Arif Mulyadi Sutresna


The Chishti order of the Sufis derived its name from Chisht (pronounce: Chesht, hence Cheshti). Chisht was a small town near Herat in Afghanistan. The first one to call himself Chishti was Khwaja Abu Ishaq (d. 966 or 940, according to the others).1 As the name Shami implied he came from Syria or even from Damascus (ash-Sham). He met a Sufi who directed him to settle in Chisht and from that day on he is known as Abu Ishaq Shami Chishti. He died in Damascus and lies buried on mount Qasiyun, where later on also Ibn al-‘Arabi was buried. Looking at the date of his death we can say that the Chishtiyya order is one of the oldest, if not the oldest now still existing Sufi order.

He has said, “Starvation (hunger) excels (shine) all in bliss.” (This showed the ascetic character of classical Sufism). In other place, he said, “The worldly people are impure while the dervishes are pure in their souls. These two different natures cannot therefore mingle.”


As said by Shaikh Hakim Mu’in al-Dîn Chisthti, the chain of authority of the Chishti Order as follows2:

Muhammad al-Mustafa
The Holy Prophet (saaw)
Commander of the Faithful ‘Alî ibn Abî Talîb

Hazrat Khwâja Hasan Basri

Khwâja ’Abd al-Wâhid
Fudhail ibn ‘Ayyâd

Ibrâhim ibn Adham

Shadîq Mar’ashî


Ulû Namshâd

Abû Ishâq Shâmî
Abû Ahmad Abdal Chishtî

Muhammad Zâhid Maqbûl Chishtî

Abû Yûsuf Chishtî
Nashîr al-Dîn Chishtî


Mawdûd Chishtî

Sharîf Zindânî
Khwâja ‘Uthmân Hârûnî

Khwâja Mu’în al-Dîn Chishtî from Ajmer

Khwâja Quthb al-Dîn Bakhtiyâr Kâkî

Shaykh Farîd al-Dîn Mas’ûd Ganj-i Shakar

Hazrat Alâ’ al-Dîn ‘Alî Ahmad Sâbir from Kalyar
Hazrat Syams al-Dîn Turk from Panipat

Hazrat Jalâl al-Dîn Mahmûd from Panipat


Hazrat Ahmad ‘Abd al-Haqq Randauli Inkeja

Hazrat Shaykh ‘Ârif from Randauli

Hazrat Shaykh Muhammad

’Abd al-Quddûs from Gangoh

Kabîr al-Awliyâ’ Jalâl al-Dîn Farûqi from Tanesar
Nizâm al-Dîn Balkh Rahnumah
Abû Sa’îd Gangohî
Muhammad Shâdiq
Muhammad Dâwûd
Shah Abu al-Ma’âlî
Muhammad Sa’îd
Sa’îd Shah Muhammad Salîm
Shah ‘Inâyatullâh
’Abd al-Karîm


Hâfiz ‘Abd ar-Rahîm

Hazrat Shah Hassan

Hafiz Husayn Shah

Muhammad Husayn

Muhammad Murtada Ahmad

Sa’îd Safdar ‘Alî Shah Chishtî
Hazrat Abû ‘Abdullâh Ghulam Mu’in al-Dîn


1. Abu Ahmad Abdal Chisthi. As we saw in the diagram above, the spiritual successor of the founder of the Chishtiyya order, Khwaja Abu Ishaq Shami Chishti, is called Shaykh Abu Ahmad Abdal Chishti. The father of the shaykh for some time tried to keep him back from the Sufi path. He, of course, did not succeed as his son became an eminent Sufi. It is related about the shaykh that he did not sleep for thirty years. He was absorbed in meditation. He breathed his last on the 3rd Jumada Thani 356 A.H. (corresponding to the 16th May 967 C.E.) at the age of 95. He was buried at Chisht in Afghanistan.

His Saying

“Fire does not affect the true believer in God.”

