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Hazrat Nizamuddin Auliya Dargah, New Delhi

Syed Muhammad Nizamuddin Auliya was one of the most prominent Sufi saints from the Indian subcontinent. He was also known as Hazrat Nizamuddin and Mahbub-e-Ilahi, meaning 'Beloved of God'. Nizamuddin Auliya was a Sunni Muslim scholar and a Sufi saint of the Chishti Order.

Being a Sufi, the Chishti saint stressed on love as a means of realising God. At the same time, he believed that the love of God implied a love of humanity and brotherhood. Even today, it is visible how Nizamuddin Auliya has created a major influence on not just the Muslims of Delhi, but all around the world.

Nizamuddin Auliya was born in 1238 AD in the region of Baduan, Uttar Pradesh, to Syed Abdullah bin Ahmad Al Hussaini Badayuni and Bibi Zulekha. When Nizamuddin was five years old, his father died. At the age of 21, Nizamuddin went to Ajodhan, which is now present in Pakpattan Sharif, Pakistan, to become a disciple of the Sufi saint Fariduddin Ganjshakar, also known as Baba Farid. In fact, every year in the month of Ramadan, Nizamuddin would visit Ajodhan in presence of Baba Farid to gain knowledge about Sufism.

Interestingly, on his third visit to Baba Farid, he was made the successor. And, when he was returning back, Nizamuddin received the news that Baba Farid had died.

After becoming the successor of Baba Farid, Nizamuddin lived at various places in Delhi, before finally settling down in Ghiyaspur. He also built his Khanqah, which is a place of worship and holding Sufi rituals, and which was thronged with all kinds of people, rich and poor alike. Famous disciples of Nizamuddin includes, Shaikh Nasiruddin Chirag Delhavi and Amir Khusro.

The teachings of Nizamuddin Auliya included a vision of kindness, love, and religious pluralism. In fact, it was claimed by Ziauddin Barani, who was a Muslim political thinker of the Delhi Sultanate, that Nizamuddin Auliya had a strong influence on the Muslims of Delhi as they began to be inclined towards mysticism and prayers and remaining aloof from the world.

Lastly, one of the most beautiful statements by Nizamuddin Auliya was, "A man is in his worst state when he considers himself good and pious," which is somewhere or the other very appropriate for this century.

Keywords: Nizamuddin Auliya, Sufism, Islam, Devotion, Pilgrims, Delhi


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