Moinuddin Chishti

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Chishtī Muʿīn al-Dīn Ḥasan Sijzī (1142–1236 CE), known more commonly as Muʿīn al-Dīn Chishtī or Moinuddin Chishti, or reverently as a Shaykh Muʿīn al-Dīn or Muʿīn al-Dīn or Khwājā Muʿīn al-Dīn by Muslims of the Indian subcontinent, was a Persian Muslim preacher, ascetic, religious scholar, philosopher, and mystic from Sistan, who eventually ended up settling in the Indian subcontinent in the early 13th-century, where he promulgated the famous Chishtiyya order of Sunni mysticism.

Quotes about Moinuddin Chishti[edit]

Siyaru’l-Auliya[edit]

  • “The other miracle is that before his arrival the whole of Hindustan was submerged by unbelief and idol-worship. Every haughty man in Hind pronounced himself to be Almighty God and considered himself as the partner of God. All the people of India used to prostrate themselves before stones, idols, trees, animals, cows and cow-dung. Because of the darkness of unbelief over this land their hearts were locked and hardened.
    “All India was ignorant of orders of religion and law. All were ignorant of Allah and His Prophet. None had seen the Ka‘ba. None had heard of the Greatness of Allah.
    “Because of his coming, the, Sun of real believers, the helper of religion, Mu‘in al-din, the darkness of unbelief in this land was illumined by the light of Islam.
    “Because of his Sword, instead of idols and temples in the land of unbelief now there are mosques, mihrab and mimbar. In the land where there were the sayings of the idol-worshippers, there is the sound of ‘Allahu Akbar’.
    “The descendants of those who were converted to Islam in this land will live until the Day of Judgement; so too will those who bring others into the fold of Islam by the sword of Islam. Until the Day of Judgement these converts will be in the debt of Shaykh al-Islam Mu‘in al-din Hasan Sijza and these people will be drawing closer to Almighty Allah because of the auspicious devotion of Mu‘in al-din.”
    • About Shykh Mu‘in al-Din Chisti of Ajmer (Rajasthan) (d. AD 1236). Amir Khwurd: Siyaru’l-Auliya. Cited in P.M. Currie, The Shrine and Cult of Mu‘in al-Din Chishti of Ajmer, OUP, 1989, p. 30.
  • The Chishtiyya school was foisted on India by Muin-ud-din who had settled down in Ajmer before the Second Battle of Tarain. According to the sufi lore, he had made a few converts from among the local Hindus and started issuing orders to Prithivi Raj Chauhan, the Hindu king, for the benefit of these converts. When the king ignored him, he invited Muhammad Ghuri to invade the Chauhan Kingdom. Sir-ul-Awliya, the most famous history of the Chishtiyya school written by Khwaja Amir Khurd, another disciple of Nizam-ud-din Awliya, tells the following story:
    “His [Muin-ud-din’s] blessed tongue uttered spontaneously, ‘We have handed over Pithora alive to the army of Islam.’ In those very days, Sultan Muiz-ud-din Sam arrived in Ajmer from Ghazni. Pithora had to face the army of Islam. He was captured alive by Sultan Muiz-ud-din… The Khwaja [Muinud-din] was a worker of great wonders. Before he reached Hindustan, all its cities right upto the point of sunrise were sunk in tumult and infidelity and were involved with idols and idolatry. Everyone among the rabble [Gods] of Hindustan claimed to be the great God and a co-sharer in the divinity of Allah. The people paid homage to stones, sods of clay, trees, quadrupeds, cows and bulls and their dung. The darkness of infidelism had made still more firm the seals on their hearts… Muin-ud-din was indeed the very sun of the true faith. As a result of his arrival, the darkness that had spread over this country was dispelled. It became bright and glowed in the light of Islam... Anyone who has become a Musalman in this country will stay a Musalman till the Day of Dissolution. His progeny will also remain Musalman… The people [of Hindustan] will be brought out of dAr-ul-harb into dAr-ul-IslAm by means of many wars."
    • Amir Khurd, Siyar-ul-Awliya, New Delhi, 1985, pp. 111-12. Quoted in S.R.Goel, The Calcutta Quran Petition (1999) ISBN 9788185990583

Siyar al-Arifin[edit]

  • ‘’Through his (Muinuddin) coming to Hindustan the ‘way of Islam’ was established here. He destroyed the darkness of unbelief. Because of his coming....the darkness of unbelief in this land was illumined by the light of Islam.’’

