Hazrat Khwaja Moinuddin Hasan Chishti (R.A.) popularly known as Hazrat Khwaja Gharib Nawaz, Ajmer (R.A.), Khwaja Baba, 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 a direct descendant of Prophet Hazrat Mohammad (S.A.W.).
Hazrat Khwaja Moinuddin Chisty,Ajmer,(R.A) occupies a prominent place among the spiritual Healers of the world. In his temperament as in the circumstance of his life Khwaja Sahib was destined for an extra ordinary career. Into a tottering civilization, 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..
He is a SYMBOL OF LOVE, HARMONY AND TRUTH.
The sources of this power may be traced to his own exceptional endowments. Throughout his life, he exhibited the noble traits of character so peculiar to the house of Prophet Mohammed (S.A.W) to which he belonged.
His father, Sayyid Ghiyas-u’d-din, a pious man of some means, died when his son was in his teens. He left as legacy an orchard and a grinding mill. Once Khwaja Muinuddin Hassan was looking after the plants in his garden that a mystic, Shaikh Ibrahim Qanduzi, happened to pass by. Shaikh Mu’in-u’d-din entertained him in his garden. Hagiologists trace the germination of mystic attitude in him to the blessings of this Saint. In fact, the most powerful factor in giving a mystic touch to his personality at this early stage was the condition of Sijistan which had suffered terribly at the hands of the Qara Khita and the Ghuzz Turks. It drove the Khwaja’s mind inwards and he realized the futility of hankering after worldly glory or looking after worldly goods. He sold all his assets, gave the proceeds in charity and took to itineracy. He visited the eminent scholars of his age. While on his way to Iraq, he passed through Harvan, in the district of Naishapur.
Here he met Khwaja ‘Usman Harwani’ and was so deeply impressed by his spiritual eminence that he decided to join the circle of his disciples. For twenty years he accompanied him on his arduous mystic journeys and performed all sorts of personal services to him. Shaikh Mu’in’d-din 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”.
Khwaja Garib Nawaj Haj and Prophet’s command
As the great Khwaja become accomplished and perfect in every respect, the divine tutor (Hazrat Khwaja Usman Harwani (R.A.) honored 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 (S.A.W.)
One night in a trance he was ordered by the Holy Prophet Hazrat Muhammad (S.A.W.)
“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.)
Later he undertook independent journeys and came into contact with eminent Saints and scholars like Shaikh Najm-u’d-din Kubra, Shaikh Najib-u’d-din ‘Abdul Qahir Suhrawardi, Shaikh Abu Sa’id Tabrizi, Shaikh Mahmud Ispahani, Shaikh Nasir-u’d-din Astarabadi and Shaikh ‘Abdul Wahid – all of whom were destined to exercise great influence on contemporary religious life and thought. He visited nearly all the great centers of learning in those days – Samarqand, Bukhara, Baghdad, Naishapur, Tabriz, Aush, Ispahan, Sabzawar, Mihna, Khirqan, Astarabd, Balkh and Ghaznin and aquainted himself with almost every important trend in Muslim religious life in the middle ages. His moral and spiritual qualities attracted many people to his fold and he appointed his Khalifas in Sabzwar and Balkh. Shaikh Auhad-u’d-din Kirmani, Shaikh Shihab-u’d-din Suhrawardi and many other eminent mystics benefited by his company. Having thus roamed all over the Muslim lands which had not yet recovered from the terrible shocks of Qara Khitai and Ghuzz invasions and were to be ravaged very soon by the Mongols, he turned towards India. After a brief stay at Lahore, where he meditated at the Shrine of one of the prominent Sufi, Shaikh Ali Hajweri, he proceeded to Ajmer. Hazrat Khwaja Garib Nawaz composed a couplet paying a glowing tribute to Shaikh Hajweri :
(Ganj Bakhsh-e-Har Do Alam Mazhar-e-Noor-e-Khuda, Na Qisan Ra Peer-e-Kamil, Kamilan Ra Peshwa)
He is a wealth bestowing Saint in this world and hereafter and an embodiment of divine light.
A complete spiritual guide for the imperfect disciples 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 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 center of his divine activities, throughout his stay at . Ajmer Today his Shrine is popularly known as “Dargah Sharif of Huzoor Khwaj Gharib Nawaj (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 and Itar 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 Huzoor Gharib Nawaz (R.A.)
Ajmeri was not merely the seat of Chauhan power ; it was a religious center 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.
Gharib Nawaz 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 Gharieb Nawaz 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 Ghareb Nawaz referred to the following attributes : AWWAL SAKHAWATE CHUN SAKHAWATE DARIYA, DOM SHAFQAT-E-CHUN SHAFQAT-E-AFTAB, SIWAM TAWAZO-E-CHUN TAWAZO-E-ZAMEEN. (First, river like generosity; second, sun-like affection, and third earth like hospitality.) When once asked about the highest devotion of God, Gharib Nawaz remarked that it was nothing but
“Dar mandgaan ra fariyad raseedan wa haajat-e-baichaargaan ra rawa kardan wa gursingaan ra sair gardaneedan”
i.e. to redress the misery of those in distress, to fulfil the needs of the helpless and to feed the hungry.
Khwaja Gareb Nawaz 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.