Saturday, 19 June 2010

WSJ Photo Journal: Sufi Anniversary

Photo © Deepak Sharma/AP-All Rights Reserved

The WSJ's Photo Journal has featured the above photograph by Deepak Sharma (AP) of Pakistani pilgrims carrying an offering of embroidered cloth (which I believe is called kiswa) to cover the tomb of Sufi saint Khawaja Moinuddin Chisti on the anniversary of his birth in Ajmer, India.

I should have been there!!! My kind of event!

Shaikh Khawaja Syed Muhammad Moinuddin Chisti was the most famous Sufi saint of the Chishti Order of the Indian Subcontinent. He introduced and established the order in South Asia, and was succeeded by various notable saints such as Nizzam Uddin Auliya.

I've never checked on this, but Khawaja in Egyptian Arabic means "foreigner", and was used as a title for all Greek and Italian residents (as an example) in Egypt, so I'm not sure if there's a connection or not. Wikipedia defines Khawaja as a title used by South Asians, which is possibly related to Khoja as well.