2. Shaykh Abu Muhammad Chishti or Abu Muhammad Zahid Maqbul Chishti. He was invested (spend) as the head of the Chishtiyya order by his father Abu Ahmad Chishti about whom we have already reported. The appointment of a son as a successor is an exception with the Chishtis, but in case of genuine spiritual capacities there is nothing against the appointment of one’s son. When succession from father to son becomes an automatic procedure, then of course Sufism degenerates. The Shaykh passed away from this world on the 4th Rabi Thani 409 A.H. (18th August 1018 C.E.) at the age of 70 (lunar years).

His Sayings

– Cherish music enlighten your heart.

– Indulgence in sama’ (audition of Sufi music) for a moment is as prolific as the penitence for hundreds of years, but the worldly people do not realise it.

3. Khwaja Abu Yusûf Chishti. He was the successor of Khwaja Abu Muhammad Chishti, maternal uncle of him. Abu Yusûf Chishti was a descendant of the Prophet Muhammad (Allah’s blessings and peace be upon him and his family). He breathed his last on the 3rd Rajab 459 A.H (20th May 1067 C.E.) at the age of 84. He was buried in Chisht, the cradle and the grave of the early Chishtiyya.

His Saying

Indulgence in sama’ (audition of Sufi music) achieves more than long enduring penitence.

4. Khwaja Mawdûd Chishti.3 He was the next person in the silsila of the Chishtiyya. He had learnt the Qur’an by heart and could recite it very melodiously at the age of seven. Afterwards he learned the other things. When he was only 26 years old, his father’s life came to an end. According to the will of his father he became his successor.

He was the first man who salute others and used to stand out (show up) to respect the others. He was famous for his hospitality (generosity). He was kind to his servants. He bade farewell to this world in the month of Rajab at the age of 97 in 533 A.H. (March 1139 C.E.). He was buried at Chisht like many of the early Chishtiyya.

Khwaja Mawdûd Chishti visited Balkh (the place of birth of Jalâl al-Dîn Rumi) and Bukhara, a place mentioned in the famous line of Hafez:

If that Turk of Shiraz would take my heart in his hand

I would give for his Hindu mole both Bokhara and Samarqand

His Saying

– The lover of sama’ (Sufi music) is a stranger to the outside world, but is a friend to God.
– The mysteries of sama’ are inexplicable (mysterious). If you reveal them, you are liable to punishment.

5. Khwaja Hajji Sharif Zindani. He was the successor of Shaykh Mawdûd Chishti who renounce all and everything. He led a life of strict seclusion for forty years and hated society. He used to live on the leaves of trees. Although several of the Chishtiyya stressed the value of asceticism, in general, they say that seclusion and ascetic practices is for short periods of time only. They said, “You should live in the midst of society and then keep up your spiritual ideals.”

Khwaja Hajji Sharif Zindani passed away from this world on the 10th Rajab 612 A.H (4th November 1215 C.E.) at the age of 120. Zindani means from Zindana. He was also buried in Zindana.

His Saying

– Riches are the enemy of a dervish; they should be shunned (avoid).

6. Khwaja Uthman Haruni. He was the successor of Khwaja Hajji Sharif Zindani. Here is a poem translated from the Persian:

I do not know why at last to have a longing look, I dance!

But I feel proud of the fondness that before the Friend, I dance!

You strike the musical instrument and see, everytime I dance!

In whatever way you cause me to dance, o Friend, I dance!

Come o Beloved! See the spectacle that in the crowd of the intrepid and daring,

With a hundred ignominies in the heart of the market, I dance!

Blessed is recklessness that I trample underfoot

the very many acts of virtue

Hail to piety, that with the robe and the turban I dance

I am Uthman-e-Haruni and a friend of Shaykh Mansur

They revile and rebuke and on the gallows I dance

He came from Harun in Iran. According to some people he was born on 526 A.H (1131-2 C.E.). There are others however who hold that he was born in 510 A.H./1116 C.E. He received the name Uthman at birth, but his nickname is Abu Nur. He was also called Abu al-Mansur.

As the custom among the Muslims, when he attained the age of four years, four months and four days his ‘Bismillah’ was performed. At this function the child recites some portion of the Qur’an and is sent to school. He became a hafizh—one who has committed the Qur’an to memory.

