The Chishtī Order (Persian: چشتی - Čištī) is a Sufi order within the mystic branches of Islam which was founded in Chisht, a small town near Herat, about 930 C.E. and continues to this day. The Chishti Order is known for its emphasis on love, tolerance, and openness.
The order was founded by Abu Ishaq Shami (“the Syrian”) who belonged to Syria introduced the ideas Sufismin the town of Chisht, some 95 miles east of Herat in present-day western Afghanistan. Before returning to
The most famous of the Chishti saints is Moinuddin Chishti (popularly known as Gharib Nawaz meaning 'Benefactor of the Poor') who settled in Ajmer,India. He oversaw the growth of the order in the 13th century as Islamic religious laws were canonized. He reportedly saw the Islamic prophetMuhammad in a dream and then set off on a journey of discovery.
Chishti master Inayat Khan (1882–1927) was the first to bring the Sufi path to the West, arriving in
The Chishti Order is famous for its emphasis on love, tolerance, and openness. The order traces its spiritual origin through various saints all the way to the Islamic caliph Ali and from him to the Islamic prophet Muhammad.
The Chishti saints had two hallmarks which differentiate them from other Sufi saints. The first was their ethical relations to the institutional powers. This meant voluntarily keeping a distance from the ruler or the government mechanism. It didn't matter if the ruler was a patron or a disciple: he was always kept at bay since it was felt that mixing with the ruler will corrupt the soul by indulging it in worldly matters. The second distinctive dimension was related to the religious practice of the Chishtis. It was aggressive rather than passive; a ceaseless search for the divine other. In this respect the Chishtis followed a particular ritual more zealously then any other brotherhood. This was the practice of sema, evoking the divine presence through song or listening to music. The genius of the Chishti saints was that they accommodated the practice of sema with the full range of Muslim obligations.
The Chishti Order can also be characterized by the following principles:
§ Renunciation of the material world
§ Distance from worldly powers
§ Supporting poors
§ Service to humanity
§ Respect for other devotional traditions
§ Dependence on the Creator and not the creation
§ Disapproval of showing off miraculous feats
The Chishti Order is now indigenous to
12. Maudood Chishti
13. Shareef Zandani
14. Usman Harooni
After Fariduddin Ganjshakar, the Chishti Order of
1. Nizamuddin Auliya - This branch became the Chisti Nizami branch. Nizamuddin was the master ofNasiruddin Chirag-e-Delhi who in turn was the master of Khwaja Bande Nawaz. All these are important saints of the order.
2. Alauddin Sabir Kaliyari - This branch became the Chisti-Sabiri branch.
Over time (principly after the 17th century) many further branches emerged which routinuely united or diverged towards other popular Sufi orders in
1. Ashraf Jahangir Semnani - He further extended the litanies the Chistiya Nizami branch. His followers became the members of the Chisti Nizami Ashrafiya branch.
2. Haji Imdadullah Muhaajir Makki - He extended the litanies of the Chishtiya Sabaria branch. His followers became the members of the Chishtiya Sabaria Imdadiya branch.
3. Shah Niyaz Ahmad- He united the Chisti Nizami order with the Qadriya order to form the Chistiya Qadriya Nizamia Niyazia branch.
As a result of this metamorphosis of the Chisti order with other branches, most Sufi masters now initiate their disciples in all the four major orders of
mal'>< tpSK_J-family:"Trebuchet MS"; mso-bidi-font-family:Arial;color:black'>: Chisti, Suhrawadi, Qadri and Naqshbandi. They do however, prescribe prayers and litanies, only of the order with which they are primarily associated.