Chishtyia Silsila and the Great successors of Khawaja Moinuddin Chishty (R.A)

Hazrat Qutubudin Bakhtiar Kaki R.A. (Urdu: قطب الدین بختیار کاکی) was a renowned Muslim Sufi mystic, saint and scholar in the Chishtyia Order from Delhi, India. He was the disciple and khalifa (spiritual successor) of Khawaja Moinuddin Chishty (R.A) as head of the Chishtyia Order.

Khwaja Qutubudin Bakhtiar Kaki was born in 569 A.H. (1173 C.E.) in a town called Aush or Awash in Mawaraun Nahr (Transoxania). According to his biography mentioned in, Ain-i-Akbari , written by Akbar’s vizier, Abu'l-Fazl ibn Mubarak, he was the son of Kamalu'ddin Musa, whom he lost at a young age, and came from Ush, a small town in Farghana (present Fergana Province in eastern Uzbekistan, part of historic Transoxania)

Khwaja Qutbuddin's original name was Bakhtiar and later on he was given the title Qutubudin. The name Kaki was attributed to him by virtue of a karamat (miracle) that emanated from him at a later stage of his life in Delhi. He also belonged to the direct lineage of the Prophet Muhammad (SAWS), descending from Husain ibn Ali (AS). Khawaja Bakhtiar Khaki was one and half years old when his father died [3]. His mother arranged for his education.

When Khawaja Moinuddin Chishty (R.A) went to Isfahan, before his demise, he took oath of allegiance at his hands and received the Khilafat and Khirqah from him. Thus, he was the first spiritual successor of Khawaja Moinuddin Chishty (R.A). Thereafter, his spiritual master asked him to go to India and stay there.

"He had no parallel in abandoning the world and suffering poverty and hunger. He kept himself engrossed in the dhikr. Whenever someone came to him he would come back to his senses after a while and was then able to talk with him. After a very brief exchange he would show his inability to continue any longer and slipped into the same state of absorption once again."

He died on the 14th of Rabi-ul-Awwal 633 A.H. (27 November 1235 CE) [3]. The Dargah (shrine) of Qutubudin Bakhtiar Kaki today, lies near Qutb Minar, in Mehrauli, Delhi.


Hazrat Baba Fariduddin Masood Ganjshakar.(R.A)Persia فرید الدّین مسعود گنجشکر  حضرت بابا, Punjabi: ਫ਼ਰੀਦ-ਉਦ-ਦੀਨ ਗੰਜਸ਼ਕਰ) (1173-1266)[1] or (1188 (584 Hijri) - May 7, 1280, commonly known as Baba Farid (Punjabi: بابا فرید, ਬਾਬਾ ਫ਼ਰੀਦ) was a 12th century Sufi preacher and saint of Chishty Order of South Asia. Baba Farid is generally recognized as the first major poet of the Punjabi language  and is considered one of the pivotal saints of the Punjab region. Revered by Muslims and Hindus his works form part of the Guru Granth Sahib, the Sikh sacred scripture. Baba Farid was born in 1188 or 1173 CE (584 Hijri) at Kothewal village, 10 kmfrom Multan in the Punjab region of Pakistan, to Jamal-ud-din Suleiman and Maryam Bibi (Qarsum Bibi), daughter of Sheikh Wajih-ud-din Khojendi. He was a descendant of Farrukh Shah Kabuli, the King of Afghanistan.

He was the grandson of Shaykh Shoaib who was the grandson of Farrukh Shah Kabuli, the king of Kabul and Ghazni. When Farrukh Shah Kabuli was killed by the Mongol hordes invading Kabul, Baba Farid’s Grandfather Shaykh Shoaib left Afghanistan and settled in the Punjab in 1125. Baba Farid received his early education at Multan, which had become a centre for education; it was here that he met his master Murshid, Qutubudin Bakhtiar Kaki, a noted Sufi saint, who was passing through Multan, from Bagdad on way to Delhi. Upon completing his education, Farid left for Sistan, and Kandahar and went to Mecca for the Hajj pilgrimage aged 16.

Once his education was over, he shifted to Delhi, where he learned the doctrine of his Master, Qutubudin Bakhtiar Kaki. He later moved to Hansi, Haryana. When Qutubudin Bakhtiar Kaki died in 1235, Baba Farid left Hansi, and assumed the role of spiritual successor of his Master, though he settled not in Delhi but in Ajodhan (the present Pakpattan, Pakistan). On his way to Ajodhan and passing through Faridkot, he met the 20-year old, Khawaja Nizamudin Auliya, who went on to become his disciple, and later his successor (khalifa).

Baba Farid married Hazabara, daughter of Sultan Nasiruddin Mahmud. He died on 5th of Muharram, Tuesday, 7 May 1266 CE (679 Hijri) during Namaz. His epitaph reads, "There is only one Farid, though many spring forth from the bud of the flower”. His Mazar (shrine) is located in Pakpattan. Khawaja Nizamudin Aulia constructed his tomb. The mazar has two doors, namely Noori darwaza and Bahishti darwaza. Bahishti darwaza opens once a year and during the fair, thousands of people pass through this doorway. The door itself is made of silver, and floral designs are laid in gold sheet. Thousands of devotees come to visit the shrine daily from within the country and from abroad. His urs (death anniversary) is celebrated every year on the 5th, 6th and 7th of Muharram.