He met an absorbed person, a majdhub, called Chirk. This meeting proved to be the turning point in his life. He went in search of spirituality and asked Khwaja Hajji Sharif Zindani to be enrolled as his pupil (murîd). The shaykh accepted his request and with his own hand placed a four-edged cap on his head. He gave this explanation of this four-edged cap:

First is the renunciation of the world

Second is the renunciation of the world hereafter

Third is the renunciation of the desires of the self

Fourth is the renunciation (rejection) of everything other than God

Khwaja Uthman Haruni lived in the company of his shaykh for over thirty years. Thereafter he undertook long tours and travels and also performed the hajj. His close disciple, Khwaja Mu’in al-Din Hasan Chishti was with him for more than twenty-two years. In order to help his pupils, Khwaja Uthman Haruni gave discourses in order to guide them.

He died on the 5th Shawwal 617 A.H. (3rd December 1220 C.E.). His tomb in Mecca nowadays no longer exists. Khadim Hasan visited it in the beginning of this century, but it is said to be destroyed thereafter.4 Khwaja Uthman Haruni made a prophecy about his own grave stating that it would not remain in tact, but the grave of Mu’in al-Dîn would remain until the Day of Judgment.

Once he disclosed the secret that “when the Friend becomes your friend, then the whole universe in fact becomes yours. But it is necessary then that you should be unmindful of everything else and be ever with the Friend and follow Him faithfully and assiduously.”

At another time he showed contempt for those mendicants who ate to their hearts content and took themselves to be mendicant and wore the khirqa (the robe of the dervishes).

His Sayings

– If you feed the hungry, God will fulfil your thousand wants and will free you from hell fire. For you a house is built in heaven.

– The lover of God should be charitable like the river, generous like the sun and hospitable like the earth.

He indeed is close to God, who is ever steeped in His submission,

Who interprets every event as coming from God,

And who is content with it and who takes it as a blessing

This is the main object of all prayers and worship

7. Khwaja Mu’in al-Din (Hasan) Chishti (d. 633/1236). The history of the Chishtiyya Sufi order continues with the successor of Khwaja Uthman Haruni: Khwaja Mu’in al-Din (Hasan) Chishti.5 Therefore, it was clear that Mu’in al-Din Chishti is not the founder of the Chishtiyya. He was the one who brought the order to India and there was no doubt that he is the most outstanding wali of the sub-continent of Indo-Pakistan and Bangla Desh. It should be admitted, the Chishti order attained its fame under the leadership of him.

He belonged to the house of the Prophet Muhammad (s.a.) both from the paternal side (He is Husaini) and the maternal side (He is Hasani). He is closely related to Shaykh Abd al-Qadir al-Jilani.6

His great grandfather, Khwaja Ahmad Husayn, migrated from Usqar (Iraq) to Sanjar. His father Khwaja Ghiyasuddin Hasan was well-educated and trained. He was an accomplished man and a great Sufi of his time. His mother, Bibi Mah Nur, alias Ummul Warah, was the daughter of Dawud ibn Abd Allah al-Hambali. Khwaja Mu’inuddin Chishti was born in Isfahan in the year 530 A.H.7

Khwaja Gharib Nawaz (= Helper of the Poor) as Mu’in al-Dîn Chishti was known received his early education at home. When he was 9 years old he committed the Qur’an to memory. Subsequently he was admitted in a maktab (school) in Sanjar. He concentrated mostly on hadith and fiqh. His father passed away in 1150 C.E. Gharib Nawaz was hardly fifteen years old then.

One day in the same year when he was watering his garden a mystic named Ibrahim Qanduzi suddenly entered the garden. Mu’in al-Dîn Chishti was very courteous towards him and offered him a bunch of grapes. Ibrahim Qanduzi was very pleased with his behaviour and wanted to repay him. He took out a piece of oil-cake and chewing it, gave it to the young man.

As soon as he ate it, he underwent a strange transformation. He felt disgusted with mundane affairs and was enamored of a higher life. He had inherited from his father a grinding-stone and a garden, which constituted his source of income. He sold them and distributed the proceeds thereof among the poor.

