his translation of Amrtakunda into Persian created a parallel Hindu and Muslim  mystric terminology. He considered Om to be identical with Rab of the Muslims. His Bahr-ul-Hayat was in a way a precursor of Data Shukoh’s Majma-ul-Bahrain.

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