Saint Hazrat Khwaja Moinuddin Hasan Chishti (R.A.) popularly known as Hazrat Khwaja Gharib Nawaz (R.A.) (Translation: Benefactor of the Poor), Also known as Sultan-ul-Hind (Translation: Ruler of India).
Khwaja Gharib Nawaz Sahib, was born in 1142 A.D. in Sijistan (Iran). His paternal genealogy is related to Hazrat Imam Hussain (A.S.) and that of his maternal to Hazrat Imam Hassan (A.S.) and thus he was he was a Sayed, a direct descendant of Prophet Hazrat Mohammad (Peace be upon them).
He grew up in Persia. His father, Sayyid Ghiyas-u’d-din, a pious man of some means, died when his son was in his teens.. He inherited a windmill and an orchard from his father. During his childhood, young Moinuddin was different from others and kept himself busy in prayers and meditation. He was once watering his plants , when a revered Sufi mystic, Shaikh Ibrāhim Qundūzī (or Kunduzi) came to his orchard. Young Moinuddin approached him and offered him some fruits. In return, Sheikh Ibrāhīm Qundūzī gave him a piece of bread and asked him to eat it. Young Moinuddin got enlightened and found himself in a strange world after eating the bread. After this he disposed of his property and other belongings and distributed the money to the poor. He renounced the world and left for Bukhara in Baghdad. in search of knowledge and higher education.
Khwaja Moinuddin Chishty (R.A) became the Murid (Disciple) of Usman Harooni (R.A).
Here he met Khwaja Usman Harooni (R.A).and was so deeply impressed by his spiritual eminence that he decided to join the circle of his disciples. For twenty years Young Moinuddin accompanied his Spiritual Guide Shayk Usman Harooni (R.A) on his arduous mystic journeys and performed all sorts of personal services to him. Khwaja Moinuddin Chishty (R.A) once told his disciples. “I did not give myself a moment’s rest from the service of my Peer-o-Murshid, and carried about his night clothes during his journeys and stoppages”.
Hazrat Khwaja Moinuddin ChisHty (R.A) occupies a prominent place among the spiritual Healers of the world. In his temperament as in the circumstance of his life Khwaja Gharib Nawaz Sahib was destined for an extra ordinary career. Into a tottering civilisation, fraught with material acquisition, which guaranteed no safety to human life and which conferred no spiritual freedom on human beings he burst forth all the masterful force of his personality, There is a complete blending of greatness and grace, mediation and action precept, practice, indifference of the mystic and idealism of a Saint. He stands for all that is true, Beautiful and Noble.
The sources of this power may be traced to his own exceptional endowments. Throughout his life, he exhibited the noble traits of character so similar to the house of Prophet Mohammed (Peace be upon them ) to which he belonged.
Khwaja Gharib Nawaz (R.A) – Haj and Prophet’s command
As the great Khwaja become accomplished and perfect in every respect, the divine tutor Hazrat Khwaja Usman Haronni (R.A.) honoured him with his robe and took him to Haj. Both then proceeded to Makkah and performed the Haj, and then went to Madina and stayed there for sometime, to get the blessings of Prophet Hazrat Mohammad (Peace be upon them.)
One night in a trance he was ordered by the Holy Prophet Hazrat Muhammad (Peace be upon them)
“O Moinuddin! You are a prop of our faith. Proceed to India and show the path of truth to the people there. That is why he is known as Ataye Rasul/Naib-e-Rasul.” (Lieutenant of Prophet Hazrat Muhammad (S.A.W.)
Mu’īnuddīn Chishtī turned towards India, . After a brief stay at Lahore – Pakistan, where he meditated at the Shrine of one of the prominent Sufi, Shaikh Ali Hajweri, he proceeded to Ajmer. Hazrat Khwaja Gharib Nawaz composed a couplet paying a glowing tribute to Shaikh Hajweri :
(“Ganj Bakhsh-e faiz e- Alam Mazhar-e-Noor-e-Khuda, Na Qisa Ra Peer-e-Kamil, Kamilara rehnuma”).
Translation: He is a wealth bestowing Saint in this world and hereafter and an embodiment of divine light.
Eventually after Lahore, khwaja Moinuddin Chishty (R.A) reached the City of Ajmer in India, along with Sultan Shahāb-ud-Din Muhammad Ghori, and settled down there. In Ajmer, he attracted a substantial following, acquiring a great deal of respect amongst the residents of the city. Khwaja Moinuddin Chishty practised the Sufi Sulh-e-Kul (peace to all) concept to promote understanding between Muslims and non-Muslims.