In pursuit of knowledge he visited Khorasan first. Then he proceeded to other centers of Islamic learning like Samarqand and Bokhara. You may be reminded of the famous line of Hafez:

If that Turk of Shiraz would take my heart in his hand,

I would give for his Hindu mole both Bokhara and Samarqand

He stayed there for about five years, i.e. from 1150 up to 1155 C.E. He continued receiving his education up to the age of twenty years. He counted as his teachers two outstanding scholars of his time, namely Maulana Hissamuddin of Bokhara and Maulana Sharafuddin.

The teachings of Mu’in ad-Dîn Chishti were further expounded and elaborated upon by his famous student Shaykh Qutb al-Dîn Bakhtiyâr Kâkî (d. 1236). Shaykh Qu tb al-Din was succeeded by an equally famous master Shaykh Farîd al-Dîn Ganj-i Shakar (d.1265).8


The early Chishti Sufis of India had adopted the Awârîf al-Ma’ârif of Shaykh Shihab al-Dîn Suhrawardi as their chief guide book. On it was based the organization of their khanaqahs and the elder saints taught it to their disciples. The Kashf al-Mahjûb of Ali Hujwiri of Lahore was also a very popular work. Nizam al-Dîn Aulia used to say: “For one who has no spiritual guide, the Kashf al-Mahjûb is enough”. Besides these two works, the Malfûzaat (Conversations) of Nizam al-Dîn Aulia, Nasîr al-Dîn Chiragh, Burhan al-Dîn Gharib and Syed Mohammed Gesu Daraz gave a fairly accurate idea of the Chishti mystics’ ideology.

Even today the Eleven Etiquettes (Adabs) of the Chishti Sufis reflected the influence of the Kashf al-Mahjûb.

The keystone of Chishti ideology was the concept of Unity of God. It supplied the motive force to their mystic mission and determined their social outlook. The early Chishti saints, however, did not write anything about these concepts, but Masud Baksh’s Mir’at al-‘Ârifîn and his poetical diwan, Nûr al-‘Ayn, gave currency to these ideas and his works became popular study in the Chishti khanaqahs.

The Chishtis assumed that possession of property and pursuit of materialism as a negation of faith in God. They rejected worldly goods and material attractions and live on futuh (voluntary offerings) which are never demanded as charity.

The Chishti Sufis believed in a peaceful attitude towards life and considered retaliation and revenge as laws of the animal world. They lived and worked for a healthy social order, freed from all dissensions and discriminations. Contact with the state is greatly discouraged. “There are two abuses among the mystics,” says an early Chishti mystic, “jirrat and muqallid. Muqallid is one who has no master; jirrat is one who visits kings and their courts and asks people for money”.

The great objective of a mystic’s life, according to Chishtis, is to live for the God alone. One should neither hope for Heaven nor fear Hell.9 Man’s love towards God may be of three kinds: (a) Mohabbat-e-Islami i.e. love which a new convert to Islam develops with God on account of his conversion to the new faith; (b) Mohabbat-e-nuwahhibi, i.e. love which a man develops as a result of his effort in the way of following the Holy Prophet Muhammad (s. a); (c) Mohabbat-e-khass, i.e. love which is the result of cosmic emotion. A mystic should develop the last one.

The Chishti mystics didnot demand formal conversion to Islam as a pre-requisite to initiation in mystic discipline. Formal conversion, they believed, should not precede, but follow a change in emotional life. The Chishti attituded contrasts sharply with, for example, the Suhrawardi principles in this respect.

The guiding principles of the Chishti Order are encapsulated in the famous “Final Sermon” of Khwaja Mu’in al-Dîn Chishti, delivered just one month before his demise.


Love is the most important of the all Sufi order. The pen faced difficulties or even failed when trying to describe love. The popular Chishti Sufi Khwaja Nasir al-Dîn Cheragh (the “lamp”) of Delhi, who was the successor of Nizam al-Dîn Awliya has described the indescribable. He not only described ten stages and fifty phases of love, but he also experienced them.10

Scholars said that the description of the Chishti stages of love has not been written by the aforesaid Sufi. It did not really matter, as the only thing of importance is the experience of love.

I. The first stage of love is ulfat (friendship, attachment, familiarity, companionship, intimacy). It is another name for the inclination of the heart towards the object of love.

The five phases of ulfat are distinguished as follows:

1. A person hears of the beauty of a lovely person and a desire rises in him or her to have some sort of contact with this person.

