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Khwaja Abdul Chisti founded The Chisti order. Khwaja Muinuddin Chisti introduced it in India. He reached India before the battle of Tarain and settled down at Ajmer, which was a center of considerable political and religious importance. His simple, pious and dedicated life had great impact on those who came in contact with him. Khwaja Muinuddin worked amongst the low caste people and spent his life in the service of the helpless and the downtrodden. He attracted a large number of followers. He died in 1236. Two eminent disciples of Khwaja Muinuddin Chisti were Shaikh Qutbuddin Bhaktiyar Kaki (d.1235) and Shaikh Hamiduddin (d. 1276). The former popularised the Chisti order in Delhi and the latter in Rajasthan. Shaikh Hamiduddin lived in a mud-house in a village near Nagaur in Rajasthan. He lived like a simple peasant and cultivated a bigha of land. He was a strict vegetarian. He mixed freely with the Hindus and won their admiration for his simple and virtuous living. Shaikh Qutbuddin Bhaktiyar Kaki was an immigrant from Farghana. He settled down at Delhi during the reign of Iltutmish. He refused to accept the royal patronage and preferred to live in poverty. The famous Qutub Minar was named after this venerable Sufi saint. Shaikh Fariduddin Ganj-i-Shakar (d. 1265) was a disciple of Bhaktiyar Kaki. He was also known as Baba Farid. He popularized the Chisti order in Hansi and Ajodhan in modern Haryana and the Punjab. He led a householder’s life. To convey his message he spoke in local dialects. Some of his sayings are included in the Adi Granth of the Sikhs. 
Baba Farid had a number of disciples who spread the message of Islam through mysticism in India and abroad. The most prominent of Baba Farid’s disciples was Shaikh Nizamuddin Auliya (1236-1325). Though Shaikh Nizamuddin Auliya witnessed the reign of seven sultans of Delhi, he never visited the courts of any one of them. Nizamuddin Auliya gave an Islamic touch to the socio-cultural atmosphere of the capital. He lived a virtuous life and rendered social service to the poor and needy. He represents a great spiritual force in the history of Muslim India. For nearly sixty years he was a source of inspiration to thousands of people who came seeking his blessings. He laid stress on the element of love as means of realization of God. In his opinion love of God implied love of humanity. Nizamuddin Auliya practiced celibacy unlike a number of other Chisti saints. He adopted yogic breathing exercises so much so that the yogis called him a sidh or perfect. His successor was Shaikh Nasiruddin Chiragh-i-Delhi. Another great Chisti saint was Shaikh Salim Chisti, a contemporary of Akbar the Great. He lived the life of an ordinary householder in his cave dwelling at Sikri. He was Akbar’s spiritual guide.
Most of the Chisti saints belonged to the liberal school of thought. Their popularity in India was due to their understanding of the Indian conditions and the religious attitudes and aspirations of the Indian people. They adopted many Hindu customs and ceremonies in the initial stages of the development of their silsilahs in India. They laid much emphasis on the service to mankind. The Chisti mystics were believers in pantheistic monism, which had its earliest exposition in the Upanishad of the Hindus. As a result many Hindus felt closer to the Chisti silsilah and became its followers. Many of the Chisti saints lived in utter poverty and refused to accept any grants from the state. They were of the opinion that possession of any kind of private property was an obstacle to spiritual advancement.

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