My young friend and spiritual guide of sorts, Salman Chisty, has written about Hazrat Nasiruddin, Chiragh Delhi. While reading the details on his life, I remembered my sole visit to the quiet and serene shrine of Hazrat Chiragh Dehli.

Hidden in the older part of Delhi that is now a business district, this was a little sanctuary of peace. The shrine has resident peacocks that had disappeared while we were there. There was this man reciting devotional poetry that sounded lovely in the setting.

Hazrat Chiragh Delhi was a title bestowed on him by the leading light of Delhi – Hazrat Nizamudin Auliya in view of his spiritual station and efforts to spread spiritual light around. These
were the towering Chisti Sufis who blended with their locale and instead of appearing as the “Other” Muslim to the majority of native population, they kept themselves above the formal religion and ritualistic boundaries.

Delhi had started with his search of the Divine truth at the age of 25; and  spent years in the wilderness of Avadh region, (present day Uttar Pardesh). At 43 he arrived in Delhi and became a disciple of Nizamuddin Auliya. Following the demise of Hazrat Nizamuddin Auliya, he shifted to the area known after his name – Chiragh Delhi. He passed away in 1356.

This is what is most charming about Delhi: the comfort with which the old and new sits together. It is a city with countless shrines and dergahs and most of them retain some degree of their original character. Visitors to Delhi must not forget paying a visit to this place.