2. The second phase is hiding one’s inclinations. This implies that you keep your love as a close secret and that you bear the agony thereof.

There is an expression among the Sufis. It is the ‘secret of the Friend’. Everything that is confided to you by the Beloved should be kept a secret. You also do not speak about the pain of love to others.

3. In the third phase a sort of yearning (tamannâ = wishing, asking for) sets in the heart of the lover which urges him or her to come into direct contact with his Beloved. In this state the lover neither cares for his/her life nor is afraid of death. If union with the Beloved is difficult or impossible, the lover prefers to die pining for Him.

4. The fourth phase is informing and asking for news, i.e. the desire to be fully aware of each other’s condition. An aspect of this phase is reflected by Hafez when he exclaims:

Whenever I am far from You

O, let nobody be far from You!

Then I hope that soon I will meet You

5. The fifth phase is called tadarru wa tamalluq or humility and making professions of love (tadarru’ means: humbling oneself; self-abasement, humility; earnest supplication; complaining, lamenting, whereas tamalloq means: flattering, cajolement, fawning; making professions of love; blandishment; adulation; dalliance; ceremony).

II. The second stage of love is sadâqat (true friendship, sincerity, candour, loyalty, fidelity). In this stage the heart remains unaffected by the Beloved’s fidelity or infidelity, disregards and denials, and by bestowal of favours. You can recognise it by five marks:

1. When you have reached it, then you regard carnal desires as foes, you are antagonistic to your heart’s passion, you forsake sensual pleasures and you keep your heart devoid of the love of the world.

2. The second phase is ghairat (jealousy). On reaching this phase the lover becomes jealous and on account of jealousy does not appreciate anyone even to utter the name of one’s Beloved or steal a glance at ‘that twig of a rose’.

When the lover progresses further in this phase, he or she feels jealous of his or her own self.

3. The third phase is eshtiyaaq (ardour, wishing, longing, desiring, craving, yearning) in which the desire to meet the Beloved blazes into a conflagration and the poor lover involuntarily complains:

My longing and patience have passed beyond all boundaries, o Friend!

If You’d be patient in meeting me, then no strength will remain to me

4. The fourth phase is remembrance of the Beloved.

He who loves a thing speaks of it often

Once a lover fell ill. His friends inquired of him whether they should call a physician. He replied: “My physician is the recitation of the name of my Beloved”.

5. The fifth phase is bewilderment, astonishment. Because of his exalted rank the prophet addressed Allah as ‘the Guide of the bewildered’ and finally prayed:

O, Lord! Increase my bewilderment at You!

When the Beloved is sublime and it is impossible to have access to Him, what remains there except awe and bewilderment?

III. The third stage of love is termed mawaddat (friendship, love, benevolence), which is marked by the excitation of the heart and passionate desire for the Beloved. Its phases are also five.

1. The first phase is lamentation and perturbation. The lover now moans, groans and expresses great agony in regard to the moon-faced, that is, beautiful, Beloved:

In my passion for You, o moon-faced idol

Every hair of my body is wailing

2. The second phase is weeping and wailing. It is said about the Prophet of Islam that ‘he was always sorrow-stricken and shed tears’. In his prayer he would humbly say:

O, Allah! Bless us with a weeping eye

3. The third phase is hasrat or regret. On reaching this phase the lover casts a sorrowful glance on the life wasted and feels sad in the memory of the time spent without the Beloved.

4. The fourth phase is letting the thought of the Beloved seize the lover (fikr-e mahbûb). This is the stage of intense meditation. Such a meditation brings the Beloved close to the mind of the lover. That is why an hour of meditation has been regarded as of greater value than sixty years of ritualistic prayers. A Sufi has expressed this idea in the following couplet

I do not desire to think of anyone but You, not even for a moment

For in both worlds I have got only You as a Beloved to hold my heart

5. The fifth phase is watchful contemplation of the Beloved. This is a sublime stage. It is said that once ‘Ali was saying his prayers and suddenly people witnessed that his face turned pale and he fell down unconscious on the prayer-mat. When he recovered he said: “During the prayers I contemplated on God and I felt ashamed of my shortcomings”.

