In the year 1236 a tomb had been built probably by his students here. However, it was Akbar who had built the mosque as a sign of his gratitude and faith in the Khwaja. Moin-ud-din Chishti came into prominence during the Bhakti movement. Being one of the Sufi saints he popularized the fact that there is only one god. He propagated the teachings of Islam and strongly supported religious tolerance. He supported the cause of women. Muslim women always maintained veil and were denied the right of education. They were not even allowed to pray in the mosque with men. Ajmer e sharif, Rajasthan, is probably the only Muslim religious site where women can pray with men. They were also allowed to sing Sufi devotional songs at the mosque.
Ajmer e sharif is a beautiful monument with an imposing gateway that was built by the Nizam of Hyderabad in 1915. The red sand stone Akbari Masjid stands on the right side. At the left side there is an assembly hall with silver doors. The Buland Darwaza leads to the second courtyard. This was built by Mahmood Khilji in the 15th century. There are two huge cauldrons that were gifted by Akbar and a small one was donated by Jahangir. These are still in use. Rich Muslims pay for a feast of rice, ghee, sugar, raisins and spices to be cooked in these for mass distribution. There are two kitchens here-Langar Khana and the Mehfil Khana.
The dargah chamber is in the inner courtyard. The white marble tomb is square with a domed roof. The ceiling is gold embossed and silver railing. The qawwali are held in the vast courtyards on both sides. These devotional songs heighten the feeling of religious commitment. The inner court also houses Begum Dalaan that was built in 1643 by Shahjahan's daughter. It is a white marble magnificent building with gilded walls and ceilings etched with gold.
Ajmer e sharif is considered one of the most sacred religious sites. Chishti is very popular with the poor sections of the Muslim community. As a result during the Saint's death anniversary celebrations (Urs), hundreds of thousands of pilgrims come here from all over the subcontinent to offer chaadar or the sheet of flowers to their revered saint.
(Last Updated on : 26-06-2014)
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