Chishti is an order in India and Pakistan, named for Chisht, (people of the heart, from the chest.) the village in which the founder of the order, Abū Isḥāq of Syria, settled
Chishtiyyah later became a sufi sunni order, at the time when Islam was established upon the acceptance and agreement with a Rasool, The Rasool Mohammed SAW, by one of the 4 righteously guided khalifs. i.e a primordial of the time who knew where the previous meteor had fallen resulting in a phenomena occurring only every few hundred years or so.
Brought to India by Khwājah Muʿīn-ad-Dīn Chishtī in the 12th century, the Chishtīyah has become one of the most popular mystical orders in the country of India accepting hinduism, by virtue of the orders practical application of openness tolerance and love, energy, oneness with God and immaterialism.
Great emphasis was originally placed by the Chishtīyah on the Ṣūfī doctrine of the unity of being (waḥdat al-wujūd), oneness with God; thus, all material goods were rejected as distracting from the contemplation of God; absolutely no connection with the secular state was permitted; and the recitation of the names of God, both aloud and silently (dhikr jahrī, dhikr khafī), formed the cornerstone of Chishtī practice. Members of the order were also pacifists. The ideals of the early adherents are still revered, but some modifications of practice—e.g., ownership of property—are tolerated.
In the history of the Chishtīyah, the period of the Great Sheikhs (c. 1200–1356) was marked by the establishment of a centralized network of monasteries (khānqahs) in the northern provinces of Rājputāna, the Punjab, and Uttar Pradesh. From the 14th century, these monasteries were provincial institutions where various branches of the order took root, notably the Ṣābirīyah branch in the 15th century at Rudawlī and the Niẓāmīyah, revived in the 18th century in Delhi.
A fakir, or faqir (/fəˈkɪər/; Arabic: فقیر (noun of faqr)), derived from faqr (Arabic: فقر, “poverty”) is a Sufi Muslim ascetic who has taken vows of poverty and worship, renouncing all relations and possessions. Fakirs are prevalent in the Middle East and South Asia. A fakir is thought to be self-sufficient and possesses only the spiritual need for God.
Faqirs are characterized by their reverence for dhikr (a practice of repeating the names of God, often performed after prayers). Sufism gained adherents among a number of Muslims as a reaction against the worldliness of the early Umayyad Caliphate (661–750 CE). Though, Sufis have spanned several continents and cultures over a millennium, originally expressing their beliefs in Arabic, before spreading into Persian, Turkish, Indian languages and a dozen other languages.
The term is also applied to Hindu ascetics (e.g., sadhus, gurus, swamis and yogis). These usages developed primarily in the Mughal era in the Indian subcontinent.
There is also a distinct clan of faqirs found in North India, descended from communities of faqirs who took up residence at Sufi shrines.
Photograph of a shrine of a Muslim Sufi fakir, Sultan Bahoo, Punjab, Pakistan.
During the 17th century, another noble and spirited Muslim scholar and saint, Sultan Bahoo, revolutionized Sufism and reinstated (with fresh properties) the definition of faqr and faqir.
Historically, the terms tasawwuf, faqr, and faqer (noun of faqr) were first used (with full definition) by Husayn ibn Ali, who was the grandson of Muhammad.He wrote a book, Mirat ul Arfeen, on this topic, which is said to be the first book on Sufism and tasawwuf. However, under Ummayad rule, neither could this book be published nor was it allowed to discuss tasawwuf, Sufism or faqr openly. For a long time, after Husayn ibn Ali, the information and teachings of faqr, tasawwuf and Sufism kept on transferring from heart to heart.
In the 10th century, highly reputed Muslim Abdul-Qadir Gilani, who is the founder of Qadri silsila, which has the most followers in Muslim Sufism, elaborated Sufism, tasawwuf and faqr.
In the 13th century, Ibn Arabi was the first vibrant Muslim scholar who not only started this discussion publicly but also wrote hundreds of books about Sufism, tasawwuf and faqr.
In English, faqir or fakir originally meant a mendicant dervish. In mystical usage, the word fakir refers to man’s spiritual need for God, who alone is self-sufficient. Although of Muslim origin, the term has come to be applied in India to Hindus as well, largely replacing gosvamin, sadhu, bhikku, and other designations. Fakirs are generally regarded as holy men who are possessed of miraculous powers. Among Muslims, the leading Sufi orders of fakirs are the Shadhiliyyah, Chishtiyah, Qadiriyah, Naqshbandiyah, and Suhrawardiyah.
The Cambridge English Dictionary defines faqir as “a member of an Islamic religious group, or a holy man”. Winston Churchill is known to have referred to the peaceful resistance (satyagraha) promoting independence leader of India, Mahatma Gandhi, as a “seditious fakir”.
The attributes of a fakir have been defined by many Muslim scholars.
The early Muslim scholar, Abdul-Qadir Gilani, defined Sufism, tasawwuf and faqr in a conclusive manner. Explaining the attributes of a fakir, he says, “faqir is not who can not do anything and is nothing in his self-being. But faqir has all the commanding powers (gifted from Allah) and his orders can not be revoked.”
Ibn Arabi explained Sufism, including faqr, in more details. He wrote more than 500 books on the topic. He was the first Muslim scholar to openly introduce (first time openly) the idea of Wahdat al-wujud. His writings are considered a solid source, that defied time
Another dignified Muslim saint, Sultan Bahoo, describes a fakir as one “who has been entrusted with full authority from Allah (God)”. In the same book, Sultan Bahoo says, “Faqir attains eternity by dissolving himself in oneness of Allah. He, when, eliminates himself from other than Allah, his soul reaches to divinity.” He says in another book, “faqir has three steps (stages). First step he takes from eternity (without beginning) to this mortal world, second step from this finite world to hereafter and last step he takes from hereafter to manifestation of Allah.”
In the Fourth Way teaching of G. I. Gurdjieff the word fakir is used to denote the specifically physical path of development, as opposed to the words yogi (which Gurdjieff used for a path of mental development) and monk (which he used for the path of emotional development).
The Fakir and Goshai was with the stronger religious influence, and there are even Bauls who would shave their heads as in their past and kept on practicing and believing in many of the basic creeds of Vaishnava-Sahajiya. So all followers of different religions and religious practices came under the nomenclature Baul, which has its etymological origin in the Sanskrit words Vatula (“madcap”), or Vyakula (“restless”) and used for someone who is possessed or crazy. They were known as performers ‘mad’ in a worshiping trance of joy – transcending above both good and bad. Though fond of both Hinduism and Islam, the Baul evolved into a religion focused on the individual and centered on a spiritual quest for God from within. They believe the soul that lives in all human bodies is God.
accessed 18th December 2019