IV. The fourth stage of love is, according to the Chishtiyya Sufis, styled havaa
(passionate desire; affection; favour; love; desire). In this stage the lover is always inclined towards the Beloved or longs for Him. It also has five phases:

1. The first phase is humility.

2. The second phase is obedience to the Beloved. It implies to spend your life in obedient devotion to your Beloved and to dedicate to Him all that you have.

3. According to the Chishti Sufis the third phase is sabr (patience). A tradition of the prophet observes:

“When Allah loves anyone devoted to Him, He puts him to severe tests. When he endures them steadfastly, he is marked out for distinction, with all his imperfections overlooked and with unasked for spiritual favours conferred on him, for no special effort on his part to deserve them.”

4. The fourth phase is in Persian pronunciation tazarro’ (humbling oneself; self-abasement, humility; earnest supplication; complaining, lamenting) or tadharru’ (in Arabic). The Qur’an 7: 205 commands: And remember your Lord in yourself, in humility

When matters come to such a pass for the lover, that neither meeting the Beloved lies in your power, nor the breeze of the garden of proximity reaches you, and when neither you possess the physical strength to speak, nor is your soul strong enough to soar high, what else can you do except to weep and feel helpless!

5. The fifth phase is satisfaction (rîda). There is no consensus of opinion, among the Sufis, whether ridâ is a maqâm (station) or a hâl (state). To some Sufis is identical with the utmost trust in Allah. There are others, however, who hold that redaa is not acquired by individual effort, but that it is a gift of Allah.

V. The fifth stage of love according to the Chishtiyya Sufis is called shaghaf (violent affection, violent love; alacrity; love, longing, yearning; joy). The word has been used in Qur’an 12:30 in connection with the love affair of Zulaykha with Joseph: Truly he has inspired her with violent love.

It also has five phases:

1. The first phase is the obedience to the commands of the Beloved and the carrying out of His orders, willingly and spontaneously. One of these commandment can be found in Qur’an 11:112 and is given now: Be then upright as you have been commanded.

And what has been commanded? See Qur’an 73:8 for an answer: And remember the name of your Lord, and devote yourself wholeheartedly to Him.

2. The second phase is the guarding of the inward against all, except the Beloved.

The reason for this appears to be that ‘God is single (witr) and appreciates singularity alone’.

3. The third phase of love according to the Chishtiyya Sufis is to shun everything that is distasteful to the Beloved.

4. The fourth phase of love, according to the Sufis of the Chishtiyya way, is regard for the friends of the Beloved.

5. The fifth phase of love is keeping one’s own counsel regarding love, during the love affair between the lover and the Beloved.

VI. The sixth stage of love is exclusive attachment to the Beloved. It also has five phases namely:

1. The first phase of exclusive attachment to the Beloved is called mu’aanadat (enmity).

2. The second phase of exclusive attachment to the Beloved is called sedq (truth, veracity, sincerity).

3. The third phase of exclusive attachment to the Beloved is eshtehaar (publicity; divulging; proclamation).

4. The fourth phase of exclusive attachment to the Beloved is shakwa or complaint, i.e. bewailing the distraction caused and the anguish suffered.

5. The fifth phase of exclusive attachment to the Beloved is – according to the Chishti Sufis – hozn (grief, sadness. affliction, sorrow).



VII. The seventh stage, according to the Chishtiyya Sufis, has been styled mahabbat (love, affection; friendship, esteem, benevolence).

Mahabbat has also five phases.

1. The first phase is that of husn-e akhlâq or good morals and good conduct, in private and in public, in prosperity and in adversity.

2. The second phase is that of malâma wa izhâr-e sukr wa haira or the courting of blame in a state of intoxication and bewilderment.

3. The third phase is that of mushâhadat-e ghaib (contemplation of the mystery, witnessing the unseen).

4. The fourth phase is that of aarzu-e molaaqaat or the wish to meet the Beloved.

5. The fifth phase has been styled estinaas (desire for intimacy) according to the Chishti Sufi.


VIII. The eight stage is ‘eshq (love), which is another name of excessive and intense affection. At this stage one looses one’s reason and senses.