Siyar al-Aqtab by Allah Diya Chishti[edit]

  • “Although at that time there were very many temples of idols around the lake, when the Khwaja saw them, he said: ‘If God and His Prophet so will, it will not be long before I raze to the ground these idol temples.’“
    It is said that among those temples there was one temple to reverence which the Raja and all the infidels used to come, and lands had been assigned to provide for its expenditure. When the Khwaja settled there, every day his servants bought a cow, brought it there and slaughtered it and ate it…“So when the infidels grew weak and saw that they had no power to resist such a perfect companion of God, they… went into their idol temples which were their places of worship. In them there was a dev, in front of whom they cried out and asked for help…“…The dev who was their leader, when he saw the perfect beauty of the Khwaja, trembled from head to foot like a willow tree. However much he tried to say ‘Ram, Ram’, it was ‘Rahim, Rahim’ that came from his tongue… The Khwaja… with his own hand gave a cup of water to a servant to take to the dev… He had no sooner drunk it than his heart was purified of darkness of unbelief, he ran forward and fell at the Heaven-treading feet of the Khwaja, and professed his belief…“The Khwaja said: ‘I also bestow on you the name of Shadi Dev [Joyful Deval]’…“…Then Shadi Dev… suggested to the Khwaja, that he should now set up a place in the city, where the populace might benefit from his holy arrival. The Khwaja accepted this suggestion, and ordered one of his special servants called Muhammad Yadgir to go into the city and set in good order a place for faqirs. Muhammad Yadgir carried out his orders, and when he had gone into the city, he liked well the place where the radiant tomb of the Khwaja now is, and which originally belonged to Shadi Dev, and he suggested that the Khwaja should favour it with his residence…“
    …Mu‘in al-din had a second wife for the following reason: one night he saw the Holy Prophet in the flesh. The prophet said: ‘You are not truly of my religion if you depart in any way from my sunnat.’ It happened that the ruler of the Patli fort, Malik Khitab, attacked the unbelievers that night and captured the daughter of the Raja of that land. He presented her to Mu‘in al-din who accepted her and named her Bibi Umiya.”
    • About Shykh Mu‘in al-Din Chishti of Ajmer (d. AD 1236). Siyar al-Aqtab by Allah Diya Chishti (1647). Quoted in P.M. Currie, The Shrine and Cult of Mu‘in al-Din Chishti of Ajmer, OUP, 1989 p. 74-87
  • ‘’Muinuddin Hasan al-Husaini al-Sijzi Chishti was well known for his miracles and asceticism and was endowed with all the merits of perfection. He had high status and was a great healer. He was a Saiyid by true descent. There is no doubt about his genealogy. He wore the cloak of poverty (faqr) and discipleship from Imam al-Awliya Usman Harwani. Through his coming to Hindustan, the way (tariqa) of Islam was estabished there. He destroyed the darkness of unbelief and ‘shirk’ which had prevailed there since time immemorial through revealing clear reasons and arguments. For this reason Muinuddin is called Nabi-ul-Hind (the prophet of India). For seventy years his ablultion was not broken without him washing before prayer. On whomsoever his propitious glance fell, that man was immediately brought to Allah. Whenver a sinner came into his illuminated presence, he immediately repented. (accepted the true faith of Islam). ... ‘’Each time he finished reading the Quran, a voice came from the unseen world saying, O Muinuddin ! your recitation has been accepted.” ‘’Although it has been stated that Muinuddin could produce any amount of gold through his miracles, it is certain that he had no dearth of money. It is related that in the kitchen of Muinuddin so many meals were cooked every day that all the impoverished people of the whole city could eat their fill. The servant in charge of this used to go every day before the saint for the expenses. He used to stand with his hands joined in respect. Muinuddin used to take a corner of his prayer rug aside and reveal sufficent treaure. He used to tell the servant to take enough gold from this treasure to cover the kitchen expenses for that day.” ... ‘’It is told that once when he went to perform the pilgrimage to the holy tomb of the Prophet Muhammad, one day from the inside of the pure and blessed tomb a cry came : ‘’Send for Muinuddin.’’ When Muinuddin came to the door he stood there and he saw that presence speak to him. ‘’Muinuddin, you are the essence of my faith; but must go to Hindustan. There is a place called Ajmer, to which one of my sons (descendants) went for a holy war, and now he has become a martyr, and the place has passed again into the hands of infidels. By the grace of your footsteps there, once more shall Islam be made manifest, and the Kafirs be punished by God’s wrath.’’ ... Accordingly Muinuddin reached Ajmer in Hindustan. There he said : ‘’Praise be to God, May He be exalted, for I have gained possession of the property of my brother. Although, at that time there were many temples of idols around the lake, when the Khwaja saw them, he said : ‘’If God and His Prophet so will, it will not be long before I raze to the ground these idol- temples.’’
    • ‘Siya-al-aqtab’ compiled in the mid-seventeenth century as quoted in P.M. Curie’s book ‘’The Shrine and cult of Muinuddin Chishti of Ajmer.’’ (Oxford). (Quoted from archive.org)

19th century and later[edit]

