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Nasiruddin Mahmud
Religion Islam, specifically the Chisti Nizami order of Sufism
Other name(s) Chiragh Dehlavi
Born 1274
Died 1356
Senior posting
Based in Delhi
Title Khalifa
Period in office Early 14th century
Predecessor Nizamuddin Auliya
Successor Various, the most prominent being Khwaja Bande Nawaz

Hazrat Nasiruddin Mahmud Chirag-e-Delhi [1](ca 1274-1356) was a 14th century mystic-poet and a Sufi Saint of Chishti Order. He was a murid (disciple) of noted Sufi saint, Hazrat Nizamuddin Auliya [2], and later khalifa, his successor [3][4]. He was the last important Sufi of Chishti Order from Delhi [5].

He was given the title, "Roshan Chirag-e-Delhi", which in Urdu, means "Illuminated Lamp of Delhi" [6].



Hazrat Nasir Uddin Mahmud Chiragh Dehlavi (or Chiragh-e-Delhi)[7] was born as Nasiruddin around 1274, at Ayodhya, Uttar Pradesh [8][9]. His father Syed Yahya, who traded in Pashmina, and his grand father, Syed Abdul Latif, first migrated from Khorasan, north-eastern Iran, to Lahore, and thereafter settled in Ayodhya, in Awadh. His father died when he was only nine years of age, thereafter growing up with his mother, he received his early education from Maulana Abdul Karim Sherwani, and later continued it, with Maulana Iftikhar Uddin Gilani [7].

At age forty, he left Ayodhya for Delhi, where he became the disciple of Khwaja Nizamuddin Auliya, it was here that he stayed for the rest of his life as his murid (disciple) [9], and eventually after his death, became his successor. In time, he also became a known poet in Persian language [10]

He died in 17 Ramzan 757 Hijri or 1356 AD. [11], at the age of 82, and is buried in a part of South Delhi, India which is known as "Chirag-e-Delhi" after him [8].


One of his noted disciple was Khwaja Bande Nawaz Gezu Daraz, who later moved to Daulatabad around 1398, owing to the attack of Timur on Delhi, and from where at the invitation of Bahamani King, Firuz Shah Bahamani, moved to Gulbarga, Karnataka, where he stayed for the following 22 years of his life, spreading the Chishti Order in the South [12], till his death in November 1422. The Dargah (mausoleum) of Khwaja Bande Nawaz, exists today in the city of Gulbarga, as a symbol of multi-religious unity [13].

During his stay in Delhi, he continued to visit Ayodhya often, where he made a number of disciples, notably, Shaikh Zainuddin Ali Awadhi, Shaikh Fatehullah Awadhi and Allama Kamaluddin Awadhi [8].


After his death, his tomb was built by Firuz Shah Tughluq (r. 1351 - 1388), the Sultan of Delhi in 1358, and later two gateways were added on either side of mausoleum. One of noted addition was a mosque built by a later Mughal emperor, Farrukhsiyar, in early 18th century [6], and popular among both Muslims and Non-Muslims. A humble tomb of the founder of Lodhi dynasty, Bahlul Khan Lodhi (r.1451-89) lies close to the shrine [14], in the present day locality of ‘Chirag Delhi’ that grew around the tomb, and is still goes by his name, it is very close to the locality of Greater Kailash, in South Delhi [15].


Nasiruddin Chiragh Dehalvi, unlike his spiritual master Nizamuddin Auliya, did not listen to sema, which was considered as unislamic by a section of the Muslim intelligentsia in that period. He did not however pass any specific judgement against it. This is the reason why even today, qawwali is not performed near his shrine in Delhi. Hazrat Nasiruddin's descendants are to be found far and wide as a lot of them moved down South to Hyderabad. The Dargah of Badi Bua or Badi Bibi, who said be the elder sister of Hazrat Nasir Uddin Mahmud Chiragh Dehlavi, still exists in city of Ayodhya [8].

See also


  1. ^ Hazrat NasirudDin Mahmud. Entitled Raushan Chiragh-i-Dihli Sufi Saints of Delhi.
  2. ^ Nizamuddin Auliya Ain-i-Akbari, by Abu'l-Fazl ibn Mubarak. English tr. by H. Blochmann and Colonel H. S. Jarrett, 1873 – 1907. The Asiatic Society of Bengal, Calcutta, Volume III, Saints of India. (Awliyá-i-Hind), page 365. "many under his direction attained to the heights of sanctity, such as Shaykh Naṣíru'ddín Muḥammad Chirágh i Dihlí, Mír Khusrau, Shaykh Aláu'l Ḥaḳḳ, Shaykh Akhí Siráj, in Bengal, Shaikh Wajíhu'ddín Yúsuf in Chanderi, Shaykh Yạḳúb and Shaykh Kamál in Malwah, Mauláná Ghiyáṣ, in Dhár, Mauláná Mughíṣ, in Ujjain, Shaykh Ḥusain, in Gujarat, Shaykh Burhánu'ddín Gharíb, Shaykh Muntakhab, Khwájah Ḥasan, in the Dekhan."
  3. ^ Khalifa List of Successors of Nizamuddin Auliya, "Moinuddin Chishti " official website.
  4. ^ Great Sufi Saints
  5. ^ Chisti Saints
  6. ^ a b Chirag Dilli Tomb Mosques & Shrines in Delhi.
  7. ^ a b Life History Moinuddin Chishti Official website.
  8. ^ a b c d In The Name Of Faith Times of India, April 19, 2007.
  9. ^ a b Ayodhya's Forgotten Muslim Past "Counter Currents", 23 October 2003.
  10. ^ The Tradition of Arabic Devotional Poetry in India… Hind Islami Tahjeeb Ke Rang : Aqeedat Ke Rang, "Indira Gandhi National Centre for the Arts" (IGNCA).
  11. ^ Dargah - Religious life at the Tomb “Chirag-e Delhi Shaikh Nasiruddin Chiragh of Delhi (d.1356), …”
  12. ^ Jihad in the East: A Crescent Over Delhi The Shade of Swords: Jihad and the Conflict Between Islam and Christianity, by M. J. Akbar. Routledge, 2002. ISBN 0415284708. Page 111.
  13. ^ Urs-e-Sharief of Khwaja Bande Nawaz in Gulbarga from tomorrow "The Hindu", November 27, 2007.
  14. ^ Delhi's Valley of Kings The Tribune, March 1, 2004.
  15. ^ Dargah of Chirag-e-Delhi location Wikimapia.

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