The shrine of the 12th century Khwaja Moinuddin Chishti in Ajmer, Rajasthan is the most popular and deeply revered Sufi centre of pilgrimage in South Asia. The 11th century Khwaja had introduced the Chishti Sufi order into India. Being relatively liberal in their attitudes to people of other faiths, the Chishtis emerged as among the most successful Islamic missionaries in the region. In part, the successes of the Chishtis owed to their willingness to employ local Indic concepts, customs and practices - devotional hymns, qawwalis, yogic meditational techniques, to propagate the message of Islam in a way that listeners would find intelligible. This legacy lives on and people of different faiths gather in common devotion at the shrines of Chishti Sufis all over the country.
This well-designed illustrated text provides a fascinating glimpse the shrine of the Sufi of Ajmer. Intended particularly for those with little knowledge of Sufism or Islam, it gives an introduction to doctrines of the Sufis of the Chishti order.
It details the life and times of Khwaja Moinuddin Chishti - birth in Iran, travels in Central Asia and Arabia in the company of mystic masters and arrival in Ajmer. Eight centuries after his death, the tradition continues to flourish.
Fascinating photographs of Sufi rituals are accompanied by explanations on their inner import in simple terms; and then rounded off with a pictorial tour of the buildings of this most scared of South Asian Sufi shrines, several of which, were constructed by Hindu as well as Muslim rulers. Making no claims of being an academic treatise, this book is a joy to read. The text is compact and well adapted to the impressive set of photographs that accompany it. A rich documentary source on contemporary South Asian Sufi practices. it serves a valuable purpose as a general introductory volume.