Love (‘eshq) has five phases:

1. The first phase is fuqdaan-e-qalb (the losing of one’s heart).

2. The second phase is taa’assof (grief, regret). Here the lover who has lost his heart and is separated from his Beloved is always in grief. Qur’an 12:84 has described the plight of the prophet Jacob in the following verse: How great is my grief for Joseph! And his eyes became white with sorrow and he fell into silent melancholy.

3. The third phase is wajd (ecstasy; wajada is to find) and ecstasy is such an inner state that it cannot really be described.

4. The fourth phase is bi-sabri or impatience. During this phase the lover loses his or her vigour and strength.

5. The fifth phase in the description of the path of the lover has been called by the Chishtiyya Sufis siyaanat (preserving; defence, protection; preservation; support). The lover’s behaviour becomes like that of a madman with eyes shedding tears, the heart being seared, running distracted here and there in lanes and streets, and wandering in lonely places. He or she does not know anything but the Beloved and utters no words except the names of the Beloved.

IX. The ninth of the Chishti stages of love is called enslavement.

The ninth stage has also five phases.

1. The first phase is called tafarrod (isolation, detachment, singularity, separation, i.e separation from the rest of the world). Reaching this phase the lover is isolated from all except the Beloved, and thus he attains union with the Beloved.

2. The second phase is estetaar (occultation; being hid; concealment). Here concealment is solicited and desired by both sides, but the jealousy of the Beloved exceeds that of the lover.

3. The third phase is that of the giving of your life (bazl-e-ruh). When you experience this you do not feel concern for your life.

4 and 5. The fourth and the fifth phases are – according to the Chishtiyya Sufis – that of fear and hope. During these phases, the lover, due to the dread of the termination of his or her love with the Beloved, trembles and shudders, and the hope of meeting the Beloved gladdens the heart of the lover. Keeping in view God Almighty’s attributes of dominance, dignity and unconcern the lover fears that his or her love for God at some moment may get transferred to someone else besides Him or any of the lover’s acts may displease Him.

X. The tenth and final stage of the Chishti stages of love is valah or bewilderment (other translations are: being frightened; being sad, afflicted, sorrowful, distracted o impatient from love or grief; fear; terror, grief, perturbation of mind, stupor).

This stage, too, has five phases:

1. The first phase is that of ebtehaal (supplication; lamenting, deprecating; being sincere in prayer).

2. The second phase of the final stage among the Chishti stages of love is that of ‘the drinking of the wine of love’.

3. The third phase is sukr (intoxication).

4. The fourth phase according to the Chishtiyya is that of ezteraab (distraction, agitation, disturbance of mind, perturbation, commotion; anxiety, anguish, trouble; perplexity, restlessness, distraction; precipitation) and bikhodi (selflessness, ecstasy; rapture; being out of one’s senses; madness).

5. The fifth phase, which concludes the Chishti stages of love is talaf (destruction; ruin).

Here we come to the real meaning of love: ‘Love is the negation of all the attributes of the lover and the putting the Beloved Himself in their place’. This means, that the lover does not now subsist by her or his attributes.

The Chishti stages of love showed that a true lover, due to the prompting of the feeling of love, merges totally in the Beloved, effaced her or his soul and body in this love and with all energy available wants the Beloved alone. As it has been said: ‘If you seek an object and strive for it, you will find it’. You will succeed and the promise of ‘The one who seeks Me, finds Me’ is fulfilled. Ibn ‘Abbas has said that God said: “I am present. Seek Me and you will find Me. If you seek anything else besides Me, you will never find Me.’

For this very reason all the eminent Sufis have regarded the path of love as the most effective approach to God.

Wallâhu a`lam []


Books :

Al-Musawi, Sayid Abu al-Hasan ‘Alî ibn al-Husain al-Radi. Nahj al-Balâghah: Selection from Sermons, Letters, and Sayings of Amîr al-Mu’mînîn ‘Alî ibn Abî Tâlib. Teheran: WOFIS, 1987.

Chisyti, Syaikh Hakim Mu’inuddin. Penyembuhan Cara Sufi. Jakarta: Lentera, 2001.

