|This shows one of the tomb's entrances, which are opened at set hours by the khadims or hereditary caretakers. personal.carthage.edu|
|Dargah Sharif - the tomb of a Sufi saint Khawaja Moinuddin ChistiAjmer, Rajasthan. www.ghumakkar.com|
|Dargah Sharif - the tomb of a Sufi saint Khawaja Moinuddin ChistiAjmer, Rajasthan. tourmet.com|
It is said that, regardless of their faith, people who visit Ajmer Sharif and pray sincerely with devotion at his Dargah will free their soul and will never leave empty handed from Khawaja’s Darbar. Moinuddin Chishti (1141 - 1236) also known as Gharīb Nawāz (Benefactor of the Poor), was an Imam, Islamic scholar and philosopher from South Asia. Chishti introduced and established the ''Chishti Order of Sufism'' in the Indian subcontinent. He is thought to be a "sayyid", a direct descendant of Prophet Muhammad. A native of Chisht in a city between Afghanistan and Iran, he led a life of renunciation at an young age. After obtaining considerable knowledge in Muslim theology, he came to India upon seeing a dream in which prophet Muhammad blessed him to do so. Settled in Ajmir, Rajasthan, he attracted the attention of the people there through his impressive, simple teachings. He promptly promoted understanding between Muslims and non-Muslims. It was during the reign of the Mogul Emperor Akbar (1556–1605) Ajmir emerged as one of the important centers of pilgrimage in India. He himself undertook a journey on foot to Ajmer.
Though his teachings were not written down in the form of a book, the central principles, that became the pillars of the 'Chishti Order' in India, are based on his teachings and practices. His thought-provoking religious teachings included several principles such as:
01. Renunciation of material goods, cultivation of self-discipline and promotion of personal prayer.
02. Participation in samā' as a legitimate means to spiritual transformation.
03.Unsolicited offerings as means of basic subsistence. No demanding of offerings from public for survival.
04. Complete independence from rulers and the state, including rejection of monetary and land grants by them.
05 promoting generosity to others, particularly, through sharing of food and wealth.
06. Cultivation of tolerance and respect for religious differences,
The great Sufi saint expected his ardent disciples ''to develop river-like generosity, sun-like affection and earth-like hospitality." The highest form of devotion, according to him, was "to redress the misery of those in distress – to fulfill the needs of the helpless and to feed the hungry ''.