Ajmer Sharif, the heart of homage for thousands of all faiths, welcomes a tidal wave of humanity for the saint known as Gharib Nawaz (Benefactor of the Poor), whose spiritual order is the most lyrical and inclusive. This book showcases the absolute necessity of Khwaja Muinuddin Chishti in our conflicted times. Today, he is a signpost of unity; a reminder of the relevance of Sufism as a conduit of harmony and justice. These pages narrate the story of the founder of the Chishti Sufi Order in South Asia—who knew that hunger supersedes doctrines—and of his movement, which began in a mud hut over eight centuries ago.
Muinuddin Chishti brought Qawwali, the genre of Sufi devotional recitals, and the ideal of acceptance to the world. He discouraged religious supremacy and patriarchy by example—his wife was a central leader and his only daughter became a caliph—an aspect practised at his seat, but cast off by other shrines of his lineage.
An elaborately researched oeuvre on the history, spiritual journey, mystical power, and legacy of the 12th century Sufi giant—rich with accounts of Mughals as devotees, monuments, rituals, and over 200 unique, evocative photographs—Ajmer Sharif traces the life of the saint and reveals the living force of his shrine.