Chittick, William C..Tasawuf Di Mata Kaum Sufi. Bandung: Mizan, 2002.

Haeri, Syekh Fadlallah. The Elements of Sufism. Elements Book Ltd., 1994.

Trimingham, J. Spencer. Madzhab Sufi. Bandung: Pustaka Hidayah, 1999.

Article :

Hendricks, Shaykh Siraj. “Tasawwuf: Its Meaning and Significance” (with special reference to the Chishtiyya Order).

Website : –

1 See Haeri, The Elements of Sufism, 1994, esp. Chapter 3. But, according to Trimingham, the Chishti order is founded by Mu’in al-Din Hasan Chishti from Sijistan. He died in Ajmer in 633/1236. See Trimingham, J. Spencer, The Sufi Orders in Islam (Indonesian version: Madzhab Sufi, pp.60-61).

2 See Chishti, The Book of Sufi Healing (Indonesian version: Penyembuhan Cara Sufi, pp. xii-xv).

3 Before him, the Shaykh of Chishti Order is Nashir al-Din Chishti. But I cannot find his brief biography.

4 Perhaps, if this had to do with the anti-Sufi attitude of the Wahhabi movement or if there were other reasons.

5 Trimingham tended to say implicitly that the founder of the Chishti Order is Muin al-Dîn Chishti. Perhaps it was due to from him the Chishti Order had developed so much. See further Trimingham, Madzhab Sufi, pp. 60-61.

6 Trimingham, Madzhab Sufi, p.60.

7 Trimingham hold that Muin al-Din was born in Sijistan about 537/1142. He also wrote differently about Mu’in al-Dîn’s teacher, namely Uthman Harvani, not Haruni as convinced by others. However, this difference was not a fatally fault because when a word Arabic or Persian language was translated into English, for instance, will have misspelled. But, I’m not sure.

8 According to Shaykh Siraj Hendricks, the growth of Chishtiyya Order continued by Khwaja Nizam al-Dîn Awliyâ (d. 1325), one of Shaykh Farid’s student. He consolidated the Chishtiyya order in India, particularly in the North. In addition to being a great mystic, he also excelled as a theologian. Many acknowledged him as the spiritual leader of his age.

After him, Shah Ghulam Muhammad (Sufi Sahib r.a) continued this order. He was born in 1850 in Bombay, India. He rapidly developed into one of the outstanding scholars of his time. Recognizing his qualities, his teacher of the Chishti order, Habib ‘Alî Shah (r.a) instructed him to travel to South Africa. Under his inspiring leadership, thirteen different Islamic institutions were founded in South Africa, the majority of these being in the Natal area.

Almost 200 years after his great counterpart Shaykh Yusuf of Macassar [Indonesia] (r.a) came to the Cape, Sufi Sahib arrived with the same spiritual message; renewing and reaffirming the tasawwuf origins of Islam in South Africa. Tasawwuf itself, however, had undergone a degree of decay at the hands of certain orders. In response to this a number of revivalist movements such as the Darqawiyyah, the Tijaaniyyah, and the Sanusiyyah, arose in the late 18th and early 19th centuries to redress the decadence. Sufi Sahib too, had witnessed this decay and set himself the task of addressing the ignorance and deviance he met in the Natal region.

Another master of the Chishtiyyah line was Imam Abd al-Latîf Qazi (r.a). He too hailed from the Indian sub-continent. After spending some time in Natal engaged in and devoted his mission of spreading Islam, he came to Cape Town under the instructions of Sufi Sahib. In Athlone he established the Hibibiyyah Mosque and Madrassah complex on land previously acquired by Sufi Sahib.

9 Most of all sects of Sufi had the Sufi ideology like this. This matter was not bizzare because of the all sects of Sufism have attached to Imam ‘Ali ibn Abî Talîb. One of the word of him, which also continued by his descendants Imam al-Sadiq, that worship (ibadah) can be divided into three levels, namely worship for fear of Hell, worship for hope of Heaven (Paradise), and that of because of love Allah. The firstly, worship like a slave, secondly, that of like a trader, and thirdly, that of the freeman. See further in details in Âli’s Nahj al-Balâghah.

10 In this paper, I summarize these stages and phases of love.