Hazrat Khwaja Nizamudin Auliya (1238 - 3 April 1325)( حضرت خواجة نظ م الدّین اولیا), also known as Hazrat Nizamudin Mehbub-e-Elahi, was a famous Sufi saint of the Chishty Order in South Asia, an order that believed in respect for religious traditions and renunciation of worldly powers. He believed that pious action should be favored over religious worship.

He had a profound understanding of Akhlaq (Ethics) and believed that mutual respect was necessary between devotional traditions. In this vein, he advocated sulh-e-kull, which means absolute peace amongst devotional traditions, as well as langar, which is sharing food as members of God's community.

 Hazrat Khawaja Nizamudin Auliya was born in 1238, in Badayun, Uttar Pradesh (East of Delhi), though at age five, after the death of his father, Ahmad Badayuni, he came to Delhi with his mother  Bibi Zulekha. His biography finds mention in Ain-i-Akbari, a 16th century document written by Mughal Emperor Akbar’s vizier, Abu'l-Fazl ibn Mubarak .

At the age of 20, in the year 1269, Hazrat Nizamudin Auliya went to Ajodhan (the present Pakpattan Sharif in Pakistan) and became a disciple of the Sufi saint Fariduddin Ganj-i-Shakkar, commonly known as Baba Farid. Hazarat Nizamudin did not take up residence in Ajodhan but continued with his theological studies in Delhi while simultaneously starting the Sufi devotional practices and the prescribed litanies. He visited Ajodhan each year to spend the month of Ramadan in the presence of Baba Farid. It was on his third visit to Ajodhan that Baba Farid made him his successor. Shortly after that, when Hazrat Nizamudin returned to Delhi, he received news that Baba Farid had expired.

Hazrat Nizamudin lived at various places in Delhi, before finally settling down in Ghyaspur, a neighborhood in Delhi undisturbed by the noise and hustle of city life. He built his Khanqah here, a place where people from all walks of life were fed, where he imparted spiritual education to others and he had his own quarters. Before long, the Khanqah became a place thronged with all kinds of people, rich and poor alike.

Many of his disciples achieved spiritual height, including Shaykh Nasiruddin Muhammad Chiragh-e-Delhi, and Amir Khusro, noted scholar/musician, and the royal poet of the Delhi Sultanate.

He died on the morning of 3 April 1325. His shrine, Hazrat Nizamudin Dargah is located in Delhi, and the present structure was built in 1562. The shrine is visited by people of all faiths, through the year; it becomes a place for special congregation during the death anniversaries, or Urs, of Hazrat Nizamudin Auliya and Amir Khusro, who is also buried at the Hazrat Nizamudin Dargah.


Hazrat Nasiruddin Mahmud Chiragh-e-Delhi (ca 1274-1356) was a 14th century mystic-poet and a Sufi Saint of Chishty Order. He was a murid (disciple) of noted Sufi saint, Hazrat Nizamudin Auliya, and later khalifa, his successor. He was the last important Sufi of Chishty Order from Delhi.

He was given the title, "Roshan Chiragh-e-Delhi", which in Hindi and Urdu, means "Illuminated Lamp of Delhi". Hazrat Nasir Uddin Mahmud Chiragh Dehlavi (or Chiragh-e-Delhi) was born as Nasiruddin around 1274, at Ayodhya, Uttar Pradesh. His father Syed Yahya, who traded in Pashmina, and his grandfather, Syed Abdul Latif, first migrated from Khurasan, north-eastern Iran, to Lahore, and thereafter settled in Ayodhya, in Awadh. His father died when he was only nine years of age, thereafter growing up with his mother, he received his early education from Maulana Abdul Karim Sherwani, and later continued it, with Moulana Iftikhar Uddin Gilani.

At age forty, he left Ayodhya for Delhi, where he became the disciple of Khwaja Nizamudin Auliya, it was here that he stayed for the rest of his life as his murid (disciple), and eventually after his death, became his successor. In time, he also became a known poet in Persian language

He died in 17 Ramzan 757 Hijri or 1356 AD., at the age of 82, and is buried in a part of Delhi, India which is known as "Chiragh-e-Delhi" after him.



Key Beliefs of the Chishtyia Order

  • Emphasis on renunciation and having complete trust in God.
  • The unity of mankind and shunning distinctions based on social, economic, religious status.
  • Helping the needy, feeding the hungry and being sympathetic to the oppressed.
  • Strong disapproval of mixing with the Sultans, the princes and the nobles.
  • Exhortation in making close contact with the poor and the downtrodden
  • Adopting an uncompromising attitude towards all forms of political and social oppression.
  • A bold stance in favor of Sama, which some considered unislamic. Perhaps this was with the view that this was in consonance with the role of music in some modes of Hindu worship, could serve as a basis of contact with local people and would facilitate mutual adjustments between the two communities. In fact Qawwali, a form of devotional music, was originally created by one of the most cherished Chishtyia disciples: Amir Khusro.