Saturday, September 7, 2013

Famous Sufi Saints of India

Khwaja Ali Hujjwiri
Popularly known as Data Ganj Baksh, Khwaja Ali Hujjwiri lived in 11th century AD and is considered to be the earliest Sufi Saint of repute who made India his home. He died in Lahore and his tomb is an important place of pilgrimage. He is known for compiling Kashf-ul-Mahjoob, a manual of Sufism, which was translated into English by British Orientalist and scholar Reynold Alleyne Nicholson.

Sheikh Bahaud-din Zakariya
Credited with the foundation of the Suhrawardiya Sufi order in India, Sheikh Bahaud-din Zakariya made Multan his base which also served as headquarters of the order. His tomb is situated in Multan.

Khwaja Moinuddin Chisti
The founder of the Chisti order in India, Khwaja Muinud-din-Chisti was also known as Khwaja Ajmeri. Headquartered in Ajmer in Rajasthan, Chisti was the most popular and famous Sufi order in India which attracted devotees from both Muslims and Hindus and continue to do so. He died in Ajmer in 1236.

Khwaja Qutbuddin Bakhtiyar Kaki
A disciple of Moinuddin Chisti, Qutbuddin Bakhtiyar Kaki popularized the Chisti order in Delhi. His tomb is in Mehrauli in Delhi and it is said that Qutub Minar takes its name from this sufi saint. 

Hamiduddin Nagauri
Aother prominent disciple of Moinuddin Chisti, Hamiduddin Nagauri was instrumental in initiating Chisti order in Nagaur in Rajasthan.

Baba Farid-du-din Ganj-i-Shakar (1175-1265)
Popularly known as Baba Farid in Sikh tradition, Baba Farid-du-din Ganj-i-Shakar was the first great Sufi poet of Punjab. A disciple of Khwaja Qutbuddin Bakhtiyar Kaki, he built his khanqah (Sufi hospice) at Ajodan (presently Pakpattan in the Punjab province of Pakistan. More than 100 hymns written by him have been included in the Guru Granth Sahib, the sacred book of the Sikhs.

Leading a life of extreme poverty, Baba Farid used to wear worn-out garments. He subsisted on futuh and nazur (unsolicited gifts). It is said that when his son was die of starvation he expressed his inability to do anything. He was succeeded by his most famous disciple Hazrat Nizamuddin Auliya.

Hazrat Nizamuddin Auliya
One of the most famous Sufi saints of Chisti order, Hazrat Nizamuddin Auliya (1236-1325) inherited the spiritual mantle from Baba Farid-du-din Ganj-i-Shakar. He was also known as Mahboob-i-Ilaahi.

Shaikh Nasiruddin Muhamud
Shaikh Nasiruddin Muhamud, better known as Chirag-i-Delhi (the lamp of Delhi), was a famous Sufi saint of Chisti silsilah, the most popular of the orders into which Sufis were organized. He was the disciple and successor of Shaikh Nizamuddin Aulia, the most prominent Sufi saint of the aforesaid order.

Gesudaraz Syed Muhamad Husayni
Chirag-i-Delhi’s famous disciple was Gesudaraz Syed Muhamad Husayni is credited with the spread of Chisti order in South India. Famously known as Bandanawaz (benefactor of the creatures of God), he made Gulbarga in Karnataka his base.

One of the earliest to write in Urdu, Gesudaraz is said to have authored more than thiry books on Sufism.

Shaikh Badruuddin Samarkhandi
He was the founder of the Firdausi order wise influenced was confined to Bihar. Shaikh Sharfuddin Yahya Maneri, who lays buried in Bihar Sharif, district headquarters of Nalanda in the state of Bihar, was another prominent Sufi saint of Firdausi silsila.
Shah Nayamatulla Qadiri
He was the founder of the Qadiriya silsila in India. Dara Sikhoh, the eldest and most favourite son of Aurangzeb, was a follower of this order. The order made its presence strongly felt in Uttar Pradesh and Deccan. Miyan Mir was the most famous Sufi saint of Qadiriya order.

Shah Abdullah Shuttari
He was the founder of Shuttari order. Its areas of influence were Madhya Pradesh and Gujarat.

Khwaja Baqi Billah
Born in Kabul in 1563, Khwaja Baqi Billah founded Naqshbandiah silsilah during the reign of Akbar. He died at an age of 40 in 1603 and lies buried in Sadar bazaar area of Delhi. Shaikh Ahmed Sirhindi was the most prominent saint of Naqshbandiah order. Shaikh Ahmed Sirhindi who died in 1625 was also known as Mujaddid Alif.

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