Major Sufi Saints And Architecture of The Sultanate

Who is called a Sufi saint?

The saints who follow Sufism are called Sufi saints. It is the liberal branch of Islam. Sufi saints are so lost in the remembrance of God that their every action is only for God and every action done for themselves is forbidden to them, so the world's fascination cannot disturb them. Sufi saints believe in one God and lay special emphasis on religious tolerance and human-love and brotherhood, sacrificing material comforts.

Origin of the word Sufi:

Based on the mention made in Abu Nasr al-Siraj's book 'Kitab-ul-Luma', the word Sufi is believed to have originated from the Arabic word 'suf' (wool), which in a way refers to woolen cloth, Which was worn by the early Sufis. Origin is also believed to be from 'Safa'. Safa means 'purity' or 'purity'. In this way the pious people were called Sufis by their conduct.

According to another belief - outside the mosque built by Hazrat Muhammad Sahab in Medina, some people took shelter on the Safa i.e. 'the hill of Mecca' and absorbed themselves in the worship of God, hence they were called Sufis.

Names of prominent Sufi saints of the Sultanate period:

  • Khwaja Moinuddin Chishti
  • Baba Farid
  • Sheikh Nizamuddin Auliya
  • Gesudaraj
  • Naseeruddin Mehmood
  • Shihabuddin Suhrawardy
  • Bakhtiyar Kaki
  • sheikh husseini
  • Sheikh Bahauddin Zakarikha
  • Jalaluddin Tabriji
  • Sheikh Hamiduddin Nagori

Sultanate Architecture and Architecture:

The style that developed in the field of Indian architecture during the Sultanate period was a mixture of Indian and Islamic styles. That's why this style of architecture was called 'Indo Islamic' style. Some scholars have called it 'Indo-Saracenic' style. Ferguson has called it the Pathan style, but it was actually a mixture of Indian and Islamic styles. Historians like Sir John Marshall, Ishwari Prasad considered it appropriate to call this style of architecture 'Indo-Islamic' style and Hindu-Muslim style.

The characteristics of the Indo-Islamic architectural style were as follows:

  • In the construction works done under the architecture of the Sultanate period, the mixture of Indian and Iranian styles is indicated.
  • In the construction work of Sultan period such as fort, tomb, mosque, palace and minarets, pointed arches-domes and narrow and high minarets have been used.
  • During this period, temples were demolished and a new way of worship was constructed in the mosque built on their rubble.
  • The tradition of building mausoleums in the memory of the Sultans, Amirs and Sufi saints started during the Sultanate period.
  • It was during this period that stone, concrete and good quality lime were used for the strength of the buildings.
  • Arches and domes were used scientifically for the first time in buildings during the Sultanate period. Indians learned this art from the Arabs. The Ottoman sultans used both rock and beam systems in the construction of domes and arches.
  • Due to the prohibition of depiction of living things in the decoration of buildings in the Sultanate period, many types of flowers, leaves, geometric and Quranic verses were carved in them to decorate them. Later on, objects of Hindu decoration such as lotus bell patterns, swastikas, bell patterns, urns etc. were also used by the Ottoman Sultans. The combined method of ornamentation was called the 'Arabesque method' in the Sultanate period.

List of Sultanate Architecture:

Name of ruler Name of Building
Qutubuddin Aibak Quwwat-ul-Islam Mosque
Qutbuddin Aibak and Iltutmish Qutub Minar
Qutubuddin Aibak Two and a half day hut
Iltutmish Tomb of Iltutmish
Iltutmish JAMA Masjid
Iltutmish Atarkin's door
Iltutmish Sultangarhi
Balban Lal Mahal
Balban Balban's Tomb
Alauddin Khilji Jamaat Khana Masjid
Alauddin Khilji Alai Darwaza
Alauddin Khilji Thousand Situn (Pillar)
Ghiyasuddin Tughlaq Tughlaqabad
Ghiyasuddin Tughlaq Tomb of Ghiyasuddin Tughlaq
Muhammad bin Tughlaq Adilabad's Tomb
Muhammad bin Tughlaq Jahanpanah Nagar
Muhammad bin Tughlaq Tomb of Sheikh Nizamuddin Auliya
Muhammad bin Tughlaq Firoz Shah Tughlaq's Tomb
Junashah Khan Jahan Feroz Shah's Tomb
Junashah Khan Jahan Kali Masjid
Junashah Khan Jahan Khirki Masjid
Lodi period Bahlol Lodi's Tomb
Ibrahim Lodi Tomb of Sikandar Shah Lodi
Miyan Kua Moth Ki Mosque

Now practice related questions and see what you learnt?

Prominent Sufis and Saints GK Questions and Answers 🔗

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Architecture FAQs:

Ajmer has the dargah of the famous Sufi saint Hazrat Khwaja Moinuddin Chishti. This dargah is also famous as Dargah Sharif of Ajmer city and is the local tomb of Chishti Sufi saint. It is believed that Hazrat Khwaja Moinuddin Chishti did his penance at Ajmer in the 13th century and died at this place.

The name of Maratha saint contemporary to Shivaji was Tukaram. Tukaram was a Maharashtrian saint, musician and devotional poet. He was born around 1608 AD and died around 1650 AD. Tukaram is counted among the great sages of Bhakti Marga and his expression is known as Tukaram Abhang.

The name of the saint who came from Nabadwip (Bengal) was Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu. Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu was an Indian saint and teacher of the 15th century. He started the Bhakti movement and became a prominent figure in Hindi devotional literature and kirtan.

The abode of Sufi saints is called "Khanqah". Khanqah is a Sufi hermitage or palace where Sufi saints conduct their spiritual practices and guide their disciples. It is a place where devotees and disciples gather for meditation, mantra-chanting, music and religious teachings.

The first Sufi saint in India was Hazrat Khwaja Moinuddin Chishti. He belonged to the Chishti clan of the Aryan region and established the Dargah Khwaja Garib Nawaz in Ajmer, Rajasthan in the 12th century. Hazrat Khwaja Moinuddin Chishti is considered to be one of the great saints of Indian Sufi and Islamic religion.

  Last update :  Fri 7 Oct 2022
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