Salim Chishti

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Shaikh Salím Chishtí of the Chishtiyya Order

Salim Chishti (1478–1572) (Urdu: [sə.ˈliːm ˈtʃɪʃtiː]) was a Sufi saint of the Chishti Order during the Mughal Empire in India.


Shaikh Salím Chishtí with Mughal Emperor Akbar

The Mughal Emperor Akbar came to Chishti's home in Sikri to ask him to pray for a male heir to the throne. Chishti blessed Akbar, and soon the first of three sons was born to him. He named his first son Salim (later emperor Jahangir) in honor of Chishti.[1] A daughter of Sheikh Salim Chishti was the foster mother of Emperor Jahangir. The emperor was deeply attached to his foster mother, as reflected in the Jahangirnama[2] and he was extremely close to her son Qutb-ud-din Khan Koka who was made the governor of Bengal.[citation needed]

His eldest son, Saaduddin Khan, was ennobled Saaduddin Siddiky and was granted three jagirs in the Gazipur District of Amenabad, Talebabad and Chandrapratap. Currently, his great grandson Kursheed Aleem Chishti lives there and is the 16th generation of Salim Chishti.[3] These descendants in Bangladesh include Chowdhury Kazemuddin Ahmed Siddiky, the co-founder of the Assam Bengal Muslim League and the University of Dhaka; Justice Badruddin Ahmed Siddiky;[4] Chowdhury Tanbir Ahmed Siddiky, the Commerce Minister of Bangladesh;and Chowdhury Irad Ahmed Siddiky, a noted anti-corruption activist and candidate for the Mayor of Dhaka in 2015. The descendants of his second-eldest son, Shaikh Ibrahim, was granted the title Kishwar Khan and now resides in Sheikhupur, Badaun in India.[5][circular reference]

Akbar held the Sufi in such high regard that he had a great city Fatehpur Sikri built around his camp, and his Mughal court and courtiers were then relocated there. A shortage of water is said to be the main reason that the city was abandoned, and it now sits in remarkably good condition as a mostly deserted city. Today, it is one of the main tourist attractions in India.[citation needed]

Salim Chishti tomb[edit]

Salim Chishti Tomb taken by Samuel Bourne in 1865
Another view of Salim Chishti Shrine
Fatehpur Sikri: Salim Chishti's Tomb

Chishti's tomb was originally built with red sandstone but later converted into a beautiful marble mausoleum. Salim Chishti's Mazar (tomb) is in the middle of the Emperor's Courtyard at Fatehpur Sikri, Uttar Pradesh, India.[citation needed].

The mausoleum was constructed by Akbar as a mark of his respect for the Sufi saint, who foretold the birth of his son. Prince Salim was named after him and later succeeded Akbar to the throne of the Mughal Empire, as Jahangir.[citation needed]

It is believed that, by offering prayers at this mazar, whatever one wishes will be fulfilled. There is also a ritual of tying a thread at the marble windows of this Dargah to have one's wishes be fulfilled.[citation needed]

The ancestral house of Shaikh Salim Chishti has a large Sun motif at its main door and inside has a beautiful array of impressive stone screen and exquisitely carved herring bone roof. It is attached to the first building built in Fatehpur Sikri, which is known as "Sangtarash mosque" or Stone Cutter's mosque. One of the oldest buildings in Fatehpur Sikri, Stone Cutter's mosque is situated to the west of the Jami Masjid, which was built by the local stone cutters in honor of Chishti. It has beautiful architectural features, marking the incorporation of indigenous architectural styles in the construction.[citation needed]

Salim Chishti's mazar is one of the most notable accomplishments of Mughal architecture, surpassed only in reputation by the massive Buland Darwaza or Victory Gate on its southern side, the Badshahi darwaza or Emperor's gate on the eastern side, and a grand mosque Jama masjid on the western side, as well as by courtyards, a reflecting pool, and other tombs. Construction commenced in 1571 and the work was completed fifteen years later.[citation needed]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Muhammad-Hadi (1999). Preface to The Jahangirnama. Translated by Thackston, Wheeler M. Oxford University Press. p. 4. ISBN 978-0-19-512718-8. A dervish named Shaykh Salim [Chisti] ... lived in the town of Sikri ... If His Majesty [Akbar]'s wish were divulged to him, there was hope that it would be granted through his prayers. Consequently His Majesty went to the shaykh's house ... Because there had been true intention and firmness of belief, in a short while the tree of hope bore fruit ... For the well-being of this offspring ... he was given the name Sultan Salim.
  2. ^ Jahangir, Emperor of Hindustan (1999). The Jahangirnama: Memoirs of Jahangir, Emperor of India. Translated by Thackston, Wheeler M. Oxford University Press. p. 65. ISBN 978-0-19-512718-8. Qutbuddin Khan Koka's mother passed away. She had given me milk in my mother's stead—indeed, she was kinder than a mother—and I had been raised from infancy in her care. I took one of the legs of her bier on my own shoulder and carried it a bit of the way. I was so grieved and depressed that I lost my appetite for several days and did not change my clothes.
  3. ^ Khan, Muazzam Hussain (2012). "Qutbuddin Khan Kokah". In Islam, Sirajul; Jamal, Ahmed A. (eds.). Banglapedia: National Encyclopedia of Bangladesh (Second ed.). Asiatic Society of Bangladesh.
  4. ^ Siddiky, Leila Rashida (2012). "Siddiky, Justice Badruddin Ahmad". In Islam, Sirajul; Jamal, Ahmed A. (eds.). Banglapedia: National Encyclopedia of Bangladesh (Second ed.). Asiatic Society of Bangladesh.
  5. ^ Qutubuddin Koka

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