  • “In Indian sufism anti-Hindu polemics began with Muin al-din Chishti. Early Sufis in the Punjab and early Chishtis devoted themselves to the task of conversion on a large scale. Missionary activity slowed down under Nizam al-din Auliya, not because of any new concept of eclecticism, but because he held that the Hindus were generally excluded from grace and could not be easily converted to Islam unless they had the opportunity to be in the company of the Muslim saints for considerable time.”
    • Aziz Ahmad, Studies In Islamic Culture, Oxford, 1964, p.134
  • “…The take-over of ‘pagan’ sites is a recurrent feature of the history of the expansion of Islam. The most obvious precedent is to be found in the Muslim annexation of the Hajar al-aswad at Mecca… Sir Thomas Arnold remarks that ‘in many instances there is no doubt that the shrine of a Muslim saint marks the site of some local cult which was practised on the spot long before the introduction of Islam.’....“There is evidence, more reliable than the tradition recorded in the Siyar al-Aqtãb, to suggest that this was the case in Ajmer. Sculpted stones, apparently from a Hindu temple, are incorporated in the Buland Darwãza of Mu‘în al-dîn’s shrine. Moreover, his tomb is built over a series of cellars which may have formed part of an earlier temple… A tradition, first recorded in the ‘Anis al-Arwãh, suggests that the Sandal Khãna is built on the site of Shãdî Dev’s temple.”
    • P.M. Currie, The Shrine and Cult of Mu‘in al-Dîn Chishtî of Ajmer. About Shykh Mu‘în al-Dîn Chishtî of Ajmer (d. AD 1236) (Rajasthan) and about sufis in Ajmer and of the Sãbriyya branch of the Chishtiyya silsilã. Siyar al-Aqtãb, Thomas Arnold. Quoted in P.M. Currie, The Shrine and Cult of Mu‘in al-Dîn Chishtî of Ajmer, OUP, 1989 p. 74-87
  • It cannot be maintained that Islam did not provide an ample opportunity to Hindu saints, philosophers and princes to understand its true character and role. Before the armies of Islam invaded India, the sufis had settled down in many parts of India, built mosque and khanqahs and started their work of conversion. They were the sappers and miners of Islamic invasions which followed in due course. Muinuddin Chishti was not the first 'saint' of Islam to send out an invitation to an Islamic invader to come and kill the kafirs, desecrate their shrines, and plunder their wealth.
    • S.R. Goel. The Story of Islamic Imperialism in India (1994)
  • It is said that saint-worship among Muslims is a practice unique to India. Dargahs of Sufis, real or figurative, are found all over the country and Muslims flock to them in. large numbers. It is a legacy of medieval times. One reason for this can be that most Indian Muslims are converted Hindus, who, when their places of worship were converted into (khanqahs and later) dargahs, did not give up visiting them. For instance, at the most holy dargah of Shaikh Muinuddin Chishti, the Sandal Khana mosque is believed to have been built on the site of a Dev temple.
    • Lal, K. S. (1992). The legacy of Muslim rule in India. New Delhi: Aditya Prakashan. Chapter 5, citing P.M. Currie.
  • Chishti was a great mystic, one of the greatest ever born, and he was a musician. To be a musician is to be against Islam because music is prohibited. He played on the sitar and on other instruments. He was a great musician and he enjoyed it. Five times every day, when a Mohammedan is required to pray the five ritual prayers, he wouldn't pray, he would simply play on his instrument. That was his prayer. This was absolutely anti-religious but nobody could say anything to Chishti. ... When Chishti heard that Jilani was coming he felt, "To pay respect to Jilani it will not be good to play my instrument now. Because he is such an orthodox Mohammedan, it will not be a good welcome. He may feel hurt." ... [but] Jilani laughed and said, "Rules are not for you, you need not hide them. Rules are for ordinary people, rules are not for you -- you should not hide them. How can you hide your soul? Your hands may not play, you may not sing from your throat, but your whole being is musical.
    • Rajneesh, A Bird on the Wing
  • The story of Islam is no different. Prophetic Islam is inimical to mystic ideas. In the beginning, some Sufis courted martyrdom, but eventually they bought peace and safety by surrendering to Prophetic Islam. There have been some outstanding Sufis, but by arid large the Sufi movement has been part of a larger aggressive apparatus, just like Christian Missions of Imperialism. Though Islam persecuted "infidels", destroyed their temples, enslaved and looted them, we find no Sufis protesting. In fact. they were often beneficiaries of this vandalism. "In many cases there is no doubt that the shrine of a ·Muslim saint marks the site of some local cult which was practised on the spot long before the introduction of Islam," says Thomas Arnold making it look quite normal and harmless. Mu'in aI-Din Chishtl's dargah at Ajmer is one such shrine built on the ruins of an old Hindu temple. The saint had also got the present of a Hindu princess, part of thebooty captured by a Muslim General, Malik Khitab, when he attacked the neighbouring pagan land.
    • Ram Swarup, Hindu View of Christianity and Islam (1992)

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