As a complete spiritual guide for the imperfect disciples (Murid’s) and a leader of the perfect Saints.He adopted the Indian tradition and culture, seeing the inclination of Indians towards Music and singing he introduced Qawwali (Sama) to convey his message.
Huzoor Khwaja Gharib Nawaz (R.A.) breathed his last; after achieving the command given to him by the Holy Prophet (S.A.W.). His noble soul left the corporeal body on the 6th of Rajab 633 A.H./ 16th March 1236 at the age of 97. He was buried in the same prayer room (Hujra)which was the centre of his divine activities, throughout his stay at Ajmer.
Ajmer Dargah Sharif
Now- a-days Located in the beautiful city of Ajmer, Rajasthan, the Dargah Sharif better known as Ajmer Sharif (Shrine) attracts huge number of pilgrims not just from India but also from countries all over the world. Dedicated to Muslim saint:
Khwaja Moinuddin Chishty(R.A).
The place is considered holy by people of all faiths and whoever visits the place gets their every wish fulfilled.
If you visit the shrine, you would see an endless flow of visitors of all religions, the sick, the troubled and the childless coming in hoards, seeking a boon, a blessing or just peace of mind. The central assumption is that the saint is still conscious and attentive, and can confer blessings upon people, by acting as a channel for God’s Grace.
It is said that even Emperor Akbar sought blessings for a son at the Dargah.
Even Her Majesty Queen Mary of Britain On 23 December 1911, visited Ajmer Sharif. She gave Rs. 1,500 to pay for the repair of the roofing on top of a water tank & gifted a fountain for guests at the shrine to complete a special ablution before prayers
Today his Shrine is popularly known as “Dargah Sharif of Huzoor Khwaja Gharib Nawaz (R.A.)”. People of all walks of life and faith from all over the world, irrespective of their caste, creed and beliefs visit this great Shrine to offer flowers, Chaddar (Large Cloth – shroud) and Itar (Perfume) of their esteem and devotion. The rich and the poor stand side by side to pay their homage and respect to the divine soul and to acquire the peace of mind & soul to get the blessings of Aulia-Allah (Saint) Khwaja Gharib Nawaz (R.A.)
The city Ajmer was not merely the seat of Chauhan power ; it was a religious centre also where thousands of pilgrims assembled from far and near, Shaikh Mu’in-u’d-din’s determination to work out the principles of Islamic mysticism at a place of such political and religious significance shows great self-confidence.
Khwaja Gharib Nawaz (R.A) was the exponent of the true spirit of Islam. Like orthodox and static theologians he did not engage himself in vain metaphysics but rigorously strove to save human sympathy from running into narrow grooves and struck at the very root of parochialism, casteism and religious exclusiveness which are being propagated by some vested interests. According to Khwaja Gharib Nawaz (R.A) the religion is not merely based on rituals and ecclesiastical formalities but “Service of humanity” is its sole raison d’etre.
Describing the qualities which endear a man to God, Khwaja Gharib Nawaz (R.A) referred to the following attributes:
AWWAL SAKHAWATE CHUN SAKHAWATE DARIYA, DOM SHAFQAT-E-CHUN SHAFQAT-E-AFTAB, SIWAM TAWAZO-E-CHUN TAWAZO-E-ZAMEEN.
Translation: (First, river like generosity; second, sun-like affection, and third earth like hospitality.)
When once asked about the highest devotion of God, Gharib Nawaz (R.A) remarked that it was nothing but:
“Dar mandgaan ra fariyad raseedan wa haajat-e-baichaargaan ra rawa kardan wa gursingaan ra sair gardaneedan”
Translation: (To redress the misery of those in distress, to fulfil the needs of the helpless and to feed the hungry).
Khwaja Garib Nawaz (R.A) loved humanity in general and the Indians in particular. Indeed he had a mission to bring a social and spiritual revolution.
He ruled over the hearts. The concepts of national integration, composite culture (Ganga-Jamni Tehzeeb) originated from his life style and teachings and thereafter were spread by his representative disciples.
Perhaps in no other country were the effects of this social and Cultural Revolution so marked and so far reaching as in India. Sufism (Islamic mysticism) reached India when it had entered the last and the most important phase of its history the organisation of Sufistic structure of Islam having various denominations, especially Naqshbandia, Qadriya, Suharwardia and Chishtiya. Among these denominations the Chishtiya order has been supremely successful on all levels of pluralistic society of India based on cultural, religious, and social differences.