808th Urs Celebration Taking Place in Ajmer to Commemorate India’s Most Popular Muslim Saint – Khwaja Moinuddin Chishti

Millions of Indians flock to Ajmer each year to seek God's mercy, bounty and grace

“Portrait of Shaikh Mu’in al-Din Hasan Chishti”, Folio from the Shah Jahan Album. Early 19th century. The Metropolitan Museum of Art.(Rahnuma)

By Ahmed Khan, The Rahnuma Daily Editor-In-Chief (Online English)
@editor_therahnuma, editor@therahnuma.com

(RAHNUMA) The year 2020 marks the 808th anniversary of the passing of the most popular Muslim Saint in India, Khwaja Moinuddin Chishti (d.1236) and is being commemorated with the annual Urs festival.

Each year millions of Indians from all religious backgrounds and social status, including royalty, politicians, and Bollywood actors, participate in the Urs festival.

The venerable Khwaja Moinuddin Chisti Ajmeri was a direct paternal descendant of the eleventh Husaynid Imam Al Hasan Al-Askari (d. 874).

Like the Great Mughal Emperors of the Delhi Darbar, Hyderabad Deccan’s Nizam dynasty was particularly devoted the venerable Khwaja Moinuddin, offering gold and silver each year at the shrine. There are photographs of His Exalted Highness the Nizam of Hyderabad Mir Osman Ali Khan Siddiqi standing without a hat and his shoes, as a beggar seeking God’s grace at the langar (kitchen) of the Saint in Ajmer. This is significant since H.E.H the Nizam of Hyderabad Osman Ali Khan Siddiqi, Asaf Jah VII was portrayed on the cover of TIME magazine in 1937 as “the richest man in the world” and named by Forbes magazine as “the wealthiest South Asian in history”, ranked the as fifth on the Forbes ‘All Time Wealthiest’.

Calligraphic names of the Twelve Imams of Ahl al-Bayt dynasty found at the Shrine Complex of the venerable Khwaja Moinuddin Chishti in Ajmer, India.(Rahnuma)

The foreword of the first English book to document the biography the Saint of Ajmer was financed by and dedicated to His Exalted Highness Prince Mukarram Jah Bahadur of Hyderabad, Grandson of H.E.H The Nizam of Hyderabad, “in loving memory of his illustrious family’s unswerving devotion to Hazrat Khwaja Muinuddin Hasan Chishtiy the Holy Saint of Ajmer.”

According to this book, published under the auspices of Hyderabad’s royal family, the paternal genealogy of the Sage is as follows, and traces back to the Holy Prophet Muhammad himself, through eleven of the Twelve Imams – or the eleventh Husaynid dynasty.

Calligraphic names of the Twelve Imams of Ahl al-Bayt dynasty found at the Shrine Complex of the venerable Khwaja Moinuddin Chishti in Ajmer, India.(Rahnuma)

The following is the lineage of Khwaja Moinuddin Chishti from the official records of Hyderabad’s royal family in possession of Prince Mukarram Jah Bahadur.

“Khwaja Muinuddin Hasan Chishti son of Khwaja Syed Ghayasuddin Hasan son of Syed Ahmed Hasan Sanjari son of Syed Husain Ahmed son of Syed Najmuddin Tahir son of Syed Khwaja Abdul Aziz Husain son of Syed Ibrahim Askari son of Abi Muhammad Mahdi Imam Hasan Askari son of Imam Ali Naqi son of Imam Mohammed Taqi son of Imam Ali Raza son of Imam Musa Kazim son of Imam Jafar Sadiq son of Imam Mohammed Baqir son of Princess Fatima daughter of Imam Al Hasan and Imam Zain-ul Abidin son of Syed-us-Shohada Imam Husain son of Lady Fatima al-Zahra, daughter of the Holy Prophet Muhammad, and Amir-ul-Mominin Imam Ali son of Abi Talib, son-in-law of the Holy Prophet Mohammed (“Hidaya Moin, Safinat-ul-Aulia by Prince Dara Shikoh, Ashjar-ul-Jama Waqa-e-Shah Moinuddin Chishti by BabuJal and Ata-e-RasooI)” [Hazrat Khwaja Muinuddin Hasan Chisti, the Holy Saint of Ajmer. Mirza Wahiduddin Begg of Ajmer. Popularly Known as W. D. Begg. Printed in India. Printed by S. Ramu, General Manager, at The Commercial Printing Press Private Limited, 34-38 Bank Street, Fort, Bombay 1 and Published by W. D. Begg, Begg’s Office, Topdara, Ajmer, Rajasthan, India].

Queen Victoria of England was among the guests who signed the Shrine’s guest book and in April 2015, then US President Barack Hussein Obama offered a ‘chadar’ via the US Embassy in New Delhi during the festival.

Calligraphic names of the Twelve Imams of Ahl al-Bayt dynasty found at the Shrine Complex of the venerable Khwaja Moinuddin Chishti in Ajmer, India.(Rahnuma)

Ahmed Khan is the Editor-In-Chief & Publisher of The Rahnuma Daily (theRahnuma.com), the online English daily edition of The Rahnuma-E-Deccan Daily (ReDD), India’s oldest Urdu daily print newspaper established in 1921. More than 81.1 million Indians identify Urdu as their language, and as per the annual INA (Indian Newspapers Association) report, ReDD ranks among the top 5 most widely circulated and read Urdu daily print newspapers throughout India. Ahmed resides in Hyderabad at his maternal ancestral home and can be contacted at, @editor_therahnuma, editor@therahnuma.com

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